The Weekly Standard’s resident rightist pro-Israel smearmonger, Michael Goldfarb, is at it again. In fact, running through my head is that old pop song (lyrics slightly amended): “Woops, there goes another Goldfarb…” His latest dump is entitled, Another J Street Speaker Engages in “Use and Abuse of Holocaust Imagery.”
One of the bloggers participating in our informal panel at the J Street conference is Helena Cobban. To reiterate something I’ve written here before, our panel is not an offical one, it is not endorsed by J Street, we don’t represent J Street, J Street doesn’t represent us. We are bloggers, not J Street board members or staffers. We represent no one but ourselves and perhaps our readers.
Here is the “substance” of Goldfarb’s charges:
J Street will now be obliged to drop at least one more speaker from their conference — Helena Cobban. On the second day of J Street’s conference, there will be an “independent” blogger panel including Cobban among other “pro-Israel” voices like Max Blumenthal and Philip Weiss. Cobban is prone to her own Holocaust metaphors when talking about Israel. “When you see the Wall, especially the places where it goes anywhere near built-up Palestinian areas and is studded with looming concrete watch-towers, the overwhelming image that might come to your mind, as it does to mine, is that of the fence-and-watchtower system around a concentration camp,” she wrote on her blog in June of this year.
Goldfarb misunderstands many issues in this passage. First, Josh Healy’s poetry reading, which Goldfarb notes was cancelled by J Street, was an OFFICIAL J Street program. Though I personally did not support Healy’s ouster, there is a difference between an offical event and an independent one. Goldfarb’s bad faith is evident when he actually notes that our panel is “independent” yet states that Helena is a “J Street speaker,” which she is not.
Another strike against Cobban, making her deserving of expulsion from our session, is that she equates the violence of Hamas against Israeli targets to the violence of the IDF against Hamas. I kid you not. That’s a hangin’ offense in Goldfarbland. I’d have thought the analogy would be almost self-evident. But apparently where Goldfarb lives Israel’s killing of Hamas leaders is self-defense, while Hamas’ killing of Israelis is terrorism.
Then he asks a disingenuous question which has no backing from anything he’s offered of Cobban’s writing (and in fact explicitly does not represent her real views):
Is it not obvious that Cobban prefers Hamas to Israel?
Only if you’re a twisted, smearmonger like Goldfarb is such a claim “obvious.”