Monthly Archives: August 2013

Buyer Beware

by Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark

In the unusual category of GOOD news for discourse around Israel and Palestine, Patrick B. Pexton, ombuds for the Washington Post until last March, gave new owner Jeff Bezos some excellent advice in an open letter he published in the Washington City Paper: Fire Jennifer Rubin.

Rubin, as Muzzlewatch readers may recall, occupies a place in the crowded precinct of rabid Islamaphobes on the Zionist right. Here’s how Pexton puts it:

“Have Fred Hiatt, your editorial page editor—who I like, admire, and respect—fire opinion blogger Jennifer Rubin. Not because she’s conservative, but because she’s just plain bad. She doesn’t travel within a hundred miles of Post standards. She parrots and peddles every silly right-wing theory to come down the pike in transparent attempts to get Web hits. Her analysis of the conservative movement, which is a worthwhile and important beat that the Post should treat more seriously on its national pages, is shallow and predictable. Her columns, at best, are political pornography; they get a quick but sure rise out of the right, but you feel bad afterward. Continue reading

A Boycott by Any Other Name

by Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark

Just mention the movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and, as readers of Muzzlewatch well know, certain folks who declare themselves Israel’s greatest supporters try to shut down the discussion. And nothing makes them more apoplectic than the piece of BDS that is sticky even for many who embrace the tactic generally: the academic and cultural boycott. To impede the free exchange of ideas among scholars and artists, the argument goes, violates a core value.

So how will Israel’s self-appointed defenders respond to a recent threat by some Israeli scientists to remove themselves from international scientific bodies, scholarly journals and conferences, and even opportunities for research grants? No, not a new lab-coat brigade joining the BDS campaign. These scientists propose withdrawing from $106 million of potential funding in the name of defending their state against European “scorn for Israel.” They mean to punish the European Union by refusing to cooperate with them. Continue reading