Back in April, we were very upset to learn that the Israeli Foreign Ministry was organizing an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel for progressive American leaders and bloggers, led by the director of the National Jewish Democratic Council. (See the video above for folks you’ll recognize from outfits like HuffingtonPost, DailyKos, MyDD, and MoveOn. Let us know if you recognize any progressive Israeli leaders like folks from Rabbis for Human Rights, New Profile, ICAHD, or Tayush or… ).
Apparently, this was the first trip to Israel for the bloggers. Participants went to Sderot to see the devastation wrought by Qassam rockets, but needless to say, the group didn’t bother to head to the West Bank or Gaza beyond a meeting in Ramallah with the PA’s chief negotiator.
We wrote to some bloggers to urge that them to visit the Palestinian Occupied Territories, but got no response. At the time, most were keeping their names secret. (We think it was shame–how many of these folks actually wrote about the propaganda educational trip they were on? The few who did deserve kudos for their transparency. )
Israel, AIPAC and private philanthropists have long funded free trips to Israel as a way to shore up support for Israel’s so-called “war on terror”. What was so shocking was the ease with which left bloggers and leaders allowed themselves to be purchased with the promise of a free trip. (There’s no doubt about the objective of the trip.)
Now, Richard Silverstein at Tikun Olam points out, that the issue has been deliberately cleansed from one of the internet’s most influential liberal blogs.
Silverstein reports a recent interaction with a blogger who apparently has some sort of official capacity at DailyKos beyond a Diarist:
I introduced myself to the visiting blogger as a local political blogger who writes about U.S.-Israel relations and the presidential election. I asked her whether her blog (remember, I didn’t at the time know it was DK) ever covered the foreign policy implications of the Israeli-Arab conflict.
She shook her head sagely and said: “No.” I asked her why. “Because there’s just no upside in it for us. Too much dissension and disagreement.”