Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Crying wolf, January 9, 2008
James Petras seems to overlook the fact that quite a few Arabs are engaged in a continuing war against Israel, and that the goals of many of them are to get rid of Israel as a sovereign state in order to remove the human rights of the Jews in the region.

In this article, he dwells on what he calls the "Zionist power configuration," as if the victims of this Arab aggression are in fact the problem and as if it is the victims who desire injustice!

At the start of the article, Petras acknowledges that "the interests of big oil" are thought by some to be influencing American foreign policy. But he then dismisses this idea and says that we need to condemn Israel and its supporters.

I am for human rights for all. And that makes me a Zionist. I think we need to condemn human rights violations. I do not think we ought to be arbitrary and let terrorist groups off the hook. Petras, however, wants to turn all this around and find excuses to do just that.

I'm not trying to excuse human rights violations by China, Belgium, Serbia, France, Israel, Iran, or any other state. Petras is. And he's accusing Zionists of manipulating the United States into pursuing counterproductive policies. And he doesn't stop there. He says that "while the US Congress, media, academics, retired military and public figures are free to criticize the President, any criticism of Israel, much less the Jewish Lobby, is met with vicious attacks in all the op-ed pages of major newspapers by an army of pro-Israeli `expert' propagandists." And he continues by claiming that "by denying free speech and public debate through campaigns of calumny and real and threatened repercussions the Jewish Lobby has denied Americans one of their more basic freedoms and constitutional rights."

Well, that's preposterous. We've seen enormous criticism of Israel, much of it almost unchallenged. And we've also seen quite a bit of seriously counterproductive demonization of Israel. I'm not arguing in favor of banning such stuff, but I think such propaganda needs responses. And I am proud to support human rights by responding! In no way am I denying Americans free speech by doing that. Quite the contrary.

Israel is a small and land-poor nation that is being strongly attacked by some rather vicious opponents of human rights. Israelis know that if there is no war, it will survive and prosper. The Israelis want that. Yes, the United States sometimes supports Israel. For goodness sakes, we supported Kuwait when Kuwait was attacked! And Kuwait was the one nation on this planet that had been the least supportive of the United States in the United Nations. But there is nothing sinister about occasional American support for a democratic ally. Nor is there anything sinister about support for human rights and opposition to terrorist thugs.

Petras says that the "Jewish Lobby" is "eroding our domestic political freedoms" and "our warmaking powers." And that while Israel does not have "the worst human rights agenda" in the world, "the Lobby puts the military and budgetary resources of the Empire at the service of Greater Israel, and that results in the worst human rights in the world."

Petras is wrong. And I think we need to let him say what he pleases. But there is no First Amendment right to be free from criticism. If one wants to say that pi equals five, one has a First Amendment right to do so. But if one does that on a mathematics test, one has to be prepared to suffer the consequences: a low grade! Petras has made use of his First Amendment right to free speech. Now I'd like to see those of us who disagree with his misstatements exercise our First Amendment rights as well.

I do not recommend this article.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item not available
Reviewer


Location: jillmalter@aol.com

Top Reviewer Ranking: 487,862