Mr. Glenn Greenwald, author, columnist, and self-described journalist, has become well-known for his collaborations with Edward Snowden. Several months ago Mr. Greenwald obtained substantial funding from the billionaire Pierre Obidyar to establish an online publication Intercept, part of Obidyar’s First Look Media.
Now, several months forward, Intercept, as it promised it would, devotes space to Snowden’s cause. But that is not the only cause which it supports. Another one, to which it has given substantial space as well, is that of Israel-bashing.
About a week ago, Greenwald ran a particularly untruthful, hateful, shameful attack on Israel: Netanyahu’s ‘Telegenically Dead’ Comment Is Grotesque but Not Original . Greenwald’s assertion is that Israel behaves like Nazis in Gaza.
Greenwald begins by what he says is a quotation from Netanyahu, which he presents as follows:
“They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can. They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the better.”
Next, he gives what he says is a quotation from Joseph Goebbels, as follows:
“The Jews gradually are having to depend more and more on themselves, and have recently found a new trick. They knew the good-natured German Michael in us, always ready to shed sentimental tears for the injustice done to them. One suddenly has the impression that the Berlin Jewish population consists only of little babies whose childish helplessness might move us, or else fragile old ladies. The Jews send out the pitiable. They may confuse some harmless souls for a while, but not us. We know exactly what the situation is.”
The emphasis, in both cases, is of course supplied by Mr. Greenwald.
I have taken the trouble to look at the context of both of these quotations. That by Netanyahu is also reported by the Forward, but together with a clarifying statement by Netanyahu:
“Israel regrets every injury to civilians,” the prime minister said. “I call on the residents of Gaza: Don’t stay there. Hamas wants you to die, we want you to be safe.”
If Mr. Greenwald’s reporting on Netanyahu is grossly misleading, the same must be said of his reporting on Goebbels.
The passage from Goebbels in question (dated November 16, 1941) can be seen here in the original German and here in an English translation. The article is quite long, approximately 1600 words, and is entitled “Die Juden sind schuld !,” (“The Jews are at fault !). It makes the following points: Every Jew is our enemy. There is no such thing as a good Jew and a bad Jew. Every Jew is evil. Judaism must be destroyed.
Has Mr. Greenwald even read this German-language article, either in the original or in translation, or does he depend on some tendentious report by a third party ? In either case, the paragraph translated and presented by Mr. Greenwald is in no way representative of the gist of Goebbels’s piece, and, in fact, grossly distorts it.
Whether he cites Goebbels or Netanyahu, Mr. Greenwald misleads his readers. Read in relevant context, Netanyahu asserts, as does his government, that Israel is deeply concerned over loss of life, whether Jew or Arab. And when read its entirety, Goebbels is seen to advocate the destruction of all Jews. When Greenwald tells us that these two positions are the same, he tells us more about his own integrity — or rather lack thereof — than he tells us about the ostensible subject of his rantings.
Obviously, Mr. Greenwald’s publisher, Pierre Obidyar, must share in the moral responsibility for what is published under his imprint, First Look Media.
As it happens, there is indeed a Nazi connection to be found in this topic of Israel vs. Hamas. And pace Mr. Greenwald, the Nazi connection is on the side of Hamas. The Hamas Charter, available freely on the Internet and elsewhere, calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of all Jews and cites, with great approval, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a veritable bible of the Nazi movement. But on this topic, the Hamas Charter, Mr. Greenwald is strangely quiet.
READ ALSO: my earlier posting on Comrade Greenwald and Mr. Pierre Obidyar