New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg’s virulently anti-Israel rant Tuesday, “A Grotesque Spectacle in Jerusalem,” was topped with this text box: “A celebration -- and a massacre.”
Goldberg is still clinging to the “Russian collusion” theory of Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 so she has a flair for exaggeration which here turns rancid. She got truly vicious in Tuesday’s piece, keyed to the deadly protest in Gaza, as the terrorist group Hamas urged Palestinian civilians to rush the fence guarding Israel from attack, some armed with explosives, with predictably deadly results for the Palestinian attackers.
Goldberg didn’t see it that way, blaming the celebratory moving of the American Embassy to Jerusalem, a “grotesque” event attended by Ivanka Trump. Goldberg blasted the appearance of two controversial Christian end-time preachers, Robert Jeffress and John Hagee, but held her real vituperation toward "apartheid" Israel.
This spectacle, geared toward Donald Trump’s Christian American base, coincided with a massacre about 40 miles away. Since March 30, there have been mass protests at the fence separating Gaza and Israel. Gazans, facing an escalating humanitarian crisis due in large part to an Israeli blockade, are demanding the right to return to homes in Israel that their families were forced from at Israeli’s founding. The demonstrators have been mostly but not entirely peaceful; Gazans have thrown rocks at Israeli soldiers and tried to fly flaming kites into Israel. The Israeli military has responded with live gunfire as well as rubber bullets and tear gas. In clashes on Monday, at least 58 Palestinians were killed and thousands wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
"Mostly peaceful" is a popular Times euphemism for "somewhat violently."
The juxtaposition of images of dead and wounded Palestinians and Ivanka Trump smiling in Jerusalem like a Zionist Marie Antoinette tell us a lot about America’s relationship to Israel right now. It has never been closer, but within that closeness there are seeds of potential estrangement.
But even if you completely dismiss the Palestinian right of return -- which I find harder to do now that Israel’s leadership has all but abandoned the possibility of a Palestinian state -- it hardly excuses the Israeli military’s disproportionate violence....
The events of Monday may have changed it further, and things could get worse still. Tuesday is Nakba Day, when Palestinians commemorate their dispossession, and the protests at the fence are expected to be even larger. “People don’t feel like they can stay at home after loved ones and neighbors have been killed for peacefully protesting for their rights,” Abdulrahman Abunahel, a Gaza-based activist with the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, told me via email.
Trump has empowered what’s worst in Israel, and as long as he is president, it may be that Israel can kill Palestinians, demolish their homes and appropriate their land with impunity. But some day, Trump will be gone. With hope for a two-state solution nearly dead, current trends suggest that a Jewish minority will come to rule over a largely disenfranchised Muslim majority in all the land under Israel’s control. A rising generation of Americans may see an apartheid state with a Trump Square in its capital and wonder why it’s supposed to be our friend.
Another anti-Israel tidbit in Tuesday’s edition. Declan Walsh’s front-page story, “A Day of Defiance and Despair At a Border Fence Under Siege” featured as a text box this dubious editorial comment not present in the article itself: “The deadliest chaos in years in a lopsided fight against Israel.” “Lopsided.” As if not enough Israelis were dying in the fighting?