DANIEL LEVY: So Fatah is irretrievably bought into a negotiations-only strategy. What if the negotiations don’t deliver? And Hamas into an illegitimate strategy that includes use of violence against civilians.
BASSIM KHOURY: We Palestinians have part of the blame with where we are now because of our homicide bombings in Israel.
DANIEL LEVY: The Palestinian side has failed to produce a third alternative. The third alternative inside the territories is about nonviolent resistance which is why Israel does everything to try and turn nonviolent resistance into violence.
This casual little drop came during the Q+A of “Palestinian Politics and Obama’s Peace Plans,” an event held in October 2009 by Levy’s The Century Foundation (cached event page here, PDF of quotes here, full video here and here). Levy’s “Israel’s creation was wrong” statement also came during a Q+A, where he strayed from his prepared remarks and gave voice to thought. These repeated slip-ups might be suggestively revelatory, if only there was anything left of his and J Street’s anti-Israel sensibilities to reveal.
During that last dust-up, by the by, J Street quickly bounced through three different denial strategies. It’ll be interesting to see which ones they go with this time:
Strategy #1 – Official silence and unofficial denial. At first the organization stopped short of making an official denial ala “we didn’t facilitate Goldstone’s DC visit.” Maybe they knew that there was an Al Jazeera video of Levy’s remarks on YouTube or maybe they just got lucky. In any case J Street shill MJ Rosenberg, who once penned a “my daddy will beat up your daddy” treatise for HuffPo titled “J Street Creates Fear and Trembling in Israel,” blogged a post headlined “The Lobby’s Shame.” In the ensuing comments, when asked about the Levy incident, he cast doubt on the accuracy of the transcript. J Street officials also pushed back on the local level, per a charming email I got describing how “this one J-Street fellow is calling you a liar.” If you’ve got 45 Soros-purchased staffers spread around 8 US cities you might as well use them. But the denials didn’t take hold, so a new strategy had to be thrown against the wall.
Strategy #2 – Official denial. J Street cropped Levy’s transcript to take out the part where he talked about the “creation of Israel,” posted it to their Myths & Facts page, and then blasted “far-right bloggers” for asserting that Levy had talked about “the creation of Israel.” Because in their cropped transcript, as one could plainly see, he didn’t say anything about “the creation of Israel.” Bold! Stupid and easily debunked. But bold! I mocked the strategy here, and then it got picked up by enough journalists and academics to make it look silly. Transition to strategy three.
Strategy #3 – Levy was taken out of context. Instead of trying to crop out parts of Levy’s commentary, Levy’s fellow NAF staffer Steve Clemons and the JTA’s Ron Kampeas posted other, unrelated parts of his remarks. Then they insisted he was taken out of context (“edited in important ways,” “ripped out of context,” etc). Of course Kampean admitted midway through that the additional remarks had nothing to do with Levy’s opinion about Israel’s creation. His actual concern, he explained, was that I didn’t include a bunch of extraneous quotes showing what a good and fair guy Levy is. Which isn’t what “out of context” means, but – in fairness – Levy’s defenders were pretty much out of other options at that point.
Back to these new remarks, if it’s going to be Strategy #3 I hope it’s something over the top like “sure he insisted that Israel forces Palestinians to murder Jews rather than pursue nonviolence, but elsewhere he’s talked about how Israelis bring lollipops and puppies to the children of Gaza.” Although given how Hamas is obsessively transforming their statelet into a full-blown sharia regime, if the IDF was handing out adorable puppies Levy would probably blast it as an Israeli plot to provoke and incite Muslims.
* J Street Co-Founder Daniel Levy: Israel’s Creation “An Act That Was Wrong” [Mere Rhetoric]
* Palestinian Politics and Obama’s Peace Plans [The Century Foundation / Google Cache]
* PALESTINIAN POLITICS AND OBAMA’S PEACE PLANS [The Century Foundation (PDF)]
* Palestinian Politics and Obama’s Peace Plans: Q&A Video [The Century Foundation]
* J Street Creates Fear and Trembling in Israel [MJ Rosenberg / HuffPo]
* Commented on: The Lobby’s Shame [MJ Rosenberg / HuffPo]
* Unbelievable – J Street Crops Daniel Levy’s Anti-Israel Quote, Then Blasts “Far Right-Wing Blogs” For “Misreporting” It [Mere Rhetoric]
* Flotsam and Jetsam [J Rubin / Commentary]
* Exposed: J Street is an Anti-Israel Wolf in Dove’s Clothing [B Rubin / Rubin Reports]
* Newest Defense Of J Street’s Daniel Levy – His Anti-Israel Quotes Are “Ripped Out Of Context” Because He Means Well Or Something [Mere Rhetoric]
* Media Outlets Shocked To Find Hamas Imposing Islam, Digging Up Dead Christians Because They “Pollute The Earth” [Mere Rhetoric]
* Saudi religious police ban pet cats and dogs [Breitbart]