Monday, April 13, 2009

Newsflash: Arts & Letters Daily publishes pseudo-history

Click on the title to read a Benny Morris article purporting to be an objective account of Palestinian and Arab resistance to Zionist colonisation.

I have followed aldaily almost since its inception and, while I love the site, it does have a pronounced US (and by extension, pro-Israel) bias. I have always understood this and usually just grin and bear it. After all, the site's founder, Denis Dutton, is himself American, and he is certainly no dissident.

But publishing this particular article, supporting a state involved in a brutal war of conquest and colonisation, and not provide a counterbalance from the Palestinian viewpoint, is disappointing to this long term fan of Arts & Letters Daily.

However, the site which commissioned the article does have a discussion section and a liberal posting policy, which alleviates the disappointment somewhat. Naturally, I and others have availed ourselves of that facility.

It's a shame that the principals of KBRM don't follow suit rather than hiding behind the skirts of its webmistress.

1 comment:

  1. I have also followed aldaily for years, and I can remember them only once ever promoting an article to which the pro-Israel lobby might object: one on Israel's mistreatment of the academic Ghazi Falah. In fact, they would have little to object to even in that, given that the impression given by the article is of a regrettable lapse of standards in an individual case, and that Israel is in general guilty of nothing worse than that.

    Contrast that single article with the frequency of the kind of article where criticism of Israel is equated with anti-Semitism, or where grand reality-denying rhetoric like the following (from Adam Kirsch) is on offer, together with the usual depiction of those victimized and oppressed by Israel as "irrational":

    what unites America and Israel is a dedication to "the liberal democratic idea" and to rationalism, as against the irrational, authoritarian culture of their enemies

    A certain degree of selection bias can be seen in Arts & Letters Daily's promotion of articles in other subject areas (not to mention the extraordinary number of links recently used to promote Denis Dutton's own book, though that might be forgivable), but when it comes to the Middle East the articles chosen leave no doubt at all as to the political views of the editors (Tran Huu Dung is the other one) and their evident readiness to operate a regime of intellectual censorship and propanganda on Israel's behalf.

    Well done on calling attention to this - though I'm not sure it qualifies as a "newsflash" :-)