The Fingerman digs past the Haiti rhetoric


The inimitable Eric Fingerhut wonders what’s exercising the ZOA and Marty Peretz, when they complain that President Obama failed to mention Israel in his Jan. 15 speech praising relief efforts, by noting that the Israeli team had not even landed by the time Obama gave his speech:

So that means that all the truly great work that Israelis did in Haiti — the work in the field hospital, the rescue of someone trapped in the rubble more than a week after the quake — all occurred AFTER the Obama speech which Peretz cites. Sure, Israel had announced that they were sending a field hospital and rescue personnel, but they hadn’t actually done anything yet. So citing the great accomplishments of Israel in Haiti and then wondering how Obama overlooked them — when the only way he could have mentioned them in that Jan. 15 speech is if he had time-traveled to the end of January — is ridiculous.

Even if Israel had landed … I’ve always been bugged by prescriptive, as opposed to proscriptive criticism.

The latter is trying to be helpful — "I’d like to point out why I think what you said may be in error." The former veers toward a crazed "I should be doing your job!!" affect. As in: "Don’t call the West Bank separator the ‘wall’ because most of it is not a wall"– good. "You MUST refer to it as a fence, and only a fence, not a security barrier, not a separation barrier only a fence!!!" — I hang up.

Recommended from JTA