So there are two people that I knew in college who have arguably “made it” as political writers. One is Jesse Rosenfeld, author of what might be the most obnoxiously narcissistic bit of copy ever to be published by the McGill Daily (I can’t find the original on the Daily’s site, but it dominated the issue and spurred hundreds if not thousands of irritated responses, which dominated the subsequent several issues). Last year, he was beaten up by the police at one of the G20 protests in Toronto, and many a contemporary-with-Rosenberg McGill grad repressed a powerful impulse to roll our eyes — repressed because police brutality at last year’s G20 was no joke.
The other is THE Tim Mak. Yes, THAT Tim Mak, the “rising star of the conservative movement” photographed at right. Or…have you not heard of him? Maybe it’s just to me that his star appears amid the brighter constellations thanks to the parallax effect of having him on my Facebook feed (we’ll see for how much longer…). But I’ve run across him several times independently, and he can apparently pay DC rents as a quote-unquote journalist, which is something.
Anyway, Tim staffed a committee I ran back in university simulating the Soviet Politburo in the years immediately following Lenin’s death. (The committee was awesome, and involved Lenin ultimately coming back to life having been driven mad by the reverse-cryogenic process. He was given a cap gun, which he waved around as he drooled and yelled “TROTSKYYYYYY!” and the terrified committee members stood and clapped and forced themselves to smile for like an hour. But let me close this parenthesis.)
Now? Having completed a Koch Fellowship at the American Enterprise Institute, Tim is a “reporter and columnist” for FrumForum.com, a title that natch jives (ethically speaking) with being a paid fellow with Act for Israel, “an organization dedicated to representing Israel’s interests through the use of new media.” Reporter, not advocate, because fuck Orwell, words’ actual meanings don’t matter if their associations are useful in the service of one’s private or ideological ends, as we’ll see.
Looping back to Jesse for a second, as irritated as I consistently was with him in university, the man actually moved to the West Bank (UPDATE: it seems as if he’s moved back to Jaffa, but he did live in Ramallah), where he does on-the-ground reporting — work of high enough quality that the Guardian has published some (if not that much) of it, as has le Monde Diplomatique. Tim, on the other hand, has moved to DC and devoted himself to bringing us such untold stories as how BP has made Louisiana a better place since the spill (substantiated through the testimony of one waitress, one contractor, one cashier, one fisherman, and one “local businessman” — testimony that clearly renders unnecessary the provision of any statistical or expert evidence).
He’s now contributing to elevating the discourse over Israel (as a fair-minded reporter, obviously, just like all of the Act for Israel fellows) with articles like this one, titled “Israelis in Shock Over Terror Attack on Family.” What was this terror attack?
On Friday around 10 PM, at least one suspected terrorist infiltrated a house in the small organic farming town of just over 1,000 people. Jumping the monitored fence that surrounds the Orthodox Jewish community one hour north of Jerusalem, one or two perpetrators broke into the home of Ruth and Udi Fogal before murdering them with a knife.
Also stabbed to death were three of their children: three-month old infant Hadas; three year old Elad; and eleven year old Yoav. The family was asleep when they were attacked on the evening of the Sabbath.
But who is this “at least one suspected terrorist”? Um…. well, apparently “the IDF suspects that more than one individual was involved in the attack, and has arrested around 20 people suspected of being involved.” Go on… “The assailants are suspected of having climbed over the security fence.” And that’s all we’ve got. No other words were written about the assailants at all.
You know, when non-Muslims do things like what’s described above, they’re called murderers, and it’s not even clear yet that the culprit is a Muslim, at least not based on the article’s reporting. So why jump to the “terrorist” label before any details are known about the culprit’s identity, let alone her or his motives? I suppose it’s pretty likely to rile up some of the more emotional and perhaps antisemitism-prone critics of Israel’s West Bank settlement activity, and maybe bait them into making some ill-conceived “they deserved it”-style comments, which can then be pinned on and used to delegitimize ALL critics of Israel’s settlement policies. Or something. Am I being paranoid?
But I’m getting off the real point of the article, which, if one were to judge by the photo that leads it, is that Tim Mak is in Israel hanging out with IDF soldiers (OMG SO COOL!!1!one):
To end on a less depressing note (and engage in a little self-celebration of my own), here’s a video we made the year after our Lenin-successor simulation, when we simulated ‘48-53. A couple quick notes: Stalin started out with a moustache, but by day three it had started to smell like fish, and so we let him take it off; this was originally sound-tracked mostly with Lord of the Rings music, but obvs this non-profit video used for educational purposes didn’t constitute fair-use, and so it’s not only a silent film, but a silent silent film. But without further ado: