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February 10, 2015

CNN’s Zakaria Puts Foot in Mouth Again with Israel-ISIS Analogy


Fareed Zakaria’s take on Feb. 9, 2015 cited the Irgun, a covert Jewish group in British Mandatory Palestine, as an inspiration for ISIS’ (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) terrorism. Irgun was one of three Jewish underground military organizations in 1945-1948 that fought to bring about the end of the U.N. Mandate and the establishment of a Jewish state. Zakaria has demonstrated a compulsion to see Israel darkly, regardless of facts (examples here, here, here), and this is one more piece in the pattern.

Here, Zakaria implicitly equates ISIS to Irgun — Islamic fundamentalists who commit mass murder of children, trade captured minority women as "wives" and "execute" prisoners by beheading and immolation to Jewish nationalists who usually attempted to avoid non-combatant casualties.

ISIS slaughters and enslaves as many as it can of those opposing its ideology bent on establishing a world wide caliphate under sharia (Islamic law). The Irgun aimed primarily at destroying property, typically targeting British and British-affiliated facilities, although there are historical accounts of it killing and wounding Arabs in reprisal attacks that were criticized by many Palestinian Jews.

It used violence to attempt to compel Great Britain either to fulfill its responsibility under the League of Nations/U.N. Mandate for Palestine and let Jewish refugees, particularly those in Europe displaced by the Holocaust, in or to terminate the mandate and get out. The Irgun was not trying to force non-Jews to convert or, unlike ISIS's dreams of a regional if not worldwide "caliphate," impose Jewish rule over the Middle East and beyond.

Zakaria said, “The group [ISIS] well understands that the primary purpose of terrorism is to induce fear and overreaction… The Irgun knew that they could not defeat the mighty British Army so they decided to blow up buildings and create the appearance of chaos.?

On Irgun, Zakaria scavenges a 40-year-old article by historian David Fromkin. Writing in Foreign Affairs (“The Strategy of Terrorism? in July, 1975 issue). Fromkin recounted what an Irgun founder said in 1945 at a meeting in New York:

“His organization would attack property interests. After giving advance warning to evacuate them, his small band of followers would blow up buildings. This, he said, would lead the British to overreact by garrisoning the country with an immense army drawn from stations in other parts of the world. But postwar Britain could not afford financially to maintain so great an army either there or anywhere else for any extended period of time... the plan of attacking property without hurting people proved to be unrealistic. Accidents inevitably occur when violence is unleashed …The bloodshed caused by the Irgun isolated it politically and alienated the rest of the Palestinian Jewish community... Yet despite its flaws, the strategy was sufficiently ingenious so that the Irgun played a big part in getting the British to withdraw.?

The Irgun did play a part in raising the cost to Great Britain — depleted of manpower, impoverished by World War II and facing challenges in colonies such as India — of hanging on to its Palestine Mandate. But in doing so, its tactics were far from ISIS' use of self-publicized wholesale and retail barbarism to outdo its parent, al-Qaeda, in imposing sharia, harsh Islamic religious law, on as much territory as possible. Zakaria's Irgun-to-ISIS analogy, hijacking Fromkin's article that essentially dealt with other issues in the rise of modern terrorism, is one more symptom of his underlying Israel-obsessive syndrome.

What’s the secret of Zakaria’s charmed life on CNN? Viewers see what CNN management still won't; in addition to past plagiarism and insufficiently cited sources, his misplaced appeals to authority and tortuous analogies do not make Zakaria a foreign policy expert. Rather, they undermine his pretense to being one.

Posted by MK at February 10, 2015 07:20 PM


Fareed Zakaria sounds like another CNN version of
Jim Clancy.
CNN Anchor Resigns Following Anti-Israel Meltdown
January 16, 2015

Posted by: Barry Meridian at February 12, 2015 09:41 AM

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