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Israel 'To Review' Top Appointment After Facebook Controversy (bbc.com) 351

HughPickens.com writes: BBC reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will "review" the appointment of his new communications director, Ran Baratz, over comments Baratz made on Facebook accusing President Obama of anti-Semitism and describing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as having a "mental age" of no more than 12. U.S. state department spokesman John Kirby said Mr. Baratz's Facebook posts were "troubling and offensive." "Insults, certainly, aimed at individuals doesn't do anything to help advance and deepen the relationship. We learn in kindergarten about name-calling, and it's simply not a polite thing to do," Kirby said. The Facebook posts emerged shortly after Netanyahu announced the appointment of philosophy lecturer Mr. Baratz as his chief spokesman. In March, Baratz described President Obama's criticism of Netanyahu's opposition to the Iran nuclear deal as "the modern face of anti-Semitism in Western and liberal countries."

Netanyahu quickly distanced himself from the comments but indicated the appointment remained valid. "I have just read Dr Ran Baratz's posts on the internet, including those relating to the president of the state of Israel, the president of the United States and other public figures in Israel and the United States," Netanyahu said in a statement. "Those posts are totally unacceptable and in no way reflect my positions or the policies of the government of Israel. Dr. Baratz has apologized and has asked to meet me to clarify the matter following my return to Israel." Baratz, in a Facebook post Thursday night, apologized for "the hurtful remarks" and for not informing the prime minister of them. Baratz said the posts "were written frivolously and sometimes humorously, in a tone suited to the social networks and a private individual." Baratz added, "It is very clear to me that in an official post one has to behave and express oneself differently."

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Israel 'To Review' Top Appointment After Facebook Controversy

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  • Yeah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Njorthbiatr ( 3776975 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @12:17AM (#50886261)

    We're not giving them enough of someone else's land.

    • Tell me does that apply to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and other countries founded around the same time as well? Or just the jewish state?

      • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Interesting)

        by NicBenjamin ( 2124018 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @02:08AM (#50886497)

        This is America, not some Arab country that doesn't recognize Israel at all. He's probably talking about the West Bank, which the Israeli government has never officially claimed, but does insist it has the right to fill up with Jews. Particular the bits nearest Jerusalem.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by quantaman ( 517394 )

        Tell me does that apply to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and other countries founded around the same time as well? Or just the jewish state?

        Well no it doesn't apply to "Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and other countries founded around the same time as well" because those aren't examples of "giving them enough of someone else's land."

        The issue with Israel is Jews had virtually no claim to that land, they had been a small minority for centuries but hadn't been a majority or rulers for a very very long time.

        The creation is Israel was colonialism, not much different from the bizarre concept of settling them in Uganda [wikipedia.org] except for the fact that Israel had ad

        • > because those aren't examples of "giving them enough of someone else's land"
          Uh, yes they are. Arabs become dominant in those regions when they took over - how is this different other than that the re-establishment of Israel was internationally sanctioned and not a bloody conquest? If you're going to ask Israel to "give back" land to the Arabs then you're going to have to at least ask Arabs to give back land to Persians, Zorastarians / Aryans, Assyrians, etc.

          • > because those aren't examples of "giving them enough of someone else's land"
            Uh, yes they are. Arabs become dominant in those regions when they took over - how is this different other than that the re-establishment of Israel was internationally sanctioned and not a bloody conquest? If you're going to ask Israel to "give back" land to the Arabs then you're going to have to at least ask Arabs to give back land to Persians, Zorastarians / Aryans, Assyrians, etc.

            Hmm, lets unpack this.

            1) At the time of WWI Arabs were the majority in those regions, Western powers had no right to interfere in changing demographics and certainly not in giving power to a new ethnicity they'd just let in.

            2) My point was to explain why the creation of Israel was extremely unjust and a huge mistake. Not to say that we should try to undo that mistake and give Israel back to the Arabs. Similarly trying to do some historic conquest like giving back Arab land to Iran or give back all Canadian/

            • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

              The creation of Israel was as unjust as the creation of the US, Canada, every SA country, most European countries. India, most other ME countries, etc. The world over is full of nations that conquered people who were living there immediately before they declared themselves a nation/state.

              It sounds like you're just pissed that Jews did it this time.

              • The creation of Israel was as unjust as the creation of the US, Canada, every SA country, most European countries. India, most other ME countries, etc. The world over is full of nations that conquered people who were living there immediately before they declared themselves a nation/state.

                It sounds like you're just pissed that Jews did it this time.

                I'm not going to bother arguing with you, I'm just going to ask you to imagining you were an Arab from that region and to honestly try putting yourself in their position.

                • What? Are you seriously trying to say let logic and reality, the history of most of the world take a back seat to the feelings of those who lost?

              • According to the religious texts that Jews hold sacred, they did indeed found Israel after first wiping out the entire civilization that occupied the land prior.

                But God said those people were evil, so that makes it ok.

            • > Similarly trying to do some historic conquest like giving back Arab land to Iran
              I completely disagree with this. Arab leadership in Iran has destroyed what is a beautiful country and the uprising that brought them into power resulted in the massacre and continued victimization and oppression of a diverse range of peoples.

              As for the Native Americans... I'm not so sure a lot of tribes have it all that much better than Palestinians in the Transjordan region...

              • by jbengt ( 874751 )

                Arab leadership in Iran has destroyed what is a beautiful country . . .

                Please inform yourself before making proclamations, your ignorance is making your argument meaningless.

            • 1) The territory where israel exists was virtually uninhabited and there was not an arab or even muslim majority in the region for most of history, a fact openly remarked upon by arab historians who lamented the emptiness of their mosques.

              2) 80% (probably more) of the land was given to the Arabs even after they refused to participate in drawing up the borders, and they immediately led a massive war of genocide led by a literal toured-auschwitz-and-formed-SS-divisions nazi.

              3) Israel already offered that, alo

            • by KGIII ( 973947 )

              IIRC (and I'm pretty sure I do) the UN proposed a plan to separate into areas for the Palestinians and areas for the Jews. The plan was never signed or ratified. Why? Because the Palestinians did not want that - in fact, they ran around shooting stuff and blowing stuff up. The Jews aren't taking land that doesn't belong to them. They're using land that belongs to them by default because the Palestinians openly declared they didn't want the land and ran around blowing shit up.

              Note that when the Jews weren't

        • The issue with Israel is Jews had virtually no claim to that land, they had been a small minority for centuries but hadn't been a majority or rulers for a very very long time.

          No, it's worse than that. They were literally never more than a racial minority in the region.

          The creation is Israel was colonialism, not much different from the bizarre concept of settling them in Uganda except for the fact that Israel had added religious significance.

          The difference is that settling them in the middle of their historical enemies, people who had already recently successfully kicked them out of the region, was a good way to foment racial hatred and to fight Islam without actually engaging in all-out war on apparently theological lines. So instead, the people least wanted in the region were forcibly installed there, and predictable (as in, predicted by T.E. Lawrenc

          • Well no shit. The entire identity of "palestine" as it exists today is a total fabrication [al-rassooli.com]. The rampant anti-semitism in the region can be pretty directly tied to the mufti importing nazism and tying it into arab nationalism as part of his bid for power.

          • Doesn't the idea of race date back to the early 19th century or something like that? I think races didn't exist in pre-industrial, medieval or antique times. You did have kingdoms, tribes, empires, and you were likely to own slaves of the same "race" as you.

            Now maybe there is such thing as ethnicity, I don't really know how it's defined.

      • We didn't pump 100s of billions of dollars into them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In the Middle East, everyone wants everyone else's land. Some of the issues can be traced back to imperialism, British colonization, and the British mandates. Anti-semitism drove Jews out of Europe and they settled in Palestine before Israel was created. The Pogroms and the Holocaust were big factors in this.

      Some of the issues absolutely revolve around religion. There are disputes between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. There are also disputes within religions such as the dislike between Shiites and Sunnis.

      • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dog-Cow ( 21281 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @05:47AM (#50886863)

        Jews and Christians have virtually no fights over religious sites in Israel or elsewhere. (I say virtually because there are probably some, somewhere, but I don't know of any). Muslims argue with everyone when it comes to religion. They have just claimed Rachel's Tomb as a Muslim holy site, despite the fact that not even their own tradition links Rachel to Islam in any way. Arabs regularly use religion as an excuse to grab land, and they regularly lie to the world in order to do it.

        • On the other hand they did terrorize and then confiscated the land of Christians in Israel (Maalul &co).

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      We're not giving them enough of someone else's land.

      I'm sure Jordan will have no problem coughing up some land then.

    • by avivgr ( 1556371 )
      Israel is a tiny 500km strip of land, vs 22 Arab countries spanning 1/3 of the globe. Stop the BS
      • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

        A tiny strip of land that already kicked those 22 countries' arses several times and has the support of the world's number 1 superpower.

        Stop trying to sell the myth of 'poor little Israel'. It's just not believable anymore.

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          They didn't get much help from the US in '47, '67, or '73. Not directly, at any rate. Err... As mentioned above, my history recollection is a bit fuzzy. Those might not be the correct years. They're still, numerically, the underdog. Hell, they've not even always had a technological advantage. During the first war, for example, they were even lacking in basics like firearms.

          They were so lacking that they were building Sten-gun knockoffs (that's like making a cheap copy of a zip gun made by China) in undergro

  • Too bad (Score:5, Funny)

    by h33t l4x0r ( 4107715 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @12:23AM (#50886273)
    If he were running for US republican nominee that would have made him the front-runner.
    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      I'd take Netanyahu over most of the field of GOP hopefuls.

  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @12:25AM (#50886281) Homepage Journal

    I work for a small internet services company and they have a better social networking policy than the government of Israel.

  • Said foreign politician promptly reminded that, as a politician, they're not expected to be honest but rather to say nice things.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 08, 2015 @12:50AM (#50886339)

    As an Israeli citizen I must say that I am embarrassed by netanyahu. He is a racist buffoon who surrounds himself with like minded individuals.

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @01:37AM (#50886421)

      I can't help but wonder how y'all manage to keep electing him then.

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        USA elected Bush twice.

        • And it's not looking like the next presidential election will be much better.
        • I dare say the US can sympathize with Israel here. For the same reason. What, I dare ask, is the friggin' alternative?

          It says quite a bit about the state of a democracy when your voting decision is made the Sherlock Holmes way. As in "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how unwanted, must be what you decide for."

      • That's because Netanyahu is also a world class politician (AKA=bulshiter) who can turn on a dime .... so enough people are still buying his fear/hate/racism spiel.
      • I can't help but wonder how y'all manage to keep electing him then.

        But not with a majority. Remember, Israeli elections are not head-to-head races between candidates. Netanyahu's governments have been coalitions that include some rather fringe fanatical parties.

        http://www.haaretz.com/israel-... [haaretz.com]

    • He was right.

      Mod this up!!! Everything that Obama has done since coming to power has been anti-Israel, to the point of embracing Jihadi forces like the Muslim Brotherhood. He started his presidency w/ that disgraceful speech at Cairo, actually invoking Jihadi verses in the Quran to back his statements, and then working to undermine stable Arab regimes that reined in Jihadist forces. Like Mubarak in Egypt.

      While I don't share anybody's views that Obama is Muslim, I do think that he is competing w/ ISIS in running fo

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @01:17AM (#50886379)

    Check, check, and check. This should be an interesting comments section. Where's the popcorn?

  • The problem with this is that there is a universal 'gentleman's agreement' among world and corporate leaders that they never say what is actually on their mind. Public statements must be carefully scripted and reviewed by the advisers; they must be designed to obscure any element of truth and cover it with vaguely bold assertions.

    Nikita Khrushchev, Mayor Daley, Donald Trump and a few others live in infamy (or ridicule) because they dared speak their minds:

    "I once said, "We will bury you," and I got into tro

    • Without that agreement, the world would be one angry conversation away from nuclear war. There's a reason diplomacy depends heavily upon protocols and formal agreements.

  • Speaking as someone Jewish here, let me say this is just plain embarrassing - but I guess it's something to be expected when the Israeli government made, Netanyahu's previous cabinet, a frothy-mouthed extremist its face to the world as Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman.
    • I feel compelled to inform you that there is no need to be Jewish to feel embarrassed by this.

      Being human and knowing that this buffoon is of the same species already does that for me.

  • A similar thing came up in the recent Canadian Election where several candidates were withdrawn due to social media posts, some were justified but others were probably an over reaction. Either way we're going to have to figure out how to deal with it unless we want our political ranks full of people who have never tried to express an opinion.

    I think the way to think about this is to think of it as things said in a bar, opinions will be hyperbolic and sometimes completely out of character. But sometimes you'

    • I've heard it said that in the future, there will be no-one able to run for president - because with everyone's life extensively documented, there will always be skeletons in the closet. Embarrassing acts from teenage years, things said in haste or ill-worded, just waiting for the opposition's hired investigators to mine it from the archives.

  • The text of that reprimand in full:
    My boy, my boy, what kind of a schlemiel are you? You can't say things like this already ...
    [looks around and breaks into a whisper] ... if there might be any goyim listening.

Of course there's no reason for it, it's just our policy.

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