The Ding Dong Derby, Week 2

More of the shallowest, least thoughtful commentators of the week

By Liel Leibovitz|August 1, 2014 11:58 AM

It’s been a busy week for ding dongs. Observing the war unfurling in Gaza, the best and brightest in the press, like so many Clarissas, have come up with many fun stories that explain it all. My favorite remains the obsession over whether the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers were slain by members of a Hamas terrorist cell or a breakaway Hamas terrorist cell, as if the minute distinction somehow absolved Hamas of involvement or make it any less of a maniacal, murderous organization. As you could expect of ding dongs, some incarnations of this tale featured not only shoddy thinking but shoddy journalism as well, with sensationalist headlines contradicting [1] the very facts begrudgingly reported within.

But never mind that. And never mind how little we’ve heard of the accounts of western journalists returning [2] from Gaza and reporting [3] Hamas’s intimidation and lies. That’s not what the Ding Dong Derby’s about. Here, we deal strictly with the worst of the worst. Here they are.

For his stupendously poor grasp of history, we’re happy to give a nod to former CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman [4] for comparing Gaza to that other renowned den of homicidal fundamentalists who kept receiving massive international aid and breaking ceasefires left and right, the Warsaw Ghetto. Trailing him by a bit in the outrageously stupid comparison category, we’ve Pam Bailey and Ramy S. Abdu [5], for whom the young Americans who volunteer to serve in the IDF are not that different from the jihadists drawn from all over the world to join the genocidal fun in Syria. But don’t mention American volunteers, Birthright, and other manifestations of good, old-fashioned Zionism to Sigal Samuel [6]; to her, these expressions of supporting the historical Motherland—common, to some degree, with every other group of immigrants that has ever set foot in America—constitute a logical and moral fallacy and only make the goyim hate us more.

We can go on and nominate so many others, from Greg Shupak [8], whose rants in Jacobin are a marvel of morally degenerate, intellectually flaccid, jargon-laden, blame-Israel-first idiocy to the host of celebrities—Brian Eno [9], say, or these great ethical pillars of our time, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz [10]—but our time is short and the inanities many. We’ll be back next week. Until then, ding dongs, who never seem to know for whom the bells toll—well, they toll for thee.

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