Another great piece from Benyamin Korn, this one at the Jewish Daily Forward:
Menachem Begin is today widely regarded as one of the most effective and far-sighted statesmen in Israeli history. At one end of the political spectrum, he is fondly remembered for surrendering the entire Sinai peninsula to Egypt and uprooting Israeli communities there. At the other end of the spectrum, he is hailed for taking strong action against PLO terrorists and Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor.
But when he was first elected prime minister in 1977, Begin was the object of an unprecedented frenzy of hatred from the international news media. He was called a terrorist, a fascist, a lunatic. To explain how to pronounce the name of the new Israeli leader, Time magazine notoriously found just the right Dickens character: “Begin (rhymes with Fagin).”
Journalists hated him because he represented traditional, old-world values. They hated him because he revered the Bible. They hated him because he could connect to the common man — to the silent majority of Jews from Arab countries who had been scorned by Israel’s political and intellectual elites.
Does this remind you of anyone in American politics today? Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is not only mocked and pilloried by a shameless and unscrupulous horde of media predators, but also sidesteps them, as did Begin, to connect with the common citizen.
As is the case with Palin today, the news media waited hungrily for any opportunity to pounce on Begin. Any minor misstep was reported as if it were a major scandal. Those were the days of “gotcha” journalism at its most reprehensible.
Read the rest here. Mr. Korn was on MSDNC last night defending Governor Palin from the latest Scurrilous charges leveled at her by Obama’s followers in the media. You can visit his website, Jewsforsarah, here.