(JNS.org) Jewish leaders condemned New York Magazine for an article that compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
In a March 19 article published before Netanyahu clarified that he supports a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes a Jewish state, Jonathan Chait wrote, “Netanyahu is expected to walk back his [March 16] denunciation of the two-state solution… Here Netanyahu is reprising tactics employed for years by Yasser Arafat, who would issue maximal demands in Arabic and follow them with conciliatory remarks to the foreign press. Netanyahu may be best understood as Israel’s Arafat—a master of nationalist politics, yet also disastrously lacking any strategic vision, and able to survive only at the deep and possibly fatal cost to his own people’s long-term aspirations.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Algemeiner that the comparison is “way off the mark” because, “For starters, Arafat was a terrorist and Bibi Netanyahu spent his early adult life fighting, combating and literally, physically overcoming terrorists. Number two, obviously the author is very disappointed by the outcome of the democratic election process in the Jewish state.”
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said, “To compare a democratically re-elected prime minister of Israel to a terrorist, to a murderer, it’s outrageous.”