Liberal Media's New Testament Fever: Gospel Used to Bash Israel Over Qana

A wave of New Testament fever seems to be gripping liberal media types. As reported here, during a recent Good Morning America, Chris Cuomo stated that the Gospel of John identifies Qana as the place where Jesus turned water into wine. Who would have imagined that Adam Shatz - of the far-left Nation magazine - would be a New Testament maven? But, saints alive, he leads his op-ed in today's LA Times with the very same story.

What could account for this new-found interest in the New Testament? You don't suppose it could have anything to do with a desire to add fuel to the anti-Israel fire in the wake of its bombing of Qana, do you?

Annotated excerpts from the Shatz column:

"History repeated itself Sunday with grisly precision when Israel, in the midst of another war with Hezbollah, bombed a residential apartment building in Qana, killing as many as 56 civilians, 37 of them children."

Israel acknowledges having bombed the area. But there is growing suspicion, as discussed here and here, that Hezbollah might have at least partially staged the aftermath. Not a hint of this from Shatz.

"Is Israel's 'accidental' violence against civilians somehow better, or more morally acceptable, than that of a Hamas suicide bomber who steps into a pizzeria seeking to kill civilians? Or a Hezbollah guerrilla firing a Katyusha in the direction of a Haifa residential neighborhood? In short, do Israel's declared intentions make a difference?"

'Accidental' in scare quotes? If Shatz has any evidence that Israel intentionally targeted civilians, let him bring it forward. Otherwise, it's hard to see this as other than a slur, and an irrational one at that. Why would Israel want to provoke the entirely predictable condemnation of the 'international community'?

"Israel is not really addressing its 'apologies' to the Arab world but to the West, the club of 'civilized' democracies in which it proudly claims membership."

Shatz clearly has a love affair with scare quotes. In one sentence he manages to cast doubt on the sincerity of the Israeli apology while throwing in some moral relativism for good measure. After all, what makes the US and UK any more civilized than Hezbollah?

"Another argument made by Israel's defenders is that it cannot be held responsible for killing civilians in militant strongholds. . . By this criterion, the French Resistance would have been 'responsible' if the Nazis had destroyed a village sheltering anti-Fascist partisans."

Analogizing Israelis to Nazis - tastefully done, Adam.

No surprise, then, that the normally-elusive Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, granted Shatz an interview not long ago.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.