Aaron Klein Complains after being Criticised for Whitewashing Israeli Far-Right

A couple of weeks ago, Terry Krepel wrote a piece on WorldNetDaily‘s Aaron Klein for the Huffington Post, noting Klein’s skewed reporting on the far-right in Israel:

Klein has long been associated with far-right elements in Israel. One of his earliest acts as a WorldNetDaily reporter was to portray an AWOL Israeli soldier, Eden Natan-Zada, who had — unprovoked — shot and killed four Arabs on a bus in Gaza, as a victim because Palestinians who witnessed the cold-blooded shootings killed him before authorities could step in. Klein declared that the Natan-Zada was “murdered” by a “mob of Palestinians”; Klein never described the soldier’s victims has having been “murdered.”

…Another beneficiary of Klein’s whitewashing is Yekutel Ben Yaacov, whom Klein benignly described in a 2006 WND article only as a “northern Samaria resident.” In fact, he has another identity: Mike Guzovsky, a one-time leader of Kahane Chai. Klein even featured “Mike Guzofsky” (spelling is a bit fungible in Israel, apparently) in an August 2004 article that attempted to show that people like Guzofsky whom Israeli officials were portraying as “dangerous Jewish extremists” were just regular Joes and not prone to violence, and that “Jewish terrorism … is considered extremely rare.” Klein made no attempt to explain that Guzofsky and Ben Yaacov are one in the same.

…Another favorite extremist source for Klein is David Ha’ivri, whom he portrayed in a December 2008 article only as a West Bank settler. But again, he’s much more than Klein has reported to his readers: Ha’ivri is a Kahanist who has organized numerous protests at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the ancient site of a Jewish temple that is now the site of a mosque. Eden Natan-Zada — the AWOL soldier who slaughtered four people on a bus in Gaza — joined in one of those protests before committing his massacre…

The various links take you to Terry’s earlier ConWebWatch pieces on the subject, where you’ll see my name mentioned a couple of times – I brought some of these points to Terry’s attention (e.g. here, here, and here).

Klein has now responded to the article on his 77WABC radio show with some of the most shameless and blustering whataboutery I’ve ever come across. Why, he demands, is he being accused of being “associated” with Kahanists when Obama has links to Bill Ayers?

Do they have me, like say, launching my journalist career in the living room of a Kahane Chai leader, sort of like Barack Obama, who is associated with real extremists, launched his political career, remember, in the living room of Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, who of course sought the downfall of the U.S. government? … Do they have me being hired for my first job by a Kahane Chai leader, like Obama was actually hired for his first position, which would be at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an education reform organization. He was hired by the chairman of that group, the CAC, Bill Ayers. … Do they have me sitting on the board of a nonprofit organization as a paid director with Kahane Chai leaders like Obama served on the board as a paid director of the Woods Fund with Bill Ayers? …There better at least be a suggestion that Kahane Chai leaders ghost-wrote my previous books, like a lot of people have strongly suggested that Bill Ayers may have ghostwritten Obama’s book ‘Dreams of My Father.’

Klein goes on to complain that George Soros’s money is behind it all (hey, George, any chance I can have some of that?), and that he is being targeted for exposing Obama’s extremism. The only attempt at any engagement with the substantive points raised by Terry above is to complain that the New York Times and the Jerusalem Post have also both quoted David Ha’ivri without mentioning his Kahanist links, so it is unfair that he is being criticised for the same omission.

Klein goes on to attempt to clarify his own position:

Just for the record, I personally do agree with some of the sentiments of Rabbi Meir Kahane. I think he was right about certain things, wrong about other things, but I have absolutely nothing, no association whatsoever with Kahane Chai leaders. Further, I actually — I believe that some of these leaders of Kahane Chai in Israel are extremists, and more than that, they’re absolute embarrassments to the religious national community in israel. And I think that unfortunatly, the media is using the Kahane extremists to basically paint all the Jews in the West Bank as extremists. So, bottom line, I have absolutely nothing to do with these Kahane Chai extremists.

This begs two rather obvious questions: which of these “leaders of Kahane Chai in Israel” are the extremists, and which are the moderates? Which “sentiments” of Kahane does Klein embrace, and which does he reject?