Letter to the Editor: Marc Zell Responds to Haaretz

Marc Zell, co-chairman of Republicans Overseas Israel speaks as the Republican Party launches its first ever election campaign in Israel in Modiin, Aug. 15, 2016.
Ariel Schalit, AP Photo

Dear Sirs/Ladies:

As the "Republican Leader" cited by your paper (English, Aug. 14, 2017), I strongly protest your use of the August 13, 2017 headline "Republican Leader in Israel Hails Robert E. Lee as 'Great Man,' Blames 'Leftist Thugs' for Charlottesville Violence." This is journalism at its yellowist, and a gross misrepresentation of the thrust of my comments.

First, I shouldn't have to clarify this for any publication, but just so there is no mistake: I condemn Nazism; I condemn white supremacy; I condemn murder; I condemn political violence. Period.

I gave in good faith some fairly developed and nuanced answers to your reporter about the very serious events in Charlottesville.  First, I dispelled the notion that the violence was somehow the fault of President Trump.  I then gave a detailed accounting of the factors that went into the violence--not just the white supremacists, but the thugs from the "antifa" left who showed up looking for a fight, the ensuing brawls, and the failure of the local government and police to maintain order and keep the factions away from each other, even though aware of the combustible mix developing.  I also mentioned that the ostensible source of the entire march was an ill-conceived leftist-devised removal of a statue of one of the most highly regarded Americans in history - and a U.S. military hero long before the Civil War - Robert E. Lee.

However, your headline ridiculously distilled the essence of my comments as hailing Robert E. Lee, absent any context, and blaming leftist thugs for the Charlottesville violence.

Such "journalism" is malevolent enough under ordinary circumstances; but here, where the political situation is already inflamed, such sensationalist stunts are outright dangerous, and beneath contempt.  Using such bad-faith tactics to score cheap political points against those you see as your ideological opponents, especially under these circumstances, is reprehensible.

Marc Zell, Adv.