Israel’s most passionate defenders — and President Trump’s, as well — rarely think of CNN’s opinion-makers as their ally, but in a week when the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, along with plans to move the U.S. embassy there, was there anyone in the mainstream media who counter-attacked that UN resolution with as much passion as did CNN’s Jake Tapper?
Tapper, who is Jewish, pointed out that many of the countries — including Turkey and Yemen, the resolution’s sponsors — that voted to condemn the U.S. and Israel were some of the most repressive, despotic and violent regimes that he said lacked any credibility when it came to critiquing Israel or the United States about human rights or peace.
Take Venezuela, said Tapper, a “humanitarian disaster, with violence in the streets, an economy in complete collapse, citizens malnourished, dying children being turned away from hospitals, starving families joining street gangs to scrounge for food.” And then there is Syria, said Tapper, where Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “has used chemical weapons against his own citizens, including children.”
Tapper also called out Yemen, China and Myanmar for their disregard of human rights, while scolding the U.S. for exercising its sovereign right to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the embassy move, which Congress authorized the president to do back in 1995, at the president’s discretion, a discretion never exercised until now.
Tapper put the UN’s resolution in context, noting that of the 97 resolutions passed by the UN General Assembly singling out a particular country in the past year, 83 of the resolutions condemned Israel alone.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand singer-songwriter and Grammy winner Lorde entered the fray from the other side, cancelling a performance next summer in Israel after being lobbied to do so by pro-Palestinian activists. In response, Roseanne Barr called Lorde as “bigot,” for boycotting the Jewish state. “Boycott this bigot,” Barr wrote of Lorde, who “caves to BDS pressure.”
Lorde was following other musical advocates of anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) such as Roger Waters, Lauryn Hill and Elvis Costello. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel tweeted its thanks to Lorde for “heeding appeals from your fans against Israel’s art-washing of its brutal oppression of Palestinians.”