Makovsky, Israel's strike on Syria, and the New Yorker

How Israel Secretly Bombed a Suspected Syrian Nuclear Facility

Odd that the New Yorker decides to publish this story based on many unnamed intelligence sources and written by David Makovsky of the Washington Institute (a think tank that evolved out of AIPAC's research arm and is known as perhaps the most effective pro-Israel advocacy group on US Middle East policy). The piece is of course completely tuned to a pro-Israeli narrative (Ehud Olmert was elected on a "platform of peace", etc.), frequently engages in cheerleading for Israeli operations (the bombing itself, assassinations), devotes much of its conclusion to discussing Iran's nuclear program based on the lessons from Syria (with the basic take being, if only we could do the same as Syria but it might be more difficult there) and advocating the position that Israel and Iran have the same interests there and that Israel might very well go it alone. Indeed, one senses that the argument either to stand by the Israelis if they do, or continue the current sanctions/containment policy on Iran that is beginning to do a lot of damage to its economy (i.e. on ordinary people). Finally, it is mostly unfactcheckable — whereas the New Yorker prides itself on its thorough fact-checking — and nowhere are Makovsky's affiliation with the Washington Institute or his record as an advocate for Israel are mentioned in the piece, or at least in the Kindle version which I read on on the above-linked excerpt on the New Yorker's website. 

Odd indeed.

Update: Phil Weiss follows up this line of questioning and adds context. And also Ali Gharib in Daily Beast.

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.