There should be a litmus test for American journalists who talk about Israel/Palestine to determine if they have the knowledge to be disseminating information about a highly important political issue to millions of Americans.
When you watch this CNN interview with Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, it’s clear Candy Crowley, the host of the Sunday morning show “State of the Union,” has no real, substantive background to be asking Oren about Israeli policy. It’d be exhaustive to go through all the propaganda that Oren spouted in the interview, but someone should really let Crowley know a few basic facts about the conflict so she wouldn’t just stare at Oren while he lies through his teeth.
The first question has Crowley quoting a Thomas Friedman Op-Ed that (not to toot my own horn) I debunked last week, with Oren happily saying that, while he disagrees with Friedman’s point that peacemaking with the Palestinians is only a “hobby” for Israel and not a necessity, he has “great personal and professional regard for Tom Friedman, he’s a great friend.” We’re treated here to a candid admission that reflects the incestuous nature of elite opinion makers and those in power. And if Crowley reads Friedman for her information on Israel/Palestine, no wonder she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
Crowley should have challenged Oren’s false claim that Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005 in order to create conditions for peace, and that Israel only received rockets and suicide bombings in return. That, incidentally, was also a point that Friedman said in his Op-Ed last Sunday.
Throughout the conversation, Crowley never mentions these key points about the conflict: Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian land; all of the Jewish-only settlements are illegal according to international law; Palestinians have, for years now, called for a two-state settlement on the 1967 borders.
Does she even know those facts? How can you even have a conversation about Israel without stating those basic facts?