Israel lobby targets another CNN correspondent

Another sign of despair, that the battle is now joined inside the castle gates: Israel lobby group Camera is taking on CNN senior Jerusalem correspondent Ben Wedeman, trying to do to him what was done to Octavia Nasr. Seham tells me, "Wedeman has great politics. His reporting on the war on Gaza was the only reporting by the western media that I could watch. I am sure he was expecting this." From Camera:


In a June 29, 2010 tweet, Wedeman directed his followers to an "excellent" article, as he put it, by the harshly anti-Israel professor/blogger Juan Cole. Judging by that warm praise, Wedeman embraces, and thinks his readers should likewise subscribe to, the radical and facile narrative put forth by Cole in the recommended piece. Cole’s article claimed:

"[Israel's] isolation derives from Israeli policies, of illegal blockades … and systematic land theft and displacement of occupied civilians under its control, along with aggressive wars on neighbors, which target infrastructure and civilians and are clearly intended to keep neighbors poor and backward."

In other words, Cole and Wedeman promote the argument that Israelis send their sons and daughters to war not for the country’s security and preservation, but out of sheer malice. The Six-Day War, according to this view, did not stem from Egyptian acts of war and threats of annihilation.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Beyondoweiss, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine

{ 13 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. potsherd says:

    Why don’t these people take on the Israeli journalists? Their criticism of Israel is far more harsh than anything to be found in the US.

    • MarkF says:

      My opinion, because it’s the money. CAMERA needs to make sure only positive info gets out, otherwise people might question why their tax dollars go to another country, especially during bad economic times.

      They don’t care about the Israeli’s tax dollars, just ours.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        There is that, and there is also the fact that, sadly, Israeli journalists don’t really matter. Israeli society can already turn a blind eye to pretty much any atrocity their military and government commits; has documenting it thus far made any practical impact on correcting Israeli society?

  2. MRW says:

    Cole and Wedeman are correct, and Camera is wrong for implying otherwise: The Six-Day War did not stem from Egyptian acts of war and threats of annihilation. Israeli’s own leaders and generals said it themselves. From Alan Hart’s reporting:

    In an interview published in Le Monde on 28 February 1968, Israeli Chief of Staff Rabin said: “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on 14 May would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

    “On 14 April 1971, a report in the Israeli newspaper Al-Hamishmar contained the following statement by Mordecai Bentov, a member of the wartime national government. “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.”

    In the spring of 1972, General Peled, Chief of Logistical Command during the war and one of 12 members of Israel’s General Staff, addressed a political literary club in Tel Aviv. He said: “The thesis according to which the danger of genocide hung over us in June 1967, and according to which Israel was fighting for her very physical survival, was nothing but a bluff which was born and bred after the war.” In a radio debate Peled said: “Israel was never in real danger and there was no evidence that Egypt had any intention of attacking Israel.” He added, “Israeli intelligence knew that Egypt was not prepared for war.”

    In 1982, Prime Minister Begin, arguably the world’s most successful terrorist leader, went even further. He said : “In June 1967 we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us, We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

    When I was writing the chapter on the 1967 war, I found myself saying to my readers that there were times, this was one of them, when I wanted to “cry out with the pain of knowing how much Israel’s Jews (not to mention the whole of the Western world) had been deceived, lied to, by their leaders“.

    • RE: “…Camera is wrong for implying otherwise: The Six-Day War did not stem from Egyptian acts of war and threats of annihilation. Israeli’s own leaders and generals said it themselves.” – MRW
      MY REPLY:
      “Sticks and stones may break our bones, but facts will never sway* us.” ~ Neocon Creed
      * or “deter” – I can’t decide.

      • kylebisme says:

        It’s not just the neocons, as H.W. Bush evidenced when he said:

        I’ll never apologize for the United States of America. Ever, I don’t care what the facts are.

  3. Pamela Olson says:

    I love Ben Wedeman. He’s one of the only mainstream journalists covering Israel/Palestine who even has a clue (and as a result, he’s usually pretty much buried in the human interest section — only the most vapid are allowed to do actual analysis and interviews with figures in the news). Without him, any smidgen of respect for CNN is gone.

  4. Avi says:

    But I thought Israel and the US have shared values like freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

    The harder The Lobby and its agents try to subvert democracy in the US, the more exposed their goals and values become. If it were up to AIPAC, the US would be a nation of laborers, slaving away every day in shackles for the benefit of Israel. In essence, AIPAC has no compunction creating a dictatorship for the purpose of supporting a democratic state for Jews, the non-Jewish citizens of Israel could join those slave laborers, as far as The Lobby is concerned – so long as Jewish Americans are in a collective position of power.

    • Mythbuster says:

      This is a very important point: How free are we if our message is unpopular? To my mind, not very.

      To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, like most penman, he underestimates the power of the sword.

  5. hayate says:

    Remember the German film Mephisto from the 70′s? The main character of the film tried to work with the nazis and influence them with regard to his friends. That is the basics, there was a lot more involved, such as the character’s personal ambition and desire to be seen as important and influential. In the end, he was instructed to just play his role and shut up, or he would be joining his friends.

    The old saying, when one dines with wolves, it’s a moot question whether on is guest or the main course.

  6. Bandolero says:

    That’s Orwellian. Juan Cole didn’t write about the 67-war in his article. But CAMERA does slam Ben Wedeman for recommending Juan Cole based on the 67-war, accusing Juan Cole to spread lies, though not Juan Cole, but CAMERA lies.

    I would suggest, CAMERA shall also try to make this guy silent due to his opinion on the six-day-war:

    We did not think that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to Sinai on May 14 would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it. (Yitzhak Rabin in Le Monde, 1968-02-28)

    Oops, done that. Rabin is already silenced. So better to report, that this war was “a war of self-defence in the noblest sense of the term”:

    This was a war of self-defence in the noblest sense of the term. The government of national unity then established decided unanimously: We will take the initiative and attack the enemy, drive him back, and thus assure the security of Israel and the future of the nation. We did not do this for lack of an alternative. We could have gone on waiting. We could have sent the army home. Who knows if there would have been an attack against us? There is no proof of it. There are several arguments to the contrary. While it is indeed true that the closing of the Straits of Tiran was an act of aggression, a causus belli, there is always room for a great deal of consideration as to whether it is necessary to make a causus into a bellum.(Address by Prime Minister Begin at the National Defense College, 8 August 1982, as on site of Israeli MFA)

    If it wasn’t so sadly powerful, CAMERA woud be just ridiculous.

  7. Chu says:

    When are they preparing for the the house investigation for unIsraeli activity in the USA? [Call it: HCUIA]

    This is reminiscent of blacklisting. (after the Octavia Nasr incident)

    -I can see it now.” Mr. Sestak were you ever a member of the the Hamas/Hezbollah alliance.”