The Israel lobby will be televised

on 14 Comments

What do I mean by the Israel lobby? Well for one thing, I mean the routine inclusion of a pro-Israel point of view in our media, without contradiction.

For the better part of an hour this morning, MSNBC featured commentary on the peace talks from Mitchell Bard, an advocate for Israel (here he says that the U.S. and Israel have common values and common interests and pushes to get Israeli professors hired at American universities and to improve Israel’s image). Bard has written a book called The Arab Lobby, which I am betting claims that American policy in the region is driven by Arab interests; MSNBC featured images of the book’s cover. So an advocate for Zionist ideals is given a platform on American television– without the other side. No John Mearsheimer, no Ali Abunimah.

For the better part of an hour this afternoon, during the hostage crisis at the Discovery channel HQ in Silver Spring, MD, CNN featured commentary by Aaron Cohen, who was described as a trainer of Israeli commandoes. Cohen repeatedly explained how Israel handles such situations. When the anchor asked whether the police could just wait till the guy wears down, Cohen said that in "terrorist" situations people don’t just wear down. So an advocate for one side in a terrible cycle of violence is given a platform on American television.

14 Responses

  1. Chaos4700
    September 1, 2010, 2:27 pm

    The United States is becoming more and more like Israel. Case and point — the burning of the construction site for an Islamic community center in Tennessee. And the stabbing of a taxi driver for “driving while Muslim.”

    This ethnocentric hatred that Zionism has injected into US culture and politics will have three consequences: A) we will be just as much a pariah with the rest of the world as Israel is becoming; B) race and religious hatred will culminate in more violence and terror in American streets; and C) sooner or later, this will all morph into anti-Semitism and innocent Jews will suffer too, as is almost always the case in Western civilization.

  2. MarkF
    September 1, 2010, 2:43 pm

    I guess I better not get off at the Silver Spring Metro station this afternoon…

    I did see Chris Matthews on TV last night talking about Obama’s war speech, and he did say that neoconservatives won’t be happy about it, so at least he calls them out for who they are. I get he has a sense of comtempt for the neocons.

    You know, I did see Philip Giraldi ONE time on Countdown with Keith Olbermann a couple years ago to discuss the Iraq war, introduced as a writer for The American Conservative. I think that was his first and only time. Funny thing how he’s never been on after that.

    So of course they need to speak to an Israeli commando about a hostage crisis in Silver Spring, MD. What, no SWAT guys around?

  3. Richard Witty
    September 1, 2010, 3:02 pm

    Its not just the “Israel Lobby”.

    Any contreversial view takes a very long time to get onto TV.

    Public libraries are the most positively subversive institutions on the planet. (Complemented by widely available review literature and grading)

    They are BETTER than the anarchy of the internet, for two reasons:

    1. They rely on and make available individual choice in influences and information, while providing great breadth of perspective.
    2. A system in which libraries are purchasing intellectual property, they then preserve the ability of artists, musicians, writers, film-makers, etc. to make a living

    It contrasts with the star system of big print media that you formerly succeeded at as a “star”. And, it contrasts with the commons system.

    Its somewhere in between, and encourages the less than stars to develop. No all or nothing. No best musician in the world or nothing.

    • annie
      September 1, 2010, 5:01 pm

      now all we need is people turning off their tv’s and spending their evenings at the library. why didn’t i think of that earlier.

    • Donald
      September 1, 2010, 5:08 pm

      “Any contreversial view takes a very long time to get onto TV.”

      That’s not true. A controversial view that is held or favored by powerful people in a given society will make it on the air, even if there is little or no good evidence for it. A view with strong evidence that would upset people with power will have a much harder time gaining a hearing.

      The Israel-Palestine issue in the US is a very good example of this. I suspect that the casual TV watcher would be very surprised to learn that the vast majority of innocent civilians killed in the conflict are Palestinians killed by Israelis, because they hear such harsh bipartisan condemnations of Arab terrorism from both political parties, usually accompanied by almost laughable apologetics for Israeli crimes. Obama himself has done this–condemned Arab terror and made excuses for Israeli killing of civilians in the Lebanon War. When you have that sort of bipartisan lying going on, the truth is going to have a difficult time.

      One can learn the Palestinian side of things from a determined search at libraries (you might have to use interlibrary loan and know what to look for) or from bookstores (which often carry books the newspapers never mention) or the anarchy from the internet, but the average person who isn’t obsessed with this subject is going to get a ridiculously one-sided view of it. But good try at changing the subject.

      • Sumud
        September 1, 2010, 6:04 pm

        By coincidence I was reading about media bias in the NYT reporting of Palestine/Israel yesterday. The study is from the 2nd Intifada, I don’t imagine the shift has been that great since:

        “Off the Charts: Accuracy in Reporting of Israel/Palestine – The New York Times”
        link to

  4. LanceThruster
    September 1, 2010, 3:17 pm

    This is the type of thing that gets filtered from almost all sites but I often ask others to consider it.

    Imagine all Arab/Palestinian/Muslim panels discussions on dominant Arab/Palestinian/Muslim news outlets of the Israeli/Jewish mind and the Israeli/Jewish problem, and the Israeli/Jewish propensity towards violence and terrorism, and the Israeli/Jewish ability to garner the most media sympathy, and that the time has come for the A/P/Ms to deal conclusively with the I/Js as the I/Js are the cause of terrorism in the world. The A/P/M representatives are notmoderates by far, but rather connected to and supportive of some of the most extreme elements of A/P/M colonialism. The A/P/Ms would not deal with the I/Js, and would kill I/J representatives they didn’t like, and would take the lead on any accepted resolution as the I/Js have clearly become the A/P/M man’s burden.

    Most people, given this scenario, could come to the conclusion on their own that it was a tad one-sided and that justice was not served in depriving the other side self-determination by not allowing them to represent their own views and needs.

  5. Les
    September 1, 2010, 3:25 pm

    How many Israelis with dual US citizenship have government jobs where they make policy decisions about US and Israeli relations?

    Would we tolerate Mexicans with dual US citizenship making policy decisions on behalf of the US regarding Mexico? The same goes for dual citizens of Russia, China, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey. This applies employees of both the White House and the Congress which may well be inviting, if not encouraging, disloyalty toward US interests.

  6. Avi
    September 1, 2010, 5:21 pm

    Bard has written a book called The Arab Lobby, which I am betting claims that American policy in the region is driven by Arab interests; MSNBC featured images of the book’s cover. So an advocate for Zionist ideals is given a platform on American television — without the other side. No John Mearsheimer, no Ali Abunimah.

    Yes. It’s the Arab Lobby that has influence in the US, why just look at who’s getting a platform from which to propagate these lies, unchallenged, it’s the Ar…..errr wait…it’s AIPAC.

    Who am I going to be believe, a Zionist shill or my own lying eyes?

    • Sumud
      September 1, 2010, 6:08 pm

      Listen Avi – Dersh says it;s true, so it’s true (lawyer-true, that is). In fact Dersh says The Arab Lobby is even more powerful than the Israel Lobby. Remarkable..

      “The Arab Lobby Rules America”
      link to

      • traintosiberia
        September 2, 2010, 6:55 am

        “Alan M. Dershowitz, who in a recent visit to Tel-Aviv University called for the resignations of professors who supported the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli goods and divestment from Israeli companies until the country abides by international human-rights law.”
        Neve Gordon 08/30/10

        I dont know why the article has been removed. from website.-
        He threatened Uiversity of California one time with lawsuit if it went ahead with publcition of a book critical of Israel . His role in ousting of Finkelstein is well known (to himself also !)

    • Chu
      September 1, 2010, 7:05 pm

      Actually, I’ve realized I been slowly mind controlled by the Arab lobby. Didn’t think it would happen to someone like me, but I just cant understand why I am defending Palestinians, when I should be behind the State of Israel and anything they do.
      Can Witty suggest a possible cure? I need help, and it’s spreading to others.

    • RoHa
      September 1, 2010, 7:56 pm

      If you know what’s good for you, you know who you’ll believe.

  7. Sumud
    September 1, 2010, 5:54 pm

    There’s no appropriate place to do this, so here it is.

    I’ve long observed Richard Witty’s compulsive need to be the first to comment on every article. I’ve joked about it many times, but never given it serious thought. Today I noticed this (the timestamps), after being struck by his insensitive response to Seham’s article, which he obviously hadn’t read:

    Richard Witty September 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm
    link to

    Richard Witty September 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm
    link to

    Richard Witty September 1, 2010 at 3:07 pm
    link to

    3:02 pm
    3:04 pm
    3:07 pm

    This isn’t the first time we’ve detected peculiarities with timestamps, Annie was first to notice w/ “Shamir”. There have been several contributors that have posted so much so quickly (DavidSiden was another) they can only have been bots.

    I’m not suggesting RW is a bot. But each of these comments are 1st or 2nd on the article, as usual. The article above is short, the second is longer with many links, and the third by Paul Woodward is LONG. Yet each new comment by Richard is just minutes apart.

    So he really is skipping from page to page, not bothering to actually read the articles, and basically spamming the thread with whatever generic response he comes up with based on the heading. This is classic troll behaviour, the intention is to disrupt and divert threads.

    I actually find that extremely offensive, more so now that I see absolute proof. It’s an insult to all the authors of articles, it’s an insult to most everybody else here, who genuinely engages with the content and is here to learn, discuss, challenge etc.

    Richard’s behaviour indicates he is not operating in good faith. On that basis, I request that he is permanently banned from Mondoweiss. Let him go pollute his own blog.

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