Lesley Stahl and the 7 pillars of conventional wisdom

Lesley Stahl’s report from Sunday’s “60 Minutes” about the illegal Israeli colony “the City of David” is an unadulterated, albeit very sophisticated, piece of Peace Industry propaganda.  It is a case study for how the media sets the “appropriate” parameters of debate according to “conventional wisdom” of “serious people”.

She starts off the show with a cute intro about the holiness of Jerusalem:

Jerusalem is one of the holiest cities on Earth, for Jews, for Muslims and for Christians. It is also one of the most difficult issues at the negotiating table as Palestinians and Israelis struggle to continue the peace talks.

Conventional Wisdom #1: the current discussions between various members of the Peace Industry are a sincere/heart warming/Hallmark channel effort for peace.

What’s the challenge Lesley?

“The challenge is how to divide the city between the two sides. Back in 2000, then-President Clinton came up with some parameters for how to do it: areas populated mostly by Jews would remain Israeli; those populated mostly by Arabs would become the new Palestinian capital. That meant that for the most part East Jerusalem would go to the Arabs.”
 

Convention Wisdom #2: The challenge to peace is dividing Jerusalem between Palestinians and Israelis, and Clinton’s 2000 plan was the reasonable way to solve this challenge.

Conventional Wisdom #3: Acquisition of territory by aggressive force and settling a civilian population in occupied territory are OK if the US backs you. Only those who are un-serious outsiders could possibly expect the Geneva Conventions to be enforced.

Throughout the segment, Palestinians of Jerusalem are referred to as “Arabs” except when it is in reference to the Palestinian state. What’s insidious about the report is that even when seemingly criticizing Israel, the criticisms are only around the edges and they only serve to reinforce Peace Industry propaganda.

This brings in Conventional Wisdom #4: Palestinians are “Arabs” until they are lifted up as Proud Palestinians upon peacefully negotiating their way to their glorious state of Palestine.
 

 Another problem is an inconvenient truth: that biblical Jerusalem is not located in the western half of the city. It’s right under the densely populated Arab neighborhood of Silwan.

Silwan isn’t a Palestinian neighborhood, it’s an “Arab neighborhood”. Just like Baghdad, Beirut, and Amman are Arab neighborhoods.  Who can tell the difference these days?

But, when referencing a future Palestinian state, Palestinians get to be called Palestinians:

Palestinian Jawad Siyam was born in this “very, very special place” and says he can trace his roots there back 930 years. He’s pessimistic about the Palestinians ever having their own state. “What will happen to this village if there’s a two-state solution?” Stahl asked

Conventional Wisdom #5: Palestinians have an ancient heritage in East Jerusalem. As far as West Jerusalem goes, that’s the Israeli side, and Palestinians have absolutely no claims or rights on that land.

Here’s another passage loaded with conventional wisdom and brainwashing:

The Arabs say it’s a provocative thing to do. Devout Jews Yonatan and Devorah Adler live in one of the houses El’Ad bought. El’Ad has raised tens of millions of dollars, half from the United States, and buys the homes on land the Palestinians claim for a future state.

Conventional Wisdom #6: Palestinian land isn’t really Palestinian land. It’s only a “claim” among many competing claims. To assert that one claim has more validity than another is to “biased” and must never be spoken of.

Here’s Lesley Stahl talking to religious settlers living in the City of David colony:

“And yet, when you see those maps, it’s over in the Palestinian side,” Stahl pointed out.

“Yeah, well, maps are written on paper. This is written on our hearts,” he replied.

To the untrained eye, Stahl seems to be doing a good job of reflecting the insanity of the Zionist project. But take a second look. Criticism of Israel is allowed only if the underlying premise reinforces Peace Industry conventional wisdom.  In this case it’s that East Jerusalem is the “Palestinian side” (the as yet uncolonized parts) and West Jerusalem is the Israeli side.

“The government pays for the gun guards?” Stahl asked.

“It’s tax money. It’s, I pay it. Everyone who is paying taxes is paying it,” Jawad Siyam replied.

“You pay taxes and that money goes to pay for the guards to guard the settlers,” she remarked.

“Yes, of course,” Jawad said.

“So you’re helping guard the settlers,” Stahl remarked.

“Yeah, I’m a fan of the settlers and the gun guards,” he replied sarcastically.

Another seemingly positive exchange which shows that Palestinians of Jerusalem pay for their own oppression through their taxes. But, look closer. Are the Palestinians Israeli citizens? Then why do they pay taxes to the Israeli government? Was there some sort of illegal unrecognized annexation of East Jerusalem? Not for “60 Minutes” to say.

The implication given is that Palestinians living under the Israeli government is the natural state of affairs. It’s timeless and just is.  It would of course be biased to point out that East Jerusalem Palestinians have no political rights to vote in the governmen that they pay taxes to.

More he said/she said “journalism” comin atcha!

That feeling of Jewish encroachment has been heightened by the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, who is doing all he can to make sure East Jerusalem remains under Israeli sovereignty. He wants to create a Bible-themed garden and turn it into a tourist park adjacent to the City of David. But as with the dig, the local Arabs see this as another attempt to gobble up their side of Jerusalem.

Remember, it’s “Jewish encroachment” not land theft by a government which happens to call itself the “Jewish State”. The legitimate “Jewish-ness” of that State behind the green line is thus reinforced, yet again.

“Local Arabs” “see” a plan to build a tourist park right on top of their heads as an attempt to “encroach” upon their rightful and legitimate part of Jerusalem (and only that part, shut up about the parts your grandparents were kicked out of).  Who are these “local Arabs”? Are there also “local Jews”? Who knows if this is really a land grab.

“Building the mayor’s park requires demolishing 22 Arab homes in Silwan.”

Presumably “local” Arabs. Is there any context to the situation? Has the Israeli government demolished any Palestinian homes in the past? Not sure. Although it would be helpful in evaluating the validity of Israeli claims, context is biased so it mustn’t be spoken of. That would be taking a “side”.

“The mayor says that area is a slum in which the houses were built illegally and his plan will fix that. But the locals want to stay in their homes.” (pictures flash on the screen of Palestinian slums).

How did these areas get to be slums? Was it the result of extreme racism in allocating development funds for everything from trash collection to school buses? That’s a secret. Again with the “locals”. How local are they? Where are they locally from? Is this the locals’ indigenous “locale”?  I told you I don’t know, stop asking me silly questions.

Here comes my favorite part:

“The European Union, the United Nations has criticized this plan to get rid of these 22 homes. Public opinion, especially while the peace talks are underway, is looking at this and saying you’re trying to get rid, move Arabs out of Jerusalem,” Stahl said.

Is this plan illegal? Is it a war crime? Has it been Israeli policy for decades? What does the law say? I don’t know about that, but all I know is the EU and the UN “criticized” the plan during “peace talks”.

“But that’s the way it looks. And my question is, why not wait until the peace talks are settled?” Stahl asked.

Is this really a plan to “move out the locals”, or is it just the way “it looks” to Lesley Stahl? This is clearly not a relevant question. The only relevant question here is: WHY CAN’T HE JUST WAIT!?

Asked what she meant by “why now,” Stahl said, “Because it’s on the table at the peace talks. That’s why now.”

Does this mean Lesley Stahl believes it’s best to wait to wait and steal more Palestinian land til Abu Mazen formally surrenders Silwan to Israel in the fake state solution? And here comes the money shot:

“Settlements have been a stumbling block in peace negotiations of the past. And what your organization is dedicated to doing could become the stumbling block again,” Stahl told Doron Spielman.

Conventional Wisdom #7: Settlements are the obstacle to peace.  It’s nothing else. Not refugees’ unrealistic expectation to return, not discrimination against Palestinians inside Israel, and not babies born stillborn at checkpoints. The only obstacle to peace is a few religious crazies in Jerusalem screwing it up for everyone.

“We are looking, Lesley, to go down and uncover history,” he replied. “If coming back to my home after 3,000 years is a stumbling block to peace then I think that that is not a very good peace.”

If given the chance, a Palestinian would say, “If coming back to my home after 60 years is a stumbling block to peace then I think that that is not a very good peace.”

Why weren’t these dueling “rights of return” contrasted against each other? More importantly, why don’t I see the segment as a step forward for explaining the Palestinian plight, and why do I have to keep ruining the fun?  I guess I’m just a hopeless cynic.

Posted in Israel/Palestine

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

  1. Whining that the 12 minute segment was not an 18 hour course?

    With support for your contentions and contradictions.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      TROLL! Quick, someone fetch a billy goat!

      • Mooser says:

        You are right, Chaos. I realised something looking at Witty’s comment. We are the ones who explicate Witty’s comments in our responses. Without a response they just appear as disconnected sentence fragments, at best, an interesting decontrustive study in increasing senility and life-regrets.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          No offense, but I think Chu has the lay of the land much more accurately at the bottom of that thread. You don’t dispel injustice by ignoring it.

        • annie says:

          ok count me in, i’m joining the pack. i’ve hereby declare my non response to the trolling.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          It won’t work, guys. I’ll guess you’ll just have to see.

        • Sumud says:

          No offense, but I think Chu has the lay of the land much more accurately at the bottom of that thread. You don’t dispel injustice by ignoring it.

          None taken Chaos, sincerely.

          Thing is, I don’t actually disagree w/ Chu. I don’t think RW will ever stop posting here. But he really is a troll, and trolls live to hijack threads, waste peoples time and energy, and most of all prevent on-topic discussion. And it’s us who enable him, time and time again.

          Look at what maxN did over here on the article about the US Boat to Gaza. Nearly the entire thread is responding to mN’s mind numbingly stupid hasbara that we’ve all debunked a million times before (and RW achieves the same, regularly). I’m just as responsible as anybody else, I commented also. I regret it. I wish those 60 comments were actually related to the US Boat to Gaza, instead of fighting trolls.

          You mentioned that Palestinian participation was down lately. Seham said when she sees RW all over the threads she avoids them. Miss Dee Mena mentioned she knows people (some in Palestine) who gave up on MW because of the trolling and how we responded to it.

          We should do what we can.

          On your last sentence Chaos: the injustice isn’t occurring here on MW, it’s occurring in Palestine and Israel. Battling trolls here is wasting energy better spent on there.

          Sorry if I sound preachy, I don’t mean to. I’m just really shocked Phil and Adam refuse to take action and protect their blog a little more.

          Did you see Phil’s article from two years ago that Chu posted: Why Richard Witty Has Power Over Me? To cut a long story short, RW is an intellectual bully. Read his responses in the comments, he’s condescending.

          Phil ~ I understand you’ve had turmoil deciding to become anti-zionist. Lots of change. Two years on, does RW still have power over you?

        • Sumud says:

          We should do what we can.

          Chaos ~ this probably sounds very lame but pls don’t feel peer-pressured.

  2. Kathleen says:

    She interviewed four Jewish individuals. All involved with illegal activities. She never once used the word illegal. When the one criminal claimed that she did not have her facts straight. She did not challenge. Never brought up what has taken place in the West Bank.

    Leslie Stahl basically did a fund raiser for Elad on 60 minutes

    • Citizen says:

      Perhaps will do a similarly decliate snow job on the latest related development in the homefront, which is that a state-wide referendum to divest public pensions from Israel to end its settlement expansion is now gathering signatures to be put on the ballot next March: link to intifada-palestine.com

    • Chu says:

      She totally did the bidding and fresher course for American schmoes. The one picture that caught me was when the flashed to the East Jerusalem housing in the dense neighborhood.

      “Biblical Jerusalem is not location in the Western half of the city.”
      Oh, I get it. In order to fulfill our covenant with God, were going to have to evict these temporary residents. Geez, it’s in the Bible, so it must be so.

      Leslie could have done some damage to the great Israeli empire if she also mentioned the issue of the the Mamilla Cemetary and how Israelis are going to build a Museum of Tolerance on top of the desecrated graveyard. She could have said Architect Frank Gehry pulled out of the design of The Museum of Tolerance project funded in large part by the LA’s Simon Wiesenthal Center. That would have been a great attempt to instigate an internal battle within the US. But no, i think she’d avoid that one. She just smiles and gets a cookie instead.

      • Yeah exactly. She ignores so many pressing issues and focuses on one which is not even controversial. No one in their right mind in any mainstream media will say the City of David colony is ok. But, mainstream American Jews are backing Mamila so it’s off limits. The part that got me the most mad was how she just showed East Jerusalem as a slum right when he called it a slum. With no explanation as to why it’s run down. Palestinians used to be rich, they had the best land but they didn’t have good PR or good guns so they lost it to zionists

        • Chu says:

          Yeah, Joe. Palestinians had no idea of the war that was coming their way, and continues be waged under the guise of biblical restoration. Barkat’s Bible-themed garden is concrete evidence of this. It’s a giant war crime, packaged into biblical proportion. Oh, but you can’t call it that, because you’re offending a religion. How long can this farce go on for?
          It always helps for people to step back and see the forest for the trees in this instance; the foundation of Israel is a brutal occupation from the beginning.

          Mamilla could have done some serious damage and filled the airwaves with disgust, as it’s particularly offensive to anyone who has a buried relative.

      • potsherd says:

        If Western Jerusalem isn’t Biblical Jerusalem, the Israelis should give it up. And Tel Aviv and all the Land of the Philistines, and all the coast including Gaza. Trade it to the Palestinians for the Kingdom of David within the archaeological limits.

  3. eljay says:

    >> Acquisition of territory by aggressive force and settling a civilian population in occupied territory are OK if the US backs you.

    Among “humanists”, that’s known as “justice”.

    >> “Yeah, well, maps are written on paper. This is written on our hearts,” he replied.

    Very solid point. I mean, how do you argue the inaccuracy of “heart maps”?

  4. Shmuel says:

    Why didn’t Ms. Stahl interview anyone from Ir Amim or Bimkom, or mention their detailed and professional reports on Shady Dealings in Silwan or Barkat’s New Planning Policy for [the ethnic cleansing of] East Jerusalem?

    Thanks for your analysis, Joseph. I would add CW#8: There are two, equal, competing narratives in I/P; and CW #9: The whole mess is the fault of extremists on both sides.

    • Kathleen says:

      Clearly this will end up being a fund raiser for Elad. Her intention was clearly not to be fair and balanced. Not even close.

      Very clever. Look stern. Prestend that you are exposing illegal activities. Wonder if anyone knows how to access how much money Elad raises after this.

      Stuart Levey should be investigating Americans who invest in this illegal and immoral effort. Basically supporting terrorist

  5. pabelmont says:

    Anyone who tries to approach the I/P problems by taking “baby steps” away from the long-established USA/AIPAC positions necessarily stays close to those positions and ends up re-enforcing them. I imagine 60 Minutes wanted to stay “mainstream” and to pretend that it wanted to be a bit “evenhanded”.

    It doesn’t work. If you stick with AIPAC, you aren’t evenhanded. And you sure don’t talk about I/L, ICJ opinions, UNSC resolutions, etc., which show the so-called annexation of East Jerusalem and the4 settlement building (and the settlement populating) to be illegal (in the jargon, “inconsistent with international law”).

    No surprises. This is still America. If Obama would oppose AIPAC and talk about illegalities and justice, USA MSM could — if it would — follow his lead. But so far he doesn’t lead. No-one leads. People in the vanguard get shot first,

    • Kathleen says:

      Interview 4 Israeli’s and 1 Palestinian. They did not even try to pretend to be even handed. Seriously would make a bet that Lesley Stahl’s 20 minute commercial will be a fund raiser for Elad.

      She did not challenge either of those lying real estate thugs. Not on really serious challenge. Especially after the one thug told her she needed to get her facts straight. 60 minutes fund raiser for Elad

  6. potsherd says:

    Another glimpse at the real Israeli attitudes. link to haaretz.com

    MK Gideon Ezra (Kadima ) said in the introduction to the bill he believed Palestinian residents of Jerusalem should not be certified guides because they did not represent Israel’s national interest well enough “and in an appropriate manner.”

    The bill states “Israeli citizens” but for that you can read “Jews.”

  7. Kathleen says:

    Remember that Leslie Stahl assisted in a big way undermining the F.B.I.’s investigation into Aipac’s Rosen/Weissman espionage case. She undermined that investigation. So called Journalist who undermine U.S. national security by outing critical investigations or undermine national security …Judy “I was fucking right” Miller by lying about WMD’s in Iraq Should be held accountable

    link to forward.com
    In September, a friend referred Franklin to renowned Washington defense attorney Plato Cacheris. In the past, Cacheris has represented accused spies and even Monica Lewinsky. Franklin fired his court-appointed attorney, and Cacheris began representing him pro bono.

    Meanwhile, on August 27 the FBI counterintelligence division raided Aipac. The raid and the information about a Pentagon “mole” working with Aipac were leaked to CBS immediately.

    Leslie Stahl led with the story on the network’s evening news. On its Web site, CBS headlined, “The FBI believes it has ‘solid’ evidence that the suspected mole supplied Israel with classified materials that include secret White House policy deliberations on Iran.” A picture of the FBI’s Szady was prominently displayed next to the headline.

    FBI investigators again searched Aipac’s headquarters December 1. The agents subpoenaed four top officials to appear before a grand jury in Virginia later this month. The four are Howard Kohr, the group’s executive director; Richard Fishman, managing director; Renee Rothstein, t communications director, and Raphael Danziger, research director.

    FBI officials refused to discuss the search and subpoenas. Szady, who has been decorated twice by the CIA for distinguished service, answered one critic by writing, “I am not at liberty to comment on pending investigations.”

    An FBI source with knowledge of Szady’s investigation bristled at the intense media coverage of the counterintelligence division’s tactic. Said the source: “We are just following the evidence and seeing where it leads.”

    Read more: link to forward.com

  8. Chu says:

    Thanks for taking the time to break it down Joe, and it’s the same loaded content favoring occupation. It was almost like she was telling us, ‘this is the plan folks. You may not like it, but this is the price we pay for allowing this state to continue the occupation and theft of another people.’
    The only thing I can see is that Israel, while it may succeed in wiping out Palestinian territory, will never be seen as legitimate in the eyes of the others. They have cheated the system in a very unfair manner, which seeks to crush another group of human inhabitants, while making a bogus claim that the land has always been theirs for the taking. This might seem like a fair claim in today’s media, because many of us are pounded over-the-head with the slick right of return ideology, but it’s just religious fanatic thuggery.
    Our world is not going to revert back to the Old Testament. The hopeful beacon of light, is a shard of darkness. Humans will look back centuries ahead and see what a destructive force the state has been in the Middle East, the result of their self-centered tribal nature.

    • Thanks Chu. It is quite an insidious piece of propaganda, and it will undoubtedly, in my opinion, fool many friends of Palestine into thinking this is something it’s not. It is very good though, better than most at concealing the hidden aim.

  9. Kathleen says:

    Leslie Stahl did her part in undermining U.S. national security by underming and disclosing the F.B.I’s investigation into Aipac’s espionage activities .

    If this is not one more example of how the I lobby and their helpers”sayanims” in the MSM (clearly Leslie Stahl) effect the perception, raise funds, and undermine criminal investigations into I lobby activities I don’t know what does

    Aug. 30, 2004
    Israeli Diplomat, Spy Suspect Met
    FBI Probing Pentagon Analyst Suspected Of Spying For Israel
    link to cbsnews.com

    The New York Times reported in its Monday edition that government officials say Franklin had been cooperating with federal agents for several weeks and was preparing to lead them to contacts inside the Israeli government when work of the investigation, first reported by 60 Minutes Correspondent Leslie Stahl, was leaked late last week. Efforts to reach Franklin by telephone have been unsuccessful.”

    link to jcpa.org
    Sixty Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl was the first to report on an ongoing FBI investigation into whether a Pentagon analyst fed Israel secret materials about White House deliberations over Iran, by using the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Both AIPAC and the government of Israel have strongly denied the allegations. Israeli Embassy spokesman David Siegal stated: “We categorically deny these allegations. They are completely false and outrageous.” Furthermore, Mossad chief Meir Dagan and the chief of security of the Israeli defense establishment, Yehiel Horev, informed the Foreign Ministry that there was no Israeli involvement in this affair (Ha’aretz, 29 Aug 04). AIPAC issued a statement saying that “any allegations of criminal conduct by AIPAC or our employees is false and baseless” and announced that it was “cooperating fully” with U.S. authorities.

  10. Kathleen says:

    Stong example of how the I lobby works and has undermined U.S. national security

    link to jonathanpollard.org

    Meanwhile, on Aug. 27, 2004, the FBI counterintelligence division raided AIPAC. The raid and the information about a Pentagon “mole” working with AIPAC were immediately leaked to CBS.

    Lesley Stahl led with the story on the network’s evening news. On its Web site, CBS headlined, “The FBI believes it has ‘solid’ evidence that the suspected mole supplied Israel with classified materials that include secret White House policy deliberations on Iran.” A picture of the FBI’s Szady was prominently displayed next to the headline.

    FBI investigators again searched AIPAC’s headquarters on Dec. 1. The agents subpoenaed four top officials to appear before a grand jury in Virginia. The four are Howard Kohr, the group’s executive director; Richard Fishman, the managing director; Renee Rothstein, the communications director; and Raphael Danziger, the research director.

    FBI officials refused to discuss the search and subpoenas. Szady, who has been decorated twice by the CIA for distinguished service, answered one critic by writing, “I am not at liberty to comment on pending investigations.”

    An FBI source with knowledge of Szady’s investigation bristled at the intense media coverage of the counterintelligence division’s tactic. Said the source: “We are just following the evidence and seeing where it leads.”

    Meanwhile, four congressional Democrats have asked the Bush administration to brief Congress on the FBI probe.

    In a letter last week to President Bush, U.S. Reps. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), and Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) said that with the case intensifying, Bush should clear up concerns about the probe’s integrity.

    Citing reports about the alleged AIPAC sting and leaks to the media, the letter said, “Mr. President, an honorable organization is on the line, as are the reputations of dignified individuals, and Congress has yet to hear from you or your administration on this issue despite previous requests.”

    • Kathleen says:

      “Franklin didn’t know it, but the FBI’s counterintelligence division was monitoring his May 2004 phone conversation with the CBS reporters, including Ciralsky. ”

      Wonder if Leslie Stahl was one of the CBS reporters that the FBI was monitoring having conversations with Franklin?

  11. Kathleen says:

    Jane Harman did her part to undermine that Aipac espionage investigation too.
    Jane Harman’s Wiretapped Conversations
    link to voices.washingtonpost.com

    It had been reported several years ago that federal investigators looked into the California Democrat’s discussions with the suspected Israeli agent. But yesterday, Congressional Quarterly’s Jeff Stein published significant new details, including the allegation that the conversations secretly captured by NSA wiretaps were “directed at alleged Israel covert action operations in Washington.”

    Stein’s account, and follow-up articles today, raised questions about the conversations’ links to at least two ongoing Washington scandals: the espionage case against two officials of the main Israel lobbying group and the NSA’s secret domestic surveillance wiretap program.

    CQ’s sources, and sources cited today in the New York Times, say that Harman was caught on the wiretap telling the suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby Bush administration officials to reduce the charges against the two members of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) accused of spying. In exchange, the sources said, the suspected agent promised to help her get appointed chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

    CQ said that, according to its sources, Harman told the caller she would “waddle in” to the espionage case “if you think it would make a difference.” She also said, “This conversation doesn’t exist.”

  12. Kathleen says:

    WSJ the War Street Journal mentions Stahl’s role in being the first to out the FBI’s investigation into Aipac

    link to online.wsj.com
    “None of this should have amounted to much, and certainly not criminal indictments under the archaic 1917 Espionage Act. Reporting on White House policy deliberation is the daily bread of any Washington reporter: If the offense were really criminal, half the Beltway press corps could be indicted. Mr. Franklin’s mishandling of classified documents deserved sanction, but 12 years in jail is far worse than the misdemeanor and fine meted out to former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger for stuffing secret documents in his clothing. As for the planted story, putting the defendants to a moral quandary — share classified information and save lives; keep it secret and let people die — is the worst form of entrapment.

    But Washington is not a normal world, and this prosecution needs to be understood in the context in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion and the swirl of conspiracy theories about “neocon” and Jewish influence over U.S. policy. In this bizarro reading of events, President Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice chose to invade Iraq due to the influence of Jewish officials such as Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Scooter Libby and Richard Perle. One sign of those times: In the immediate aftermath of Mr. Franklin’s arrest, CBS’s Lesley Stahl asked whether “Israel [used] the analyst to try to influence U.S. policy on the war in Iraq?” In other words, the Aipac case resembled a political hit more than a legitimate “espionage” case.”

    ——————————-

    Am unable to find anything saying anything about how pissed off the FBI was that the Aipac investigation had been about the outing of the investigation. Read something back at the time about this but can not find it.

  13. Kathleen says:

    You really have to wonder how Leslie Stahl’s report about the FBI’s investigation of Aipac undermined that investigation. She basically put out an alert to all illegal participants by exposing this investigation.

    link to original.antiwar.com
    “The death agony of the neoconservatives is going to be a prolonged and quite ugly procedure, painful not only for them but for the entire country – which will learn, to its chagrin and growing anger, how and by whom they were lied into war. It started late Friday, when Lesley Stahl of CBS News reported that the FBI has “solid evidence” that a spy, embedded in the top echelons of the Pentagon’s civilian leadership, handed over classified documents, including the draft of a presidential directive on U.S. policy toward Iran, to Israel. Such an investigation would have been politically explosive in any case, but add to this the news that Franklin had passed the documents to Tel Aviv via AIPAC, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, and the result is political dynamite.

  14. occupyresist says:

    Joseph,

    thanks for that exhaustive analysis of the clip.

  15. chet says:

    Hey!! Everyone relax and take a deep breath.

    If you consider “Sixty Minutes” to be an important news source for many Americans, doesn’t this piece constitute an important first step in exposing Israeli land theft on a great scale – when was the last time that a MAJOR MSM outlet even came close to confronting Israeli officials as was done here?

    While Mr. Glatzer’s careful deconstruction of the negative aspects of the segment provides insights of great interest to the “cognescenti” here, the average American Joe who watched the segment will take away the clear impression that the Israelis are unjustifiably appropriating Palestinian land. Again, when was the last time that a MAJOR MSM outlet even came close to taking that position or, for that matter, the so-called progressives – Olberman, Maddow et al?

    Instead of bitterly criticizing this important first step, encouragement must be offered to others to deal with the I/P issues in a similar manner.

    • potsherd says:

      We can do both, chet. We can be glad that this piece appeared to begin the process of opening some American eyes to the crime of the occupation, and we can discuss how it could have gone further.

      • Sumud says:

        Agreed chet & potsherd. It’s not perfect, but it’s a step along the way. Obviously someone in Legal went through it a thousand times to strip out “controversial” aspects the Lobby would object to. The final result is a little Frankenstein but still manages to transmit the criminal, intransigent aspect of Israeli action in Silwan.

    • Kathleen says:

      “Instead of bitterly criticizing this important first step, encouragement must be offered to others to deal with the I/P issues in a similar manner.”

      What a bunch of hooey. Oh thank you Leslie for interviewing 4 Israeli’s and one Palestinian. Thank you Leslie for allowing the land theft thugs to get away with repeating lies about the archeological dig and never putting the word illegal in front of settlements etc.

      I would put money on that this segment will end up raising money for Elad not hurting their effforts. Place your bets. Stahl knows how to make it look like she is really stepping out by even touching the topic. Now I will say when they showed David Be’eri hit the Palestinian kid and drive away I was surprised. Will give them that.

      But this is like thanking Jon Stewart for putting a map of Israel and Palestine showing the Palestinian lands as contiguous. Elad will benefit from this.

      And I just do not trust Stahl’s intentions. She exposed the FBI’s investigation of Aipac and confiscation of Aipac’s computers. The FBI was pissed. Stahl undermined that Aipac espionage investigation. I believe purposely.

      And by the way this was not 60 minutes first time to touch this issue
      link to cbsnews.com

      • chet says:

        Kathleen – it’s obvious that you distrust Ms. Stahl, but wouldn’t you agree that her dogged follow-up questions did a great job of exposing the evasiveness of the Israeli officials.

        In any event, thanks for the link to the Jan. 2009 “60 Minutes” segment – it was probably under the radar because of the uproar over the Gaza massacre that had just occurred.

        • Kathleen says:

          I guess I will have to watch again. I did not hear dogged follow up questions. In fact when the second real estate thug told her she needed to get her facts straight several times. She did not respond.

          One thing I was surprised by was the clip of David Be’eri hitting that Palestinian kid and then driving away. Will give them credit for that

        • Kathleen says:

          Good reason to not trust Stahl around any issues having to do with the Israeli lobby(Aipac, Jinsa) and their intentions including supporting Israel no matter what they do. Stahl outed an FBI investigation of Aipac and the raids into their offices to confiscate computers. From what I read about this Stahl outing of the investigation the FBI were not happy campers. She undermined national security by doing this.

          No I do not trust her intentions around this issue at all. Sure wish someone could find out if Elad (David Be’eri’s land stealing group) has raised money after this commerical for their land confiscation efforts?

    • its too late for the “first step”. Palestinians can’t wait for their anymore. It’s been 62 years, and the paradigm 60 Minutes represented in that piece will only perpetuate Palestinian disenfranchisement. So, let’s say you’re right and American average people see this and think the Israeli settlement is wrong and it’s blocking peace. What then? The entire segment is about 2 state solution as the solution that these mean religious kooks are ruining. But what does that mean? Is it a just peace? not 1% is it just. So, is it a victory to get Americans to fight for permanent apartheid for Palestinians in the guise of a fake state?

    • Kathleen says:

      Most likely this program raised money for the illegal confiscation of Palestinian lands. 60 minutes fund raiser

  16. I thought her piece was insightful, helpful.

    If anything, I thought that she let go by the fact of the purchase of land from Palestinians really made the presence of at least one apartment owned by Israelis to be fully legal.

    To oppose the title by purchase, is to impose an ethnic screen on residence.

    Joseph,
    Do you think that Jews that purchase land and buildings should be allowed to live in them?

    Its just a single case. But, in other similar cases, militants enforce (without due process) an actual Palestinian law that declares that no land in Palestine can be sold to a Jew, by punishment of death.

    • Kathleen says:

      Can Palestinians buy internationally recognized Israeli lands? I don’t think so.

    • Shmuel says:

      Vital context for those less inclined to justifying the unjustifiable:

      1. link to ir-amim.org.il

      2. link to ir-amim.org.il

      • Sumud says:

        Some more context Shmuel ~ Israel has recently been selling off the houses and land (“absentee property”) of the 1948 refugees, which they are legally obligated to hold in trust until a permanent peace deal and resolution of the right of return occurs.

        A short Al Jazeera clip on the sales. The rep. from Adalah states this is another attempt to create ‘facts on the ground’.

        Joanthan Cook article on the sales.

        Adalah (Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) press release from 2009 on the sales.

      • Sumud says:

        Very broad context, that is.

    • I think you are asking a stupid question which is supposed to distract from the fact that Israel denies 5.5 million people the right to vote for the government which rules their lives. Stop trying to turn the tables and make Israel the victim, it’s a sad game.

      • yonira says:

        Do you believe the Iraqis and Afghanis should be able to vote in our mid-term elections Glatzner? Since when is an occupied people (not sure why you counted the Gazans) able to vote in the election of their occupier?

        • Shingo says:

          “Since when is an occupied people (not sure why you counted the Gazans) able to vote in the election of their occupier?”

          Stupid question. If they were able to do it, there would be no occupation. It’s a bit like suggesting that the Palestinians can occupy Israel while Israel occupy the West Bank,

        • If we were occupying Iraq and Afghanistan for decades, then yes they deserve the right to vote in the government which rules their lives. This is basic self determination and no taxation without representation. This is precisely why Puerto Ricans having American citizenship or full independence is so big on the agenda right now. PS: There’s no such thing as an “Afghani” it’s called Afghan.

      • I think you ignore an important question of what rights are likely to be preserved for whom in a single state or even two-state.

        I favor a self-determined Palestinian government running Palestinian lives (with minorities resident with full civil rights), and a self-determined Israeli government running Israeli Jewish (with minorities with full civil rights).

        You speak of “coming back to my home”. But, you don’t distinguish between title questions (individual rights) and sovereignty (collective rights).

        Its a question of what you advocate for, what is proposed.

        The statement that 5.5 million (if that is accurate) should self-govern is undeniable. The next question is how?

        My criticism of your post and your process is of the political/ideological definition of justice, rather than the individual.

        Silwan is NOT Palestinian national land, it is individual Palestinians’ homes. They are DIFFERENT concepts.

        • Shingo says:

          “I think you ignore an important question of what rights are likely to be preserved for whom in a single state or even two-state.”

          How so when such rights are already denied to Arab Israelis?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Silwan is NOT Palestinian national land, it is individual Palestinians’ homes. They are DIFFERENT concepts.

          Witty, where did Israeli national land come from? Who was it taken from?

          Are you familiar with the Geneva Conventions? Rhetorical, we already know you aren’t.

          Population transfers ARE NOT ALLOWED on military land. For any reason. Even with economic exchange, because no fair trade is possible with people who are holding you at gunpoint.

    • Shingo says:

      “To oppose the title by purchase, is to impose an ethnic screen on residence.”

      That is already the status quo in Israel.

  17. Kathleen says:

    Can Arabs buy land in land internationally recognized as Israel?

    link to meforum.org

    link to camera.org
    A Factual Look at the Land Policies of Israel and its Neighbors

    1. Land Ownership in Israel

    In order to purchase land for the resettlement of Jews in their ancient homeland, the Fifth Zionist Congress (1901) created a private charitable organization called the Jewish National Fund (JNF). Before statehood land purchased by the JNF was not resold but was instead leased out on a long-term basis to create kibbutzim and other forms of Jewish settlement.

    After 1948 state-owned lands formerly in the possession of British Mandatory Authorities, together with property abandoned by Arab refugees, passed into the control of the new Israeli government. Some of this land was sold by the government to the JNF, which had developed expertise in reclaiming and developing waste and barren lands and making them productive.

    In 1960 under Basic Law: Israel Lands, JNF-owned land and government-owned land were together defined as “Israel lands,” and the principle was laid down that such land would be leased rather than sold. The JNF retained ownership of its land, but administrative responsibility for the JNF land, and also for government-owned land, passed to a newly created agency called the Israel Land Administration or ILA. (Encyclopaedia Judaica, V 10, p. 77)

    Today, of the total land in Israel, 79.5% is owned by the government, 14% is privately owned by the JNF, and the rest, around 6.5%, is evenly divided between private Arab and Jewish owners. Thus, the ILA administers 93.5% of the land in Israel (Government Press Office, Israel, 22 May 1997).”

    LAND ABANDONED BY ARAB REFUGEES. oy vey

    • I would expect that Palestinians would create a similar legal entity to the JNF to hold title to land that they intend to remain within Palestinian control.

      At some point the exclusivity of that ownership should also be questioned, as the JNF requirements to allow only Jews to purchase or lease its land, has been deemed illegal by the Israeli supreme court.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        I would expect that Palestinians would create a similar legal entity to the JNF to hold title to land that they intend to remain within Palestinian control.

        Why? Because if you presume that the Palestinians are as racially motivated as you are, you can feel good about endorsing discrimination against them?

        If you want to cavort in your fantasy land, Witty, do it on your own blog. This place is for reality, not “could haves” and “would haves.”

  18. eljay says:

    >> Can Palestinians buy internationally recognized Israeli lands? I don’t think so.

    Why buy when you can steal and colonize, then call it home? A little help from America and – presto! – the past is the past, the criminal is rewarded, the victim forfeits what was his and “humanists” crow about “justice”.

    I’m just relieved that ethnic cleansing is “currently not necessary”. Then again, more ethnic cleansing might make Palestinians even *more* “resilient and energetic”! Hmmm…

  19. I hope that you are entirely aware that in a single-state it would have to be illegal to restrict sale on the basis of ethnicity ANYWHERE.

    Silwan would quickly be gentrified if not Judaicized.

    • Shingo says:

      “I hope that you are entirely aware that in a single-state it would have to be illegal to restrict sale on the basis of ethnicity ANYWHERE.”

      That’s false Witty.

      Inside Israel, Arabs are only allowed to build on 3% of the land, so it’s clearly not illegal to restrict sale on the basis of ethnicity inside Israel.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Silwan is ALREADY being Judaicized. By armored bulldozer.

  20. hophmi says:

    Grow up, Joseph. You’re throwing a tantrum because Leslie Stahl didn’t present a piece of Palestinian propaganda. Go do your own report if you don’t like it.

    • Sumud says:

      Sophisticated argument hophmi.

    • Chu says:

      Wow, you’ve really hit the skids, man. And you’re the most intelligible of the group.

    • I’ll grow up and accept that Israel has the right to steal land and kill people (is it really more complicated than that?), you’re totally right. And Stahl presenting any context is indeed biased so you’re right. Maybe you should interview a Palestinian woman who lost her baby stillborn because she wasn’t allowed through a checkpoint.

      • If Israelis purchased land, did they “steal” land?

        Or are you mixing your cases?

        • Shingo says:

          “If Israelis purchased land, did they “steal” land?”

          Given that the Palestinian owners were likely threatened with eviction if they didn’t sell it, what’s the difference?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Purchased it at gunpoint? There’s a reason why the Geneva conventions are specific about a military occupying power not allowing its own civilians to be transferred to other people’s land.

          There’s this, for starters.

        • Are you stupid? The American government “purchased” land from the Native Americans under the barrel of a gun. Does that make it legitimate? Mexico “surrendered” half of their country to the US in a “treaty” after the US invaded and stole it. Does that make it legitimate? I’m sick of your idiocy, think things through before you post them for once.

    • yonira says:

      Hophmi,

      Joseph did a report, he advocated all Israelis up and become Palestinians. remember that gem?

      • Chaos4700 says:

        Well, they did move to Palestine. Under normal circumstances, when someone immigrates somewhere, they become part of that nation. They don’t, as a general rule of modern civilization, pick up davidkas or white phosphorous mortars, or roll over their neighbors with armored bulldozers.

        • yonira says:

          No Chaos, they were born in Israel as native Israelis, they are on the 3rd (or maybe 4th or 5th amongst the Haredi) generation now.

          wow davidka and WP in the same comment, you got your talking points handbook out?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Nakba denial. Again. What a shocker. I’m reminded of the time you called those pictures of dead Palestinian children I posted “fake.”

        • Shingo says:

          “No Chaos, they were born in Israel as native Israelis, they are on the 3rd (or maybe 4th or 5th amongst the Haredi) generation now.”

          Whereas 10th , 20th and 30th generation Palestinians are illegal aliens right Yoni?

  21. Again, in a democratic single state, Jews will be able to purchase land anywhere, including Silwan.

    If the Palestinian Authority achieves a two-state solution at the green line, with East Jerusalem as its capital, where would that capital be located?

    Silwan? other neighborhoods?

    If the construction of capital buildings occurred, wouldn’t there be gentrification, and some significant portion of the residents removed?

    • Shingo says:

      “Again, in a democratic single state, Jews will be able to purchase land anywhere, including Silwan.”

      But they will not be able to deem Palestinians homes that were built before 1948 as illegal, and threaten to demolish them and evict the residents.

      “If the Palestinian Authority achieves a two-state solution at the green line, with East Jerusalem as its capital, where would that capital be located?”

      That’s up to the Palestinians.

      “If the construction of capital buildings occurred, wouldn’t there be gentrification, and some significant portion of the residents removed?”‘

      Oh we’re back to the “gentrification” talking point are we Witty?

    • Mooser says:

      And there goes Witty with his ‘make one move and the Palestinians get it in the neck” schtick.

      But at any rate, I’m glad Witty is realistic about what the Israelis are like. He seems to be well aware that the Israelis will do everything they can to harm the Palestinians, even if they screw themselves in the process. Except Witty seems convinced that Israel can only achieve success by screwing the Palestinians, if the one-state solution is implemented..

      Thanks Witty, you are doing a good job at convincing people the “no (Jewish) state” solution.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Are you then pointing out the wealth discrepancies between rich white Jews and oppressed Arabs? Good for you, Witty.

      Has it occurred to you that many Arabs won’t sell because they value the land more than filthy lucre?

      • I’m expressing the advantage of a two-state solution in which Palestinians can legally determine their preferences based on some element of collective national defense and purpose.

        In a truly democratic single state that affirms individual rights (inherent in the application of color-blind rule of law), there is no possible way to restrict sale of land on the basis of ethnicity, except by a functional partition program, and that would and should be questioned.

        Dollar votes would control, whether those are the dollar votes of Jewish Israelis seeking residence in Silwan, or the dollar votes of Palestinian middle class seeking to reside close to where they work.

        In BOTH the cases of gentrification and Judaization, the majority of the current residents would come to move and the neighborhood would change.

        Can you see a way in a democratic single-state that the nature of the neighborhood will remain, say 50 years?

  22. Chaos4700 says:

    Phil and/or Adam, could you post the terms of Witty’s “posting diet?” There seems to be some confusion about that.