‘I’ve been duped’ — America’s travel guide Rick Steves says our media black out the brutal occupation

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 115 Comments

Rick Steves watched Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land and had an epiphany, he has seen the light.

If you happen to be one of the 3.5 people in America who have never heard of Rick Steves watch this 60 Minute episode. He’s huge, the only famous American tour guide.

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Rick Steves

He’s got a popular TV show , hosts NPR Travel with Rick Steves, and has a 20-million-dollar-a-year business selling travel books. Can’t get much more mainstream than that. He’s the all-American boy (that’s how he strikes this California girl anyway).

So imagine my surprise when I read his recent article on Huffington Post,  Reflections on Israel and Palestine.

I’ve been duped.

Do you know the frustration you feel when you believed in something strongly and then you realize that the information that made you believe was from a source with an agenda to deceive?

I just watched a powerful and courageous documentary called Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land. It certainly has its own agenda and doesn’t present balanced coverage. Still, it showed me how my understanding of the struggles in the Middle East has been skewed by most of our mainstream media. I saw how coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian problem is brilliantly controlled and shaped. I pride myself in understanding how the media works… and I find I’ve been bamboozled….

In my view, many Palestinians live under inhumane conditions, and U.S. taxpayers help to make it happen. Please, watch this and then share your impressions. Criticism of Israel’s policies is not automatically anti-Semitic (see J-Street for an example of a pro-Israel, pro-peace group). In fact, the irony is that for Israel’s hard-liners, their clever PR strategy could be their own worst enemy. While Israel certainly deserves security on its land, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory (in Gaza and the West Bank) degrades Israel and drives Palestinians to desperation. The question of whether Israel is conducting a brutal military occupation or a reasonable defense against terrorism gets no real airtime. If we care about the long-term security of Israel, we have a responsibility to understand what our government is funding and supporting.

Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land is a fantastic important film and Steves has a huge following.

Here’s Rick Steves at the Temple Mount. Or watch the full episode on Hulu.

I’m looking forward to ‘Rick touring Palestine’ on an upcoming episode.

(Hat tip Marsha Holmquist)

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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115 Responses

  1. atime forpeace
    April 7, 2012, 12:10 pm

    The smear mongering community must be running ads for new positions opening up everyday now, they must be shorthanded with all these new revelations, this is the “Saul of Tarsus” moment for ex Israel apologists.

    The waves just keep crashing on the shores of Zioism.

  2. hughsansom
    April 7, 2012, 12:30 pm

    It’ll be interesting to see how NPR or PBS respond. There will certainly be calls to drop any and all of Rick Steves’s programs. NPR and PBS have shown no spine of any kind at all on the Israel-Palestine conflict (or they have shown themselves to be tacit supporters of whatever crimes Israel sees fit to commit).

    • Annie Robbins
      April 7, 2012, 12:38 pm

      yeah, that definitely crossed my mind. i don’t know if steves had his head in the sand or was just so busy touring around he never looked into the conflict before, but if he’s a novice on i/p he’s probably a tad clueless wrt what’s in store for him in terms of response from the bigwigs.

      he’s a very influential mainstream person. i hope to hear more from him about this and wonder if it will be followed by silence or a more formal step down/apology.

      maybe i will write him a supportive email.

      • Pamela Olson
        April 7, 2012, 2:58 pm

        He probably has no idea what kind of hornet’s nest he is walking into… So many people I met in Washington were interested in what I had to say, then after a day or two, suddenly weren’t interested at all anymore. People who were apparently unschooled in how deeply unacceptable it is to be open-minded about this, until someone “informed” them. I always imagined Daniel “Lead” Pipes going around brandishing a giant wrench at people who stepped one toe almost out of line. Whatever it was, it was very effective.

        But it’s becoming less effective as time goes on — in fact, it’s starting, slowly, to become counter-productive. Once there are more people out there talking sense, the Zio-gangsters seem more and more, well, insane. They disgust anyone with a spine and an ounce of intellectual curiosity and integrity. Their days of hegemony are so numbered.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2012, 9:44 pm

        exactly pamela

      • Without Walls
        April 8, 2012, 9:46 pm

        stay safe, Pamela. When critters as ornery as Daniel “Lead” Pipes and his cohort are cornered, they lash out viciously. Yes, numbers will grow, following some courageous leaders like Steves (even tho I pooh poohed him earlier) and Phil, and Vittorio Arrigoni, but the history of the way such movements are taken down indicates things come to a dangerous, even violent head before the fever breaks.

        Bella ciao,
        Bella ciao,
        Bella ciao ciao ciao.

      • LanceThruster
        April 13, 2012, 11:26 am

        Pamela — Sadly that has been my experience too. People seem open to reason, and then they are “counseled” as to the consequences of holding or expressing such rational viewpoints. Fear sets in, and they go back to choosing to ignore the fallacies of the official narrative.

        When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do. ~ William Blake

        Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/williambla101813.html#g1Mgo0VDEau4fbzT.99

    • Les
      April 7, 2012, 3:14 pm

      NPR is a critical part of the Israel Lobby. It would weaken them to openly join AIPAC just as much as it would the New York Times, etc. Let us hope that his report is not taken to be a letter of resignation by NPR.

    • Denis
      April 7, 2012, 8:16 pm

      @hughsansom: NPR and PBS have shown no spine
      @Annie: response from the bigwigs
      @Pamela: what kind of hornet’s nest he is walking into

      This is what I don’t understand: why are we using these euphemisms?

      Of all of the blogs following the Occupation, none is more objective, or straighter-talking than this one. So why are we now dancing around the core issue with respect to what’s going on with the US MSM?

      Go back and look at the vid Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land. 55 minutes of bashing the US MSM for not reporting objectively on the Occupation. Not one time do they ask “Why is that?” How can you possibly begin fixing a problem without discussing its cause?

      Not one time do they or the commenters here shine the light on the elephant in the room: The Zionists control the US MSM — and even that is a euphemism.

      Why is that topic still taboo? Someone please provide one single explanation that makes more sense. Isn’t the very fact that the MSM reporting is so disgustingly slanted with respect to the Occupation sufficient evidence to prove this point?

      Prediction: Mr. Steve’s has a very rough year ahead of him. Because he is so popular and so well known, if the Israeli government perceives him as an “existential threat” there will be consequences. I think most MSM reporters understand that.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2012, 8:41 pm

        Not one time do they ask “Why is that?”

        denis, i would have to review it but i recall a graph going from top down which lists the filters needed to go thru, media ownership being at the top. special interests like camera near the bottom and lobbiests/ aipac in the middle.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2012, 9:48 pm

        @ 17 minutes they start pr 01.

        20 minutes Hussein Ibish: “for the sole purpose of taking their land away from them”.

        21:25 pr strategy 02: “invisible colonization”

        “we have to ask why..because it intends to annex the territory eventually”

      • tree
        April 7, 2012, 10:16 pm

        I think Denis is talking about a different “why”.

        …55 minutes of bashing the US MSM for not reporting objectively on the Occupation. Not one time do they ask “Why is that?” How can you possibly begin fixing a problem without discussing its cause?

        I think he’s talking about the film not asking the question, why does the MSM not report objectively on the occupation, not why is Israel occupying the territory.

      • Denis
        April 8, 2012, 1:51 am

        Yes, that was an interesting graphic. It was surely taken from Chompsky’s 5 filters idea — 5? I think it’s 5 — and adapted to this particular situation. But I don’t see how that filter idea explains why the US MSM is being absolutely deceptive while the UK MSM is reporting facts on the ground. One of those filters in the graphic represents the Zionists who control the US MSM, but nobody in the flick said a word about that. Like tree says, that’s my “why” — I didn’t make it too clear.

        My answer to my why is that unlike in the UK, the US media are heavily controlled by people who want the Palestinians to give up, and GTF out. Who are these people? (Hint: Israel-firster Chas Schumer recently said he would “strangle” the Palestinians economically. I’ll bet he could tell you exactly who these people are.) Need I say more?

        At the end of the film I did not see many good suggestions for how to turn this around. God love those Israeli Jews who are trying so hard. But to me the secret lies entirely in the US. If those kids could get their hands on all of the rocks in the Holy Land, it would not be enough to get the IDF off their back, but the voters of this country could shut the Occupation down in a matter of months.

        Use the internet to identify and out those media honchos who are responsible for the dis-information. There is moral high-ground here waiting to be occupied. (Boy, am I preachin’ to the choir now.) Knowing that they have been systematically lied to will encourage people to take the attitude most of us here have developed: pure distrust of MSNBC, ABC, CNN, ….. Look at Rick Steve’s response. Look at this Trayvon Martin media mess. Who needs US MSM? I get better, more accurate news about events in the US from the UK’s lowly Daily Mail than anything I can see in the US MSM.

      • Arnon Shwantzinger Too
        April 8, 2012, 9:32 pm

        Hi Annie,
        I’ll try to clear up Denis’s question.
        When Denis says ‘Not one time do they ask “Why is that?”’ – he’s not asking about the apparatus. The media filters. He’s asking another question.

        He clearly states that the media filters amount to “the elephant in the room: The Zionists control the US MSM — and even that is a euphemism.”

        And when he euphemistically says Zionists control the US MSM, he’s talking about the true driving force behind Zionism – Jews. Sure, not all Zionists nowadays are Jewish. But that’s just smoke and mirrors.

        The question is about the big elephant in the room – the obvious fact that Jews control the media. Say it Annie: “Jews control the media”.

        I can understand why a non-Jew might be loathe to say such a thing bluntly. But why can’t Jews say it, when it is right in front of their eyes?
        Are you also afraid to be castigated as antisemites?
        Perhaps you fear being cast into the “self-loathing Jew” camp by your community?

        The third option, of course, if you don’t speak up and call a spade a spade, would suggest that you are complicit…

        It’s cards on the table time, liberal American Jews of Mondoweiss.
        Put up or shut up.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 8, 2012, 10:06 pm

        tree, just saw this. i misinterpreted the question. why does the MSM not report objectively on the occupation

        obviously because the people who control the stations are either pro expansion zionists who could give a flying f about palestinians or kowtowed cowards who completely lack courage or have decided crossing the zios is bad for business.

        arnon, you don’t intimidate me in the least.

      • Arnon Shwantzinger Too
        April 8, 2012, 10:41 pm

        No intimidation was intended. My apologies if my words conveyed any such emotional appeal.
        I was going for blunt and succinct.

        What is the major malfunction?
        Why can’t Jews say “Jews control the media” when evidence bears this?
        I know why non-Jews can’t say it. They will be labeled antisemites.
        I know that we Jews have been raised to believe that such a statement belongs in antisemitic propaganda only. A statement only David Duke and Arabs would make. Well, times are changing.

        The evidence show this statement to be true. A statement of fact. Therefore it cannot be antisemitic.

        I do believe this is a watershed issue for Mondoweiss.
        And I mean this from a leftist perspective. As well as a Jewish perspective. And of course within the confines of an evidence-based discussion.

        I read this blog as an Israeli currently suffering a fascist regime stripping my country of any vestiges of democracy it might have had when my parents uprooted themselves and me to come here from a Communist dictatorship three decades ago. A regime that bears too many similarities to the one I escaped from. Ve’ha’zroa od netuya

        As American Jews you have had a large say in the fate of my country – at least within my lifetime. I believe you still do. You are Jews, and you are close to the centers of politics and media of the world. I would sincerely like to hear you take an unequivocal position on this issue.

        It is ‘put up or shut up’ time. This was not an attempt at intimidation. It was an attempt to highlight the urgency and importance of this issue. Either you speak the truth and stand behind it, or you are NPR-lite. You can’t have it both ways.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 8, 2012, 10:52 pm

        Why can’t Jews say “Jews control the media” when evidence bears this?

        maybe you should ask another jew, i’m not jewish.

        I would sincerely like to hear you take an unequivocal position on this issue.


      • Arnon Shwantzinger Too
        April 8, 2012, 11:50 pm

        My mistake. Sincere apologies are in order. I assumed too much.
        I’m sorry.

        Perhaps this question can percolate upwards then…

      • Annie Robbins
        April 9, 2012, 12:58 am

        forgiven. btw, you’re wrong about me wrt I know why non-Jews can’t say it. They will be labeled antisemites. it’s not that i can’t say it, it’s that i don’t say it. the reason i don’t say it is because, imho, ‘jews’ do not control the media. there are probably no more than about 20 people in this country who have the power to ‘control’ the msm, which (in case you have not been paying attention) does not represent ‘the media’ anymore. ‘jews’ are in the millions. i know what you are saying, i’m just not sloppy like that. it’s stupid talk.

        imho, i am the media too. we’re all the media. i do not buy into a mental construct/framing that strips away my own voice/power. yes, i am afforded this platform here because of phil and adam. but i do not believe they have provided me with this platform because they are jews. we’re people, in many ways we think alike. i just started commenting here and phil encouraged me and here i am. i am here because i care about this issue. i am an american and we matter.

        you said As American Jews you have had a large say in the fate of my country . well let me clue you in, as an american i have a large say in the fate of your country, you better believe it. this is no longer a jewish conversation, it is an american conversation and i’m part of it.

        so do the jews control the media? hell no. not if i have anything to say about it. we are the media and i am a part of that we, and i am not jewish, neither is rick steves, andrew sullivan, gunter grass, ali abunimah, jakob augstein, rawan yaghi, ahmed moor, susie abulhawa, or scores of other people. we matter, and we are not all jewish. the msm means less and less every day. the arab spring is here, social media is here, and we matter. we, being the masses. we rule the media more and more every day. the ‘we’ i am referencing definitely includes jews, but they don’t rule the collective ‘us’. we can speak in one inclusive voice. that is how we will have power, inclusive and together.

      • CigarGod
        April 9, 2012, 10:29 am

        Nice/fresh, slant/perspective on control.
        Personally, I’ve never done the leg work and broken ownership down by religion/ethnicity.

        Just visited Hearst Castle again and recalled the tremendous influence he had on U.S. society…not all bad…(women’s rights, etc.)

      • Arnon Shwantzinger Too
        April 9, 2012, 4:52 pm

        I get where you’re coming from. And understand your reasoning.
        However there is a fault.
        Saying that the media is no longer strictly the MSM, is true.
        As is saying that the MSM is not strictly Jewish.
        For that matter, Zionism is not strictly Jewish anymore either.
        However, a certain perniciousness persists.

        These shifts can be seen either as achievements or accommodations.

        Did Phil and Adam give you this platform because they are Jews? I doubt that very much.
        Were Phil and Adam in a position to allow you this platform because they are Jews – is another question entirely. And one which does not reflect directly on them (or any individual in particular) but rather on the system as it operates.

        The question of the Jewish State is, very much a Jewish question. Not exclusively a Jewish question. But for better or worse, it need be parsed from an exclusively Jewish perspective as well. The fact that all the media afforded me – as an individual – is de facto controlled by Jews (facebook, google, MSM, Hollywood, Israeli media – and, yes, mondoweiss) is an integral part of this question. It affects our ability to even “hear” outside voices and opinions. Some cultural controls are primal. Sub-conscious.

        So far I have heard statements to the lines of “Jews control the media” only from non-Jewish sources. Or unofficially within informal talk among Jews themselves.

        I would like to see Mondoweiss take a stab at this question.
        I know where NPR, and therefore the rest of the MSM and media are going to fall on this. “We’re slaying dragons here” was the rallying cry a couple of months back.

        Show me.

      • LanceThruster
        April 13, 2012, 11:59 am

        Interesting to know that CG. I think of Hearst and what comes to mind is how he killed the hemp industry in order to maximize his timber holding profits.

      • Mooser
        April 13, 2012, 12:34 pm

        “Not one time do they ask “Why is that?”

        And the Luces were Chinese, too. That’s why they supported the Nationalists so fervently.

      • Mooser
        April 13, 2012, 12:38 pm

        I simply cannot understand why the fact that the Zionists took advantage of the troubles of Jews to incentivize the raw material of their project is so fascinating to everyone. Certainly, in the past, other people in other religions have proven just as susceptible to projects like this.

        Would the actions of the Zionists be more or less wrong if they were ostensibly of another religion?

    • quercus
      April 8, 2012, 9:31 am

      I stopped listening to NPR when Diane Rhem allowed her guests on the Friday news round up shows to ignore Ron Paul. That was at least two months ago. The bias of NPR news has been apparent for a very long time, but I still listened to hear Rhem’s show, such that it was worth. My time was wasted.

      This past Friday, I turned on NPR just to see if anything had changed. It hadn’t. The same tired guests, voicing the same, tired opinions. Nothing thoughtful, nothing insightful, nothing different.

    • CigarGod
      April 8, 2012, 10:42 am

      His blog gets quite a few wingers on it, both for his liberal political views…and that he makes no secret of his support for grass smoking.

      • Without Walls
        April 8, 2012, 9:40 pm

        That C Span is increasingly zionist occupied territory is as distressing as Colin Powell’s sell-out — we trusted Powell and we trusted C Span.

        The arc has come full circle — Some years back a guy named Robert Lieber was on C Span Washington Journal. I remember that he recited the usual mantra — “Americans like Israel more than they like Palestinians; US & Israel have a special relationship because we share a history and values.” Someone called in and said, “No we don’t like Israel more . . .” Lieber wagged his finger and said, “Polls say you DO!” It was so ridiculous — a person was telling Lieber, NO, and he insisted that that person’s opinion was wrong.

        In the same program Lieber said he was in charge of a project to create an Israel-oriented center at Georgetown University. Apparently that project is now firmly in place. Recently, Georgetown hosted a conference on the Arab Spring and Religious Liberty — http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Berkl . The keynote speakers — the people who spoke for the Arab and Islamic states, were Dennis Ross, Elliot Abrams, Stephen Hadley. The Georgetown Univ. moderators of the program spoke of Ross, Abrams, and Hadley as if they were the second coming of Gandhi. It was revolting.

      • Without Walls
        April 8, 2012, 11:10 pm

        cross-referencing “Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14055.htm (at 11 min, discussing the creation of Israel’s hasbara unit in US in 1983) with the video linked above, in which Dennis Ross discusses Egypt’s ‘Arab Spring,’ and mentions that he sent Frank Wisner to Egypt to convince Mubarak to step down.
        Wisner and, especially, his father have long and unsavory backgrounds. In 1947 Wisner Senior created OSS/CIA “Project Mockingbird,” “a program to influence the domestic and foreign media.” Shortly thereafter he set up covert operations division of CIA and the project that took down Mossadeqh.
        Frank Wisner Jr. has been/is involved with a number of foreign policy posts as well as shady operations for/on behalf of “protection of our American liberties” and democratic values — activities which earned him a seat on the Board of Directors of Enron and now, vice presidency of AIG. All of the bad guys are not zionists; some of them are homegrown elites, like Wisner.

      • CigarGod
        April 9, 2012, 10:34 am

        I am constantly amazed at how we swallow the composition of discussion panels without a blink.

        “Here for the Israeli perspective is so and so Israeli/Jewish person….and here for the Arab perspective…is someone not Arab.”

      • LanceThruster
        April 13, 2012, 12:56 pm

        In the 70s, I remember seeing a panel with remarkable diversity on a KNBC SoCal local Sunday current events show discussing the Middle East conflict. Representing the right it had a Zionist and an ultra-Orthodox Zionist, and on the left, it had a Zionist and a moderate Zionist.

        Basically, the were squabbling as to “what is to be done with Arabs?”

  3. FreddyV
    April 7, 2012, 12:45 pm

    The thing I wonder about is what all those Zionists are going to say after the truth becomes mainstream?

    I know a few. They think I’ve been propagandized by those terrorist Palestinian Islamists.

    I wonder if there will be denial?

    Deny all they want, I’ll be there to remind them what they supported, and that day is coming closer and closer and closer.

    Sadly it’s 60 odd years too late for those who’ve suffered and that’s the real shame.

    I hope Mr Steves’ article and message is embraced by the mainstream. And soon.

  4. Susie Kneedler
    April 7, 2012, 12:52 pm

    Thanks, Annie. Last month, Rick Steves hosted a fair-minded program about “Living in the Arab Awakening,”
    Release Date: 03/10/2012, Program 279, starting about 15:00 (after another discussion of conscience, “Visiting Post-Tsunami Japan”).


    ‘Guests from Egypt and Morocco discuss the “Arab Spring” movement and explain what the upheaval is about from an insider’s perspective.
    ‘Guest Interviews:
    ‘Colin Clement, translator, tour guide, and antiquities expert with the French Archaeological Mission in Alexandria, Egypt
    ‘Aziz Begdouri, tour guide based in Tangier, Morocco.’

    • Annie Robbins
      April 7, 2012, 1:44 pm

      thanks susie, will check them out.

    • marc b.
      April 7, 2012, 4:17 pm

      hurray for steves. i saw his iran episode, and it was well done. i was greatly disappoited with tony bourdain’s lebanon episodes. his first tour in 2006 was interupted by israel’s muderous temper tantrum, and when he returned later he adopted this condescending attitude towards any criticism of israel. what a jerk.

  5. Susie Kneedler
    April 7, 2012, 1:23 pm

    In 2008, Rick Steves also acted bravely to counter the demonizing of Iran and the Iranian people:

    ‘Rick Steves and Travel Diplomacy in Iran: Public television host films one-hour travel special’
    ‘Rick Steves advances thoughtful travel, encouraging Americans to understand and appreciate different cultures and values. Now in a move to push his work to a new level, Rick is producing a new one-hour public television special “Rick Steves’ Iran: Yesterday and Today.” [After] a trip through that part of the “axis of evil”, Rick explains that while the public television special … will be strictly travel, his motivation to take on this project went beyond sightseeing.
    ‘For Rick, travel is a political act — a way to break down cultural barriers and better understand our complex world….[T]his project promotes people-to-people diplomacy at a time when governments are refusing to talk face-to-face. “A friend from the United Nations Association asked what I could do to help them build understanding between Iran and the US…I answered, ‘The only powerful thing I can do is to produce a TV show on Iran.'”
    ‘This past month Rick filmed the local historical sights and daily lives of people that Americans rarely see through traditional media outlets. “I remember when the bombs first fell on Baghdad, thinking I missed an opportunity to produce a travel show that could humanize the people of Baghdad and give “collateral damage” a face. I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to do this for Iran.””


    • Without Walls
      April 7, 2012, 5:23 pm

      Steves does good work and it’s great that he spoke out about Palestine and shamed the US media, but his style is such that he builds in little escape hatches.

      His Iran special got a lot of attention and, like the subject of the present article, was useful in that it began the process of humanizing the Iranian people. But he still demonstrated an Orientalist mindset and included some statements calculated to tickle the ears of the most ardent neocon. When I speak to audiences about the Iran that I saw, I attempt to specifically address the distortions found in US media and I demonstrate how they don’t fit with facts on the ground in Iran.

      I suppose one should not make the perfect the enemy of the good, but neither should one heap accolades that suggest perfection on that which is merely good. Steves is merely good.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2012, 5:35 pm

        ww he’s always a tourist where ever he goes. i doubt that will be changing anytime soon. did you find him to be different to the iranian people than the italians or swiss?

  6. proudzionist777
    April 7, 2012, 1:39 pm

    Let me get this straight.
    Rick Steves is a globetrotter who’s visited Israel, but hasn’t actually visited the West Bank, but declares that the Palestinians are living there ‘under inhuman conditions’ (because he saw that in a documentary).


    • Annie Robbins
      April 7, 2012, 1:44 pm

      it helps to follow the links pz, he has visited the WB.

      • proudzionist777
        April 7, 2012, 2:14 pm

        Which link?

      • Pamela Olson
        April 7, 2012, 3:01 pm

        ProudZionist [Translation]: “Let me get this straight. Someone found out new information and changed his opinion based on that information? My mind is TOTALLY BLOWN!!!!!!!!!”

    • talknic
      April 7, 2012, 2:21 pm


      ‘proud’ of not checking before opening the great zionist wailgob?

      • proudzionist777
        April 7, 2012, 5:28 pm

        I read Steve’s HuffPo article and I opened all the links. Somebody please show me where it says that Steve’s has visited the West Bank.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2012, 5:29 pm

        you crack me up. have you watched all the videos or links to videos?


        you have to do more than just open those links y’know. shocking!

    • Cliff
      April 7, 2012, 2:35 pm

      Read the article more closely and stop sniffing the ziocaine.

    • marc b.
      April 7, 2012, 4:12 pm

      thanks for the laugh, agent triple-0 7. really biting criticism of steves. unfortunately for you, superficial, reflexive analysis seems to be your bag, not steves.

      • proudzionist777
        April 7, 2012, 5:31 pm

        What did I miss? Where does it say Steve’s visited the West Bank?

      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2012, 5:38 pm

        why didn’t you answer me? here’s your clue


        now run along

        edit, it is just occurring to me you are not aware ej is part of the WB, clueless.

      • proudzionist777
        April 7, 2012, 5:54 pm

        I’ve watched all the videos and opened all the links, including the one Annie just sent.
        I still can’t find where it says that Steve’s has been to the West Bank.


      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2012, 5:58 pm

        check out this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_of_Olives
        Israel’s 1980 unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem was condemned as a violation of international law and ruled null and void by the UN Security Council in UNSC Resolution 478.

      • justicewillprevail
        April 7, 2012, 6:04 pm

        Hey proudhasbarist, have you been to the WB? Or did you wear your zio tinted specs. Try Hebron and see the mindblowing ugliness of Israel and its apartheid occupation.

      • proudzionist777
        April 7, 2012, 6:06 pm

        So Steve’s visited East Jerusalem, but nowhere else on the West Bank.

        Got it!

      • tree
        April 7, 2012, 6:27 pm

        I take it that your idiotic response. pz, means that you will no longer mention Iran in any of your posts, since you have never visited there? Or are we seeing yet another of your hypocritical stances manifesting itself here? Please let us know all the places you haven’t visited so we will know by your own admittance that you consider yourself unqualified to speak about them.

      • proudzionist777
        April 7, 2012, 7:10 pm

        If Steve’s had actually visited the WB and seen the ‘inhumane’ conditions, rather than simply watched an agitprop video, than he’d be more credible.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2012, 7:57 pm

        like jimmy carter and desmond tutu?

      • proudzionist777
        April 7, 2012, 8:03 pm

        I rarely comment on places I haven’t been. I don’t believe I’ve ever commented on living conditions in Iran.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2012, 8:42 pm

        so, you’ve never commented on iran? wft with this living conditions in Iran. dude?

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 8, 2012, 12:39 am

        “I rarely comment on places I haven’t been. ”

        When were you in Gaza, pudnazi? You talk about that a lot.

      • Talkback
        April 8, 2012, 7:00 am

        Still in denial, proudzionist777? No wonder you’re proud.

      • Kathleen
        April 8, 2012, 1:54 pm

        How f—ing idiotic. So how many of us have seen the Nazi extermination camps? But have read the horrific history accounts, seen the horrific pictures, read the stories, talked to Holocaust survivors.
        Proud Zionist your response is ridiculous.

      • proudzionist777
        April 8, 2012, 12:53 pm

        Steve’s relies on a 5 year old propaganda video and no first-hand knowledge.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 8, 2012, 1:03 pm

        you’re like a dog w/a bone pz. it’s irrelevant how old the video and who are you to claim anything about ‘first hand knowledge’. millions of christain zionists have no ‘first hand knowledge’, go lecture them about supporting israel. seriously, you’re just trolling the thread at this point.

    • seanmcbride
      April 8, 2012, 11:24 am


      Proud Zionist = proud Jewish ethnic nationalist. How is this any different than being a proud white nationalist, proud black nationalist, proud Arab nationalist, proud Christian nationalist, proud Afrikaner nationalist, etc.? What possible appeal can ethnic and religious nationalism have for ethnic and religious outsiders? Ethnic and religious nationalism are intrinsically provincial, self-ghettoizing and alienating.

      Are you turned on by David Duke? The EDL? Louis Farrakhan?

      And how can any ethnic or religious nationalist state be a member in good standing of the modern Western democratic community?

      • Mooser
        April 13, 2012, 1:00 pm

        “proud Jewish ethnic nationalist.”

        Not hardly. He is, however the devoted and life-long partisan of another faction, the fanatical and single-minded fraternity intent on ensuring the self-determination of the bad natured and unpopular. That is an identity bond far stronger than mere religion.

  7. radii
    April 7, 2012, 2:23 pm

    he’s as white-bread and mainstream as it gets … good for him for risking his career by speaking out … more please

  8. Kathleen
    April 7, 2012, 2:28 pm

    “In my view, many Palestinians live under inhumane conditions, and U.S. taxpayers help to make it happen. Please, watch this and then share your impressions. Criticism of Israel’s policies is not automatically anti-Semitic (see J-Street for an example of a pro-Israel, pro-peace group). In fact, the irony is that for Israel’s hard-liners, their clever PR strategy could be their own worst enemy. While Israel certainly deserves security on its land, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory (in Gaza and the West Bank) degrades Israel and drives Palestinians to desperation. The question of whether Israel is conducting a brutal military occupation or a reasonable defense against terrorism gets no real airtime. If we care about the long-term security of Israel, we have a responsibility to understand what our government is funding and supporting.”

    Comes out but covers his ass at the end. More awareness great. But the two state door continues to close

  9. DICKERSON3870
    April 7, 2012, 3:27 pm

    RE: “If you happen to be one of the 3.5 people in America who have never heard of Rick Steves watch this 60 Minute episode. He’s huge, the only famous American tour guide.” ~ Annie Robbins

    MY COMMENT: I’m a big fan and used to watch Rick Steves decades ago before I pretty much gave up on television. He reminds me a bit of the “Grizzly Man” (Timothy Treadwell).

    AN OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY: Grizzly Man, 2005, R, 100 min.
    Renowned nonfiction director Werner Herzog chronicles the tragic and untimely death of outdoorsman Timothy Treadwell, who devoted his life to studying grizzly bears living in the Alaskan wilderness — only to have one of them maul him to death.
    Netflix Availability: Streaming and DVD
    NETFLIX LISTING – http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/Grizzly_Man/70024093
    Grizzly Man Trailer (VIDEO, 02:29) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogYDUmIigw0

    P.S. ANOTHER EXCELLENT HERZOG DOCUMENTARY: Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)
    Netflix listing – http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/Cave_of_Forgotten_Dreams/70145740
    Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2011), Official Trailer [VIDEO, 02:09] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kULwsoCEd3g

    • Philip Munger
      April 7, 2012, 4:58 pm

      Cave of Forgotten Dreams may be Herzog’s most important film. If you can, see it in 3-D. The movie is the first highly intelligent use of 3-D I know of.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2012, 5:05 pm

        agreed, an amazing film.

      • justicewillprevail
        April 7, 2012, 6:07 pm

        UK tv has been showing his deeply compassionate and humane interviews with people in the US ‘On Death Row’ – powerful stuff.
        The other great 3D movie is Wender’s Pina.

    • CigarGod
      April 8, 2012, 10:57 am

      I’m surprised you see any similarity between Rick and The Grizzly Man…except for a slight physical resemblance.

  10. ahadhaadam
    April 7, 2012, 3:32 pm

    I tried to touch on the subject of the media distortion / collective cataract that inflicts the Israel/Palestine coverage in my essay The Bear and the Bees from September of last year.


  11. DICKERSON3870
    April 7, 2012, 3:54 pm

    P.P.S. AN EARLY SPRING EVENING’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, brought to you courtesy of the makers of new Ziocaine Xtreme®: It’s guaran-damn-teed to knock you on your butt!

    “. . . Well, he cursed all the roads in the old land
    And he cursed the automobile
    Said, this is no place for an hombre like I am
    In this new world of asphalt and steel.
    Then he’d look off someplace in the distance
    At something only he could see
    He’d say all that’s left now is the old days
    Damned old coyotes and me . . .
    . . . One morning they searched his adobe
    He disappeared without even a word
    But that night as the moon crossed the mountain
    One more coyote was heard
    And he’d go, whoo, yip, whoo, yip, whoo
    Whoo, du, yip, whoo, yip, whoo, whoo
    Whoo, yip, whoo, yip, whoo
    Whoo, du, yip, whoo, yip, whoo, whoo . . . ”

    Grizzly Man Closing Song (Don Edwards – Coyotes)
    [VIDEO, 03:10] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUd_Zglcpyo

  12. Carowhat
    April 7, 2012, 6:49 pm

    Rick Steves will issue an abject apology within two days on how he made his remarks in haste without fully thinking the matter through.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 7, 2012, 8:07 pm

      within two days

      not likely, the article was published 04/5/2012 1:50 pm


      • Carowhat
        April 7, 2012, 11:00 pm

        Well, let’s see what happens two days from now–the ninth.

      • Carowhat
        April 10, 2012, 10:49 pm

        Well, two days have passed and he hasn’t recanted. A travel guide of character.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 11, 2012, 1:12 am

        there are travel guides, and then there are guides that travel. something tells me steves runs in the latter category, and then some. let’s hope anyway.

      • RoHa
        April 11, 2012, 1:47 am

        Does he still have a job?

  13. dbroncos
    April 7, 2012, 6:57 pm

    All the people in government and the MSM who have been grudgingly biting the pillow for Israel over these many years will be glad to see Zionism exposed to sunlight and fresh air. They’ll join the critique with enthusiam, having been muzzled, coerced and under threat of losing their careers for so long.

  14. yourstruly
    April 7, 2012, 9:07 pm

    it’s not enough any more our exposing msm for its distortion of mideast realities, we’ve got to find ways to force them to open up to the truth. to accomplish this perhaps we should start commending them for what little reality* they actually disseminate, at the same time suggesting that more of what’s real will help reverse (or at least slow) the tendency for viewers/readers to switch from msm to internet in their search for what’s going on in the world.

    “real every day life, as distinguished from so-called reality shows

  15. AlGhorear
    April 7, 2012, 9:07 pm

    As is typical, hasbarists are doing their best to discount and discredit Rick Steves’ post in the comments sections of his blog. I hope he’s not cowed into recanting.

  16. ritzl
    April 7, 2012, 9:16 pm

    Great article, Annie. It would be interesting and maybe useful to know what caused Steves to finally watch P, P, and the PL and/or come out on this now. His venture into Iran with all the politics that entails shows he’s not unaware of the contention in the world.

    In the 60 Minutes piece (4:40) he says, “Americans are desperately lacking in exposure [to the people of rest of the world].” Maybe that’s part of the genesis, if not the timing of the HP piece.

    Excellent and important stuff. Thanks.

    PS. wrt to NPR, he’s one of their featured fundraisers. It’s hard to bite the hand, so to speak, but maybe they will by diminishing his role there. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out, and just how in the pocket of the Israel Firsters NPR is.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 7, 2012, 9:33 pm

      thanks ritzl. and i agree with you that it will be very interesting to see how this plays out. very. crossing fingers.

      • ritzl
        April 7, 2012, 9:54 pm

        And my fingers are crossing your fingers…

        Too, one of the mini-themes here at MW in the past week or so has been when discussion of this issue will cross over into an all-inclusive awareness and discussion. I don’t know if that’s part of why you posted this, but it is a major indicator (as you said) of that crossover. Particularly when Steves points out the “your tax dollars at work” part to many millions of people that don’t track the absurdity of it all, like most of us do.

    • ritzl
      April 7, 2012, 9:41 pm

      NPR, heh. Should be PBS. Ooops.

  17. Daniel Rich
    April 7, 2012, 9:18 pm

    Hi Annie,

    This either makes me superbly brilliant [which I’m not] and Mr. Steves incredibly naive [which he isn’t] or Mr. Steves is ‘mis-speaking’ and has ‘mis-remembered’ and ‘mis-watched’ the torrent of news and books [Pres. Carter, M&W, etc.] I’ve seen, read and watched, so, I don’t believe him. I really don’t care one iota about people telling me what they’ll do, the only thing I’m interested in is the line, “This is what I’ve done.”

    • Annie Robbins
      April 7, 2012, 9:30 pm

      well what can i say daniel, he’s written an article under his own name promoting a great movie that could raise awareness. that’s not nuthin. hopefully he will do more. hopefully he will do what he normally does and then some, in palestine.

      he’s very mainstream. that’s what we need, people who engage the average american. he’s embedded in that crowd so that’s why i think it is important.

      • Daniel Rich
        April 7, 2012, 11:24 pm

        Hi Annie,

        Fair enough. I [too] do hope we’re witnessing something akin to what’s happening on Antarctica wrt IP conflict.

      • RoHa
        April 8, 2012, 1:08 am

        “I [too] do hope we’re witnessing something akin to what’s happening on Antarctica wrt IP conflict.”

        You mean the ice-shelf cracking and breaking up? It happens every year, and then refreezes. Overall, both the sea ice-cover and the land ice have shown no great change.

        I would like a real, permanent change in the IP confilict.

  18. Henry Norr
    April 7, 2012, 10:15 pm

    Gotta hand it to Rick Steves – with one interview he’s tossed his NPR show, his TV franchise, and a $20-million-a-year business down the tubes! I’ll wager he’s off NPR in a month and out of business in a year.

    And I thought I paid a price because one lousy column cost me my job at the SF Chronicle…

    At least he’ll have lot of time to travel…

  19. ritzl
    April 7, 2012, 10:20 pm

    Maybe the West Bank and Gaza Guide Book will be coming soon…

    …The Palestinians are warm and friendly people and will welcome you into their homes, but when you visit, be prepared to have your stay with a Palestinian family interrupted by middle-of-the-night roustings by the IDF. …

    OK, feeble attempt at sarcastic humor. Moooossserrrrr!

    Happy Easter! Best Passover Wishes!

    • Annie Robbins
      April 7, 2012, 11:18 pm

      The Palestinians are warm and friendly people and will welcome you into their homes, but when you visit, be prepared to have your stay with a Palestinian family completely transform your concept of giving, generosity, love and hospitality. there’s just nothing like it!

      • ritzl
        April 7, 2012, 11:36 pm

        Well said and true.

  20. RoHa
    April 7, 2012, 10:41 pm

    “If you happen to be one of the 3.5 people in America who have never heard of Rick Steves ”

    Or the 6,719,796,000 (approx) people in the rest of the world who have never heard of him.

    But nice to see a US media figure telling the truth.

  21. dbroncos
    April 7, 2012, 11:22 pm

    If Israel’s defenders had keener eyes for subtlety they might recognize in Steves someone who they ought not thump with the blundt cudgel of ‘antisemitism.’ He’s a hugely popular, good natured everyman whose fans won’t take kindly to a character assasination campaign against their favorite travel guide. This could be a big boost for BDS too if he continues to speak out about Israel. He may even tell his fellow travellers that, no, he doesn’t recommend a trip to Israel and here’s why…

    • karendevito
      April 10, 2012, 1:52 pm

      He may very well visit Palestine and write about it. Including the difficulty of getting there after his recent remarks, or declaring his intention should he land at Ben Gurion.

    • Mooser
      April 13, 2012, 12:53 pm

      “He’s a hugely popular, good natured everyman…”

      ROTFL! Hasn’t it been made very apparent here in these here very comment threads here that being good natured is inherently anti-semitic or actually, anti-Zionist? Good natured popularity is Zionism’s most hated opposition, and they fear it will be its nemisis.

  22. Sumud
    April 8, 2012, 10:22 am

    Once you understand what is really happening in Israel and Palestine, there’s no going back. One more among the last few millions to awaken becomes aware.

    • CigarGod
      April 8, 2012, 11:06 am

      “Once you understand what is really happening in Israel and Palestine, there’s no going back. ”

      That is what happened to me.

  23. CigarGod
    April 8, 2012, 10:36 am

    Rick also has an amazing blog on his site.

    About a year ago, Rick took it on himself to travel to Iran and do a series on Iran…in an effort to inform us…that Iranian’s are people, too.

    I think he should be nominated for the Peace Prize for his lifetimes work at bringing people together.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 8, 2012, 12:14 pm

      cigargod, thanks, i didn’t realize he had a blog. http://blog.ricksteves.com/?p=7271

      I think he should be nominated for the Peace Prize for his lifetimes work at bringing people together.

      what a great idea.

    • unVet
      April 8, 2012, 4:59 pm

      “About a year ago, Rick took it on himself to travel to Iran”

      Actually, he said that he was contacted by someone at the UN a few years ago, maybe late 2007, when there was a lot of Iran war talk going on, and a suggestion was made that he make a trip to Iran to help expand Americans’ knowledge about Iran. Unfortunately, I don’t think enough Americans have seen the resulting video.

  24. DRG
    April 8, 2012, 10:44 am

    Rick Steve’s has a wonderful episode on Iran which comes to the conclusion “Hey these are really nice people.” He tells an entirely different story about a friendly, well-educated population who are very positive about America and the West. Quite a revelation compared to the fear-mongering and hatred spread by the US media who are fomenting war and destruction on these wonderful people. Israel and it’s mouthpieces in the US will do anything to destabilize the Middle East and draw attention away from the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

  25. Citizen
    April 9, 2012, 5:57 pm

    Is there anyone in the public eye more innocuous than Rick Steve? If he sees a problem and risks a dent in his tourist career by talking about it, shouldn’t folks pay attention?

  26. Opti
    April 9, 2012, 11:51 pm

    For some background on supposed Jews Running Hollywood, Joel Stein of LA Times had an interesting story at http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-stein19-2008dec19,0,4676183.column

    In my opinion, outstanding Jewish studio directors, actors/actresses, and screenwriters, CEOs, company presidents, and others have been the backbone of Hollywood and MSM for decades now and don’t by default “run” these entities. Instead, I think nepotism controls Hollywood and MSM (like so many other players) and that pro-Israel/Zionist individual have gained from this nepotism and been given a platform from which white-washing Israeli crimes and highlighting the Barbaric and Primitive Hollywood A-rab.

    A great example of the (Jewish) nepotism is seen in Bonus Features of Rush Hour 1 (or 2, I forget), where the (Jewish) director Brett Ratner brags about how he needed money (~$10,000) for his school-project in college and wrote to Steven Spielberg. He was quickly rejected. He modified his letter to Spielberg and added that he was “Jewish” and BOOM, he got a check for $10,000 from Spielberg, which launched Ratner’s career.

    Fortunately, with the trend of distributed media, the effect of MSM will weaken over time and the Truth will come out slowly over next couple decades, which is only a good thing for those parties interested in Peace, Humanity, Justice.

  27. karendevito
    April 10, 2012, 1:48 pm

    I can’t imagine that someone that well-travelled and well-inforomed does not know that there will be backlash. Nor can I imagine that he made his remarks without having some plan to travel to the West Bank and/or Gaza and report on it.
    Steeves has clearly put some thought into the issue before making the statement. THis is going to get interesting.

  28. Greta
    April 25, 2012, 4:09 am

    So, it’s now April 25, and the last entry here was over two weeks ago. Steve still has his job, and an outpouring of support. People in his home state are asking him to come and speak. Things have changed since Henry Norr was fired for his point of view. And thank God for that.

    We now have the 60 Minute program on Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Christians and bob Simon’s putdown of Michael Oren. The frantic Zionists put a form letter together, and 22,000 ‘supposed’ Zionists sent the same letter to 60 Minutes, while thousands of us wrote from our hearts and thanked 60 Minutes.

    The times they are a changing and there is nothing the Zios can do to put the lid back on Pandora’s box. As Americans, we may be ignorant of the situation in Palestine, but we are not stupid. And, once we learn the truth, we remain outraged for the rest of our lives over the lies we have been forced to swallow.

    Israeli hasbara are finding themselves with too many holes in the dike and not enough PR fingers to stick into them to stop the ongoing flood of outrage over what they have been doing to the Palestinians for 64 years.

    Greta Berlin

  29. Shawshank
    October 15, 2012, 10:52 am

    The end of Rick Steve’s show ends in 3…2…1…

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