Tapper grills Carney on special relationship: ‘There’s no consequences. They’ll do whatever and you’ll–’

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 35 Comments

 At 24:25 in the video ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper grills WH Press Secretary Jay Carney over Israel:

TAPPER: One last question. On the subject of Israel, in the last few weeks, whether it comes to the U.S. lobbying against the declaration of statehood or whatever for the Palestinians, the very successful results of the Iron Dome and the U.S. support for Israeli military activities in Gaza, the U.S. has been very steadfastly standing by Israel. I’m wondering, in light of that, other than you expressing displeasure and any paper statements that have gone out on the matter, what the Obama administration, what the president has done or any of his emissaries to express displeasure with what the Israelis are doing right now in terms of settlements and other things described as punitive actions against the Palestinians.

CARNEY: Well, I would refer you to the State Department for communications that may be taking place, as they do on a daily basis, with the Israelis.

TAPPER: So the president hasn’t called Bibi?

CARNEY: I don’t have any conversations of the president’s to read out. But you know, I want to be clear. We oppose unilateral actions that make a return to bilateral negotiations harder.

We oppose, as we long have, Israeli settlement activity and construction in East Jerusalem because they are counterproductive to what we believe is the goal here and should be the goal, which is Israel and a Palestinian state side by side, living in security and freedom. So –

TAPPER: Did we know — did the U.S. know about this before the Netanyahu government announced it?

CARNEY: You know, I wouldn’t — I would refer you to the State Department for those kinds of communications. I can just tell you that –

TAPPER: But in the past, they’ve done it without notifying. In fact, I believe there was one time in — when it was — Netanyahu was arriving here and the announcement was made.

CARNEY: I don’t have information to give you –

TAPPER: When you worked for the vice president — you must remember, when you — when the vice president arrived in Israel one time there was an announcement. That must have been fun.

CARNEY: I can just tell you, Jake, that I don’t have any specific information about those communications between the Israeli government and this administration. We — I don’t think we could be clearer about our position that we oppose unilateral actions that make the return to bilateral negotiations harder. We oppose Israeli settlement activity and construction in East Jerusalem and, you know, we’re obviously communicating that.

TAPPER: But there’s no consequences. They’ll do whatever and you’ll –

CARNEY: Yeah, I don’t have anything additional to provide to you on that.

‘That must have been fun’? Feisty! Go Jake. He’s no Matt Lee but I hope this is the beginning of a trend.

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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35 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    December 7, 2012, 10:43 am

    First there was Helen Thomas then there was Jake Tapper. And now we have Chris Hayes focusing on the facts.

    First there was Senator Fulbright attempting to shed light on the I lobby in congress decades ago and then there was Congressman Findlay …while Kucinich never focused on the I lobby in congress he has not gone along with all of their anti Palestinian pro Israel no matter what legislation. All Gentiles. Have we ever had one Jewish reporter or Jewish representative stand up in any way shape or form to the bullying Israeli lobby. Not one that I can think of.

    • American
      December 7, 2012, 12:12 pm

      No we haven’t. And I had a surprising run in on line with well know liberal zionist who was lamenting over how tortured he was as a Jew that Israel was destroying itself and how painful it was for US Jews to see America and Obama ‘betraying’
      Israel by not doing anything to save Israel from itself. I actually expressed my sympathy for his feelings to the guy but asked him to imagine also how ‘betrayed’
      by their own government non Jewish Americans feel about the whole mess and cost and damage the unconditional US support of Israel has brought us.
      Whereupon he called me an anti semite. …..using the twisted logic that my saying ‘non Jewish’ (no attachment to Israel) Americans also had a complaint on US-Isr was saying Jews weren’t Americans.
      The moment they are asked to consider or acknowledge the validity of any other or non Jewish US citizens feeling or opinions about the US-Isr scheme their mask comes off and they use the anti semite stand by response.
      Screw ’em….a zionist is a zionist.
      Or as someone on here said, if you scratch a liberal zionist with any kind of non Jewish American position/complaint on US-Isr their real self pops out.

      • Mooser
        December 7, 2012, 3:42 pm

        Wow, American, you need to meet and become friends with a better class of people. Why are you attracted to jingoes?

      • American
        December 7, 2012, 11:00 pm

        Because I tend to believe that people are being honest in what they say……..then I find out they don’t believe what they say after all….oh well.

      • tokyobk
        December 9, 2012, 9:23 am

        He is right.

        The idea that a non-Jewish American should feel different special betrayal implies the natural condition of Jews is to be dually loyal where as the natural position of non-Jews is to be in a state of loyalty to their country.

        In fact there are plenty of Christian Zionists and plenty of Jewish anti-and non-Zionists and lots of opinions about what loyalty constitutes.

        Your posts on this are consistent.

        And what pray tell is a “non Jewish American position/complaint”

    • Krauss
      December 7, 2012, 1:44 pm

      Well, Jake Tapper, mentioned in your elegy, is actually Jewish.

      Also, Phil Weiss is a journalist (and former features reporter for New York Magazine).
      Then there’s Max Blumenthal, another journalist. Say what you will about Beinart, but he’s taken quite good positions. You got Tony Karon at Time magazine.

      The list goes on. Sorry to be interrupting the sneering remark.

      • Boston
        December 8, 2012, 8:58 am

        You can’t leave Glenn Greenwald off the list of true journalists who bravely expose the lies of the Zionist influenced mass media.

        But as far as having the balls to stand in the Lion’s den and speaking truth to power, there is only one Helen Thomas.

      • freespeechlover
        December 8, 2012, 10:52 am

        I completely agree with this. There are plenty of Jewish people who have been stalwart allies to the Palestinians and are just as concerned as gentiles who oppose the US support for Israel. This is true in the US as well as Europe.

      • Kathleen
        December 8, 2012, 7:24 pm

        Hey great to hear Jake Tapper is Jewish. Because he is nailing the points. About time. And yes Glenn Greenwald, Phil Weiss. Should have been more specific about WH press corp. But if that is so that Jake is Jewish. Then damn fabulous. Specifically talking about the WH press corp and before Jake the only other journalist that I have heard ask pointed and truthful questions about the conflict was Helen Thomas. Can anyone name any Reps who are Jewish who have talked truth about the conflict, the influence of the I lobby etc? Fulbright, Findlay, Rep Moran, Kucinich, Cynthia McKinney (I think)

    • Hostage
      December 7, 2012, 2:11 pm

      Have we ever had one Jewish reporter or Jewish representative stand up in any way shape or form to the bullying Israeli lobby.

      What about Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh?

      • Mooser
        December 7, 2012, 4:05 pm

        “Have we ever had one Jewish reporter or Jewish representative stand up in any way shape or form to the bullying Israeli lobby.”

        Your comment (very interesting!) about your home in Kansas got me to thinking what a repository of detailed indictment you must be, Hostage, on Zionist illegality. Not a pleasant body of knowledge, nor lightly held, I’m sure.
        A long discussion on exactly when ethnic cleansing rises to the level of genocide is one thing, and may be necessary but you know, at the end of the day, they’re both pretty bad.

      • Hostage
        December 7, 2012, 9:11 pm

        A long discussion on exactly when ethnic cleansing rises to the level of genocide is one thing, and may be necessary but you know, at the end of the day, they’re both pretty bad.

        I noted that several experts had observed that ethnic cleansing was just a political term, and that it has frequently been employed to avoid the obligation to prevent and punish genocide, attempted genocide, or premeditated murder. The ICJ refused to even say whether or not mass killings were war crimes or crimes against humanity.

        Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer spoke about the legal legacy stretching from the Nuremberg Tribunal to present-day efforts to hold war criminals accountable:

        “I come here as a judge and a Jew,” . . . Such institutions are “imperfect,” the justice said. “We need only look around today’s world to see that the rights, rules, and obligations that the law sets forth are no more powerful than the human will to enforce them.

        “The Talmud teaches us ‘it is not incumbent upon you to complete the work,’” Justice Breyer said. “’But neither are you free to evade it.”.


      • ritzl
        December 7, 2012, 10:16 pm

        Thanks Hostage. Again.

      • dbroncos
        December 7, 2012, 7:28 pm

        Glenn Greenwald, Joe Klein…

      • Kathleen
        December 8, 2012, 7:26 pm

        Joe Klein …really when? link? And again I should have been more clear about about the WH press corp. And is Jake Tapper Jewish? Any Reps besides, Fulbright, Findlay, Rep Moran, Kucinich?.

        No Jewish Reps have ever criticized the I lobby and its power..

      • sardelapasti
        December 7, 2012, 8:22 pm

        “What about Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh?”
        Has he ever claimed a tribal identification? Any documentation?

      • Hostage
        December 8, 2012, 1:43 am

        Has he ever claimed a tribal identification? Any documentation?

        Seymour Myron Hersh was born in Mt. Sinai Hospital at 8:05 a.m. on April 8, 1937, about five minutes before his twin brother, Alan. The Hersh boys had two older sisters who also were twins.

        Hersh’s parents immigrated to Chicago by steerage in the 1920s, his father, Isidore, from Lithuania and mother, Dorothy, from Ostrov, Poland.

        Hersh’s parents spoke Yiddish at home — especially when they didn’t want the children to understand. His uneducated father was a devoted reader of The Jewish Daily Forward, the Yiddish language daily newspaper, and liberal columnist Walter Lippmann. But “we had no great political discussions at my parents’ dinner table,” said twin Alan Hersh, an acoustical engineer and inventor in California.
        — See David Jackson, The Chicago Tribune “The muckraker: Off the South Side streets sprang a groundbreaking journalist who has revealed some of America’’s darkest secrets”, June 25, 2004

      • American
        December 7, 2012, 11:27 pm

        Yes Hersh was one, but I was thinking more of what Jewish reporters are actually ‘working’ reporters today out there covering FP or Isr…that are actually ‘questioning’, poking at gov officials or politicians like Matt Lee or Tapper.
        I consider those like Greenwald and Klein to be more commentators, not actual reporters.

      • Hostage
        December 8, 2012, 1:50 am

        Yes Hersh was one, but I was thinking more of what Jewish reporters are actually ‘working’ reporters today out there covering FP or Isr…that are actually ‘questioning’, poking at gov officials or politicians like Matt Lee or Tapper.

        He’s well past retirement age, but he is still working, e.g. April 10, 2012: Training Terrorists in Nevada: Seymour Hersh on U.S. Aid to Iranian Group Tied to Scientist Killings http://www.democracynow.org/2012/4/10/training_terrorists_in_nevada_seymour_hersh

    • marc b.
      December 7, 2012, 2:44 pm

      kathleen, i agree with alot of your points, but i don’t think objective, insightful journalism on IP breaks out along those lines. most MSM reporting on the issue just plain sucks, regardless. and as hostage pointed out, some of the best reporting on US foreign policy and national security affairs does come from ‘jewish’ journalists. (add greenwald to sy hersh) and some of the worst.

      • sardelapasti
        December 7, 2012, 8:24 pm

        “add greenwald to sy hersh”
        Stop recruiting free men to a cave-age tribe.

      • marc b.
        December 8, 2012, 2:54 pm

        Stop recruiting free men to a cave-age tribe.

        is that the way greenwald sees it too? i honestly don’t know.

    • Rusty Pipes
      December 7, 2012, 9:17 pm

      To be fair, Kathleen, there have been some anti-Zionist Jews all along — like Rabbi Berger. Since 1967, anti-Zionist Jews have paid a high price (especially those who expressed their dissent outside Jewish institutions), as the Israel Lobby successfully galvanized the majority of Jewish institutions and leaders behind uncritical public support of Israel.

      • ritzl
        December 7, 2012, 10:14 pm

        +10 Rusty.

        This site maybe in particular, is waging an “against all odds” “War of Ideas.” Maybe there’s a definitive, demonstrable, observable, tangible break coming within the Jewish community on Israel, but it’s hard to tell by us on the outside.

        Goldstoned became a verb for a reason, but at some point the little shards of moral insight presented from within will win the day, if defiantly held up in contrast to the moral decay that is conventional Israeli political thought.

        And then there’s the supportive, swing power of the rest of us…


        Great comment.

  2. pabelmont
    December 7, 2012, 11:02 am

    Thanks for making this illuminating conversation a bit more public.

    HOWEVER: the bottom line is — what ? — are the American people going to
    [1] know about the “E-1” plans
    [2] the failure of Israel to notify/get green light from Obama
    [3] why it all matters anyhow
    [4] why (THE DEVIL) this “E-1” deallie-poo is any different, any more important, a deal-breaker (or not!) than the other settlements already in place or already planned (and the 750,000 settlers already in place) and the USA’s nonfeasance in regard thereto.

    Everyone (including most special pleaders FOR Palestine) seem to regard the existing settlements as necessarily permanent. Hence the fear about the proposed “E-1” settlements.

    Why “necessarily permanent” for ANY of them, even those grotesque high-rises surrounding Jerusalem. surely it is time to start making a noise about that?

    Mr. Tapper? Mr. Lee? Mr. Weiss?

  3. Rusty Pipes
    December 7, 2012, 11:44 am

    Obama call Bibi? “Ask the State Department,” means, he’s told Bibi to talk to the hand. A while back, Obama was caught telling Sarkozy, “you think you got problems, I have to talk to the guy every day.” Post-election, Obama is not taking Bibi’s calls, but fielding that chore to his Secretary of State. At this point, Obama is giving Bibi plenty of rope to hang himself — the rest is lip service to satisfy the donors.

  4. Kathleen
    December 7, 2012, 11:48 am

    Whoa shocking Diane Rehm actually brought up the illegal settlements on her international hour. The guest had a fair amount to say. Now if we can just get Rehm to do an hour on the illegal settlements. She used to be more receptive to exploring the facts on the ground on her program about this conflict. Not so much the last four or five years. Wonder if they are feeling some pressure?

  5. Leper Colonialist
    December 7, 2012, 12:45 pm

    Poor Carney, you can just see the discomfit he’s in trying to get the subject changed and to avoid – heaven forfend – the utterance of even a syllable which might not be 1000% support of The Zionist Entity.

    I often wonder how folks like Carney, and this is really not a criticism given the realities of his position as a spokesperson, can hold this job and trot out and dissemble and evade on a daily basis, and still retain a modicum of self-respect.

    • pabelmont
      December 7, 2012, 2:06 pm

      It has been said that a diplomat is a gentleman sent to lie abroad for his country.
      Nice pun there.
      A spokesman does it at home (or dissembles rather than lying). Heck, anyone is lucky to have a job these days. Might beat other forms of prostitution.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 7, 2012, 2:12 pm

      i think he’s a vast improvement over nuland (spokesperson for state) who has that almost constant disdain when responding to all dissent wrt israel.

      • Kathleen
        December 8, 2012, 7:28 pm


  6. Andreas Schlueter
    December 7, 2012, 2:34 pm

    The “special relation” is multifolded just like the Relations within the small US Power Elite. It has implications of which many political analysts can not even dream. An attempt to bring more light into the web: http://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/us-power-elite-at-war-among-themselves/ !
    Andreas Schlüter
    Berlin, Germany

  7. MRW
    December 8, 2012, 2:04 am

    You can count the number of Greenwalds, Hershs, Tappers, Weisses, and Blumenthals on two hands. Big deal. It’s shameful.

  8. Oscar
    December 8, 2012, 10:38 am

    MRW, that’s why they each have such great respect and a vast following. Since Iraq Invasion cheerleader Jeffrey Goldberg (who Phil always seemed to most admire as the highest profile analyst on the topic) has a column n Bloomberg that won’t permit him to shut down comments, Goldberg is routinely mocked for his childlike anti-Palestinian hasbara. There is a massive, highly intellectual segment of the population who follow this handful of courageous, Jewish writers and their following is orders of magnitude greater than we imagine.

    Thanks again to Phil and Adam and all the staffers who make this such an indispensable platform on the war of ideas in the Middle East.

  9. riyadh
    December 8, 2012, 1:59 pm

    You know you can set the embedded video to start at the time mark, right?

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