‘How does that work?’ Bob Simon badgers Ehud Barak over building settlements while taking US aid

on 19 Comments

Yesterday I did an anticipatory post damning as hasbara the “60 Minutes” report last night on “Iron Dome,” the missile defense system that lessened Israeli casualties during the Gaza conflict of last November. I’d only seen the trailer at that point.

The actual report last night was far better than my review. Though the account featured heroic images of young Israeli soldiers and the Israeli flag (twice), reporter Bob Simon turned the 13-minute story at minute 9 or so to Israel’s failure to negotiate in good faith with the Palestinians. So the first 2/3 of the schizoid report had the hawkish Ehud Barak as its point of view and rationalized the assassination of Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari by Israel last November as a legitimate response to rocket attacks. The last third featured a Palestinian Authority negotiator Husam Zomlot saying that Israel has gotten tons of money from the U.S. — $270 million so far for Iron Dome — but had accepted no American advice.

Simon plainly agreed with the Palestinian. He repeatedly assailed Israel’s defense minister for building settlements.

The US is planning to give nearly $1 billion to Israel all told for Iron Dome, he says to Barak.

Simon: While the Americans are helping you so much, Israel goes on building settlements, which is exactly what the Americans don’t want. How does that work?

Barak squirms, evades the question, says, we’re in the middle of an election campaign.

Simon: But how does it work? But right now, Israel has just announced the building of a giant settlement project. [The E-1 deal] This is at the same time that Americans are providing money for Israel’s most important defense system.

Barak says the political differences are irrelevant.

And Simon ends by noting that Israel’s conflict of last November only solidified Hamas’s popularity inside Gaza.

This episode ties into Brian Lehrer saying last week that many Americans see Israel as acting against our interests, and Bill Maher joking that Israel controls our government. Glasnost.

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19 Responses

  1. ckg
    February 18, 2013, 1:51 pm
  2. MRW
    February 18, 2013, 1:58 pm

    It’s because their producers (invariably much younger) are telling them that the tide has changed, for real, on the net. Every comment section on every blog that carries an Israel story is now chock-filled with American anger at and genuine disgust with the Israelis. The hasbarists stand out like sore thumbs, and are sneered at. Accusations of anti-semitism don’t cut it. Regular folk aren’t buying that nonsense anymore.

  3. pabelmont
    February 18, 2013, 2:11 pm

    People in media are beginning to mention the unmentionable.

    A year ago it was “next year in Jerusalem”. Today we’re in Ramallah. It’s only 10 miles away (the old city, of course, and you can get there by donkey).

    Oops, wrong metaphor. The walls are coming crumbling down. Not to mention, “the things that you’re liable to read in the Bible, they ain’t necessarily so.”

    Speaking of which, everyone should read Shlomo Sand’s new book, “The Invention of the Land of Israel”.

  4. Avi_G.
    February 18, 2013, 3:42 pm

    I loved Ehud Barak’s reaction; deer-caught-in-the-headlights doesn’t do it justice.
    And I loved the fact that Barak was upping the numbers whenever Simon mentioned the dollar figures. Like kids nowadays say, Epic Fail.

    • Kathleen
      February 18, 2013, 8:42 pm

      But never talk about the billions of “in kind” military technology etc that Israel receives from the US. Billions of dollars every year. So we pay billions to Israel for defying US and the international community demanding that they stop building illegal settlements. Such a deal

      Hasam Zomlot “before Iron Dome no concessions” …”after Iron Dome no concessions”

      Ehud Barak both eyebrows going up and down like crazy, shoulders shrugging when Simon ask the question about illegal settlements ” I prefer not to talk about that”

      “not relevant”

      I have joined the one state, one person, one vote crowd after hours of talk with a dear friend (Vietnam Vet) who has been to Israel, Gaza, West Bank about 4 times a year the last five years. For hours we looked over maps of the illegal settlements that are expanding he has totally convinced me as Mearsheimer and others have been saying for quite some time time for a two state solution is long gone. ONE STATE, ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE.

      That map that 60 minutes put up did not show all of the illegal settlements at all. That false visual support a myth. The West Bank has been chewed up by illegal settlements with IDF protecting the confiscation of land and Palestinian homes being demolished. Possibility of two state solution long long gone

      • James Canning
        February 19, 2013, 2:07 pm

        Kathleen – – And, if we account farily for the Iraq War catastrophe, brought on by the Israel lobby to “protect Isral”, the cost to the American taxpayer, to “protect” Israel, runs well into the trillions of dollars.

      • Avi_G.
        February 20, 2013, 3:30 am

        Kathleen says:
        February 18, 2013 at 8:42 pm

        But never talk about the billions of “in kind” military technology etc that Israel receives from the US. Billions of dollars every year.

        That’s an excellent point. Lying by omission is still lying. If Bob Simon were truly objective he wouldn’t have focused on a paltry few millions when discussing Israel taking U.S. advice.

        The report had some good parts, but it also delivered a few heavy doses of propaganda, especially concerning casualty rates.

  5. James Canning
    February 18, 2013, 5:11 pm

    Bravo. I too thought Bob Simon got the job done on that point.

  6. James Canning
    February 18, 2013, 5:13 pm

    I think Bob Simon is well aware that Israel steadily undermines the national security of the American people by growing the illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank. Ehud Barak probably is well aware also.

  7. W.Jones
    February 18, 2013, 8:59 pm

    So 2/3 of the show was dedicated to the Israeli POV and 1/3 to the Palestinian POV?

    PS. On another note I would like to recommend the British TV series “THE PROMISE”. It is good movie-making, I think. It reminds me of a WWII adventure movie, but hardly linear.

  8. eljay
    February 18, 2013, 9:05 pm

    Maybe “liberal Zionists” have finally found their balls liberalism!


  9. dbroncos
    February 18, 2013, 11:34 pm

    Barak and his pals howl with laughter at American taxpayers who dole out billions in cash and arms only to find that the contempt of the world and a murderous hatred of Americans are all we receive in return.

  10. piotr
    February 18, 2013, 11:52 pm

    I wouldn’t put it to young producers etc. I think that American establishment is getting impatient with the sorry state of American foreign policy, including grand poobahs at GE and CBS Corporation. And as the rightwing Jewish activists bemoan (Tobin cited in another post today), this includes liberal Jews. They distanced themselves from the heads of “major American Jewish organizations” on the issue of Hagel, and I think that there is a trend here.

    It is worth to point out that while American policy of Middle East was hypocritical and de-facto slanted for decades, the insane litmus test that there should be no differences (or daylight) with Israel is quite recent. Bush father had open differences with GoI, Clinton tried to look impartial. Bush son launched the “war on terror” and Israel was elevated to the status of Queen of England. And it keeps accelerating settlement expansion.

    Pessimistically, this may mean that Israel will be pressured to be less brazen in settlement expansion, return to the Clinton years, which is a fairly cosmetic change. And if the initiative is left to the establishment, this is exactly what would happen. Thus there is a dire need of activities like BDS, the initiative of 15 churches etc.

    • Kathleen
      February 19, 2013, 9:28 am

      I don’t believe Schumer really backed away from the Hagel take down after having been one of the leaders in the Charles Freeman take down.

      • James Canning
        February 19, 2013, 6:19 pm

        Schumer should be ashamed for blocking Charles Freeman. Should be.

      • piotr
        February 20, 2013, 10:06 am

        This is why I perceive a change in the situation.

        One thing is that the consequences of the successful muzzling of Obama attempts on a rational ME policy are bad. The second is that the connection of Israeli right with American right that has to rankle American liberals, i.e. there is a price to pay. (To me, Schumer makes an impression that he would be moved more by the second consideration, in any case, this is party unity issue and not Schumer.)

  11. MK_Ultra
    February 19, 2013, 12:36 pm

    “Yesterday I did an anticipatory post damning as hasbara the “60 Minutes” report last night on “Iron Dome,” the missile defense system that lessened Israeli casualties during the Gaza conflict of last November.”

    This would be laughable at best if it weren’t so financially painful for the taxpaying American suckers. Here’s my question: Did Iron Dome, really lessen ISreali casualties? Seriously, does anyone swallow that one? Those miserable Hamas schmucks are, at best, sending fire crackers the “ISreal” way. It is reported that most of their home made rockets explode on launching hurting more Palestinians than their intended targets. The rockets are unpredictable and unmanageable which is understandable considering how rudimentary these home made devices are. Any firecracker that for some miracle (no doubt the hand of Allah guides it there) manages to land in ISreal could be easily deflected by the lid from a garbage can. That the American taxpayers have been fleeced out of millions of dollars (taken from their retirement, their children’s education and other much-needed social benefits) to pay for this military joke should be the headline — and the tragedy — here.

    • W.Jones
      February 20, 2013, 12:26 am

      Sometimes they are just homemade sugar-powered bottle rockets.

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