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NBC and the Israel lobby

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David L. Cohen, exec. vp of Comcast

Yesterday I did a shocked post about the fact that Ed Rendell, the telegenic former governor of Pennsylvania, a favorite of Chris Matthews and MSNBC, did a fundraiser for the Israeli army in Philadelphia, at which he said it was the obligation of American Jews to support Israel thru thick and thin. Help!

Well, my wife and I have a houseguest from Philly for Thanksgiving, and he shocked me a little bit more by telling me about David Cohen.

Cohen is Rendell’s longtime political guru, his David Axelrod. Cohen is executive vice president of Comcast, the company that bought NBC and MSNBC in 2009.

Not surprisingly, David Cohen is close to Barack Obama. A few months ago, he raised $1.2 million for Obama in a heartbeat, at his Philadelphia home.

Later in the evening, Comcast’s executive vice president, David L. Cohen, hosted about 120 people in his home for a dinner, each of the attendees giving at least $10,000 for Obama’s reelection campaign.

Like Ed Rendell, Cohen is pro-Israel. He is the former vice chair of the Jewish Federations in Philadelphia, a pro-Israel organization. Cohen was said by a Philadelphia Jewish publication to be “genetically hard-wired” to serve that role:

He believes that there is historic precedent for Jews “rallying to Federation” during times of crisis. “Whenever Israel’s physical security is threatened, people turn to Federation to provide support,” he says, adding “we must ignite this same Jewish passion to meet local needs addressed by Federation and its partner agencies.”

As the owner of NBC, Cohen sits at the right hand of his old friend, and Rendell’s old friend, Brian Roberts. Roberts’s father Ralph started Comcast, and Brian is today chairman of Comcast.

Big surprise– Brian Roberts is also very close to the president. Last summer Barack Obama visited Brian Roberts’s house on Martha’s Vineyard. The media industrial complex!

Is Roberts also pro-Israel? I don’t know, but I suspect he is; he participated in several Israeli athletic events in the 80s and 90s according to Wikipedia: the Maccabiah games, the Jewish Olympics. And he received an award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

What is the Israel lobby? It is the force inside our discourse that defends the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel, forever. Are all Jews part of the Israel lobby? Of course not. There is growing diversity inside the Jewish community, bucking the commandment, Thou must support Israel. But Ed Rendell is certainly part of the lobby, witness his participation in that Israeli army fundraiser. And I think Cohen is part of it, too, given his former role at the Federations. I don’t know about Roberts. But I wonder how he’d feel about, say, Palestinian solidarity types speaking on his network.

Guess what? About four months after Comcast bought NBC, Chris Matthews visited Israel. A year later he was back, and talking up Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Call me cynical, but this proves the old adage, Freedom of the press belongs to he who owns one. And it explains why Chris Matthews keeps his mouth shut on Israel/Palestine. Matthews is from Philadelphia. His brother lives in Chestnut Hill, not far from Brian Roberts and David Cohen. And Chris Matthews is a shrewdy, as my grandmother used to say.

Walter Russell Mead silenced Glenn Loury at bloggingheads the other day by saying it’s anti-semitic to speak about the Jewish presence in the media, and the Jewish presence in the Israel lobby. I would counter that while these issues are uncomfortable, responsible intellectuals simply cannot avoid them if they want to make sense of our society and our foreign policy. Brian Roberts and David Cohen are two of the most powerful figures in our media, they are both Jewish, and one of them has inhaled the pro-Israel religion, as has his dear friend, Ed Rendell, who is on their network all the time. Imagine for one minute if Catholics played this role in a media organization, and it was by and large against abortion. Would liberals be afraid to talk about religious identity and ideology? Of course not.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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51 Responses

  1. Steve Macklevore on November 26, 2011, 2:07 pm

    There are times when I despair for the Palestinian cause when I see what we’re up against.

    Name after name after name in high finance, the United States government, political parties, the media, the law, the highest levels of huge corporations and even organised crime! Each one linked to another by friendship, professional association, sometimes even by family ties. Each one fiercely pro-Israel, to the extent that for many, Israel literally can do no wrong no matter what.

    Then I console myself with the thought that despite the power and the money and law arrayed against us, the Palestinian case is being heard. Ideas and concepts that even ten years ago were never discussed (at least in the USA) do occasionally get an airing here.

    So lets take heart and keep at it, and remind ourselves that any progress at all must be celebrated considering the incredible power of the lobby arrayed against us.

    • Daniel Rich on November 26, 2011, 6:13 pm

      Hi Steve,

      Maybe it is also refreshing to note that the lobby has very little grip on the rest of the 190 or so countries? It’s a big world out there.

      • on November 26, 2011, 8:33 pm

        Charlie Rose interviewed Mohammad Javid Larijani, Iran’s minister for human rights, the other day.

        Rose repeated and repeated: “It’s not just the United States and Israel that are against you, it’s the entire Security Council!”

        Each time Rose launched into that “whole world against you” schtick, Larijani replied calmly, “The west is NOT the whole world. The Non Aligned Nations are with us.”

        The global south represents ??? billion people, just a few hundred million more than Israel. Why is job-strapped US p*&%ing on all those folks, in favor of 7 million Israelis who TAKE economic advantages from the US, rather than give benefits to us?

      • dahoit on November 27, 2011, 11:47 am

        Jumpin Jimini;The only outposts of non Jewish or Zionist control are the designated enemy,from Russia(some Zio),China to Iran and even Venezuela(some Zio).
        And the Palestinians are in trouble?How about US?Our whole informational,news,TV content,Hollywood content,banking,insurance,healthcare ,you name it,are controlled by Zios.
        And our civilization crumbles,as our people are not represented,just self designated elite Brahmins.

  2. on November 26, 2011, 2:23 pm

    For some people $10,000 is like a penny to me.
    No surprise, that they easily give 10,20,30 thousands for that kind of “campaigns”.
    People often have to survive on it for a year or more.
    “Manus mana lavat”, “One hand washes the other”.
    Justice is such an illusive word, why does this word even exist?

    • Daniel Rich on November 26, 2011, 6:18 pm

      Hi While life is, hope is,

      Justice is a commodity. Laws are written and formulated in various languages, yet they’re supposed to encompass all in their respective diversity, ethnicity and duplicity. Something in that mix is utterly wrong.

      • on November 27, 2011, 10:43 am

        “Contra vim non valet ius.”
        Law, (justice) is helpess against raw Power.
        The whole history of humankind confirms it.

      • john h on November 27, 2011, 9:49 pm
      • on November 27, 2011, 11:12 pm

        Wow, This guy is great. Very direct, honest , strong words.
        A good kick for many to wake up and smell the coffee.
        I hate to say it, but sometimes people need to get a good kick ,right in their face to start thinking.

  3. ehrens on November 26, 2011, 2:26 pm

    I watched the Loury-Mead discussion as well (it starts at about the 39 minute mark). At first, Mead was saying only what he has said before: that the support for Zionism basically reflects our own native Dominionism (Manifest Destiny, killing Indians, stealing land from Mexico, etc.) In fact Mead calls such Huckabee and Palin-esque attitudes “the right thing to do” and calls any challenge to this “immoral” and “anti-Semitic” (at about the 45 minute mark). In denying its Jewish leadership, Mead actually claims that AIPAC is a gentile organization. Aside from the goofy CUFI people, this doesn’t sound right. Has anyone ever done a study of the membership of AIPAC to resolve this question?

    • Sand on November 26, 2011, 3:11 pm

      ehrens: “…Aside from the goofy CUFI people, this doesn’t sound right. Has anyone ever done a study of the membership of AIPAC to resolve this question…

      For example, somebody could start by looking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and American Israel Education Foundation, Inc“Compensation of Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, Highest Compensated Employees, and Independent Contractors.” page of their 990. The ‘important’ people who basically run/manage the organization.

      Foundation Center 990 Finder
      http://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/990finder/

    • annie on November 26, 2011, 3:17 pm

      i watched it too ehrens. i practically barfed at the end when he made the MLK claim.

  4. Potsherd2 on November 26, 2011, 2:31 pm

    I would comment about this, but since my comment would not be posted, why the hell bother?

  5. Chaos4700 on November 26, 2011, 2:33 pm

    I’m sure it wouldn’t be the only reason and I can’t even be sure it is an actual reason, but I always find myself wondering if the pro-Israel bias (and thus, pro-apartheid, pro-occupation, pro-bombing-schools-and-hospitals…) that the GE-NBC conglomerate has (and it goes beyond just the broadcasting venues) was a factor in Keith Olbermann’s departure. I don’t perceive Olbermann as anti-Israel but he’s defintely not pro-Israel, from what times he did talk about Israel’s actions and policies.

    • dahoit on November 27, 2011, 11:51 am

      Comcast owns NBC,at least the majority control.GE doesn’t any longer.

      • Chaos4700 on November 27, 2011, 12:32 pm

        Oh, when did that happen? I remember Rachel Maddow still referring to GE as the parent company of MSNBC but then I stopped watching her over a month ago. (The Iran saber rattling was getting to me.)

      • Kathleen on November 30, 2011, 11:06 am

        I just heard GE mentioned on one of the MSNBC programs recently. And yes Rachel Maddow has been repeating the unsubstantiated claims about Iran for several years. Richard Engel. Just keep skipping over the Palestinian protest over and over again while they kept their attention and cameras on the Libyan rebels shooting guns in the air. Height of hypocrisy. Endless.

  6. atime forpeace on November 26, 2011, 2:44 pm

    it’s depressing isn’t it? the deck is so stacked that sometimes i wonder what it will take for all these dominoes to start tipping, i was sure the economic collapse would get the ball rolling but these ticks do not want to let go of their dinner willingly, historically though they ultimately bring the wrath down upon themselves because they are so cocky that they think they can pull anything off, and they have pulled off a lot over the last sixty or so years.

    the american people are whats for dinner for these ticks.

    • annie on November 26, 2011, 3:21 pm

      i wonder what it will take for all these dominoes to start tipping

      it will take people speaking out, and not just jews either.

      Imagine for one minute if Catholics played this role in a media organization, and it was by and large against abortion. Would liberals be afraid to talk about religious identity and ideology? Of course not.

      so, we’ve got to not be afraid. it’s as if we’ve all drank too much kool aide. i’m not going to let anyone have that kind of control over my advocacy.

      • on November 26, 2011, 8:22 pm

        you’re children are young, aren’t they, annie.

        Can you compose the scenario in your mind — your children are young adults, studied hard in college, acquired good skills, good habits, have good jobs. Working for Jewish bosses, who are pro-Israel all the way.

        You, their mother, start to speak out in public fora. You say, “The power of the Israel lobby must be curtailed.”

        How long do your grown children keep their jobs?

        Ilan Pappe said he felt he had to leave Israel because his young children were being threatened; he said he had no right to drag his children into his fight. He believed they should be protected until they were adults and could choose their own windmills.
        But how about a parent of adult children whose activism ineluctably impacts those children? Does a parent have that right? This is a contemporary Sophie’s Choice, and it is real. The United States is in a war-like state; ordinary citizenship is not enough; we have to make decisions that could cost our children or other who are dear to us, their futures.
        That’s not drinking kool aide, annie.
        Good for you that you’re not going to let anyone have control over your advocacy. Can you guarantee that the lives of those around you will not be harmed by your bravado?

        In a state where I used to live, the congressman’s ne’er do well brother was employed by a firm controlled by zionists. If the congressman steps out of line, the brother loses his job. pffft. That is how the game is played at its ugliest — most people think they can stand by their own convictions and take the punishment that comes to THEM; zionists know what every thug knows: the high value hostage is not YOU but someone you love.

      • annie on November 26, 2011, 9:32 pm

        . The United States is in a war-like state; ordinary citizenship is not enough; we have to make decisions that could cost our children or other who are dear to us, their futures.
        That’s not drinking kool aide, annie.

        that’s what my parents generation did for mine when they got us in this mess and by not doing anything we can guarantee my grandchildren will inherit this mess. the wars of this decade alone the next generation will be paying for their whole lives. my son is well aware of my advocacy. if he chooses a profession with a zionist boss in a zionist work environment he can either go thru life not caring, shutting his mouth and being silent, or be the person i raised him to be. i cannot hold his hand throughout his life all i can do is change the balance of power the best i can now. and the most accessible way is bds and speaking out. don’t be silenced. of course if you think someone will kill you or your children that is another story. but once millions of us are speaking out they can’t come kill us all, that’s crazy.

        while we’re being silent they are building a police state and people are being brainwashed. all those police departments hosting islamophobic conferences? we can’t let things like that continue. we have to make our voices heard. we have to. that’s what the OWS is all about.

      • MHughes976 on November 27, 2011, 1:00 pm

        I can’t add to the validity and moral dignity of what annie says. I like to think and do think that there are multitudes of Jewish people who would scorn to participate in vindictive campaigns against individuals. The general movement in recent years, whereby we who think Zionism a mistaken belief have advanced from being negligible to being noticeable, has not been stopped in its tracks by these or other means. We now have to move from being noticeable to being significant, which means we have to keep talking – and also to keep our heads. Everything is still massively stacked against us, as atimeforpeace has said. We have no real advantages except for being right and being genuinely anti-anti-Semitic, but that may be enough in the end.

      • annie on November 27, 2011, 11:58 pm

        We now have to move from being noticeable to being significant, which means we have to keep talking – and also to keep our heads.

        we can do it and we are growing. every voice empowers others to speak. visualize peace and visualize we can do it.visualize most people, regardless of ethnicity are good and want peace, because this is true.

      • Kathleen on November 30, 2011, 11:09 am

        “This is a contemporary Sophie’s Choice, and it is real.”

        I needed a recovery room after this film. I walked out with flood lines on my face. My friends waiting in line for the next showing kept asking how was it? I could barely speak. All they had to look at were the “tracks of my tears”

    • American on November 26, 2011, 4:56 pm

      “i wonder what it will take for all these dominoes to start tipping”

      Dial M for Murder? Hiring the Vampire Hunters? Hackers Anonymous emptying all their bank accounts?
      Sorry for promoting violence but these kind of people don’t quit till you hurt them in some serious way.
      That’s just a fact of life.

  7. Bill in Maryland on November 26, 2011, 3:07 pm

    You are right on target Phil, even though this is the type of post that drives them absolutely crazy over at Daily Kos. David L. Cohen chaired the Friends of the IDF dinner you highlight where Rendell recently spoke. Brian L. Roberts was awarded the Ambassadors for Humanity award by the USC Shoah Foundation/ Stephen Spielberg. As you say the savvy news anchors at NBC/ MSNBC will not dare color outside the lines any time soon.

    • Hostage on November 26, 2011, 8:25 pm

      As you say the savvy news anchors at NBC/ MSNBC will not dare color outside the lines any time soon.

      I don’t know, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell has always been critical of Israel for not making concessions on settlements. Plenty of neocon commentators have demanded that she be fired. She channeled Helen Thomas briefly when she interviewed Netahyahu after his address to the joint session of Congress. Netanyahu stuck to his talking points, but she went after him on Israel being isolated from world opinion, the 1967 borders, his treatment of Obama, & etc. Here is a link to the transcript and (scroll down) the video.

      When she covered the subsequent AIPAC speeches, she was still critical of Netanyahu’s reaction to Obama’s Middle East policy speech and said that he had gone too far:

      “It was taken as a red flag by Netanyahu and what happened then was that even if this was implicit in things that previous Presidents had said, Netanyahu seized on it even before he got on the plane – he criticized the President. And in such a fashion, he lectured him in the Oval Office. . . . It was a stone-faced Barack Obama and Netanyahu basically treating him like a school-boy. People even who work for Netanyahu, some Israeli officials, later told him that he went too far. ”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6yyJDeUAQU

      She criticized Obama’s speech at the UN, noting:

      The President could end up paying a heavy political price for supporting Palestinian rights in the past, even as he is losing support around the world for standing by Israel this week at the UN.

      http://www.mrc.org/biasalert/2011/20110921025930.aspx

  8. annie on November 26, 2011, 3:21 pm

    great post phil

  9. radii on November 26, 2011, 3:54 pm

    yes, facts are facts and good journalists report facts:

    the israeli lobby has a near-stranglehold over the mainstream media in the United States and much of the world

    the israeli lobby has a firm stranglehold over the U.S. Congress

    the israeli lobby provides well over 50% of the money that goes to U.S. political candidates of both major parties, collectively

    the israeli lobby is tied very strongly to the Likud policies of right-wing israeli leaders

    American jews are pressured in many ways to support israel in all things

    … none of this is new information, but add it up and spells real trouble for the United States

  10. American on November 26, 2011, 5:09 pm

    This is OT but a good guage of the times.

    Yesterday at a Walmart in my state a man got peppersprayed by private cops over some complaint fuss he made. Several people in the store were affected. Shots were fired somewhere in that store or another Walmart. One girl injured I think was reported. I saw the guy they sprayed on the news, about 50, a typical good ole boy farmer..said he was loud and yelled at someone but that was it, nothing physical.

    I really, really want the public cork to pop on everything. Looks like ‘authority’ everywhere is pushing us into poping.

  11. DICKERSON3870 on November 26, 2011, 5:13 pm

    RE: “..Cohen is executive vice president of Comcast, the company
    that bought NBC and MSNBC in 2009… Cohen is pro-Israel. He is the
    former vice chair of the Jewish Federations in Philadelphia, a pro-Israel organization…” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Speaking of NBC, Dr. Nancy Snyderman’s reports from Haiti for NBC News in the wake of the 2010 earthquake shamelessly promoted the Israeli ‘field hospital’* to such a degree that U.S. efforts were made to look pathetic in comparison.
    SEE – NBC News: Israeli Army in Haiti Created “The Best Field Medicine Available” (VIDEO, 02:43) – http://frgdr.com/blog/2010/01/21/nbc-news-israeli-army-in-haiti-created-the-best-field-medicine-available/
    SAME VIDEO AT YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCd0Q_bQbHI

    * SEE The Zionization of Disaster Relief, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 01/19/10
    LINK – http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2010/01/19/the-zionization-of-disaster-relief/

    • DICKERSON3870 on November 26, 2011, 5:47 pm

      P.S. I should add that I have seen a number of what I considered to be excellent reports [unusually good for television news] by Dr. Nancy Snyderman on subjects not involving Israel. Go figure!

      P.P.S. More recently, the NBC evening news had numerous propaganda-like segments advocating the use of [what I would call] Israeli-type security screening at airports (without ever referring to Israel or EL AL). Usually these fairly lengthy segments involved a foreign-accented “security consultant” (name given, but not recalled by me) who insisted that this was the best way to screen passengers. No alternative/opposing views were ever presented.
      I finally got so tired of having this propaganda rammed down my throat by NBC News that I sent them an email telling them that I was switching to the CBS evening news (which is only slightly better). At any rate, I have gleaned 95% of my news from the internet for the past ten years or so.

      P.P.P.S AN ARTICLE FROM ISRAEL – High Court: Explain why Israeli Arabs discriminated against by airport security ~ By Tomer Zarchin, Haaretz, 03/07/11
      (excerpt) The High Court of Justice on Monday ordered the Airports Authority and the Shin Bet security services to explain why security checks at Israel’s airports were being conducted in a discriminatory fashion.
      According to the petition, Israeli Arab passengers – even those who did not exhibit any suspicious behavior – are forced to undergo unusually thorough security checks.
      The court was responding to a petition filed by a human rights group in 2007 that claimed Israeli Arab citizens were being subjected to racial profiling at Israel’s airports…
      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/high-court-explain-why-israeli-arabs-discriminated-against-by-airport-security-1.347717

  12. tombishop on November 26, 2011, 6:03 pm

    I think an attack on Iran by Israel is going to bring all of this to a head. I was in Israel a few weeks ago and witnessed a guided missile test by the IDF while in Jerusalem. The Israeli press was filled with comments by Israeli officials that the time for diplomacy is over and an attack on Iran is immanent. Being in Israel, I of course wondered what “immanent” meant. Obviously, there are conflicts within the Israeli government as the attack did not happen in the past weeks. Haaretz had a column the same day saying a former head of Mossad saying an attack on Iran would be “crazy”.

    I asked our Egyptian guide when we were in Egypt what would be the response if Israel attacked Iran. He said he thought there would not be a response because there is animosity between Iran and the Arab dictatorships dating back to the Sunni/Shiah divide and current geopolitical conflicts. He didn’t think the street would react. He is a middle class intellectual, a supporter of El Baradei. We were in Tahrir Square last Tuesday and he was skeptical that Friday’s demonstration would accomplish anything. So I don’t think he is very in touch was most Egyptians.

    When I got back to Philadelphia, I went to Saturday night’s GA at Occupy Philadelphia. I spoke at the open mike about my trip to “Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt”. The facilitator immediately started waving two fingers in my face. I had never seen this hand signal before, so I proceeded and completed what I had to say about my conversations with Egyptians. I later found out that she was signaling that my two minutes was up, even though she had allowed previous speakers to ramble on for eight minutes.

    If Israel attacks Iran it will be a disaster for everyone. Iran has said that it will attack Israeli nuclear facilities and disrupt Persian Gulf oil shipments if they are attacked. If this happens the Jewish lobby and Christian Zionists will bleat for all out war. Hagee has been saying for years that such a war would follow his fantasies about Biblical prophesy.

    Whatever happens, the status quo will not hold!

    • Duscany on November 27, 2011, 4:06 am

      “If Israel attacks Iran it will be a disaster for everyone. Iran has said that it will attack Israeli nuclear facilities and disrupt Persian Gulf oil shipments if they are attacked. If this happens the Jewish lobby and Christian Zionists will bleat for all out war.”

      They won’t have to bleat for all out war. If Israel attacks Iran, Iran will attack US forces in the area (on the assumption that we gave Israel the go-ahead). Once that happens, we will automatically enter the war on Israel’s behalf.

  13. Graber on November 26, 2011, 6:18 pm

    Can anybody unpack the Jewish Exponent quote for us readers a bit? I think there are some who would look at a mention of threats to ‘Israel’s physical security’ and absolutely cringe. And then there are others who may read that and take it as a given, as a right.

    And I think debunking quotes like that can go a long way towards gaining acceptance at the Daily KoS, for instance. And finding a place in American discourse.

    I just haven’t got the time at the moment, but I certainly would like to. Last week I attended a lecture at Bryn Mawr by Judith Butler entitled ‘Towards an Ethics of Co-Habitation,” in which she railed against Jewish ‘communitarianism’ and ethnic exclusivity. This quote reminds me of the lecture.

    Her lecture unfortunately won’t be available until publication in 2012.

  14. Keith on November 26, 2011, 6:31 pm

    PHIL- “What is the Israel lobby? It is the force inside our discourse that defends the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel, forever.”

    I think we have a conceptual problem when we make our description of the Israel “lobby” overly broad. A lobby is a lobby. It’s actions are guided by the organizing entity directing it’s activity. Much as I hate to identify with James Petras, I do feel that his label of “Zionist Power Configuration” is more accurate. These are all the people, from Zionist Jews to Christian Zionists to a Zionist friendly military-industrial-media complex which are strongly biased in favor of the Jewish state and act accordingly. The use of the label “Israel lobby” implies a foreign entity which can be surgically removed from the body politic. In fact, a Zionist friendly mindset permeates the corridors of power, and is intrinsically linked with American imperialism. I once again strongly emphasize that, in my view, the center of Zionist power is the US, and that rise of the Israeli right wing was encouraged and financed by American Zionists. Furthermore, that the biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East is the American Zionist power configuration.

  15. dbroncos on November 26, 2011, 7:46 pm

    annie:
    “it will take people speaking out, and not just jews either.”

    I agree, annie. Knowledgable Americans are not waiting for sober, responsible leadership to emerge and initiate a rational discussion of I/P. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to speak out and speaking out is having a widespread, whisper campaign effect on American perceptions of I/P. Word of mouth advocacy is very effective. Discussions about I/P are happening all over the country – in synagogues, churches, universities, high schools, activist meetings, at lunch and dinner tables, on telephones, on the street, etc…

    The train has left the station and Chris Matthews, David Cohen, and Brian Roberts are standing on the platform.

    • annie on November 26, 2011, 7:56 pm

      We’ve taken it upon ourselves to speak out and speaking out is having a widespread, whisper campaign effect on American perceptions of I/P.

      i know, and they are doing more than whispering on campuses.

      However, while positive ratings by the U.S. have remained stable in the poll since 2010 at about 43%, many more Americans chose to rate Israel negatively in 2011, marking an increase of 10% since 2010.

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-grouped-with-iran-north-korea-as-world-s-least-popular-countries-1.347636

      10%…..that amounts to millions of people in one year. i’d say that’s progress. that article was written in march, before the 29 standing ovations.

      • dbroncos on November 26, 2011, 8:35 pm

        I don’t know if being called anti-semitic for criticizing Israel inspires all that much fear. However, losing a job and being drummed out of a career, I think, is what makes Matthews, Olberman, Maddow, etc. reluctant to criticize Israel. If a line is crossed on that subject a journalist could easily be shown the door without ever being called anti semitic.

        thanks for the link, annie

      • Chaos4700 on November 26, 2011, 9:18 pm

        Case and point, vis-a-vis my earlier argument with annie.

        Just saying.

      • annie on November 26, 2011, 9:19 pm

        i agree dbronco. our own henry noor got drummed out of a job too. and norm, but there are millions of people who have jobs that have no relation to israel. the more people who speak out the better. that’s just a fact. it’s not just israel, look at the price Karen Silkwood paid. we’re stronger in numbers. just believe, that’s where you have to start is your own mind. if you ever have any doubts think of the price palestinians pay for speaking out. just believe we can change things and spread that thought.

  16. Sin Nombre on November 26, 2011, 7:54 pm

    Yet another similar story:

    Of course because of near saturation coverage of the story by the mainstream media everyone knows of the recent sexual abuse scandal in the U.S. Catholic Church. To the point where, when the word “priest” or “church” may be mentioned on a talk show or etc., there’ll be a joke about pedophilia or etc.

    Well, apparently there’s been a huge spate of revelations of the sexual abuse of kids in the New York/East Coast jewish “haredi” community involving rabbis. To the point, says the former haredi guy who runs FailedMessiah.com, that there have been *hundreds* of stories about this in jewish papers such as The Forward and etc.

    And yet, he says, despite all of this, in the past five years the New York Times has covered this story a grand total of *two* times.

    Two.

    Now, given not only the NY Times conduct here but so many other jewish owned media outlets as well and jewish comedians and commentators and etc. who have so faithfully and frequently talked about the Church’s issues, someone please tell me why Catholics ought not feel that their faith has been the absolutely gleeful target of jewish antagonism and hatred?

    Here’s the link:

    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2011/11/the-uphill-battle-to-expose-haredi-pedophiles-456.html

  17. chet on November 26, 2011, 7:58 pm

    Unfortunately all of the enumerated considerations apply to Canada and Great Britain as well.

    What has always amazed me is how this situation evolved and has been maintained in light of the tiny proportion of Jews in respect of the total populations of the countries in the thrall of these malign influences: US – 1.7%, Canada – 1.0%, G.B. – o.44%.

    • chet on November 27, 2011, 8:09 am

      …intended as a reply to radii’s earlier post

  18. dbroncos on November 26, 2011, 11:21 pm

    annie:
    ” just believe we can change things and spread that thought.”

    My family members, my boss, close friends, co-workers (both old hands and new hires), as well as a few plumbers, electricians and home owners have heard my opinions about I/P. Only a couple have answered with opposing points of view. Some 10 years ago I worked in the home of a retired Jewish man who towed the line hard for Israel. We got along very well but in our chats about the 2nd intifada we got far enough to know that we agreed to disagree. The homeowner was very passionate about Israel and he could have had me banned from working in his home, but he didn’t. I haven’t walked away from any worksite discussion of I/P feeling uneasy about being thrown off the job. I’d be really surprised if that happened. Meanwhile, I’ll keep speaking out.

  19. ramzijaber on November 27, 2011, 10:14 am

    I’d like to bring one finer point of distinction that Palestinians often make in debates and official positions: yes many of these people of great influence (finance, media, politics, etc.) are Jews, our struggle is not against Judaism. Our struggle is against Zionism. Chairman Arafat always used to say this.

    In fact, there were no problems between Arabs and Jews in Palestine (or anywhere else in the world) prior to Zionism’s invasion of Palestine. Jews and Arabs were coexisting, living very well together, collaborating, and respecting each other. I know. My grandfathers told me about that. It is they who ended up losing all their properties in Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Yaffa (Jaffa-TA), and others to Zionist colonialists. And more important than properties, their freedom, dignity, and self-respect to the point that one of my grandfathers could not recover from such a humiliation.

    Zionism is a racist, oppressive, and regressive ideology. It is based on injustice and separation of people. As such, it will come to pass. Just like Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe collapsed.

    Again, our struggle is against Zionism. There are a lot of Jews out there who are for justice and freedom of Palestine. When these influential folks in media, business, and politics are Zionists, then it is our duty to educate them and pressure them to see the other side. The fact that they are Jews is not relevant to my disagreement with their pro-Zionist support and biased pro-Israel positions.

    While the Palestinian majority is Moslem, Palestinian democracy will require protection of minority rights – both Christians and Jews and others including LGBT, foreign workers, etc. We Palestinians are a minority in Israel proper (pre 1967 borders) and we want to be protected in a democratic Israel.

    This brings me to my last point: When I was about 10 growing up in Palestine, I heard a significant elder Rabbi at the time (don’t recall his name) say something to the effect that “unfortunately, Israel over time will become just another Middle Eastern country”. At that time, he was dismissed as a lunatic. However, that saying stayed with me all these years (and I am much older than 10 now!). How prophetic of that Rabbi. This is exactly what is happening now in Israel.

    My fear is that in some strange way, Israel and the Arab Nations are in total harmony. When Israel was founded, it was democratic (with the exception being the Palestinian minority under Israel’s rule where we were formally regarded as second class citizens, restricted to live in ghetto-like environments). At that time, Arab countries were all dictators. So both reinforced each other in an indirect way, needed each other to continue their own paths and interests. This gave us years of relative stability and non-war. Today, Israel is no longer democratic and Arab countries are slowly turning democratic with the Arab Spring. The next phase I am afraid will still see Arab countries and Israel in harmony but this tie around it will be founded on conflict, war, and deaths. I pray to God I am totally wrong.

  20. Chasev on November 27, 2011, 11:17 am

    Rendell is Jewish. So are the Roberts’.

  21. Proton Soup on November 28, 2011, 2:21 pm

    some more interesting stuff about Comcast/NBC/MSNBC. according to Cenk Uygur, Griffin at MSNBC claims they are THE ESTABLISHMENT.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/democracy-now/cenk-uygur-leaves-msnbc_b_906708.html

    and notice how much NBC loves war. whether it is Bush or Obama, NBC loves war. here is the transcript to what Jessica Yellin said about NBC executives (in that Democracy Now video at HuffPo) editing her stories to be more positive about Bush.
    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0805/28/acd.02.html

    COOPER: Jessica, McClellan took press to task for not upholding their reputation. He writes: “The National Press Corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington, the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq. The ‘liberal media’ — in quotes — didn’t live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served.”

    Dan Bartlett, former Bush adviser, called the allegation “total crap.”

    What is your take? Did the press corps drop the ball?

    JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I wouldn’t go that far.

    I think the press corps dropped the ball at the beginning. When the lead-up to the war began, the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war that was presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president’s high approval ratings.

    And my own experience at the White House was that, the higher the president’s approval ratings, the more pressure I had from news executives — and I was not at this network at the time — but the more pressure I had from news executives to put on positive stories about the president.

    I think, over time…

    COOPER: You had pressure from news executives to put on positive stories about the president?

    YELLIN: Not in that exact — they wouldn’t say it in that way, but they would edit my pieces. They would push me in different directions. They would turn down stories that were more critical and try to put on pieces that were more positive, yes. That was my experience.

    Ashleigh Banfield had an interesting experience at NBC
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashleigh_Banfield

    In April 2003, in a speech at Kansas State University, Banfield raised concerns regarding media coverage of the conflict in Iraq. She also spoke against “cable news operators who wrap themselves in the American flag and go after a certain target demographic”, and specifically named Fox News Channel as an example.[3] The New York Times reported that her speech angered NBC management, who rebuked her and lowered her profile.[2]

    I was office-less for ten months … No phone, no computer. For ten months I had to report to work every day and ask where I could sit. If somebody was away I could use their desk. Eventually, after ten months of this, I was given an office that was a tape closet. They cleared the tapes out and put a desk and a TV in there, and a computer and phone. It was pretty blatant. The message was crystal clear. Yet they wouldn’t let me leave. I begged for seventeen months to be let out of my contract. If they had no use for me, let’s just part ways amicably—no need for payouts, just a clean break. And [NBC News President Neal Shapiro] wouldn’t allow it. I don’t know what his rationale was—perhaps he thought I would take what I felt was a very strong brand, and others felt was a very strong brand, to another network and make a success of it. Maybe that’s why he chose to keep me in a warehouse. I will never forgive him for his cruelty and the manner in which he decided to dispose of me.
    —in New Canaan-Darien Magazine, January 2009[4]

    here’s what got Banfield in hot water at NBC: http://www.alternet.org/story/15778/

    and notice NBC hires children of Clinton, Bush, and McCain.
    http://www.salon.com/2011/11/14/americas_meritocratic_watchdog_news_media/singleton/

  22. Fulano on November 28, 2011, 5:15 pm

    I know Brian Roberts from high school. He is Jewish and has always been a supporter of Israel.

    All I will say is don’t expect a clear picture of the Middle East from NBC or MSNBC now that they are owned by Comcast.

  23. Kathleen on November 29, 2011, 12:08 pm

    Like Rendell so much. Had a Jewish friend who was his press secretary for quite awhile when he was Governor. Thanks for the digging Phil.

    Thought there would be a special out of Chris Matthews after he took that trip. Nothing. Recently Matthews said Obama needed to get “tough with Israel” Generally he is always on the Israel can do no wrong bus. Pathetic. He is always blasting people for making the $ their god. Not willing to speak the truth. Or at the very least he could have guest on who share a diversity of opinion or scholars (Stephen Walt, Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett, Juan Cole ) who could discuss the I/P issue or Iran based on facts, history, laws. Chris Matthews will not get anywhere near these type of guest. So with he would have Glenn Greenwald on Glenn would trump him on all subjects including the I/P and Iran issues.

    Comcast ownership controlling the debate on NBC and MSNBC. Ever notice how NPR (especially Guy Raz) now making sure there are many many authors who have written books about the Holocaust, Jewish history etc on NPR? Anytime there is a criticism of Israeli policies or actions within that same hour NPR will do some type of pro Israel story

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