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Netanyahu’s touchdown: David Gregory interviews ‘the leader of the Jewish people’ without talking Palestine

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Netanyahu and Gregory

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in regular form today on NBC’s flagship show Meet the Press. His hyperbole included this gem, per Talking Points Memo: “[Iran is] in the red zone. You know, they’re in the last 20 yards and you can’t let them cross that goal line. You can’t let them score a touchdown because that would have unbelievable consequences — grievous consequences for the peace and security of us all, of the world really.”

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And while Netanyahu’s interview capped off a week of bad optics for the US-Israeli relationship, he did manage to score his own touchdown: not having to talk about Palestine.

Host David Gregory–who is being mocked for his assertion that Netanyahu is “the leader of the Jewish people”–let Netanyahu prattle on for 15 minutes without mentioning the word Palestine or Palestinians. This is Gregory’s fault–he could have easily asked one question about the unending expansion of Israeli settlements, or racist mob violence in Jerusalem. Or how about the Palestinian Authority’s planned bid to once again go to the United Nations to ask for international recognition of statehood?

Alas, Gregory was solely focused on Iran, as is Netanyahu. Any gaze turned away from Israeli expansionism and apartheid is a victory for Netanyahu, no matter if he has blundered badly in his public hectoring of the Obama administration. Netanyahu–and AIPAC–have won for now by turning the world’s attention away from Palestine.

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I don’t know why you’re mocking Gregory’s assertion that Netanyahu is the leader of the Jewish people. Gregory is a devoted student of the subject:

“What I decided was [that] what mattered was not just a sense of actual knowledge” or attending High Holiday services, “it was to understand how to live Jewishly … [and] find daily meaning in Judaism.” (David Gregory, 2008)

“Host David Gregory–who is being mocked for his assertion that Netanyahu is “the leader of the Jewish people”–

Why is he being mocked? I’m sure he’s a much more experienced and aware man then I am, and then there’s his job, which keeps him in contact with world figures. I’m sure he knows these things.

,“it’s the same fanaticism that you see storming your embassies today. Do you want these fanatics to have nuclear weapons?”

Of course, there is the possibility that the fanatics who stormed the embassy are the same as the fanatics who already have nuclear weapons. In that connection, funny how well that attack works out for you.

This guy has been humiliated and snubbed by US President and his bluff has been called by his own colleagues. Still he walks and talks like a king. He has no shame let alone any guilt. I guess it helps not to have these traits for “‘one, that Arabs only understand force and, two, that the biggest weakness of Arabs is shame and humiliation.’” Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib By… Read more »

Quite a contrast between Phil’s analysis of this interview and Alex Kane’s.