Last summer, Peter Greenberg, CBS’s travel editor, tweeted photos of his travels around Israel with Benjamin Netanyahu. Well now he has released his documentary about the trip: “Israel, the Royal Tour,” which aired on PBS in LA and NY on March 6.Said to be a tour of his country by the prime minister, it features footage from occupied East Jerusalem. It will air in other cities in weeks to come, from Philadelphia to Muncie.
The film exemplifies the power of the Israel lobby. It was sponsored by Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots and a huge financial supporter of the US-Israel special relationship (whose late wife said her sons could fight for Israel but not the U.S.). But CBS promotes the documentary without a critical word (more below).
Imagine a leading US sports figure backing a rightwing leader of any other country, one who insists on the ethnocratic character of his state– what the response would be. Writes a friend who watched more than I could:
I couldn’t stomach watching the whole 60 minutes, but I can assure you it’s a major hasbara coup. Ninety minutes of Bibi Netanyahu making nice, showing the graves of his grandparents, and acting King of the Holy Land to a credulous interviewer enamoured of his host.
As far as I know, PBS and Greenberg have no plans for Palestine, the Royal Tour, hosted by Mahmoud Abbas.
When Greenberg promoted it on CBS This Morning last week– video below– Charlie Rose, Nora O’Donnell and Gayle King gushed over the doc.
Gayle King: “To see him in play clothes, Peter, too, was pretty fun to see. How did you two get together?”
Greenberg: “He couldn’t get wait to get out of the office and literally show me the country.”
Charlie Rose: “You had five or six days with the prime minister of Israel with all that’s going on in the world?… We should probably make you a goodwill ambassador from the UN.”
Greenberg: “All the people around him said He’ll never do this, it’ll never happen. and he couldn’t actually wait to do it.”
King: “A completely different perspective than you normally see.”
The CBS video does include footage of Netanyahu injuring his left leg on a penalty kick, which caused him to have to wear a cast for a time.
Notice Greenberg’s uncritical description of the Prime Minister here. You’d never know that he has 6 million people under occupation.