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Gaza onslaught is p.r. problem for Israel’s ‘moral authority’ — Albright

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On CNN today, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Israel has a right to defend itself, but she is concerned about “proportionality.”
Wolf Blitzer asked what she meant by proportionality: that Israel is “overreacting… going too far?” Albright confessed that It’s hard to watch what’s going on.

Well I do think that it is very hard to watch the number of Palestinians that are being killed– innocents. It is hard to dispute the fact that as Prime Minister Netanyahuhas said, that in fact, there are innocents being put in the way in order to act as shields, but the bottom line is that I think this is hurting Israel’s moral authority. I do think it that it looks as though they are overdoing…

Where are the bad optics? They’re on the networks. Last night on NBC Richard Engel at Shifa Hospital spotlighted a beautiful 10-year-old who is “completely paralyzed” and doesn’t know her mother and two sisters are dead. And then he interviewed volunteer doctor Mads Gilbert saying that another girl’s only crime was being born Palestinian. Mads Gilbert on the network news. About time. Here’s Dr. Gilbert’s quote:

This is a Palestinian child. Guilty of the most horrible crime, to be born Palestinian in Gaza.

Later, talking to Steve Kornacki of MSNBC, Engel said that Israel’s attack sure doesn’t seem “pinpoint” to him (apropos of the Kerry statement). There has been wholesale carnage– children flung from buildings by bombs, he said.

Oh and here is Ayman Mohyeldin:

P.S. Today, over on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell fretted over the fact that international carriers aren’t flying into Tel Aviv as of this afternoon. She seemed concerned that it was going to hurt Israel economically (and Mitchell is married to a former Federal Reserve chairman). More bad p.r. It’s always the extrinsic factors.

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34 Responses

  1. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby on July 22, 2014, 3:01 pm


    I dont know where you get all your optimism for, hasnt this conflict showed that Israel have more friends than ever in the west and media? Your own example blame palestinians not Israel.

  2. a blah chick
    a blah chick on July 22, 2014, 3:04 pm

    I’ve been hearing that word “proportionality” much in the past 24 hours. I think that is the new buzz word, it says “go ahead and kill, but stop after a while and try not to kill so many at one time!”

    Meanwhile Israeli PM, Mr. Satan (my new nickname) is in a bit of a bind. He probably could have cut his loses last week but now with the loss of 30 odd men (and possibly more) he’s got no choice but to invade. I pity those poor people who will on the receiving of those Golani boys’ revenge. The country is even more racist and uncompromising than it was during Cast Lead.

    The people there believe that this is their last stand, they won’t go quietly.

  3. seafoid
    seafoid on July 22, 2014, 3:04 pm

    Madeleine (500,000 dead Iraqis) Albright is hardly in a position to talk about moral authority. She’s another Jew who lost family members in the Holocaust who went over to the dark side.

    Zionism traded Jewish diaspora moral authority (however deluded) for political power . And they liked the guns so they dumped the moral stuff altogether.
    “Yeshayahu Leibowitz ….wrote in his seminal essay “After Kibiyeh” (collected in “Judaism, Human Values, and the Jewish State,” edited by Eliezer Goldman, Harvard University Press 1995) of “the fear of losing religous-moral supremacy, which is easy to hold on to when there is no risk to it and difficult under other circumstances.” “

    • Donald
      Donald on July 22, 2014, 3:55 pm

      “Madeleine (500,000 dead Iraqis) Albright is hardly in a position to talk about moral authority.”

      Yeah, that’s true. Another hypocritical Westerner. Still, nice to see she does feel some squeamishness.

      • Shingo
        Shingo on July 22, 2014, 6:56 pm

        It occurred to me that Albright is probably Samantha Power’s role model

      • Inanna
        Inanna on July 22, 2014, 11:20 pm

        Albright’s squeamishness seems restricted to the children dying that we can see. Apparently she thought that children dying that she couldn’t see on her twitter feed (Iraq) was ok. The price was worth it.

  4. eljay
    eljay on July 22, 2014, 3:25 pm

    >> M.A.: Well I do think that it is very hard to watch the number of Palestinians that are being killed … I think this is hurting Israel’s moral authority.

    Israel is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state; born of terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands; and engaged in a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder.

    Israel refuses to halt is occupation and colonization of Palestine; it refuses to honour its obligations under international law; it refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for its past and ON-GOING (war) crimes; and it refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

    Israel has no “moral authority”. It is not a “moral beacon” or a “light unto the nations”.

    But, hey, at least it’s not Saudi Arabia, Mali or African “hell-holes”!

  5. DaBakr
    DaBakr on July 22, 2014, 3:29 pm

    and the discovery-for the second time in a week-by the UNRWA of Hamas bombs and missiles stored in a school house located between two other UNRWA run ‘schools’ now currently housing refugees from Shuhda sector. UNRWA “registered” its “shock” with relevant authorities. Not that the Hamas would want to confuse IDF into mistaking one refugee ‘school’ for one that holds missiles, would they. And naturally-in the world of the left-wing/Euro, Israel haters this is not a PR problem for Hamas and those that readily support them?

    • eljay
      eljay on July 22, 2014, 3:52 pm

      >> DaBakreee: and the discovery-for the second time in a week-by the UNRWA of Hamas bombs and missiles stored in a school house located between two other UNRWA run ‘schools’ now currently housing refugees from Shuhda sector. … And naturally-in the world of the left-wing/Euro, Israel haters this is not a PR problem for Hamas and those that readily support them?

      I condemn Hamas for hiding bombs in schools.

      Israel should immediately end its 60+ years occupation of Palestine and withdraw to within its / Partition borders so that the Palestinians can build proper military bases on which to house their munitions.

    • Donald
      Donald on July 22, 2014, 3:59 pm

      Why wouldn’t it be a PR problem, DeBakr? Do you think that everyone appalled by Israel’s actions is a blind propagandist like you are for the other side? I have no great feeling of sympathy for Hamas–I do want their actions, good and bad, reported accurately.

      As for poor little Israel, is the startup nation really so lacking in technological ability that they can’t keep track of which school they want to bomb?

      • seafoid
        seafoid on July 22, 2014, 4:28 pm

        I thought dbroncos’s post was really good
        “God bless Hamas. They’re fighting as best they can against American tax payer financed F-16s, Apache gunships, armed drones, tanks and professional soldiers. They’re fighting not because they want to but because common decency demands it. Living year after year under the racist Zionist yoke is unbearable. Let the voices of those of us who are protesing all over the world ring in the ears of brave Hamas fighters, who are little more than a citizen soldier malitia and who are risking their lives and paying the ultimate price for the cause of freedom. Hamas may not win the battle but Palestinians will win the war for liberation.”

      • Citizen
        Citizen on July 22, 2014, 11:20 pm

        @ seafoid
        As somebody pointed out on another thread here recently: “Give me liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry Hamas

  6. ckg
    ckg on July 22, 2014, 3:39 pm

    @seafoid From a 60 Minutes segment:

    Lesley Stahl: We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

    Albright: We think the price is worth it.

    I think she squandered whatever moral authority she had.

    • just
      just on July 22, 2014, 4:16 pm

      bingo, ckg.

      fwiw– just heard the tail end of “On Point” with Yousef Munayyer (Brom, Miller and Dermer too)

      “A Deeper Look At The Israel-Gaza Conflict”

    • jimby
      jimby on July 22, 2014, 4:20 pm

      @skg & seafroid: the real horror of Albright’s statement is that Americans frankly didn’t give a shit. The outrage was negligible ….. another ho hum. It blew my mind. America had gone to the dark side completely. Half a million babies 5 years of age and younger were dead because of sanctions. Are the pits of hell deep enough for the likes of us?

      • ckg
        ckg on July 22, 2014, 6:41 pm

        Yep jimby. And her boss at the time is the biggest rock star the Democratic Party has produced in a generation. It just shows that Democrats can behave outrageously in foreign affairs and there will be no consequences. They will only be criticized for being too tame.

  7. can of worms
    can of worms on July 22, 2014, 3:54 pm

    Oh yes, Madeleine “proportionality” Albright, infamous for having said, “we think the price is worth it,” in response to the 1/2 million children who died as a result of devastating US sanctions on Iraq.

    After a certain point the main discussion almost seems redundant, after all it is more than clear to all here that Israel is massacring Gaza in order to retain its untenable status quo, and how long can you keep pointing out glaring mainstream media taboos? That is when the less-traveled venues and the high resolution details here become very valuable.

    I’ve wanted to step beyond Israel’s atrocities ‘in a vacuum’, and remember how its racial injustice is really dependent on broader economic ideologies: that post got rejected :)

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones on July 22, 2014, 10:29 pm

      racial injustice is really dependent on broader economic ideologies: that post got rejected :)
      Sounds like you’re trying to open a can of worms.

  8. Kay24
    Kay24 on July 22, 2014, 4:52 pm

    Some are already calling this a Hamas victory.

    A Haaretz article calls it a hollow victory for Israel.

    This is going to infuriate the zionists, and they will take it out of children again.
    The bloody cowards.

    • seafoid
      seafoid on July 22, 2014, 5:06 pm

      Haaretz is in war mode. There is a lot of spin in the articles.
      Israel is weaker now than it was before the 3 teenagers were kidnapped.

      Their only air link to the outside world is compromised FFS. Yossi Israeli can’t go on holiday.

      Did Jon S fly to the States? Maybe he won’t be able to fly back. He might have to return via the
      Allenby crossing, behind all the Palestinians LOL.

      • lysias
        lysias on July 22, 2014, 5:16 pm

        Do cruise liners still drop anchor at Ashdod and Haifa?

        And then there is a possibility of a private yacht.

        I imagine El Al still flies to and from Israel. When I was studying at Oxford in the early 1970’s, I took an El Al flight to Athens, Greece (from Gatwick, rather than Heathrow, if memory serves). The flight was then going on to Israel.

      • seafoid
        seafoid on July 22, 2014, 5:33 pm

        True but everyone who flew out of Jewish Disneyland on a foreign plane in recent days and was expecting to go home by the end of the week is inconvenienced. And Israel won’t budge on Hamas’ conditions. So the foreign airlines may not return for some time.
        And that’s not good for business. El al will jack up prices.
        And it’s high tourist season , when Israeli hotels make 40% of their profits.
        And it’s a war of choice for Israel.

  9. lysias
    lysias on July 22, 2014, 5:25 pm

    The U.S. Senate continues to close its ears to the news discrediting Israel. Congressional Quarterly: Senate Border Supplemental to Include Iron Dome Funding:

    Senate Democrats plan to unveil a supplemental appropriations package this week that would provide previously unrequested aid to Israel, in addition to funding for the border crisis and wildfire suppression efforts.

    A senior Senate Democratic aide said Tuesday that Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski would release a supplemental spending package that fully funds the Obama administration’s wildfire suppression request at $615 million. A second Democratic aide said Mikulski’s plan would provide $2.7 billion to address the influx of child migrants on the Southwest border, slashing $1 billion from the White House request.

    The aide said the Senate supplemental would also include $225 million for Iron Dome, the missile defense system Israel is relying on to defend itself from incoming rockets launched by Hamas, which the administration did not include in its emergency request to Congress.

  10. AaronAarons
    AaronAarons on July 22, 2014, 5:49 pm

    When Albright spoke at a bookstore in “progressive” Berkeley in 2004, promoting her memoir, she only had to face a small protest. She got a lot more admiration for being a successful woman than she got criticism for her crimes against humanity.
    indymedia news report and discussion of protest

  11. bilal a
    bilal a on July 22, 2014, 6:35 pm

    Naked antisemitism is back:

    Pro-Palestinian Berlin mob: “Jew, Cowardly Pig, Come On Out And Fight” (Video)

    Burning hundreds of Gentile children alive because of their religion gives rise to irrational hatreds.

    • Taxi
      Taxi on July 23, 2014, 2:22 am

      How do we know that mossad agitators aren’t infiltrating the pro-Gaza protests in Europe and screaming “Jew, Cowardly Pig, Come On Out And Fight” and “gas the jews” just to delegitimize the protestors altogether.

      It’s a HUGE credibility problem when you’ve lied every single day for some 65 years: even ‘if’ you’re telling the truth, no one will believe you.

  12. Sycamores
    Sycamores on July 22, 2014, 8:05 pm

    Stephan M. Walt piece

    AIPAC Is the Only Explanation for America’s Morally Bankrupt Israel Policy

    Unfortunately, AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and assorted Christian Zionist groups continue to exhibit a severe case of tunnel vision. Because defending Israel no matter what it does is their main raison d’etre (and central to their fundraising), they are unable to see that they are helping Israel drive itself off a cliff. Similarly, those pliant members of Congress who cravenly sign AIPAC-drafted resolutions are not true friends of Israel. They are false friends who pretend to care but are really only interested in getting reelected.

    Historians will one day look back and ask how U.S. Middle East policy could be so ineffectual and so at odds with its professed values — not to mention its strategic interests. The answer lies in the basic nature of the American political system, which permits well-organized and well-funded special interest groups to wield significant power on Capitol Hill and in the White House. In this case, the result is a policy that is bad for all concerned: for the Palestinians most of all, but also for the U.S. and Israel as well. Until the lobby’s clout is weakened or politicians grow stiffer spines, Americans looking for better outcomes in the Middle East had better get used to disappointment and prepared for more trouble.

    • eljay
      eljay on July 22, 2014, 8:15 pm

      >> Sycamores: Stephan M. Walt piece link to

      Walt tells it like it is. It’s a shame far too many others prefer to tell it the way it isn’t.

      • lysias
        lysias on July 23, 2014, 9:58 am

        American work on the system does mean dollars for American contractors (and kickbacks in the form of campaign contributions to the congresscritters). That may be all they care about.

  13. scott9854958
    scott9854958 on July 22, 2014, 10:24 pm

    I do indeed worry for Richard Engel’s safety. He did an outstanding report tonight on Red Crescent ambulances being shot at by the IDF and said (crucially) that he saw no evidence that they were ferrying guns or bombs (as Israel claims). This is the kind of ballsy reporting that I would think Israel and its Amen Corner here would find very “unhelpful.” Stay safe Richard.

  14. Sycamores
    Sycamores on July 22, 2014, 10:31 pm

    what are the odds that Jeffrey Goldberg will have a counter piece up soon insinuating Stephen Walt of all sorts.

  15. chris o
    chris o on July 23, 2014, 12:17 am

    Speaking of MSNBC and Andrea Mitchell, did you see what Rula Jubreal said in criticizing them harshly while on MSNBC? See link below. And as noted above, kudos to Richard Engel for very good reporting.

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