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Bob Schieffer in a ‘world gone mad’

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Bob Schieffer has been gravely misunderstood and misquoted by Palestinians and their sympathizers when in actual fact the ones he maligned were the Israelis: If you listen carefully to the man you will find him concise and to the point, delivering his message clearly in the best of CBS sound-bite traditions. Here is the main message for which he has been maliciously faulted:

In the Middle East, the Palestinian people find themselves in the grip of a terrorist group that has embarked on a strategy to get its own children killed in order to build sympathy for its cause – a strategy that might actually be working at least in some quarters.

And yet many listeners think he is speaking of Palestinian self-abuse despite the clear giveaway. After all, who holds the Palestinians in his grip but Israel? Obviously Bob is talking about Israel. And you think he is slandering the Palestinians! No wonder he thinks that “we are in the midst of a world gone mad.”

Let me now guide you through the man’s statement a word at a time: To contextualize the message for Americans, whom we know are all pro-Palestinian, he starts with a familiar concept, the Middle East. That should be sufficient, Bob in his wisdom-fraught mind must think, to arouse their interest and set their senses on edge for the coming blitz. After all, who but our Palestinian allies have gotten us involved in our glorious crusades in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and the Ukraine? [Are all these countries in the Middle East, I wonder? Who is going to bother asking anyway? Let us just finish the thought.] Think of how profitable it all has been for our energy moguls. And the mere mention of “the Middle East” will undoubtedly evoke tender sentiments of sad longing for the lost millions of lives in those crusades. So much life has been wasted that Bob hasn’t slept well for years, and he looks it. So what if the lives are mostly those of non-Americans? That is Bob’s central message: We all are human brothers and sisters. The life of a Syrian farmer in the Beqa’a Valley, of an Afghan shepherd in Peshawar or of a Palestinian fisherman in Gaza, of any Moslem anywhere for that matter, is equally dear to Bob’s Orient-soaked heart.

Now that he has put his millions of mesmerized audience on edge, Bob has to sooth their nerves with a calming image they all love, that of “Palestinians.” What better word to arouse his American viewers’ tender sentiments. He knows his central message will be appreciated by the multitude of anti-Semitic pro-Palestinians across the land. Every American across the wide spectrum of Jew-haters and self-hating Jews viewing him on TV will be tantalized by the expectation of what comes next. Now is the time for Bob to release his heavy dose of venom against Israel and its backers. Bob calls the entire pack of Israelis and their financial and weaponry backers “a terrorist group.” True, he doesn’t call Israelis by name. But he leaves no doubt about whom he means: He exaggerates of course: He accuses Israel and its backers of holding the Palestinians in their grip for the mere act of controlling their land, sea and air space even when the Israelis go to the trouble of calculating the Palestinian children’s caloric survival requirements and permitting that to seep across the borders. He then claims that Israel “has embarked on a strategy to get its own children killed in order to build sympathy for its cause.”

With what more can you accuse Israel, Bob? Israel has built the most moral army in the world, as we all know. It sends its children to defend its innocent citizens. True some of those children die. But they take their revenge at a high rate, thanks to the testing of the new weaponry that their fighter-bombers with their sulfur payloads, their helicopters, their gunboats and their tanks spew. The Palestinian death rate in 2008-09 ran at one hundred to one Israeli soldier. And currently it is averaging some 20 Palestinians to one Israeli soldier. The high rate of collateral damage of civilians including children of 80% should be sufficient to let Bob realize that Israel’s children are not sent to die simply “in order to build sympathy for its cause.” You can’t level such an accusation against Israel when it passes no chance to levy a heavy price for the killing of its children. I will forgive you, Bob, for pointing accurately that Israel does willfully send its children to die on occasion. But it does its utmost to guarantee their safety, witness its Dahiya principle by which any area, residential or otherwise, from which its boys are fired at will be considered a military target regardless of the consequences. The principle is not even debated anymore. It simply is given as the justification for its repeated elimination of whole families, a dozen or two relatives at a time, and for targeting playgrounds, mosques, clinics, hospitals and UN schools. Bob, what more atrocities you want Israel to commit before you stop making your fowl accusation against it?

You know what Bob? I think you are full of shit.

(This article was previously published at Hatim Kanaaneh’s blog A Doctor in Galilee)

Hatim Kanaaneh

Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh is a Palestinian doctor who has worked for over 35 years to bring medical care to Palestinians in Galilee, against a culture of anti-Arab discrimination. He is the author of the book A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel. His collection of short stories entitled Chief Complaint was released by Just World Books in the spring of 2015.

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26 Responses

  1. on August 5, 2014, 3:32 pm

    Other than his point that it feels like a world gone mad, everything he says his 180 degrees from the truth.

    The sick sycophant.

  2. biorabbi on August 5, 2014, 3:36 pm
    • Tuyzentfloot on August 6, 2014, 4:46 pm

      Hatim, might he be talking about Hamas handy “guide book” for their chaps?
      link to

      What vile nonsense. To stay in the idiom that’s currently popular here, may your shit come to life, be set free, and kiss you.

  3. Sand on August 5, 2014, 3:48 pm

    Re. Bob S being full of it — All I can say is you are not alone in that opinion. He’s one of the many establishment TV mouthpieces. Maybe not everyone can see through him, but many can.

  4. bilal a on August 5, 2014, 3:56 pm

    Schieffer , sheeesh. The US Hollywood-Media elite is deeply entwined within the ‘Humanitarian Industrial Complex’. The genocide could not occur without their complicity.

    “The Jewish State uses religion as a subterfuge to hide political-military aggrandizement. Nothing quite like this psychotic exhibition of statecraft—and utter desecration of religion per se. To all critics, Israel and its propaganda organs abroad, notably, AIPAC, rush in to charge “self-hating” Jew to silence dissent among Jewish people, while non-Jews are merely and quickly labeled anti-Semites. How long can this racket continue? How long the BLASPHEMING of Judaism, yes, nothing short, because insulting G-d through acts of murder, cruelty, vengeance, and therefore the profanation of a religion devoted to His service and therefore treating what is sacred with contempt? How long ethnic cleansing, population displacement, promiscuous killing of the innocent, hauteur and sangfroid in the act of bombing hospitals, refugee-packed UN schools now shelters to escape the constant bombing and ground-forces’ actions in residential neighborhoods? Not a tear (except of the crocodile variety, rote, sanctimonious in the face of gut-wrenching human suffering), never an admission of wrong-doing, always an insinuation, the slyness of the authoritarian mind, that the other party is culpable.”
    Israeli’s Adeptness at Genocide

  5. traintosiberia on August 5, 2014, 4:06 pm

    So much similarity in usage of languages among Krauthammer , Netanyhu,and Bob that it begs the question where the moral deficiency flowing from. All have essentially accused Palestinian of using visual display of the dead for propaganda.

  6. lysias on August 5, 2014, 4:32 pm

    According to a new Gallup poll, only 42% of Americans think Israel’s actions are justified. Poll: Public divided over Israel’s actions. (38% say Israel’s actions are unjustified.)

    • MHughes976 on August 5, 2014, 4:47 pm

      That is quite interesting, though I notice that there’s a 15:65-odd negative view of Palestinian actions against Israel. However, this is the first poll which makes me think that there is something to work on, if only even one political figure would dare to take the lead. It’s a bit like the WW1 trenches, I suppose – low chance of survival if you’re in the first wave going over the top.

      • Marco on August 5, 2014, 11:18 pm

        “That is quite interesting, though I notice that there’s a 15:65-odd negative view of Palestinian actions against Israel.”

        My sense has long been that anti-Zionists would make much more headway criticizing Israeli actions, and U.S. and European support of Israel, rather than trumpeting the cause of the Palestinians.

        It’s sad and even pathetic, but Americans have been indoctrinated to dismiss the rights and concerns of Arabs and Muslims around the world. There’s no need to rehabilitate the public image of Palestinians, however – it’ll be easier to demolish the idealization of Israel, considering how remote it is from reality.

  7. Les on August 5, 2014, 5:00 pm

    Today’s NPR On Point program that discussed the war crimes charge against Israel illustrates the problem with our mass media. Even the weak kneed critics of Israel selected to be on the program did not portray the Palestinians as actual human beings. We have to thank social media for the 38% figure.

  8. oldgeezer on August 5, 2014, 5:27 pm

    Every station I’ve watched today seems on hyperdrive to blame the victims and paint Israeli’s as not really responsible. And in jpost land the articles say the GoI cabinet is spoiling to take down Netanyahu as he didn’t go far enough.

    A world gone totally mad.

    • Kathryn on August 5, 2014, 10:31 pm

      Why aren’t the Palestinian people getting fair coverage?

      Some say it is because Jewish people or the Israeli lobby “control” or “unduly influence” U.S. media outlets. But this is not the case.

      The real force behind this biased reporting is the huge aggregate of U.S. corporations that pull in mind-boggling profits from exploiting Middle East resources, including the media monopolies themselves.

      Take the powerful media conglomerate NBC, for example. Why would NBC be so biased? Because NBC is owned by arms manufacturer General Electric, which profits from the war on Gaza.

      GE Aviation makes the propulsion systems in the U.S. aircraft sold to Israel, including the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-4 Phantom, the “Apache” attack helicopter and the Black Hawk utility helicopter, as well as the Israeli-made Kfir fighter plane. GE also makes parts for Hellfire II laser-guided missiles as well as T-700 and 701C jet engines used by the Israeli military.

      NBC executives don’t mention that their salaries are paid by a company that makes a mint providing the very weapons that Israel uses. NBC doesn’t make a cent from exposing the murder of four Palestinian children playing on a Gaza beach.

  9. on August 5, 2014, 6:20 pm

    Bob is Jewish and a Zionist – but I am sure that this would not inform his opinions on the latest Gaza affair. He is much too fair-minded.

    • Mooser on August 6, 2014, 2:11 pm

      “Bob is Jewish and a Zionist – but I am sure that this would not inform his opinions on the latest Gaza affair. He is much too fair-minded.”

      Ah! Now I understand how it works for Josh Marshall, of TPM! And he even informed his readers he was such, so how can he go wrong?

  10. Les on August 5, 2014, 7:25 pm

    London Times refuses to run Elie Wiesel ad denouncing Hamas’ human shields
    The ad, which specifically refers to children, has run in The New York Times, Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, among other U.S. newspapers.
    By JTA | Aug. 6, 2014

    The London Times refused to run an ad featuring Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel speaking out against Hamas’ use of children as human shields.

    The ad sponsored by The Values Network, which was founded by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, has run in The New York Times, Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, among other U.S. newspapers. The refusal was first reported by the New York Observer.

    The London Times refused the ad because “the opinion being expressed is too strong and too forcefully made and will cause concern amongst a significant number of Times readers,” according to a statement from a representative of the newspaper, the Observer reported.

    Headlined “Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago. Now it’s Hamas turn,” the ad began running last week. It reads, in part: “In my own lifetime, I have seen Jewish children thrown into the fire. And now I have seen Muslim children used as human shields, in both cases, by worshippers of death cults indistinguishable from that of the Molochites.

    “What we are suffering through today is not a battle of Jew versus Arab or Israeli versus Palestinian. Rather, it is a battle between those who celebrate life and those who champion death. It is a battle of civilization versus barbarism.”

    Countering the London Times statement, Boteach said in his own, “Elie Wiesel is one of the most respected human beings alive, a Nobel Peace Laureate, and is the living face of the Holocaust. No greater expert on genocide exists in the whole world. His call for the end of child sacrifice by Hamas, who use children as human shields, and a stop to their genocidal charter, which calls for the murder of Jews everywhere, could only offend the sensibilities of the most die-hard anti-Israel haters and anti-Semites.”

  11. concernedhuman on August 5, 2014, 10:28 pm

    Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro compared Israel’s military operation in Gaza on Tuesday to a “disgusting form of fascism” that its ally, the United States, is unable to control.

    “I think that a new and disgusting form of fascism is emerging with considerable force at this moment in human history,” Castro wrote in a column in the newspaper Granma titled “Palestinian Holocaust in Gaza.”

    Castro’s article appeared as a 72-hour truce took hold in the Gaza Strip, with Israel withdrawing troops after a month of fighting with Hamas and other Gazan terrorist groups.

    “Why does the government of this country (Israel) think that the world will be impervious to this macabre genocide that is being committed today against the Palestinian people?” he asked.

    “Maybe it hopes that the complicity of the North American (US) empire will be ignored in this shameless massacre?” the 87-year-old former president said.

    “There are facts that reflect the near total inability of the United States to face the current world problems,” said Castro, who handed over power to his brother Raul in 2006 for health reasons.

    Communist Cuba broke diplomatic relations with Israel in 1973 after the Yom Kippur War.
    So much contrast?!

  12. Robert Brooks on August 6, 2014, 2:06 am

    Please, no irony. He sucks, period. BTW, he’s a good Texas friend of our former great pres, GWB.

  13. cogit8 on August 6, 2014, 4:28 am

    “it is a battle of civilization versus barbarism”
    Absolutely correct statement! keep assaulting those barbaric Palestinian families from the air, land, and sea, (like the picture of the family in other post “Thousands on fringe of Gaza”) so the outside world can see the barbaric families with their own eyes, being assaulted by pinpoint accurate weaponry fired from ships on rolling seas and tanks indiscriminately firing high explosives into populated areas, all by those highly ‘civilized’ Israelis.

  14. wes on August 6, 2014, 7:18 am

    Dr hatim says

    “fowl accusation” bob

    birds of feather flock together dr hatim,you and bob are no different,you just support opposing sides,cancel each other out

  15. just on August 6, 2014, 8:53 am


    “If some extraterrestrial species were compiling a history of homo sapiens, they might well break their calendar into two eras: BNW (before nuclear weapons) and NWE (the nuclear weapons era). The latter era, of course, opened on 6 August 1945, the first day of the countdown to what may be the inglorious end of this strange species, which attained the intelligence to discover the effective means to destroy itself, but – so the evidence suggests – not the moral and intellectual capacity to control its worst instincts.

    Day one of the NWE was marked by the “success” of Little Boy, a simple atomic bomb. On day four, Nagasaki experienced the technological triumph of Fat Man, a more sophisticated design. Five days later came what the official Air Force history calls the “grand finale,” a 1,000-plane raid – no mean logistical achievement – attacking Japan’s cities and killing many thousands of people, with leaflets falling among the bombs reading “Japan has surrendered”. Truman announced that surrender before the last B-29 returned to its base.

    Those were the auspicious opening days of the NWE. As we now enter its 70th year, we should be contemplating with wonder how we have survived. We can only guess how many years remain.”

    much more amazing insights & history from Noam Chomsky:

  16. Chu on August 6, 2014, 10:49 am

    Shieffer is a clown that gave up. I watched his CBS show a few weeks ago. All the hasbara apparatchiks invaded it by storm and he stood out of the way. That takes guts! He didn’t even try to be objective. (panel members Jane Harman, Gerald Seib, Danielle Pletka, and Nia-Malika Henderson.)

    Then also he had on Amb Ron Dermer. They staged this text siren that warns Israelis when a missle will strike. It was so fake, because any seriou sspeaker wouldn’t have their phone on during and interview. I would feel the need to scrub down and shower after such a pathetic half hour program. For a luagh, here’s the scene:

  17. Citizen on August 6, 2014, 12:01 pm

    The Samson Option will dermine future of the human race. The green light will be showed in America, oddly 98% not Jewish.

  18. Mooser on August 6, 2014, 2:15 pm

    “We can only guess how many years remain.”

    That’s why I’ve decided I will leave no turn unstoned in the search of peace!

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