Trending Topics:

Moe Diab debates SWU operative Philippe Assouline (Updated)

US Politics
on 49 Comments

An explosive debate took place between Palestinian-American human rights activist,  writer, and Middle East analyst Moe Diab and StandWithUs pro-Israel advocate Philippe Assouline on the set of One America News (OAN) Network’s “On Point with Tomi Lahren”.

Diab had appeared twice previously on “On Point”. According to Tomi Lahren, viewer response to Diab flooded in; “it was phenomenal..they love him.”  After those airings, I had contacted Diab and asked him to give me a heads up if he was going to be interviewed on the show again. And at the time, someone contacted the station’s headquarters and requested Philippe Assouline appear on the show for a debate with Diab. In past interviews Assouline, a Canadian-Israeli citizen and student of international relations and “political psychology” at UCLA, has demonstrated a willingness to use a confrontational approach (see video below) as well as unsupported accusations (“emotionally manipulative slander” ). Understandably Diab had reservations. But nothing prepared him for the explosive scene that happened on the set that day. I’d heard from Diab after the interview how Assouline had aggressively freaked out and become hostile during the commercial break, not something we planned on reporting in our coverage of the interview since we knew it wouldn’t be included in the station’s final production. That is, until we reached out to the producers and received a statement from Lahren that included her perceptions of the tensions on the set between Diab and Assouline: “the dialogue became so heated that both of my producers had to come out on the floor to help mediate. Philippe was upset… Philippe was intense. He was angry.”

OnPoint executive producer, Bri Youtsey told me that it got so heated during the commercial break that she walked onto the set and “threatened to cancel the second segment if the conversation didn’t stay respectful.”

Lahren had set down rules for the interview days in advance, one of which was “No name calling”, but Assouline played by his own rules. Youstey also told us she informed “both Moe and Philippe” before the debate began that she “made it clear any personal attacks would be unacceptable.”

After a brief introduction Lahren lobbed her first question at Assouline, about Israel’s largest land grab in 30 years, announced that day, the plan to seize 1000 acres outside of Bethlehem. (The land belongs to five Palestinian villages: Jab‘a, Surif, Wadi Fukin, Husan and Nahalin) He asserted the acreage was “an area of vacant land the state declared as state land” and that the government’s motive was to offset Palestinian engagement with the U.N. This is a well worn talking point accusing Palestinians of “unilaterally” going to the UN– a misnomer because the very act of seeking recognition before a world body (by vote), whether it’s the General Assembly or the Security Council or the courts is the opposite of unilateral. Unilateral is annexing Jerusalem on your lonesome, which is against international law. Israel acts unilaterally all the time, but anyone who follows hasbara for any length of time knows pro-Israel strategists apply an Orwellian tactic of flipping reality with their talking points while grabbing their opponents’ soundbite. Assouline is proficient in this arena but Diab threw in a few unexpected curve balls. After Diab referenced Israel as an ethnic nationalist state versus the US as a civic national state Assouline went ballistic. Plus he insisted Diab’s reference to the recent supreme court ruling, which denies Israeli nationality (the verdict “decried clearly and unambiguously that there is not and cannot be one nationality for all Israeli citizens.”[1] ) was a lie. And Israel’s tiered citizenship status? Denial. He also accused Diab of calling him a racist (didn’t happen).

More on Assouline’s style later, read this revealing statement from OAN OnPoint host Tomi Lahren about the interview, obtained by Mondoweiss:

 As the host of “On Point with Tomi Lahren,” it is my job and my duty to provide an even platform for discussion. The conflict in Gaza had to be addressed and quickly. Other talk shows were covering the situation but none of them seemed to be too concerned with presenting both sides of the debate. Fox News was decidedly pro-Israel. Other major networks would show the plight of Palestinians but were shying away from solutions. It seemed that emotional appeal and sensationalism was the “be all and end all” of news coverage.

I wanted to take a different approach. The “On Point” team of Bri Youtsey, Haley Press and myself took the road less traveled by. We had a vision: a new kind of debate that would bring Israel and Palestine together at the same table, at the same time to hash it out.  The viewers would decide.

The first debate was on episode two of the show. It started out quite civil.  The dynamic quickly changed in the second half. After the show, my producer Bri Youtsey and I sat down with Moe Diab to talk about the segment. Moe mentioned that at one point, Tibi Zohar pointed at him and [said] “ISIS.” I was shocked. We went back and watched the episode. Sure enough, it was there. The camera doesn’t lie.

[Editor’s Note: OnPoint Producer Haley Press contacted us and asked Mondoweiss to change “Tibi Zohar pointed at him and referred to him as ‘ISIS.'” to “Tibi Zohar pointed at him and said ‘ISIS.'” This change follows correspondence with Zohar where he claimed defamation and demanded retraction of the report that he called Diab “ISIS”. Press requested we make the change saying, “Upon review of the segment, We can see Tibi Zohar point at Moe Diab and say the word “ISIS”. The word was only said while he pointed, and we believe that it was not a direct accusation from Tibi Zohar to Moe Diab.”]

After the episode aired, the viewer comments came rolling in. We expected it. There was something peculiar, however. We figured all of the comments would be pro-Israeli. After all, the other shows catered to that side of the debate and we anticipated our viewers were predominantly pro-Israel. Thanks to Moe, our audience was broader than we knew. The emails in support of the balanced approach and specifically, Moe, came pouring in. The viewers liked what they saw. It was something different. Finally, both voices were represented on an even playing field.

We knew that one show wasn’t enough. We invited Moe back to sit down for a one-on-one with me. Our interview was also very well received. Moe was able to articulate his position and I pressed him with questions. Finally, a rare insight into the conflict was presented. The emotion, death and destruction were finally overshadowed with truth, solutions and goals.

Soon after our one-on-one aired, I got a phone call at One America News headquarters. It was a request. A request for a debate with Moe Diab. A woman with an accent wanted her friend, Philippe Assouline, to appear on the show with Moe. She was determined to make in happen. I was taken aback by her intensity.

We were excited. It was another opportunity to bring both sides to the table. Both men are in the same age range. Both well-spoken. Both easy to listen to. It was game, set, match.

When my producer contacted Moe to set up the segment, Moe hesitated. He sent us both a long list of reasons why he was concerned about the interview. We told Moe to trust us.

We don’t have an agenda on “On Point.” We are fair. We are interested in healthy and even debate. We knew that once Moe thought about it, he would agree to do it. Moe is very passionate about his cause. We knew he wouldn’t back down from a good debate and the chance to have his voice heard.

We were all a little concerned on show day. Anytime opposing sides are in the same building, at the same table, it is a toss-up. We didn’t know what to expect.

There were rules. We told Moe and Philippe we were not going to tolerate name calling.  We also reminded them that historical claims were to be left out of the debate. We already tackled that with Tibi. Rather, we wanted to talk solutions, talk peace.

It started off positive. In fact, I thought the two men might even find some common ground. Well, almost. The trouble was that historical claims reared their ugly head into the discussion.  Soon the two were arguing over whether or not the Palestinian state was even a valid entity.

During the commercial break the dialogue became so heated that both of my producers had to come out on the floor to help mediate. Philippe was upset. The name calling started. It wasn’t until the director came over the intercom and forcefully interrupted the argument that we were able to continue with the second half of the segment. We almost had to scrap the whole thing. Philippe was intense. He was angry.

In fact, the exchange was so intense the audio technician recorded the behind the scenes perspective.

The second half of the debate was a rollercoaster. At one point it seemed like the two were going to find some common goals. Then it became personal again. The word “racist” was thrown out and we were back to the intensity seen during the commercial break. I had to forcefully put my hands on the table to stop Philippe. We were running out of time. I had to stop the segment for the sake of time.

When the cameras shut off, it became more intense. It is kind of a blur now but I do remember Philippe shouting at Moe and calling him a liar among other things. My producer, Haley Press walked Philippe out of the studio and attempted to calm him down. I told Moe to stick at the table with me for a few minutes. I was afraid it was going to get physical if the two men left at the same time.

There were several moments during the discussion when I could see both men getting visibly upset. From the corner of my eye I could see Moe doing his best to contain himself. He was physically biting his tongue.  He was told to keep it positive and constructive, he did. Philippe was noticeably angry and it showed. I could feel the tension. I was in the middle. My hands became my tool when my voice wasn’t enough. I had to reach out and calm Philippe several times.

I knew I needed some backup. Haley came out, then Bri. It was a good cop, bad cop scenario. I just wanted to push forward. I was concerned we would have to scrap the whole thing. That would have been devastating. I knew America needed to see this for what it was. “

 

I was fortunate enough to view the entire interview, including the commercial break, on video and became excited about the possibility that On Point’s Lahren and team will keep up the serious coverage of Palestine and Israel in the future. America is more than ready for this conversation to go mainstream.

I inquired who had pushed the interview with Assouline, but the producers wouldn’t reveal the source.  Is Assouline the new ‘it boy’ of Israeli advocacy; and are aggressive, unsupported accusations of lying a primary strategy?

Assouline’s Linkedin profile lists him professionally as “past” Advocacy Strategist at StandWithUs. He makes the rounds hyping pro Israel advocacy as ‘grassroots’ even though SWU has a fat budget and works hand in hand with the Israeli government. They even co-produced a videos with Danny Ayalon, Israel’s foreign minister that, according to the Forward, wasidentical, image for image and in large part word for word, with one he [Ayalon] made in May for the YESHA Council, the organization that represents and lobbies for the settlers… rejecting the notion that the West Bank is occupied.”

In an interview and debate last spring with Omar Barghouti, Assouline described Adalah, the Legal Center for Minority Rights in Israel whose website provides a database of more than 50 Discriminatory Laws in Israel, as a Palestinian propaganda organization group that works  “under the cover of defending rights”…backed by a “small group [of] intellectuals and their supports” who “manufactures these organizations”. He also attempted to attribute words to Barghouti he never said and accused him of being a liar.

Assouline, a lawyer, claims he left private practice to advocate for Israel. Working with StandWithUs on its anti-BDS campaign on campus, coincidentally or not, Assouline is now firmly planted on one of the most influential campuses at the heart of Palestinian led solidarity movement at UCLA.

Israel is a community that “just wants to apologize and hide as much as possible/not rock the boat” (video here)  and claims it’s up against “an extremely well oiled machine of extremely effective and stylish propaganda that has set goals.” Palestinians are “artistic geniuses” when it comes to pr.

In a phone conversation with Tomi Lahren, she told me the reaction to Moe Diab from her conservative viewers was “an anomaly”.  She believes “The truth is bulletproof, we give you a platform and the truth will prevail at the end.” Let’s keep the conversation going, because the time is ripe, there’s a thirst for it and it’s only just begun. Like Lahren, I believe the truth will prevail.

 

 

1. File No. 8573/08Civil Appeal, Ornan et al. v .Ministry of Interior (Oct. 2,2013 amended on 6.10.2013), Nevo Legal Database (by subscription) (Isr.)(hereinafter: Israeli Nationality case);File No.8140/13 High Court of Justice, Ornan v. State of Israel (Dec. 9.2013), Nevo Legal Database (by subscription) (Isr.) (hereinafter: HCJ Ornan).  – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/discrimination-decisions-nationality#sthash.bpJvxuSv.dpuf

annie
About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

Other posts by .


Posted In:

49 Responses

  1. American
    American
    September 14, 2014, 4:29 pm

    ”viewer response to Diab flooded in…they love him”

    yahoo! would be even more interesting to know the ethnic identities,if any, of the viewers who loved Diab….I am assuming it was not soley Palestines or Arabs but others in the general population also who appreciated hearing more than Isr hasbara on the subject.

    • annie
      annie
      September 14, 2014, 5:36 pm

      american, i think this reflects that there may be a lot more conservatives out there tired of propping up israel than the media has let on. remember when we used to be described as “fringe”. these polls (like the one Assouline whipped out from winep, and notice how he referenced the aipac think tank as “washington institute”, that’s their new handle.) , designed to tell americans how they really feel ..remember what a shock it was at dem convention w/ the jerusalem vote? it was mind blowing! who knew? and at the republican convention they just shut ron paul (non interventionist) out even tho he had more electoral votes than romney (by the delegate count, i think). this is just the ptb setting up the parameters we’re allowed to move between. but i think people might be figuring it out propping up israel and neocon plans for remapping the middle east is making us broke. some conservatives are less interventionist, thank god! so it’s not just palestinians and arabs who contacted the station, i seriously doubt it anyway.

      • American
        American
        September 15, 2014, 9:53 pm

        I hope you’re right…think you are.
        And this was great coverage, thanks for digging it out.

  2. Citizen
    Citizen
    September 14, 2014, 4:47 pm

    Pretty amazing watching the Zionist Israeli outright lie about the Israeli high court’s decision there’s no such thing as Israeli nationality, and how he tries to divert the theme that Israel does not have a civic democracy a la the USA, but an ethnic democracy. The Zionist also continually conflates the Palestinians with the whole balance of the Arab world in the Middle East.

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    September 14, 2014, 4:51 pm

    Glad someone on TV in USA is doing it right.

    The “On Point” team need not only to set out the “civility” rules for the debaters but ALSO for the audience if they are talking to anyone who might be expected to go off the rails. And where it is blatant, perhaps never invite him back again.

  4. Eva Smagacz
    Eva Smagacz
    September 14, 2014, 4:52 pm

    I think this is a progress. Once the topic stops being taboo, and representatives of Palestinian point of view are allowed to speak, then the confrontation between Zionists and those representing Palestinian point of view will make an extremely good television. So maybe more and more stations will be willing to do it for the viewing figures?

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      September 14, 2014, 7:20 pm

      So right, Eva. The conflict between keeping the lid on the Palestinian side and increased ratings is going to be very very interesting. Will news producers be more interested in making money or controlling info flow.

      The fact that what you point out has become a real and consequential (i.e. it’s going to cost news orgs money to opt to control info flow in this issue) choice is itself a sign of progress.

      Neat.

  5. Dunnit007
    Dunnit007
    September 14, 2014, 5:32 pm

    During the debate, Assouline references a poll conducted by the “Washington Institute”. I hope he is not referring to WINEP, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. With staff members such as Martin Indyk, Robert Satloff and Dennis Ross and advisors such as Henry Kissinger, Richard Perle and Joe Lieberman, WINEP can hardly be considered impartial. According to Mearsheimer and Walt’s 2007 book, “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy”, “Although WINEP plays down its links to Israel and claims that it provides a ‘balanced and realistic’ perspective on Middle East issues, this is not the case. In fact, WINEP is funded and run by individuals who are deeply committed to advancing Israel’s agenda … Many of its personnel are genuine scholars or experienced former officials, but they are hardly neutral observers on most Middle East issues and there is little diversity of views within WINEP’s ranks” [Wikipedia]

    • annie
      annie
      September 14, 2014, 5:42 pm

      no, he was totally talking about winep (glued to the hip w/Stand With Us, same difference, which is none..one acts on campuses the other on politicians, but the message is identical). as i mentioned to american above, they now reference themselves as ‘washington institute’. them and aei are warmongering ‘think tanks’ whose ‘brain’s are centered in tel aviv.

      believe me, this stuck out like a read flag when i first watched the video. i almost mentioned it but had concern the article was getting too long and drawn out. i had to stop somewhere, but thanks for bringing that up.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        September 15, 2014, 6:01 am

        He (the Canadian Jewish Zionist) also supported his statements by referencing CAMERA. The debate reminded me of the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, with the host playing the part of Penny.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        September 15, 2014, 5:26 pm

        The debate reminded me of the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, with the host playing the part of Penny.

        Yes, but what I wish is that this moron had been set up to debate Max Blumenthal. Moe Diab was very dignified and all, but he allowed this clown to get away with a string of lies and talking points. MAx would have torn him to pieces, especially when he claimed the BS poll and that Israel was not a racist country.

        Mind you, I suspect Assouline would never have turned up or agreed to debating Blumenthal.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        September 15, 2014, 8:25 am

        Thanks Annie,

        I wasn’t aware WINEP had changed their name to the Washington Institute. Essentially, their main role is to lobby Washington to bomb Iran over it’s non existent nukes.

        And don’t be afraid about the article being too long and drawn out. It was excellent reading.

      • annie
        annie
        September 15, 2014, 3:28 pm

        thanks shingo. wrt long and drawn out, there was so much more i could have said. for example, the interview with barghouti and the other video i linked to in the penultimate paragraph are gold mines of classic hasbara as well worn diversion tactics.(don’t miss the interview with barghouti, it’s a must see) i kept thinking of the preface to the hasbara handbook (paraphrasing) people remember what they hear first, and what they hear loudest then rinse wash and repeat repeat repeat. also, accusations of LIAR, stick in people’s minds and not all of those people will go research the information. Assouline studies political psychology so when he says (which he does, paraphrasing) you have to reach people on an emotional level, one should assume, as a professional (which he lists himself as being at one time tho not now) his emotional outbursts and accusations are calculated. that’s the assumption in the back of my mind anyway. albeit i could be wrong. but listeners should take into account his use of emotion and insult is a calculated decision.

        the winep issue was the last thing i had decided to keep in the article. but at the last minute i just wanted it over. i worked on it over 3 days, for many hours. and initially it was a lot different because Lahren’s statement shook things up considerably. plus, i have editors! i can’t just go nuts. and i learn a lot from them (build the case). in this instance you’re probably right, i should have tried squeezing that in, but sometimes the transitions are the most challenging part for me. anyway, thanks again.

  6. amigo
    amigo
    September 14, 2014, 5:39 pm

    In Ireland (Republic) in the late 60, s early 70.s.IRA spokespersons were banned from doing a full appearance on TV.The journalist could film them (face hidden and voice stand in)at a remote location and then give the film to the network for airing.This policy of not allowing the minority of NI to have a voice while allowing their oppressors full access to the media, went on for 10 years before someone finally figured out that policy was not going anywhere.This same approach has been going on in the US for decades, albeit not Government policy , it has still prevented the Palestinians from speaking and consequently denied Dick and Jane from knowing the truth.

    Any indication that the truth will out is a very welcome event and we will know when Israel,s apologists like Assouline lose their cool when shown up as the liar they are.

    • annie
      annie
      September 16, 2014, 12:32 am

      re IRA, that’s very interesting amigo. i had no idea.

  7. amigo
    amigo
    September 14, 2014, 6:42 pm

    They really tore that Canadian “stand with us” , hasbarist and not a very good one, a new nether region.

    Enjoyed it immensely.

    thanks Annie for finding this gem.

    • annie
      annie
      September 14, 2014, 7:22 pm

      thanks amigo

    • aiman
      aiman
      September 15, 2014, 9:33 am

      Second that. Great chase up Annie.

      • Susie Kneedler
        Susie Kneedler
        September 15, 2014, 10:58 am

        Yes, great “chase-up”: thanks, aiman + amigo. Thanks, Annie, for searching globally around the WorldWideWeb to find “lodestars”* who’re inventing ways to free Palestine–and us all. I know that takes time, Annie: Thanks for devoting it to inspiring us with such Discoveries.

        (*I can’t think of another word for these creators. “Pathfinders” “artists” “inventors” only hint at how people like Diab revive us, and, eeirk, “heroes” “heroines” “champions” won’t cut it. — Hey, MW Friends: can anyone else come up with a better one?)

      • annie
        annie
        September 16, 2014, 12:35 am

        you guys are great. thanks so much. your appreciates really makes it worth it for me, words cannot express.

  8. Susie Kneedler
    Susie Kneedler
    September 14, 2014, 9:17 pm

    Annie, Thanks for all your special work bringing us fascinating spirits, and for letting us hear Moe Diab again (as you did before: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/06/palestinian-discrimination-israelpalestine) **) !

  9. richardSFO
    richardSFO
    September 15, 2014, 12:40 am

    I wanted to clarify and extend a tweet I made re this debate I watched here. I read about half the article here in advance of watching, taking note that during the breaks off-air, it said the anger was palpable from Assouline. So I was prepped for “explosive” when watching.

    But that is not what I saw. Not on the portion shown on the video, or what aired. That is not to say it wasn’t tense and heated — it was. But I commend Tomi Lahren for tamping it down, because whatever was happening between segments, and particularly afterwards, as described here, I think it’s all the more stunning that it didn’t even get to a 7 or 8 on a 1-to-10 calm-to-explosive rating scale. I also have great admiration for Moe Diab for his calm and patient demeanor in the face of what I would term bullying by his counterpart.

    Back to Scale: Routinely FoxNews pseudo-debates, for example, where you have clunk-heads like Sean Hannity hammering a “liberal” guest, talking over him or her constantly, trashing them, calling them stupid and uninformed — those are all 8’s out the gate, and it’s not uncommon for them to push the pedal all the way to 10. I think when you use that kind of metric for comparison, yes, there was talking over the other, and disrespect shown, but again, the part that was visible to me watching the video was really quite expertly moderated and diffused over and over again by Tomi Lahren; and thus I think it is incorrect to term the video above explosive.

    It’s the breaks between segments and at the end of the show where all of this outrageous behavior you write about occurs. I think it’s important to make the distinction — and it would surely be awesome if some of THAT footage could be published here (I don’t know what the Talent Release forms say about footage between aired segments).

    Thanks for presenting this debate.

    • annie
      annie
      September 15, 2014, 2:14 am

      thanks for your thoughtful criticism richard. point taken. i would like to point out however, wrt:
      I think it is incorrect to term the video above explosive.

      i did attempt to convey as clearly as possible that the extremeness took place during the break and after the shoot. i actually did not ever “term the video above explosive” i wrote “An explosive debate took place…on the set” and then went on to explain. i even stated in the text that i had not intended to report what happened during the break in our coverage because i knew it would not be included in the final video of the debate. that changed when i received the statement from Lahren and the producer who were present. it was a game changer.

      i am sorry that was not made completely clear.

      either way i would have covered the interview. but what was happening behind the scenes was an integral part and once i had those statements, followed up by a telephone conversation w/lahren (who, especially at 22 yrs, demonstrated an impressive amount of composure, determination, and will during throughout the shoot) it took precedence over my original ideas for covering the debate, which would have been more along the lines of shredding his argument point by point as well as highlighting, wth more description, the excellent points moe made. albeit, i don’t agree the settlers should be allowed to stay except in a one state solution situation but i do think it was curve ball in the conversation that caught assouline off guard and deprived him of his (likely) prepared come back.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        September 15, 2014, 6:16 am

        Penny the host of this Big Bang episode, to keep things on point and semi-rational, had to keep holding the Zionist’s hand, to calm him down, give him reassurance–this despite the fact his POV is a constant on US TV news, while his opponent, a Palestinian with Jordan citizenship (of course), never got any actual hand-holding from Penny.

      • annie
        annie
        September 15, 2014, 3:50 pm

        this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_%28The_Big_Bang_Theory%29

        i had never heard of this show. do you have a link to this episode?

      • richardSFO
        richardSFO
        September 15, 2014, 11:12 pm

        Annie, sorry, I didn’t mean my comment to sound critical. You did indeed frame the post here with the full picture. I was just trying to clarify my tiny comment I made on twitter, to give it context since I didn’t think it communicated well what I saw.

        Btw, do you know what *is* the standard for commercial TV re the commercial break segments — whether there is a standard release clause that specifies no commercial break footage shall be made available for public distribution? I would imagine there is such a standard since floor managers tell on-camera people “and we’re out” when cut to commercial break, giving people the license, more or less, to relax, knowing what’s happening then is not airing.

        I too applaud Lahren’s composure and determination to focus on present tense; she managed to move The Distractor back to present several times.

      • annie
        annie
        September 15, 2014, 11:40 pm

        no problem richard. i don’t recall seeing your tweet anyway, and it’s fine. not sure what the standard procedure for tv shows are but you could tweet Lahren and ask her or OAN and ask them. seriously doubt they’d release it tho.

  10. piotr
    piotr
    September 15, 2014, 12:55 am

    “Israel does not have an official religion”.

    As a contrarian, I started to wrack my brain: how to make this claim true, what kind of sophistry could be used? Perhaps: “An official religion is a religion which is recognized by the state constitution as such. And Israel, not having a constitution, is an informal state and nothing is official, least of all, a religion.”

    Perhaps: “An official religion would need to have state approved hierarchy, and there is no such hierarchy in Israel, there are two rabbinates, and a military rabbinate, and a lot of folks recognize neither.”

    One can also observe that the main religion of Israel is “state security”, and the main occupation, holy war.

    However, it is the official, yes, official, state funded and state approved, rabbinates decide who can become a citizen, who can marry, and who can divorce. Not so long time ago, there was a limit of 10 years in jail for ignoring the rulings of the rabbinate concerning divorce, and this limit was lifted.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      September 15, 2014, 6:19 am

      God forbid one day the American public actually learns some facts about the foreign country they enable by far more than any other. The Zionists on US TV are never disclosed as such, and they lie constantly, totally depending on a continually misinformed if not totally ignorant Dick and Jane.

    • amigo
      amigo
      September 15, 2014, 6:36 am

      For a peek into religious affairs in Israel , check the following article.

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/bennett-s-religious-services-ministry-takeover-portends-change-1.509613

      Here,s an interesting comment from Feiglin that mirrors the thinking of most Jewish Israelis.

      “Deputy Knesset Chairman MK Moshe Feiglin also spoke at the conference, saying “I’m not asking for equality at the Temple Mount; there is no equality – it’s ours and ours alone.”

      Here,s a comment from a former MK .

      “The importance of the Temple Mount was stressed by former MK Prof. Aryeh Eldad, who commented “it isn’t that we define the Temple Mount as the holiest place to us, it defines us. The definition of the nation of Israel is the Temple Mount.”

      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/180100

      The Jewish religion is the Engine that Drives the Zionist State.

  11. piotr
    piotr
    September 15, 2014, 1:16 am

    …one state solution would replace the only democracy in the Middle East (Lebanon is a democracy, no more imperfect in political freedoms than Israel) with 23rd Arab state…

    The count of “22 Arab states” is based on the roll of members of Arab League that includes Palestine, so there is no need for 23rd.

    “Israel is tiny, 8 thousands square miles, and Arab states are huge, 5 million square miles, and Israel is ready to give up immense territory” http://estore.comeonlah.com/webshaper/pcm/pictures/Miscellaneous/It's-Obvious-You-Won't-Survive-By-Your-Wits-Alone-(Scott-Adams)_l.jpg

    • annie
      annie
      September 15, 2014, 2:03 am

      LOL! i love your graphic piotr. i know the feeling. some people i suppose just like to lump people into these groupings (arabs!) and conceptualize them as one big mass. which begs the question, if you think like that, then why go plop yourself down in the middle of them and define yourself as a jewish state. oh wait! i don’t recall assouline mentioning the term jewish state. maybe he should educate himself on the inherent implications of zionism.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        September 15, 2014, 6:23 am

        The Zionists spokes folks are addicted to painting a bipolar, black and white soap opera world; it’s always the world’s arabs v.the world’s jews.

      • amigo
        amigo
        September 15, 2014, 6:57 am

        ” oh wait! i don’t recall assouline mentioning the term jewish state. ” Annie

        No but he did state the following when asking Moe Diab the following question .

        “Do you agree the Jewish People have a right to defend themselves”.

        Clearly he meant the Jewish State.

      • annie
        annie
        September 15, 2014, 3:51 pm

        oh good catch.

      • piotr
        piotr
        September 15, 2014, 5:09 pm

        I meant that besides brazen lies, “no official religion in Israel”, “only democratic nation in the Middle East (Lebanon and Tunisia are democratic), Assouline was also talking total nonsense. If Israel has only “tiny territory”, how it can be ready to “give up immense territory”? Due to the youth spent on solving math problems, I am prone to be shocked by such inconsistencies: small subset of a “tiny” is “immense”. This nonsense happens to mask a lie: Netanyahu did not offer a single “concession”, not on Power Point slides, not on paper, not even on a napkin.

  12. Citizen
    Citizen
    September 15, 2014, 7:12 am

    On a related note, the vote for Scotland’s independence is coming this Thursday. Like the Irish common folk, the Scot common folk support justice for Palestinians. Most of Scotland’s Jews are assimilated. But do they fear conflation of the Israel issue with the Jewish issue? Zionists must be happy with this confusion: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.615844?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    • Susie Kneedler
      Susie Kneedler
      September 15, 2014, 1:46 pm

      Thanks, Citizen: great point, ol’ Friend. Scottish independence can remind all about Palestinian independence, bc the rights of “territorial integrity,” as well as of “self-determination” and “self-defense” are governed by International Law.
      (Same for Ukraine, whose democratically-elected government was toppled with the help of 20 years’ USG policy http://www.thenation.com/article/181399/patriotic-heresy-vs-new-cold-war?page=full.)

      Now we just need to call on the UN to apply International Law equally in all places, rather than just fall into the lawless “Might makes Right”–or “Regal makes Legal.”

  13. arobertsccl
    arobertsccl
    September 15, 2014, 11:38 am

    Lord this man is a doofus. He mst think no one reads the news. On equality in Israel, you only need to look at demographics to find that on any indicator of quality of life, health or positions of influence in the nation there are statistical differences between Jewish Isrselis and others – income, Maternal and infant mortality rates, life expectancy, completion of high school, entry into college, crowding in classrooms, availability of class rooms, management positions, per capita funding of students ( highest for settler kids, next for Jewish kids, last for non-Jews) . The only schools in Israel without AC are non Jewish. Interesting enough, the percentage of university faculty who are non-Jewish is 3%, the same for women and non-Ashkenazi Jews, suggesting the real privilege is for Jews of European origin. These fact that the data is statistically significant means that they could not occur randomly, there has to be a factor favoring one group over the others.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      September 16, 2014, 2:09 am

      arobertsccl – you hit the nail on the head. There is absolute inequality in the “jewish state” because it is based on non-jews status as 2nd and 3rd class citizens. Then there’s the line drawn between ashkenazi and sephardic jews with sephardim being beneath the ashkenazi “white = right”. And if you chose not to serve in the idf you can forget about higher education or gainful employment as you are a now a pariah. Oh ya, and the whole marriage business (and what a moneymaker that is) – they don’t do civil ceremonies here. If you’re a jew, but aren’t “jewish” enough by the standards of the rabid rabbis, or if you marry a non-jew, you have to leave the country to get married. This guy Asshouline is talking about a state of israel that does not exist!

  14. amigo
    amigo
    September 15, 2014, 12:55 pm

    Personally , I thought he is a rank amateur .I wonder when he graduated from Hasbara central.

    Anyone who has been the object of standard hasbara 101 could have put him to shame in minutes.

    Imagine what Ali Abu Nimah or some, more seasoned Palestinian spokespersons would do with this neophyte, given equal time.

    Must be indicative of just how difficult putting a positive face has become for Israel.

    Can,t get good help these days.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      September 15, 2014, 5:27 pm

      Personally , I thought he is a rank amateur .I wonder when he graduated from Hasbara central.

      I agree. Can you imagine him facing off against Blumenthal? He would have been in tears within the first minute.

      • amigo
        amigo
        September 15, 2014, 5:52 pm

        “I agree. Can you imagine him facing off against Blumenthal? He would have been in tears within the first minute”.

        Quite so, Max would be raising facts Assouline never even heard of .

        Role playing at hasbara central just does not prepare these wannabees for the real world.

  15. amigo
    amigo
    September 15, 2014, 1:00 pm

    Assouline.

    Let play anagrams.

    One word belongs in his name , the other does.

    Clue, One describes him , the other describes what he is missing.

    • amigo
      amigo
      September 15, 2014, 1:02 pm

      Correction!

      One word belongs in his name , the other does not.

      First time I have really needed the edit function.

  16. piotr
    piotr
    September 15, 2014, 6:06 pm

    Assouline clearly played well. He was in a hard spot, because Diab was well prepared, and in the absence of friendly talk host, say, Hannity, even an Einstein of Hasbara would have it tough. After all, the job of Assouline was to explain that the time of concession is over, and now the only way the only democracy in the Middle East can survive is by exercising tight control over woefully large infestation of subhumans in her territory. After a fashion, he managed to do that, but Tomi Lahren made him look bad by creating a very bad context.

    The message of Assouline was straight from Lieberman speeches: because of nasty education system, Arabs under Israeli control are implacably hostile to Israel, 60 percent would be satisfied by nothing less but the total destruction of The Only Democracy In The Middle East. TODITME is NOT a Jewish state by the way but an amazingly diverse state where elves, orcs, goblins, fairies and even humans dwell together, enjoy equal rights and prosperity, being very well educated, especially the fairies who grace our talk show programs and spin their tales. I thought that it would even sound convincing if Assouline was clean shaven and spoke more sweetly.

    Concerning the WINEP poll, it does not have to be “wrong”. Check polls of Palestinian Center of Policy and Survey Research, and WINEP, and polls on attitudes of Israeli Jewish youth, and try to make a composite picture. How come that just before the latest massacre, 81% of Palestinians were worried of being hurt by the Israeli army or seeing their homes demolished or land confiscated. Atrocious education, or simple observations? According to WINEP, more than 70% if Palestinians are worried that they will be attacked by Jewish settlers. Does it have any connection with the scant support for settlements being part of Palestinian state? Is this worry the result of atrocious education, or again, of observations?

    And what are Palestinian observations about Israeli education? National Modern Orthodox yeshivas are all over West Bank, and what do those adorable young Jewish Israeli do? Reading tracts on advisability of killing enemy babies as a security precaution, throwing stones at Palestinians every morning, or a combination of the two?

    • amigo
      amigo
      September 15, 2014, 6:17 pm

      “TODITME is NOT a Jewish state by the way but an amazingly diverse state where elves, orcs, goblins, fairies ” piotr

      You forgot to mention Leprechauns.

      Tut tut.

  17. Stern Gang
    Stern Gang
    September 16, 2014, 12:01 pm

    PA made himself look like a ragging bull. What a total embarrassment and a person who is a living embodiment of propaganda. That was painful to watch.

    • piotr
      piotr
      September 26, 2014, 6:23 pm

      It is a late comment, but I would encourage everybody to avoid confusing acronyms.

      “Ma, ma, where is my Pa? Went to the White House, ha ha!”

      I pay taxes to PA Dept. of Revenue, in one of the “Mid-Atlantic states”. Closer to the area of our common interest, PA refers to Palestinian Authority. You probably meant Philippe Assouline. It reminds me what stories you see if you try “Lebanon/News” on google. You can read about a bomb attack and also about a hold-up at a convenience store, or even a high school football game. You see, lords of Google assemble “trusted media sources” for each topic, and under “Lebanon” they put “Valley News” and some PA newspaper in the mix. This is a todays headline that I have found though that Google search:
      http://www.vnews.com/home/13696215-95/fire-destroys-lebanon-home

Leave a Reply