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Hockenberry skewers Menendez for double standard on Israeli nukes and killings of civilians

US Politics
on 23 Comments

This is a breakthrough we missed last week: A mainstream reporter jumps all over a senator who is opposing the Iran Deal, saying that he’s doing so just to agree with Israel, which isn’t a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and then says the senator shouldn’t talk about Iran’s terror activities if he’s not also talking about all the civilians Israel killed in Gaza– per the Goldstone report. A mainstream reporter who’s read the Goldstone Report!

The interview took place  on the NPR show the Takeaway four days ago. Host John Hockenberry was interviewing NJ Senator Robert Menendez and began expressing great impatience if not anger over Menendez’s double standard for Israel and Iran.  When Menendez complained about how long it would take to reinstate sanctions if Iran violates the deal, Hockenberry said:

Wouldn’t your position look a little bit more consistent if you argued for Israel to apply Security Council resolutions and actually sign the nonproliferation treaty, get them to agree to do that. Otherwise this looks like you’re simply agreeing with Israel on a policy decision that has very little to do with the United States and a lot more to do with Israel.

Menendez said Iran is the subject of Security Council resolutions because it is the “the single largest exporter of terror in the world,” from Syria to Yemen to Iraq to even Bahrain. And referring to Israel: “That is a totally different question and that’s the question at hand.”

Hockenberry insisted on the Israel analogy.

Is it a totally different question? If I would agree to everything you say wouldn’t it be a matter of good faith to get Israel to sign the nonproliferation treaty even if you’re going to vote against this?

And then he brought in civilian killings:

And if you are so concerned  about Iran’s terrorist activities which are well documented, why are you opposed to the Goldstone report, which accuses the Israeli government of targeting Palestinian citizens in Gaza.

Menendez didn’t like that. “You want to keep mixing–”

Hockenberry bridled.

Mixing! No no no I’m not mixing anything. I’m not mixing.

Menendez said the two countries were two “totally different” cases. One is a democracy, the other is a “theocracy.”

Hockenbery was dismissive.

Senator, Senator– you know as well as I do that is a rhetorical dodge. These are both civilians. Palestinian civilians and..

Menendez’s turn to fight: “Your question is a rhetorical dodge.” Iran violated NPT regulations. “No one would be worried about Iran if they weren’t weaponizing their activities  toward a nuclear bomb.”

Hockenberry cut through the talking points:

Why shouldn’t Israel sign the non-proliferation treat?

Menendez: “I’m not saying they shouldn’t but you’re conflating both.”

The most exciting thing about this interview to me is that Hockenberry is obviously a Secret Sharer who has burst free. He knows the entire deal, from the national interest piece to the Israeli nukes piece to the Gaza slaughters. He’s an MSM figure who’s evidently been paying alot of attention and not acting on it, and has now reached 212 degrees over the efforts by Israel to kill the Iran Deal. He says Menendez’s decision “has a lot more to do with Israel than the U.S.” That’s a direct reference to the Israel lobby, which is becoming fair game in the media.

A few months back, Hockenberry interviewed Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times, and threw softballs at her. The Goldstone Report came out five years ago and was cashiered by the United States and a year ago there was yet another massacre of civilians in Gaza, including about 500 children. We should celebrate Hockenberry’s honesty, and encourage him to do more on these compelling moral issues that he understands.

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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23 Responses

  1. inbound39
    inbound39
    August 24, 2015, 10:49 am

    Good article Philip and hopefully the first of many showing Americans standing up against the likes of AIPAC Lackies. It is long overdue that Americans reclaimed their government from Israel’s grasp and long overdue that the American Taxpayer ceased funding Israeli War Crimes by supplying weapons and ammunition to Israel that is largely used to continue the Occupation and murder Palestinians by the thousands. American needs to end this insult to itself by ending its complicity.

    • Bornajoo
      Bornajoo
      August 24, 2015, 3:48 pm

      “It is long overdue that Americans reclaimed their government from Israel’s grasp and long overdue that the American Taxpayer ceased funding Israeli War Crimes by supplying weapons and ammunition to Israel that is largely used to continue the Occupation and murder Palestinians by the thousands. American needs to end this insult to itself by ending its complicity.”

      Hear, hear! Or is it here, here?

      Whatever! Well said inbound39

      • straightline
        straightline
        August 25, 2015, 7:20 am

        O/T but Damian Moran now has 81,710 signatures for his petition to arrest Netanyahu for war crimes on arrival in the UK in September.

        https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/105446

        Only 18,290 more needed to be considered for debate in Parliament.
        It seems to be going up rapidly now – perhaps as a result of it getting some visibility on RT.

      • straightline
        straightline
        August 25, 2015, 7:52 am

        Now over 81860 – 150 in last half hour!

  2. spacegrandpa
    spacegrandpa
    August 24, 2015, 11:26 am

    Good article! Small mistake in the final paragraph you should be aware of. “A few months back, Hockenberry interviewed Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times, and threw softballs at her. The Goldstone Report came out five years ago and was cashiered by the United States and a year ago there was yet another massacre of civilians in Iran”

    Pretty sure you mean Israel?

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    August 24, 2015, 11:54 am

    The Takeaway seems to be a WNYC program, not an NPR program. Here’s the program: http://www.thetakeaway.org/story/sen-mendez-why-im-voting-against-iran-deal/

    Glad you picked this up. I’ll send him thanks (at: http://www.thetakeaway.org/emailform/contact-us/) after I listen to all 8 minutes.

    I sent them this:

    Thanks very much for breaking with so much past practice (among USA’s major media) by seriously talking about Israel (if only briefly) in your interview with Senator Menendez, Aug 19, 2015.

    A much longer discussion of Israel-in-Palestine (as I think of it) would be a wonderful thing. The Goldstone Report is part of the truth. The entirety (and enormity!) of Israel’s settlement project, entirely illegal at International Law, is another. There are many. I hope you choose several.

    Good luck!

  4. Krauss
    Krauss
    August 24, 2015, 1:28 pm

    NPR has traditionally been hasbara central, together with the NYT.

    Let’s see if this is a flash in the pan, like the NYT fake turn towards genuine liberalism in 2009-2011 before turning hard-right Zionist when the going got tough, or if it’s start of a genuine trend.

    We’ve seen these false dawns before. Although even with those caveats, I don’t think we’ll see a purge in the way that was common in the 80s, 90s and even the early 00s.

  5. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    August 24, 2015, 9:00 pm

    “Menendez said the two countries were two “totally different” cases. One is a democracy, the other is a “theocracy.”

    – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/hockenberry-killings-civilians#sthash.sPs3bwkz.dpuf

    Menendez is saying ” you are black. You can’t vote. You are woman , you can’t be a surgeon or pilot or have the right to work outside home.
    You are not Christian ,you can’t own land or engage in trade or be a government official

    He is also trying to confuse the premise of the argument . Nuclear weapon is not about democracy,theocracy, capitalism or communism or dictatorship . This is tool and not an ideology

    But money can make people believe in their own lies and give the strength to defend themselves against getting caught

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      August 24, 2015, 10:07 pm

      Maybe I should thank John Hockenberry for being brave enough to ask Menendez the questions, I wish, as a constituent, could ask. He has shown an embarrassing support for Israel, and I have written a few times asking why he cannot support his own President. The responses are always lame and meaningless.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      August 25, 2015, 9:26 am

      There is something to the argument that democracy, mass voting, is more likely to have rational results than theocracy, a form of oligarchy where religion has exceptional influence. However, that margin of difference is not very comforting when it comes to the terrifying question of nukes. It may even be that the religious principles of the theocrat cause some restraint. It may well be that democratic voters are prone to panic and rage or dangerous sullen anger in some circumstances. It may very well be that ideas based on religion or on a text commonly regarded as sacred have such influence, as they do in Israel and even in the United States, that democracy may be little different from theocracy in the rationality of its decisions.
      The NPT is highly flawed but worth keeping for now. It is viciously undermined if distinctions are drawn so that proliferation is permitted to regimes of which we approve.

  6. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    August 24, 2015, 10:32 pm

    On Hardball tonight (Monday) quite the go around between Chris Matthews and non experts Feehery, Molly Ball, and Capehart about Iran deal. Feehery kissed Israel’s ass over and over again. Schumer’s vote came up. Chris said several times “Schumer is concerned about Israel” and “legitimate” for him to do so.

    So ok for Schumer to vote for what he thinks is best for Israel (which many disagree with) over what is best for the U.S. What kind of twisted perverted thinking is this?

    You have to watch that segment

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      August 25, 2015, 2:06 am

      I saw it. I guess we should grateful Matthews even brought up Shumer’s motivation. He knew his boss would not let him add, “–maybe, he should be concerned about America?”

  7. CigarGod
    CigarGod
    August 24, 2015, 11:02 pm

    Matthews could play which character in The Wizard of Oz?

  8. Bill
    Bill
    August 25, 2015, 1:11 am

    Back in the 1990s, I remember hearing Hockenberry on NPR discussing a trip to the Middle East. (It may have been on his then show “Talk of the Nation,” but I am not sure.) Hockenberry discussed spending time with a Palestinian teenager who had to spend his life in a wheelchair because of an Israeli bullet. I came away from that interview believing that Hockenberry was critical of Israel.

  9. Chu
    Chu
    August 25, 2015, 10:11 am

    Lol. Menendez is such a b/s artist – The audio is worth listening to as Hockenberry doesn’t back down from his line of questioning.

    AIPAC and Co. must be looking at some way they can take Hockenberry down such a hard tone toward their best performing senator.

    Here’s some recent news on Senator Menendez’s problems:
    —–

    DOJ: Underage Prostitution Allegations Against Robert Menendez Backed By ‘Corroborating Evidence’

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/08/24/doj-underage-prostitution-allegations-against-robert-menendez-backed-by-corroborating-evidence/#ixzz3jps22h6N

    -And you wonder if Jeffery Epstein is linked to all the underage prostitutes. His forte was to lure wealthy/political people to his sex traffic island. Same case with Bill Clinton.

    • lysias
      lysias
      August 25, 2015, 10:37 am

      Epstein has a house in Palm Beach, FL. How close is that to where Menendez’s eye doctor friend lives?

      • Chu
        Chu
        August 25, 2015, 11:14 am

        Salomon Melgin is in North Palm Beach, as is Epstein is south palm beach (his address is easily located since he’s a sex offender).

        Here’s another link on Menendez and the six degrees of separation to Epstein.

        “Last April, Epstein personally donated $2600 to the campaign of Gwendolyn Beck, an independent candidate in Virginia’s 8th congressional district. He also gave $5000 to a political action committee controlled by Beck, who finished a distant third in November’s general election. Beck is pictured here accompanying U.S. Senator Robert Menendez to a 2010 White House state dinner.”

        http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/jeffrey-epstein-brief-history-of-slime-786903

  10. Kay24
    Kay24
    August 25, 2015, 10:46 am

    The arrogance and the sense of entitlement are unbelievable:

    “Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday declared Israeli squatting on the Palestinian West Bank a “right” and as an essential Zionist principle.”

    http://www.juancole.com/2015/08/president-squatting-palestinian.html

    I guess since they have a sense of entitlement to sponge off the US, interfere in our affairs, and control our congress, they must feel they are entitled to everything around them too.

  11. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    August 25, 2015, 11:13 am

    Not a surprise, I suppose, that the Zionist claim to the whole of the Holy Land, which entails that there can be nowhere in that territory which is not under the sovereignty of a Jewish state or not available for ownership by Jewish individuals or organisations, should be ringingly reaffirmed. But where Rivlin really stands and what Cole calls paternalistic Zionism really amounts to is a complete mystery.

  12. JimmieTheSaint
    JimmieTheSaint
    September 1, 2015, 1:05 pm

    Anyone notice that John Hockenberry seems to be taking an awfully long vacation shorty after this occurred? There’s been guest host on The Takeaway for possibly all, but definitely part of last week, and they are saying until the end of this week, but not saying why he is gone. Couldn’t find anything on the net about it being a planned vacation, or anything really. Makes me wonder if NPR had a fit about this and took him off the air.

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