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–”
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.