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National Public Radio annexes West Bank to Israel

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Yesterday National Public Radio had a travel report from the Herodium in the occupied West Bank of Palestine, and host Steve Inskeep called the region “Israel’s West Bank.” NPR has now corrected the error at its site– “We incorrectly refer to the West Bank as Israel’s West Bank. We should have called it the Israeli-occupied West Bank.” But why do they do this sort of thing in the first place? Inskeep is an Indiana teacher’s son who has interviewed Obama and Netanyahu and should know this kind of thing.

Maybe he picked up the mistake from the correspondent, David Plotz, who states at his travel website that the Herodium is located in Tall Furaydis, Israel. On NPR, Plotz treated the Herodium as a magic place outside of modern time:

You’re driving through the desert and all of a sudden, this cone juts up from it. And as you get closer, you realize they’ve taken this mountain and built a huge structure on top of it. The they in this case was Herod, the king of Judea. You emerge in this open space at the top of the mountain. You can then look out and have this incredible expansive view of the whole desert around you. So it has a human story and then this strange, artificial wonder about its appearance that are magical for me.

But I’ve been there, and the entrance to the Herodium has a military checkpoint at it, and it neighbors occupied Palestinian villages with huge red signs saying it’s dangerous for any Israeli to enter them. And I’m sure you can see Gush Etzion settlement bloc from the top. Two years ago Israeli archaeologists looted the place to make an exhibition at the Israel Museum, promising they’d return the artifacts. So yes, the Herodium has a human story. A living one of apartheid and exploitation.

Plotz is married to an Israeli, and has bemoaned the alleged absence of nonviolent protest in Palestine. Where is the Gandhi? Etc.

Speaking of NPR, the other day National Public Radio quoted the eminent constitutional lawyer Jules Lobel on the California solitary decision and trailblazing Columbia Law prof Katherine Franke on that Kentucky county clerk’s refusal to grant marriage license because she has a religious objection to same-sex marriage. But I have never heard Franke and Lobel interviewed about Palestine. Lobel has documented Israeli war crimes; Franke is a leading anti-Zionist. Why doesn’t NPR ever interview these intellectual leaders about Israel and Palestine? Because it’s PEP, progressive except Palestine. NPR is progressive on solitary confinement and progressive on LGBT rights but has its head in the sand on Palestine.

Update: Henry Norr picked up an error in my piece; I called Gush Etzion Gush Emunim. Apologies!

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49 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    September 3, 2015, 1:33 pm

    Inskeep “knows this type of thing” Everyone I have ever talked with about this issue of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine believe NPR has done their part to support the occupation and cover up (or be silent) on Israeli’s crimes for decades. Ok maybe the last five years they have become a bit more fact based.

    However in the past it was either silence or complicity

    NPR chooses to have it’s “head in the sand” on this conflict. They have been complicit for decades. People have talked about this for decades. Even contacted NPR.

    • amigo
      September 3, 2015, 2:22 pm

      “NPR chooses to have it’s “head in the sand” on this conflict. They have been complicit for decades. “Kathleen

      When i lived in the US –Bay Area , I used to view NPR as a credible source .That was before I got my head straightened out on the P/I issue.How could I have been so blind.All the usual signs were right there in front of me.There was hardly ever a spokesperson providing the Palestinian side .Just the usual Israeli apologists , IE Mort Zuckerman and the guy in the wheelchair (can,t recall his name and George (never tell the truth ) Will.


      • Kathleen
        September 3, 2015, 4:36 pm

        NPR has had that frontal of being progressive on almost all other issues. Difficult for folks to see through that decades long and well constructed frontal.

    • JWalters
      September 3, 2015, 8:19 pm

      NPR is being terrorized into silence, as are all of America’s mainstream media. But NPR is a good spot to fight back against the tyranny because they brag about their integrity and their service to the public. They can be challenged and shamed on this points, hopefully by a growing barrage of criticisms.

      In some cases this can work. Shame would not have worked against Hitler, but Gandhi used it successfully against the British.

      • piotr
        September 3, 2015, 9:42 pm

        Perhaps shame would not work with Tories, but it worked with Labour. Churchill, the hero of Netanyahu, hated Gandhi. The great hero spoke

        It is alarming and nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half naked up the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still organising and conducting a campaign of civil disobedience, to parlay on equal terms with the representative of the Emperor-King.
        Commenting on Gandhi’s meeting with the Viceroy of India, 1931


        Churchill raged that he “ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back.” [I guess he was also disgusted with the current Viceroy]

      • irishmoses
        September 3, 2015, 9:58 pm

        Many of NPR (and PBS) major and minor contributors are Jewish. Kerfuffles over issues involving Israel often lead to threats of withholding contributions from some, not all Jews (much as threats of cancelling advertising affect commercial media).

        Follow the money path which will lead you to true enlightenment and wisdom.

      • Mooser
        September 3, 2015, 10:20 pm

        “Follow the money path…”

        I think, if the ol’ seive is working, that NPR’s reliance on corporate funding has increased significantly, listener funding is about 30%, and Public funding is much less than it used to be.

  2. JLewisDickerson
    September 3, 2015, 1:37 pm

    RE: Why doesn’t NPR ever interview these intellectual leaders about Israel and Palestine? Because it’s PEP, progressive except Palestine. NPR is progressive on solitary confinement and progressive on LGBT rights but has its head in the sand on Palestine.” ~ Weiss

    WHY NPR IS “PEP”: I recall watching a video some years ago about a forum including a participant from NPR. When they took questions from the audience, an old geezer like myself went to the microphone. Instead of asking a question about the topic, he angrily asked the NPR guy why he should continue making donations/contributions to NPR when they employed people like the NPR guy who were [allegedly] so critical of Israel. He was really obnoxious.
    Multiply that “old geezer” by many thousands!

    • JWalters
      September 3, 2015, 8:04 pm

      This scene is the large situation in microcosm – money plus threat is defeating truth.

      Money / force plus threat is the ancient method of tyrants. The fact that the main discussion forums in America CAN NOT include the facts about Palestinian suffering proves by definition America is under a TYRANNY. A key feature of any tyranny is the prohibition of relevant facts in the public discussion of an important public issue. If public discussion is being thus prohibited, that means a tyranny is in operation. On this topic, America is EXACTLY LIKE communist China.

      All the radio and TV hosts and politicians who censor themselves, who avoid bringing up a very relevant HALF of the Israel / Palestine situation know in their gut they are living under a tyranny. Like all victims of tyranny, they are constrained by fear, and perhaps by complicity.

    • irishmoses
      September 3, 2015, 10:01 pm

      Exactly the problem. FTM, as they say.

  3. JLewisDickerson
    September 3, 2015, 1:47 pm

    RE: “Henry Norr picked up an error in my piece; I called Gush Etzion Gush Emunim.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Horrors! ! !

    ■ Gush Emunim –

  4. HarryLaw
    September 3, 2015, 2:14 pm

    The Golan Heights has also been annexed [de facto] in breach of UNSC Resolution 497 [1981]..Inter alia.
    “Decides that the decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Golan Heights is null and void and without legal effect.
    That does not stop a major wine exporting company Golan Heights Winery located in the illegal settlement of Katzrin Syria labelling all their wine thus..

    1. ‘Wine of Israel’ and
    2. ‘Produced by Golan Heights Winery 183 Katzrin 12900, Israel.
    As an added factor, the labels when viewed as a whole show at least five other indicators which tend to confirm the false facts in 1 and 2 above.
    1. Golan Heights Winery with Galilee underneath, ‘Galilee’ is a region of Northern Israel.
    2. The wine is Kosher for Passover; and is authenticated for the Jewish religious holiday of Passover by a Rabbi from the Northern Israeli City of Tiberias.
    3. The web page indicates an Israeli country code [il]
    4. Barcode first three digits 729 indicates Israeli origin, although not conclusive proof of origin.
    5. Hebrew text.
    As you can see this is a blatantly false label in breach of various EU Regulations in this case EU Reg 607/2009 article 55. The Trading Standards Departments will not prosecute. The Food Standards Agency will not prosecute. The Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs [DEFRA], Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs or The UK Foreign Office will not prosecute . Is it any wonder the Israelis think they can get away with it?

    You can see the photographs of false wine labels in my photobucket library here:

    • amigo
      September 3, 2015, 2:32 pm

      Thanks for that Harry.I am sure I have seen that label in my local store.Must have a chat with them.I did manage to get them to drop fruit and veg products , especially Herbs , coming from occupied territories.

      • Kathleen
        September 3, 2015, 6:28 pm

        Good for you Amigo

    • irishmoses
      September 3, 2015, 3:22 pm

      How about “the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights?”

      I think it’s no accident that country names like Syria and Palestine have disappeared from the geographic narrative involving Israel’s illegally occupied territories in:

      1. The Syrian Golan Heights.
      2. Gaza, in the state of Palestine.
      3. The West Bank of the state of Palestine.
      4. The international city of Jerusalem.

      Names matter; dignity matters.

    • Kathleen
      September 3, 2015, 6:30 pm

      That will be a company to boycott. Will check in the largest liquor/wine store in our region to see if they are carrying “Golan Heights Winery” products.

      • echinococcus
        September 3, 2015, 7:08 pm


        I don’t think there is a connection between the labeling according to UN status and consumer boycott. UN status shows the differences between 1947 declaration, 1948 occupation, resolution 181 etc., 1967 occupation and all that, trying to use international law to support the boycott.
        We the private people don’t need any of that to boycott.
        Anything Israeli can (imho should) be boycotted period and there’s no way they can force us not to.

    • JWalters
      September 3, 2015, 8:24 pm

      Perhaps all wines produced in the U.S. should also be labeled “Wine of Israel”.

  5. US Citizen
    September 3, 2015, 2:44 pm

    Anything with a barcode that begins 729 is illegal settler squatter goods.

  6. a blah chick
    September 3, 2015, 2:57 pm

    Phil, have you seen Yuval Diskin’s article up at Tablet? He says the situation is now a Two Jewish state solution: Israel and the Jewish state of Judea. And he’s concerned, very concerned, because Jewish state number two is spawning some serious extremists.

    Many Jews who visit Israel never see the oppression there so why should NPR dude see it in the Republic of Judea?

  7. irishmoses
    September 3, 2015, 3:10 pm

    “We incorrectly refer to the West Bank as Israel’s West Bank. We should have called it the Israeli-occupied West Bank.”

    How about “Israeli-occupied state of Palestine”, or “the Israeli-occupied West Bank of the state Palestine” recognized by the UN and some 140 countries, now including the Vatican. Same holds for Gaza which is also a part of the internationally recognized state of Palestine not some ambiguous “territory” that Israel lays a claim to. Words matter; dignity matters.

    • Boomer
      September 3, 2015, 3:16 pm

      re: “How about “Israeli-occupied state of Palestine”

      good point! merely leaving it at “West Bank” is meaningless.

    • ritzl
      September 3, 2015, 3:42 pm

      Thanks irishmoses.

      That goes for everybody who writes about this issue. It’s not “occupied territories” or some such dismissive nebulosity. It’s “occupied Palestine,” for reasons of both correct reporting about an actual recognized state and to, as you say so well, recognize and give dignity to a people who are slowly and insidiously being erased by their usurpers and their usurpers crony chroniclers.

  8. Boomer
    September 3, 2015, 3:13 pm

    re: “Lobel has documented Israeli war crimes; Franke is a leading anti-Zionist. Why doesn’t NPR ever interview these intellectual leaders about Israel and Palestine?”

    Interesting information. Thanks for that. Interesting question too.

  9. ckg
    September 3, 2015, 3:29 pm

    USA Today has an especially appalling piece today titled, “American ideals draw these U.S. citizens to settle in Israel’s West Bank”.

    • eljay
      September 3, 2015, 3:34 pm

      || ckg: USA Today has an especially appalling piece today titled, “American ideals draw these U.S. citizens to settle in Israel’s West Bank”. … ||

      American ideals include Jewish supremacism, land theft, occupation, colonialism, oppression, torture and murder? Huh.

      • a blah chick
        September 3, 2015, 4:09 pm

        With the exception of Jewish supremacy that pretty much covers “American ideals.”

      • ckg
        September 3, 2015, 5:06 pm

        The author says that Baruch Goldstein is not typical of these American settlers. Well, that sure is a ringing endorsement.

  10. CWasten
    September 3, 2015, 3:52 pm

    Innskeep does good feature articles, articles that don’t require any depth. He is a terrible moderator for anything serious. He was put in his current position after the republicans fired Bob Edwards in 2004 so he probably leans, at least, to the conservative POV. I’m appalled every time I listen to him interview for current issues. He’s a lightweight and has brought the quality of NPR’s Morning Addition down to his level.

    • Kathleen
      September 3, 2015, 6:39 pm

      Getting rid of Bob Edwards was pathetic. They heard quite an outcry from the public

      • Boomer
        September 3, 2015, 7:37 pm

        “They heard quite an outcry from the public”

        Yes, but they did not care.

      • Kathleen
        September 3, 2015, 11:41 pm

        You are right Boomer. But they lost some listeners over that one. Of course they capture more all of the time…locked in cars during rush hour. Talk about a captive audience.

  11. Kathleen
    September 3, 2015, 6:38 pm

    Here is an interesting tidbit. Move On has put out a new alert here in Colorado for folks to be contacting Congressman Polis. In the suggested request they encourage folks to say “Choose diplomacy over war. Stand with your fellow Democrats not with Dick Cheney and Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz and many of the same gang that pulled us into a war with Iraq.”

    Somehow they fail to mention that you should not be standing with Dem Senators Schumer and Menendez, Rep Israel and other Dem Congress people voting against the deal.

    • piotr
      September 3, 2015, 9:48 pm

      I would add “Of course, if you foresee a need for several million dollars in your legal defense fund, please kindly disregard this letter.”

  12. straightline
    September 4, 2015, 2:22 am

    O/T but exciting news – the petition to arrest Netanyahu for war crimes when he visits the UK this month is just about to pass 98000 signatures – only 2000 to go before it needs to be considered for debate in parliament.

  13. Les
    September 4, 2015, 12:35 pm

    NPR: 24/7 Israeli propaganda by and for PEP Jews. Just another source that AIPAC need not fund from the limited money it has available.

  14. Atlantaiconoclast
    September 4, 2015, 10:04 pm

    NPR and BBC are both also full of it when it comes to Syria, constantly blaming Iran for destabilizing Syria, when the West should get that blame.

    • yonah fredman
      September 5, 2015, 12:47 am

      atlanta- I don’t have any answer regarding Syria, but tell me, are you a fan of Assad?

      • Annie Robbins
        September 5, 2015, 3:06 am

        why do you ask? tell me yonah, are you a fan of daesh?

      • talknic
        September 5, 2015, 4:11 am

        @yonah fredman September 5, 2015, 12:47 am

        ” I don’t have any answer regarding Syria….”

        Are you a fan of Islamic State?


        BTW Palestine has been recognized by a larger percentage of UN Member States than was Israel in 1949 before being admitted to the UN

        Israel was declared, it’s frontiers proclaimed in its plea for recognition, recognized as it asked to be recognized and admitted to the UN as recognized. All the while it was at war in territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”

  15. yonah fredman
    September 5, 2015, 3:37 am

    Annie- You are correct: In the real world one must choose between real choices. In the case of Syria the choice was not between Assad and democracy as one might have hoped, but in fact a choice between Assad and chaos/Daesh and as such Assad is certainly better than the current situation. Still even when we clarify that the lesser of two evils is preferable to the current evil, one needs clarity regarding Assad’s evil and his major backer is indeed Iran (Russia too), but Iran.

    • HarryLaw
      September 5, 2015, 8:54 am

      yonah fredman “one needs clarity regarding Assad’s evil and his major backer is indeed Iran (Russia too), but Iran”.
      Assad is Syria’s legitimate leader, overwhelmingly reelected in June 2014 in a process international observers called open, free and fair. even before that election the ‘Doha debates’ indicated majority support for Assad’. That source was not friendly to Assad. All sections of Syrian society whatever their sectarian make up support Assad. Western leaders would love the voting percentages Assad received. Just look who are leading supporters of the Syrian opposition, yes those paragons of democracy and human rights Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

      • yonah fredman
        September 5, 2015, 7:37 pm

        Harry Law- Anyone who considers Assad a legitimate choice of a majority of Syrians has drunk the kool-ade.

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