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‘Politico’ dares to publish Ehrenreich saying occupation fosters terrorism, and ‘Camera’ goes haywire

on 25 Comments

Five days ago, Ben Ehrenreich published a very strong piece at Politico, titled “How Israel Is Inciting Palestinian Violence: Inside the oppressive and far-reaching occupation designed to give Palestinians the “feeling of being chased.” The piece is an excerpt of his new book about the occupation, The Way to the Spring. But it began with the plain argument that the Tel Aviv attack killing four on June 8 is inevitable given the brutality of the occupation. It’s amazing and wonderful that Politico ran his analysis:

Tel Aviv’s Mayor Ron Huldai found the courage to state the obvious—that violence will persist until the occupation ends. Israel “is perhaps the only country in the world holding another nation under occupation without civil rights,” Huldai said. Such frankness counts as bravery these days, but even Huldai was understating the truth. It’s not the mere fact of a military occupation, of Israeli troops on Palestinian territory, that provokes such attacks. It can be difficult to comprehend from across the Atlantic, or even from usually tranquil Tel Aviv, but the occupation, as I have observed while reporting from the West Bank since 2011, functions as a massive mechanism for the creation of uncertainty, dispossession and systematic humiliation. It is not just soldiers and guns, but a far-reaching structure that affects all aspects of Palestinian life—a complex web of checkpoints, travel restrictions, permits, walls and fences, courts and prisons, endless constraints on economic possibilities, home demolitions, land appropriations, expropriation of natural resources, and, too often, lethal force.

No amount of preventive repression or collective punishment will bring an end to the bloodletting in Tel Aviv or elsewhere. As long as this oppressive system stands, and the United States continues to support it with billions of dollars a year in military aid, despair will spread, and with it death.

The piece was promptly met by a broadside from Camera, the pro-Israel organization, calling on its members to flog Politico with criticisms of the decision to run Ehrenreich’s views.

Camera began an email blast with its own attack on the article as somehow anti-semitic (“Politico—a newspaper and Web site covering Congress, the White House and politics—has published an Op-Ed claiming the Jewish state ‘provokes such attacks’ …  [The article] perversely—not to mention counter-factually—cited Israeli ‘settlements’ and ‘despair’ over the lack of a Palestinian state as the motive for anti-Jewish violence”) before telling its readers how to proceed:

Please use as the basis for your own letters. Do not recirculate to members of the news media or individuals you do not know to be committed to accurate Middle East news coverage.

Please contact POLITICO:
• Write a letter to POLITICO at:
1000 Wilson Blvd., 8th floor
Arlington, VA 22209
• Or call 703-647-7999

• And tweet @POLITICOMag

• Also tweet @BenEhrenreich

• E-mail Blake Hounshell, Editorial Director at [email protected] or tweet @blakehounshell

• Also e-mail Gillian Reagan, Managing Editor at [email protected]
As always, make your points courteously, but directly.

Two can play this game.

Estee Chandler of KPFK’s Middle East in Focus sent out an email urging folks to thank Politico for the excellent piece, and Ehrenreich published the full CAMERA alert on Facebook along with a similar appeal:

Dear friends: It has come to my attention that the ironically named CAMERA (The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) just put out this alert asking their supporters to write to the editors of Politico to protest the publication of an excerpt of my book this week. CAMERA, for those who don’t know them, is devoted solely to silencing and discrediting any media reporting critical of Israel. In the current environment, it was an act of considerable bravery for Politico to run my work, and I’m grateful to them for it. If you have the time and inclination, please write to the editors to thank them for having the courage to show a side of the story that is rarely shown in the US press. You can email their editors here:
Many thanks for your support.

That’s the main point here: the mayor of Tel Aviv can advance this analysis about the occupation, and some brave people in the U.S., but it’s still verboten in the mainstream to describe the political roots of terrorism; and CAMERA wants to keep it that way. These people hate Jews, is the CAMERA narrative. Now Politico has broken the seal and is finally acknowledging some of the truths of the conflict. This will make it harder for the State Department and State reporters to talk about Palestinian incitement, harder for politicians to trash Palestine at any opportunity.

Here’s Ehrenreich’s twitter feed. Here’s his new book, which has been getting excellent reviews, here and here.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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25 Responses

  1. amigo on June 19, 2016, 12:59 pm

    Letter sent to their editorial dept feedback.

    Hopefully , it is not moderated by a CAMERA plant , tasked with filtering out the antisemitic letters coming from the Israel haters.

    Thanks for reporting this.Another tiny chink in the rogue state,s armour.

  2. amigo on June 19, 2016, 1:27 pm

    Speaking of dirty tricks , (camera)

    “Israel Setting Up ‘Dirty Tricks’ Unit To Find, Spread Dirt on BDS Groups .” haaretz Amir Oren.

    “An old Chinese proverb, invented by Benjamin Netanyahu and Gilad Erdan, says that when someone sets out to blacken your reputation, beat him to it. Don’t worry if you’ve missed the boat, the main thing is to get hold of large amounts of black stuff and spread it lavishly on the goyim. Which goyim, exactly? Perhaps Americans in colleges, in explicit violation of David Ben-Gurion’s prohibition against spying in America against U.S. citizens. Will goyim be the only targets? And who will guard the tarnishers? All that remains to be seen.

    The demon confronted by the Netanyahu government is the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. While the Israel Air Force has precision-guided munitions, the war against BDS calls for new tools. Not, heaven forbid, for changing the policies which so upset many people across the world, who make a distinction between Israel proper and the settlements. ”

    read more:

  3. Kay24 on June 19, 2016, 2:15 pm

    Just like the zionists are well organized, hazbarized, and so easily able to whine and show outrage, those who are fighting for the Palestinians people and their rights, must also play that same game.
    The whining should be ideally even louder, since the outrage is justifiable.
    It seems the ones who are occupying and stealing lands are experts at playing victim, and are masters at it. There is no doubt the occupation is resulting in a violent response – no one should expect anything else.

    • gamal on June 19, 2016, 2:37 pm

      As the Prophet Gandhi exclaimed in 1938

      “There are hundreds of ways of reasoning with the Arabs, if they will only discard the help of the British bayonet.

      As it is, they are co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them.

      I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regarded as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their country.

      But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.”

      • JWalters on June 20, 2016, 2:20 am

        Very interesting, thanks.

      • Eva Smagacz on June 20, 2016, 7:14 am

        It seems that Arabs in the first paragraph are Arab elite, like Hashemites or Sauds, and Arabs in the third paragraph are Arab masses revolting against joint occupation of their lands by British and French and aristocratic Arab collaborators.

    • inbound39 on June 20, 2016, 4:38 pm

      From my days on the Palestinian State thread that was run on YahooNZ Message boards we discovered is run by Eli Hertz who is a supporter of Netanyahu and former IDF. Members of Camera.Org. were caught red handed on Wikipedia altering all information to do with the formation of the State of Israel and UN involvement so it fitted the Zionist Hasbara version. What Camera .Org does on its own site is pieces together different snippets of fact and marries them together to form the picture they want to tell. They placed statements from Lord Caradon the author of Resolution 242 and only put up part of Caradons statements thus changing the entire context of what Caradon was saying so it fitted the Zionist Version. This is what is happening on many sites in one form or another but the Camera site is their best example of how to pervert the course of history.

  4. just on June 19, 2016, 2:34 pm

    Thanks for this, Phil.

    “Israel approves extra $18m for West Bank settlements …

    The prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said the decision by his rightwing cabinet to allocate the extra 70 million shekels was in response to concerns about the security of existing Israeli settlements.

    According to the Haaretz newspaper, the amount is in addition to $88m already allocated to settlement-related spending.

    Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are considered illegal under international law and major stumbling blocks to peace as they are built on land Palestinians view as part of their future state.

    The US, the European Union and many others in the international community have called for a halt to settlement building.

    The Israeli government argued the increase was needed due to security concerns. …

    Speaking at the start of the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said the allocation was “an assistance plan to strengthen communities” in the West Bank, saying it would “strengthen security, assist small businesses and encourage tourism”.

    Beyond security, the cash will also upgrade tourism infrastructure, sport facilities and cultural events, ministers said.

    Palestine Liberation Organisation secretary general Saeb Erekat called the move a “slap in the face of the international community”.

    “Israel is doing everything possible to sabotage every effort to achieve a just and lasting peace,” he said in a statement.”

    Any bets on how the US, EU and the rest of the world will respond??? Our tax dollars are most likely funding this and so many crimes in Palestine …

    • annie on June 19, 2016, 3:49 pm

      Any bets on how the US, EU and the rest of the world will respond???

      US/EU will say it’s not helpful while giving israel more carrots.

      • just on June 19, 2016, 7:14 pm

        How I wish that were not so, Annie!

        “EU-backed French Peace Initiative Constitutes a Vote of No-confidence in Netanyahu …

        Israel’s government is expected to rack up a rare achievement today: It has succeeded in uniting all 28 members of the European Union behind a joint diplomatic declaration. The EU foreign ministers’ summit that will convene in Brussels is expected to back the French peace initiative, which includes convening an international conference attended by both Israel and the Palestinians by the end of the year.

        Israel’s opposition to this initiative, which has the support of both the United States and Russia, and its efforts to sabotage the French move merely underscore its isolation. This failure comes on top of its failed attempt to thwart an EU decision on labeling products of the settlements, as well as EU members’ support for a UN Human Rights Council resolution on preparing a “blacklist” of companies operating in the settlements.

        In response to a statement published in late 2011 that denounced Israel’s settlement policy and attacks by settlers on Palestinians, the Foreign Ministry, then headed by Avigdor Lieberman, declared that Britain, France, Germany and Portugal had “made themselves irrelevant.” Now, the French/European initiative has been launched, bypassing Israel, and made Israel irrelevant to this diplomatic process. …

        The cabinet’s decision on Monday to give another 82 million shekels ($21 million) of taxpayer money to the settlements is fresh evidence of the fact that Netanyahu’s statements about peace are nothing more than lip service the prime minister is paying to the international community. … This is another reason to seek a diplomatic agreement that would enable settlers living in the heart of a Palestinian population that has spent almost 50 years under occupation to finally be returned to Israel.

        Indeed, as the cabinet decision stated, the worsening security situation has an impact on many aspects of life, including psychological and social aspects. Therefore, we must welcome any initiative aimed at halting this deterioration and enabling residents of the settlements to develop new lives inside their country’s sovereign borders.”

        read more:

      • inbound39 on June 20, 2016, 4:46 pm

        We strongly condemn….This does not help the Peace Process…..Very Disappointing……Deplorable……..these are the more usual responses. What it needs is the US to cease AID and Weapons supplies until Israel complies with International Law and withdraws from territory occupied during the Six Day War. In fact ALL Territory it has illegally occupied since 1948 that does not fit the borders it declared as defined by 181. Those are Israels only legitimate borders. If it did that Gaza would not be disconnected from the West Bank which is why Israel occupied the other leg of Gaza that joined it to the West Bank.

      • annie on June 21, 2016, 3:20 am

        inbound39, yep — for starters

  5. hophmi on June 19, 2016, 8:35 pm

    Lol, good reviews? I see one review from the Star-Tribune and one review by Charles Glass, a longtime pro-Palestinian propagandist. If you’re going to complain about who is assigned by the NY Times or the Washington Post to write certain reviews, you shouldn’t cite Charles Glass.

    • bryan on June 20, 2016, 2:58 am

      Lol, hophmi, how lame! Charles Glass is an internationally respected journalist, documentary film-maker, publisher and consistent advocate of human rights. He has expert experience of the Middle East dating back to 1973 and served for 10 years as ABC News chief Middle Eastern correspondent. He has worked for CNN, ABC and BBC, and has written for just about every respected journal and newspaper in the US and UK. You belittle him as a pro-Palestinian propagandist yet his influential investigative journalism has extended, not only through the entire middle east (esp. Lebanon, Syria, Iraq) but to other conflict zones such as East Timor and Bosnia. He published the inspiring ‘Time for Outrage’ (achieved 3 million sales in 30 languages) of Stephane Hessel (French Resistance fighter, concentration camp survivor, diplomat, and inspirer of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

      Give me an alleged “pro-Palestinian propagandist” any day, in preference to a blinkered, bigoted and pettifogging Zionist troll.

      • Mooser on June 20, 2016, 1:49 pm

        Thanks, “bryan”. Much appreciated.

        “Charles Glass is…”

        Poor “Hophmi”. If Mr. Glass is a standard, we can’t even call “Hophmi” a ‘longtime pro-Israel propagandist’.

      • hophmi on June 20, 2016, 3:51 pm

        “Lol, hophmi, how lame! Charles Glass is an internationally respected journalist, documentary film-maker, publisher and consistent advocate of human rights. ”

        LOL. Bret Stephens won the Pulitzer Prize. I’m guessing you’re not going to appeal to authority with him like you’re doing with Glass.

        How much has Glass written about the ethnic cleansing of Christians and Yazidis in Iraq and Syria?

      • Mooser on June 21, 2016, 2:06 am

        “Please use as the basis for your own letters. Do not recirculate to members of the news media or individuals you do not know to be committed to accurate Middle East news coverage.”

        Shhh! It’s off-the-record! Don’t tell the mosers or the kapos. Okay, now send it out over the internet!

        “Hophmi”, how stupid are these people? Are they really that stupid?

      • Talkback on June 22, 2016, 8:48 am

        hophmi: “LOL. Bret Stephens won the Pulitzer Prize.”

        LOL. Bret Stephens is a longtime pro-Israel propagandist.

  6. Marnie on June 20, 2016, 1:48 am

    Great article by Ben Ehrenreich. I hope it’s the beginning of more truth being told by the MSM. Who knows who else may show some backbone? This is the much needed fresh air to quelch the stink of israeli lies and propagandists.MW is the pioneer and most excellent; I just hope more will follow (better late than never). The truth will set everyone free.

  7. JWalters on June 20, 2016, 2:17 am

    Add my thanks to Politico for their “act of considerable bravery” in publishing this story. It makes sense that web-based news outlets would lead in breaking this story, because the web audience already knows about things being hidden, and is looking for someone to reveal them. First we find out the U.S. was never really an “honest broker”, and now this!

    This story will generate a lot of attempts at face-saving as it unfolds. Doubtless some reporters are already taking notes for their insider books on the unraveling.

    Who’d have thought America would find itself in a situation where it needed to extricate itself from the control of a foreign government? Keeping these secrets has been a tactical cornerstone of that control.

    The religious fanatics were never the root of the problem. They’re merely tools of their investors, and a cover story. And the religious moderates have been duped, using a lot of emotional manipulation. Tell people they’re special – it’s the oldest manipulation in the book.

  8. Ossinev on June 20, 2016, 9:06 am


    “It seems the ones who are occupying and stealing lands are experts at playing victim, and are masters at it”

    I think this was certainly the case up until say 10 years ago. With the arrival of the internet , smart phones and not least commentary sites like MW it is no longer the case.

    What used to be clever and effective has now become tedious and predictable self parody.

    Infamy! Infamy! Everbody`s got it infamy !

  9. Monica70x7 on June 20, 2016, 10:29 am

    So glad that Estee Chandler of KPFK and Ben Ehrenreich himself are organizing a pushback against the organized deceit and vitriol of CAMERA!
    Another group that has sent out a similar bulletin to its subscribers is called WRITE. This is a mass-emailing group that contacts only its subscribers regarding articles in U.S. news sources that should elicit responses from Palestine solidarity folks. Subscribers have no obligations, but are simply notified of opportunities to respond to editors and writers. For more info, send an e-mail to [email protected], or search “WRITE Alert” on Facebook. I am Monica, the chief administrator of WRITE. My team and I are profoundly grateful to Mondoweiss, and we want to do our bit to help.
    P.S.; I have purchased and started to read Ben Ehrenreich’s book. It is pure gold!

  10. Qualtrough on June 20, 2016, 12:49 pm

    Cause and effect are anti-semitic. Just one more way that any criticism of Zionism/Israel is shut down. When all is said and done there is no legitimate way to effectively criticize Zionism/Israel that is recognized as such by them. Anti-semetism, blood libel, what-aboutism,- they have all the bases covered.

  11. Walker on June 20, 2016, 4:32 pm

    Folks, if you haven’t read Ehrenreich’s entire story by clicking on the link at the start of this article, please do so. It’s quite a piece.

    Phil, thanks for bring this to our attention. I’ve emailed Politico editors and Ben Ehrenreich to express my appreciation.

  12. wondering jew on June 21, 2016, 10:48 am

    OT- I know that Syria is not precisely the primary subject of this web site, but the 51 state department employees who dissented from obama’s (do nothing) stance vis a vis Syria and assert that the US has to get involved with air strikes if it really wishes to pressure Assad, is certainly worthy of comment.

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