Jul
15
2013

CBS Gives Iran Nuclear Fearmongering a Voice

ftn-netanyahu

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been sounding alarms over Iran's nuclear program for two decades. On Sunday CBS Face the Nation gave him yet another chance to make dubious claims about the threats posed by their supposed weapons.

Aug
16
2011

Times: U.S. Mideast Policy's "Uncomfortable Position"

In today's New York Times, Jennifer Steinhauer notes the remarkable number of Congressmembers– more than 80–who are heading to Israel thanks to a program affiliated with AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobbying force. Steinhauer sizes up the political backdrop– the White House has strained relations with the current Israeli government, and there's more: the Palestinians are weighing a request to the United Nations Security Council to support a bid for statehood, leaving Washington in the uncomfortable position of blocking such a unilateral move while supporting democracy movements in other Arab nations. U.S. policy at the United Nations has historically been pro-Israel. […]

Jul
05
2011

Ethan Bronner on the Non-Crisis in Gaza

When I saw the July 3 New York Times headline "Setting Sail on Gaza's Sea of Spin," I expected the worst. Times reporter Ethan Bronner's analysis piece on the Gaza humanitarian flotilla starts off predictably enough, saying there's blame to spread all around: Almost everything about the flotilla stuck in Greece and waiting to challenge Israel's blockade of Gaza seems to be a parable for something else, part of an unstated effort to recast the Israeli-Palestinian narrative in extreme terms. Instead of helping to clarify what Gaza needs and how it might build a future, the saga has merely brought […]

Oct
09
2009

NYT: Gaza War Worked

Isabel Kershner writes a piece in the New York Times (10/9/09) that starts out as a profile of an Israeli artist who makes flowers out of Qassam rocket pieces. The main point, though, is to discuss thechanged reality in southern Israel, thanks to the invasion of the Gaza Strip late last year that killed over 1,000 Palestinians: Israel said its three-week offensive was intended to change the reality in the south. Since January, when the military campaign ended, the rocket fire has significantly fallen off and residents here are trying to accustom themselves to a kind of normalcy amid the […]

Sep
16
2009

NewsHour Poses a Moral Conundrum

PBS's NewsHour's Gwen Ifill (9/15/09), quizzing Richard Goldstone on his U.N. fact-finding mission that found that both Israel and Palestinian fighters had committed war crimes in the Gaza conflict: The term "even-handed" is the problem that Israel has with the conclusions in the report. Your criticism of Israel seems so much harsher than that of the Palestinians. Why is that? CBS News (9/9/09), summarizing a report by Israel's leading human rights group: Well over half of nearly 1,400 Palestinians killed in Israel's Gaza war were civilians, including 252 children younger than 16, a leading Israeli human rights groups said Wednesday, […]

Aug
05
2009

Obama Has Sweets, but No Questions, for Helen Thomas

FAIR associate Sam Husseini has blogged his reaction (Husseini.org, 7/4/09) to a Barack "Obama Photo Op with Helen Thomas" in which the president "came with cupcakes to wish Helen Thomas a happy birthday": "Now, if only he'd take her questions." Obama claimed they have a "common birthday wish"–for a "real healthcare reform bill"–but Thomas is not in favor of Obama's plan, she's for single-payer. Last week I bumped into Helen Thomas at her stomping ground, Mama Ayesha's restaurant in Washington, D.C., and she stressed the single-payer failure on the part of Obama. I asked her if I was right, that […]

Jun
04
2009

Rule of Law vs. 'Blind Support' for Israel in Media

Responding to "both Likud Party members in Israel as well as their Americans supporters" who "complain that the Obama administration is unduly 'interfering' in Israeli politics"–as exemplified by Ben Smith of Politico reporting that "the administration's escalating pressure on Israel to freeze all growth of its settlements on Palestinian land has begun to stir concern among Israel's numerous allies"–Salon's Glenn Greenwald (6/3/09, ad-viewing required) likens the situation to "teenagers who tell their parents that they are not compelled to comply with parental dictates" and are told that "as long as they seek financial support, then the parents have the right […]

May
11
2009

'Tensions' and 'History' in Jerusalem

The New York Times' Ethan Bronner and Isabel Kershner (5/9/09) wrote about the Israeli government's development planin Jerusalem–a "$100 million, multiyear development plan in some of the most significant religious and national heritage sites just outside the walled Old City here as part of an effort to strengthen the status of Jerusalem as its capital." According to the Times report, this will involvetearing down some Palestinian homes around the city, while at the same time cleaning up other areas and putting up "new signs and displays that point out significant points of Jewish history." Bronner and Kershner explain the different […]

Mar
17
2009

NYT, WaPo 'Reticent' on NIC Uproar

As "the American foreign policy community worked itself into something resembling a frenzy over the appointment of Charles W. 'Chas' Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council"–because "at stake was, if not a direct policy battle of huge consequence, a real struggle over the range of viewpoints that will be permitted in an official government position"–Greg Marx says (CJR.org, 3/13/09) that "if you get your news from the New York Times, you were totally oblivious to this story as it unfolded": To recap: On February 19, Laura Rozen reported on Foreign Policy's website that Freeman, who is known for his […]

Mar
16
2009

WaPo Devolved Into Neocon 'Propaganda Sheet'

Veteran journalist Robert Parry (Consortium News, 3/15/09) has a message for anyone left who, when they "hear the name Washington Post," might "still think of… brave journalists facing down a corrupt president"–"today's version of the newspaper would be a sad disappointment, a betrayal of a noble past": Over the last three decades, the Post has evolved into a neoconservative propaganda sheet, especially its opinion section which fronted for George W. Bush's false Iraq-WMD claims, led the long-term bashing of Iraq War critics, and defends whatever actions the Israeli government takes, including the recent war in Gaza and apparently its desire […]

Mar
09
2009

Seeing Cracks in Big Media's Pro-Israel Opinion Wall

Asserting that "one positive aspect of the wreckage left by the Bush presidency is that many of the most sacred Beltway pieties stand exposed as intolerable failures, prominently including our self-destructively blind enabling of virtually all Israeli actions," Salon.com's Glenn Greenwald (3/9/09, ad-viewing required) cites "the last three New York Times columns by Roger Cohen" as evidence of "a substantial–and very positive–change in the rules for discussing American policy towards Israel": Two weeks ago, Cohen–writing from Iran–mocked the war-seeking cartoon caricature of Iran as The New Nazi Germany craving a Second Holocaust. To do so, Cohen reported on the relatively […]

Mar
04
2009

NPR 'Worse Than Worthless' on Middle East

National Public Radio watchdog Mytwords (NPR Check, 3/3/09) is moved to declare the network's Palestine/Israel coverage "worse than worthless" after "yesterday morning first featured Michele Kelemen redelivering Secretary of State Clinton's talking points (Hamas is a terrorist organization, blah, blah, blah, Hamas has to renounce violence, blah, blah, blah, U.S. is giving tons of money to Gaza, blah, blah, etc.)": After that four-minute-plus State Department summary, what does NPR offer? Who would you go to for expert analysis? How about someone who has "has advised six American secretaries of state." Yep, NPR serves up the stale ideas of Aaron David […]

Jan
15
2009

FAIR Activist: Friedman's Phony Evidence That Terror Works

Posting his letter to the New York Times on FAIR Blog, FAIR activist bpb points out that not only is Thomas Friedman claiming that terrorism works, he's making up evidence to claim that terrorism works: There is no evidence for Thomas Friedman's contention that after Israel's 2006 war with Hizballah, "Lebanese civilians, in anguish, said to Hezbollah: 'What were you thinking? Look what destruction you have visited on your own community! For what? For whom?'" In fact, in the month following the war, a public opinion poll conducted in Lebanon confirmed the opposite: that Lebanese public opinion strongly favored Hizballah. […]