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Media Analyses





C-SPAN Watch: January – February 2013


Send your comments about C-SPAN's platform for the defamation of Israel and Jews to CAMERA:  
c-span-watch@camera.org
 

February 28, 2013 – 7:33 AM

Host: PETER SLEN (pslen@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: Sequester takes effect tomorrow.

Caller: Kenny from Alexandria, Virginia (click here to view).

Off-topic caller's lengthy rambling monologue, including twisted criticism of Israel, is welcomed by host Slen. This is consistent with C-SPAN's chronic indulgence of anti-Jewish, anti-Israel callers to the daily Washington Journal program.

SLEN: "What do you think about the sequester taking effect tomorrow?"

Caller: "This is being part of a – we are being jilted as Gershwin wrote. It is breaking the baseline of – when you say jobs, it should have been taking defense – putting those people to work and fixing the roads and the levees. We spend ten, twelve times more than anybody else in the world together. And while the banks and Wall Street are flourishing and just the basic parts of healthcare and the teachers who have been spending hundreds of dollars a year over the years for basic stuff for pencils and paper. And so it's not taxes and it's not jobs. It is fluctuating in the 20/20 vision of the have and have-nots. And so it should be a worldwide – even – I wish it would be a universal law. An international court, that every country dwindles their defense spending 90 percent. And the nuclear weapon issues seems to bear it out. We are not attacking Israel' s 70 or 80 nuclear weapons and Iran's problems. And that seems to dominate the journalism aspect of things. Get rid of all nuclear weapons."

SLEN: "Alright, thank you, Kenny."
 
NOTE: Caller generalizes, makes scattered references to unconnected topics, illogically calls for the elimination of all nuclear weapons, which arguably have prevented major conventional wars between leading powers since 1945, and then seems to imply that Israel's purported nuclear arsenal is a danger the United States might consider attacking. C-SPAN host Slen might have asked the caller what countries, if any (there are none), Israel has threatened with annihilation the way Iran has threatened it. He might have questioned the caller on the role of American nuclear weapons in keeping the Cold War with the Soviet Union from turning hot or required him to support his assertion that taxes and jobs have nothing to do with sequestration – the purported topic of the segment. Instead, as is so often the case with Washington Journal hosts and off-topic, even incoherent anti-Israel callers, the host merely says "thank you."

February 25, 2013 – 9:48 AM

Host: PAUL ORGEL (porgel@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: ROB MARGETTA, Congressional Quarterly homeland security editor.

Topic: Impact of Sequestration on Homeland Security.

Caller: David from Vancouver, Washington (click here to view).

Typically for C-SPAN's Washington Journal, an anti-Israel caller's blatant lies and distortions are unquestioned. C-SPAN's treatment of the country of Israel and its stonewalling of public complaint about this treatment leads to the inescapable conclusion that the network is guilty of journalistic malpractice as well as bigotry against the Jewish people.

Caller: "I am glad the previous caller mentioned the Middle East [Mary, 9:46 AM: ‘We have a large Middle Eastern population in Michigan near the airport. I think that it is important to be very smart about where we make these cuts if and when they come']. Currently, our government is spending about one half of its discretionary budget – our Congress is – on military defense and homeland security. We would do well to pay attention to what our government is doing around the world.
 
A few years ago, Senator [Sic.] Lee Hamilton [former congressman] was on the 9/11 commission during the 9/11 commission hearings. He asked the question of a couple of FBI agents and CIA agents: What was it that made those men jump on those airplanes and fly them into our buildings? The answer was our support of Israel's abuse of their neighbors, particularly the Palestinians, who they are still abusing and continuing to build illegal settlements all over stolen land. That infuriates a lot of people. That is the cancer in the Middle East we' re having to defend against. We're having to do that with our tax dollars that is bleeding us dry and not leaving anything left. Wouldn't it be far better to change our State Department policy And federal government policy? I know this is out of your realm, but it is all connected. We do not need to be sending troops abroad supporting dictatorial regimes that supply oil to our allies. We do not need the oil. We get less than 10 percent of our oil from the Middle East."

ORGEL: "We get the point, David..We want to see if our guest, Rob Margetta, has anything to add there."

Guest: "That might fit into the type of discussions that sequestration was designed to prompt, the idea of how we' re spending money. Can we cut back in some areas to avoid across-the-board cuts? If it is federal spending, it is a question that would be included in that discussion."

February 15, 2013 – 7:25 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY (lcasey@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: Senate GOP blocks Hagel nomination for secretary of defense.

Caller: Hunter from Seagram, Tennessee (click here to view).

Caller focuses much of his exasperation on Israel and its supporters concerning opposition to the Hagel nomination. Host unsurprisingly fails to point out that the Israel issue is only one of several areas of concern about Hagel.

Caller: “Thanks for taking my call. I cannot believe the Republicans possibly having an ulterior motive. First of, I have experienced this in my life. I am a veteran, as is Senator Reid and Senator Hagel. The biggest rah-rah guys you get for let's go to war and turn a place into a parking lot, are gentlemen who have never served and their sons or daughters will never serve. Secondly, it seems to me an attempt for them to maybe win over some friends in Israel. But my opinion is, he has been selected for the secretary of defense of the United States, not secretary of defense for Israel. So, that is where I stand. Thank you.”

February 15, 2013 – 7:26 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY (lcasey@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: Senate GOP blocks Hagel nomination for secretary of defense.

Caller: Alfred from Louisiana (click here to view).

Like the previous caller, this one focuses much of his exasperation on Israel and its supporters concerning opposition to the Hagel nomination although the Israel issue is only one of several areas of concern about Hagel.

Caller: “Just a couple of things I want to say. I will be real brief. First of all, I think the problem with Hagel is the Iraq war. Someone said he flip-flopped. If you see that something is wrong, you change your mind. What's wrong with that? Second, he served in the Vietnam war. I think he has two purple hearts. If this is a filibuster, whether they call it or not, he has a majority of votes. They are not allowing a full vote because they know it will pass on a majority vote. That is a filibuster. Last thing is – Israel – why is it – and I don't have any problem with Israel at all – why is it that anybody who questions anything about what America does with Israel, or questioning anything Israel does, it is un-American? But we call the President all kinds of (indistinct). Disclosure is something that other defense secretary nominees have had – that is nothing new. That is another reason why they are holding him up. That makes no sense to me. Republicans will not win if they keep doing stuff like this, because it makes them look immature and makes them look they are about the politics and not about getting something done.”

February 15, 2013 – 7:30 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY (lcasey@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: Senate GOP blocks Hagel nomination for secretary of defense.

Caller: John from District Heights, Maryland (click here to view).

The caller focuses his wrath on Senators McCain and Graham and on Israel and its supporters concerning opposition to the Hagel nomination. The caller previously phoned as “John from Capitol Heights, Maryland” (click here to view) on July 22, 2012 (8:25 AM) to express his wrath concerning Israel and U.S. policies, in the discussion, “United States future role in Syria.” His error-filled, lengthy tirade then, as now, was typically unchallenged and uninterrupted by the Washington Journal host.

Caller: “Listen, I do not watch sports to keep up with these politicians. I have been watching Lindsey Graham and John McCain ever since I can remember. They are despicable hypocrites. I mean, it is unbelievable how the American people cannot go back and check their voting records the whole eight years when George Bush was in office, and see how many times they voted for that man's craziness. Now all of a sudden, they're worried about the American people. It blows my mind with the lies and hypocrisies. Dealing with Chuck Hagel – I mean the man is a combat veteran. What person would you not want to have – he has been in combat, seen combat, seen people die, and understands the value of life. The only thing these guys harp and whine about is his personal statements and his international view on the nation of Israel as if they were the only ally we've got over there.

If I was in the Middle East, I would feel highly insulted and put aside that every time something comes up, Israel is the only state over there that has America's only concern. The only thing they talk about this man is his statements on Israel. That's what's so amazing to me. What he is saying is true about Israel. But the only thing they can hold against him is what he says about Israel. Israel is its own country with nuclear weapons. There's nobody over there going to take over Israel. Nobody. They'll blow them to pieces. Lindsey Graham and John McCain can lead this thing the way they do because of the kind of people they are. Thank you ma'am”

February 14, 2013 – 9:00 AM

Host: PETER SLEN (pslen@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: ELIOT ENGEL, Congressman (D-NY), Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member.

Topic: Foreign affairs agenda in 113th Congress.

Caller: John from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (click here to view).

Caller echoes the standard anti-Israel propaganda line of a determined cadre of Washington Journal callers. No other country is defamed in this way on Journal. CAMERA's C-SPAN Watch feature disproves these callers' falsehoods and exposes the distortions. Congressman Engel challenges this caller's message.

Caller: “I have a few questions. I'd appreciate if you let me get through all three of them. Most have to do with Israel and Palestine. I was wondering – aren't the Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land a violation of international law? And don't you think the U.S.' fairly unconditional support for Israel's aggressive policies undermine our efforts for peace making in the Middle East?”

Host (interrupting): “Are those all of your questions, John?”

Caller: “I have one more.”

Host: “What is it?”

Caller: “Does Israel – do you think Israel is proliferating nuclear warheads? If so, as a country who proliferates, aren't we not allowed to provide them aid – defense and (indistinct)?”

Host: “Great. We will get answers, John.”

ENGEL: “First of all, let me say, I believe in the two-state solution to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, an Israeli Jewish state and a Palestinian Arab state living side- by-side, with peace, security guaranteed for Israel and a state for the Palestinians. In order to get there, you need to have both sides sitting face- to-face, having direct negotiations, no preconditions, having all issues on the table, and having the United States and other friendly countries trying to move these sides along.
 
What you have now is a situation where the Palestinian side is refusing to come and negotiate face-to-face with Israel with no preconditions. What they are demanding instead is all kinds of preconditions. Israel must do this and must stop doing that before they will even sit down and talk with Israel. A lot of these issues are final status issues. You don't make them preconditions before you even sit and talk with your adversary. That is the problem I have. I think we need some more leadership on the Palestinian side who is willing to just sit down and all issues really need to be on the table. I am for whatever deal the Israelis and Palestinians can work out. The conflict has lasted too long. We need to have a two-state solution. But when the Palestinians have all these preconditions before they will even sit down and talk to Israel, that shows me they are not really serious about talking. So, I hope that the president's visit to Israel and some of the other countries in the Middle East will help prod negotiations.
 
The only way any conflict has been helped around the world, I don't care whether it is Ireland or (indistinct), you name it, It is resolved by the two parties sitting face-to-face, negotiating a settlement, no preconditions. That is what I would like to see. Everything else is really superfluous because everybody has their own interpretation of international law or proliferation of nuclear weapons or whatever it is. None of that is important. What is important is that we need a two-state solution. We need the parties sitting face-to-face. Israel is willing to do it. I want to see the Palestinian be a little more forthright in that regard as well.”

Host: “But, as far as nuclear weapons in Israel and U.S. support of Israel, do you have anything more to say on that issue?”

ENGEL: “Well, no, I mean Israel is a sovereign state. There have been rumors about nuclear weapons. They have never admitted to it and we don't tell other countries whether they should admit to something or not. I think everybody knows that Israel has some nuclear capability.”

Host: “What about the settlements issue that John asked about?”

ENGEL: “Well, the settlements – let' s look at a little bit of history here. In 1947, the United Nations resolution took historic Palestine and split it into what was called a ‘Jewish state' and an ‘Arab state.' That was the two-state solution back in 1947. In 1948 Israel declared independence. The Palestinians could have had their Palestinian state as part of the U.N. resolution. Instead, the Arab countries attacked Israel and tried to destroy it before it was ever a country. There were no settlements until 1967, those were 19 years since 1948. The Palestinians could have had a state. They chose not to do it.
 
So, the settlement issue is an issue that has to be worked out between Israel and the Palestinians. There were very generous proposals, in my opinion, in both 2000 and 2001, under Bill Clinton, to give the Palestinians a state of their own on 97 percent of the West Bank, 3 percent of Israeli proper in exchange. Arafat was the Palestinian leader at the time. He turned it down. The prime minister of Israel in 2008, Ehud Olmert, had secret discussions, offering even more generous packages to the Palestinians including part of Jerusalem as a capital for the Palestinian state and billions of dollars of aid. The Palestinians turned it down again. They keep turning down chances to have a state and then they complain that they don't have a state. You really have to wonder if, after all these years, why are they turning it down? Is it that they don't recognize that there ought to be a Jewish state of Israel in the region? You really have to wonder.
 
So, people who say settlements are the obstacle to peace – I don't think so. I think settlements are one of the disagreements. The issue of settlements clearly has to be hammered out and negotiated along with anything else. But I think the bottom line is, the Arab states and the Palestinians have got to come to grips that the Jewish state of Israel is here to stay. The minute they recognize that, I think, everything else is a lot easier. I think there needs to be a two-state solution with compromises on both sides, with each side listening to the other side, no preconditions, face-to-face talks with the United States and other friendly countries prodding the two sides.”

NOTE: Rep. Engel's replies included considerable relevant background, but did not directly address the caller's insinuation that Israeli settlements are "illegal under international law" or that Israel is a proliferator of nuclear weapons technology. Basic international law in this case, the League of Nations Palestine Mandate, Article 6, calls for "close Jewish settlement" on the land west of the Jordan River. Article 6 is incorporated by Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, sometimes referred to as "the Palestine article." The United States endorsed the mandate, including Article 6, in the 1924 Anglo-American Convention. The West Bank has not been recognized as territory of any sovereign power since the end of the Ottoman Empire after World War I and has never belonged to any sovereign Arab state. Rather, it is land disputed by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Part of Jerusalem (which has never been the capital of any nation except Israel) and the West Bank were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948to 1967, when Israel took control as a result of successful self-defense in the 1967 Six-Day War. As Eugene Rostow, a co-author of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 (1967), the keystone of all subsequent successful Arab-Israeli negotiations pointed out, 242 does not require complete Israeli withdrawal. Rather, the status of the territory, to which Jews as well as Arabs have legitimate claims, is to be resolved in negotiations as called for in the resolution and by U.N. Security Council Resolution 338 (1973). Meanwhile, Jewish villages and towns built in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria, the ancient homeland of the Jewish people) since 1967 are no more illegal than areas built since then in previously existing Arab villages and towns.

Press reports have put Israel's purported nuclear weapons program at "several hundred" weapons. However, Israel has not participated in the proliferation of nuclear technology to other countries in the way Pakistan, China, North Korea and Iran reportedly have. Neither has it threatened to annihilate other states, as Iran has threatened to destroy Israel. This caller, with his unsubstantiated anti-Israel comments, typifies a group that finds C-SPAN's Washington Journal an indulgent platform.

February 13, 2013 – 9:46 AM

Host: GRETA BRAWNER (gbrawner@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: U.S. Senator James Imhof (Republican, Oklahoma).

Topic: Reaction to last night's state of the union address.

Caller: Jack from Minnesota (click here to view).

The malicious message of the anti-Israel caller, indulged by C-SPAN host Brawner, distresses Senator Imhof who praises Israel as a valuable, stalwart ally of the United States.

Caller: “I have just a quick comment about a previous caller and then I have a question for the senator. The caller that called just recently in the Kaptur [previous] segment saying that Mayo Clinic didn't take Medicare patients. That is incorrect for sure. Now, Senator, you criticized Iran for criticizing Israel. I am going to criticize Israel. I do not much like the state of Israel and it is not because it is a nation composed of Jewish persons. It is because Israel acts unfortunately very much like the Nazis did. They have put settlements in occupied territory, which is absolutely against international law and it is acknowledged as such by some of the leaders of Israel. They have also bombed Gaza repeatedly – bombed hospitals, bombed ambulances, bombed citizens. That is collective punishment, and that is also an acknowledged criminal action by international law...”

Host (interrupting): “Alright, we'll leave it there and let the Senator respond.”

Guest: “Well, I have to say that was the most painful 30 seconds I have ever had to sit through to listen to that, since the only true, loyal friend we have in the Middle East is Israel. We have worked out things with them. They are not strictly the beneficiary of our generosity. We are the beneficiary of theirs in many ways. The Iron Dome [missile defense system] has performed. All these things that are going on over there – there are things that are erupting every day. You cannot just sit back and see what's happening in the Middle East and say Israel is not our best friend and our partner. If something happens over there that we end up in a serious problem, I want them by my side. So, all I can say is, I totally disagree [with the caller]. I know he is well-meeting. He is just absolutely wrong.”

February 12, 2013 – 8:56 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY (lcasey@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: SARAH BRYNER, Center for Responsive Politics, research director.

Topic: Lobbying rules for current and former members of Congress.

Caller: Sally from Alexandria, Virginia (click here to view).

Caller implies that Israel receives special benefits related to congressional junkets. Of the many destination nations for privately financed trips provided to members of Congress, the only such destination nation mentioned by any of several callers in this Washington Journal segment is, unsurprisingly, Israel. This caller, implying that such trips benefit from a special exemption for Israel, asks, “How do they get away with that?” Such singling out of Israel is not surprising given that the anti-Jewish, anti-Israel bigotry in many Journal calls – virtually all of it unrefuted – attracts such bigots.

Caller: “I was curious – when you said that trips are considered gifts and gifts of that sort are not allowed, how is it that newly elected legislators and their families are invited to Israel on an all-expenses paid trip for a week? How do they get away with that?”

Guest: “Yes. For Israel, the organization that often sends members of Congress to Israel does so through the avenue of being a nonprofit. The rules for them, since they are not lobbying, are different. They can send members of congress so long as they don't get a special discount and they fly no more than business class to whatever country. Foreign governments also can sponsor trips and so can universities.”

February 10, 2013 – 7:35 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: State of the Union [speech] number one priority?

Caller: Tom from Annapolis, Maryland (click here to view).

This deceptive caller (variously identifying himself as “Tom,” “Thomas,” or “Jack” in his six monitored C-SPAN calls) uses virtually any topic as an excuse to single out Israel for condemnation. He expresses support for Iran in its conflict with the United States and Israel. C-SPAN hosts do not bother to refute his antisemitic, anti-Israeli propaganda. When the caller mentions Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, he emphasizes the first syllable of the last name, clearly and maliciously pronouncing it as “nut” (Feb. 10, 2013 and Feb. 2, 2010). His previous calls: “Thomas” July 26, 2011 (7:37 AM) click here to view; “Tom” March 29 2011 (7:31 AM) click here to view; “Jack” March 19, 2011 (7:29 AM) click here to view; “Jack” Feb. 21, 2011 (9:46 AM) click here to view; “Tom” Feb. 2, 2010 (8:52 AM) click here to view.

Caller: “You're looking sharp as usual; good Irish kid there.”

SCULLY: “Thank you, Tom.”

Caller: “I think the most important thing that we should be concerned is staying out of war with Iran. That's going to cost us lives and will also cost us the economy; it will basically destroy the economy. Oil prices will rise so much on that thing. We keep listening to ‘Nutenyahu' in Israel where he wants to go to war. But the ex-head of the Mossad [Israel's national intelligence agency], Meir Dagan, and the ex-head of Shin Bet [Israel's internal security agency], [Yuval] Diskin, are opposed to going to war because of the danger to Israel. Israel might win but they will suffer a hell of a lot of casualties and their economy will probably be basically destroyed too. I would not send Israel any more money until ‘Nutenyahu' changes his policy. I would hope Mr. Chuck Hagel gets to become secretary of defense. He is a very, very good man, also a great patriot, who will put the welfare of the United States citizens ahead of those of Israel.”

Host: “Okay, Tom. Thanks for the call.”
 
NOTE: Caller's anti-Israel obsession also has been heard clearly in his previous calls. Washington Journal hosts have accepted remarks like “Why doesn't he [the president] stop the Jews from attacking the Palestinians?;" “I also would like to hear some prominent Jews come out and say 'do not send any money to Israel for a couple of years until we get our economy straightened out' but they will not do that;" “I just want to know–why you do you think Iran should le t themselves be a sitting duck for the terrorists in Israel like Netanyahu? The Israelis have attacked all their neighbors just about, without any real provocation.”

As is typical of C-SPAN's cadre of callers who invariably single out only Israel from among all other nations for condemnation – both foe and friend of the United States – “Tom” demands in this call that Israel be punished by withholding aid (“I would not send Israel any more money until ‘Nutenyahu' changes his policy”). But no Washington Journal hosts and very few guests ever mention the advantages to the United States accruing from its close relationship with Israel. In addition to Israel being the United States' closest Middle East ally and only example in the region of a Western-style democracy, advantages to the United States include Israeli innovations in the form of technology, including for improved unmanned aircraft, anti-missile defenses, battlefield medical techniques and intelligence on anti-U.S. as well as anti-Israeli radicals.

In addition, Israel is required by U.S. law to spend 74 percent of U.S. aid in the United States. This helps create or sustain thousands of American jobs. Israel is one of many nations receiving U.S. military aid and while this aid to Israel may be a proportionately large amount of the foreign aid budget, it has been dwarfed in post-war years by American military spending on and in the prosperous NATO nations, for example. American aid to Israel is a tiny portion of the federal budget. But on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, misleading anti-Israel calls are the norm while pertinent information to the contrary, especially from hosts, is virtually nonexistent. C-SPAN viewers are accustomed to anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli bigotry in many Washington Journal calls, and because such calls typically go unrefuted, as in this case, the network keeps attracting them.

February 6, 2013 – 7:20 AM

Host: GRETA BRAWNER (gbrawner@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: U.S. justifies drone strikes on U.S. citizens overseas.

Caller: Rob from Leesburg, Virginia (click here to view).

This is another of the numerous instances of C-SPAN's chronic journalistic malpractice. Caller suggests that Israel is a likely culprit, along with China, to execute drone strikes targeting Americans overseas. A thoughtful, informed host would be expected to say something like, “China possibly, but why would you be more concerned about Israel, a close ally in close consultation with the United States on defense matters, ahead of any number of threatening entities possessing advanced technology or in the process of acquiring it such as North Korea, Iran, Hezbullah or Hamas?”

Caller: “My concern is that what has not been brought up in this conversation is that there could be other states that make a decision to target Americans overseas, say Israel or, you know, China. I don't know if that has necessarily been addressed. If they are targets of interest, or whatever, contrary to our country's policy with regard to terrorism, then they could potentially be targeted.”

Host: “Okay, alright Robb.”

Caller: “So, I'm wondering if anything has been said about that by any American official currently.”

Host: “I don't see a reference to that in the papers this morning.”

February 3, 2013 – 8:06 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: MARC GINSBERG, former Middle East advisor to President Carter, former ambassador to Morocco.

Topic: Foreign policy challenges in second Obama administration.

Caller: Jack from Greenville Springs, Florida (click here to view).
This is a rare pro-Israel caller to C-SPAN's Washington Journal.

Caller: “Good morning to you and good morning to you, Ambassador Ginsberg. You're doing a great job. I appreciate you. My family appreciates you. I think you are a great American. What I see with the Iranian and Israeli conflict is the Iranians do not even want the Israelis to be on the planet. We have a president and a vice president who have said many times and have even walked away from the Israelis when they have visited here in the United States. The president we have in the White House right now is anti-Jewish. You see it and we see it. To have somebody like that representing the United States and is supposedly a friend of Israel to side with all of these radicals …”

Guest: “Thank you and I understand your concern but let me try to parse this out. First of all, there is a dysfunctionality between the two leaders of the United States and Israel. It is quite clear that Benjamin Netanyahu and Brack Obama just do not get along with each other. That has caused a great deal of disconcerted unhappiness on both sides of the Atlantic. The Israelis are deeply disappointed which is one of the reasons for the election outcome you see in Israel. The prime minister will probably remain prime minister. There are a lot of Israelis who do not want to see this bilateral relationship undermined any further.
 
I have told many Jewish audiences around the country that despite the personal relationships of these two individuals, the president has been consistent in maintaining the military and intelligence support for Israel throughout these difficulties. So, I have consistently commended the Obama administration for not letting politics get in the way of what is the essential rubric of the U.S.-Israeli bilateral relationship, and that is the consistent military and strategic support that is provided by the United States. I judge that empirically and objectively. As someone who believes that my friends in the administration have done everything that they could to make sure the politics do not get in the way of that relationship.”

February 3, 2013 – 8:21 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: MARC GINSBERG, former Middle East advisor to President Carter, former ambassador to Morocco.

Topic: Foreign policy challenges in second Obama administration.

Caller: Doug from Boston (click here to view).

British accented “Doug from Boston” is obsessed with bashing Israel and Jews in each of his numerous calls during which the C-SPAN hosts allow his tendentious monologues. C-SPAN has provided phoner Doug a platform on at least these 12 previous occasions: Oct 19, 2012 (8:15 AM) click here to view; May 4, 2012 (9:14 AM) (click here to view); March 4, 2012 (9:18 AM) (click here to view); Jan. 8, 2012 (9:06 AM), Nov. 25, 2011 (9:06 AM), April 24, 2011 (9:32 AM), Feb. 19, 2011 (8:45 AM), Dec. 27, 2010 (7:50 AM), Nov. 24, 2010 (9:10 AM), April 11, 2010 (8:51 AM), Jan.1, 2010 (9:13 AM), Dec 20, 2009 (9:09 AM).

Caller: “The first phrase out of your guest's mouth was the reference to Iran's nuclear weapons program. Anyone who knows anything about the Middle East know there is no proof of such a program. I also know that Marc Ginsberg is a neo conservative Zionist who wants the United States fighting Israel's wars. I think it's about time that Marc Ginsberg hopped on an El Al flight and performed aliyah.”

Guest: “Well, what kind of a response to a person who, first of all, wants to shoot the messenger because he doesn't like the facts? I dare say that if this individual wants to be educated then he should go to the Website of the International Atomic Energy Agency and read their reports. And if he still is a disbeliever, then I suspect he'll probably buy the Brooklyn Bridge.”

February 3, 2013 – 8:25 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: MARC GINSBERG, former Middle East advisor to President Carter, former ambassador to Morocco.

Topic: Foreign policy challenges in second Obama administration.

Caller: Don from Pittsburgh, Kansas (click here to view).

Conspiracy mongering caller charges Israeli dominance in the America-Israel relationship and claims that U.S. aid to Israel is excessive. Host fails to point out that such aid is less that less than 0.1 percent of federal government spending and that Israel is required to spend most of it in the United States or on U.S. products. Likewise unmentioned is that the cooperative relationship yields technological and intelligence benefits to America.

Caller: “The U.S. government basically operates as an enforcing arm for the U.S. corporate powers and we also see a change over time of the power relationship between the U.S. and Israel where what was formerly a client state is becoming more powerful. And we now have to wonder if the tail is wagging the dog. I mean, the real interest of the United States is we need to improve our internal infrastructure and education and deal with some of the problems we have here. I'm not suggesting we spend 20 percent of our money on foreign aid but Israel certainly gets an outsized proportion of that and Egypt in support of that. Thank you.”

Guest: “Well, listen. The fact is that there is this strategic partnership between Israel and the United States. It is the only real democracy in the Middle East. Israel has provided the United States with a significant amount of strategic intelligence in return that is helping the United States. There is an interesting report, may I suggest that the gentleman read, which I just got a copy of, issued by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy the other day on the role that Israel has played in enhancing American security. So, to a certain extent, for a very small country like Israel, Israel has provided an outsized proportion of return of support for the United States around the world and around the Middle East in terms of technology and military intelligence that has helped the United States. So, I think we should not just look at this as strictly a one-way street. The Israelis also understand the obligation of helping their American allies.”
 
NOTE: Caller “Don” is another in the chain of Washington Journal callers who invariably single out only Israel from among all other nations for condemnation. The guest touched on something that no Journal hosts and very few guests ever mention, that is – the advantages to the United States accruing from its close relationship with Israel. In addition to Israel being the United States' closest Middle East ally and only example in the region of a Western-style democracy, this includes benefits from Israel in the form of technology, including for improved unmanned aircraft, anti-missile defenses, battlefield medical techniques and intelligence on anti-U.S. as well as anti-Israeli radicals. In addition, Israel is required by U.S. law to spend 74 percent of U.S. aid in the United States. This helps create or sustain thousands of American jobs. As to caller's “outsized proportion,” Israel is one of many nations receiving U.S. military aid. This aid to Israel may be a proportionately large amount of the foreign aid budget but has been dwarfed in post-war years by American military spending on and in the prosperous NATO nations and, as noted above, is a tiny portion of the federal budget. But on C-SPAN's Washington Journal uninformed anti-Israel calls are the norm while pertinent information to the contrary, especially from hosts, is virtually nonexistent.

February 3, 2013 – 8:29 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: MARC GINSBERG, former Middle East advisor to President Carter, former ambassador to Morocco.

Topic: Foreign policy challenges in second Obama administration.

Caller: Cecilia from Meridian, Mississippi (click here to view).

Caller: “I am so proud of our president because he is a thinking man. We cannot go and start conflicts and war everywhere. If we are in North Korea, which they pose as much of a threat as Iran, in my opinion because they constantly threaten us. And also we say that we are strong and that we prevent all of the different threats. We do not push back on them nearly as much. Israel is our ally and we have to support them but the United States is the United States of America and we have to look out for our own interests. I do believe that if we get into all of these conflicts, it weakens us as a country. Therefore, we have to be very careful. We have to go in with both eyes open before we involve ourselves in one conflict behind the other. We have to be very diligent with our resources. Our resources is of the most important and valuable.”
 
Guest: “I could not agree more with the statement you just made ma'am. There is no doubt that the American people are fatigued by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is an enormous consequence between a military confrontation between Israel and the United States with Iran. So many people say let's just bomb the nuclear facilities and think that that will be the end of it. The American people deserve … to understand more coherently why that conflict is essential for American security, not only to defend our allies, but to defend the United States. I have been in war games where we have spent time trying to understand the consequences of a military showdown between Iran and the United States. They are enormous and important for us to keep in mind. The same for Israel. The biggest concern is that it is not just an Israeli attack on Iran's military installations means that we will be done with Iran's military and nuclear capability, it is also the consequence to Israel of relentless rocket salvos from Hezbullah firing military rockets against Israel's population centers as a retaliatory attack. That will have enormous consequences for Israel as well. We all need to have to have our eyes very wide open to do what we can to avoid the conflict but also to be mindful of the fact that Iran with a nuclear weapon, a proven nuclear weapon or to the point where they are actually assembling a nuclear weapon, has enormous consequences for American security not only in the region but also in the world … and particularly in the Middle East.”

February 3, 2013 – 8:32 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: MARC GINSBERG, former Middle East advisor to President Carter, former ambassador to Morocco.

Topic: Foreign policy challenges in second Obama administration.

Caller: Ken from Boca Rotan, Florida (click here to view).
This is a rare pro-Israel caller to C-SPAN's Washington Journal.

Caller: “Mr. Ginsberg, Israel left the security zone in Lebanon and received rockets and kidnappings by Hezbullah. They left Gaza with not one Israeli left in Gaza and they received rockets and kidnappings from Hamas. I wonder, sir, the media seems to indicate that Netanyahu is the intransigent one. But how do you make peace with Abbas when Hamas indicates that they still have on their agenda the intention to destroy Israel. If you make peace with Abbas, you are going to get rockets from – when the leader resigns or is assassinated – the West Bank.”

Guest: “You put the nail on the head, so to speak, when you talk about how important it is to have a two-state solution to avoid the capacity of Hamas to influence all of the West Bank to become more radicalized and to confront Israel as a more terrorist-oriented state on its eastern border. I have been a passionate believer in a two-state solution all my life. Watching the possibility of that two-state solution evaporate is of deep concern to me. I agree with you. Obviously Hezbullah has re-armed itself to the teeth. They have 60,000 missiles aimed at Israel when in 2006 [just before the Israeli-Hezbollah war in Lebanon], it only had 15,000. Hamas is dedicated to Israel's s destruction.

And yet there is still a significant Palestinian secular population that would like to reach some accommodation with Israel. I agree with you that the Palestinian leadership has not done what is necessary to try to reach an accommodation. At the same time, I have been very critical of the Israeli government's policies to create new settlements on the ground. I've opposed the construction of settlements in the E-1 corridor. The more Israel builds settlements, it only undermines the chance for a two- state solution. It appears to be another lasting damage to American foreign policy interests in the Middle East. I hope with the new Israeli election and the ascendancy of this new party … headed by Lapid, a newcomer that is more secular, that perhaps he can pull Netanyahu away from the precipice of pursuing an agenda that is only going to further destabilize the potential for a joint two-state solution.”

NOTE: The guest's phrasing, “… Israeli government's policies to create new settlements … construction of settlements ...” is inaccurate. Israel's announced plans have been to construct additional housing units within existing Jewish communities in the West Bank, not to build new settlements. To date, Jewish villages and towns comprise less than five percent of the West Bank.
 
Separately, the host's failure to quiz the guest on his opinion, “there is still a significant Palestinian secular population that would like to reach some accommodation with Israel,” suggests lack of knowledge of the issue being discussed. Opinion polls of Palestinian Arabs often indicate otherwise.
 
For example, in 2011 The Jerusalem Post reported “that 6 in 10 Palestinians reject 2-state solution, survey finds 73 percent of 1,010 Palestinians in W. Bank, Gaza agree with 'hadith' quoted in Hamas Charter about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones, trees. Only one in three Palestinians (34 percent) accepts two states for two peoples as the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to an intensive, face-to-face survey in Arabic of 1,010 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip completed this week by American pollster Stanley Greenberg. The poll, which has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, was conducted in partnership with the Beit Sahour-based Palestinian Center for Public Opinion and sponsored by The Israel Project, an international nonprofit organization that provides journalists and leaders with information about the Middle East. The findings include: 72 percent backed denying the thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem; 62 percent supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage; 53 percent were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools; 73 percent agreed with a quote from the Hamas charter (and the Hadith, or tradition ascribed to the prophet Muhammad) about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones and trees.”
 
February 1, 2013 – 9:03 AM

Host: PEDRO ECHEVARRIA (pechevarria@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: MAREN LEED, Center for Strategic and International Studies, senior fellow.

Topic: Hagel confirmation hearing [for U.S. Secretary of Defense].

Caller: Sarah from Edgewater, Maryland (click here to view).

Typically for C-SPAN's Washington Journal, neither host nor guest respond to the caller's anti-Israel references, especially her unqualified use of the terms “military occupation” and “these people's [Palestinian Arabs'] lands are being taken away.” The legal and historical records refute this view.
 
Caller: “I just wanted to say that I think he [Hagel] is a good choice because he looks at issues in a critical manner. I think he tries to be objective. His point yesterday about Iraq was very well taken in that the war should not have happened in the first place. Regardless of whether or not the surge worked or not, it was based on lies with misinformation and deception. It was a tragedy.
 
The other thing that I found very interesting is that whole point that one of the senators made about the Israeli lobby, and there wasn't anybody intimidated by them. I found it interesting to watch all these interactions going on because the fact is when you look at the Middle East, it is a complex issue. What is happening in Palestine [Sic.] is a tragedy because you do have military occupation going on in which people's lands are being taken away. Their houses are being bulldozed down and I think it is refreshing to get somebody who can be honest about that and say ‘listen here, there are two sides and two sides are creating wrong.'”
 
Guest: “That is one of the main selling points for the administration about Chuck Hagel. He is a pragmatist not an ideologue. One of the reasons the president nominated him was that I think he is reading the tenor of the electorate to say this is the kind of person that we want an office, that there is a large proportion of the electorate it is (indistinct) with ideologically driven leaders and we want more leaders who are willing to look at things objectively and with an open mind. I think that was one of the primary reasons why they are very enthusiastic about [former] Senator Hagel's nomination. So, I think your point is well taken, that that's one of the things he brings to the table.”

NOTE: Regarding the caller's claims, no people's land is being taken away. Virtually all Israeli settlements in the West Bank have been built not on privately owned Palestinian Arab property but rather public or “waste” land, whose status has been unchanged under Ottoman, British, Jordanian and most recently Israeli administration. Britain's League of Nations' Palestine Mandate, Article, 6 – continued by the U.N. Charter, Article 80 – encourages “close settlement on the land” west of the Jordan River by Jews. That includes the West Bank. Further, Israel is the legitimate military occupational authority in the area, having gained the West Bank in successful self-defense as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War. Even so, essentially all Palestinian Arabs live under the daily administration of their own leadership – the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority on the West Bank, the terrorist Hamas in charge in the Gaza Strip. Israel's West Bank security barrier, checkpoints and other counter-terrorism measures are to protect Israelis against continuing attempts by Palestinian groups, not to establish permanent control over the territories. Hence Israel's repeated calls that PA leaders renew direct negotiations. Cases of homes being bulldozed, involving those built without permits, that fail safety inspection or have been used by terrorists are extremely rare.

That neither the guest nor, more importantly, the host pointed out this essential information in regard to the caller's tendentious claims is typical of Washington Journal's silence on essential context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and uncritical reiteration and broadcast of anti-Israeli views.

February 1, 2013 – 9:09 AM

Host: PEDRO ECHEVARRIA (pechevarria@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: MAREN LEED, Center for Strategic and International Studies, senior fellow.

Topic: Hagel confirmation hearing.

Caller: Mr. Johnson from Johnson City, Tennessee (click here to view).

Typically for C-SPAN's Washington Journal, both host and guest fail to respond to the caller's pro-Israel point – this instance involving a Bible reference, “God is really against that – dividing the land of Israel.”

The caller may have been referring to the Book of Joel, in which God warns the nations against dividing the land of Israel. Bible believers often refer to Joel 3:2 when warning against re-dividing Jerusalem and restricting [or extirpating] Jewish communities in Israel's ancient heartland of Judea and Samaria (West Bank).

Caller : “I want to make just a comment. I think Obama and Hagel believe in the two-state solution. Is that correct or not?”

Guest: “Yes, at some point, I believe, that is their ultimate goal, yes.”

Caller: “Don't you think that would make the situation worse by trying to divide the Jewish land. The Bible [Joel 3:2] says that God is really against that – dividing the land of Israel?”

Guest: “I think that is a whole separate show on what to do in that region. It is far too complex to get into at this point. Senator Hagel has been very clear that he supports the President's approach to the region.”

NOTE: The Book of Joel (3:2) says “I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land (New International Version).” This reference from the Hebrew Bible is relevant not in that contemporary diplomacy must explicitly follow Jewish scripture, but rather as a reminder that not only must Arab Muslim and Christian claims be considered in any final agreement, but so too must Jewish ones. Nevertheless, C-SPAN hosts chronically seem to be either unaware of Jewish religious and historical claims or unwilling to comment on them when appropriate.

January 28, 2013 – 7:33 AM

Host: JOHN McCARDLE (jmccardle@c-span.org,journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: The role of the United States on the world stage.

Caller: Charlie from Belmar, New Jersey (click here to listen).

Anti-Israel conspiracy monger “Charlie from Belmar, New Jersey,” again welcomed and indulged by Washington Journal, concludes his call with an allegation common to anti-Jewish conspiracy theorists. “Our Congress is a puppet of the Israeli government. We are controlled by the Israeli government.” Host McCardle's entire response is, “That's Charlie from Belmar, New Jersey this morning.” Would he have handled a parallel charge, for example, "Our Congress is a puppet of the Chinese government. We are controlled by the Chinese government" the same way? Unlikely. "Charlie from Belmar, New Jersey" most recently called on Sept. 17, 2012 (8:01 AM) to complain falsely about Israel and sanctions on Iran. Host Greta Brawner's entire response was “Alright.” Click here to listen.

Caller: ”I think that we are overly involved militarily all over the world. I think there is political pressure from groups like neocons and AIPAC. We are the second most hated country in the Middle East. Now we are going into Africa, so maybe we could be the second most hated country or first-most hated country in Africa. We spend billions and billions of dollars and 3000 people got killed in 9/11 and 40,000 [Iraqis were killed or injured] by our people getting even in Iraq. There's too much outside pressure from other countries. Our Congress is a puppet of the Israeli government. We are controlled by the Israeli government. Thank you very much.”

Host: “That's Charlie from Belmar, New Jersey this morning.”

NOTE: C-SPAN's Washington Journal continues to tolerate if not welcome callers who, regardless of announced topic, excoriate Jews and Israel. This is especially so when the network allows no other minority group or nation to be smeared so consistently. Host McCardle seems either unaware or unconcerned that references to "political pressure from groups like neocons and AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, largest registered pro-Israel lobby)" is, in support of charges of "Israeli control," often a euphemism for Jews and purported Jewish control of the U.S. government.

Cable television viewers should e-mail, call or write cable service providers and urge them to call for an end to such indulgence of anti-Jewish prejudice by Washington Journal. Keep in mind that a portion of your cable fees supports C-SPAN.

January 13, 2013 – 8:40 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: STEVE CLEMONS, Editor at Large of the Atlantic magazine.

Guest: GARY SCHMITT, Co-Director of the American Enterprise Institute Center for Security Studies.

Topic: Obama Administration Cabinet Changes.

Caller: Darrell from Defiance, Missouri (click here to listen).

This call from frequent caller "Darrell" (his Jan. 8 call was aired) again demonstrates that C-SPAN is generally unable or unwilling to enforce its own often stated, ostensible "one-call-per-30-days" rule. Caller impugns Jews and Israel by charging that "our leaders have to be vetted by Israel" and any criticism of Israel is "labeled anti-Semitic." Guest Clemons refuted this propaganda several minutes later after host Scully impeded an immediate response. This obsessively anti-Israel caller, using falsehoods and distortions, is always allowed to freely heap blame on Israel and its supporters and on the United States for its alliance with Israel.
 
The history of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish hate mongering, enabled by C-SPAN's Washington Journal, of "Darrell" (sometimes he identifies himself as Bill or Bob) goes back to at least Sept. 2009 and includes: Jan. 8, 2013 (7:04 AM) Darrell from Missouri (click here to listen); Nov. 21, 2012 (7:34 AM) as Darrell from Defiance, Missouri (click here to listen); April 15, 2012 (7:36 AM) as Darrell from St. Charles, Missouri (click here to listen); Feb. 5, 2012 (7:19 AM) as Bill from Defiance, Missouri (click here to listen); Oct. 21, 2011 (7:16 AM) as Bill from St. Louis (click here to listen); Oct. 12, 2011 (7:19 AM) as Bill, Sept. 21, 2011 (7:06 AM) as Bill, May 19, 2011 (7:15 AM) as Darrell, May 2, 2011 (9:18 AM) as Bill, March 18, 2011 (7:30 AM) as Bob, Feb. 26, 2011 (7:16 AM) as Bill, Feb. 1, 2011 (7:21 AM) as Darrell; and so on back to Sept. 30, 2009 (8:21 AM) as Darrell from St. Louis (click here to listen).

Caller: "I would like to say that I am a Navy veteran and I support Chuck Hagel 100 percent. I don't understand why all of our leaders have to be vetted by Israel. I mean, they have nuclear weapons. They have not been rational at all. So, I disagree with your statements. Any time somebody says anything about Israel, the first thing is you're labeled as anti-Semitic."

Host: "Okay Darrell, thanks for the call."

CLEMONS (At 8:45 AM): "The earlier caller [Darrell] made a comment that disturbed me a bit about Israel vetting candidates. Israel is not vetting candidates. But I do think it is important to listen to the views of other countries in regard to this. And Danny Ayalon, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel, has issued very strong, solid comments supportive of Hagel saying that he is a friend, saying that he respects Hagel's decision making and that he does not have a problem with the nomination. So, for those people trying to imagine the Israeli government's intransigence on Hagel – why don't you look for the Israeli government's comments and the Israeli government's comments have in fact been positive. There are issues of concern but I do think it would be wrong to tar Israel with views and statements that its government leaders have not made."

January 8, 2013
 
Host: GRETA BRAWNER (gbrawner@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org.
 
Of the ten callers who referred to Israel in this broadcast (in first and third segments), seven expressed antagonism. Public opinion surveys (like the December 2012 Pew poll  showing approximately 50 percent of Americans more supportive of Israel compared to roughly 10 percent more supportive of Palestinian Arabs) indicate an abiding positive view of the Jewish state. But the majority of callers to C-SPAN's Washington Journal who address Arab-Israeli issues and U.S.-Israeli relations seem to represent an anti-Israeli, often anti-Jewish fringe. Such callers find the program an attractive platform for defaming Israel and America (mainly for allying with Israel). Pro-Israel callers rarely turn up on Washington Journal and anti-Israel callers' statements, often erroneous, are rarely challenged by the hosts.
 
The first segment's topic (“What are the U.S. foreign policy challenges in 2013?”) included the following callers antagonistic toward Israel:

• Darrell from Missouri (7:05 AM) (obsessive anti-Israel frequent caller) charged that American politicians who support Israel are “cowards” and “clowns.”

• David from Indiana (7:07 AM) demanded that the Israelis “be reigned in.”

• Jason from New York (7:28 AM) charged that “we focus on Israel too much.”

• Tom from Maryland (7:38 AM) said, “I think he [Prime Minister Netanyahu] is a very dangerous man.”

• Carl from Virginia (7:43 AM) said, “We have got to start giving Israel not so much special treatment and space.”

Click here to view first segment.

The third segment's topic (“President Obama's nomination of former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense”) included the following callers antagonistic toward Israel:

• Bill from Illinois (8:36 AM) said, “I don't think Israel should have anything to say (about the Hagel nomination).”

• Nate from Virginia (8:51 AM) said, “We have always been in support of Israel. We always will be. Do they do their foreign policy for us? No.”

Click here to view third segment.

January 6, 2013 – 9:31 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).
 
Guest: JAMES KITFIELD, National Journal senior correspondent.

Topic: President Obama's second term foreign policy agenda.

Caller: Mike from Germantown, Maryland (click here to listen).

Conspiracy mongering caller “Mike” is another of the numerous out-of-kilter fringe types who find C-SPAN's Washington Journal an attractive platform. They usually aim their barbs at America or Israel but seldom, if ever, at Islamists or jihadists.

Caller: “I hope you will give me a little bit of time here to explain myself so I can talk about what I want to talk about. If you go to …dot com, there is an article by … saying that al Qaeda terrorists were airlifted from Libya to aid Syrian opposition. This is not a rebellion, this is a CIA/Mossad/MI-6 state-sponsored coup where we train and arm the terrorists to overthrow Assad in order to put in a central bank and gain control. This man [Kitfield] on your program is nothing but a pimp for the new world order.”

SCULLY: “I will stop you there on the second part of your point because we ask for courtesy and diplomacy. You can certainly disagree with our guest. I want to go back to his point because a lot of people feel that the CIA is involved with all of this.”

KITFIELD: “'Pimp for the new world order' is something I've never been called before. That's interesting. This rebellion started out internally; it is indigenous. It started out peacefully after Assad decided to crush it militarily. It turned into a civil war. He's right on several points. There have been extremist groups in (indistinct) and Libya who joined the opposition, much as we saw when the civil war in the Iraq was at its height. We saw the Sunnis joined all Qaeda in Iraq. Even if Assad falls, what happens to those groups? Do they get their hands on the chemical weapons, for example? We have picked a side in the civil war. President Obama said Assad must go. We have not armed the rebellion, but our allies have, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar, mostly with small arms. There are credible reports they had surface to air missiles. It is a messy civil war. We have chosen a side. Right now, it is stalemated. We have offered support to the rebellion. Once he started massacring his own people, I don' t think a lot of our allies would have accepted any other choice but to stand on the side of these people who want a say in their own lives ...”

January 6, 2013 – 9:43 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: JAMES KITFIELD, National Journal senior correspondent.

Topic: President Obama's second term foreign policy agenda.

Host: good morning. Welcome to the program.

Caller: Anna from Athens, Ohio (click here to listen).

This obsessive, anti-Israel repeat caller's effusive praise of former Senator Hagel (a critic of both Israel and its supporters) mentions “folks who are gathered up and fighting against Hagel's nomination” which is arguably aimed, certainly in her case, at provoking condemnation of Israel and its supporters. This caller – invariably indulged by C-SPAN in each of her numerous calls – nearly always rails against Israel and U.S. foreign policy in each of her calls and she lies about her own name. Her easily recognized distinctive voice has been heard on Washington Journal variously identifying herself as: "Ann," "Mary," "Rebecca," "Patricia," "Jackie," "Kay," "Kate," "Kathleen."

Her most recent call was as “Kathleen from Dayton, Ohio” (click here to listen) on Nov. 4, 2012 to this same host Scully. Her previous 2012 calls were as “Kathleen from Dayton, Ohio” on Oct. 22 (click here to listen); Ann (click here to listen) May 22; Kathleen (click here to listen) March 1; Mary (click here to listen) Feb. 24; Rebecca (click here to listen) Jan. 15; Kathleen (click here to listen) Jan. 13; Jackie (click here to listen) Jan. 9; and Ann, Jan. 8, 2012.

Caller: “James, I respect your work and I certainly hope that. I hope I get as much time as that wonderful lady from Massachusetts. I want to ask about the direction our foreign policy (indistinct) fabulous in our mind, if President Obama does indeed nominate Senator Hagel and his sound and his clearly-based mind in regards to foreign-policy and Iran. As Viet Nam vets. neither Kerry nor Hagel would want to use our military in a way that is completely unnecessary. So, do you think that the folks who are gathered up and fighting against Hagel's nomination, if you would talk about them. I think it is a wonderfully strong indicator that we will have a better foreign-policy if Hagel makes it makes it in. But on Syria ...”

SCULLY (interrupting) : “Let me stop you there, Anna. Because you have two different issues there. First, the Defense Department.”

KITFIELD: “The take on this is that critics of Hagel tend to be very pro-Israel – lobbies and advocates – who think he is not sufficiently committed to Israel. Another group thinks he is too reticent in terms of getting involved with Iran and has not drawn hard enough lines against Iran and its nuclear program. Others think he is too soft on Iran. He comes from the moderate, realist wing of the Republican Party very much in the tradition of George H.W. Bush – Bush 41 – which has a pretty good track record in foreign affairs. Brent Snowcroft has come out in support of Hagel. It is realist and it is cautious …”

SCULLY: “Anna, we'll go back to you. You want to talk about Syria as well?”

Caller: “Former administration official Leverett (indistinct). I feel like they base what they say based on substantiated evidence. On Syria, why is it that we – they have written that 50% of the Syrian people actually support Assad. They have written about Egypt. I think it was Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran trying to form a group to communicate with Assad.”

SCULLY (interrupting): “Who is ‘they'?”

Caller: “The ‘they' is these groups – Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia. It was Iran and Turkey that would sit down with Assad about stepping down.”

KITFIELD:” That offer has been offered to Assad all along. The Arab league has made many overtures. United Nations has a special envoy for the Syrian conflict, Mr. Brahimi, all of which have tried to get him to accept some sort of a deal where he goes into exile …”

January 6, 2013 – 9:50 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: JAMES KITFIELD, National Journal senior correspondent.

Topic: President Obama's second term foreign policy agenda.

Caller: Tim from California (click here to listen).

Typically, C-SPAN provides “Tim” (actually James Morris – notorious caller to this program and fringe activist) with an anti-Israel conspiracy mongering propaganda platform. Here he is (again) allowed to violate C-SPAN's ostensible "one-call-per-30-days" rule having called on Dec. 25 as “James from Los Angeles” (click here to listen). Morris' 63 calls (with very few exceptions each has been anti-Israel, anti-America, pro-Iran) to Washington Journal since December 2008 are chronicled. Morris' Iran connection is indicated by the Iranian government-funded propaganda Website, which refers to Morris as a “Los Angeles-based political analyst” in a propaganda video (posted May 23, 2011) featuring Morris (includes his photo).

Caller: “I'd like to say google James Morris, Russia Today and you will see that the Israel lobby, neocons, AIPAC (indistinct) is what's pushing for regime change in Syria.”

KITFIELD: “Israel is very worried about what's going on in Syria. They kind of backed the idea that Assad just stays in power. Israel likes the status quo in the Middle East. The Arab spring totally reshuffles the strategic calculus for Israel, especially with Egypt and the peace treaty. The Israelis are very nervous about a lot of the repercussions from the Arab Spring. As far as pushing for this rebellion to get rid of Assad, not to my knowledge. It has been really focused on the Shiite Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia – Sunnis in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and others who have been very worried that Assad will stay in place. They are very opposed to that. Turkey as well. They are horrified by the slaughter. I do not think Israel is the driving player in Syria. Now, it's a different dynamic with Iran. Israel is the driving power trying to get us and the world community to (indistinct) Iran's nuclear weapons program because it's an existential threat to the state of Israel “


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