Thursday, June 29, 2017
  Home
RSS Feed
Facebook
Twitter
Search:
Media Analyses
Journalists
Middle East Issues
Christian Issues
Names In The News
CAMERA Authors
Headlines & Photos
Errors & Corrections
Film Reviews
CAMERA Publications
Film Suggestions
Be An Activist
Adopt A Library
History of CAMERA
About CAMERA
Join/Contribute
Contact CAMERA
Contact The Media
Privacy Policy
 
Media Analyses





C-SPAN May – August 2017


C-SPAN.Wash.Jl.bmp
 
The following entries involve non-trivial references (including indirect) to Israel or Jews
 
Send your comments about C-SPAN's platform for the defamation of Israel and Jews to CAMERA:  c-span-watch@camera.org
 

June 28, 2017 – 9:57 a.m.

Host: JOHN MCARDLE [jmcardle@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @cspanMcArdle, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

Topic: Health care.

Caller: Chris from Middletown, Indiana (click here to view).

Note: Female caller, speaking in a Germanic accent, favors national health insurance run by the government for all residents. To support her point, she singles out Israel as having such insurance [but] “We [Americans] are [paying for it].” Typically, a false derogatory assertion about the Jewish state is accepted by C-SPAN's Washington Journal again exhibiting its chronic journalistic malpractice.

Caller: “I am a little bit nervous but I had to call in to reply to the lady from Ohio. I was born and raised in Germany. They have national health-insurance. They do not call it ‘socialized medicine,' they call it ‘national health insurance.' It works. I had a mother who was 96 who was so well taken care of, who had a triple bypass, with that outcome was good. And this lady was talking about somebody from Canada. U.S. and Canadian people who live in the United States, you ask whether they don't give up their citizenship in Canada? Because they have to go back to Canada if they have a medical problem and they have it taken care of. I am so sick of people saying they are waiting in lines and they don't get the doctors they want to see. This is all not true. Health insurance works, national health insurance works. I would vote on that and try to get it into this country also.

One more thing, you find out in Israel all of their medical what is over there is free and who is paying for it? We are. So, they all have free medical insurance, we do not. Thank you so much and have a wonderful day.”

Host: “That is going to be our last call to we end our program today. The House is getting ready to come in for the day, to gavel in. Live coverage begins in just a minute and we will see you tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. Eastern and 4:00 a.m. Pacific.”

NOTE: Caller falsely claims that the United States is paying for the health insurance of Israelis. Typically for C-SPAN, Israel is singled out for disapproval from among the many nations (all providing free medical care for its citizens) having financial aid arrangements with the United States.

Here the facts: Is the America-Israel relationship a mutually beneficial one? Several points are relevant. First, financial (it is military only) aid to Israel continues to constitute only a tiny portion of the federal budget (less than 0.1 percent). Further, the aid dollars must be used to purchase military materials in the United States which helps create or sustain thousands of American jobs. Third, cooperative arrangements with Israel provide technology benefits to America related to unmanned aircraft, anti-missile defenses, battlefield medical techniques – and intelligence on anti-U.S. as well as anti-Israel Arab and Islamic radicals.

It's not surprising that former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen called the relationship with Israel “absolutely critical” to U.S. national security. Additionally, Israel, with less than nine million people, is America's 20th largest customer (larger than Russia or Spain). Consider votes in the United Nations over the last several years that coincided with U.S. votes – Israel sided with the United States 90 percent of the time, all other recipients of U.S. support stood at less than 20 percent – Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Philippines and others.

Moreover, an extensive real-cost study published February 2017 explodes the myth that Israel is the largest beneficiary of U.S. military aid money by showing that Israel ranks below Japan, Germany, South Korea and Italy. Furthermore, realistic cost analysis would show that while America has spent trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the blood of U.S. troops – Israel does not require U.S. troops while it battles the same enemy – the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Lebanon components of the world wide Islamist militancy.

Obviously, Israel is the best bargain the American taxpayer has in terms of U.S. aid to any nation.

June 18, 2017 – 9:53 a.m.

 

Host: Host: STEVE SCULLY is C-SPAN's political editor and senior executive producer [sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @SteveScully, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

 

Guest: Edward Luce, Financial Times chief columnist.

 

Topic: Recent shifts in U.S. political culture and its effect on liberalism and Western values.

 

Caller: Dan from Vienna, Virginia (click here to view).

 
Note: Caller is an apologist for Russia’s aggressive foreign policies and his obviously untruthful anti-Israel allegation is not disputed by either guest or host. Guest even seems to affirm caller’s claims.  

 

Caller: “I have lived through 14 Presidents also. I grew up in Washington and Georgetown and Chevy Chase. I’m a Marine combat veteran of Vietnam. I studied politics and the past 14 Presidents have made a mess. I voted for Trump for one thing -- to solve problems. The people in Washington, the elite on both sides, are not solving problems. We have a lot of problems especially in the Middle East. The number one problem in the Middle East that all 14 Presidents had is keeping Israel from attacking our allies there in the Arab states. The second thing is, since the 1950's Russia had a warm water port in Syria when it was the United Arab Republic united with [Egypt’s] Nasser. They need that port. That is why they are in Syria. They are in Syria because the Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other guys have put their proxy Sunnis in there fighting [Syria’s] Assad. And then, basically the big problem with our country is facts and history are not reported correctly. Thank you and I’ll wait for a response.”

 

Guest: “Yes, I understand the frustration with politics as normal in both parties and I think that is a big reason that Trump benefited and won the election. He was about as far as you could get as politics is normal as you had. And that is part of the reason he won. I fear that he's a cure worse than the disease particularly when it comes to the Middle East. Particularly when it comes to the Middle East. This is a combustible region and it is sort of a pre-1914 moment here with the Archduke Ferdinand assassination and we could have a very big war in the Middle East. I see Trump as a guy walking around striking matches in the middle of sort of a petroleum infused hangar. The guy doesn't understand the region. He is making no effort to do so and he is not a cure to the problem of meddling in the Middle East. He is arguably a dramatic deterioration.”

 

Host: “One final point from the book on another subject …”

 

NOTE:  Consistent with C-SPAN’s Washington Journal journalistic malpractice, is the failure to question caller’s allegation, “The number one problem that all 14 presidents had is keeping Israel from attacking our allies there in the Arab states.”  First is the obvious inaccuracy that starting with President Trump – 14 Presidents back takes us to FDR. Starting with President Obama – 14 Presidents back is Hoover. There was no state of Israel in existence during the terms of either FDR or Hoover. Second, Following FDR was Truman and while the Presidents from Truman onward were concerned about the Arab-Israeli conflict, the caller’s allegation is certainly a gross distortion if not an outrageous falsehood. Furthermore, what are the caller’s information sources? Typically, the question is not asked.

•  June 14, 2017 – 7:04 a.m.

Host: JOHN MCARDLE [jmcardle@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @cspanMcArdle, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

Topic: Attorney General Sessions denies collusion with Russia.

Caller: Jack from Providence, Rhode Island (click here to view).

Note: Conspiracy theorist caller seems to be afflicted with the blame-the-Jews-for-everything derangement syndrome. Characteristically for C-SPAN's Washington Journal “public service” program, another antisemitic caller is not merely indulged – but also encouraged – and then finally bid farewell by host McArdle with a friendly, “Alright Jack.”

Caller: “Thank you for taking my call. I actually believe that they already know already there is no collusion. You know, [Soviet Union's] Lavrenty Beria [dictator Stalin's depraved executioner] said to Joe Stalin, ‘find me the man and I will find you the crime.' What they are attempting to do is create an obstruction of justice charge. What happened is here they never expected [President] Trump to win. This is a shock to the system and they want him out. They want him out. We will see what happens, but they want him out of there. I'm talking about the elites that control this country. They want him out. They want him out. They can deal with [Vice President] Pence. That's why. They feel they can deal with him.”

Host: “How do you define ‘the elites,' Jack?”

Caller: “The elites are located in the [Washington] D.C. area, in Manhattan [New York City], and in parts of Los Angeles. Now, don't call me an anti-Semite, but they are primarily, most of them, left-wing Jews. Financially very wealthy, and they control Wall Street, they control Hollywood and they control the banking here in the United States. But you have to give them credit. They did it. They did it.”

Host: “So Jack, you think religion has a role to play in whether someone is an elite or not?”

Caller: “Religion? Well, Jewish people – who I now – some of them consider themselves religious. But some orthodox Jews that I know – but a lot of them do not consider themselves religious. They consider themselves just secular in their ways. Like we'll say for example, who is a liberal, Alan Dershowitz [indiscernible]. He is a secular man.”

Note: Alan Dershowitz is a famous author, lawyer, and scholar on United States constitutional and criminal law.

Host: “Alright Jack.”

NOTE: Here, in a segment dealing with U.S. Attorney General Sessions' testimony about collusion with Russia, a caller is tolerated and encouraged by the host as caller defames the American Jewish community. Would the host be similarly receptive to the racist ranting of, say, a caller who defamed African Americans? Doubtful. C-SPAN's handling of callers like “Jack” adds to CAMERA's substantial C-SPAN Watch dossier showing that the network's flag-ship Washington Journal daily program is chronically guilty of journalistic malpractice pertaining to Jews (and Israel).

CAMERA monitored a previous call from this “Jack” on Dec. 23, 2015 (8:46 a.m.) also charging that Jews control U.S. banking. This occurred in the segment, “Inequality in the U.S. banking system.” At that time neither host Scully nor guest (four-minute response) included any comment on the stereotypical anti-Jewish charge (an echo from the standard catalog of antisemitic hate literature and speech), “the Jewish people control world banks.”

The conspiracy theorizing of individuals like Jack can be summarized as: The Jews control America (and much of the world) through control of the media and international banking. Media domination allows them to promote the interests of Israel over those of the United States. Their control of international banking, and thus great financial wealth, provides for Jewish control of political leaders. Likewise, a Jewish cabal in the government controls U.S. foreign policy. So, that doesn't seem to leave that much for non-Jews to control.

The caller here includes Hollywood in his list of aspects allegedly controlled by “the Jews.” The Hollywood political dynamic is clearly a function of liberal groupthink rather than Jewish influence. Where is the evidence that it is otherwise? Typically, the question is not asked.

Like most conspiracy theories, there is little substance and a great deal of exaggeration and falsehood. There are many individuals of Jewish heritage who are prominent in American public life. But there is no credible evidence that they act together in a conspiratorial way. Their political views and associations span the spectrum of American politics and civic associations.

Regarding banking, while Goldman Sach's name reflects the Jewish heritage of its founders, its employees, including executives, represent a diverse group of Americans. Furthermore, the large majority of investment banks, for example, JP Morgan, Citigroup, AIG, US Bancorp, Wells Fargo, Bank of America are not controlled or led by Jews.

The old canard can be traced back centuries to a time when Jews often served as money-lenders in Europe due to Church doctrine prohibiting Christians from engaging in the practice of charging interest when lending money (a practice which is essential to the success of Capitalism) and a ban on Jews owning land. The infamous Czarist-era forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, disseminated in the early 1900s popularized this old canard.

While many of the executives at major media conglomerates in the United States are of Jewish heritage there is no evidence that they conspire together. The proliferation of programming critical of Israel and Israeli policy on many networks refutes charges of media favoritism toward Israel or Jewish interests.

Among major TV news networks, Fox's Rupert Murdoch is not Jewish. He is an Australian descended from English, Scotch and Irish ancestors. NBC Universal CEO Steven Burke – is not Jewish – he is Irish Catholic. NBC News president Andrew Lack is Jewish. CBS President David Rhodes is the son of an Episcopalian father and a Jewish mother. President of Disney-ABC Television Group, Ben Sherwood, is Jewish. CNN President Virginia Moseley is not Jewish.

These major TV news networks – with one exception – are continuously critical of Israel while basically giving the Palestinians a pass on fostering hatred and terrorism (much of it Islamist based) against Jews and Israel. The one exception is Fox News Channel whose foreign correspondents in Israel tend to be neutral. However, the only Fox staff commentator that regularly supports Israel's position is Sean Hannity. In this, he is alone among all major network staff commentators.

When Jack of Rhode Island and his ilk cite examples of "Jewish control" of the media they typically name The New York Times and The Washington Post newspapers. While both newspapers were founded by individuals of Jewish origin in the 1800s, their descendants have long-since shed their Jewish identification. Neither of these newspapers has a reputation for promoting Jewish causes or concerns. The Times is run by Arthur Sulzberger half-Jewish (on his father's side) who is an Episcopalian Christian. The Times was derelict in reporting on the Holocaust and generally opposed the establishment of Israel. In fact, it has been shown that The Times is and has been quite biased against Israel. Likewise, The Post, published by non-Jews since 1946, owned currently by Jeff Bezos, a non-Jew, is critical of many current Israeli policies.

June 11, 2017 – 7:25 a.m.

Host: STEVE SCULLY is C-SPAN's political editor and senior executive producer [sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @SteveScully, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

Topic: Attorney General Jeff Sessions' agreement to testify before the Senate.

Caller: Joe from Suwanee, Georgia (click here to view).

Note: Off-topic caller "Joe" exhibits the blame-Israel-for-everything derangement syndrome. Typically, host Scully accepts a lengthy, preposterous anti-Israel, antisemitic tirade.

Caller: "My statement is – my confusion is that why the special fuss about Russia? There is not – any of these issues, any of these claims – I have watched them pretty closely – that have been made about Russian influence, about any of the meddling so far. You can replace the word ‘Russia' with ‘Israel' and it would still be true. If you look at the Websites for AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] or ZOA, Zionist Organization of America, they brag, they boast, about their successes in winning policy and funding support from the United States. They explicitly control and meddle in our elections. Why the fuss about Russia? There is nothing that Russia could have done that would even remotely compare in this last election with a single AIPAC meeting. And there are very few federal people running for federal office, Senate and President in particular, who do not begin their campaigns with an obligatory trip over to Israel to meet with the prime minister and people over there and promise support for policy and funding. What is the difference with Russia? If you open up the door so wide for one country, why are you surprised when another walks through it? That's my comment."

NOTE: Typically, host Scully remains silent, failing to comment when Israel is defamed. He has no problem with a preposterous condemnation of the Jewish state even when the segment's topic has nothing to do with Israel. Characteristically Scully neglects to ask what the basis is of the caller's charges. When callers defame the Jewish state they can be certain that they won't be challenged by Scully.

First, trips to Israel by state governors and others are typically in connection with commercial arrangements. Israel is a modern advanced technological country – for example, much of Microsoft's technology was developed by Israelis in Israel. Second, AIPAC is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States. Its stated mission "is to strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of Israel and the United States." It is not an arm of the government of Israel or any Israeli organizations. ZOA informs members of Congress on issues of vital interest to Israel's security. There is nothing nefarious about these two groups.

C-SPAN's numerous anti-Israel conspiracy mongers repeatedly falsely claim a grossly exaggerated influence for AIPAC, such that it supposedly controls congressional Republicans and Democrats. As should be obvious, the two large parties, with tens of thousands of activists and millions of supporters, are "controlled" by no one, not even their top elected leaders. There are umbrella groups representing and speaking for often internally divergent, sometimes competing interests. Examples of AIPAC opposition defeating a major American Middle East policy initiative are virtually non-existent. The organization's influence primarily is due to its presentation of facts to political leaders and the fact that a large majority of the American public, according to numerous polls, sides with Israel in its conflict with Arab neighbors. AIPAC may be one of the most influential foreign policy lobbies, but bigger groups with greater clout on broader legislation would include, for example, the American Association of Retired Persons, the Catholic Church in America, labor unions and the dairy lobby or the National Rifle Association. The anti-Israel phoners, while routinely condemning AIPAC, never mention the considerable influence of the petro-dollar funded pro-Arab lobby which influences Capitol Hill, the State Department, Pentagon and academia.

U.S. aid and cooperation with Israel has been a long-standing U.S. policy, due at least as much as to Congress as to American Presidents. This in turn, has been related to continuing majority support among the American people for Israel especially among the sizable community of Christian Zionists. Financial aid (it's military only) requires that 100 percent of it has to be spent in the United States to purchase military materials which helps create or sustain thousands of American jobs. Cooperative arrangements with Israel provide technology benefits to America related to unmanned aircraft, anti-missile defenses, battlefield medical techniques – and intelligence on anti-U.S. as well as anti-Israel Arab and Islamic radicals.

Regarding the accusation by defamers of Israel that it meddles in U.S. elections, it is often related to the baseless charge that Israel manipulates U.S. elections through, allegedly, manufacture and control of the voting machines. Where's the evidence? C-SPAN never asks the question of the accusers. Washington Journal invariably welcomes fake news and fake accusations particularly those defaming Israel. Such is Journal's chronic journalistic malpractice potentially misleading millions of viewers.

June 7, 2017 – 9:52 a.m.

Host: PEDRO ECHEVARRIA [pechevarria@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @PLEchevarria, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

Guest: Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates.

Topic: Muslims in the U.S. and President Trump's travel ban.

Caller: Kathleen from Ohio (click here to view).

Note: Allowed a two-minute diatribe here, repeat caller "Kathleen" (of many aliases), obsessively condemns U.S. foreign policy and Israel. Guest Khera's activities are often aimed at weakening legitimate U.S. policies to thwart Islamic terrorists (more below). Here, as is often the case, C-SPAN's audience of potentially millions of weekly viewers is subjected to unscrutinized polemics.

Caller: “One of the things that your guest just said reminded me of reading Ron Suskind's book, "The Price of Loyalty" right after 9/11 [the Islamic terrorists' attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001]. He describes the Secretary of The Treasury, Paul O'Neill, under Bush 43 [President George W. Bush], that when he started investigating the Saud family money believed possibly donated to some of the 9/11 terrorists – that the investigation basically – O'Neill was shown the back door by [Vice President] Cheney because he began to investigate the connection early on. I want to encourage people to read the 9/11 Commission's report. I'm not making excuses for any type of violence – any type of violence. But our violence in Syria, supporting – sending arms to the rebels in Syria. But can you talk about – in the 9/11 Commission report, they talk about so much anger -- the anger toward the U.S. based on our military bases in their countries, our support for dictators and our support for Israel no matter what they do. So, again I hope people don't misinterpret what I'm saying and that I am making any excuse for violence, but can you talk about some of the reasons that Islamic terrorists believe that there's a …”

Host: “We will let the guest respond. Thanks.”

Guest: “I think the caller is trying to ask is why particular individuals engage in terrorist acts. I think the reasons are very multipronged and varied not only from country to country but even incident to incident. It's hard to generalize across the board. In fact, law enforcement experts say it is actually not the case that religion is the driving factor for these people. The common thread for these people who engage in these acts of violence is that they are essentially vulnerable people who are looking for a sense of purpose in their life. And that's not just me saying that – people like John Miller the head of intelligence for the NYPD and Philip Mudd a former CIA/FBI official – but people who have been immersed in this have made this very clear. It's hard to make specific generalizations about it.”

[Host fails to comment.]

NOTE: In another of numerous instances of Washington Journal's journalistic malpractice, the host fails to challenge guest Khera's dubious claim that the Islamic religion is not the “driving factor” in the terrorism. Never mind that, for example, prior to perpetrating a violent act, typically the Muslim terrorist screams out "Allahu akbar." Lane's Lexicon, the respected Arabic-English dictionary, states that “‘Allahu Akbar' refers to Allah being greater” (than the object of worship of all others including Christians and Jews). Host should have asked the guest to provide source for her claims of assertions by “law enforcement experts” and Mudd and Miller.

Furthermore, concerning Khera's Muslim Advocates, it often criticizes U.S. counterterrorism strategies that use sting operations and informants as discriminatory. According to Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Muslim Advocates opposes discussion on reform within the Muslim community and supports those who have theocratic tendencies.

As for caller's claims about the 9/11 Commission's Report targeting Israel, the blame-Israel crowd typically makes much of the mention about Israel on page 147 (chapter 5). This reference to Israel describes a self-serving, post-capture explanation by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the self-proclaimed mastermind of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. By his own self-serving account, KSM's animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel. This sentence is one of the two references to Israel in Chapter 5 (pages 145 to 173 of the Report). The second reference (page 154) states that KSM had intended to land a hijacked plane at a U.S. airport, kill all the male passengers, and publicly excoriate "U.S. support for Israel, the Philippines, and repressive governments in the Arab world." There is no mention of Palestinian Arabs on page 147 or anywhere else in Chapter 5. Elsewhere in the Report, there are only three references to Palestinian Arabs, none of which are in connection with alleged Israeli "oppression" or any such synonym. So, while the Report did mention Israel as a factor in the attacks, it certainly did not point to Israel as a major factor in provoking the attacks.

CAMERA's C-SPAN Watch online feature has documented the Washington Journal program and network's indulgence of callers like “Kathleen” and occasionally guests, going back to 2008 (more than a thousand entries).

May 14, 2017 – 9:44 a.m.

Host: STEVE SCULLY is C-SPAN's political editor and senior executive producer [sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @SteveScully, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

Topic: Overnight North Korea missile test.

Caller: Teresa from Bolingbrook, Illinois (click here to view).

Note: “Teresa,” a repeat anti-U.S, anti-Israel caller, defends North Korea here. Host Scully (only) gently remonstrates with this caller unlike previous Scully interchanges with “Teresa” when her false charges were accepted.   

Caller: “I would just like to say, based on U.S. history – what happened on the African continent [indiscernible], if I was North Korea I wouldn't give up my nukes either because the United States does not want other countries to have nukes or self-determination. They want to control everything and I also want to …”

Host (interrupting): “Teresa, let me just step in on this point. Do you want President Kim Jong-un of North Korea … to be able to nuke the United States …?”

Caller: “Absolutely not but the United States has caused all the problems … If Israel can have nukes, then North Korea should be able to have nukes. If China, India, Pakistan, United States have nukes, then North Korea can have nukes …”

NOTE: In a previous “Teresa from Bolingbrook, Illinois” call to Washington Journal, caller's racist, anti-Israel, anti-U.S. polemical tirade was accepted without challenge by this same host Scully and monitored by CAMERA (Aug. 14, 2016 – 9:22 a.m.). At that time, Teresa's tirade included this: “The U.S. starts most of the conflicts in the world, but they blame everybody else…Israel … killed a bunch of Arabs and Muslims and took their men and put the rest of them in refugee camps.”

In another falsehood-filled Teresa tirade (Nov. 8, 2015 at 9:12 a.m.) unchallenged by Scully, she condemned Israel, charging it with racism. This charge is obscene because Israel is the very antithesis of a country practicing racism. The refutation of this accusation is the presence in Israel of thousands of dark-skinned fully assimilated Israeli Jewish citizens from Ethiopia, Yemen and India.

May 13, 2017 – 9:18 a.m.

Host: GEOFF BENNETT, political reporter for Time Warner Cable News [geoffb.tv@gmail.com, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan].

Topic: Open phones.

Caller: Linda from Pensacola, Florida (click here to view).

Caller: “I just wanted to share some information. The American Indians are truly one of the tribes of Israel. They are called the tribe of Gad. And that is your history and your Bible. So they were the original people here. They were part of the tribes of Israel. I can't go into all the details because I don't want to take up all your time on the broadcast but that's who the American Indians are. They are one of the lost tribes of Israel. Do your research and you can find this out. They are of the tribe of Gad. And that's all I wanted to share with you. Thank you.”

[Host has no comment.]

NOTE: Instead of failing to either reply or comment on the caller's baseless claim and thus allowing viewers to be misinformed, host should have noted that there is not a scintilla of evidence that the American Indian natives are one of the lost tribes of Israel. This myth is similar, but not nearly as incendiary, to the one often heard on C-SPAN's Washington Journal which is promulgated by Rev. Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam claiming that the black people are the true Israelites thus dispossessing the Jews of the right to the land of Israel. This anti-Israel myth conveyed by callers and never refuted on Journal ignores the facts. There is a continuous Jewish diaspora history from the Roman expulsions to the rebirth of Israel as a Jewish state, and modern DNA testing that strongly indicates both Jewish genealogical continuity and Middle Eastern origins of the vast majority of Jews including the current Israeli and American Jewish populations.

May 13, 2017 – 9:25 a.m.

Topic: Open phones.

Host: GEOFF BENNETT, political reporter for Time Warner Cable News [geoffb.tv@gmail.com, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan].

Caller: Jesse from Michigan (click here to view).

Caller: “Our problems are great but we can send $40 billion to Israel. Our cities are crumbling, and there are no jobs, not much hope, and that is one thing that really …”

[Host has no comment.]

NOTE: When Washington Journal callers complain about sending financial aid to another country because the money is needed for communities in the United States, the only country mentioned is Israel and typically viewers are not informed of the realities involved.

First, less than one percent of the nearly $4 trillion annual federal budget goes to foreign aid. Second, the aid to Israel (it is military only) amounts to less than 0.1 percent of the budget. Furthermore, only Israel, of all U.S. allies, is under continual siege and it is the only Western-style democracy in the Middle East. The implication is that a conspiracy is involved. Caller is wrong. Invariably, C-SPAN fails to inform viewers of the mutual benefits of such aid. Israel is required by U.S. law to spend 100 percent of the U.S. aid in the United States for the purchase of military materials which helps create or sustain thousands of American jobs.

Moreover, cooperative arrangements with Israel provide technology benefits to America related to unmanned aircraft, anti-missile defenses, battlefield medical techniques. For example, Israeli-developed technologies include unmanned aerial vehicles, decoys to confuse enemy radars, tank armor to repel fire and armored tiles to protect from improvised explosive devices (IEDs)—all of which save U.S. lives. A U.S. Secretary of State, Al Haig, once said, "Israel is the largest American aircraft carrier in the world that cannot be sunk, does not carry even one American soldier and is located in a critical region for American national security." Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen called the relationship with Israel "absolutely critical" to U.S. national security. Additionally, Israel, with less than nine million people, is America's 20th largest customer (larger than Russia or Spain). Consider votes in the United Nations over the last several years that coincided with U.S. votes – Israel is 90 percent, all other recipients of U.S. support are under 20 percent – Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Philippines and so-on. It should be obvious, except to the most biased individuals, that Israel is an exceptionally valuable American ally.

Finally, in the context of caller's complaint, viewers could have been informed about where federal funding might be found for various community projects. For example, a 2015 report cited only a few of the numerous instances of wasteful U.S. federal spending: $500,000 for a cricket league in Afghanistan, $375,000 to study the dating habits of America's seniors, $500,000 to foster butterfly farming on an Indian reservation, $15,000 to sponsor a Miami conference on hair restoration and so on.

The skewed world view of numerous Journal callers – with silver bullet solutions, conspiratorial cause-and-effect, and frequent default to anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish innuendo or assertion – seems not to matter to C-SPAN hosts. The result is less public affairs broadcasting than public pandering to an unseemly fringe mentality.

May 10, 2017 – 9:14 a.m.

Host: JOHN MCARDLE [jmcardle@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @cspanMcArdle, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

Guest: MISSY RYAN, Pentagon correspondent for Washington Post.

Topic: Potential increase of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Caller: Dennis from Hot Springs, South Dakota (click here to view).

Note: Caller voices several misconceptions about Israel while negatively portraying the Jewish state. Typically for C-SPAN's Washington Journal, the caller is neither challenged nor asked what his opinions are based on. Caller's detachment from reality is such that he believes that "we are in like a proactive war for Israel" explains U.S. missions in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. What are the caller's sources of information? Is the caller not aware of the Islamist drive to control more and more land and peoples as exemplified by ISIS (Islamic State) and Iran? The questions are not asked on the supposed "public service" program.

Caller: "I feel that the U.S. should stop intervening in other countries' civil wars. What if some other country would have intervened in our civil war? And then also, I agree with the previous caller that the cost of bringing the country down to its knees, our country, and that basically what we're doing over there in the Middle East is taking Israel – we are in like a proactive war for Israel. They do absolutely nothing as far as the Coalition is concerned and we give them money and arms and they still don't help us. But they want more help, I'm not necessarily against Israel, but I am against [Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu]. He just preys and preys and wants more and more and more."

Host: "Alright, Dennis – Got your point. Missy Ryan, the caller brings up the cost of war. This plan to expand the troops footprint in Afghanistan – is there a dollar sign we can put on it?"

Guest: "There isn't, not yet that I've seen. The United States is already spending $23 billion a year on Afghanistan and so this would represent some increase to that, obviously. And as far as we understand, the cost factor is something that is said to weigh heavily on President Trump's consideration of this proposal. He is somebody who, you know, is a businessman, wants to make sure that the United States fiscal situation is not out of control and I think that is a lens through which he sees this potential expansion in Afghanistan. So, I mean, the United States has already spent untold billions of dollars in Afghanistan, it is hard to know when that kind of investment could end. Many people make the argument, ‘look, the United States has had forces in Germany, South Korea for decades, this could be a situation that would be similar to that."

Host: "The caller also brings up Israel – can you talk about Israel's involvement in either Afghanistan or the Syrian mission?"

Guest: "Well, there is no direct Israeli role in the Afghanistan mission. Syria – obviously they are neighbors and they have their own defensive interests to think about. There have been occasional Israeli fores into Syria where the Israeli government sees a threat, but they are not an active part of the military coalition."

NOTE: Caller complains, "They [Israel] do absolutely nothing as far as the Coalition is concerned." The response that Journal should have provided here is something like this: While Israel is prepared to do what's needed, Arab regimes supporting United States Middle East policy don't want to be seen by their publics working with the Jewish state. This, even though reports of covert intelligence cooperation are not uncommon. The anti-Israel passion widespread among Arab countries both undermines their own strategic interests and reflects a deep-seated prejudice.

As to the America-Israel relationship criticized by the caller in defamatory claims, is it a mutually beneficial one? Several points are relevant. First, financial (it is military only) aid to Israel continues to constitute only a tiny portion of the federal budget (less than 0.1 percent). Further, all the aid dollars must be used to purchase military materials in the United States which helps create or sustain thousands of American jobs. Third, cooperative arrangements with Israel provide technology benefits to America related to unmanned aircraft, anti-missile defenses, battlefield medical techniques – and intelligence on anti-U.S. as well as anti-Israel Arab and Islamic radicals.

It's not surprising that former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen called the relationship with Israel "absolutely critical" to U.S. national security. Additionally, Israel, with less than nine million people, is America's 20th largest customer (larger than Russia or Spain). Consider votes in the United Nations over the last several years that coincided with U.S. votes – Israel sided with the United States 90 percent of the time, all other recipients of U.S. support stood at less than 20 percent – Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Philippines and others.

Moreover, an extensive real-cost study published February 2017 explodes the myth that Israel is the largest beneficiary of U.S. military aid money by showing that Israel ranks below  Japan, Germany, South Korea and Italy. Furthermore, a realistic analysis would show that while America has spent trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the blood of U.S. troops – Israel does not require U.S. troops while it battles the same enemy – the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Lebanon components of the world wide Islamist militancy, the deadly enemy of the West.

Obviously, Israel is the best bargain the American taxpayer has in terms of U.S. aid to any nation.


Bookmark and Share