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Media Analyses





Foreign Policy Editor Tolerates Anti-Jewish Slanders


Susan.Glasser.FP.jpglogo_Foreign_Policy_1.gif

 
Foreign Policy, owned by Washington Post Company, is an influential publication and Web site. Susan Glasser, editor in chief of FP, appeared as guest on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal Oct. 9, 2012 “Foreign policy and campaign 2012” segment.
 
As CAMERA's "C-SPAN Watch" has documented, Washington Journal frequently provides an open microphone for anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli callers. Almost any topic can be used as an excuse to bash Jews and Israel. As in this instance, typically neither guests nor hosts challenge such callers’ rants. The Glasser segment aired two particularly egregious callers.
 
Accepting a big lie defaming Israel
 
What should have been challenged and rebutted by host and guest as an obvious falsehood, made by caller “Robert from New London, Connecticut” (8:28 AM) is instead accepted:

… people [should be] aware of the massacre that happened in Beirut in 1982 where IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] soldiers went up and murdered 7000 people, cutting their ears off; stole their jewelry – Palestinian refugees.

Neither host nor guest challenges the caller in reference to massacres in Beirut in 1982. The caller alleges that "IDF soldiers went up and murdered 7000 people, cutting their ears off …” But as is well-known, members of the Lebanese Christian Phalange militia killed an estimated 400 to 700 people in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee districts in Beirut. The Phalangists were then allied with Israel, which had besieged Beirut after invading Lebanon to end attacks by Palestinian Liberation Organization terrorists based there. The Phalange acted in retribution for the assassination of Lebanese Christian President-elect Bashir Gemayel two days before and massacres of Lebanese Christians by PLO forces.
 
The mendacious message of caller “Anita from North Carolina” (8:22 AM) was

… I really don’t like this domination … when we are defending Israel, we are defending what we call the “divine people” … I’m a Christian and I converted to Islam because I felt for a woman it was more protective because of their traditional roles of father and mother in the home … But Israel, I do not think we should follow their lead … and Israel’s approach in their religion is an “eye for an eye.” They do not follow the Christian approach … I think they think they are a “divine people.” I think that’s religious falsehood and I feel that Americans do not have to follow that.

But Glasser's 2.5 minute response to Anita's rant failed to address her mendacious message:

... the question of U.S. support for Israel has often been politicized as part of this campaign. But ... there actually is a pretty broad political consensus across the two parties in the United States when it comes to supporting Israel, and in particular a determination to come up with a unified approach to the challenge of stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. ... the Iranians have said that they wished to wipe Israel from the face of the map, and for the Israelis that is as close to an existential threat as there is – threatening the very existence of the Jewish state in the Middle East. ...

You will not really see any significant difference between leading Democrats and Republicans when it comes to that. Now, of course there is a very conservative leader in Israel – Benjamin Netanyahu – right now. He grew up in the United States. He has said he was born speaking Republican. Clearly, he is much closer politically to the Republicans in the United States and Romney has vowed to let there be no daylight between the position of Israel and that of the United States, particularly when it comes to a military strike on those Iranian facilities. Where you have a difference, I think, is really on the question of tactics. What's the most effective way; what will you get by a military strike? What if you undertake a military strike and it leads to a broader war in the Middle East? ... But in a broad sense, the Democrats and Republicans will not shift away from that special relationship between Israel and the United States.

Viewers are left in the dark

What is the source of the caller’s preposterous view that Jews are considered or consider themselves the “divine people?” Could the caller have in mind the theologically quite different notion of the “chosen people?” Typically for Journal, the question is not asked. Contradicting the caller’s misrepresentation and denigration of Judaism, are the words of Jesus (Matthew 5:17-19) that not even the “smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen” of the “Law or the Prophets” (meaning the entirety of the Hebrew Bible) will be abolished “until heaven and earth disappear” (New International Version). Furthermore, many evangelical Christians, who constitute a large segment of U.S. Christianity, contradict the caller’s implicit avowal of “replacement theology,” which denies the Jewish people the role of a "kingdom of priests" and a "light unto the nations" in God’s plan as described in the Bible. Christians United for Israel (CUFI), with more than one million members in the United States, actively supports the Jewish people and Israel:

We believe that the Jewish people have a right to live in their ancient land of Israel, and that the modern State of Israel is the fulfillment of this historic right. We maintain that there is no excuse for acts of terrorism against Israel and that Israel has the same right as every other nation to defend her citizens from such violent attacks. ...

Likewise, Anita misconstrues the biblical “eye for an eye” injunction but is not contradicted on this either. Ancient and modern Jewish commentary has insisted this meant that the punishment should be commensurate with the crime and that restitution – the value of an eye, the value of loss of sight – should be proportionate, not the literal infliction of an identical injury. And neither host nor guest questions the caller’s pose of speaking as a Christian or speaking for Christians while claiming to be a Muslim convert. The caller says Islam is superior to Christianity – at least in terms of the treatment of women – since it is “more protective [of women] ....” Neither host nor guest point out the obvious: Women's rights and gender equality lag behind those of the West in many Islamic countries, and "honor killings" by male relatives of females deemed to have shamed the family occur regularly.
 
Callers falsify Arab-Israeli history, slander Israel and misrepresent Judaism, and one offers a weak apologia for Islamic conversion, yet Washington Journal host Libby Casey sits mute and the reply by guest Susan Glasser of Foreign Policy magazine avoids the substance of the callers' charges. The C-SPAN calls mentioned above can be heard here and here.
 
Foreign Policy magazine proclaims that “During her [Glasser’s] tenure, the magazine has won numerous awards for its innovative coverage ... .” Maybe, but it has failed its journalistic responsibilities in this case as well as in at least two other situations documented by CAMERA (here and here). 
 
Concise, courteous comments should go to program host Casey (lcasey@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org) and Foreign Policy magazine, 11 Dupont Circle NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036; Phone: (202) 728-7300, Fax: (202) 728-7342, e-mail: FP@foreignpolicy.com.
Susan Glasser’s e-mail address: susan.glasser@foreignpolicy.com
CEO David Rothkopf’s e-mail address: david.rothkopf@foreignpolicy.com
Publisher Amer Yaqub’s e-mail address: amer.yaqub@foreignpolicy.com

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