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Media Analyses





C-SPAN July – August 2013


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

August 31, 2013 – 8:01 AM

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

Guest: MICHAEL HIRSH, National Journal chief correspondent.

Topic: Possible U.S. intervention in Syria.

Caller: Everett from California (click here to view).

[Unhinged caller's Jew-hating rant is met with feckless politeness instead of being forthrightly labeled for what it is. This is yet another instance of C-SPAN's chronic journalistic malpractice involving Jews or the Jewish state of Israel.]

Caller: “I'm a Ron Paul Republican. I have a comment first and a question. My comment is about this war. It is not sponsored by the people in the United States who are smart and listening and are good people. It is not sponsored by the German population, the Canadian, U.K., Japanese or Russian populations of the United States. This war is sponsored by Ashkenazi [Jews of Eastern European descent] Jewish Israeli people and by the Israeli government. The Zionist Israelis control the United States government. I'll ask you, do you think Ashkenazi Zionist Jews control the United States government?”

Guest: “No.”

August 31, 2013 – 8:22 AM

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

Guest: MICHAEL HIRSH, National Journal chief correspondent.

Topic: Possible U.S. intervention in Syria.

Caller: Mark from the country of Jamaica (click here to view).

[Another of Washington Journal's numerous anti-Israel callers irrationally casts Israel as a villain – in this case, it's in the Syrian civil war.]

Caller: “It is an honor to speak to you guys today. First of all, there's a lot of factors involved here, which I think people are ignoring. Number one, what I've heard is that intelligence has been coming from Israel. As far as I know, Israel still occupies an area, the Golan Heights, that they are trying to acquire. I believe that any intelligence from Israel is not going to be credible. Also, bullets and bombs can kill us as much as chemical weapons do. As a matter fact, they're more efficient because once they get you, you are dead. With chemical weapons, you have a chance of surviving. I believe that if Obama wants to stop this war, he would speak to Assad and come to some consensus on where they go forward. But I believe there are many factors involved. I think Hezbollah, who is aligned with Assad, is also an enemy of Israel. I also believe that it is not a country's right to tell another country what kind of weapons they should have. America has chemical weapons, so do lots of different countries. Israel also has nuclear weapons and nobody is talking about that.”

Guest: “Israeli intelligence undoubtedly contributed to the intelligence case against Assad, but it was not a major part of it. At far as I understand, a lot of this was U.S. based intelligence, as was evident on the ground in Syria. I would not overstate Israel's role in this. In terms of Israeli national interest, it is difficult to tell what the Israelis might want. The Golan Heights is no longer a very important issue for Bashar al Assad's survival. This is really a bloody, vicious, internal civil war in Syria that is based on ethnic and sectarian differences in which it is not just about Assad' s survival, it is about the survival of his sect, the Alawite Shiites, which is aligned with the Hezbollah Shiites, against the Sunnis. That is what the fight is about. It has little to do with Israel.”
 
August 30, 2013 – 7:46 AM

Host: JOHN McARDLE (jmcardle@eenews.net, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: Military decisions – what does the public need to know regarding Syria?

Caller: Charlie from Sterling Heights, Michigan (click here to view).
 
[Typically for C-SPAN, disinterested or uninformed host accepts caller's inflammatory false equivalence and false accusations relating Israel to use of chemical weapons by Syrians on Syrians.]

Caller: “My concern is why are we so concerned about what is going on in Syria about these horrific chemical weapons. We were not so concerned when Israel used nerve bombs and phosphorus gas. We were not concerned about that.”

Host: “What incidents are you referring to Charlie?”

Caller: “When they attacked Gaza. They used phosphorus gas and that is a chemical weapon. We did not say anything against Israel at that point.”

Host: “Charlie, what does Congress need to know before Presdident Obama acts? Do you think that there is nothing the president can show that can justify a military decision?”

Caller: “He is going under the same assumptions that (indistinct) went under. It is an incomplete investigation and they have their hands on the trigger. They are willing to pull on the trigger any time. “

Host: “That is Charlie from Sterling Heights, Michigan.That is all the time we have in the first section of Washington Journal.”

NOTE: Host McArdle irresponsibly accepts caller's unfounded pernicious falsehood that Israel used nerve gas. Likewise, McArdle accepts false equivalence equating Syria's chemical weapons use against its own people with Israel's use of phosphorus as a camouflage and marking agent in the Hamas terrorist controlled Gaza Strip.

In the “white phosphorus” allegation, an Israeli military special command investigation did support disciplinary action against two officers for improper artillery fire – but not pertaining to white phosphorus use. The IDF used white phosphorus in Gaza much like U.S. and Coalition forces have in Afghanistan for smoke camouflage and marking. See CAMERA's Feb 1, 2010 report, Cloud of Questions Over Ha'aretz's White Phosphorous Story.

August 30, 2013 – 8:23 AM

Host: JOHN McARDLE (jmcardle@eenews.net, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: PETER WEHNER, Republican advisor and member of Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Topic: U.S. foreign policy and military options in Syria.

Caller: John from McGregor, Minnesota (click here to view).

Caller: “I was wondering why Israel doesn't get involved? We pour all that money into Israel. Seem like this is more concerning them than us. They just sit back and don't do anything. Just take our money. It's because of Dick Cheney and the neocons that we can't get a coalition with the rest of the world because they don't trust us because of Iraq.”

Host: “What is Israel doing now?”

Guest: “Israel is doing what they ought to be doing. Most of the world would want them to stand on the sidelines and protecting themselves and preparing themselves in case Syria decides to use chemical weapons against them. I don't know anybody including critics of the president, that wants Israel to get involved in this. That would complicate issues as it relates to the Arab world. If America acts, they [Israelis] have to act based on their judgment of its own democratic interest. The notion that Israel is taking our money and doing nothing is ludicrous. They are hugely helpful against various malignant regimes in that region. We ought to stand with Israel. It's a fantastic country. You can blame Dick Cheney and the neocons until the cows come home for not being able to build a coalition. I would say that the administration that Dick Cheney helped build was a part a fairly strong national coalition both in Iraq and Afghanistan. We're now five years into the Obama presidency. At some point he becomes responsible for his own actions. He appears unable to get a coalition of more than one country, that one country being the United States.”.

NOTE: As guest Wehner points out, caller unfairly maligns Israel for not getting involved in the Syrian situation. Caller also casts aspersions on America's aid to Israel. Guest Wehner touches on the mutually beneficial relationship between America and Israel. Three points are relevant here. First, financial (military only) aid to Israel constitutes only a tiny portion of the federal budget (less than 0.1 percent). Second, Israel is required by U.S. law to spend most (74 percent) of the U.S. aid ($3 billion per year) in the United States for the purchase of military materials 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-Israeli Arab and Islamic radicals.
 
August 29, 2013 – 7:34 AM

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

Topic: Role of international community in Syria?

Caller: John from Quincy, Illinois (click here to view).

[C-SPAN allows anti-Israel caller “John” to violate its “one-call-per-30-days” rule. This man phoned as “John from Pennsylvania” on Aug. 20, 2013 (click here to view) making virtually identical false accusations.]

Caller: “There's a hurry to get in there with the poison gas. You've got to remember – a few years ago when Israel launched those phosphorus bombs over there in Gaza and burned those kids everybody was completely quiet. Our Congress, the neocon warmongers, everyone was quiet as church mice. Israel went ahead over there and did that, but over here they want a big war started. Kerry says he doesn't care who started it. Now, we brought people in there – the American taxpayer brought people in there to provoke that war. They were shooting at people getting out of the hospitals and stuff at night and they were begging Assad to come and help them. But he was so stretched trying to protect his own people. And we, the American taxpayer, were paying those people shooting at those people just to get this damn thing started. Thank you.”

Host: “Lolita up next from Rogers, Arkansas ...”

NOTE: Where's the evidence concerning the baseless allegations that “the American taxpayer brought people in there to provoke that war” and “paying people shooting …?” Consistent with C-SPAN's chronic journalistic malpractice, the questions are not asked thereby misleading potentially millions of viewers (C-SPAN claims 28 million weekly viewers).
 
Echevarria accepts false equivalence equating Syria's chemical weapons use against its own people with Israel's use of phosphorus as a camouflage and marking agent in the Hamas terrorist controlled Gaza Strip. Israeli forces used white phosphorus in Gaza much like U.S. and Coalition forces have in Afghanistan for smoke camouflage and marking. See CAMERA's Feb 1, 2010 report, Cloud of Questions Over Ha'aretz's White Phosphorous Story.

August 29, 2013 – 8:30 AM

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

Guest: Former Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota).

Topic: News review.

Caller: Tina from Connecticut (click here to view).

Caller: “Senator Dorgan, I've always admired you. That last Republican caller was an example of the blind leading the blind. We had a major blackout here in New York in 2007 I believe. The grid was in need of reconstruction. The Bush administration did very, very little. Obama upgraded and repaired the grid in the stimulus package. Regarding the 9/11 conspiracy, I believe Bush or Israel caused 9/11. I believe they had the intelligence, they knew it was coming and they let it happen. And any intelligence coming from Israel regarding Syria should be scrutinized very, very carefully.”

[Typically, in a disservice to viewers, C-SPAN indulges anti-Israel, fringe conspiracy mongering caller.]

Guest (smiling incredulously): “You know, that's why I've always liked C-SPAN. I was elected to the Congress 32 years ago when Brian [Lamb] and all the dedicated people here created this from infancy. It was great to allow the American people to call in and weigh in and say, I'm here, here's how I feel. What a great tribute to C-SPAN to be able to do that all these many years. I hope this continues for 30 and 50 years more.”

NOTE: Historically, the record shows that Israel has for the United States been a much more reliable information resource than any other Middle East country, the fringe caller not withstanding. Anti-Israel caller condemns a messenger that merely confirms the abundance of other evidence from other sources.

The guest, whose body language suggests disagreement with the caller's theories, politely sidesteps the message from the fringe, conspiracy mongering caller. Guest's praise of C-SPAN applies more accurately to what C-SPAN's Washington Journal could have become instead of what it actually is – a program repeatedly practicing journalistic malpractice especially pertaining to Jews and Israel. This includes airing repeated big lies without challenge that could mislead millions of potential uninformed or vulnerable viewers (C-SPAN claims 28 million weekly viewers).

August 26, 2013 – 7:36 AM

Host: JOHN McARDLE (jmcardle@eenews.net, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: How should U.S. respond in Syria (to poison gas attacks)?

Caller: Tomasina from St. Petersburg, Florida (click here to view).

[Typically for C-SPAN, an anti-Israel conspiracy mongering caller is encouraged by the host instead of challenged for a baseless, bizarre theory.]

Caller: "Obama has been put between a rock and a hard place. One of our own generals, General Patton, once said ‘I could start a war and blame it on the other guy very easily.' There is a book called The Gun and the Olive Branch written many years ago by a David Hirst. When President Assad of Syria said that outside elements were behind the rebellion three years ago, he was right. Israel has a short and a long-range plan to destabilize the Middle East – along with the neocons in our country – and it is not Obama. It's from the book The Gun and the Olive Branch. Netanyahu [Israeli prime minister] ..."

Host (interrupting): "Don't quote a book. Give us your thoughts. What should the U.S. do right now in response to those chemical weapons attacks? The White House said yesterday that they believe that there is little doubt at this point that chemical weapons were used against civilians."

Caller: "Okay, okay; we've got to tread very, very carefully. This has been going on for quite a while. We do not know who has been disbursing these chemical weapons to look a certain way. If we get sucked in there which is what Prime Minister Netanyahu wants. He was counting on [Mitt] Romney being president so there would be a green light for unending intervention in the Middle East. I also blame the crazy evangelicals – those who believe Israel cannot give up any land so Jesus can come and rule for a thousand years."

Host (terminating the caller): "We will stick with what is happening right now in Syria ..."
 
[This termination comes too late. The host should have questioned the basis for the caller's allegation that Israel, whose borders with Syria and Egypt had been calm prior to the rebellions against the Assad and Mubarak regimes, has plans to destabilize the Middle East. The host also failed to recognize and act on the caller's use of "neo-cons" as code for American Jews and other supporters of close U.S.-Israel relations.]

August 23, 2013 – 8:03 AM

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

Guest: MARILYN THOMPSON, Reuters news agency Washington bureau chief.

Topic: U.S. lawmakers travel the world on lobbyists tab (reported in a recent Reuters story).

Caller: Greg from Batavia, Illinois (click here to view).

[Caller charges Reuters with publishing “fake pictures” related to the Middle East.]

Caller: “I don't really see the problem here of our representatives travelling to other countries to enhance their knowledge of world communities. I see the value in learning about other cultures. It's like, everyone has lobbyists. I am sure your folks at the newspaper do business with lobbyists. I want to know about Reuters, in particular – why do you publish fake pictures when it comes to the Middle East? I mean, I know you published phony pictures of Iran. You published phony pictures of the Lebanese war with Israel.”

Host: “What are these phony pictures you are talking about?”

Caller: “They doctored photos of Iran missiles making them look like they were more menacing than they were. And they were phony. They published pictures of Palestinian children and these were fake photos ...”

Host (interrupting): “Okay, we get the point. Let's get a response from our guest.”

Guest: “I certainly can't comment on decisions on photos published by Reuters. We are a huge global news organization with people in virtually every country in the world and the photo department is an entity that I have absolutely nothing to do with except photos made here in Washington.”
 
NOTE: The caller seems to refer to case of Reuter's use of problematic Middle East photos but is not clear on the examples alluded to.The stories in circulation about “doctored photos of Iran missiles making them look like they were more menacing than they were” attribute the fakery not to Reuters but to Iran's Revolutionary Guard perpetrating a bit of propagandistic fraud that fooled numerous media entities. The “Palestinian children” photos incident does not turn up in a search.

But there is an abundance of evidence that Reuters manipulated politically sensitive photos (and used misleading photo captions) in a way that casts Israel in a bad light as shown here, herehere and here. Washington Journal's chronic journalistic malpractice, whether based on ignorance or disinterest, is evident yet again in failing here to examine this issue.

August 20, 2013 – 7:28 AM

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

Topic: U.S. temporarily suspends military aid to Egypt.

Caller: Randy from Connecticut (click here to view).

Caller: "I really think we have to pull back and take care of our own country. If you follow through the history, the United States worked the deal with Israel to attack the USS Liberty and then they were going to blame it on Egypt so we could go to war with them."
 
[Host Brawner could have labeled the caller's inflammatory nonsense for what it is – pernicious conspiracy mongering. But she did inquire as to caller's source, which he could not name, so intent was he on falsification and defamation. The Israeli Air Force attack against the USS Liberty in the Mediterranean Sea near Egypt during the 1967 Six-Day War was determined by the U.S. government in six separate inquiries to have been a "fog of war" mistake. Allegations of a knowing, intentional Israeli strike against the U.S. Navy vessel have become a staple of anti-Israel propaganda. Mention should have been made that the Internet contains a wide range and immense volume of material ranging from the completely reliable to the completely unreliable.]

Host: "What are you citing here? What history is that?"

Caller: "Oh, this is – you can Google the USS Liberty. It was a surveillance ship that was attacked by Israeli warplanes because the United States wanted an excuse to go to war with Egypt. This was 30 years ago."

Host: "What Website are you going to for that?"

Caller: "You can Google it. They have pictures of the ship and whatever. As far as the Vietnam war, two Iraq wars, Afghanistan – just too much money is being spent and we are not making friends in the world no matter what we do."

Host: "Okay."

August 20, 2013 – 7:29 AM

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

Topic: U.S. temporarily suspends military aid to Egypt.

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

Host, as is typical for Washington Journal, indulges vastly over-simplifying, distorting caller.

Caller: "About that article you read, aid has never been for democracy. The reason that we give aid to Egypt and Israel primarily is – we give them the $3 billion per year so they can buy weapons from the United States. That is where the tear gas comes from that is used on the people over there, the white phosphorus that is used is purchased by the Israelis. It is cluster bombs, it's all sorts of things. That is why we give aid, so we can boost our military spending – or our arms trade. This is not democracy. Like the guy said, we been doing this for 30 years."

Host: "So, John, what do you think? Should we cut off the military aid, given what you just said?"

Caller: "Yes. And Obama should quit lying about it and everything else. He's stuck, he's stuck and he is afraid to come out and say ‘This is why we give aid.' So, he's stuck."

Host: "Alright."

August 20, 2013 – 7:36 AM

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

Topic: U.S. temporarily suspends military aid to Egypt.

Caller: Eric from Cedartown, Georgia (click here to view).

Caller: "I want to respond to the last guy. Most of these guys come over here from Egypt, they will not fight for democracy in their own country. They always come to the United States and other countries and refer back to their country. They need to stay over there and make a decision in their own country and help their own country. We don't have the money. All the money we give Israel and Egypt, we know it must stopped. We are in deficit spending. It should be ratified by Congress. Israel is one of the richest countries in the world per-capita. And last, I would like to say this, if you really look back at the history, basically what is going on with this money is it is part of the industrial complex. Egypt is not in war with anyone, same with Israel. What they using these weapons for is against their own people. That is the bottom line."

Host: "Okay, I'm going to leave it there."
 
NOTE: Host indulges misinformed caller. Viewers should have been informed it is a falsehood that Israel uses "these weapons against their own people." Viewers should have been reminded that foreign aid in general and assistance to Egypt and Israel in particular are minuscule portions of the federal budget. Financial aid to Israel in the form of military aid only, not economic assistance constitutes less than 0.1 percent of federal spending. Second, Israel is required by U.S. law to spend most (74 percent) of the U.S. aid ($3 billion per year) in the United States for the purchase of military materials 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-Israeli Arab and Islamic radicals. The host could have pointed out the obvious, which other segments of Washington Journal have touched on: the budget items driving deficit spending are "entitlements"– Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, for example; interest on the federal debt; and defense (not foreign aid).

July 30, 2013 – 7:00 AM

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

Topic: Middle East Peace talks resume.

Click here to view this segment (46 minutes). This non-guest Washington Journal segment aired a total of seventeen callers, eleven of which represent an anti-Israel (often anti-Jewish) fringe, four pro-Israel and two neutral.

The four pro-Israel callers voiced support for the right of Jews to live in safety in their ancient homeland of Israel. They noted such problem factors as “people who say that Israel does not even belong on the map,” “The [Israel's] restaurants were being bombed,” “They [Israelis] were invaded [in 1948] by some of the Arab nations and were just defending their territory,” “The spirit behind the hatred for Israel is Satanic.”

Host Brawner's responses to the distortions and pernicious charges of the eleven fringe anti-Israel callers consisted of non-responses or encouragement (e.g. “What are you referring to specifically?,” “Why do you have this opinion?”). Brawner also hosted a previous Journal broadcast (Jan. 8, 2013) containing foreign policy segments attracting ten callers who mentioned Israel. Brawner indulged the seven of the ten callers who expressed extreme antagonism towards Israel.

Representative sampling of the eleven anti-Israel fringe calls:

• Gene from Chattanooga, Tennessee (7:07 AM) charged, “They [Israelis] do not want peace ...”

• Laden from Minneapolis, Minnesota (originally from Yemen) (7:13) said, “I wonder how many viewers know that Palestine is composed of two isolated lands, which both are surrounded by Israel,” [Host Brawner fails to note that rather than “surrounding” Gaza and the West Bank, Israel borders the two territories].

• Jamaal from Indianapolis, Indiana (7:15) charged, “United States needs to check Israel because they are out of control.”

• Curtis from Richmond, Virginia (7:16) ranted, “The European eastern Jews are imposters. They were put in Israel.… The European Jews were given a spot. Look at Sharon, Netanyahu. They are white people. They are not part of the people of that land; it is historical.”

• Walid from Woodside, New York (7:27) falsely claimed: “In 1949, the reality is that the Jewish population [in Israel] which was all illegal immigrants – that was only 500,000.” [Note: The Israeli Jewish population in 1949, numbering more than 800,000, consisted of both native born Jews and legal immigrants. These Jewish immigrants were Holocaust survivors and refugees from Arab lands who were persecuted and forced to flee their homes].

• Linda from Laredo, Texas (7:28) ranted, “The Israelis have engaged in being bullies…. I would move if I felt like every day everybody hated me in the whole region. I think that is maybe the real solution.”

• Caller from Sterling Heights, Michigan (7:30) charged, “I think it is a waste of time. Martin Indyk was never a friend of the Palestinians. He is a declared Zionist.”

• John from North Carolina (7:33) ranted, “I think Helen Thomas, if you look at what she said in public, I think you would agree with what she is talking about, she made a comment [anti-Israel, anti-Jewish] that cost her -- her job.”

• Alejandro from Brooklyn, New York (7:33) charged, “Palestinians are treated horribly. Israel was built as a settlement…. The Arabs in Israel are not even treated equally. Peace talks are just useless. John Kerry himself is just a stooge.”

• Caller from New York, New York (7:34) charged, “I just wanted to comment that if Israel continues to invade the Palestinian land there is always going to be conflict.”

• Chris from St. Louis, Missouri (7:40) charged, “This whole thing [Israel's self-defense measures] is illegal through international law. It needs to be addressed.”
 
NOTE: The fault for this broadcast fiasco lies with a network, C-SPAN, that so disrespects its millions of potential viewers (C-SPAN claims 28 million weekly viewers) and its patrons (the cable/satellite TV provider industry) that it typically fails to provide, in a Washington Journal non-guest segment with a Middle East topic, a reasonably informed host capable of responding sensibly to the predictable barrage of fringe anti-Israel, antisemitic calls.

These callers are quite unrepresentative of the public at large as is indicated by 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) which show 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 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.

July 20, 2013 – 9:41 AM

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

Guest: JOSH ROGIN, Newsweek/Daily Beast (dailybeast.com) correspondent.

Topic: U.N. Ambassador nominee Samantha Power faults U.N. for disgrace in Syria.

Caller: Jeff from Tampa, Florida (click here to view).

Caller's thoughtful point is largely lost on both host and guest: Why do liberals so often side with the most illiberal elements in the U.N. in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Caller: “I'm not too hot on the duty to protect Israel but what I can't understand is how the Islamic conference is very influential at the U.N. and you've got Hamas. Why somebody who purports to be such a liberal sides with the most illiberal elements in the U.N. in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – I've never understood that from the perspective of liberals. I want your thoughts on that as it relates to so many issues from her [Power's] past.”

Guest: “Sure; this is the issue most often written about concerning Samantha Power's U.N. nomination, her history of making statements and being active on the issue of the Israel-Palestine peace process. She was criticized early on for saying things that the U.S. Should shift its investment from Israel towards a Palestinian state, she was criticized for some comments were seen to be dismissive of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington. In the last four years or so she has made extensive efforts to correct or amend the narrative that she is not as pro-Israel as people would like her to be. She has met with Jewish community leaders – Rabbis, others.

When she was working at the White House, according to officials, she was a fierce advocate of doing things at the U.N. to protect and defend Israel from de-legitimization – U.N. human rights organization allegations condemning Israel for atrocities – and to thwart the Palestinian authority from seeking recognition in international bodies, especially U.N. bodies.

The U.N. is by and large an organization that criticizes Israel far more than any other country. It's an objective fact. The U.S. position in the U.N. has always been to defend Israel from those criticisms and veto any resolutions that would punish Israel. Samantha Power at her confirmation hearings was beyond clear. She said that Israel was the greatest friend of the United States. She said that she would try to get Israel a seat at the U.N. Security Council which will never happen. She said all the right things and then some as far as the pro- Israel lobby is concerned. Her theory is that by engaging international organizations that are anti-Israel, you can have an influence on their activities and reduce the level of anti-Israel activities of these organizations. That theory is highly debatable. I think she has had some success and some failure in that in her four years of making those kinds of decisions at the White House.”

NOTE: Guest and host both fail to inform listeners why the United Nations criticizes Israel far more than any other country. The countless anti-Israel resolutions approved by the U.N. General Assembly or specialized agencies particularly the U.N. Human Rights Council – result mainly from the influence of the anti-Israel campaign of the 22-member Arab League and 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference within the United Nations.

These Arab and Islamic organizations falsely accusing Israel of human rights violations are hypocrites in the extreme since most Arab societies practice apartheid of women, apartheid of homosexuals, apartheid of Christians, of Jews, of democracy. In Saudi Arabia, they hang homosexuals; in Sudan, genocide has taken place; women all over the Arab world get murdered if they don't wear the hijab or if they fall in love with the wrong man. And still, most U.N. resolutions that deal with human rights are about condemning Israel – the only country in the region in which minorities have the right to vote, and in whose parliament Arabs served almost from day one. These resolutions are non-binding.

United Nations Security Council resolutions concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict fall under Chapter Six, and are non-binding. They cannot be implemented unilaterally by Israel since they require a negotiated settlement between Israel and one or more of its Arab neighbors.

July 20, 2013 – 9:57 AM

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

Guest: JOSH ROGIN, Newsweek/Daily Beast (dailybeast.com) correspondent.

Topic: U.N. Ambassador nominee Samantha Power faults U.N. for disgrace in Syria.

Caller: Marty from Nashville, Tennessee (click here to view).

Typically for Washington Journal, both host and guest fail to challenge caller who spouts anti-Israel falsehoods and distortions.

Caller: “I support Ms. Powers and I think she is an incredible spokesperson. But I'm just alarmed and pretty disgusted how another country has so much power over our senators, our entire congress. Let's face it, we went to Iraq because of this other country. I'm afraid that these same people that encouraged us to go into Iraq are now wanting us to go into Iran. I feel like, we need to think of our own country's interests before we put another country's interests in front of that.”

Guest: “Caller is referring to Israel obviously. There is a decades-long debate that will continue over the role of the pro-Israel lobby in U.S. foreign policy. There is no doubt that the pro-Israel lobby is the second largest lobby, after perhaps the gun lobby – maybe the third after the gun lobby. That's a fact of American politics. That's the system we live in. It is not just your vote that counts, it is also how you organize politically and influence different organs of government. The pro-Israel lobby has been amazingly successful at that. You can say this is disproportionate or you can argue that this is in the American interest because Israel is a staunch U.S. ally and a beacon of democracy on an otherwise tumultuous and autocratic region. As a reporter, I don't have a view to express to you one way or the other. But the reality of the situation is that the pro-Israel lobby is very well entrenched and they will continue to be well entrenched and that is part of the political tapestry that makes up Washington.”

NOTE: Previous appearances of guest Josh Rogin on Washington Journal have included several failures (as well as those of hosts) to challenge callers' obviously false anti-Israel charges. Examples: Israel causes Palestinian Arabs to be “locked up behind barbed wire” and “denied food, water, and medical care.” (May 21, 2011 8:35 AM); Israel has “illegal nuclear weapons.”(April 12, 2010 7:54 AM).

Therefore, it's not surprising that Rogin fails to challenge caller's patently false charge, “that we went to Iraq because of this other country.” Moreover, Rogin unfairly impugns and exaggerates the influence of the pro-Israel lobby (“the pro-Israel lobby is the second largest lobby, after perhaps the gun lobby – maybe the third after the gun lobby”). But bigger groups with clout on broader legislation would include, for example, the American Association of Retired Persons, the Catholic Church in America, labor unions, business groups and the dairy lobby as well as the National Rifle Association.

Furthermore, viewers are left to assume that the pro-Israel lobby is strictly a Jewish lobby whereas among the most effective of Israel's supporters – if not the most effective – is the American Christian evangelical community.

The best-known pro-Israel lobbying group is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. AIPAC is not a political action committee. It is not a foreign agent. It is not financed through political action committees nor does it act like a political action committee. It does not make political donations. It is a domestic U.S. lobby that supports close U.S.-Israel ties. 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.

An example of a lobbying heavy-weight that is rarely if ever brought up in a C-SPAN Washington Journal discussion, is the petro-dollar funded pro-Arab lobby, whose influence is felt not only on Capitol Hill, the State Department and Pentagon, through multi-billion dollar weapons purchases but also in academia, with large-scale grants to prominent universities, and in society in general through subsidies and material support to mosques, religious schools and advocacy groups. But Washington Journal rarely deals with such substance when the subject is Israel and the Middle East.

July 19, 2013 – 8:50 AM

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

Guest: SAM STEIN, Huffington Post political editor.

Topic: White House's strategy for dealing with the widespread impact of sequestration.

Caller: Austin from Lakeland, Florida (click here to view).

Caller: “I want to make a quick comment. I watch the show every morning and I' m a big fan. My comment is based on the amount that we give to other countries. Based on what happened in sequestration, when we talk about how much money we give to other countries, people always say it is not that big of a deal, it is not that much money. But based on what we cut in sequestration versus what we're giving to other countries, they are about equal. Why can't we just stop giving money to other countries instead of cutting our own programs here?”

Guest: “It is a good question. There are members of Congress who want to dramatically cut foreign aid. The question becomes what happens once you reduce foreign aid. Israel, for example, Israel is considered a friend – our primary geo-political ally in the region. Do we stop giving them aid? Do we leave them on their own?

What about Pakistan? Do we stop giving Pakistan aid? They are the nexus of the war on terror. It is a really good question. I'm not sure. It is beyond my expertise, but keep in mind, once you have cut all the foreign aid, there is nowhere else to cut, and we need to examine where we are cutting and what percentage of that budget we are cutting. Some things we spend a lot of money on that could use the reduction. Other things we spend very little money on would get hurt. It is painful for small groups, for institutions that do not have big budgets. We need to recognize that.”

NOTE: Several points should be made about U.S. financial (military) aid to Israel. First, this aid constitutes only a tiny portion of the U.S. federal budget (less than 0.1 percent). Second, Israel is required by U.S. law to spend most (74 percent) of the U.S. aid ($3 billion per year) in the United States for the purchase of military materials 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-Israeli Arab and Islamic radicals.

July 18, 2013 – 8:17 AM

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

Guest: Rep. REID RIBBLE (R-Wisconsin).

Topic: Making Congress more bipartisan and effective.

Caller: Joseph from Bristol, Connecticut (click here to view).

Guest appropriately challenges caller's faulty understanding and view of America's support of Israel. However, the C-SPAN host, as is typical, indulges another of Washington Journal's numerous anti-Israel, antisemitic callers (most of these calls occur during non-guest segments) and, also as typical, fails to challenge the repetitive falsehoods and distortions.

Caller: “Good morning, C-SPAN and good morning to the NSA because I know they are probably listening [laughter]. My question to the congressman is, I am curious why the American people do not understand that our ties to Israel is what is hurting us. I do not understand why we spend $6 million a day on Israel. I notice that last year President Obama agreed to give them over $30 billion over the next 10 years.”

Guest: “I'll talk a little bit about the relationship with Israel. Israel has been a staunch ally in a very, very dangerous part of the world. When you're talking about $30 billion over 10 years, this is $3 billion a year predominately driven by defense spending defending not just Israeli interests in the region but also defending U.S. interests in the region. We need a place where we can operate in safety in that region of the world. That relationship is critical to our foreign-policy, and that is where you're seeing the funding. The president doesn't really appropriate that money. That money is appropriated ultimately by the Congress and the president then signs off on it.”

NOTE: Caller's misleading assertion, “our ties to Israel are hurting… I do not understand why we spend … on Israel” warrants an explanation rarely if ever heard on Washington Journal in response to numerous anti-Israel callers and occasional anti-Israel guests.

First, financial (military only) aid to Israel constitutes only a tiny portion of the federal budget (less than 0.1 percent). Second, Israel is required by U.S. law to spend most (74 percent) of the U.S. aid ($3 billion per year) in the United States for the purchase of military materials 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-Israeli Arab and Islamic radicals.

Fourth, Journal's cadre of anti-Israel callers frequently exaggerate the importance of the Israeli/Palestinian situation. But, for example, the current conflicts in Syria and Egypt clearly have nothing to do with Israel. Furthermore, hostility to America and the West in the Middle East – as personified by Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda – has been driven mainly by Islamic extremism, which usually includes an obsession with ousting "un-Islamic" regimes in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, insistence on Islamic theocratic rule locally and the desire to re-establish an international Sunni Islamic caliphate, and spreading Islam into and over Christian and Jewish societies. Shiite Muslim hostility is centered in Iran, which is controlled by a fanatical religious dictatorship, members of which reportedly believe in a doomsday scenario requiring them to hasten the destruction of the West and Israel in order to speed the appearance of a messianic "twelfth imam."

July 16, 2013 – 9:47 AM

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

Guest: JOSH MEYER, Quartz (qz.com) global security correspondent.

Topic: WikiLeaks and National Security.

Caller: Frank from California (click here to view).

Caller is allowed to go off-topic in perniciously accusing Hillary Clinton not only of being a "traitor" in connection with the tragic events in Benghazi (Libya) (Sept. 11, 2012) but, strangely, also for "what she did in Palestine and how she represents Israelis at the U.N..." But what was it that Hillary did in "Palestine" and when did she represent Israelis at the U.N.? In keeping with Washington Journal's chronic journalistic malpractice, especially when Jews and Israel are vilified (which is often), the obvious challenge is not made. Likewise, in this anti-Israel caller's previous phone-in on March 24 (click here to view), his false claim that Palestinians are "subjects of Israel" was unchallenged by host and guests.

Caller: "My opinion is – I think the person who is a traitor and should be persecuted and taken to trial is Hillary Clinton."

Host: "Why do you say that?"

Caller: "Because of what she did in Benghazi and what she did in Palestine and how she represents Israelis at the U.N. and doesn't represent the U.S. very well."

Host: "Okay."

Guest: "Well, I think that is a little bit off point. The Benghazi case is a very controversial one. Very briefly, my take on that is if you're managing a Fortune 500 company, which essentially is what the State Department is, something that large, it is hard to blame the person at the top for events on the ground that were happening in real time. Whether the response to that was handled appropriately or not is a different issue. I'm not sure where the whole Palestine question fits in..."

Host (interrupting): "Yeah, I don't know if – what – he sort of tied it in with national security. It's his opinion and we'll leave it at that."

July 10, 2013 – 8:36 AM

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

Guest: Representative PETER WELCH (D-VT).

Guest: Representative CHRIS GIBSON (R-NY).

Topic: U.S. role in Syria's civil war.

Caller: Ralph from Arkansas (click here to view).

Caller, responding to the topic, makes false and misleading assertion, "... the core of the problem [in the Middle East] is the Israel-Palestine conflict ..." But, for example, the conflicts in Syria and Egypt clearly have nothing to do with the Israeli/Palestinian situation. Guests' responses are somewhat informative, but mistakenly accept the caller's imputed importance of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Caller: "Good morning gentlemen and congratulations. Finally we have bipartisan support. You are statesmen and not politicians. Thank you very much. It seems to me, gentlemen, that we need to stop arming all the countries in the region, whether it is Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, Turkey. We have been arming this region for years and wars have been going on. And it also seems to me that the core of the problem is the Israel-Palestine conflict from which many, many problems have spilled over into neighboring countries. Is it not necessary to resolve this problem once and for all so that we can get on and so perhaps peace could finally come to the region?"

WELCH: "Number one – yes – if we could get a Middle East peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, that would be enormously helpful. That's number one. Secretary Kerry is trying to reignite those peace talks. He's putting an enormous amount of energy into that. And secondly, there are other problems in the region that have nothing or very little to do with the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis and I think Syria is an example of that. What's going on in Syria has its own internal dynamic so that's independent of the Israeli-Palestinian situation."

GIBSON: "Well, absolutely. Moving forward with peace in the Middle East – Israel-Palestine – no question, the most critical area. Israel is ready for this. The issue is – who do you negotiate with when you look at the leadership of the Palestinians? It's very difficult; there's a willing partner for the negotiations in Israel but where do you go for the willing partner with Palestine? There's an issue ..."

BRAWNER (interrupting): "Because of the divided leadership there?"

GIBSON: "Well, that and also in terms of where some of the leadership is in terms of violence – terrorist elements. So, it is a very problematical situation. But it doesn't mean that we should fatigue. We should absolutely be pushing towards these kind of talks. But we have to be realistic even as we are pursuing this."

BRAWNER: "Back to Syria ..."

NOTE: Caller's claim ignores the major causes of turmoil in the Middle East: (1) The violent schism in the Islamic world between Sunnis and Shiites. (2) Discontent in Arab countries due to authoritarian rule and repression. (3) Economic and social stagnation. The Arab-Israeli conflict is more a symptom than cause of Middle East turmoil. As Washington Post columnist David Ignatius has pointed out (Mideast 'do-overs', July 10, 2013), "The true danger of the [Egyptian] coup and subsequent arrests and killings is that they will drive the Muslim Brotherhood back underground – and renew the cycle of government repression and terrorist violence that has skewed the Muslim world for generations. That political impasse led to the rise of al-Qaeda (from Egyptian roots) and the world-altering events of Sept. 11, 2001." C-SPAN hosts often seem either unaware of or unable to aptly present such basic information about the region.


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