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Media Analyses





NPR Affiliate Peddles Anti-Israel, Pro-Terrorist Propaganda


There is an independently operated NPR affiliate in San Francisco that regularly broadcasts anti-Israel and/or pro-terrorist propaganda that is completely divorced from fact.

KALW (FM), licensed to the San Francisco Unified School District, airs a weekly, 4-hour music show called "Tangents," each Saturday night. Pretentiously billed as an "unusually diverse, genre-bending program that explores the bridges connecting various styles of music," it serves as a platform for producer/host Dore Stein – aka Dore Alan Steinberg – to promote radical, left-wing political beliefs, primarily his extremist, anti-Israel views. To that end, Stein[berg] devotes the last hour of every program to a segment called "Gaza Corners," where he delivers, among other things, vitriolic diatribes against Israel.

"Gaza Corners" is archived on a dedicated website, that features articles and interviews with such radical anti-Israel sources as Electronic Intifada, BDS groups such as Samidoun, Jonathan Cook, Gideon Levy, and other members of the same cohort of Israel-defamers. Stein[berg]'s absurd conceit – and self-justification – is that he is a maverick exposing the dark side of Israel that no one else in the mainstream media dares to discuss. He describes "Gaza Corners" as "an opportunity to bring up points of view that normally are not addressed by the mainstream media, often about Gaza or Palestine or Israel but also the greater Middle East as well, and often beyond that..."

But it is not simply Stein[berg]'s extremist opinions and viewpoints that are at issue here. It is the outright falsehoods that are part and parcel of the propaganda he peddles on the NPR station.

Take for example, the Dec. 26, 2015 "Gaza Corners" segment about the death of terrorist Samir Kuntar.

Presenting the story in a conspiratorial tone, suggesting that he is divulging a dark secret the mainstream media has kept hush-hush (although, this was, in fact, a widely reported story), Stein[berg] disgorges a series of pro-terrorist lies that typifies the sort of twaddle he regularly disseminates on the show, and exposes the depth of his ignorance about the subject matter he purports to reveal. Here is a partial transcript with CAMERA's emphasis and commentary on his most obvious and egregious falsehoods:

DORE: There's an article that I'm going to excerpt. It's about someone who was let out of prison after almost 30 years – three zero – 30 years in Israeli jail. And that happened in 2008, that he was freed.

This past week, he suffered a fate far worse than being rearrested. This Palestinian prisoner, who spent almost 30 years in prison, was assassinated in Damascus, Syria where he was living, by an Israeli military air strike.

CAMERA: False -- Kuntar was not Palestinian. He was a Lebanese Druze, born to and brought up in a family of wealthy Lebanese Druze restaurateurs.

DORE: His name is Samir Kuntar (K-U-N-T-A-R). This is a news item, in all likelihood, you didn't see. The mainstream media didn't cover the story, that I saw. Many Israeli assassinations do not get covered by the mainstream media.

CAMERA: Ridiculous -- You wouldn't have seen this news item only if you never read any major newspapers or websites, because all of them --Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, etc. – covered the story, as they do all killings of prominent terrorists.

DORE: Samir Kuntar had been convicted of murdering four Israelis in 1979, a charge he always denied. Kuntar spent nearly, as I say, 30 years in Israeli prisons. He was the longest serving Arab prisoner until he was freed in 2008 as part of a prisoner exchange with the Lebanese resistance . When he was a 16-year-old in Lebanon, he joined the Palestine Liberation Front.. He carried out an operation in Palestine in which two Israeli police, another Israeli man and his daughter were killed, while two of Kuntar's comrades were killed, and he and another man were taken prisoner by the Israeli forces

CAMERA: False, pro-terrorist propaganda -- By "resistance," Stein[berg] is using Hezbollah's own preferred self-description for an organization that is designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S., Canada, and most other Western countries.

By "operation," Stein[berg] is referring to a brutal terrorist attack. For the gruesome details of that so-called "operation," in which Kuntar shot and drowned the Israeli civilian before the eyes of his 4-year-old daughter, then smashed her skull against a rock with the butt of his rifle, see here.

By "Palestine," Stein[berg] is referring to "Israel." The 1979 terror attack took place in Nahariya, a coastal town in Israel's north.

By "comrades," Kuntar is referring to other members of the terrorist cell that was dispatched to carry out an attack on Israeli soil.

DORE: That cross-border raid prompted a huge Israeli invasion of Lebanon that not only failed to dislodge Hezbollah but allowed Hezbollah to assert itself and was the strongest defender of Lebanon and indeed, has the most powerful army in Lebanon, much more than the government itself.

CAMERA: False -- Stein[berg]'s ignorance of history, and the events he is purporting to inform his audience about is mind-boggling.

Israel's first large military strike in Lebanon, Operation Litani, pre-dated Kuntar's cross-border terrorist attack by over a year. It occurred in March 1978, immediately following the Coastal Road Massacre, which was perpetrated by Fatah terrorists from southern Lebanon. They had infiltrated Israel, murdered 38 civilians (including 13 children and an American photographer) and wounded 71 on and near a Tel Aviv beach and in a subsequent hijacking of a bus. Israel's goal in Operation Litani was to contain terrorists infiltrating from Lebanon.

Israel's next large-scale (or "huge" as Stein[berg] puts it) military campaign in Lebanon occurred a full three years after Kuntar's attack, in June 1982.  This was  after PLO terrorists established a base in Southern Lebanon, from which they fired rockets and artillery into Israel's northern Galilee region and sent terrorists to carry out attacks overseas..The immediate incident that precipitated the Israeli invasion was the attempted assassination of Israeli UK Ambassador  Shlomo Argov, who was critically wounded near his home in London.

It is equally ignorant and absurd for Stein[berg] to claim that Israel "failed to dislodge" Hezbollah, namely, because Hezbollah did not yet exist when Kuntar carried out his attack. Nor did exist three years later, when Israel began its Operation Peace for the Galilee in 1982. The organization was established only afterwards as part of the Iranian government's Revolutionary Guard Corps.

DORE: The goal of the operation Kuntar was involved with was to capture Israelis in order to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners. Kuntar was accused by the Israeli military court of deliberately killing the Israeli man and his child. Kuntar maintained consistently over the decades to all who questioned him that the Israeli man and the child were shot by accident by the Israeli forces as they attacked the Palestinian and Arab commando group that Kuntar was a part of. Kuntar insisted that the Israelis fabricated the story of him killing the man and the child.

CAMERA: False -- In fact, Kuntar did confess immediately after his capture to having bludgeoned 4-year-old Einat Haran, to death with his rifle butt, although he subsequently recanted in court. Both the forensic evidence and eyewitness testimony belied Kuntar's subsequent claims.

DORE: After his release in 2008, in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers seized during a cross-border raid, Kuntar remained openly and vocally committed to resistance against Zionism and against Israel. After his release, Israeli officials continued to threaten him, saying he was, quote, "a target for killing", unquote. Kuntar was living in Damascus and was targeted last Saturday, Dec. 19, with four missiles fired from Israeli warplanes. That is their common method of assassination – missiles, without much regard for who else gets killed while they're doing it. They directed the missiles at his home in the middle of a residential area. The missiles killed Kuntar, along with eight other Syrians. Previous attempts to kill Kuntar had failed and this time, they knew that it would work because, shoot a missile at a house and you know the people inside will die.

CAMERA:  Biased source -- Stein[berg]'s account of Samir Kuntar's death is based on entirely on unconfirmed allegations by Hezbollah and its allies. Israel did not claim responsibility for, nor officially confirm a role in Kuntar's death. Moreover, contrary to Stein[berg]'s allegations, Israeli forces follow a protocol for targeted killings, based on the Israeli Supreme Court's judgement on their legality, which set forth the following conditions:

1) there is reliable information that the target is taking direct part in hostilities;

2) there is no less harmful alternative to thwart the person taking part in hostilities;

3) the strike conforms to the principle of proportionality, i.e. it must be precise and if there is a risk of collateral damage to civilians not involved in hostilities, the attack must be cancelled if the collateral damage is in excess of the military advantage anticipated.

According to media reports, Kuntar was involved in organizing Syrian Druze into terror cells and was organizing attacks against Israel. (He was also involved with Hezbollah's campaign to prop up Syrian President Assad's in the Syrian civil war.) Syrian media reports noted that senior Hezbollah members were in the building with Kuntar when it was attacked. Among those killed was Farhan al Sha'alan, a senior commander in a "resistance" group founded by Kuntar who was reportedly also involved in attacking Israel.

DORE: According to the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, which is also found at their network– Samidoun, S-A-M-I-D-O-U-N.net, "the killing of Samir Kuntar is not an individual case. Rather it's part of the repeated targeting of freed prisoners for assassination and re-arrest by Israel. Palestinian and Arab prisoners who have won their freedom from Israeli jails have been repeatedly murdered in targeted assassinations, killed in arrest raids, in massive gun fire by Israeli forces and rounded up and repeatedly re-imprisoned." Those are the words of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. This network is a network of organizers and activists based in North America, working to build solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in their struggle for freedom.

CAMERA:  The organization Stein[beg] is promoting, Samidoun, is a radical, BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) group that routinely whitewashes Palestinian terrorism.

For example, the perpetrators of a gruesome massacre of worshippers at a western Jerusalem synagogue, Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal– who hacked their victims to death with meat cleavers – were described by Samidoun as "fighters" who were "engaged in an armed operation." The bloody terrorist attack was further justified as "following multiple attacks on Palestinians by settlers in the Jerusalem area"that took place in a neighborhood that "was built by the Israeli settler state over the destroyed Palestinian village of Deir Yassin...."

Instead of objectively acknowledging the brutal act of terrorism, Samidoun decried the shooting of the perpetrators by "occupation military forces" and the detention of the terrorists' family members, and took the opportunity to issue an action call to join the BDS movement.

(Note: Almost a year later, in October 2015, Alaa Abu Jamal, a family member of  Uday and Ghassan, rammed his car into a group of people at a bus stop in western Jerusalem, then exited his car to attack them with a meat cleaver in a terrorist attack captured on surveillance film. He had earlier – in an interview following the first attack– described the family support for and elation about the massacring of Israeli Jews.)
 
Stein[berg] is so invested in promoting anti-Israel activists and their skewed viewpoints that he peddles outright lies and justifies terrorism -- and all of this is played out on a publicly funded NPR radio station.

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