The Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) aired
Rev. Louis Farrakhan's "news conference" on Nov. 16, 2017. The Nation of Islam leader's 2.2 hour, racially charged diatribe was delivered to an audience consisting mainly of the faithful at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. Media representatives were in attendance.
The network didn't bother to issue a standard broadcast disclaimer, such as: "Points of view expressed in this program are not necessarily those of this network."
Minister Farrakhan devoted most of his lengthy speech to castigating and defaming the United States and Israel.
"You [United States] have planned a war. The war that you have planned, you and your generals, is to the Middle East, you want to use the Sunnis at the prodding of Israel, to attack Iran. Just like you did with my brother, [Libyan dictator Muammar Mohammed] Gadhafi, you laid back, leading from behind."
Farrakhan's baseless conspiracy theory ignores worldwide concern about Iran. The Iranian government is controlled by Islamist fanatics. Authoritative critics of the nuclear accord with Iran argue that the inspection and enforcement provisions are weak, allowing Iran to secretly continue working toward obtaining nuclear weaponry.
Iran continues today as the most active state sponsor of terrorism according to the U.S. State Department. The Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist group is mainly supported by Tehran. Iran seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held and abused 52 American diplomats for more than a year. In 1983, its agents blew up the American embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 American soldiers and marines. In 1996, it blew up the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, murdering 19 American soldiers. Iran, via its Islamic Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah is believed to have been behind the 1994 attack on the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2011, senior Iranian officials plotted to blow up a Washington, D.C. restaurant to kill the Saudi ambassador. Iran is a brutal police state (it tortures and executes its own citizens in large numbers) controlled by Shi'ite Muslim clerics with an apocalyptic world-view. These clerics tout the necessity of a war of destruction with Israel and the West, in order to hasten the return of a messianic "twelfth imam."
Farrakhan seems to implicate Israel in the demise of his brother, Gadhafi. Here's what the New York Times reported
, "In the throes of the Arab Spring, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was facing a furious revolt by Libyans determined to end his quixotic 42-year rule. The dictator's forces were approaching Benghazi, the crucible of the rebellion, and threatening a blood bath. France and Britain were urging the United States to join them in a military campaign to halt Colonel Qaddafi's troops, and now the Arab League, too, was calling for action
it was Mrs. Clinton's support that put the ambivalent president [Obama] over the line [for bombing]. The consequences would be more far-reaching than anyone imagined, leaving Libya a failed state and a terrorist haven."
"And you don't want [North Korea's dictator] Kim Jong-Un yet, but you're looking for a softer target, and you think that's Iran. Wrong. Wrong. If you permit Israel to push Saudis and the Sunnis into war with the Shiites, I want to say this to the Muslim world, see, you are so blinded that you think with America's backing you can win. Wrong. You are a Muslim. If you've got the backing of Allah, you can win. But you don't have that backing."
In his detached-from-reality ranting, Farrakhan doesn't bother to note that Shi'ites and Sunnis have been fighting since the dawn of Islam, more than a thousand year's before modern day Israel's creation.
Lying about lobbying
"And Israel, you are making America lose big-time. You don't want me to say how much control AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] has over the U.S. government. And I know the press is here you can't even say it except you tell something ugly, so that your editors will give you leave. But brothers and sisters, let me tell you, you are going to be set free. Because that kind of cowardly newsperson who knows the truth and afraid to tell it, if you love this country you'll tell the truth to change America for she is going down and fast."
Contradicting Farrakhan's demonization is the reality that AIPAC is an American 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. There is nothing nefarious about this group, despite Farrakhan's pernicious distortions.
The power of American supporters of Israel to control the U.S. government is a myth perpetrated by haters of Israel. It is easily
disproven by history: American presidents have repeatedly gone against the wishes of Israeli prime ministers the Iran nuclear deal is a prime example. Another example is arms sales to Arab countries. But examples of Israel supporters defeating major U.S. government arms sales to Arab countries traditionally hostile to Israel are virtually non-existent. An example often cited by those who exaggerate the influence of supporters of Israel, is the failure of a proposed arms sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the pro-Israel Reagan administration in the 1980s The Los Angeles Times reported
in 1987, President Reagan withdrew a proposed $360-million sale of sophisticated anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia Thursday in the face of overwhelming congressional opposition sparked by concern for Israel and unhappiness with both the Saudis and the Administration.
The best known single pro-Israel group is AIPAC yet the key component of support is represented by continuing majority support among the American people for Israel (especially in the sizable Christian Zionist community). Majority support is indicated repeatedly in opinion polling. For example, Gallup's World Affairs Poll on Israel (2017) notes, Just over seven in 10 Americans have a favorable opinion of Israel. That represents the fourth straight year that Israel's favorable rating has been 70 percent or higher.
Furthermore, much greater political clout than AIPAC is wielded by, for example, the American Association of Retired Persons, labor unions, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the dairy farmers' lobby or the National Rifle Association. While AIPAC is frequently vilified by haters of Israel, invariably overlooked is a lobbying heavy-weight, the petro-dollar funded anti-Israel pro-Arab lobby, and direct funding from Arab countries. This 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 think tanks, and in society in general through subsidies and material support to mosques, religious schools and advocacy groups. Examples are: The Middle East Institute is largely funded by the United Arab Emirates; Brookings Institution receives sizable funding from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates; Saudi Arabia has donated millions of dollars to buy influence in U.S. universities
Farrakhan's bogus real Jews and a falsification about the Palestinians
"How much do you owe us? Have you ever added it up? In today's dollars it's in trillions what you owe us. So just like you [United States] pushed the Palestinians out to give the Jews a homeland and we are the real ones [Jews]. Push some of your own people out, and we'll take eight states [of the United States]."
Farrakhan's phrase, "we are the real ones," refers to the Nation of Islam racist theology that says that today's Jews are impostors unrelated to the biblical variety. He teaches his followers that they are descendants of the real Israelites of the Bible. He has said
that "Holy Land don't belong to a white Arab or a white Jew. You are settlers on our land
We are the original owners of that part of the Earth and you all kicked us out and assumed our position. "
Farrakhan is never one to let facts get in the way of his teaching. 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 today's Jews including the current Israeli and American Jewish populations. Furthermore, consider that today's Israeli Jews, unlike Farrakhan and his followers, speak the same language (Hebrew) and worship the same God (of the Bible) as the ancient Israelis,
Moreover, neither the United States nor "the Jews" "pushed the Palestinians out to give the Jews a homeland." History shows otherwise. First, the international legal right of the Jewish people to reconstitute their own state in their ancestral homeland (including the West Bank referred to biblically and historically as "Judea and Samaria") was recognized by the Allied Powers of World War I at the 1920 San Remo conference. And the Jewish presence in the territory was recognized as legitimate in the Mandate for Palestine adopted by the League of Nations in 1922, which provided for the establishment of a Jewish state in the Jewish people's homeland.
Furthermore until the 1948 War, the Jews often were called "Palestinians." Until the 1960s, when local Arabs acquired national consciousness under Yasser Arafat, they were inclined to consider themselves "southern Syrians" or simply as Arabs. These Arabs were not pushed out.
The comprehensive CAMERA article, Palestinian Arab and Jewish Refugees
, shows that in the wake of Israel's War of Independence in 1948, the overwhelming majority of Palestinian refugees were not expelled by the Israelis. But a much larger number of refugees, Jewish refugees who had resided in Arab countries for many generations, were forced to flee their native lands:
[N]ot withstanding a limited number of tactical expulsions, "a people" was certainly not expelled
Roughly half of those fleeing did so between November 1947 (when Palestinian Arabs responded to the United Nations partition recommendation with anti-Jewish violence) and May 1948 (when the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon invaded Israel).
In large part, the Arab masses fled because they saw the Palestinian elite doing the same thing. In part, it was in response to exhortations by Arab military and political leaders that Palestinian civilians evacuate their homes until the end of the fighting. Vast numbers were simply fleeing the heavy fighting that surrounded them, or from a coming conflict which they expected to soon disrupt their lives. In some instances, Palestinians were forced from their homes by the Jewish military.
In a number of instances, the Jewish leadership appealed for the Arabs to stay put. The surprise announcement by the Palestinian leadership of Haifa that "the Arab population wished to evacuate" was immediately followed by a tearful plea by the town's Jewish mayor, Shabtai Levy, for the leaders to reconsider
The British commander in Haifa, Hugh Stockwell, emphatically insisted that the Arabs were making a mistake, and also urged them to change their decision, which reportedly came from the Arab Higher Committee in Beirut.
850,000 Jews were expelled from their Arab dominant countries following the rebirth of the state of Israel; 600,000-700,000 Palestinians fled their homes during the Arab-Israeli war.
Farrakhan's effectiveness and C-SPANs complicity
Louis Farrakhan's effectiveness as a demagogue is due in no small part to considerable charisma likely honed during his previous show business career (Louis "The Charmer" Wolcott, calypso singer).
According to the C-SPAN Website, "Louis Farrakhan has 39 videos in the C-SPAN Video Library; the first appearance was a 1989 Speech. The year with the most videos was 2005, with six videos. The year with the highest average number of views per program was 2015, with an average of 27,125 views per program."
Farrakhan's history of defaming Jews and Israel includes: In 2015, Farrakhan told an audience, that Israelis and "Zionist Jews" played key roles in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead.
In 2004, Farrakhan told an audience that "The war in Iraq is not your war; that's Israel's war
using America's power to destroy the enemies of Israel."
In 1992, Farrakhan told an audience that whites and Jews were "the pale horse with death as its rider and hell close behind" that had wreaked destruction on red, yellow, and black peoples in Africa, Asia, and the Americas as well as the Palestinians in the Middle East.
Providing anti-Israel propaganda platforms is standard procedure for C-SPAN. This broadcast was just more of the same.
The extent of the possible harm inflicted by C-SPAN is indicated by the fact that C-SPAN broadcasts reach a television audience of potentially millions.
When will TV providers (cable or satellite) that support C-SPAN come to terms with C-SPAN's chronic journalism malpractice that is bound to fuel anti-Israel, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories? Keep in mind that a portion of the public's cable/satellite fees is paid to C-SPAN.
When will Congress, which enfranchises C-SPAN, come to terms with the problem?