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WATCH: Max Blumenthal Discusses Role Of US Media In Normalizing Israel’s Occupation

by on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm EDT in Middle East, World

Sternchen Productions recently recorded a must-watch series of interviews with Max Blumenthal, where he discusses a wide gamut of Israel/Palestine-related topics. 

In the video entitled “The role of the media in the Israel/Palestine conflict” (the video follows) Blumenthal describes instances of the US media insidiously crafting pro-Israel narratives to overshadow if not to flat-out whitewash Israel’s brutal policies:

On Fox News:

I had a friend who was working in Fox News, and she got a memo from management during the Israeli assault on Gaza — Operation Cast Lead in late 2008 — that told them to essentially not report what was happening, and gave them a list of talking points to highlight about Hamas being a terror organization.

I was on a Fox News program at that time and that all came out. They actually brought in a special guest to talk about the terrorist roots of Hamas. And they cut me off when I attempted to question any of the prevailing narrative that was coming out on Fox News and they told me that I wasn’t being collegial. 

On The New York Times:

It’s more revealing to look at what’s happening at the New York Times — which is the newspaper of record in the US. […]

There was better reporting when Steven Erlanger was the Middle East Bureau Chief, and even when John Burns was covering the second intifada, although his reporting was incredibly flawed. 

Now, the Middle East Bureau Chief is Ethan Bronner, who appears to be a committed Zionist; whose son served in the Israeli army; who lives and works out of a home in Jerusalem that was confiscated from the [Palestinian] Karmi family, which now lives here in London — Ghada Karmi. It was bought by Thomas Friedman when he was the Middle East Bureau Chief, without a second thought.

I would be deeply uncomfortable working in that building.

And if you look at who [Bronner] quotes — these are his friends — and how he quotes them: “the head of the Jewish National Fund was walking through Sderot yesterday when a rocket fell.” What does the Jewish National Fund have to with that, and who are they anyway? It’s just, he’s quoting his friends.

He referred to the Israeli assault on Gaza as “Israel’s anti-rocket invasion”, and he uses this kind of language constantly. You don’t even see that from Mark Regev. It’s much more dangerous than Mark Regev, because it’s insidious.

And Bronner recently did a story about a — what he claimed — was a bold, new, grassroots initiative of Israelis and Palestinians communicating online on Facebook and reaching out to one another. You know, because he’s constantly trying to normalize occupation. He didn’t mention that this initiative was AstroTurffed by the Peres Center For Peace, run by Shimon Peres — the architect of the Qana massacre in Lebanon. It didn’t have very many members at all, and that the Israelis who were writing in on the Facebook page — to say how great it was to talk to their Palestinian brothers — were employees of the Peres Center For Peace and the Palestinian administrators were as well. So, it’s completely insidious. And I think it plays a role — not turning people anti-Arab or anti-Palestinian — but really in normalizing occupation.


In the interview, Blumenthal goes on to describe the western press corps who often do their reporting from within the confines of Israel-proper, and the Israel Lobby’s bullying tactics back in America, where they relentlessly work to intimidate individuals in both the media and academia.


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You can watch the rest of Sternchen’s Max Blumenthal interviews, by following the links below:

1. Israel’s ‘response’ to the Eilat bus shootings >> watch HERE

2. His experiences as a facts-based citizen journalist, including: online Hasbara trolls, the main stream media (when covering right-wing politics versus Israel/Palestine), Israel’s racial-profiling screening process when entering the country >> watch HERE

3. The power and the impact of the Christian Zionist lobby in the US >> watch HERE

Ha’aretz Journalist, Gideon Levy: “Israel Is Addicted To The Occupation”

by on Monday, November 16, 2009 at 1:59 pm EDT in Middle East, Politics, World

Israel’s most prominent journalist, Gideon Levy, follows up on his recent column — one where he blasted the U.S. for continuing to ‘suck up to Israel’ — with an interview on The Real News Network.  Here he describes Israel as a country “addicted to the occupation.”

He pleads with the U.S. to be a friend of Israel’s and save it from itself.  He considers the relationship between U.S. and Israel as “twisted and unprecedented” in the world.  “There is no country in the world that acts like Israel vis a vis the United States — vis a vis dependence on the United States.”

Israel is addicted to the occupation, because it benefits a lot from the occupation — economically, and politically, and above all, because it doesn’t pay any price for the occupation.  Israelis are living wonderfully, especially in the last years.  They are having a wonderful life, even quite secure life most of the times.  There’s no reason to change the status quo from the point of view of Israel.  It is very convenient.  There’s a total separation between Israel and its occupation.  Most of the Israelis have no idea what’s going on there, don’t also care about what’s going on there, have never been there — most of the Israelis.  And so why should they bother?  The occupation will continue…

Levy believes the U.S. Presidents “who were called friendly to Israel were the worst for Israel.”  He singles out George W. Bush as the very worst, “because in his spirit, Israel really had the full liberty to do whatever it wants — settlements, two wars, assassinations …”

Levy comments on the emergence of J Street — the new, left-leaning pro-Israel lobbying group (hoped by many to offer an alternative to the hard-right, extremely powerful AIPAC):

I know there is a change in the Jewish community in the United States, but it is too little, and too late.  Still the conservative Jewish establishment is so powerful, and I don’t see signs that it is losing its power.  J Street is a wonderful initiative, very promising, but still the power of AIPAC, of the Anti-Defamation League, and other organizations is still very very strong.  And I don’t think it’s a question of months or years that this will change dramatically.

Israel is so much not willing to make peace that someone has to push Israel, and the only actor who can push Israel is the United States.  This can only happen with American pressure.  It will never come from inside Israel — no way.  Most Israelis are passive, couldn’t care less, …

The interview is over seven minutes long — definitely worth viewing:

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The second part of the interview with Gideon Levy was just released by The Real News Network.

Levy says:

There is no peace process.  It’s a joke.  There is no peace process, there is some games going on — masquerades — but not a real peace process, because no one has the intention of talking to implement major steps.  Israel wants negotiations, because when negotiations are on the pressure on Israel is much smaller, and something is going on, and they are meeting once in two weeks, and then there is a big peace conference, without paying any price.  Why not?  You only gain.  For Israel the negotiations are a win-win situation, because no one intends to implement anything, and we saw it now for 16 years — ever since Oslo.  […]

This is the time to put an end to all negotiations, because there is no room for negotiations, because the solution is very clear to everybody.  This is the terrible mistake that the Obama Administration did — or they fell into this trap.  […]

The alternative to the two-state solution is the one-state solution — which is not a good solution for the Palestinians — mainly for the Palestinians — because there is a big gap between the two societies.  And there will not be equality, and not be justice, and therefore at least in the first stage the Palestinians deserve their own state.  But I agree to what the PA officials say, that maybe we missed the train, maybe it is too late with almost half a million settlers in E. Jerusalem and the West Bank.  […]

Here’s the full second part of the interview:

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