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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NPR: TOTN: Tough Talk Between U.S. And Israel

March 18, 2010 NPR Talk of the Nation

Tough Talk Between U.S. And Israel


The costs and benefits of the US Israel relationship was the call in topic.

If you want an Israel love fest, you can listen to this. A lot of garbage. Neal Conan was none to pleased (a bit agitated?) with the caller criticizing the US Israel relationship and allowed the guests to pretty well marginalize his view without asking any insightful questions to slow their attack. At least Diane Rehm had herself to moderate and Ziad Asali to try to balance out Miller and Makovsky.

Miller does comment at the beginning that we have lost the balance and the relationship should not be exclusive as it has become.

When someone questions the foreign aid to Israel given what atrocities they've committed, Conan steps in and talks about the treaty with Egypt and how that’s a relationship we need to support. Who started that conflict, though? Israel. And never mind the extra aid, loan guarantees, military agreements, full support of Congress for whatever they want from settlements to the Gaza massacre, and many other perks of this very special exclusive relationship.

One caller made reference to the Goldstone report in their criticism of Israel and one guest or the other made sure we knew that the reason the Gaza massacres happened was because Israel pulled out of Gaza and “Gaza” attacked even though it wasn’t the main point of the call. Oh, and Israel restrained itself for 4 years, blah, blah, blah... The guests addressed lobbying (in general) and justified the Gaza massacres, but missed the point of the call- the lack of balance and the preferential treatment of Israel by the US while trying to be fair, etc.

Anti-semitism, not by name, mind you, was mentioned as the reason for the belief that the Israel lobby is pushing Israel’s agenda in opposition to the American people’s wishes. ??? Did they miss Mearsheimer and Walt's work??

Some pinhead brought up the “demographic threat” as a real problem or reason why we should support Israel.

So, I wrote a letter to TOTN about that:

Dear Neal,

A caller on that show brought up the “demographic threat” as the "biggest challenge" or reason why we should support Israel. The birth rate. How racist is that? Or bigoted if you prefer. Some Jews are afraid of the Arab birth rate. If someone here said they feared a high Jewish or black birth rate such that it would cause white or Christian influence to be less, you would be immediately and rightly called out and condemned for it. When you say it about Arabs, it’s apparently ok, though. ???

I was appalled that there was no comment on that by you or your guests.

Israel should be a democratic state for its people. If we support Israel as a Jewish state as some consider us a Christian nation, then so be it. If Israel is to be a Jewish state for Jewish people at all costs, we will soon find ourselves supporting Israel in measures amounting to ethnic cleansing to combat this so called "demographic threat." I would hope we wouldn't follow them down that path, but some might say we already are... (denial of Arab housing permits, house demolitions, visa problems, etc)

You had two advocates for Israel; an Arab perspective would have been refreshing and could have made the show a little more educational.


Conan also downgraded the crisis to kerfuffle. Why would we want to make a big deal about Israel's flouting another international law?

There were so many annoying things, I'll leave it at that for this show. There is so much annoying coverage of this latest slap in our face by our best friend.

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