Zev Chafets on Ailes; Obama's Middle East Trip

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

In his new biography of the Fox News president, American-Israeli author and journalist Zev Chafets writes that he "got a closer look at Roger Ailes than any journalist who doesn't work for him ever has." He talks to Brian about his book,  Roger Ailes: Off Camera, as well as President Obama's trip to the Middle East. Chafets is a former senior official in the Begin administration.



Zev Chafets

Comments [78]

There is another, completely different person who posts under the handle, "Bob from Brooklyn".

This illustrates the value of registering a unique user name. If neither of you wishes to do this then at least one of you should add something to your posting handle to distinguish it from the other's.

Mar. 22 2013 04:02 PM
Bob from Brooklyn

igarbuz from Queens....I guess that you forgot about Baruch Goldstein from Brooklyn, actions at Hebron in 1994.

Noach from Brooklyn....Norman Finkelstein will never be on WNYC, and this is part of the reason why.


Mar. 20 2013 05:57 PM
Noach (Non-Zionist, Independent Orthodox Jew) from Brooklyn

A follow-up to my previous response to "Frank Church from Ohio":

1.) In my haste to post, I overlooked the fact that you had explicitly mentioned that Norman Finkelstein has never been on the show.

2.) Apropos what I wrote about Democracy Now!, I would like to present the following excerpt from the transcript of the interview they did with Gatekeepers producer Dror Moreh:


________Begin Quoted Excerpts from Transcript________

DROR MOREH: Well, look, I—I have to say that I a little bit feel uncomfortable in the way that you present the things here, because you portray the things as if Israel is the brutal, aggressive all the time, with the Palestinians, that they are like doves. There is reason why the Shin Bet is doing what it’s doing there. And the fact of the matter is that you cannot say—in a way, portray Israel as the aggressive and the Palestinians are the innocent bystander who are always being killed by those aggressive forces. It’s not the case at all, and I think that this is misleading the people that are watching that.
What I felt is that when you portray that as the Palestinians are people that are sitting there, you know, and not doing anything, it’s not the reality on the ground. And by that, you have to show both sides, because I think that when you do that, you portray only one side. And I said that before. It’s—you have to be balanced. And this is something that I felt that is not so much here.

___________End Quoted Excerpts from Transcript_____________

While I must point-out that,
a) I do not find Moreh to go far enough to acknowledging crimes and injustices against the Palestinians,
b) my inclination to agree former HaAretz writer Akiva Eldar that, "There is no symmetry between the occupier and the occupied. This is true even if the occupied fight the occupier with despicable and contemptuous methods."
( http://www.thenation.com/article/not-passing-israels-lynch-test )

I nonetheless:
a) find at least some validity in Dror Moreh's words that I quoted above, and,
b) respect him, regardless, for challenging the DN! hosts that way and not simply ingratiating himself to them

Mar. 20 2013 03:36 PM
Noach (Non-Zionist, Independent Orthodox Jew) from Brooklyn

@ "Frank Church from Ohio":

I agree that Brian Lehrer, as well as WNYC in general, should have more critics of Israel as well as more Palestinian voices.

Norman Finkelstein, for example, seems to have _never_ been WNYC. A quick Google confirmed this suspicion of mine.

Noam Chomsky was last on the Brian Lehrer in 2009, for barely twenty-minutes, during which he was hardly given an opportunity to say anything about Israel.

(I'll never forget Chomsky's reaction to Lehrer's repeating the cliché, as the pretext for Vietnam, the "unstoppable march of Communism": "That's an /odd/ phrase..." Find the audio here:
http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/2009/jun/09/noam-chomsky/ )

But as valuable as Democracy Now! can be, I can only hope you realize how blatantly tendentious, biased, selective and even hypocritical it can often be.

("/Hypocrisy/ Now!" often seems like not much of an exaggeration...)

I maintain that anyone who does not recognize these failings of Democracy Now! must fall into one or more of the following categories:
a) is blinded by their own bias
b) does not listen carefully enough
c) has weak listening comprehension and/or critical thinking skills

And have you tried finding a list of the sponsors of Democracy Now!? Or /any/ financial disclosure? The amount of Amy Goodman's salary? I have, without success. At least when it comes to the roughly half-a-million salary that WNYC President and CEO Laura Walker receives, one can easily access this info. What's Democracy Now!, who so champion /transparency/, hiding? Seems like some "Independent" activist journalists are more equal than others...

As I often say, Democracy Now! is the worst news program there is--- except for all the others... (to paraphrase Churchill's famous quip.)

Mar. 20 2013 03:18 PM
Frank Church from Ohio

Oh, boy, more pro-Israel flaks on the radio, yippeee. Brian, you are a good guy, but Democracy Now has on Norman Finkelstein, Ilan Pappe, Dahr Jamail, real critics of Israel, not flaks. Let's never forget the airwaves--the spectrum, belongs to the people. It is part of the commons. All sides should be on your show.

By the way folks, Finkelstein has never been a guest on Brian's show. Is this censorship? Brian?

Mar. 20 2013 02:39 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Sheldon from Brooklyn said:

>Ed, if your point is that there are many inherently, intolerant Islamic States out there - you are not going to get an argument from me.


>I've never compared Isreal to her credit, to any of them. However, I will not put her on the same platform as other western nation states either.

Which western nation is under constant attack as Israel is?

Context is important.

The North Korean socialist dictatorship is threatening the US with a pre-emptive nuke attack. How should the US react?

Mar. 20 2013 01:36 PM
Tony from Canarsie

Update from Political Wire:

Roger Ailes admits to Howard Kurtz that he recruited Zev Chafets to write a new biography, Roger Ailes: Off Camera that will compete with Gabriel Sherman's more critical biography, The Loudest Voice in the Room, expected soon.

Said Ailes: "I picked Zev. He's an actual author, a good journalist. He's mature and thoughtful and not out to hurt people. I'm not saying anything about the other guy."

Mar. 20 2013 01:31 PM
Bob from Brooklyn

That Bob from Brooklyn is not this Bob from Brooklyn.

Mar. 20 2013 01:29 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Boob from Brooklyn,

1941 The Grand Mufti meets Hitler


Palestinian Gunman Drag Dead Body Through the Street of Gaza


Mar. 20 2013 01:25 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Bob from Brooklyn

Hebron? You mean that ancient Hebrew city wherein 65 Jews, including Jewish babies, were massacred with meat cleavers, and the rest of the ancient Jewish community was ethnically cleansed out from in 1929?

Mar. 20 2013 01:22 PM
Bob from Brooklyn

Support for Israel now is strong amongst the American public, but if they were ever to see " The Rooftops of Hebron ", for now available on You Tube, that support would......plummet!


Mar. 20 2013 12:51 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Ed, if your point is that there are many inherently, intolerant Islamic States out there - you are not going to get an argument from me.

I've never compared Isreal to her credit, to any of them. However, I will not put her on the same platform as other western nation states either.

Mar. 20 2013 12:47 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights


Google Images "arab nazi salute".

The "unfortunate" reality for Islamists is that the Israelis are not the unarmed Jews of WW2 or Khybar.

Mar. 20 2013 12:29 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

How many churches are in Saudi Arabia?

How many wowmen have been issued drivers licenses in SA?

How many open homosexuals serve in the Iranian goverment?

How many LGBT centers are in Iran?

How many people have died in Syria due to the civil war?

How many non-Zionist Jews live in Gaza, Jordan, Egypt, Syria?

Mar. 20 2013 12:24 PM

jgarbuz: "As my dear departed mother, a Holocaust survivor, once taught me long ago," It doesn't matter what YOU think you are; the world will tell you what you are." "

The Nazis seem to have taught your mother very well.

Meanwhile, I have read Primo Levi and understood that we must hold sacred the individual's right to cultivate his or her own identity, first as a human being among other human beings.

Yes, I would have been sent to the camps, but not because of a label I placed on myself. And in rejecting that label I also reject the legitimacy of the decision to exterminate the people who carry that label.

Mar. 20 2013 12:17 PM
Bob from Brooklyn

Ugh. I wouldn't let Yassar Arafat or Roger Ailes touch my ding-dong. Those dudes are freaking ugly.

Mar. 20 2013 12:16 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sheldon

>How many "Arabs" have (ever had) positions of power in the military or in the security services? I will take my answer off the air - thanks.<

How many have volunteered to serve? Arabs are not drafted into the IDF, but can volunteer and more are doing so. However, one until has recently been put under the command of an Israeli Arab Christian female officer, so things are changing even there.

Mar. 20 2013 12:15 PM
Noach (Independent, anti-Corporate,anti-War) from Brooklyn

There is an at least /more/ authentically, principled conservative alternative to the Republican Party that people should be aware of:
The Constitution Party

I voted for Constitution Party presidential candidate Virgil Goode in the last election, despite considerable considerable differences I had in a number of areas.

It was a difficult decision but I felt and still feel that "all things considered", I made the best choice.

The only other candidate on the ballot who I voted for was John Mangelli for senate. Again, despite considerable differences.

I did write-ins for all the other offices.

Think of what could be accomplished if more people would vote for third-parties and do write-ins. If enough people do, Washington would get the message that the Democrat-Republican duopoly; two wings of the same bird of prey, is unacceptable.

Mar. 20 2013 12:13 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Ok JG,

Help me with my ignorance. How many of the roughly 25% of Israel's non-Jewish population, have ever been given important portfolios in an Israeli cabinet?

How many "Arabs" have (ever had) positions of power in the military or in the security services? I will take my answer off the air - thanks.

Mar. 20 2013 12:09 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

"Bob from Brooklyn

Did Roger Ailes attempt to touch your pee-pee?"

You're thinking of Yassir Arafat.

Mar. 20 2013 12:00 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To YZ, my last word.

You wrote: "...but both of my parents are of "Jewish" heritage although my father and I cannot self-identify as Jews. This doesn't affect the validity of my suggestion."

As my dear departed mother, a Holocaust survivor, once taught me long ago," It doesn't matter what YOU think you are; the world will tell you what you are."

Mar. 20 2013 12:00 PM
tom from astoria


Isn't Israel a theocracy? If you won't go that far, then please list the rights and privileges that citizens that are Jewish have that others do not. It is a Jewish state (and I support that), but it cannot be compared to the US in terms of rights for ALL, except in the treatment of the people that we kicked off the land to take control at our founding.

Mar. 20 2013 11:58 AM
Noach (Non-Zionist, Independent Orthodox Jew) from Brooklyn

Many people, regarding Orthodox rejection of Zionism: Doesn't the Torah state that G-d gave the Land of Israel to the Jews?

Yes, it certainly does. However, the Talmud, which records the orally-transmitted component of the Torah that is no less essential than the written "Tanach" (Hebrew Bible; "Old Testament") states that the same G-d who gave us the land exiled us from it and forbade us from re-establishing sovereignty until our redemption by the Messiah.

Mar. 20 2013 11:55 AM
YZ from the 20th century, apparently

jgarbuz, I'm not a "radical leftist". I just look at the way the world is, the changes that continue to happen, and apply my hopes to it. What is radical is to come up with this idea of "tribes" and to cling to it in spite of the evidence of these changes.

So it begs the question: why don't Israelis just kill all the Arabs and the people who oppose the Jewish state? It will probably be the only solution. Why don't they just wipe out the rest of the middle east and put the dissenters like me in concentration camps? Surely they have the power. The Israeli military is, per its size, the mightiest in the world. Just kill all the Arabs already! What's stopping you? Stand up for your tribe!

Mar. 20 2013 11:54 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sheldon who asked me

>Jg, your comparison of Israel to other states, is a fallacy. How many "non-Jews" can or have had any position of power in the "Jewish State"?<

The very fact that you ask that question indicates your ignorance of modern Israel, where Arabs sit on the Supreme Court and have many elected representatives in the Parliament, not to mention being mayors of many towns and some cities. NO, there has not yet been an Arab president or prime minister but there has been no Jewish or even "Indian" president of the US either. But Israel is a very progressive society, even though the whole Arab world is against its very right to exist.

Mar. 20 2013 11:50 AM
Bob from New York

Jokes about getting HIV/AIDS funny Brian? Really?

Mar. 20 2013 11:50 AM
YZ from not jgarbuz's bathroom anymore


Not being abusive. I was trying to be humorous. And it's none of your business, but both of my parents are of "Jewish" heritage although my father and I cannot self-identify as Jews. This doesn't affect the validity of my suggestion.

We are very close, now, to seeing these "tribes" change dramatically. The internet is very young, and relatively speaking, so is global travel/mobility. I welcome this change, because I believe it will usher in a new era of peace. Sure, we'll find new things to fight about, but those new things might very well be more precarious.

Mar. 20 2013 11:49 AM
jgarbuz from Queens


Who wrote "YZ from jgarbuz's bathroom." Typical of radical leftists, to start getting abusive when their "one world" and "why can't we all get along" world-view is challenged by any dissent. You're from a mixed-marriage, so I understand your POV. I just don't assume your conclusions about where the world is going, at least in the short term. If anything, I see dissension in the European Union, the "model" of international integration. The reality is, ethnic and national bounds are stronger than the "one worlders" want to believe, and they are not yet ready to dissolve, whether you like it or not.

Mar. 20 2013 11:42 AM
t from astoria

About the right wing slant of this guest: he also gets US opinion wrong. In 2003 the PBS Newshour reported on a poll about news coverage of the Palestinian/Israeli issue. 27% believed it was biased in favor of Israel, 9% thought it was biased in favor of the Palestinians.

Mar. 20 2013 11:40 AM

Fox' "Heart is balanced"???? What?!? I must have heard that incorrectly. At least he didn't call WNYC the sister staion of MSNBC.

Mar. 20 2013 11:39 AM

He's got to stop playing it like Fox is "just as unbalanced" as the other 3 media outlets.

Mar. 20 2013 11:37 AM
YZ from jgarbuz's bathroom


"Why couldn't Germans or Jews or Britons not be satisfied just being good Romans?"

Because the Romans kept them stratified under a nominal umbrella of imperialism. That's not the same thing as globalization, which is an interaction, a trade, an exchange. That is what promotes unity, understanding, and peace.

Mar. 20 2013 11:36 AM
Sarah from uWS

What a shill.

Mar. 20 2013 11:36 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

It sounds like Roger tried to setup a threesome with the author and Rush Limbaugh.

Mar. 20 2013 11:36 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Bob from Brooklyn

What do you see in the 21st century that you didn't see in previous centuries? Moses married a Cushite (an African). There has been intermarriage and mixing of peoples for a very long time,and yet tribalism still exists, and hasn't gone away yet! And won't for centuries to come. You don't see the Japanese opening up their borders to mass immigration. Even many "Americans" don't care much for any more mass influx of non-Anglo peoples. Yes, there is tolerance on the margins, but when it gets too close and personal, that tolerance starts to wither.

Mar. 20 2013 11:35 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Why does Chafets call Ailes "Roger" but doesn't call Murdoch "Rupert"? Rupert is such a nice name.

Mar. 20 2013 11:35 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Did Roger Ailes attempt to touch your pee-pee?

Mar. 20 2013 11:34 AM
tom from astoria


Mar. 20 2013 11:34 AM
steve from Manhattan

Zev -- Bevakasha!!! (PUH-LEEZE in Hebrew). Did we read the same NY Times magazine article this past Sunday? Your characterization of it was absurdly biased and (forgive me) foolish, and for a reporter of your stature coming down on the fair minded and carefully neutral reporter Ben Ehrenreich and suggest that he was "boosting" the Palestinian side rather than just reporting the truth... Brian correctly challenged you on that word, but alas, he hadn't read the article so couldn't say anything more... Zev -- are you just pissed at the Times for panning your book? Please -- your a better journalist than this. Open your eyes and accept the reality in the Occupied Territories, or get out of the way when other responsible journalists do. B'emet!!! (technically, In Truth -- loosely, Really, dude).

Mar. 20 2013 11:33 AM
Roger from New York

This author exemplifies a narrow view slanted toward right wing opinion within Israel and elsewhere. Of course, he is preaching to the converted here in the U.S., but American public opinion differs substantially from that in European countries, for example. It is telling that Chafets has not seen the documentary with the former heads of Israeli intelligence and their conclusion that a two-state outcome is the only way Israel can survive for the long term. Aside from pragmatism, there is an inherent lack of sensitivity to Palestinians and the plight of Gaza in Chafets' one-sided school of thought. Fortunately, there are many in Israel who do not share this view.

Mar. 20 2013 11:33 AM
Noach (Non-Zionist, Independent Orthodox Jew) from Brooklyn

Just as I was about to say that at least Mr. Lehrer said only "Orthodox" and not "Ultra-Orthodox", the guest, Mr. Chafetz used that tendentious, misleading term. ("Ultra-Orthodox")

1.) The media uses the term "Ultra-Orthodox" indiscriminately, labeling everyone from the most fanatic and violent "religious-ZIONIST" settlers, to the most zealously ANTI-ZIONIST Orthodox Jews (such as Neturei Karta), under the same "Ultra-Orthodox" label.

"Ultra-/Zionist/" would better describe the "religious" parties in question.

2.) They represent a /perversion/ of Torah, which actually prohibits Zionism, in all of its forms, as has always been maintained by an overwhelming consensus of the foremost rabbinic scholars and authorities.

3.) The other problem with the term "Ultra-Orthodox" goes beyond the scope of the topic at hand but I will just summarize briefly.

"Ultra-Orthodox" is used (usually with at least a hint of pejorative intent) to label any Orthodox Jews who are to the right (theologically/ in terms of level of observance) of "Modern-Orthodox". This sets _"Modern-Orthodox"_ as the standard of normative halakhic Judaism, against which others are compared. Such an assertion is, at _best_, highly _subjective_ and contentious-- certainly not one that can be made by anyone claiming objectivity.

Mar. 20 2013 11:32 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Isn't Rush Limbaugh gay?

Mar. 20 2013 11:32 AM

fair and balanced?

Mar. 20 2013 11:32 AM
jgarbuz from Queens


>These bonds break down over time, and have been broken for a long time, by globalization in all its forms. <

They said that in Hellenistic times, after Alexander conquered most of the western known world. The Romans later asked the same. Why couldn't Germans or Jews or Britons not be satisfied just being good Romans? Why do they revolt against Roman civilization after all the good it did for them?

Mar. 20 2013 11:31 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Murdoch is not a conservative, he is a "corporatist" Fox makes him money and give him influence. That's all he cares about.

Jg, your comparison of Israel to other states, is a fallacy. How many "non-Jews" can or have had any position of power in the "Jewish State"?

Mar. 20 2013 11:31 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

@ jarbuz - we are not denying tribalism, we're trying to get the reptile people like yourself to see past it and move into the 21st century.

Mar. 20 2013 11:30 AM
antonio from baySide

What an alternate universe this guy lives in..The country is CENTER-RIGHT, still is...
To quote an SNL spoof of jeopardy..."Recent Black Presidents..."

Mar. 20 2013 11:29 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

I'd love to see Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly shoot each other in a 19th century style duel. It will be a win-win for everyone in this country.

Mar. 20 2013 11:28 AM
YZ from Brooklyn


"the majority of ancient nations are bound by ethnic, cultural, religious or territorial bonds going back deep into history."

These bonds break down over time, and have been broken for a long time, by globalization in all its forms. Today, most notably, this happens on the internet. Eventually, Jews and Arabs will both have to accept that they are members of the same tribe (humans) living in one place (Earth).

Mar. 20 2013 11:27 AM
PJ from Nj

So to follow this guy's logic. Slaves would have to prove to their masters back in the day that they deserve their freedom. You have to be immoral to accept that another people should be subjugated and dehumanized,

Mar. 20 2013 11:27 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To everyone

Tribal, ethnic and religious bonds going back into history are very strong in most people, whether they choose to admit it or not. That's why so many people, even African-Americans, are so curious about their ancestors and looking up where they originated from. To deny it, is to deny human nature.

Mar. 20 2013 11:26 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Mark from LI -- "Why we are spending so much time and money dealing with a cult that is 0.1% of the world population and that believes in magical men in the sky is beyond many people."

The election is over, so maybe it's not fair to kick Mitt Romney's religion around.

Mar. 20 2013 11:23 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To John from Office

The US has dual citizenship rights with many countries and not just Israel. You can ask, how can someone be loyal both to a mother and a wife at the same time?

Mar. 20 2013 11:23 AM
Gerald Fnord from Palos Verdes, Ca

YZ and jgarbuz:

I don't think of it as a matter of rights: the Jewish experience in the last century, and (to a lesser but significant extent) the Palestinian experience then and now, prove that on Prison Yard Earth it is very, very, dangerous not to be a member of a gang with weapons. The fact that this means that everyone will be in a gang is unfortunate, because even the best gangs behave as gangs, which includes preferring the deaths of any number of another gang's members over any of your own (see: Nagasaki, Coventry)...and because it almost ensures that this will remain Prison Yard Earth. I think our only real hope is that we be released from prison, which is also known as Scarcity, and whose days are numbered if we only will it so...although many of our most powerful positively _enjoy_ the fact that the rest of us must fundamentally fear death by starvation, illness, and exposure.

(I first started continually thinking of nations in our world as gangs in a prison yard when I was trying to understand the Iraq war, and remembered someone's claim that in a prison yard, if someone hits you, it's more important that you in response hit _someone_ than that said someone be the one who hit you.)

Mar. 20 2013 11:22 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

We need to stop it with these labels and see that just because they are American or Israel or whatever are 'right'.

Mar. 20 2013 11:22 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

@ John - your tribalism is dumb and anti-intellectual. You should go back and live in the 20th century, and let the enlightened adults carry on.

Mar. 20 2013 11:21 AM
jgarbuz from Queens


Ask the Germans and Japanese and Poles why they consider themselves a nation. Every tribe in history formed itself into a shared identity, be it based on religous, territorial, or ethnic common ties. The US, Canada, Australia and other settler states formed by many ethnicities had to become constitutional states, because they could NOT base their claim to nationhood on ancient ethnic, blood, territorial or religious bonds. But the majority of ancient nations are bound by ethnic, cultural, religious or territorial bonds going back deep into history. You can't turn Israel or Ireland into America.

Mar. 20 2013 11:20 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

LOL - sorry. Wrong post! That was for the Future Shock-like guest in the previous segment.

Mar. 20 2013 11:19 AM
john from office

How in gods name can this guest be an American and an Israeli, and serve in the Israeli government and still be an "American". I am pro Israel, but get tired of the DUAL LOYALTY shown by some Jews. Either you are American or are something else.

Mar. 20 2013 11:19 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Zev Chafets's lazily written book has nothing new to say about Ailes, politics, or the press in general. Can I get my money back on a library book?

Mar. 20 2013 11:18 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Everyone should check out Lapham's Quarterly. Seriously, it's the s h i t. Buy a subscription and support this fine publication.

Mar. 20 2013 11:18 AM

@Edward from Washington -

Of course Fox News has higher ratings. Fox News is the only solely conservative news network. CNBC is a niche network... it only really appeals to people who are interested in investing. MSNBC and CNN compete for the same viewers.

Mar. 20 2013 11:18 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

The King of Jordan can go suck it. If he can't control his own kingdom, let it fail, along with Israel.

Mar. 20 2013 11:15 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Americans, blah blah blah. All these dumb labels for the masses to indicate who to support and who to kill. Screw all of them. Killers are killers no matter what flag or ideals they murder under.

Mar. 20 2013 11:14 AM
Lenna from LES

Why should we care about this at all? Israel is such a waste of US tax dollars. If most Americans truly understood the amount of waste they would want nothing to do with this.

Stations like this keep this topical!

Mar. 20 2013 11:13 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

No, Netanyahu is the FIRST Israeli PM to accept the possibility of a two-state solution. Rabin never said that. And Dubya Bush was the first US president to come out officially for a Palestinian state in 2005. There was no official talk of a Palestinian state until around 2000 in official circles both in the US and Israel.

Mar. 20 2013 11:13 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Aww Bibi, just love-love, loooves Obama now. So, he isn't gonna come over here and insult the President in the WH, or on Hannity for an hour, the next 4 years?

Mar. 20 2013 11:13 AM
john from Office

How in gods name can this guest be an American and an Israeli, and serve in the Israeli government and still be an "American". I am pro Israel, but get tired of the DUAL LOYALTY should by some Jews. Either you are American or are something else.

Mar. 20 2013 11:12 AM
Mark from LI

Why we are spending so much time and money dealing with a cult that is 0.1% of the world population and that believes in magical men in the sky is beyond many people.

I dream for the day when people will wake up and realize that worship of the make believe is not in anyone's best interest. And isolating yourselves based on a fairy tale is allowing 0.1% of the population to hurt the whole globe.

Mar. 20 2013 11:11 AM
YZ from Brooklyn

Also @jgarbuz:

This is not just "a friendly visit to allies", it is an investor checking up on how his money is being spent. Let's not forget that.

Mar. 20 2013 11:11 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Hey jgarbuz. I was waiting for you to show up today.

Dear Obama - stay out of the Middle East and let these tribes kill each other on their own dime. Thank you

Mar. 20 2013 11:08 AM
YZ from Brooklyn


It doesn't matter, but my mother is Jewish and I lived in Kfar David throughout my childhood.

This definition of Jews as a "nation" is very vague. What makes a people a nation? How do you identify its members?

And what makes it so imperative that this nation exist in exclusivity? Ireland and Poland, as you mentioned, allow people of any ethnicity to enjoy the full benefits of citizenship, not just people whose ancient ancestors were Irish or Polish. You cannot cherry-pick the definitions of nation-hood to fit another agenda.

Mar. 20 2013 11:08 AM
Gerald Fnord from Palos Verdes, Ca

It's now been taken down, but there was on the Web a fascinating profile of Ailes and the early days of Fox written by someone who [claimed to be someone who] was there to (I believe it was) do their marketing. What stuck in my mind was Ailes' explicit proscription that the network was there for advocacy, and not journalism...and that Ailes was, in person, an inveterate bully, even going so far as to continually and visciously (it is a vice) mock a News Corp. person's Australian accent.

Mar. 20 2013 11:07 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Why does Obama's visit to a friendly state have to have "a pland?" Does a US visit to Britain require a plan for Northern Ireland? Or a visit to China reeqire a solution to the Tibet problem? Can't Obama just visit a friendly state as one visits one's friends without trying to solve their marital or personal problems? Why is everything regarding ISrael had to do with its conflict with the Arabs?

Mar. 20 2013 11:03 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To YZ from probably EAST Jerusalem

If there cannot be a Jewish state then there cannot be an Irish state, or a Polish state, or a German state, or a Russian state, etc., because Jews are a nation. A nation-in-exile is still a nation even if it's homeland was occupied for many centuries. So understanding that the Jews are a nation, not merely a religion, is the beginning of understanding why there was a Jewish state in the past, and why there is a Jewish state today, and well into the future.

Mar. 20 2013 10:59 AM
YZ from Brooklyn (formerly Jerusalem)

Expectedly, Obama's visit to Israel will employ a willing ignorance of the elephant in the room: the questionable necessity of a Jewish state. Without a doubt there needs to be democracy and freedom in the middle east, and this cannot be possible in a state that has been established in the name of ethnic division (in glaring spite of the genocidal atrocity that impelled its foundation). If the US wants to see peace between Israel and its neighbors, Israel must be incentivized to end its oppressive apartheid regime, while both Israel and its neighbors must be encouraged to secularize their charters.

This solution goes unmentioned because its proponents (including Israelis like me) are regarded as heretics when we question whether a Jewish, or Jewish-only, state is in the best interests of the middle east and by extension the interests of the global social, economic, and political climate.

Right wing politicians in the knesset refer to Israel as a kind of nature preserve for Jews as though they are an endangered species. But this way of thinking dangerously implies that Jews are to be regarded as a species, separate from the rest of humanity, or at least from Arabs, which is sadly and ironically similar to the comprehension of Jews that was held by the Nazis.

Mar. 20 2013 10:46 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

And higher Fox ratings are important for our discussion because...? What does it mean? Higher ratings, which are surely manipulated for financial gain, are meaningless when we discuss what is true or untrue in the newz.

Roger Ailes is good at generating media ad revenue as he accomplishes his greedy self-interest by cheating, lying and duping his audience. Big deal. The FoxNews audience are scaredy-cat and bigoted conservatives who like to hear their views reinforced w/o competition. FoxNews credibility is on the same level as Donald Trump's.

Mar. 20 2013 09:54 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Fox News has higher ratings than MSNBC or CNBC.


Mar. 20 2013 03:19 AM

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