Building Tension

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

David Makovsky, a senior fellow at The Washington Institute and director of their Project on the Middle East peace process, discusses the latest diplomatic dispute between the U.S. and Israeli governments over apartment buildings in Jerusalem.


David Makovsky

Comments [88]

Edward Brault from Baton Rouge

Mr. Lehrer was a cheerleader for Mr. Markovsky absurd assertion that the newly announced settlement was something approved at lower levels. If that nonsense was true, then Netanyahu wouldn't have bellowed at AIPAC that Israel intends to settle Jerusalem - - and world opinion, the U.S. and common sense be damned.

Mr. Lehrer, you have a professional obligation to your listeners that should outweigh any tribal instincts to protect Israel. Shame on you.

Mar. 25 2010 09:15 PM
Abu Hassan from Jersey City

Palestinians, even with international encouragement, are unwilling to create conditions of peace with Israel and reconciliation. There is always a reason not to negotiate peace —recently, for example, the reason has been Israeli settlements.

It may be true that some moderate Arab governments would be willing to make peace with Israel. But for the present I feel that radical Islam will stand in the way of peace.

Mar. 17 2010 03:38 PM
James DeSoto from Bed-S

Someone just emailed me this interesting website:

Islam: Making a True Difference in the World -

Mar. 17 2010 02:52 PM
James DeSoto from Bed-S

Arab Israeli conflict 101

Mar. 17 2010 02:42 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

#79 Calls’em,
I’ll play into your hate-baiting and answer your questions. 1. Re: Hatred for the Jews… In Europe, the Catholic Church’s post-Holy Roman Empire marketing against Jews preceded by the pagan Roman Empire’s rejection of the then new monotheism. In the Middle East, European conquering of the Ottoman Empire and partitioning of Palestine as a homeland for European Jews (still a lot of hate for the Jews in 19th century Europe and while the Middle East has always had a natural population of Jews, the slap of Europe’s heavy hand is still being felt ). In the United States of America, the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution only applied to the federal government and not the states until the 14th Amendment (1868) so anti-Semitism adopted in Europe traveled readily to the individual states. I don’t know much about anti-Semitism in South America, Africa, Oceana or the Far East/Asia. Fair to say though, with European religious influence being strong in South America, Africa and Australia/Oceana given they were all colonized by Europe, that’s probably where it came from if it exists.
2. Taking issue with a sovereign nation with life-long ties to the land of my birth does not an anti-Semite make. I know it’s popular (and apparently acceptable to WNYC’s producers) to call anyone who disagrees an anti-Semite; however, as a black gay dude from the south, I’ve been called much worse (The kind of things if I typed, WNYC producers would redact).

Mar. 17 2010 02:39 PM
JP from NJ

What history book are you reading from that factually states “Islam has killed more people then Christianity - by far”? Or is this the history according to Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Mar. 17 2010 02:36 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Voter and other anti-Semites - When analyzing organized murder - Islam has killed more people then Christianity - by far. I would think that Christians (organized by Kingdoms) come next, followed by Communists (Stalin, Mao, etc.) followed by Fascists (Nazis, Imperial Japan), followed by liberal abortionists (US Branch)(40-50mil since Roe). In the last two millenniums, Jews are probably somewhere lower than accidental house hold chemical poisonings of infants in the US. PS - You also have to remember that almost all deaths at the hands of the IDF have been defensive and not offensive. A big distinction that small minds seem unable to understand.

Mar. 17 2010 02:22 PM
JP from NJ

Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

You really need to pick up a complete history of world history. No body has clean hands if you want to go back in History. Everybody has a murderous history. Should all Spaniards be crucified for wiping out 80% of South America in Less then 10 years all in the name of god and gold? Should you and I be crucified for what our country did to American Indians and slavery of Africans? Should England and France and the Dutch be crucified for what they did in the Middle East and Africa? Your justification for racist hate is weak at best….

Please explain where in the constitution that it says people’s rights are on a sliding scale? Or was that a quote from Signified?

Mar. 17 2010 02:14 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

#77 Calls’em,
Always curious how Christians get a pass when playing the murder card. Catholics alone have quite a lot to answer for. The Jews of Israel also seem to get a pass with their 10:1 eye for an eye policy when it comes to life taking.

Mar. 17 2010 02:05 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Voter - with numbers as small as you qoute - 13-14mil Jews in the whole world of 6+billion, why do you think there is some much hatred for the Jews? And tell us also why you hate the Jews?

Mar. 17 2010 02:05 PM
hjs from 11211

there are a lot of "good christian" who are great racists. history is full of christian racists.

Mar. 17 2010 02:00 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

JP - what are you talking about? All loyal Americans have the same rights. Disloyal ones have rights, too - on a sliding scale they have the right to be rendered all the way to the right to become President (even if they’re not legal citizens) depending on how much money they can raise and much BS they can shovel and how fast. or example Obama has spent over a million dollars to block FOIL releases about him in a number of states. As to Islam, I say “as-salaam alaykum” (السلام عليكم) to all my peaceful brothers and sisters who are of good will; but to the millions who would destroy America, I say something else. All you have to do is pick up any complete history of Islam - even one that is pro-Islam and you will learn an amazingly duplicitous and murderous history.

Mar. 17 2010 01:58 PM
hjs from 11211

true, but who says he's a christian?

Mar. 17 2010 01:55 PM
DAT573 from Nathan Straus Projects

Palestinian-Israeli Conflict For Beginners
Occupation 101

Mar. 17 2010 01:55 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Jgarbuz (#60),
So you’re proposing nuclear strikes against countries (25 Arab nations) representing over 358 million people (a number greater than the population of the United States or about half the population of Europe). This is how you imagine peace for 5.6 million Israeli Jews and security for the global population of roughly 13.7 million?
It’s becoming increasingly hard for me to see any distinction between Israeli attitudes towards Arabs in Israel and the Occupied Territories and Nazi attitudes towards the Jews of Europe.

Mar. 17 2010 01:49 PM
JP from NJ

Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

While you’re quoting from TV shows and Hollywood, I will give you a quote that has been around a lot longer then Casablanca and Seinfeld re-runs. “All men are created equal” Thomas Jefferson, Declaration if Independence, 1776.

#65 is for you.

Still waiting for my answer....

Mar. 17 2010 01:43 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

HJS - you mean the great and wonderful wizard of public radio won't let the truth that they don't agree with to leak out? "Rick, I'm shocked, shocked to find gambling going on here. [The Vichy Inspector then accepts his winnings]" From Casablanca.
Again, you mean Hillary Clinton’s mystery aide and "special friend" Huma Abedin, who's now engaged to Tony "Never Been Out on a Date with a Woman" Weiner? "Not that there's anything wrong with that." [Seinfeld]
What is there to say? Obama is pro-Arab. Abedin is pro-Arab. Hillary is pro-Arab. And Tony is what? What do you think - whether you agree or not in whole or in part?

Mar. 17 2010 01:35 PM
JP from NJ

hjs from 11211

They should delete that. Being a racist also falls under being a bad Christian...

Mar. 17 2010 01:33 PM
hjs from 11211

67] Calls they are going to delete that

Mar. 17 2010 01:26 PM
JP from NJ

Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

#65 is for you.

Still waiting for my answer....

Mar. 17 2010 01:24 PM
JP from NJ

Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

6th commandment applies to you just as much as it does to any Christian. It’s the final word from god on murdering anyone. No ifs ands or buts or any exceptions allowed.

Mar. 17 2010 01:22 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

HJS - you mean Hillary Clinton’s mystery aide and "special friend" Huma Abedin, who's now engaged to Tony "Never Been Out on a Date with a Woman" Weiner? "Not that there's anything wrong with that." [Seinfeld]

What is there to say. Obama is pro-Arab. Abedin is pro-Arab. Hillary is pro-Arab. And Tony is what? What do you think - whether you agree or not in whole or in part?

Mar. 17 2010 01:15 PM
hjs from 11211

and by the way all you religious people are totally crazy. there is no god, i know the easter bunny told me so.

Mar. 17 2010 01:15 PM
JP from NJ

Actually born and raised a Christian. Spent many hours at Sunday school. I don’t think you did. What’s the 6th commandment (5th if you’re a Catholic, Lutheran)? I’ll help you with this one “You shall not murder”. No exceptions, no exemptions, no excuses. You can not justify murder for any reason. So yes, any group that murders anyone should be condemned and will be judged in eyes of god, no matter what side they are on. That being said, its in black and white right in the rules of all rules that cant be trumped by any other, god forbids you to kill for any reason which would include in retaliation. Remember, Jesus died for you sins, not so you could sin… Plain and simple, any Christian that advocates murder and war for any reason is not a good Christian.

Now, you didn’t answer my other question so I will ask again. Do you think you should have more rights then American Palestinians and Muslims even though we all share the same right to freedom of religion and the constitution clearly says “all men are created equal”?

Mar. 17 2010 01:13 PM
hjs from 11211

great. hate is always something that makes the world a better place. NOT
are u making any money off of this war without end or are u just a sadist? i see u learned well from your youth. good luck.

Mar. 17 2010 01:12 PM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

They deserve it. They had dozens of actual nations the European settlers wiped out. But the Arabs never had a nation in the "Holy Land" and Jerusalem was nothing to them other than the site of a few mosques. Apparently their prophet flew in his sleep over there one night, and got back to Mecca for breakfast. That is the entire basis of Jerusalem being an Arab capital.

Mar. 17 2010 01:06 PM
hjs from 11211


genocide? is that what u learned from growing up in europe ?

Mar. 17 2010 01:05 PM
hjs from 11211

then we agree we'll "give a part of Washington DC to the" native americans.

Mar. 17 2010 01:02 PM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

Here's the way I would give part of Jerusalem to the Arabs for a capital. First I would launch nuclear strikes on every one of the 21 Arab capitals, and wipe them out. Only then, would I say, "Listen, I see you Arabs have no capitals. I feel bad. Here have a piece of ours." :)

Mar. 17 2010 01:01 PM
hjs from 11211

should we always punish a group of people for the actions of a few?

Mar. 17 2010 12:56 PM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

To hjs

Over a suburb?? No, over the capital of the 22nd ARAB STATE taking the heart out of the Jewish nation! What you said is exactly what was being said about Sudetenland at Munich. What, war with Hitler over some tiny nothing in Czechoslovakia?

Jews have been the majority in Jerusalem since 1840! There has never been an Arab caliphate or capital in Jerusalem. They have zero right to claim it. Why not give a part of Washington DC to the "indians?" THey certainly have more of a claim than the Arabs!

Mar. 17 2010 12:55 PM
hjs from 11211

[56] Jgarbuz
war without end! over a suburb lol

Mar. 17 2010 12:50 PM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

Jerusalem was never the capital of any Arab state in history, and will certainly not be the capital of the 22nd Arab state to be called "Palestine." Israel is the sole Jewish capital of the sole Jewish state. This topic should be closed once and for all. It's a non-starter. If the Arabs start ti talk about Jerusalem, the Israelis should say, Go get another KURD to be your next Saladin and come take it if you can!
No part of Jerusalem for an Arab political capital ever!

Mar. 17 2010 12:46 PM
hjs from 11211

why assume he's a Christian nut job ?
he could be a CIA agent or a paid GOP lobbyist or just a rich guy who doesn't like to pay his fair share of taxes. a true tea bagger can't put a sentence together without a k street hired gun pushing the agenda.

Mar. 17 2010 12:44 PM
JP from NJ

Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Do you think you should have more rights then American Palestinians and Muslims even though we all share the same right to freedom of religion and the constitution clearly says “all men are created equal”?

Mar. 17 2010 12:37 PM
JP from NJ

Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA,

Are you one of those nut job Christians that supports and wants to perpetuate the Israeli conflict in the chosen land of the chosen people to bring about the second coming so you can go to heaven?

I ask because your comments don’t seem to support any type of compromise or common ground… Pretty much just hate towards Palestinians and Islam without any explanation as to why so much hate.

Mar. 17 2010 12:29 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Brian - there appear to be many Israel a/k/a Jew haters in your listening audience. Perhaps you should a have a week of "Green Spaces" to help heal the wounds, find common ground and explain to these libs the long and murderous history of Islamic conquest of nations and attacks on Israel, a creation of the exalted UN. PS - Can you as a devoted member of the Tribe of Israel be trusted or even allowed to have a fair discussion of issues affecting Israel? WNYC and NPR are primarily funded and run by friends of Israel; perhaps Judge Kaye should be brought in to run the discussions.

Mar. 17 2010 12:23 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

[46] “voter” - your question should have been which of the two pledges of allegiance (to Israel and the USA) do elected Democrat politicians RARELY (at least in the past) betray? Then the answer would be Israel as there are at least 155 House Dems, 42 Senate Dems and a President and VP that appear to be traitors to their sworn oaths to this country. Even with such dangerous and incompetent leadership as the 'Bama, the Weiner, Stretch Pelosi and Harry the un-indicted co-conspirator Reid, etc., more of those Dems still support Israel, then they do their own country. It's sad but true.

Mar. 17 2010 12:16 PM
K I S S from

re israel isn't using the big guns? really?

They have the bomb. Imagine if Hamas had the bomb.

Mar. 17 2010 12:12 PM
hjs from 11211

"Israel is hardly following the "biggest guns" path."

Mar. 17 2010 12:05 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Perhaps Obama can pay Citibank to help improve the housing stock of the Palestinians. This way they wouldn't be so jealous of Israeli housing. Lol.

PS - Or perhaps Obama's big plan to bring hundreds of thousands of Palestinian "refugees" to the US, giving them US taxpayer money to buy homes and start businesses will work. Yes, that’s a good idea; bring them all here and the ME will be in peace one day like it was under the Ottoman Empire. Unfortunately, America will then be in hell.

Mar. 17 2010 12:04 PM

Sherry, that's true, it's obviously a Jewish station, which is fine, I like their programs and have nothing against Jewish people but they are doing their people a disservice. WNYC could be contributing to the peace process by having discussions that present both sides fairly. People aren't stupid, we know what is going on over there and when you only present one side you lose credibility. If we can't have an intelligent debate and hear both sides, there won't ever be any progress. Brian - help your people find peace. You guys can't fight with everyone forever.

Mar. 17 2010 11:59 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

#33 Yourgo,
Does not Israel meddle in the politics of the United States of America?
Pop Quiz: Which two sovereign nations do all American politicians running for national office have to pledge allegiance to before they can get elected? (Hint: One is the United States of America)

Mar. 17 2010 11:53 AM
Sherry Jones from Jersey City

Thanks Hugh for mentioning his "cockroach" statement, that is seriously akin to calling someone the N-word. It is really upsetting WNYC presents this man as someone we should listen to.

If you pay attention to WNYC's shows you will find a disproportionate amount of Jewish-related shows. This is just one of many. Often times they a Palestinian side on or Iranian but usually it is an apologist or a crazy person.

Mar. 17 2010 11:49 AM
Anya from Brooklyn

People need to understand that the neighborhoods in dispute in East Jerusalem are inhabited Arab neighborhoods within Israeli borders, occupied by Palestinian-Israelis. New Israeli developments/settlements are preceded by the demolition of these Arab (Palestinian) homes with no recourse for the tenants, who often have a difficult time getting ownership papers for their own homes. Look at a google earth image of the disputed area in Jerusalem. There are homes and families living there now. Against the Geneva convention, Israel will demolish these homes as they have throughout the West Bank, Gaza and in Arab neighborhoods within their own borders.

Mar. 17 2010 11:49 AM

It seems to me that there is a pretty simple solution - stop giving Israel aid until they reach an agreement with the Palestinians.

DL - You're right. That that is the root cause of most of the problems that Israel has and ultimately why they will lose Israel, they just push things to far. People can only take so much. If Israel was smart, they'd stop all the land grabs and reach an agreement.

Mar. 17 2010 11:46 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Nice mutual back-patting by Lehrer and Makovsky. How about a Palestinian voice. Or does Brian Lehrer take Makovsky's view that Palestinians are "cockroaches" - not human?

Mar. 17 2010 11:42 AM
Sid from Brooklyn

Why is it that Israel is allowed to do as they please with no consequence? If anyone criticizes Israel the critics become anti-semetic. Finally, Clinton says something, and all hell breaks loose. Israel's response, why? what did we do? We are the victims. Israel instigates a situation and they get what they deserve. Poor Israel! Oh yeah, where is the Palestinian commentary on this issue. Or do they not matter.

Mar. 17 2010 11:41 AM
Yourgo from Astoria

My opinion, Israel is disrespectful of America. Obama has every right to be annoyed at them. Who do they think they are. Without us they are nothing. You cant announce the building of controversial settlements the day the US vice president comes to Israel to have peace talks. Truly is a slap in the face.

Mar. 17 2010 11:41 AM
snoop from Brooklyn

I'm really tired of the whole Israeli-Palestinian issues. Why do Americans need to solve this problem? Why do I care about the Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, or Israel proper? We don't.

The only reason why Israeli-Palestinian issues matter for our security vis a vis other middle east nations is because everyone knows that we are Israel's sugar daddy. We don't need to maintain that relationship.

After all, what are we getting out of this relationship? The Israelis know that they can thumb their noses at America any time they want. Americans MAY huff and puff, but in the end, America will remain the Israeli lapdog. And all we get in return for our billions is another recruiting tool for al-Quaeda.

If the US/Israel relationship was a relationship between two adults, I would call it abusive and recommend a counselor to help the US find out why it feels the need to be in such an abusive relationship.

Mar. 17 2010 11:41 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Makovsky is lying by omission and Brian Lehrer is willfully abetting him.

On land: Israel is demanding exclusive control of all water resources in the West Bank. Israel continues to control all access. Israel has 'offered' a land trade. Israel takes fertile land and offers desert in return -- exactly like the treatment of native Americans.

80% live on less than 5% of the land. LIE!

Only true if you exclude East Jerusalem. Makovsky knows this. Lehrer knows this.

Mar. 17 2010 11:40 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

#20 RR,
The only benefit the United States get’s for its billions in aid and weapon sales (not to mention spilt American blood) to Israel is not being branded as Anti-Semites. It’s really that simple.

Mar. 17 2010 11:40 AM
DL from NYC

The first time the Obama administration is starting very public peace talks is the first time a massive announcement of new settlements. It seems like the coincidence of the attack on Gaza at the end of Bush administration before the new Obama administration. It seems Israel wants to see how far they can push an Obama administration or Democratic White House in the era after the September 11th attacks.

Mar. 17 2010 11:39 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

Ramat Shlomo is between Sanhedria & Ramot. Two huge Israeli communities. This area certainly will not be forfeited to the Pals. And Brian, there was no groundbreaking, as you initially stated .

And what ever happened to Candidate Barack Obama 2008: "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided"??

Mar. 17 2010 11:39 AM
jay from Harlem

Let's get real here. How can you say that it didn't intend to do what it did. Haven't you heard that if you can see the likely consequences of your acts then they are "intended".
Why do we continue to pander to Israel regardless of what that State does. Why do we not hold it accountable for the negative actions it takes. It says it won't do something and then it goes right ahead and does it anyway. It won't cooperate.
The US needs to stop talking with a forked tongue. Either the US is committed to helping to resolve peace or it isn't but in any event the US does not have to continue to have sand thrown in its face. All of the US credibility on the world scene is going down the drain.

Mar. 17 2010 11:39 AM
Yourgo from Astoria

There was an article online yesterday stating that this is all about Washington promoting the left leaning party in Israel's internal politics, specifically that women that is challenging Netanyahu..

Is this America meddling in Israel's politics.?
It also stated that Obama doesnt like Netanyahu and thinks he's a dope.

Mar. 17 2010 11:39 AM

Alan - no, I don't believe it. I don't believe that Israel really wants peace.

Mar. 17 2010 11:38 AM
K I S S from


Israel is hardly following the "biggest guns" path. The Arabs are doing that in Sudan, for example, as we speak. Much to their success. Many would criticize Israel for negotiating instead of following the biggest guns path. It forever seems to lead to this silly sounding dialogue. Blah blah blah.

Mar. 17 2010 11:37 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

If Makovsky were honest or impartial (he is neither), he would explain WHY Palestinians want indirect talks. Israel loves to set conditions. This time the Palestinians have set a condition for direct talks -- stop the settlement construction. Israel has refused to do this.

Makovsky repeats the lie about the talks in 2000 at the end of Clinton administration -- the myth that Israel made a fantastically generous offer and the Palestinians bear all the blame for rejecting it.

How many Palestinians killed since 2001? WELL?

Over 6000.

Mar. 17 2010 11:36 AM
Robert from NYC

Booooooooooooooooooo on this segment.

Mar. 17 2010 11:36 AM
Alan from Catskills

Does anyone really believe that Bibi is willing to coopoerate on finding peace with the Palastinians....?!

Mar. 17 2010 11:35 AM
Bo from NYC

JTA reported the other day that the extreme rhetoric, such as 35 year low in relations, was incorrect, and denied by Ambassador Oren. If so, it should be put to rest. Sounds like it got way overblown.

Mar. 17 2010 11:34 AM
2RR from

RR --

Sounds good to me! Personally I would love to see hands untied and matters settled once and for all over there, fair and square.

But I'm not so sure about the "we" -- hard to tell from the cubbyhole of 212/718 but the majority of the US IS Muslim, Jewish or a Rapture person.

Mar. 17 2010 11:33 AM

This is not fair or balanced - where is the Palestinian side?

The Israeli's need to be held responsible for their treatment of the Palestinians.

I have never cared much for Obama or Clinton but they are right on this one.

Mar. 17 2010 11:32 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Both Brian Lehrer and Mr. Makovsky are pointedly refusing to note that east Jerusalem is _occupied territory_ under international law.

Mr. Lehrer at least notes that Israel seized the area in the '67 war.

Makovsky has an unbroken recorded of explicit support for Israeli settlement policy. He is no moderate.

Mar. 17 2010 11:32 AM
Marcos from the Bronx

Building/adding occupiers on occupied land is an act of aggression. It changes the facts on the ground. It is twisting the knife.

This is the main point that needs to be communicated.

I was very dissapointed to hear congressman Wiener say a "tounge lashing" was too much consequence for Israel's aggression. Too much!? I believe the only responsible thing this country could do is end aid to Israel unless they set themselves on a course for reconciliation and peace.

Mar. 17 2010 11:31 AM
Democracy Now from

i thought this happened b/c of inter-Israeli politics, with right wingers foisting this in order to embarrass the majority?

we know all too much about inter-arab, inter-pa, inter-iranian, inter-lebanon government politics. so why not remember that the israeli government is not a one-headed monster but a factional governmental body with competing interests?

Mar. 17 2010 11:30 AM
hjs from 11211

Israeli-Palestinian tensions undermine US interests says Petraeus

Mar. 17 2010 11:30 AM

If you are not Muslim, Jewish or a Rapture person, why should you care about the state of Israel?

Meaning what is the value of Israel from a geo-politic or a real-politic standpoint? What does the U.S. get out of the relationship?

If we stopped aiding Israel, stopped loan guarantees etc, how would that improve our relations with the Arab/Muslim world and Iran and how would Israel be affected?

Mar. 17 2010 11:26 AM
whoindatgarden from Brooklyn

Having an fair dialog around the conflict between Israel and Palestine in the United States is next to impossible. Lets just accept that we can then go on about how we want to see this conflict resolved.
If we are a Venture Capital Fund that invests in companies and Israel is a Company then we would not like it if the company does anything we don't agree with and would withdraw support.
We have not withdrawn any financial support nor will we, thus all this brouhaha is just to appease a few ultra liberal folks who feel about the Unfairness of the relationship we have.
Don't waste time debating this cuz you and I both know we will never change anything in the relationship we have with Israel PERIOD.

Mar. 17 2010 11:13 AM
JP from NJ

Funny, here are to groups, Palestinians and Israelis, both groups historically have been kicked around and kicked out for thousands of years. Because of this you’d think they’d understand each other and sympathize more then they do. You’d even think they’d help each other. Instead, both act like two little kids in a sandbox that just can’t get along. But instead of throwing sand at each other, they continuously try to kill each other. Shame on ALL who think and use violence and killing as the only solution to this problem. You’re a complete disgrace to the human race. And don’t even try to throw any America is the bad guy crap at me. I cant and don’t speak for what my government does. The huge difference between me and you is that I never have and never will advocate hate, violence and murder as a solution to any problem, no matter how personal or dire it may be. And you don’t know where I or my family have been or experienced so don’t even try to give me scenarios that you think justify hate, violence and murder. I only have pity and worry for the innocent non violent groups of human beings stuck in this inexcusably deadly conflict. For the rest, grow up and get out of the sandbox…

Mar. 17 2010 11:11 AM
Sherry Jones from Jersey City

I think the bigger question is: Does the general/majority US populace care? Is our unconditional support of all Israeli policy in our best interest?

If aid to Israel were put to a vote in this country Americans would certainly scale back. We can't seem to fund public healthcare but we send billions to Israel who happens to have universal healthcare and more.

John McCain drew a line in the sand last year when he alluded to Obama being anti-Israel, which could not be further from the truth. McCain got backlash from both political sides because groups like AIPAC refuse to let this even be a conversation.

Americans couldn't find Israel on a map, why should we involve ourselves in their mess?

Mar. 17 2010 11:10 AM
James DeSoto from Bed-S

Anti-Israel racists and terror-mongers get plenty of air time all over the world. I'm glad to have the opportunity to hear moderates like Mr. Makovsky who support the peace process.

Thank you Mr. Brian Leher and WNYC!

Mar. 17 2010 11:05 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

So WNYC has had Anthony Weiner who is only one step shy of Abe Foxman, Alan Deshowitz and Joseph Lieberman in thinking that Israel can do no wrong.

Something -- anything -- that would be universally condemned as a war crime and a crime against humanity were Britain or China or South Africa to do it is hailed with applause by the pro-Israel bigots who relish killing Arabs and especially Palestinians.

The commenters here who clearly think that ANY criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism desperately need to look at the Israeli atrocities they are defending.

Anti-Arab racism is a fact in New York City. This past week's EEOC decision on Debbie Almontaser is just another case in point. Some of the anti-Palestinian comments here are further examples.

WNYC and Brian Lehrer need to consider why defenders and advocates of Palestinian rights are so under-represented among experts invited to speak on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Mar. 17 2010 10:59 AM
Michael from Rockville Centre,

Nothing fair or balanced about WNYC when it comes to Israel.A large number of WNYC contributors support Israel,money is the bottom line.

Mar. 17 2010 10:50 AM
James DeSoto from Bed-S

and for the a large swath of Palestinians and their supporters, peace with Israel means having to forego racist attitudes towards Israel and Jews, ending the decades long campaign of hatred and terror that has poisoned the minds of Arab youth, and a deep soul searching about the culture of death and the glorification of "martydom" that is the overwhelming message of PAlestinian Authority organs from the media, to the mosque to the madrassa.

Sadly, that's a tall order.

Mar. 17 2010 10:45 AM
Sebastian Polanco from Newark NJ

The whole thing is a charade. The Israelis do know that they can thumb their noses at anyone and nothing is going to happen. The "untimely" housing announcement was a statement meaning: "we don't give a fiddler's f***" . Anyone with average intelligence can read the submissive posture of the U.S. politicians and the cost to U.S. citizens. The USS Maine sinks in Havana and the U.S. declares war on Spain to take over Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. In 1967, the USS Liberty is attacked by Israeli forces and Congress never investigates. After the Peace Summit at Camp David ten years ago, Sharon kills the Oslo Accords by his "untimely" visit to Al-Haram Al-Sharif. Ask all those Islamic terrorist what is the reason for their hatred towards the U.S. ; they all will say "Palestine". Israel needs the conflict to survive. Peace with the Arabs means for Israel having to look inside and deal with the political instability, ethnic issues within the Jewish people, corruption and the reality that Israel as a country is only viable thanks to subsidies, grants and special commercial treatment.

Mar. 17 2010 10:39 AM
hjs from 11211

the east jerusalem story (a great big slap in the face to obama) seems to have covered up the badly planned (and caught on video) stealing of EU passports and the murder of a hamas commander in a third country.

has war without end clouded the judgment of the political classes of israel?

do we face a similar fate if we follow the "i've got the biggest guns" path?

Mar. 17 2010 10:34 AM
Brian Lehrer Show Moderator from WNYC

[[We have removed or edited a few comments for violating the WNYC posting policy. This is a reminder to please stay on topic, keep the discussion civil, and avoid personal attacks on other people who have commented here. Thank you. -BLS Moderator]]

Mar. 17 2010 10:33 AM

David Makovsky is certainly not a staunch supporter of Israel to those of us who fear for the future of the Jewish state that we love. David is a little too tepid for my taste. Thanks, would be easy in the aftermath of the Shas party Interior Minister-Biden fiasco to present another "blame Israel" talking head.

Looking forward to the discussion.

Mar. 17 2010 10:33 AM
fd from

Unfortunately I agree with 5/Robert F.

Starting to smell stale around here.

Mar. 17 2010 10:30 AM
James DeSoto from Bed-S

Hillary Clinton Dismisses Any Crisis with Israel -

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismisses the view that relations between the U.S. and Israel are in crisis. "Oh, I don't buy that," Clinton told reporters Tuesday at the State Department. "We have an absolute commitment to Israel's security. We have a close, unshakable bond between the United States and Israel and between the American and Israeli people." She said U.S. and Israeli officials are in intense talks "over steps that we think would demonstrate the requisite commitment to this [peace] process." "Our goal now is to make sure that we have the full commitment from both our Palestinian and Israeli partners to this effort." (CNN)

Mar. 17 2010 10:28 AM
James DeSoto from Bed-S

Allies everywhere feeling snubbed by President Obama

The contretemps between President Obama and Israel needs to be seen in a broader global context. The president who ran against "unilateralism" in the 2008 campaign has worse relations overall with American allies than George W. Bush did in his second term.

Israelis shouldn't feel that they have been singled out. In Britain, people are talking about the end of the "special relationship" with America and worrying that Obama has no great regard for the British, despite their ongoing sacrifices in Afghanistan. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy has openly criticized Obama for months (and is finally being rewarded with a private dinner, presumably to mend fences). In Eastern and Central Europe, there has been fear since the administration canceled long-planned missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic that the United States may no longer be a reliable guarantor of security. Among top E.U. officials there is consternation that neither the president nor even his Cabinet seems to have time for the European Union's new president, Herman Van Rompuy, who, while less than scintillating, is nevertheless the chosen representative of the post-Lisbon Treaty continent. Europeans in general, while still fond of Obama, have concluded that he is not so fond of them -- despite his six trips to Europe -- and is more of an Asian president.

Mar. 17 2010 10:26 AM
Jen Lambert from Morningside Heights

It actually would be interesting to have a representative of the brutal Hamas terror group and someone from the only slightly less violent Fatah (the so called moderates) who control other terror groups like the Al Aqsa brigade on the show.

While the Fatah phonies speak from the various sides of their mouths depending on who the audience is, the Hamas butchers of Gaza are more outspoken in their vitriol against Israel and Jews.

I find the comparison of the warring Palestinian factions quite illuminating.

Mar. 17 2010 10:24 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

David Makovsky -- right-wing idolater of Israeli war crimes.

WNYC shortens "Washington Institute for Near East Policy" to "Washington Institute" -- cute, since it avoids the traditional full name. The 'Institute' was established by the rabidly racist, anti-Arab AIPAC -- a key part of the *problem* in relations between the US and the entire Middle East. AIPAC has -- without exception -- supported every Israeli atrocity of recent decades, as has Makovsky.

The 'Institute' is also a home of Martin Kramer (along with Harvard's Kennedy School). People will not have heard of this through NPR or The Times or CNN, but Kramer recently called for the suppression of Palestinian births -- a crime against humanity. Harvard issued a very tepid criticism.

WNYC should not pretend that there is anything balanced or even decent about the choice of Makovsky to lie about these issues.


Mar. 17 2010 10:07 AM
Robert from NYC

Why isn't there someone to speak for the Palestinian side? David Makovsky (with or without makeover/glasses) is a staunch support of the Israeli cause and as fair as he tries to be basically speaks for the Israeli side. It seems that US news agencies more often than not only have talking heads (jabberwockies) who are predominantly supporters of Israel and often plain ol'anti-Palestine. This is a one-sided, lop-sided discussion that I can probably prescript right here and now but won't.

Mar. 17 2010 09:58 AM
Herb E from NJ

Please keep in mind that the Palestinian Authority has the same provision in it's constitution " Israel should be completely “obliterated.” Brian I heard you mention this. They say what they mean; they mean what they say. They kill their children in their efforts to succsed. Israel is our real friend, a true democrocy. Your efforts to smooth things out are have the opposit results.

Mar. 17 2010 09:02 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

The Palestinian people democratically elected a government that has in its charter that Israel should be completely “obliterated.” Could Palestinian violence have something to do with Palestinian choices?

Mar. 17 2010 06:36 AM

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