Criticizing Israel, Outside of Israel

Friday, June 04, 2010


In a much-discussed essay in the New York Review of Books this month, journalist Peter Beinart argues that groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Anti-Defamation League squelch criticism on these shores by regarding critics of Israel as enemies of Israel. Beinart and Steven Rosen, formerly of AIPAC, debate the issue.

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Comments [63]

foo-dog from Jerusalem

The criticism against Israel are false and usually have an anti-semitic basis.

Please show me one Arab democracy?

The cause of the Middle East problems are Islam, the UN and the EU.

Aug. 10 2010 10:31 PM
Slick from Ohio

It's neither informative nor useful to listen to two Zionists debating back and forth ad nauseam about HOW the West should be friends with Israel. The real question we should be asking ourselves is WHY should we be friends with Israel. The state of Israel is one of the biggest frauds in history. We support their illegal, immoral occupation of a piece of land based on the superstitious belief that they are entitled to that land because a book of ancient myths says so.

Jun. 13 2010 07:59 AM
Damien from Brooklyn

Two Zionists debating the criticism of Israel. How quaint. This is precisely the sort of insularity from which Israel suffers. Why, Steven Rosen, is there a security problem that you describe? Because Israel continues an illegal occupation of the West Bank and a siege of Gaza. Israel's colonial policies and illegal wars against Lebanon and Gaza have done more to create enemies of Israel than any irrational hatred of Jews.

Jun. 11 2010 11:21 PM
germano Birckholz Vieira from Brazil

Peter makes a great point and i believe there are lots of people that feel the same way. I do , for instance. Thank you Peter, it is a very straith forward clear thinking.

Jun. 11 2010 09:58 AM
Peter Freeborn from Houston

PETER BEINART makes a lot of sense - Israel needs to reform

Jun. 10 2010 02:04 PM
Peter Freeborn from Houston

PETER BEINART is very eloquent and makes lots of sens

Jun. 10 2010 02:03 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

And I didn't even get to Weekend All Things Considered which had Beinhart in competing segments with Dershowitz later in our daily programing schedule. Rosen made a much more emotionally effective argument than the Law Professor.

Jun. 10 2010 04:37 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Oh, well....I meant "live in a pluralisitic..."

Jun. 10 2010 04:29 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

While we, now, a pluralistic society, it took a Washington to cement the obvious reality he saw into national secular ritual. He could not see, no less cure, our racial divides and we, not he, are nationally responsible for a Holocaust far more vile than even Hitler envisioned, here. We have little standing to criticize a people who are really in existential danger, whatever the misguided mission they embarked on half a century ago.

Jun. 10 2010 04:23 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Mr. Stevens comment came in as I wrote and I find myself in a very uncomfortable agreement with him and, also, while several have referred to the founding of Israel as a sort consolation prize for the Holocaust, I cannot recall how many times our MSM actually reminded us that then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin was a former Zionist terrorist. It finally dawned on me that the world did not kindly turn over that parcel of land because international regret for Hitler's attempted Final Solution but because Britain (another commingler of church and state) appeased the Zionists in response to their terror campaign.

This other formulation is what we came up with as the story we tell our children. Along with that tale, my sister argued that it was compensation for being "kicked out" of every other place. I haven't reminded her, but I have OTM comment readers that Jon Meecham points out that Washington insisted that a Rabbi be present at his first Presidential inauguration.

Jun. 10 2010 04:04 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

I have concluded that Wahhabiism, not radical, fundamentalist terrorists but every day conservative Islamic thought and practice which stresses submission to authority and a grinding, unending struggle (jihad) to promote their beliefs and power without any need to resort to violence is the true greatest threat to modern, worldwide civilization. Be assured, Sikhs and Hindus, Buddhists and Shintoists and Taoists will be just viewed as much infidels as the wide variety of Christians, though the Islamists do seem to hold a special hatred for Jews and, especially, the Zionist state. They really are out to get them and, public statements to the contrary, that includes the Saudis where Wahhabiism seems to have originated and thrives.

Meanwhile, Israel's government does their nation, nor ours, no favors by pursuing counterproductive policies that rile even allies to little effect. Frankly, the entire political structure seems to be unsustainable in the long run.

Jun. 10 2010 03:35 AM
Bill Stevens from Redford, MI, USA

Yes, Israel is surrounded by enemies; but why is that the case? I can understand why Israel's enemies contest Israel's right to exist. when the state of Israel was created. Look at the history. Palestinian Arabs were displaced, had their properties confiscated. Is it any wonder they say: Israel doesn't have a right to exist. Yes, the Jews have been persecuted for centuries, by the majority of those living in the Christian world; but that did not make it right for the Jews to take over by force the land in which they now have a "homeland." They are supposed to be moral. I don't think that what they did when they created Israel was a moral act, and I think that what they have been doing for half a century and more has been counterproductive.

Their violence has simply begetted more violence. It has been a never ending chain of violence, from both sides. When I was an undergraduate at the University of Indianapolis in the late 1950s, the Israeli Palestinian problem was before us, it is still before us; and I for one am tired of it. If religion, Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, is to have any claim to morality, surely they could have solved this problem long ago. Better yet, they would never have created it.

Israel should never have been created. In the name of all that is good, abolish the Israeli state, and create a state where Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Seculars can live together in peace.

Jun. 10 2010 02:42 AM
raul from san francisco

What a load of crap!

The defensive, knee jerk response is a great political device.

Support or "they" will kill us.

A rainy day? Jeez!

We will apologize for upending the Vice President's visit, we will continue to build settlements BUT because we're threatened keep sending those billions and SHUT THE F UP!

The Isreali lobby has the congress by the n*ts.

Give me a break.

Jun. 09 2010 10:34 PM
Jerry Harrison from Alameda, California

I support the State of Israel 100%. What I don't fully support is the present government of Israel. The government is just some people and people are going to be wrong sometimes. When I criticize Israeli government policies because I think they are bad policies for Israel and for the US, I am supporting the State of Israel, not opposing it as one of your guests asserts.

Jun. 09 2010 04:16 PM
Oren Tatcher from Hong Kong

Peter Beinart said in the debate, "the problem is you’re defining pro-Israel as only people who won't be publicly critical". As a native Israeli, who has lived outside the country for many years but goes back to visit family and friends several times a year, I was disappointed that Beinart missed the main problem with today's AIPAC: defining "pro-Israel" as the unquestioning alignment with right wing politics within Israel.

As someone who believes that the Israeli right wing has inflicted severe damage on the country over the years (regardless of the Arab side's many faults), I find the right-wing bias AIPAC has introduced into American politics and policies to be uniquely destructive to Israel. For them to then claim monopoly on the term "pro-Israel" is both ironic and infuriating.

Jun. 08 2010 10:19 PM
Edgar from Sunnyvale, CA

I agree with Michael.
I don't think I've ever heard a more mutually respectful argument. Not at work, home or in public. I'd like to hear more of this as we approach November, although I suspect that the likihood is about zero.

I found valid elements from both participants - Israel can survive with criticism (just as the US can) but criticisers might help by stating where their views are in relation to other Israeli priorities, such as self-defense. Or state that they think Israel has no right to exist, if that's their position.

My view: There are two groups in the area - those who want to fight and those that want to get along. Both political sides have members of both groups.
The external world certainly doesn't love us (the US) - not for our perfection, at least. Nor are we free from self-criticism. Isn't a carbon tax easier to impliment and more effective than cap-and-trade? Shouldn't we have a sane immigration policy? Didn't we learn about the problems of one gov agency doing promotion and regulation when we broke up the Atomic Energy Commission decades ago? How well do we do military when it comes to civilians? And any number of other issues, including our collective inability to look inwardly for sources of many of our problems.

Jun. 08 2010 07:01 PM
Bort from New York

Stan wrote: "Israel's enemies are sworn to its destruction and have no intention of ever living in peace next to a Jewish state."

The obvious next question: so why don't you move to a nicer neighborhood? The obvious answer: because nowhere in the world can Jews be safe from irrational hatred and pogroms and holocausts. That's why Israel was created in the first place.

So what we have here is a nation that sees itself in a perpetual war to the death against the ENTIRE WORLD.
Israel has a continuing habit of expanding its borders
(e.g. Gaza, West Bank, Golan heights, Sinai, southern
Lebanon). This does not make Israel safe (quite the
opposite), but try telling that to Israel. How can the
rest of the world tolerate that kind of paranoia? Israel
has become a danger to itself and others.

By now many readers have dismissed me as an anti-Semite so they can ignore what I'm saying. This is just another symptom of the paranoia. I am not an anti-Semite. I have never hated Jews. I have Jewish friends and family members. I like Jewish music, food, language and culture. I think the Holocaust was an abomination. I know that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a scurrilous lie. Do I really need to go on? But despite all that I sure am starting to hate the-Israel-that-we-have-today, because of what it does and how it rationalizes its actions.

Jun. 08 2010 11:20 AM

I'm amazed to see the number of comments here praising Mr. Rosen for his brilliant debate against the "unprepared" Mr. Beinart. Either we weren't listening to the same debate, or once again this is a case of hearing what we want to hear.

To my ears, Mr. Rosen sounded like the one who is divorced from reality: paranoid and unable to distinguish the nation of Israel from its current leadership, much as Fox News tarred criticism of the Bush administration as anti-American

To Mr. Rosen, I say: friends are there for one another on rainy days, but friends also don't let friends drive drunk.

Jun. 07 2010 03:44 PM
Mayer Jack from Boston, MA

Mr. Rosen:
Many American Jews try to come to terms with the contradictions between the Judaism they profess to adhere to and the Zionist ideology that has taken hold of them. Perhaps it is the case that their Zionism is stronger than their American patriotism. In principle, this is not troubling. Multiethnic America does not deny dual-allegiance in principle. It has diplomatic agreements with numerous countries – Israel included – allowing its citizens to be dual-citizens. But when this Zionism is expressed as something more than religion or culture, more than identity, when it is expressed as politically choosing the country one wishes to serve regardless of whether one chooses to live there, this is another matter entirely. This is where dual-allegiance becomes problematic.
The Modern State of Israel is a country, a nation-state, even if it is defined as a “Jewish” state. But the concept of “Jew” is not an identity linked to a nation-state. Twenty percent of Israelis citizens are not Jewish and fifty percent of the world’s Jews are not Israelis. To collapse the category of “Jew” and “Israeli” in a way that makes politically serving the Israeli (not “Jewish”) cause an honor and discouraging through smears and intimidation domestic American debate about Israel points to a troubling dimension of Zionism in America.
The Israel Lobby, and their supporters, right or wrong in its analysis, brought to the surface the specter of something that always challenged American Jews. The popular bumper sticker “I Love New York but Jerusalem is my Home,” is not innocent. It points to a problem American Jewry has yet to face head on.

Jun. 07 2010 03:19 PM
Antonio Venuzio from Zionist Occupied Territory

An extraordinary lovefest! I don't think I've heard and read anything so clogged with treacle since my subscription to Seventeen magazine expired.

Very interesting that neither Gladstone nor any of the Zionists in these comments bothered to point out that ROSEN was under indictment for four years for stealing classified US policy information concerning Iran, whcih he gave to his superior in Israeli spydom (who since fled the country and has never returned). That lasted until the handful of US justice department officials who had the stones to prosecute the case were crushed by Lobby pressure and whatever the treasonous and frightful Jane Harman managed to accomplish.

It truly is remarkable how American Zionists have become so open in their contempt for America

Jun. 07 2010 02:24 PM
David Sokal from Seattle

There are basically two schools of thought among American Jews who support a democratic Jewish State of Israel:
1) Those who believe Israel's ultimate best interests are served by accommodation with the Palestinians. We see this as a distinct, separate issue from security concerns related to Hizbollah, Iran, Syria and other threats, although admittedly the entrance of Hamas into the picture complicates things.
2) Those who believe Israel's enemies are basically committed to Israel's destruction and an aggressive military posture is required for survival.
Since the current Israeli government is more of the latter view, American and other diaspora Jews who support the first view have every reason and right to express their concerns. No matter which party is in power, if we feel that Israel is endangered by its own policies we have an obligation to speak out just as does Mr. Rosen. Afterall, neither of us knows the future and has to follow our instincts, our minds and our hearts.

Jun. 06 2010 10:27 PM
David Sokal from Seattle

Hello - I thought it one of the better broadcast debates I've ever heard. I am Jewish so it is an important issue for me. I am also a supporter of the Jewish State and of a future Palestinian state living in peace side by side with Israel. As far as whether or not Jews in the "diaspora" should openly criticize Israel, it is really no longer relevant. As a matter of fact it was not relevant before 1948 when Jews as prominent as Louis Brandeis were at that time against the Zionist movement and spoke openly about it (after Israel's creation he and many others did change their mind). So the debate in the American Jewish community has always been open to view. The question really is who has more influence in Congress and Peter Beinart represents a movement that is backed by real political muscle, i.e., J Street. This is the real issue faced by Rosen and AIPAC.

Jun. 06 2010 10:14 PM
Cheryl Alexander from San Diego

Thank you, Peter Beinart, for articulating some sense in this debate. I've been looking for someone for decades who understands the dangers of those in power in Israel, who have also engaged a power structure in American Jewry. Shame of any of us who think there is only an "us & them" worldview, in this day and age. Shame on ideology that espouses the very Nazism that Israeli's fled from 60 years ago. Do they not see who they've become.

More of this debate and louder, please!

Jun. 06 2010 09:31 PM
Fair Play from Earth

Kudos to Peter Beinart for speaking so clearly and passionately about what has needed to be said but that is almost always silenced. Both this debate and his article show the direction of sanity and hope in resolving a patently inhumane and unjustifiable situation. Kudos also to OTM for hosting this debate. If only more sources would permit, indeed encourage, these voices to really speak from an equal footing, people would quickly see how deeply contradictory and inherently self-serving and cruel Steven Rosen's views are. No one is above criticism, and no previous suffering of a wrong at the hands of one group can justify the inflicting of wrong on another group. This is true in any case, and all the more so in a situation in which there has a clear profit motive, from the beginning, with all the corresponding conflicts of interest.

Jun. 06 2010 09:25 PM
Jack Smothers from San Diego, CA

Kudos to On The Media for having such a debate and kudos to Mr. Peter Beinart for voicing the concerns of the silenced Jews who favor a more balanced approach to US-Israeli dialogue. The war hawks in Israel would have you believe that any criticism of Israel makes you anti-Israel, but there couldn't be anything further from the truth.

Jun. 06 2010 08:55 PM
Stan from Rochester

Beinart can't seem to get over the fact that Israel isn't the perfect, idealized nation that he was raised to believe it should be. He doesn't understand that Israel's enemies are sworn to its destruction and have no intention of ever living in peace next to a Jewish state. Having lived in Israel, I know that Israelis constantly hope for peace but that most of the world wishes them ill. Even though Peter Beinart doesn't want to believe it, only the destruction of Israel will satisfy Israel's enemies, while many of Israel's so-called friends wouldn't mind that happening either.

Jun. 06 2010 08:39 PM
Tadgh Francis Corrigan O'Malley Ryan Muircheartach from Ann Arbor

I think that the state of Israel is one of the greatest achievements of the 20th Century, and I also think that Israel continually faces existential threats. I also think that the preponderance of Mr. Beinart's criticisms are valid and that Mr. Rosen's comments in this discussion _embody_ and manifestly display much of what Mr. Beinart is criticizing. In this interview, I didn't hear Mr. Beinart say anything with which I disagree. The ultimate problem with Mr. Rosen's views is that they can't stand on their own as rational arguments, and the only way that they influence political decisions is though the exercise of raw clout. The problem with the effectiveness of the traditional Israeli lobby in the U.S. is that it enables Israel to get away with acting like a spoiled brat.

Jun. 06 2010 07:51 PM
intellectual blather

Effete intellectuals like Beinart love to pretend the world is filled with honest people interested in earnest debates. In fact the world is filled with poorly educated, easily manipulated people all too willing to believe that Jews are the cause of all their problems.

Iran is making nuclear weapons as we speak and this is the argument that NPR decides to highlight? Indeed the worst is yet to come. I hope the historians look at the inane debates these Neville Chamberlain sound alikes had as the Western world slowly crept toward disaster.

Jun. 06 2010 06:41 PM
L Grossman from Princeton Jct., NJ

1. Great radio...the kind that keeps you in the car even in the parking lot.
2. Bravo to Rosen. The most important point is how strong the forces are out to destroy Israel and how vulnerable Israel is to destruction. If one compares criticism of Israel with criticism of the US, then either your commitment to Israel is weak or you do not believe in the risks Israel faces every day.

Jun. 06 2010 06:26 PM
Nick from Oakland CA

Those who say that criticism of Israel only tears it down are increasingly sounding like those who say, "You are either for us or against us." These are the true voices of extremism, and they have been with us throughout history. They were vocal in the Soviet Union, and they were vocal during the war in Viet Nam. They were very vocal in the Bush administration, and I fear that it will ultimately result in the Jewish vote turning toward the GOP. But by any measure, a country that cannot bear criticism is a country not worth saving.

Jun. 06 2010 06:01 PM
Gerald Fnord from Palos Verdes

If one (accurately, in my arrogant opinion) believes that the Iraq War were ill-conceived, ill-planned, and so likely to be ill-run from the get-go, then one must come to the conclusion that before it, France were a much better friend to us than was Britain.

A friend might sneer as he says that he should take your keys because you're drunk, but he's still a better friend than one who urges you on to get behind the wheel.

I want there to be Israel, and I can understand that Israelis may act with bald self-interest, informed by the now-certain knowledge that millions of Jews can be killed without anyone's caring much at all. But I want it to act in its self-interests, it is not doing so now, and, so criticism is the order of the day. Monolithic, headless, unqualified support for any particular government of Israel's among Jews sounds more like an anti-Semite's fantasy than a proper desideratum.

Jun. 06 2010 05:14 PM

Israeli's actions are eroding the alliance between Israel and the United States.

People do not hate Israel because it is Israel, they hate Israel because of Israeli's actions.

"Friends should be there on rainy days?" Real friends tell you when you are out of line and stop you from destroying yourself.

Jun. 06 2010 03:38 PM
David Karasik from newton, MA

Dear Brooke Gladstone is usually getting more balanced debates that between Peter Beinart and Steven Rosen; usually, these are at least equally-prepared figures on your show.
This time, I personally was surprised why Mr. Rosen agreed to engage in argument with Mr. Beinart, who obviously is not from his "weight class", speaking in boxing terms. It is a bit ridiculous to hear a "dispute" between a well-spoke and thoughtful Rosen and a light-weight, fast-spoken, all-in-your-face Beinart.
As A.S.Pushkin once famously wrote, "...and don't argue with a fool."

Jun. 06 2010 02:59 PM
wilfre from kansas city

first, thank you Steven Rosen for some adult thinking. Second, the idea that there is no criticism of Israel is beyond foolish, NPR makes a living criticizing Jews for supporting Jewish Israel. Third, Beinart never mentions that the basic reason there are problems in Gaza is because it is controlled by islamist manianiacs that have turned Gaza into an armed came bent on killing Jews. Beinart is clearly delusional

Jun. 06 2010 02:40 PM

I agree with Michael, thanks OTM for giving space for a nuanced discussion within a community that shares a broader view, but clearly is going through some internal soul searching. Bravo for providing a forum for such a discussion.

Jun. 06 2010 02:36 PM
linda from Seattle

The international left has turned on Israel. How odd that most US Jews count among their members. No matter. US Christians more than make up the numbers and on Israel's right to exist and prosper surrounded by enemies is a no brainer to Evangelicals. Israel will not be deserted in the US especially in light of the jihadis.

Jun. 06 2010 02:00 PM
My Lunch

Helen Thomas (yes, THAT Helen Thomas): The Jews have a home: "Germany and Poland" (youtube clip)

Jun. 06 2010 01:50 PM
Ned Epstein from NYC

I don't agree with Gabe @ #5 that Rosen's closing comment encapsulates his lack of understanding of useful dialogue. Rosen is simply pointing to a dissonance between Beinart's claims that he is a friend of Israel and his untempered criticism of Israel in his essay in New York Review of Books.

But I think there is something else on Rosen's mind which transcends his dismay that Beinart's behavior is inconsistent with his beliefs. It is accurate to describe Peter Beinart as being more principled than practical and Steve Rosen as being more practical than principled. This is evinced in Rosen's distinction between the actual sometimes "rainy day" Israel in Rosen's mind and a "golden shining Israel on the hill" that exists in Beinart's imagination. I would suggest that when Rosen closes with the comment "Peter, I just don't get it" he means to say, "Peter, I just don't get how you can be so principled when the overwhelming evidence demands that we be practical.

Jun. 06 2010 01:29 PM
Neil from Austin, TX

Here we have one Jew (Brook G.) inviting two other Jews to debate the pros and cons of criticizing Israel, as though the millions of other Americans who are not Jews do not exist. If my tax dollars are used to support Israel, I would like to have a say in this. This is not a question that Jews discuss among themselves and then we have to foot the bill for its implementation.

Also, the other segment in the program, about the drug war in Mexico, is emblematic of the price America is paying to fight Israel's wars, while in our own backyards things are falling apart. As an American I feel my country and its limited resources are being siphoned off to protect Israel. Enough is enough!

Jun. 06 2010 01:29 PM
chascates from Texas

Sounds like Bush's "you're either with us, or against us" (and we're always right!). You can't criticize Israel in the United States, even as a Jew, but you can in Israel. A lot of Israelis don't want this pogrom against the Palestinians even while realizing how Hamas is determined to fight against Israel at every turn.
And if you criticize some of the Israeli government positions in America you're considered either anti-Semitic or pro-Islamist. The U.S. vetoing every U.N criticism of Israel doesn't support Israel any more than being co-dependent to a substance abuser helps them.

Jun. 06 2010 01:10 PM
progressive jew

Steven Rosen's view of criticism is quite scary and deeply anti-democratic. He basically thinks Peter Beinart and other critics are effectively enemies of Israel for critiquing the actions of political personalities in Israel. Rosen believes that any criticism of Israel is effective anti-Semitism. This is scarily undemocratic. I would suggest that people read Judith Butler's work on Zionist critiques of state violence as a useful corrective to Rosen's rather totalitarian views.

Jun. 06 2010 12:56 PM
Julie from Texas

Individuals who commit violence often have upbringings in which violence was perpetrated against them. That doesn't mean we excuse their crimes. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Israel has over-reacted again and again. Steven Rosen argues we should overlook this because of past crimes against Israel and the Jewish people. That way leads to self-perpetuating, never-ending violence.

Jun. 06 2010 12:09 PM

Wow: what a debate!! A passionate, articulate, vigorous, clear, but respectful debate between two parties with strongly-opposed views. They managed to both strongly lay out their positions and to directly engage with their interlocutor's arguments rather than dodging them or merely making speeches, and without simply trying to shout, shame, or insult their opponents into submission.

I don't know if it changed many minds -- I came in with one position, and I left with it -- but it was still an excellent example of a style of debate that is necessary and far too rare. If only Congress, the political media, and the blogs could be held to this standard. Kudos and thank yous to Messrs Beinart and Rosen, and to OTM.

Jun. 06 2010 11:56 AM

Neither guest sounded cynical enough from my view as someone who believes Israel has the right to exist.

"Does Israel have the right to existl?" Responses to that Gallup poll question what settle this discussion, for doubters of Israel's existential plight.

In fact, its atomic bomb is Israel's only true friend.

Jun. 06 2010 10:50 AM
Micah from New York

Steven Rosen isn't supporting Israel, Steven Rosen is supporting the hawks in Israel.

Read Haaretz. Israel is a mix of many views, many opinions.

The current Israeli government's has hurt itself with it's policies more than any criticism from outside Israel could.

Jun. 06 2010 10:36 AM

There is of course global silence regarding other events of the last few days. Murdered people. Who gives a shit if Israel can't be blamed.

2010.06.05 Afghanistan Kandahar 1 15 Muslim terrorists set off a bicycle bomb, killing a bystander.
2010.06.05 Philippines Basilan 3 0 Abu Sayyaf members kidnap and murder three villagers.
2010.06.05 Yemen Marib 3 0 An al-Qaeda ambush leaves three locals dead.
2010.06.04 Iraq Mosul 2 4 Terrorsts murder two civilians with a roadside bomb.
2010.06.04 Dagestan Makhachkala 1 1 Muslim radicals shoot a rival imam to death in front of his mosque.
2010.06.04 Iraq Missan 2 2 Two Iraqis are killed when Muslim radicals rocket an airport.
2010.06.04 Pakistan Miranshah 1 0 A civilian is captured by the Taliban and shot to death.
2010.06.04 Pakistan Datta Khel 1 0 An elderly man is beheaded by Religion of Peace zealots.
2010.06.04 Ingushetia Sagapshi 2 21 A grocery store clerk is gunned down by Islamists who plant a bomb that then kills a rescue worker.
2010.06.04 Ingushetia Malgobek 1 16 An attack on a shop by Islamic militants leaves one person dead.
2010.06.03 Turkey Iskenderun 1 0 A Catholic bishop is stabbed to death by a Muslim who says it was Allah's will.
2010.06.03 Pakistan Quetta 2 0 A man murders his sister and her lover for having 'illicit relations'.
2010.06.03 Thailand Pattani 1 0 A Buddhist schoolteacher is gunned down by Religion of Peace proponents.
2010.06.03 Iraq Abu Ghraib 8 0 Eight victims of a Shiite death squad are found in a mass grave.

Jun. 06 2010 10:21 AM

one read of the above comments, and you can see why Steve Rosen was 100% right.

Jun. 06 2010 10:19 AM
Paul from panama city beach, fl

Excellent piece OTM.
I'm reminded of the fear my ancestors felt at the prospect of releasing 4 million slaves into American society; a fear that only became greater when denounced, rightly AND wrongly, by insiders AND outsiders.
And though, in the end, that fear was shown to be unfounded, it was palpable and PLAUSIBLE.
And, I might add, it took several centuries, a massively bloody civil war, and the passage of another hundred years before true reconciliation was affected.

Jun. 05 2010 11:53 PM
bdangr from Midwest

Mr. Rosen,

We know Israel can do no wrong is the Perpetual Victim. Can you finally let the US Citizens know about the Attack on the USS Liberty. For some reason the US Controlled Media will not tell us. I am sure you can find out.;

Jun. 05 2010 08:16 PM

Nice attempt at deflection Marsha.

It all comes down to the fact that Israel was finally created in reaction to WW2 evils perpetuated in Europe by Europeans.

Just when nations were starting to be freed by the collapse of colonialism, people in Palestine are subjected to the new colony of Israel forced upon them.

The entire premise of Israel is quite similar to that of its close cousin Apartheid South Africa. Both use the same methods of expropriation and repression based on similar ideology. That's what the world knows. And at their core Zionists know it too-- that their system will eventually go the way of Apartheid, and it drives them mad, fueling ever greater Israeli brutality.

In the end that is all that matters.

Jun. 05 2010 07:53 PM
Marsha from Massachusetts

Yes, Bort, one wonders why Israel is so universally hated.

After all, look how many suicide bombers it has set out upon the world, how many mosques and churches and synagogues, with people in them!, and Buddha statues it has blown up world-wide, how many world trade centers with people in them it has flown planes into, how many buses it has bombed.

Maybe you could tell me what you are referring to here—all those things Israel has done to the world that are causing such hatred?

Jun. 05 2010 06:24 PM
Steve from Austin, TX

Mr. Rosen, if the US is Israel's only reliable friend in the world, we'd appreciate it they stopped using Mossad operatives here to spy on us.

Jun. 05 2010 06:02 PM
mary kay office from salt lake city

Bravo for sharing this intelligent, passionate, and moving debate with all of us who are devoted listeners to "On the Media." A unique opportunity to hear both sides expressed eloquently & respectfully yet in fierce opposition. Perhaps that eloquent respect - in spite of profound differences - is the pragmatic solution?

Jun. 05 2010 05:05 PM
michael pettengill from merrimack, nh

I heard Israel being compared to your alcoholic child which means that the role of the parent is to support your alcoholic child and never criticize his alcoholism, and more important to supply him with alcohol, buying the alcohol if necessary to keep your child a strong alcoholic.

I see US policy toward Israel as being like the parent who buys his child booze and drugs and prostitutes and constantly defending the lifestyle as moral, rational, and desirable. After all, if we love Israel we can't question any thing Israel does any more than you can question the actions of you alcoholic drug addicted, and destructive child. After all, the way to control alcoholism is to feed it and accept it as normal.

By the way, US policy toward all the other nations in the region is based on defending Israel's alcoholism and drug addition and all the abusive actions that result, and the argument I heard was that those who react to the US pandering to the alcoholic Israel become justification for buying Israel more booze.

Jun. 05 2010 03:45 PM
Robert Potter from Manlius, NY

Now that I have read the other comments, I have to agree with Potomacker. OTM has turned the troubling issue of the flotilla raid into "should we love Israel a whole lot, or should we love it utterly and completely?".

Media analyst, analyze thyself.

Jun. 05 2010 03:31 PM
Bort from New York

I find it curious that Steven Rosen perceives that the whole world hates Israel but he never addresses the question of why that would be true. How can you expect to cope with the problem without knowing its underlying causes?

Perhaps he's simply paranoid. But I suspect he knows that Israel has earned a whole lot of ill will by its own actions. He just doesn't want to think or talk about that. That is the definition of fanaticism, and it never ends well.

Jun. 05 2010 03:21 PM
Robert Potter from Manlius, NY

Obviously honest debate cannot pose a danger to a democracy, while lack of it certainly can. Why even have a debate about this?

Unsurprisingly, this debate ISN'T about that question. It's about whether support for Israel should be blind to Israel's faults.

Jun. 05 2010 03:06 PM
Marsha Kunin from Massachusetts

How refreshing and unusual and wonderful to hear, on National Public Radio, Steven Rosen's brilliant characterization of the dilemma Israel faces, and his clear-headed articulation of the blindness to reality of the likes of Mr. Beinart.

Jun. 05 2010 02:46 PM
Gabe from NYC

Steven Rosen encapsulated his lack of understanding of useful dialogue perfectly with his closing sentence: "I just don't get it."

Jun. 05 2010 02:02 PM
Thomas Barry from Wellesley, MA

This is an extremely valuable debate that needs to occur more often within the global community. Unfortunately, both parties being so entrenched in ideology promises a slow and arduous road ahead for Israel and the United States.

Jun. 05 2010 01:41 PM
Lee Majella from Chicago

No criticism of Israel is valid? Really!
The state of Israel is such a hothouse flower, so delicate that no criticism is tolerable. What a load of crap.

Jun. 05 2010 01:21 PM
Potomacker from Nanjing, PRC

"Well, we're going around in circles." This is about the only statement made by Rosen that can be agreed upon without twisting the definitions of nearly every word and every citation that he uses. While Beinart struggles to suggest that there are more than the two sides perpetuated by the US MSM to issues surrounding Israel, OTM chose yet again to host two sides which are acceptable to American Jews. Congratulations, OTM, the membership in the noise machine is intact and the US military, diplomatic, and financial subsidizes for Israel shall continue unchecked and sacrosanct.

Jun. 04 2010 09:17 PM
Kahlid from Philly PA

Bravo Steven Rosen!

Peter Beinart you feel insulted? You deserve to be insulted wiht your "humanitarian that hates humans" routine.

Jun. 04 2010 08:15 PM

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