Podcast Show #24

The Boiling Frogs Presents Philip Weiss

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Phil Weiss provides us with his experience and analysis of the US media’s stand, and their one-sided coverage and one-sided censorship on issues and cases related to Israel and the Israel lobby. He discusses the parallels between the tactics used in Gaza by Israelis and those implemented during the holocaust. Mr. Weiss talks about the Jewish identity question around the Israel lobby, the Obama administration’s hypocritical stand on and lame no-response response to the Goldstone Report, the importance of Jewish money and the Israel lobby to Obama and the Democrats, the recent changing perception of Israel, and much more!

PhilipWeiss Philip Weiss is an investigative journalist who has written for The Nation, The New York Observer, The American Conservative, Harper’s Magazine, and New York Times Magazine among other publications. He is the author of American Taboo: A Murder in the Peace Corps and an editor of the website Mondoweiss, which covers the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Here is our guest Phil Weiss unplugged!

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  1. Sometimes I am a bit puzzled about the political naivety of intelligent people. If political realists in the US House, corrupt but certainly not stupid, are convinced that the interest of the USA and Israel are congruent, you’d better believe this. When Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, indicates congruent interest, he means that the power structures that he has to work with have congruent interest.

    Of course it is absurd that the interest of the Israeli and the American people are congruent. But the US has a flawed democracy. Voters, when they vote, can elect their representatives. With multiple lobbyist per representative, the US is developing into a prime example of a country in where elected representatives are subject to strong pressure to represent monied interest (lobbies) instead of constituencies. Many will succumb. And they have when they accept sizable donations regularly. Accept that as fact.

    So the question then is: “What is the basis of the shared interest in the powers that shape Berman’s political world?” Of course we are not thinking democracy anymore, but considering a deep (international) state. We are not thinking corruption, but rational behavior of smart (and corrupt) operators who see and feel the real power structures much better than we on the outside.

    “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

    When I listen to interviews like this, I am a bit frustrated by the superficiality of the questions and the answers. (Sorry Sibel and Peter B., I know it is unfair because you at least approach the topics). Why not pursue the question what it means that Israeli and US interests seem to coincide?

    How does the world look like when US en Israeli interest coincide? Is the Israeli operation against Gaza, some sort of common experiment? Yet another test on how military (Israeli and American) can be inspired to fire on unarmed and depressed people? A field test of new tactics and heavy weapons for urban fights? Are the powers-that-be field developing tactics that might be deployed in the future on US soil?

    Or maybe it was a test to steal natural resources in highly urbanized areas (Haiti for example)? Or maybe it is simply another episode of the strategy of tension to keep the world from demanding a reduction in military spending and to ensure the continued build-up of the security state? Or is it all of the above? Of course this involves a lot of speculation. But I prefer informed speculation above restating the superficial.

  2. That Israel and US control mechanisms can be identified as recognizing ‘peaceful’ protests as threat, resulting in stun grenade teargas response, indicates an overall desire to never allow Palestinian revolt any human purchase. If true rights of human justice were the agenda of the occupying aggressive powers, then non-violent protest would be regarded as positive and forward moving.
    reports of attacks on water supply, food supplies, phosphorus attacks on civilian areas, the massive ghetto wall; apartheid segregation and soldier to citizen humiliations are total war consciousness. Such brutalities indicate more than indifference. This is a concerted effort to destroy any opposition by the Palestinian at any level.
    To have a modern media machine silent upon the outrage in the ‘cradle of democracy’, indicates the power holders in charge of the information machine, are part of the occupation.

    Not an unknown concept in the call for proper 911 investigation.

  3. Hi Peter and Sibel. I wish you would have let people know ahead of time about this interview so that we could have suggested some questions or areas of discussion. Peter usually does a superb job of handling interviews, but I think this one got away from him. Maybe it is just because I am so familiar with the ground covered here that I became slightly impatient towards the end of the interview. The issues of the 2008-2009 Israeli assault on Gaza and the Goldstone Report are very important, but only as background for a deeper discussion.

    One thing that no one seems to want to discuss is the role of Hamas. As long as they are defined as a terrorist organization, then Israel is justified in their attacks. And the US can use this as an excuse to attack Gaza. Jimmy Carter is about the only person in any position of power that has treated Hamas as a legitimate group representing Palestinian people.

    The alternative for Palestinians is the PA, which is run by Fatah. No one can deny that Fatah is corrupt, and that their leadership are using international contributions for their own personal gain. But even more importantly the PA and Fatah collaborate extensively with Israel and the US to create the Apartheid conditions that exist on the West Bank.

    And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Egypt and the PA collaborated with Israel during last year’s Gaza assault. I am not as optimistic as Phillip Weiss. I don’t think any good will come from the deaths of so many people in Gaza. The blockade continues a year later.

    Non-violent protests by Palestinians have no effect. They receive no coverage in the US corporate media, even when it results in the wounding or imprisonment or death of Palestinians. The only thing that receives coverage is when a Jewish Israeli dies or is wounded or captured.

    Peter, I’m afraid your position with respect to the 1967 borders is totally unrealistic. Israelis are not going to ever concede to a two-state solution based on those borders which would mean giving up land that is currently inhabited by Israelis. The only solution left is a one-state solution which means abandoning the idea of a Jewish state. As a self-described secularist I’m surprised that you could support a state based on a religious group, or even an ethnicity if it excludes others.

    These are the tough questions and issues. As long as we continue to support a “peace process” with the goal of a two-state solution, then we are abandoning the Palestinians to die and shed their blood for no reason at all. It is worse than Apartheid. It is a military occupation with the end goal of total ethnic cleansing. What about the Palestinians right to exist?

  4. I would like to show my appreciation for FrankHope’s comment above. Very well said.

  5. mcthorogood says:

    Wazzup with all ITALICS ????

    It’s harder to read italicized text.

  6. Dunno. I didn’t tag mine that way. Let’s try some examples:

    Normal=Why don’t we concentrate on exposing the deep establishment?

    Italics=Why don’t we concentrate on exposing the deep establishment?

  7. Weird, they look the same, whether or not I put ‘i’ tags around them.

  8. In response to and agreement with all of the posts above, I’d like to suggest that Sibel and Peter make it public what their real questions are. I mean the ones which to which they don’t already have answers (or strong opinions which look like answers.)

    I’ve been seeing a lot of posts which don’t include any real questions except, “what do you think of this?” in terms of getting the BF community’s opinion after the post.

    I’m a total commoner, without any special skills or knowledge relating to national security, geopolitics, secretive intelligence operations, etc.

    But, I’m hungry. Please give me a chance to use my resources, however irrelevant they may seem.

  9. Grammer correction: “I mean the ones FOR which…” (I know most don’t care, but my mom would be proud.)

    To iterate what I was trying to say before, please ask your audience questions that are questions, not statements in disguise.

    Thank you!

  10. Israelis are not going to ever concede to a two-state solution based on those borders which would mean giving up land that is currently inhabited by Israelis

    Why give back what you have stolen when you can keep your theft and be rewarded for stealing with huge sums of money, thousands and thousands of tons of weapons and an always reliable US veto on UN Security Council resolutions that try and take Apartheid Israel to task for war crimes?

    US is considering storage of military equipment from Iraq in Israel after troops pull out at the end of next year. Some will likely be left in Iraq for its security and additional supplies will go to Afghanistan and possibly Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

    Israel might receive ammunition, vehicles and specially-designed rapid cannon — C-RAM — that can intercept small projectiles such as mortars. Separate from this the Pentagon earlier decided to store $800-million of military supplies, including missiles and armored vehicles, in Israel.


    Weapons that will be used by the Zionist nightmare to murder civilians in Lebanon… or Gaza… or Syria…

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  11. “To have a modern media machine silent upon the outrage in the ‘cradle of democracy’, indicates the power holders in charge of the information machine, are part of the occupation.”
    Imagine this waking nightmare. Upon the advice of many good people, I severely restrict my TV time. Rapid scene shifting and word imprinting linked to psychoactive frequencies makes watching TV a hazardous business even for the alert mind. As I shift through the channels, the faces of my enemy appear all in a row – Jamie Gorelick, John Negroponte, Michael Chertoff, the cabinet of Neocons playing a simulated war game as part of reduce America’s TV audience to a mass of gibbering imbeciles. Their topic: Cyber Attack. Yes, now that MSM is controlled, the last bastion of the public media must be restricted – the Internet. They are preparing us for the Ultimate Cyber Terrorist attack. Then alas, alack, I must forego my conversations with all of you dear bloggers.
    Take heed then, prepare your gardens, greet your neighbors. Choose an ex-marine, a banker – choose a burned out hippie, and have a few friends most like yourself. Teach them and learn from them. Local community will balance centralized control of the media.
    On topic: I no longer support the Zionist state of Israel, built by Khazar Jews, who are not even birthright Jews. I have met Jerry Levin and have an informed understanding of the current genocide practiced upon Palestinians by the Israeli Jews with complicit help of AIPAC in the U.S.

  12. Italics problem fixed. Thanks!

  13. @ZicaTanka – Thanks for your kind comment. I think one of the problems with the interview is that it assumed many of the boundaries placed on the discussion by the corporate media. As long as you accept that Hamas is a terrorist organization while Israel is not (for example), then you will reach the conclusion that the corporate media imposes.

    I thought the most interesting part of the discussion was Sibel’s question about the nature of the censorship that occurs in the media. I’m sure there is a lot of very subtle pressure as Sibel suggests and also self-censorship. Philip kind of avoided that question by saying he didn’t want to talk about specific people and burn bridges. I can understand his reasoning, but at the same time it’s kind of a cop-out. He’s protecting his friends and his career while Palestinians are dying. This is just another reason that I respect Sibel so much because she has been willing to risk everything to expose corruption in the US government. Not everyone is willing to make that kind of sacrifice, and I don’t hold it against Philip. I know he has sacrificed plenty to speak out against Israel and fellow Jews on this topic.

    And here are some more thoughts for Peter. (Sorry to pick on you Peter.) The US has abandoned the idea of being a “Christian state” in part from pressure by Jewish groups. And yet the same Jewish groups want us to support Israel as a “Jewish state”. Even if you don’t think of Jewish as a religion but only as an ethnic group, there is still an issue. It would be like the US saying it is only for White Europeans – another idea which has been abandoned in the US.

    If Jews want to live in the Middle East, that is one thing, but a state exclusively for Jews is fraught with problems. Here we have another problem with the way that the corporate media puts boundaries on the discussion. How can Israel be considered a “democracy” when most of the Palestinians living within the borders it controls are not allowed to participate in its elections? How can we continue to say that Israel is “occupying” the West Bank and Gaza when it has been more than 40 years? There is already just one state, and within that one state the Palestinians are treated as prisoners or criminals.

    As the book “The Israel Lobby” says, there were pragmatic reasons during the Cold War for the US to embrace Israel. Now the main reason is the “War on Terror” which seems to be neatly defined to justify further US support for Israel.

  14. israel is a dark stain on the fabric of society that must be cleansed. The sooner the better.

  15. @FrankHope
    You hit the nail on the head. My frustration is about us (in general and therefore also Peter and Sibel) being not free in the mind to spend our time on the really important subsurface dynamics. For example, loosing time on the legitimacy of the state of Israel is playing ball with those who want us to waste our time on irrelevancies, while they are planning and shaping a future where all that is dear for us has been stolen or destroyed.

    The (international) deep state, of which Sibel saw glimpses, is what is turning the water temperature up. And it scares the hell out of me. I want to jump out of the pot, but every time I jump, I discover I’m still not out. And it is getting hotter.

    @ZicaTanka – You put it very well “I’m hungry. Please give me a chance to use my resources, however irrelevant they may seem.”

  16. @Cheered – I agree that the conversation must dig deeper. I have a positive suggestion for Peter and Sibel. Bring on as a guest Jonathan Cook. He is a true investigative reporter who has written many articles on Israel and the Palestinians. You can find all his articles at his website:

    His latest article is titled “Israel’s new ‘attack on freedom of speech’”. Here are the first two paragraphs:

    “The Israeli government and its right-wing supporters have been waging a “McCarthyite” campaign against human-rights groups by blaming them for the barrage of international criticism that has followed Israel’s attack on Gaza a year ago, critics say.”

    “In a sign of the growing backlash against the human-rights community, the cabinet backed a bill last week that, if passed, will jail senior officials from the country’s peace-related organisations should they fail to meet tough new registration conditions.”

    Jonathan Cook is stationed in Israel. I would love to hear an interview with him. There is contact information at his website. What do you say Peter and Sibel?

  17. Breaking News not to detract from the fundraising campaign posted here:
    By Addy Dugdale
    Microsoft has acted swiftly after the Web site Cryptome leaked its “Global Criminal Compliance Handbook.” The guide does exactly what it says: outlines the surveillance services the software company will perform for law enforcement agencies on its online platforms. These include its email services, such as Hotmail, MSN, Messenger, Office Live, Windows Live, and even Xbox Live. Gulp.

  18. http://cryptome.org/ Counsel for Microsoft has allowed Cryptome back online with pdf file available. Get it while you still can. Then fact check it.

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