Israeli Ambassador to U.S. Slams 60 Minutes Segment, Again (VIDEO)

February 18, 2013 9:51 am 48 comments

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren.

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, responded Sunday night to a segment about Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system aired on CBS News’s “60 Minutes” program titled “Will Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ Help Bring Peace?” In the segment the correspondent, Bob Simon, details the effectiveness of the defense system before inevitably introducing the issue of West Bank settlements. Here’s an exchange with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak:

Bob Simon: While the Americans are helping you so much in your defense. Israel goes on building settlements, which is exactly what the Americans don’t want. How does that work, when you’re asking America for help and doing exactly what the Americans don’t want you to do?

Ehud Barak: You know, Bob, I prefer not to answer this question right now. You know, we are in the height of the election period. I basically think that the relationship, especially between our intelligence communities and our defense establishment, is extreme– are extremely close.

Bob Simon: You mean, between the Israelis and the Americans?

Ehud Barak: Yeah. Extremely close. And of course, we have certain differences.

Bob Simon: But how does it work? I mean, right now, Israel has just announced the building of a gigantic settlement project. This is at the same time that the Americans are providing the money for Israel’s most important defense system.

Ehud Barak: You know, we are highly grateful to the administration, to American people as a whole for this support. I don’t think that it’s relevant to the issue of Iron Dome.”

Simon concludes that the Iron Dome, however brilliant, cannot bring peace.  Referring back to Israel’s November confrontation with Hamas, Simon says:

“So who won? Depends who you ask. The loser, again, is any prospect of peace, and no machine, however brilliantly designed, can fix that.”

Oren and Simon have a contentious history, to say the least. Last year they butted heads over a segment Simon did blaming Israel for the West Bank’s dwindling Christian population.

Oren responded to Simon’s most recent segment, via a post to his Facebook page, where he wrote:

“60 Minutes was right: The Iron Dome missile defense system does not take lives, it saves lives. But 60 Minutes missed the true connection between Iron Dome and settlements: Israel was compelled to build Iron Dome after it uprooted 21 Israeli settlements from the Gaza Strip and Hamas took over Gaza and used it to launch thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians.”

Watch the CBS segment below:


  • The Kingdom of Quisling did take the withe house,. EU, the Arab world and Africa, to destroy the Jews minds. Wake Up!

  • For years on end; Israel has used America as their BIG STICK: The American public watched Mr. Netanyahu try to lecture and schold Mr. Obama on national Tv. And many came to view the Israeli government as an enemy to America, rather than any kind of friend. Mr. Obama has done more for Israel than any other American president in history. But is damned by the people of Israel, if he helps or doesn’t. Time has come to drop Israel like a hot rock and think of America and what’s best for us. And Israel isn’t it. Better to throw our money down a hole than invest in Israel.

  • Bob Simon hates Israel.

    • If the USA pay for Israel’s defense system, the bare minimum should be that Israel abide by international law and stop occupying the territory of its neighbour state, Palestine.

      It is in America’s interest to have peace in the Middle-East. Israel’s settlements, which were built in the Palestinian territory in contravention of international law, are counterproductive to peace, to say the least.

  • Most comments change the topic to primitive hasbara. The topic is: Why pay US-tax payers 3 Bio p.a. to the state of Israel without being able to influence the politics of the state of Israel in a direction which is in accordance with official US-politics, namely two-state-solution? That’s a fair question, but get no answer only name calling. Very poor.

    • First off, that $ is in the form of a military subsidy, it’s not financial aid, so most of it stays in USA. Secondly both U.S. and Israel believe in two state solution. Settlements is a separate outstanding issue,which includes future of East Jerusalem, a city which has never been separated in it’s history until ’49 War for nearly 20 years where Jews were ethnically cleansed and not allowed to visit their most holiest site the Kotel. Contrary to Arab propaganda,building settlements which take up 4% of the region does not in any way preclude the prospects of a two state solution. The U.S.administration has never deemed settlements illegal, & U.S. position has always been that these issue’s need to be resolved via a comprehensive bilateral peace agreement, instead of being settled by unilateral political decisions, or by outside coercion. U.S. is trying to stay neutral.

  • I believe firmly that the expansion or building of new settlements does nothing but hurt Israel’s positive image around the world. As a propaganda weapon, it has damaged us to such an extent that I cannot understand how we continue to do it. We are paying a very dear price to appease and get the vote of the orthodox right. I love Israel but am deeply deeply critical of this policy and wish this would stop immediately

    • Do you really believe that land is the problem?The only problem is that the Arab world would not and will not accept Israel.The oness should be on the Arabs not Israel
      Sadat had realized the futility of the wars against Israel and once they agreed to peace, the Sinai desert was returned to them.Israel and Israel became trading partners which improved Egypts economy
      Ariel Sharon destroyed the Jewish settlements and gave up gaza without prexisting security conditions.The Israels left greenhouses to help in the growth of the Palestinians economy and look what happened.Hamas is waging war and the green houses were immediately destoyed
      If Israel gave the Palestinian leadership tel Aviv and Haifa they would find other excuses not to accept Israel

  • It is reported Barack Hussein Obama plans a closer look at Iron Dome during his first presidential trip to Israel.
    Iron Dome reminds one of the Human Cannonball at a circus.
    Is there a missile pod large enough to hold a president?
    Is there a helmet large enough to hold a president’s ego?

  • The time has come for Israeli government officials to tell the likes of Bob Simon and all those like him whether they be reporters,government officials,etc. that the settlements,defense fence,iron dome,etc.are all a result of Palestinian and Arab aggression that has not stopped since 1948 when the Arabs rejected and the Israeli Jews accepted a Palestinian and Jewish State.It is time for them to announce to the world that there will not be any negotiations for peace with the self-declared Palestinian enemy whose aggression towards the Jews of Israel is stipulated too in their Constitution,Covenant,taught in their schools,announced in their media,preached in their sermons all calling for the annihilation of the Jewish State and their maps where the Jewish State has been eradicated.It is time for Israeli leaders to announce that when all of the aforementioned is replaced with peaceful acts and the Palestinian and Arab leaders publicly announced they recognize Israel to be a Jewish State situated on Jewish land and that Jerusalem is the undivided capitol of the Jewish State given to the Jewish People by G-D as described in the bible.When looks at past events such as the Jews of Israel giving their G-D given land away one sees that act has instead of bringing peace has brought them death and destruction.Jews of Israel could announce to all those who believe in G-D that they have no right to give away land that was a gift from G-D.It time for Jewish leaders to stop being on the defense in this war of words by always placing the Jewish state and themselves on the defensive.By taking the initiative as stated above the Arabs and the Palestinians will be the ones who will be placed on the defensive in having to justify their getting a state while they continue their aggression.

  • The easiest was to answer Simons is to note that prior to 1967, when there was no “occupation” nor “construction of settlements” there also was no peace – but PLO terrror and in the 1950s, the fedayeen infiltration terror. Since there was no peace then, what has “settlements” to do with peace now?

  • I wonder if Simon would have welcomed IDF rescue when he was being held captive by the arabs?

  • 60 minutes has a long history of anti Israeli programming and some of it was very ugly. In fact mike wallace was making it a point to pressure Israel to give land to the Arabs prior to 1967 if you can imagine that. Liberal Jews are Israel’s greatest critics and the best allies of those who want to destroy Israel through asymmetrical warfare. May G_D bless 60 minutes to report negatively about Syria, Lebanon, Libya and Egypt so they don’t have to lie so much when they visit the middle east.

  • Simon kept repeating his mantra that the American taxpayer has paid for Iron Dome and the least Israel can do (?to show appreciation) is to follow policies that President Obama likes. Never did he say what the US gets from Israel’s technological advances. All of Israel’s brilliant discoveries are available to the US defense establishment, and at a cost significantly less than the US would have spent to have developed the technology by itself. Much of the technology we all use every day was developed in Israel. Israel is the world leader in drone technology and the US has benefitted greatly from this.
    None of this was referred to by Simon, who delighted in his ability to bully Barak into fumbling his responses.

    • Very good point. Barak is soft in his response. How slimy can Simon get, to speak on behalf of all Americans and therefore a weapon that saves lives on both sides of this conflict should be conditional upon settlement building. Yes the Palestinians benefit from Iron dome as well. Polls show that most Americans support Israel.Iron dome was developed by both Israelis and Americans together. Simon is disgusting. Israel has saved U.S. tens of millions in intelligence and defense security information. Israel has helped U.S. military in many other way’s as well, with medical, technical advances. Israel & U.S. have a symbiotic relationship. Does Simon ask these type of questions to Egypt’s foreign minister? He doesn’t seem to have a problem with Egypt with the way they are treating minorities esp. Coptic Christians. and Morsi’s move to have supreme authority of the country and enforce stricter sharia laws.

  • Bob Simon is a disgraceful American journalist and 60 Minutes is an American media outlet.
    WHERE ARE THE AMERICAN JEWISH LEADERS SPEAKING OUT AGAINST, AND STANDING UP TO, THE 60 MINUTES ATTACK DOG – BOB SIMON? Where is the Israel Action Network of the Jewish Council For Public Affairs which is charged with combatting the defamation of Israel? Where is Michael Miller, head of the New York Jewish Community Relations Council? Where is John Ruskay, head of New York UJA? Where are the leaders of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform movements? Where is Gary Rosenblatt, publisher of the New York “Jewish” Week?
    This is our issue every bit as much as it is Michael Orens, who is one of today’s Jewish heroes.
    We should all be protesting against 60 Minutes and against the silence of American Jewish leaders.






    • Indeed, where are all of these so-called leaders of American Jewish organizations?

      Too busy? Illiterate> Bored? Useless? Complacent? Numb? Simonites at heart? All of the above?

    • Great comment!Where are the Jewish voices?
      Bob Simon was once a friend of Israel as was Tom Friedman.I think their egos(Tom Friedman had the audicity to suggest a peace plan which was rejected by the Israelis and as your article suggests Bob Simon had differances with Israelis ambassador to the United States- Oren) and their desire to survive in what has become an unfriendly media towards Israel influences their behavior towards Israel
      For some reason the fact that Gaza was turned over to the Palestinians and the results of it are completely ignored

      • I would like to know what it is about my two comments to this story that needs modificaton
        I did go on line to listen to the Bob Simon piece that Michael Oren objected to about Christians in the holy Land.Bob Simon was not objective- the piece was slanted – Simon never mentioned the oppression of Christians in Arab countries. I was surprised how astonishingly rude he was to Israels’ Ambassador to the United States
        As we watch the Arab world disintergating into chaos one must wonder why Israel the only stable democratic country in the Middle East is coming under such negative scrutiny

  • I stopped watching 60 Minutes after Simon’s first Jew hating piece. In addition, self hatred is a big character flaw.

    • Tzemach Bloomberg

      Bob Simon, to the best of my knowledge is Jewish and as such, working for CBS 60 minutes, he must prove that he is more Catholic than the Pope and thus is extremely anti-Israel.
      One further point, if the honourable gentleman would get his facts in order and learn a little about International Law, he would find out that even President Obama can be mistaken and that the USA should look elsewhere for those responsible for the problems in the Middle East. To learn the truth go to
      If you are interested in the truth, this will help.

      • YES…I read Bob Simon’s book…he is Jewish….and…he lived in Israel for many years!!!
        I’ve been really disappointed in all the Jewish reporters that work for 60 Minutes in their attitude towards the “Motherland”!!!…. including their producer Don Hewitt..Mike Wallace, Leslie Stahl, Bob Simon, Morley Safer, Katie Couric (half), Harry Reasoner, etc….THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!

        An Example during the Gulf War: on a Nightline segment…live…as Iraq was sending missiles over Tel Aviv…Ted Koppel (Jewish) was chiding Chris Wallace (born Jewish) for describing how far off targets the Iraqui’s were and where the missiles were landing…KOPPEL: “Chris, The Israeli censors warned you NOT TO TELL the enemy on live TV how they were doing”!! …Chris: “Duuuh!!!”


  • Bob Simon and CBS News have fallen into the political quagmire in which the Palestinian leadership manipulates anyone with the ability to disseminate its propaganda may fall into. This propaganda is not based on any agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority or any ties Israel has with the United States. It is propaganda to manipulate Israel into a corner where Israel will be forced to follow the hostile plans of people who only want to incapacitate, disenfranchise, and ultimately extirpate Israel from the very soil upon which it is sovereign. The United States has been a very close friend of Israel for sixty-four years. No news media can and will damage this mutual friendship, alliance, and symbiotic relationship.
    There is no connection between Israel’s security and any building Israel engages in anywhere in Judea and Samaria. Israel’s security pact with the United States is sacrosanct. It is the best security the United States has that the Middle East will not go up in flames and take the oil with it. It is the best security that the United States has close ties with the Israel, the bastion of democracy–the only one in the Middle East– that remains friendly under any and all circumstances to US interests in the Middle East and beyond. The medical, water, solar, food and technological inventions emanating from Israel have made life throughout the world more livable in many places and livable in many more globally. Israel is a bastion of life and the United States’ best ally bar none!

  • The Bob Simon assault on Israel on 60 Minutes is not unexpected. He has, for years, presented convoluted anti-Israel opinions on CBS. He is as biased as anyone can be.

    • Why is it not OK to disagree with Israel?

      • It is not disagreement.It is the concentration of not only misinformation, the revision of history and what the true problem is that is objected to.The fact is that it is the Palestinians who are the problem because they will not accept Israel even if you gave them Tel Aviv or Haifa.
        If the Palestinians and the Arabs had accepted Israel in 1948 instead of continually waging war against them there would now be two states.The corrupt and ineffective Palestinian leadership had every opportunity to develp peace their economy and stability.However encouraged by other Arab nations they wasted those years waging war.
        When Sadat of Egypt realized the futility of it.he accepted Israel and the Sinai desert was returnedto them. Ariel Sharon did return the gaza strip to the Palestinians who istead of deveoping the land and the economy are now sending rockets into Israel. In my opinion these are the topics we should be addressing

  • i am a former US Information Agency Foreign Service Officer. I managed both the American Cultural Center Tel Aviv (1978-80) and the American Cultural Center Jerusalem (1984-88).

    To the best of my recollection, Bob Simon was the CBS TV foreign correspondnet in Israel (based in Jerusalem) from the late 70s to the late 80s. I also seem to recall that his wife was Jewish of North African heritage.

    arthur green
    potomac, MD

  • i am a former US Information Agency Foreign Service Officer. I managed both the American Cultural Center Tel Aviv (1978-80) and the American Cultural Center Jerusalem (1984-88).

    To the best of my recollection, Bob Simon was the CBS TV foreign correspondnet in Israel (based in Jerusalem) from the late 70s to the late 80s. I also seem to recall that his wife was Jewish of North African heritge.

    arthur green
    potomac, MD

    • If Simon’s wife is of North African descent as you suggest, then Simon is a puppet for someone else’s views because his wife is emblematic of the 850,000 Jews expelled from the Muslim world. He must have a first hand reminder every day of the expropriation of vast Jewish lands expropriated in the Muslim world cited officially by U.S., UK, UN, etc. If he had an ounce of imagination, he would suggest that both land losses should be negotiated together. Because he hasn’t, it suggests that he knows fully well that NO accommodation can made with the Arab world. Everything belongs to the Arabs. Ultimately, all places in the world that have mosques may prove to be markers of their relentless conquest. Mr. Simon, ask your wife to tell you a little more about what it was like to be a Jew living in a Muslim country. Maybe you can do an interview segment with her on 60 minutes.

  • Simon, let us recall, was taken hostage by the late Saddam Hussein because he’s Jewish. Charming to see that nothing more than self-hatred of the Left Salon pseudo-intellectual seems to course across his aging neurons.

    • John Galt Jnr

      Have you ever been to a lunatic asylum?
      I think you need to go urgently as your mind is totally warped.
      You are insane to even make such a rediculous suggestion that Saddam Husein was Jewish.
      Sadam Husein was typical of the warped mind of Jew haters.
      I feel that if visit a lunatic asylum, you will spend the rst of your life there.
      It is people like you who have nothing but hatred in your warped minds.

  • Viewers know Bob Simon.He has a long held anti-Israel bias.

  • Mark S. Devenow Esq.

    I understand that Israel’s President Peres is set to present Israel’s highest honor to be afforded a foreign leader to Obama upon his belated visit. I also and further understand it becomes necessary, at some point in the analysis of Israel’s relations with the United States, for Israel to offer up forms of symbolic tribute to even the American President most hostile to it: if the symbolism serves to brake the drift of American policies at odds with Israel’s interests, so much the better. However, ………. it is also, and equally, important to note that these exercises in symbolism come at a cost. And in assessing the cost side of the ledger two immediate realities slap me in the face. One, while it IS true that US defense assistance to Israel helped defray the costs of deploying Iron Dome interceptor batteries in more places, protectively covering broader areas, it is important to remember that the Iron Dome system is a product/divination of ISRAELI, NOT AMERICAN, technological ingenuity. Two, the tribute paid up here will only have the effect of sustaining those obstinate idiot liberal Jews in their continuing insistence that Obama and his policies are, far from being inimical to Israel’s security interests, actually a boon.

    Which brings up Bob Simon, 60 Minutes and Iron Dome. At one point (near the end of the segment aired last night) Simon turned to some PA representative who began by stating the assumption that rockets raining down on Israel from Gaza and Lebanon was actually a GOOD thing until Iron Dome came around to spoil the party so to speak. When Simon queried to the point of actually putting this PA flunky to that proposition squarely, the PA representative wiggled and wormed to a reformulation of his view: this (reformulated) position to the effect that US military assistance ought to come with strings such that Israel cannot use weapons as it sees fit but ONLY in furtherance of US policies. Well, this latter expression/formulation conflates, elides and confuses any number of issues. But the most immediately significant of these conflations-confusions-elisions has to do with putting an Israeli technological accomplishment as, ineluctably, an isolated hostage to a given American administration’s whims concerning what Israel ought to FURTHER concede to the PA (usually in return for EXACTLY NOTHING). Thus, confusing the origins of this technology with its latter stage financings enables Israel’s enemies to posture AS IF Israel has no standing, no independent stake, in the technology of reference. From here it is not hard to see how offering tribute to an American President for supporting a weapons systems advance (over the American Patriot batteries, an arrantly ineffective mechanism), aggravates the confusion and enables our enemies to exaggerate the extent to which Israel ought to be beholden to the policies of even US administrations hostile to it.

  • Bob Simon is ignoring that is Hamas controlling the Gaza Palestinian’s and had kill many of their own who had criticized their line of terror.
    If Israel, was the one fire rocket to Gaza instead was certainly been condemn but why not the Palestinian-Hamas?
    Israel is helped by the USA as they know very well that Israel is the only state who stand out, in the middle of many nations that support terrorism against western way of thinking and life.
    Israel had be under attack from Palestinian’s and other‘s for the simple reason that they are Jews and some Christians. The extremist Hamas is using Muslim religion base, that contain incitement-hatred against other differnt believe.
    Why 60 minute had not ask Hamas what is they purpose as is evident that the rocket where aimed at civilian. Also the dead of Palestinians had been more done by Hamas, not Israel response during their defended action.
    Hamas and other extremist Muslim organization had one common goal, connected also with Iran-Syria. They want to impose their ideology and way of life and destroy Israel and western system, including USA.

  • I would not give Bob Simon not even a second of my time.

  • Had Bob Simon lived in Israel, with his family for the past, say 60 plus years, I doubt he would’ve asked or had any questions to ask.

  • Why hasn’t it been made clear that in return for US taxpayer money, a US public company, Raytheon is co marketing Iron Dome enriching its stockholders, providing US jobs, helping a sagging US economy and paying back the initial investment? Or maybe it’s more important to just make as many people as possible hate Israel

  • Jeff Blankfort

    “Breathes there a man with a soul so dead who never to himself has said,’This is my own, my native land?’” Yes, and his name is Michael Oren and that turncoat/traitor should know when to shut up.

    • I presume you mean Bob Simon. An important difference.

    • Count me in too as a “turncoat”. Can’t you realize that you are a victim of persistent Arab misinformation and disinformation? We forgive you, but do wake up?

  • Amazing that Israel is expected to spend $150,000 a counter rocket every time Hamas shoes out a $500.00 rocket. Gaza was Israels under International law, as is the West Bank. Israel uprooted the Jewish settlements for “peace! 14,450 rockets and 171 suicide bombers are what they’ve got in return! The USA has no right to ask for a freeze on Jewish land, which the West Bank now is. Anyway, why would Israel be stupid enough to give the Palestinians/Iran yet another launch pad to attack Israel? The USA has no right.

  • Would Simon suggest that US funding for the PA be cut off unless the Palestinians, among other things, cease their widespread media indoctrination of citizens to hate Jews?

    • I would hope that Simon WOULD suggest that US funding for the PA be cut off unless the Palestinians, among other things, cease their widespread media indoctrination of citizens to hate Jews, But he is too hateful of Israel to do so.

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