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May 13, 2012 9:00 pm

Obama’s New Anti-Israel Advisory Crew

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Peter Beinart speaking for J Street. Photo: J Street.

Recently, President Obama consulted a group of nine journalists on Mid-East policy – some among this crew are downright Anti-Israel, and thus unrepresentative of overall American views towards Israel. At least one member has called for a boycott of Israel, and another calls the country an “apartheid” state. Would the President welcome advisers who had called for the boycott of any other democratic nation? or described any one of America’s other close strategic allies in such egregious terms?

Invitees to this off-the-record meeting last week included The New Yorker’s David Remnick and Jane Mayer, Time Magazine’s Joe Klein, Newsweek’s Peter Beinart, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, The New York Times’ Carla Robbins, The Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib, The Los Angeles Times’ Doyle McManus, and David Ignatius of the Washington Post. This group consists of some radical fringe extremists whose journalistic activism is dangerous to Israel.

Some examples:

  • Remnick says: “A new generation of Jews is growing up in the US. Their relationship with Israel is becoming less patient and more problematic. They see what has happened with the Rabbinical Letter [proscribing rental and sale of property to Arabs — DR], for example. How long can you expect that they’ll love unconditionally the place called Israel [sic]? You’ve got a problem. You have the status of an occupier since 1967. It’s been happening for so long that even people like me, who understand that not only one side is responsible for the conflict and that the Palestinians missed an historic opportunity for peace in 2000, can’t take it anymore.” Remnick has also repeatedly described Israel as undemocratic.
  • Peter Beinart is an extremist – who has called for parts of Israel to be boycotted – and day after day publishes rants against Israel. (Despite responding to other articles I have written, he has yet to respond to my simple challenge – offering him $100k to deliver the identical talks he gives in front of Jewish audiences to Arab forums in Muslim countries. I wonder why?)
  • Klein has defended Iranian nuclear ambitions, saying that Iran’s purpose in perusing nuclear armament is “just to deter Israel and Pakistan.”

How can President Obama even pretend to support Israel when inviting people like this to his side? Remnick, Beinart and Klein are unceasing critics of Israel.  Last week a broad unity government was formed in Israel, led by a pragmatic Prime Minister, and Peter Beinart, who now has the President’s ear, has written statements like, “saving liberal Zionism in the U.S. – so that American Jews can help save liberal Zionism in Israel – is the great American Jewish challenge of our age.” These viewpoints that Obama surely is hearing have nearly no voice in Israel – and hardly any supporters amongst American Jewry.

A few months ago, the Obama campaign released a video entitled, “America and Israel – an Unbreakable Bond” – what is becoming increasingly clear is that his view of this bond may be even further to the left on the political spectrum than that of J Street, and is far from the positions of national consensus on the matter.

At my PR Agency, we in the business of shaping minds and telling stories – and we know that media advisers are key to positioning stories. If the Democratic President’s has chosen advisers on Israel that believe in boycotting the Jewish state and that the only democracy in the Middle East practices apartheid policies, then voting for Obama means a vote for Peter Beinart and other Anti- Israel members of this crew.

Ronn Torossian is the Founder of 5WPR, a leading PR Firm and author of PR Book “For Immediate Release”.

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  • A REAL American

    The “apartheid” (NOT) state of Israel just announced another Arab member of Knesset Dr. Akram Hasson of Kadima is joining the coalition government. With the addition of Dr. Hasson there are now a record 16 Arab (Arab/Muslim/Druze/Bedouin/Christian) MKs in the parliament–NINE of whom represent non-Arab parties.

    Meanwhile the SAVAGE supported terrorist occupied enclaves of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza ruled by the PA and Hamas are still judenrein and selling land to a Jew in these areas is still a crime punishable by DEATH.

  • Lila

    Arab apartheid / Muslim apartheid are the largest ‘apartheid systems’, that exist today.

    Virtually all non-Arabs and/or non-Muslims are second class citizens. Among minorities that feel the wrath of the bigoted Arab-Muslim world are:

    * Berbers (native N. Africans, before Arab invasion: Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco).

    * Copts (indigenous Egyptians suffer from both: Arab racism and Islamic bigotry).

    * Kurds (Examples include: [Saddam’s] Iraq and Syria.

    * Blacks, in Arab lands or in Arab ruled Africa like the genocide in the Sudan and slavery in both Sudan and in Mauritania.

    * Asians, particularly in the Gulf Arab states. [Sex slaves or “plain” slaves).

    * Maronites-Christians [Native Lebanese] suffer from both Arab ethnic racism and religious bigotry, like the massacres in the 1970s by local Muslims and by Palestinian/Syrian forces.

    * Assyrians, are/have been persecuted both racially and religiously. Still very much marginalized in Iraq, for example.

    * Iran is not an Arab country but racism is huge against Kurds, Jews, Turkmens, etc. So is anti-non-Muslim bigotry against Christians, Bahai, Zoroastrians and other in the Islamic republic.

    * Turkey is also a Muslim non-Arab country and Kurds, Greeks, Armenians and other ethnicities have been through much suffering, genocide. Still there’s great wide racism against non-Turkish ethnic groups including racism against Alevis and against Kurds. Turkey’s policy in Cyprus has also been recognized as a real Apartheid by many. All non-Muslims are automatically branded as “foreigners” at the “moderate” Islamic supremacy of Turkey.

    * Chinese, Indians, Christians and other non-Malay, in Malaysia; Chinese, Christians in Indonesia, have long been subject to persecution, race-riots, discrimination, racism and bloodshed.

    * Non-Muslims or the ‘wrong kind of Muslims,’ in Pakistan; Iraq; Afghanistan, are oppressed and targeted in deadly attacks.

    * All non-Muslims in ‘Islamic Apartheid state’ of S. Arabia.

    * Asians [slaves!] in the Gulf Arab states.

    * Bedoons in Kuwait.

    * Al-Akhdam in Yemen.

    * Gypsies in Jordan.

    Islamic-Arab “Palestine” apartheid:

    * Ahmadiyya Muslims are harshly persecuted in (Pakistan and in) the “Palestinian” Apartheid authority and/or by Hamas.

    * Descendants of slaves of the Bedouins are still stigmatized by racist “Palestinians”.

    * Christians are discriminated, persecuted against [especially since Y. Arafat’s Islamization of Bethlehem], by Palestine authority and Hamas regime.

    From anti-Jewish Apartheid:

    – The Arab racist apartheid against the Jews attempted genocide ever since the 1920s, (Like Mufti of “Palestine” at his incited massacres, and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood who called simply ‘to kill Jews’).
    – Chased out a Million Jews in the late 1940.
    – Has boycotted and demonized [every logical defensive action is branded “racist”] the Jewish democratic-free-equal-to-all state only because it’s the “other”. It is neither Muslim nor purely Arab.
    – The Arab racist world continues to play with Arab-Palestinians (grandchildren of Arab immigrants) like ping-pong against Israel.



    As if we don’t know the ‘Arab oil lobby’s power’ over the UN and other major international organizations and some African officials to go along with the Arab propaganda.

    Despite some non-Arabs who jump on this wagon out of: ignorance, of confusion complex, or of sheer bigotry, never forget, that this entire “apartheid, racism” label was pushed by Arab racists, ganging up in the UN since 1975.

    Even promoter of the apartheid-slur [which was actually invented in 1961 by A. Shukairy, who was the henchman and spokesman for the infamous Mufti al-Husseini the Mufti, notorious for being A. Hitler’s ally and adviser on exterminating the Jews. Shukairy also called to throw the Jews into the sea] J. Carter admitted on CNN: “I recognize that Israel is a wonderful democracy with freedom of speech and equality of treatment under the law between Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis.” edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0612/12/acd.02.html

    Incidentally, the lying Pallywood machine also created a fake “memorandum” claiming that N. Mandela ever uttered this crappy analogy.

    Last but not least:

    Isn’t it true that the anti-Jewish “apartheid” slur campaign is: 1) to demonize Jews and 2) to hide the real apartheid practiced by the Arab-Islamic world?

    • A REAL American


      Wow, what a great comprehensive list. I don’t know how you had time to compile this, but it completely debunks the bogus Apartheid claims.

      Arabs–especially the so-called “paletinians” are obviously trying to deflect attention away from the own crimes by accusing Israel. Ignorant narrow minded liberals like SAVAGE cannot see past these Arab propaganda machine. Every day they spew out more and more DRECH for people like SAVAGE who consume it like its Manna from heaven.

  • A REAL American

    Savage–Israel does NOT have an apartheid state or anything even remotely similar to an apartheid state and any accusation of that is purely a figment of your stupidity.

    Accusations like this make a complete mockery of the immense pain and suffering caused to blacks in South Africa and are completely unforgivable.

    Here are the FACTS:

    Israeli Arabs have the right to vote
    Israeli Arabs have political parties and open expression of ideas
    Israeli Arabs are elected to the Knesset (parliament)
    Israeli Arabs serve as ministers in the government
    Israeli Arabs serve as judges in Israel including on the Supreme Court in Israel
    Israeli Arabs have the right to freedom of movement inside and outside of Israel
    Israeli Arabs have welfare, healthcare, educational opportunities, etc. etc.

    Did blacks in Apartheid South Africa have the right to vote?
    Did blacks in Apartheid South Africa have political parties and open expression of ideas?
    Did blacks in Apartheid South Africa get elected to the parliament?
    Did blacks in Apartheid South Africa serve as ministers in the South African government?
    Did blacks in Apartheid South Africa serve as judges including on the supreme court of South Africa?
    Did blacks in Apartheid South Africa have freedom of movement inside and outside of South Africa?
    Did blacks in Apartheid South Africa have welfare, healthcare, educational opportunities, etc. etc.

    If the answer to these questions is NO, then Apartheid simply does not exist in Israel.

    But Apartheid does exist—it exists in the Palestinian territories where Jews are attacked and murdered just for being Jewish and where Arabs are prohibited by law from selling any property to a Jew. The penalty for a such a crime is death–which is usually carried out without a trial by a vigilante mob. According PA leader Abu Abbas Jews will not be welcome in the state of Palestine–when and if it is ever created.

    So clearly Apartheid does exist, you are just blaming the wrong government for it.

  • Steven

    How dare President Obama examine all sides of an issue! I could never vote for a man who considers opposing viewpoints.

    • A REAL American


      Who in their right mind believes the president should examine all side of an issue by inviting biased one sided journalists to a summit?

      If he is trying to get “ALL SIDES” of the issue, where is the Fox News representative, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, etc.?? How can you get to “all sides” by merely hearing only ONE SIDE?

      A REAL president who truly wants to hear “all sides” of an issue consults with experts on these particular issues such as former secretaries of state and Ambassadors and professor—NOT biased journalists.


      Yet another example of Obama leading from his behind!!

    • salvage

      Well A REAL American once again you make it clear that your understanding of the situation is limited to what you choose to learn about it.

      For instance you’re babbling on about “Israeli Arabs” and we are talking about the people living in the West Bank and Gaza Strips, areas that are essentially ghettos akin to the shanty towns of apartheid era South Africa.

      Why don’t you read what Amnesty International has to say and then re-read your list and see what applies?

      Nah, you might learn something and that’s just not what A REAL American does.

      • A REAL American


        The comparison to South Africa is an extremely poor one.

        The Arabs living in Judea and Samaria (known to you by the political term “West Bank”) are under the occupation of the PA led by Abu Abbas. And the Arabs living in Gaza are under the occupation of the terrorist Hamas regime.

        These Arabs are NOT citizens of Israel. These Arabs DO NOT wish to be part of Israel and have made that very clear with thousands of suicide bombs rockets and throat slashings. Their status is to be negotiated by their political leaders who have failed to make any effort to sign a final status agreement with Israel. Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and their status and situation is at the mercy of the terrorist dictatorship who is 100% responsible for the fate of these people.

        In Judea and Samaria, the PA has rejected for no apparent reason at least two final status agreements that were negotiated by liberal Israeli governments. The offers put on the table were generous beyond the ability of those liberal governments to deliver, yet the PA leadership could not bring themselves to accept these offers or even provide a reasonable counter offer (see Dennis Ross or Bill Clinton for more details). Ultimately Arafat could not find it within himself to put a final end to the conflict.

        When the miserable terrorist died, Arafat took with him the power to convince the Arab population of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to accept a peaceful co-existence side by side with a Jewish state of Israel. Arafat and his terrorist cronies force fed their people a diet consisting of a of an ever growing mythological palestinian narrative from the cradle to the grave–which negates any and all Jewish historical, political or religious claims to the land. No Arab leader has shown the ability or desire to get past this mythological narrative which has grown completely out of control. No Arab leader has done anything to prepare these people of the reality that the only way they will achieve any of their goals is to make hard concessions (NO RIGHT OF RETURN and no capital in Jerusalem).

        The leadership of the Arabs whom you call “palestinians” have failed their people time and time again and have shown no ability to remedy these failures.

        Their current refusal to negotiate makes without first setting preconditions that negate any negotiations prior to sitting down with the Israelis is absolutely ridiculous. The blame for the plight of these Arabs lies squarely on the PA leadership.

        The only Apartheid being practiced in the area is the PA ARAB Apartheid in which makes selling property to Jews a criminal offense punishable by DEATH and prohibits any Jew from living within the PA quasi state–even after final status negotiations are completed and implemented.

        I would love to hear your justification for this BLATANTLY RACIST ARAB APARTHEID system that you support.

        Its nice that you are concerned with the Arabs, but their needs have to be balanced against an equal number of Arab Jews (totaling near 1 million) who were forcefully evicted from their homes in Arab countries and had all of their belongings and property confiscated by the RACIST APARTHEID ARAB regimes. These claims by ARAB JEWS are in the 100s of Billions of dollars and far outweigh all Arab “palestinian” claims. Where is your outrage against the rape and pillaging of these ARAB JEWISH communities that pre-date the invention of Islam?

        Savage–it is quite unfortunate that you constantly ignore the facts in all matters you post on this website. Your inability to understand very simple concepts leads you to resort to bogus conclusions such as the Apartheid allegations. That puts you in line for the Jimmy Carter moron of the decade award.

        • Donald Johnston

          nut job

  • salvage

    >At least one member has called for a boycott of Israel, and another calls the country an “apartheid” state.

    I love how you idiots scream about people saying these things but never actually point out how they are wrong.

    For instance what has AI gotten wrong here?


    Israel does have an apartheid system and boycotts are a good way to call attention to and put pressure on a government for reprehensible policies.

    I know, I know, Muslims are subhumans, evil and it’s all their fault anyway. Israel would be please to grant them human rights if they would just leave the Promised Land and never come back.

    And yes, I am clearly an anti-Semite as is Obama and anyone else who notices things that Israel did and does.

    • Lila

      Oh boy, quoting the Arab lobby’s occupied “amnesty”? Is this serious? So an Arab can be president of the Jewish democratic state but no Jew can be an official in ANY Racist Arabia… Where is the justice? Arab Islamic apartheid, where not one minority is equal…

      • salvage

        Ha! Ha! Yes! Amnesty International is an Arab front! And they say nothing about human rights abuses in any other country than Israel!

        I love the whole “There are places worse than Israel so Israel isn’t bad!” line of logic presented here by various commentators. Really shows the depth of thought you’ve given the issue.

        • A REAL American

          ..and SAVAGE we love how in your narrow minded ignorant view of the world Israel is the not only the worst violator of all laws, they are the ONLY violator of all laws. It is plain to all the depth to which you have sunk.

          • salvage

            Ha! Ha! Yes! That’s what I said, Israel is the worst and the only!

            You are a REAL Smart American!

  • FancyNancy

    “Would the President welcome advisers who had called for the boycott of any other democratic nation?”

    Um, yes?

    Brush up on your American history. We only like democracy when it serves our national interest. Don’t go to bed with The Great Satan and not expect to get…well, you know.

    • A REAL American


      These people aren’t experts, these are biased journalists. No one could call them impartial experts.

      A REAL president who truly wants to hear “all sides” of an issue consults with experts on these particular issues such as former secretaries of state and Ambassadors and professor—NOT biased journalists.

      Boycotts don’t usually work as intended. This particular boycotts is just moronic for many reasons but to start with–most of these communities and the Israeli corporations doing business in these communities will be within the boundaries of Israel under all conceivable final status agreements.

      And, if Beinart’s boycott was implemented Israeli firms would be forced to cut back on production labor costs causing mass unemployment of Arabs who work for the very same Israeli corporations being boycotted.

      So, if the overwhelming majority of these corporations, their workers, facilities, etc. would remain within the borders of Israel under any conceivable final status agreement between the two sides, then why expend the energy and effort to boycott them in the first place?

      And if the purpose of boycotting them is to improve the lives of the Arabs living under Palestinian occupation, what purpose would it serve to destroy their own means of livelihood outside of international welfare in the form of UN handouts? How would this make anyone’s life better?

      • salvage

        biased journalists = anyone who reports facts that cause cognitive dissonance in A REAL American.

        Tell me A REAL American, does Fox News have any biased journalists?

        • A REAL American


          Once again you miss the big picture in favor of the one which suits your narrow liberal mindset.

          Of course Fox New is biased, but their bias balances the liberal bias of all of the network news divisions (ABC, NBC, CBS) plus PBS, NPR, CNN, and MSNBC combined. That is where the “fair and balanced” comes into play. Without Fox News, there is no balance. Fox News is the most popular TV news outlet in the US because a substantial portion of the populace has turned their backs on the liberal media outlets.

          Lets not lie to ourselves, journalists all have some sort of bias. Media outlets all have a bias. Many try desperately to cover it up as if it didn’t exist (the network news divisions) and many just feel their opinion is the only opinion worthy of their listeners intelligence (NPR).

          Fox is a bit of an odd duck in journalism because they do nothing to cover up their bias and actually employ liberal commentators (in contrast not a single conservative voice is ever heard on NPR) and acknowledge that another opinion exist, but they openly sneer at this opposing opinion.

          I don’t see anything wrong with this. You know what you are getting before you turn to Fox News–which I cannot say for other media outlets. I had an impossible time trying to convince someone that another media outlet had a liberal bias–his reply was similar to yours referring snidely to FOX News as if the conservative bias is the only bias possible. NEWSFLASH–just because a liberal cannot detect a media bias, does not mean that media does not exist.

          Its about time we acknowledge that ALL media has some sort of bias and that “fair and balanced” means seeking out different points of view (such as FOX NEWS), not more of the same point of view (such as NY TIMES and NPR).

          I might not agree with Ariana Huffington or Bill Maher, but they don’t make any secret of their bias, so I can respectfully disagree with them. For me, someone like Dan Rather is far worse than someone like Rush Limbaugh because Rush doesn’t make any attempt to try to hide his bias, while Rather attempts to appear as a non-biased (BS) journalist even while he is behaving in a clearly biased manner. Same with Bill Moyers. I have no respect for these individuals or the news organizations that employ covert attempts to slant the news.

          On a personal note, I was an editor of a newspaper for 5 years. When my liberal co-editor and I would disagree on a major policy point we would print the two opinions side by side in a point-counter-point and let the readers decide who to agree with. We might not be able to agree on the policy point, but we agreed that it was our job to give our readers the ability to make informed decisions based on knowledge of the issues from all perspectives. When does the NY Times ever do this? At least the Washington Post has conservative voices like Charles Krauthammer and George Will. Who is writing a counter point to Thomas Friedman or some of the other liberal anti-Israel advocacy positions in the NY Times?

          I cannot understand why liberals hate Fox News so much. If you hate it, just don’t pay attention to it (That is why TVs were created with ON and OFF buttons). It is your right to ignore Fox News just like most Conservatives do with the liberal media. But every liberal should understand one thing—Fox news is popular because people agree (or disagree) with their bias and CHOOSE to watch them, not simply because they had a 50 year monopoly on the airwaves.

          As for me, I don’t watch TV, but if there were a breaking story and and I wanted a news source I would tune into Fox News first and then flip to other news sources to get a well rounded opinion. I do the same for print media, I read multiple news sources on every issue to see what all of the pundits and journalist are saying.

          The only problem I have with liberal media (other than not agreeing with them) is NPR. I can choose to listen (or ignore) at my choice any opinion which I like or don’t like. That is my right of freedom as an American. But NPR is in has a government charter in which it is funded by the federal government and has a not for profit tax exemption. As a liberal media outlet they are in violation of their charter and of the 501c3 not for profit tax status. If NPR were a for profit organization, I would have no problem with them.

          The bottom line–you tax dollars should not fund Sean Hanity and Rush Limbaugh and my tax dollars should not go to fund NPR’s liberal bias. Other than that, we should enjoy the freedom to listen or ignore anyone we choose.

          Getting back to the topic of this posting–Obama is complete idiot. Instead of inviting journalists to a summit, he should have invited respected former ambassadors and secretaries of state and professors and members of think tanks.

          • salvage

            >but their bias balances the liberal bias of all of the network news divisions

            Which doesn’t exist, see the run up to the Iraq war if you’re confused about that.

            What you call “bias” is usually reality, when you don’t like it you decide it must be a lie.

            But it’s cute the way you think, that one set of lies justifies another.

          • A REAL American


            “Which doesn’t exist, see the run up to the Iraq war if you’re confused about that.”

            I am not sure what this has to do with the topic at hand, but you are completely delusional if you think left wing media bias doesn’t exist.

            All media, all journalists, all human beings have a bias. Some hide it better than others. Some don’t bother to hide it all. But all have it.

            Bias is part of the way we interpret things. You interpret the events unfolding in the world around you based on a very narrow minded view which by all indications from your writing ignores all facts not immediately in front of you as completely irrelevant, whereas most humans embrace relevant facts coming from different sources as an integral key to forming their conclusions.

            This is why, I can see shades of grey whereas you can only see black and white and something that is an essential truth to me, is a down right dirty lie to you.

            To summarize:

            -Apartheid does not exist in Israel (Arabs have rights)
            -Apartheid does exist under the palestinian occupation of Judea,Samaria and Gaza and the rest of the Arab world (Jews and other minorities have no rights)
            -Media bias does exist on both the left and right
            -Fox News balances out the 50 year monopoly of left leaning network news divisions combined with NPR, PBS, MSNBC, and CNN

        • A REAL American

          The word “BIAS” was omitted in the previous posting.

          Here is how the sentence should have read…

          NEWSFLASH-just because a liberal cannot detect a media bias, does not mean that media BIAS does not exist.

        • Steven

          I think you are a jerk

          • salvage

            A single tear slides down my face.