Katie Couric’s interview on CBS News on July 7 leaves little doubt that she considers Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel ‘s Prime Minister as the boss and that President Obama is irrelevant. Couric, descendant of Jewish immigrants from Germany, anchor and chief managing editor of CBS news, makes it clear that it is more important for Netanyahu to “trust” Obama and his decisions than for the the American people to trust the judgment of their elected Commander-In-Chief. What are the implications of CBS’s message?
Couric, eager to learn if Netanyahu was somehow “disappointed with Obama”, asked if Netanyahu would advocate on Obama’s behalf and make the American president popular among the Israelis. Clearly, Couric believes that Obama’s popularity among Israelis takes precedent over the continuing violation of international laws, the assault on a NATO member by Israel , and the demeaning attitude towards President Obama’s selected officials including his Vice President — Joe Biden. Couric, the managing editor of an American news channel appears to place the opinion of Israelis above the Americans.
Unable to hold back her enthusiasm, Couric appeared eager to hear if Netanyahu would attack Iran . This ‘journalist’ seems to have forgotten that even if she is unable to uphold the canons of journalism — responsibility, freedom of the press (its responsibilities for an intelligent fidelity to the Constitution of the United States), independence, sincerity, truthfulness, accuracy, impartiality, fair play, and decency, she should at least give the appearance of being objective.
Perhaps an objective question would be: How did Americans lose their power, dignity, and status – how did the office of the president of the United States once deemed to be the most powerful position in the world, become so marginalized and fall under the influence of the neoconservatives and the pro-Israel lobbies?
Imperative data indicates that Anti-Semitism in the U.S. was at its peak at the end of WWII. War time politics was an important factor in changing the narrative towards the Jewish people. One cannot erase from history the fact that the United States was so critical of the Jewish people that Woodrow Wilson was criticized for his nomination of Brandeis to the Supreme Court – he was not considered ‘white’. In the 1920s there was widespread discrimination against the Jews including housing and “Christians Only” employment advertisements. What changed?
In the 1950s, during the Cold War, a widespread acceptance of the Jews came about. The change, a geo-political necessity, took place with the help of propaganda. In 1953, John Foster Dulles orchestrated a coup to overthrow the nationalist and democratically elected Mossadegh government of Iran ( Operation Ajax ) after which American puppet, the Shah Pahlavi was installed as part of the ‘containment’ policy against the Soviet Union . In the same year, Dulles stated that “the world religious community has claims in Jerusalem which take precedence over the political claims of any particular nation.” ( Dulles speech, June 1, 1953, Israel Relations (6), Subject Series, Papers of John Foster Dulles, box 10, Eisenhower Library ).
Israel bonded the Christian Americans with the geo-strategically vital oil-rich region. Americans ‘ties’ to Israel required a unity of religions with a strong sense of belief in the ‘ Holy Land ‘. Hollywood helped cement the bond with movies such as “Samson and Delilah” which promoted the Jewish male as strong and masculine and “The Ten Commandments”, shown in the Knesset ( Moses and Ben-Gurion,” Time, May 30, 1960 ) to cement the bond.
America ‘s most famous journalist, Edward Murrow (who went on to become the USIA Director in the Kennedy administration), led the way to promoting Jerusalem as the city where Jesus walked. Jerusalem as a territory gained importance, was connected to 20th century America and played in the psyche of the American people. Not long after, the tables were turned on Americans.
As Israel was given importance to suit the American foreign policy, the propaganda machines worked hard to blur truth from fiction. Narratives promoting Jewish ownership of Palestine were promoted and all other accounts suppressed. The world was not permitted to learn of Abraham’s promise — the covenant he made with God through circumcision when all the land of Canaan was promised to him as ‘an everlasting possession’. But the land was not promised to Jews alone. When Abraham made a covenant with God through circumcision, Palestine — the ancient Land of Canaan was promised to him as ‘an everlasting possession’. Both Moslems and Christians are also claimants of the land though Abraham’s son – Ishmael. Moreover, when the covenant of circumcision was made with Abraham ( Genesis xvii ), and the land of Canaan promised as ‘an everlasting possession,’ it was Ishmael who was circumcised – Isaac had not yet been born.
Regardless, propaganda machines continue to promote Palestine as a promised land to Jews by God and ignore the 1897 Basel Congress in Switzerland which determined the ill fate of the Palestinians. Zealous Christian and Jewish Zionists dictate to American presidents and the American people while the world is held hostage to a false belief. Palestinians, Arabs, and now Iranians are sacrificed to maintain this falsehood. The likes of Katie Couric will continue to promote the narrative that an American president who does not obey Israel cannot be trusted. Her ilk will continue to tell Americans that Iran is a danger in order to conceal the real danger — the truth. And it is only the truth will set America free and restore its dignity.
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich has a Master’s degree in Public Diplomacy from USC Annenberg for Communication and Journalism. She is an independent scholar and researcher. Her focus is U.S. foreign policy and the influence of lobby groups.