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Philip Weiss Wrong Choice for "On the Media"

July 15, 2014

Executive Editor
On the Media
WNYC FM New York, NY

Dear Editor:

Your recent segment, “A New Narrative on Israel-Palestine” (July 11) offered a classic example of the kind of “hidden agenda” journalism which On the Media is supposed to expose. The segment featured an interview by Host and Managing Editor Brooke Gladstone with Philip Weiss, claiming that the U.S. news media is giving more prominence and sympathy to the Palestinian perspective in the current crisis.

While only identified by Ms. Gladstone as the “co-editor of Mondoweiss.net, a news website covering American foreign policy in the Middle East from a progressive Jewish perspective,” Philip Weiss is in fact a longtime critic of Israel, whose website features a wide variety of anti-Israel themes, including claims of Israeli apartheid, ethnic cleansing and genocide. He is also a frequent speaker at anti-Israel programs and conferences across the United States. 

Mr. Weiss has expressed opposition to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state and regularly compares the atrocities of the Holocaust to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. He has accused Israel of abusing the memory of the Holocaust in order to justify the “endless mistreatment of Palestinians,” claimed that Israeli policy toward the Palestinians is an example of the “abused becoming the abuser” and described Israeli military action as reminiscent of “the run-up to the Second World War. Those Jews were persecuted; and these Palestinians were too.”

Mr. Weiss is no benign observer or commentator. Indeed, most of his positions would prove inimical to even the “progressive Jews” Ms. Gladstone claims he represents.   His blatant, one-sided advocacy against Israel and its policies should have, at the very least, been identified, and another perspective been provided in the segment.  

Surely your program would not have given unchallenged, unqualified air time to a hard-core denier of Palestinian nationalism.

We fully expect an on-air and online clarification from On the Media.  May we hear from you on this?

Sincerely,

Abraham H. Foxman
National Director  

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