Jonathan Schell on the candidates and Israel


Story Transcript

VOICE OF PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR: One of the critical issues that many voters are going to have to decide on in choosing their candidate is foreign policy and certainly the Middle East. And to a large extent, that comes down to the question: what’s one’s policy towards the state of Israel? So what is the policy of Obama and Clinton? Is there any difference between them?

JONATHN SCHELL, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST: I can’t really find any difference whatsoever between them. They, all three have, and Romney as well, really bought into the current consensus, which is one of really unreserved backing for the state of Israel. Obama, for instance, gave a speech to AIPAC, the very conservative Jewish lobbying organization here in the United States. And he said that he’d gone and visited one of the villages that had been struck by a Katusha rockets fired by the Palestinians and what a treasured moment that was for him, and he really sort of sealed an emotional bond with his audience that way. And I couldn’t find a single word expressing any regret for the suffering of the Palestinians, for example. Let me just give you a little quotation. This again is in an AIPAC speech: [text on screen] “And we can, then, more effectively deal with one of the greatest threats to the United States, Israel and world peace: Iran.” (Barack Obama, March 2, 2007, AIPAC Policy Forum.) So in other words you see really in a sort of light version the Bush policy of essentially approaching so-called rogue states or proliferators, yes, with diplomacy, yes, with words, yes, with getting together with leaders, and so on and so forth, but again, at the end of the day, you have the big stick, which will have just gotten bigger by 80,000 troops, to take care of the problem if that seems to be necessary. And once again the idea is no option should be taken off the table. As for McCain, you know, he chose to have a meeting with the Christians for Israel. Now, this is really a sort of very far-out group that is in love with these theories of the rapture or the end of the world, in which Israel is going to be converted to Christianity, and then Christ is going to come and rule the Earth and this kind of thing. But none of that crazy stuff deterred McCain from going and giving a speech to that group. But as far as policy goes, he’s probably pretty much the same as Bush, as Clinton before him, and Hillary, and Obama. So once again there’s not a great choice presented to the voters on these matters.

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


Story Transcript

VOICE OF PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR: One of the critical issues that many voters are going to have to decide on in choosing their candidate is foreign policy and certainly the Middle East. And to a large extent, that comes down to the question: what’s one’s policy towards the state of Israel? So what is the policy of Obama and Clinton? Is there any difference between them? JONATHN SCHELL, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST: I can’t really find any difference whatsoever between them. They, all three have, and Romney as well, really bought into the current consensus, which is one of really unreserved backing for the state of Israel. Obama, for instance, gave a speech to AIPAC, the very conservative Jewish lobbying organization here in the United States. And he said that he’d gone and visited one of the villages that had been struck by a Katusha rockets fired by the Palestinians and what a treasured moment that was for him, and he really sort of sealed an emotional bond with his audience that way. And I couldn’t find a single word expressing any regret for the suffering of the Palestinians, for example. Let me just give you a little quotation. This again is in an AIPAC speech: [text on screen] “And we can, then, more effectively deal with one of the greatest threats to the United States, Israel and world peace: Iran.” (Barack Obama, March 2, 2007, AIPAC Policy Forum.) So in other words you see really in a sort of light version the Bush policy of essentially approaching so-called rogue states or proliferators, yes, with diplomacy, yes, with words, yes, with getting together with leaders, and so on and so forth, but again, at the end of the day, you have the big stick, which will have just gotten bigger by 80,000 troops, to take care of the problem if that seems to be necessary. And once again the idea is no option should be taken off the table. As for McCain, you know, he chose to have a meeting with the Christians for Israel. Now, this is really a sort of very far-out group that is in love with these theories of the rapture or the end of the world, in which Israel is going to be converted to Christianity, and then Christ is going to come and rule the Earth and this kind of thing. But none of that crazy stuff deterred McCain from going and giving a speech to that group. But as far as policy goes, he’s probably pretty much the same as Bush, as Clinton before him, and Hillary, and Obama. So once again there’s not a great choice presented to the voters on these matters. DISCLAIMER: Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

Jonathan Schell

We deeply regret the passing of Jonathan Schell. We will do
everything possible to keep his life long mission for peace and
disarmament a central part of TRNN coverage.

Jonathan joined the board of TRNN in 2005, he was at our very
first board meeting, smiling ear to ear. Since that day he never
missed an opportunity to stress the importance of our work.

As a journalist and anti-war activist he condemned conflicts
from Vietnam to Iraq and warned of a nuclear holocaust in
terrifying detail in his prize-winning book, The Fate of the
Earth (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize).

He was a writer and journalist, Peace and Disarmament
Correspondent for The Nation magazine, a fellow at the Nation
Institute, visiting lecturer at the Yale Law School, and a staff
writer at The New Yorker magazine from 1967 to 1987. He was a
native of NY.

Schell's companion, Irena Gross, reported that Schell died of
cancer on Tuesday at their home in New York City.

Here is a link to his work with TRNN:
The Real News

The Nation Magazine:
The Nation