60 Minutes was the #6 most watched show of the entire week that ended on Sunday. Think about that: in a country that seems addicted to reality shows and dancing with stars, 60 Minutes ruled the airwaves on the very week it defied the Israeli government and ran Bob Simon’s segment on Palestinian Christians.
And now we learn that Prime Minister Netanyahu himself was involved in the effort to suppress the CBS show.
How amazing. Isn’t it enough that the United States provides Israel with $3.5 billion in aid, that we repeatedly use our veto in its behalf at the U.N., and that, for Netanyahu, we have made Iranian nuclear development the most significant international issue in the world? We may even wind up going to war because Netanyahu will not be denied.
Isn’t that enough? No. The right-wing Israeli government wants to control what we see on television. And what we read. And who teaches our kids in college.
In every venue in which public opinion is formed the Israeli government and/or its lobby (AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, the ADL, the Federations, the Jewish Council On Public Affairs, etc) are there to monitor and enforce.
Ambassador Oren’s performance on 60 Minutes might have been the lobby’s Murdochgate moment: the moment in which we see the lobby operating in broad daylight and the edifice starts crashing down.
Who knows? But I’ll say this. 60 Minutes on Sunday did more damage to the lobby than any institution or development in 40 years. Not even the AIPAC spying indictments hurt like this. And that is why virtually every single organization that together constitute the lobby has spoken out in fury. Here is the latest from the Anti-Defamation League. It doesn’t make much sense but it demonstrates the rage. This was not supposed to happen.