Clayton Swisher, working for Al Jazeera in Jerusalem, filed a new report on Israeli opinions of Obama yesterday. It is wonderful to see the model that Max Blumenthal and I recently began using to explain the Israeli mindset make it into mainstream press outlets. I hope to see more videos like this from Clayton during his stay.

Barack Obama, the US president, is getting ready to host Israeli and Palestinian leaders for a meeting he hopes might get peace talks started again. But Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has made his position clear, saying he will defend settlement expansion, which is the big sticking point. Al Jazeera’s Clayton Swisher has been out on the streets of Jerusalem to find out what Israelis think about Obama and his plans.

Below is a video about settlement opinion on the same streets as the one above. I made it with Antony Loewenstein and David Jacobus this past July.

With all the current rhetoric out of Washington regarding an Israeli settlement freeze in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, we wanted to gauge public opinion on the streets of Jerusalem on a sunny, Sunday afternoon last weekend. What we found was shocking but unsurprising. By Joseph Dana (www.josephdana.com) and Antony Loewenstein (www.antonyloewenstein.com).



  1. September 22, 2009 at 15:01

    The old hippie americans (and I am an old hippie myself) were pretty well the worst of the lot. They should know better than that, but ….

    I am no fan of Obummer, but the racism is beyond belief. Their worst insult was he is Muslim! The intolerance towards Arabs is appalling

    To those who think Zionism is just a sickness of the government, they should see more of these “on the street” interviews. OR read the comments in Ha’aretz!.

  2. Gillian Freeman said,

    September 22, 2009 at 16:29

    Why do people expect the situation to change the Israeli Govenment now the rabbis has encourage it and given it the right then you have the USA people who believe that they also have a right and say in who owes this country and so we will go to war and see how happy they will be then. The jews that have come to Israel are not born there many of them but they seem to ignore what is right and what is wrong as if they fear not being a member of a group and they seem to believe that the world goes along with that they are doing like spoilt children really. And they trust the USA to back them that is something I would not do.

  3. jagoda said,

    September 23, 2009 at 13:15

    All these ‘religious’ people, who believe that God gave them this lousy piece of land, do argue whether it is a sin to make a cup of tea on a Sabbath day, or push a button in an elevator as the whole Sabbath should be devoted to prayers; all these religious people who believe that no cars should be driven on a Sabbath day or parking space allowed in Jerusalem on a Sabbath day, – do not hesitate to drive tanks and fly bombers and kill innocent civilians on a Sabbath day.
    Actually, even so that it was written by rabbis, the bible never mentions Jahwe giving any land to Jews, as Jews did not exist in antiquity. None of the maps of the ancient world would have ‘Israel’ printed in. But Palestine is on every map of the ancient world. Jews are so illiterate that they are not able to read the bible or an atlas by themselves. They have to have it interpreted for them. Not many people know that there is an autonomous Jewish republic in Birobijan in Russia. It is the size of Switzerland, so all this bullshit about God given land one has to fight for and kill all the inhabitants, is beyond my comprehension. The state of Israel has been founded in the Middle East for one only purpose: to access and control oil and gas resources.
    But if God really thought about the Jews as ‘the chosen ones’ He would have promised them Canada or Amazonia, and not a piece of a desert.

  4. Aufzuleiden said,

    September 24, 2009 at 14:59

    In response to comment 3, Jagoda: if you want to sound authoritative in an argument regarding Israel you might want to sound less like a neophyte and more like someone with the ability to carry on a reasoned discussion. Your assertion that “even so that it was written by rabbis, the bible never mentions Jahwe giving any land to Jews, as Jews did not exist in antiquity[,]” does nothing but demonstrate your complete lack of knowledge regarding the Old Testament and the origins of Judaic/Christian history.

    The Old Testament was written by many writers, many of whom referred to the ‘promised land’, including Isaiah the Prophet and Moses. The ‘Jews’ were referred to as the Children of Israel, the Hebrews, the Children of God, Judahites, and a number of other things. The word Jew is a contraction of ‘Judahite’, referring to members of the tribe of Judah, or those people living in the Kingdom of Judah.

    I could go on, but it all boils down to this: your argument hinges on false information. The land was promised, the problem was, the Jews (under the leadership of Samuel, after the death of Moses) did not follow the instructions of the Lord and did not kill those who already inhabited the land. Now they want to do that which was not done over two-thousand years ago – which you cannot do. You have to live with the ramifications of one’s errors.

    That is the point. Not that the land was never given, but that the Jews living their today – not the ‘average Jew’, but the Zionist intent on fulfilling the scriptural destiny of the people – wants to claim their promised land. Sorry, that was offered a long time ago and you turned away then, you can’t have it now.

    Wie viel ist aufzuleiden!

%d bloggers like this: