CNN: Return of Netanyahu Brings Scary ‘Right-Wing Government’

News & Politics

The term “right-wing” has become a slur the liberal media sling around to describe politics they don’t like in an attempt to turn off the public to right-of-center politics. As an example, just look at how CNN reporter and fill-in anchor Sara Sidner chose to talk about the return of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister, during Thursday’s CNN Newsroom.

Coming back from a commercial break, Sidner announced that “18 months after being ousted from power, Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as prime minister for the sixth time” and warned viewers that he would bring with him “Israel’s most right-wing government in its history.” An obvious talking point circulating in the industry since CBS used a very similar string of words.

And to back-up her doomsaying, Sidner noted that “thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the swearing-in ceremony to protest his return to office.”

Reporter Elliott Gotkine built off of Sidner, adding that the protesters were “concerned about the erosion of Israel’s democratic values.” He followed up with non-specific and unsupported claims that minorities and LGBTQ folks would be targets for discrimination:

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Concerns there will be fewer checks and balances on this government. Worried about the potential for discrimination against minorities including the LGBTQ community. And generally worried what this government might actually do if they do some of the things that some of its members have been advocating for.

We also had protests this evening with LGBTQ protesters blocking the main highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. That’s now been cleared.

And to paint an image of Netanyahu supposedly cracking down on dissent like an authoritarian, Gotkine reported that members of Israel’s parliament were expelled from the chamber for heckling him during an address:

But when Netanyahu spoke this morning, we also saw protests inside the Knesset. And at least five or six members of the Knesset – the parliament here – were physically ejected from the Plenum for heckling Netanyahu.

In reality, the Knesset has rules of decorum and those members were breaking them. The United States Congress has such rules and they’re enforced similarly.

But Gotkine seemed to be only able to play along with Sidner for so long. He eventually gave way to admitting that “in recent days” Netanyahu has been publicly stating his policies “to assuage people’s concerns,” including those about discrimination:

He has in recent days said, look, the buck stops with him. There’s not going to be any discrimination against any minority group in Israel. He’s also said for the plans for this government that were published on Wednesday that there will be no change to the status quo, for example, at Temple Mount – as it’s known to Jews or al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf as it’s known to Muslims – where Jews are not allowed to pray.

There were concerns because some members of his government have advocated changing the status quo that that would be government policy. It is not.

“And certainly, for now, Sara, the Biden administration is giving this government the benefit of the doubt,” he added, telling Sidner that President Biden called Netanyahu a “friend” he’s had for “decades.”

Gotkine concluded by paraphrasing Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and saying they “will judge this new Israeli government by its policies, not by its personalities.” Sidner did not seem amused.

This use of “right-wing” as a slur by CNN was made possible because lucrative sponsorships from Colonial Penn and CarShield. Their contact information is linked.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN Newsroom
December 29, 2022
2:37:41 p.m. Eastern

SARA SIDNER: Today, in Israel, 18 months after being ousted from power, Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as prime minister for the sixth time of what is likely to be Israel’s most right-wing government in its history. Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the swearing-in ceremony to protest his return to office.

Journalist Elliott Gotkine is in Jerusalem. Elliott, give us some idea how people are responding to this?

ELLIOTT GOTKINE: Sara, well, we saw some of the response with those protesters outside. A couple of thousand people, earlier today, concerned about the erosion of Israel’s democratic values. Concerns there will be fewer checks and balances on this government. Worried about the potential for discrimination against minorities including the LGBTQ community. And generally worried what this government might actually do if they do some of the things that some of its members have been advocating for.

We also had protests this evening with LGBTQ protesters blocking the main highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. That’s now been cleared.

But when Netanyahu spoke this morning, we also saw protests inside the Knesset. And at least five or six members of the Knesset – the parliament here – were physically ejected from the Plenum for heckling Netanyahu.

But he did get a chance to outline his priorities. Things like preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons, boosting Israel’s security, lowering house prices, boosting public transport, and expanding the Abraham Accords to make peace with other Arab countries.

He didn’t specify some other things he’s been saying in recent days to assuage people’s concerns. He has in recent days said, look, the buck stops with him. There’s not going to be any discrimination against any minority group in Israel. He’s also said for the plans for this government that were published on Wednesday that there will be no change to the status quo, for example, at Temple Mount – as it’s known to Jews or al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf as it’s known to Muslims – where Jews are not allowed to pray.

There were concerns because some members of his government have advocated changing the status quo that that would be government policy. It is not.

And certainly for now, Sara, the Biden administration is giving this government the benefit of the doubt. We heard earlier from President Biden. He put out a statement earlier saying, “I look forward to working with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has been my friend for decades.” Adding: “to jointly address the many challenges and opportunities facing Israel and Middle East region including threats from Iran.”

And we’ve of course heard from Secretary of State Anthony Blinken the other day saying, look the will judge this new Israeli government by its policies not by its personalities. Sara.

SIDNER: Elliott Gotkine, thank you for that reporting.

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