Controversial KPFK Programmer Ian Masters, on Sunday March 2, 2008, stirred up his Middle East listener critics once again with comments about Israel's extending from the Nile to the Euphrates.
Masters hosts long running Sunday morning talk shows at 11 a.m. and 12 noon called "Background Briefing" and "Live from the Left Coast." He has maintained a long running controversy with elements of the KPFK listening community arising from his openly expressed disdain for certain groups of people, notably those questioning Bush explanations of 911, and other KPFK programmers and listeners, and has frequently accused unnamed people of conspiracy to take him off the air.
On his web site, www.ianmaster.org ,Masters denies working for the CIA: "Although some of my less than rational detractors think that talking to ex-CIA officers means I work for the agency, let me assure you that I do not."
This statement does not deny possible association with other intelligence agencies, such as the State Department BIR.
He further states: "I attempt to have the public listen in on the best advice and input available in the world, information of a quality similar to that which the President would get in his daily briefing."
Master's web site proclaims, "Simply the finest public affairs radio program in the United States."
During the recent KPFK fund drive, he again raised listener concerns over his appeals for people to donate to his particular program, rather than to KPFK.
The latest incident began on the noon hour program with Masters beginning:
"Let's take a call from Jack in Orange County."
At 49 seconds into the attached program audio clip, the caller says:
". . .supposed . . .Jewish homeland that's supposed to stretch from the Nile to the Euphrates . . ."
Masters: "I don't know. "
"I have never heard of that, (laugh) going from Nile to the where, the Euphrates? (laugh)"
Prof. Theodore Lowe (guest): (laughter)
Masters: ". . .That's . . ."
"Nobody would possibly take that seriously."
"And I have never heard that before, have you?"
Listening critics and knowledgeable Middle East observers immediately said, "Huh?" The host of LA's "finest public affairs program" and provider of the top quality information that the President should get hasn't heard of the Nile and Euphrates boundaries of Israel?
Doesn't Masters listen to Don Bustante's "Middle East in Focus" on Wednesday at 8 p.m. on KPFK?
The Nile Euphrates boundaries come from Genesis 15:18-21 (New International Version), which states:
18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates-
19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,
20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,
21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.
Presumably the great river is the Nile. However, Bible translators, while consistently naming the Euphrates, have not called it the Nile.
This is basic scripture, not some obscure passage in Habakkuk, known only in graduate school seminars. This is primary source material of Israel's claim to the land. As part the Abrahamic covenant, it forms the basis of the Judeo/Christian religion and heritage. But see "The Myth of a Judeo-Christian Tradition" http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4803.htm
Genesis 15:18 has been in Genesis for some 2,500 years. During those 2,500 years, as part of the Jewish Torah and Christian Bible, scholars and readers have taken it very seriously. It's not something Theodor Herzl thought up. You can't blame it on John Hagee either. You would think Ian Masters would have heard about it by now.
Needless to say, in 2,500 years, this passage has generated an enormous literature with differences of opinion on what this scripture says about any particular time. Arabs claim that, as descendants of Abraham, the covenant includes them.
As part of the Torah, Torah respecting Jews throughout the world take this passage very seriously today. It creates a problem for many Jews agreeing to a Palestinian state. This passage lies at the core of the problem, and you can't solve a problem unless you understand it.
Experts are people who are supposed to know the primary source material on their subject. Ian flunks this test on the Middle East.