Monday, July 03, 2006

Media Bias: Why is Israel to blame?

Once again the Arab-Israeli situation flares up in the Middle East. We've all grown used to seeing it in our news, and rarely do people seriously look at the events and the motives before them, instead using the situation to 'support' either side based on the prejudices they already have. Palestinian supporters cry that the Gaza incurison is morally unjustified and an act of "collective punishment"; Israeli supporters don't tend to understand why the IDF have stayed out of Gaza this long.

So what is the truth, assuming their can be an objective one? Most of the media is playing the standard anti-Israeli bias, with their message being if i summarise "Yes Israel was provoked, but its reaction is out of all proportion, unnecessary, aggressive, damaging to the peace process and designed not to get their soldier back but rather to extract revenge on the Palestinians, making their lives a misery".

One of the worst media offenders of ridiculous bias is the barely contained anti-semitism at UK Channel 4 News. Lets just have a look at this report (video link on this page), followed by an interview with presenter Jon Snow and the Israeli ambassador to the UK.

This 'special report' is billed as showing life in Gaza during the incursion. How Israelis view events, or how life is like in Israel during constant rocket attack or fear of suicide bombing, is of course uninteresting and irrelevant. Reporter Jonathan Miller first seeks the objective views of a Hamas guard on the bombing of a power station, with the guard saying of Israel “the only way they can get their way is by force". The staggering, breath-taking hypocrisy of this statement from a member of an armed terrorist organisation is gone unchallenged.

Miller than scours the Strip for more people who agree with his worldview. He finds someone in the form of a Palestinian whose roof has apparently collapsed from a sonic boom of Israeli aircraft, who says “I hope they get more of them" (them being kidnapped Israeli soldiers). Portrayed utterly unchallenged, the report barely stops short of at least sympathising with the kind of Palestinian terrorism that started all this.

It gets worse. We see a press conference by the Hamas prime minister, and it is reported “Ismael haniyeh had urged his people to remain patient and strong". Yes, the peace loving Palestinians must remain calm at this Israeli violence out of left field. Riiiiiiight. The report ends by commenting that "Gaza is running out of patience" , patience of course being something these "resilient people" have "abundance of".

If your stomach continues to have patience at this point, it will let rip its contents upon the floor after 'questioning' from Jon Snow of the Israeli ambassador, which goes something like this:

"...rockets, pretty pathetic things, nobody gets injured, home-made, and you well know they have nothing stronger than an AK-47 - an RPG - they have no weapons, and you're delivering some of the most sophisticated bombardment thats ever been subjected to a defenceless people. Is that an act of terror would you say?"

For viewers of course, the obvious answer is meant to be 'yes'. The Israeli argument that this is a response to constant rocket attack is dismissed effectively by saying that rocket attacks against innocent civilians mean nothing. The lack of casualties (and Snow shamelessly lies when he says no one gets hurt) is hardly a redeemer for the Palestinians. Yet, after two days of "sophisticated bombardment", just a single Palestinian is dead, which is less than the dead in the original kidnapping incident. Israel may indeed be trying to pressurise and intimidate, but with such a massive action causing so few casualties illustrates the extreme caution with which the IDF approaches this. This is no "act of terror".

The media stands blissfully unaware of the facts. The kidnapping of Cpl Gilad Shalit was the last straw of what amounts to almost a year of Palestinian terror originating from Gaza. With the proper background it hardly seems an overreaction.

Indeed, if I may say so, sympathy of the Palestinian cause can only result from a misunderstanding of the real situation. Some people, many of whom really should no better, are actually naive enough to believe, probably because of media spin, that there are really two 'wings' of Hamas - political and militant - and so are outraged when Israel arrests members of the Palestinian parliament. From top to bottom, from the lone guard in Miller's propaganda piece all the way up to the prime minister, Hamas is a terrorist organisation - a group which holds as its objective the destruction of Israel (and another media falsehood, that Hamas was about to sign a document with Fatah recognising Israel, is debunked simply by reading the document), which refuses totally to renounce violence, and whose grassroots members see the extinction of the Jewish people as being the will of Allah.

Many pundits often use the phrase "cycle of violence" to describe the middle east. This is a lie. The reality is Palestinian action and Israeli reaction. It is Palestinian terror followed by Israeli response which does its best to be humane under the most extreme and difficult circumstances and geography in the world (Gaza is of course the most densely populated area on earth - nothing can be done there which wouldn't effect everyone; it is not just punishment which is done collectively, inevitably and unavoidably everything is).

We all hope and pray this incident cools down and some resemblance of peace returns. We all hope Cpl Gilad Shalit is returned safely, no matter how unlikely that now appears. We all hope the Palestinians do not suffer excessively from Israeli efforts to rescue him and deal more widely with the situation. But equally, I sincerely think we should all also hope that this incident reveals the true nature of the conflict: a conflict which at its heart the Palestinians are to blame for, yet also a conflict which our enlightened media will use endlessly in its quest to unfairly smear Israel


At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The causes are rabid anti-semitism.

Case in point....Helen Thomas. I remember years ago, on round table when she and other journalists were asked about Ginsberg, then nominated to the supreme court. Typical liberal gushing, but Thomas's comment stood out in my mind, which was "Well, she's rich". And now this last tirade at the WH briefing (Tony Snow). Thomas made the same points, almost word for word, as Göbbels propaganda machine in the last months of WWII.

The Palestinians, and children in most of the middle east, are tought from Kindergarten to University, how evil and literally inhuman the "Jew" is. In everything from text books, to religious studies, to science, to "Romper Room" type television shows. The anti-semitism is blatant and believed.

The press, and our govts, should have nipped this in the bud decades ago. We did not and still will not, altho progress has been made in other places (Saudi Arabia, for example).

The Current Jihadists have their lineage back to WWII, when Himler using an old plan from Hydrich indoctrinated Chechnyan Muslims and organized them into a rebel force to fight Stalin. This lineage has evolved to embrace the left, and in return be embraced by it.

It is sad, that we have come to this. Because we have come to this, by keeping our eyes closed and not FACTUALLY evaluating the issues and groups...and not verifying where and how any aid was used by these groups.

In the '30s, Germany was one of the most civilized nations on Earth. If the horrors that proceeded to occur could happen there, we'd better damn sure wake up to the fact, that it has begun decades ago to happen in the US and in Israel herself (see the Amona vids on Aretz and the comments by the Olmer the Orthodox Jews worse than HAMAS). Wear a Star of David sometime, in Dearborn Michigan...and if you survive, then tell me that I am wrong.


At 5:56 PM, Blogger peter said...

we just published the video from the London Review of Books Israel lobby debate last week in NYC:

the debate included people from all sides of the fence.

it was a follow up debate to John Mearsheimer's much publicized article on "The Israel Lobby".



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