Media Critique #32 - Terror and the Media_.
The terror war has gone global. How does this media coverage affect Israel?
The media is filled with articles on the recent terror attacks in New York and Washington. Many themes revolve around Israel and the wider Middle East conflict. In writing letters to the editor, here are key points to incorporate:
a) There is a myth that radical Moslems are angry with America because of its association with Israel. In truth, as reported in The New York Times' profile of Bin Laden, "One Man and a Global Web of Violence," the global jihad is "against the corrupt secular governments of the Muslim Middle East and the Western powers that supported them." (January 14, 2001)
b) In enduring months of domestic terrorism, Israel has been saying that no other country would tolerate such a horrifying threat to the safety of its citizens. But international voices decried Israel's policies of pre-emptive defense. Now that the rest of the world better understands the problem, it will hopefully appreciate Israel's need to take measures to protect its citizens from Palestinian terror. Indeed, Israeli targeted killings will look tame compared to the expected American military response.
This situation is mindful of world condemnation when Israel destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981. Ten years later, when Western forces squared off against Saddam Hussein, there was great appreciation for Israel's foresight in eliminating the Iraqi nuclear threat.
c) According to a CBS poll, two-thirds of Americans think the U.S. should retaliate even if innocent people are killed. Contrast this to world reaction when Israel surgically eliminates Palestinian terrorists, and an innocent bystander is occasionally killed as well. Why is Israel subject to a double-standard?
d) The strategic bond between Israel and the U.S. will now be stronger than ever, as they join in fighting the common enemy of Islamic terrorist fanaticism, which seeks to replace democracy as the reigning world system.
e) Upon hearing the news of the American carnage, Palestinians rejoiced, danced and handed out candies. This information has been largely suppressed in the media due to Palestinian intimidation of journalists. In order to protect the cornerstone of democracy, freedom of the press, these images must be published, and the Palestinians must be exposed for seeking to deny the free flow of information. (more info below)
FISK STOOPS TO NEW LOWS
The horrors of the terrorism could not be rationalized. Or so we thought.
Robert Fisk of The Independent (UK) defied the civilized world and blamed Israel, America, and even the defeat of the Ottoman Empire for the WTC terrorist attack.
Fisk's September 12 column, "The Wickedness and Awesome Cruelty of a Crushed and Humiliated People," proclaimed: "...This is not the war of democracy versus terror that the world will be asked to believe in the coming days. It is also about American missiles smashing into Palestinian homes and US helicopters firing missiles into a Lebanese ambulance in 1996 and American shells crashing into a village called Qana and about a Lebanese militia paid and uniformed by America's Israeli ally hacking and raping and murdering their way through refugee camps."
"...America has bankrolled Israel's wars for so many years that it believed this would be cost-free. No longer so."
Fisk claims that there will be an "immoral" attempt to "obscure the historical wrongs and the injustices that lie behind yesterday's firestorms." Who is the immoral one here -- democracies such as the United States and Israel, or those who support the terrorists?
Fisk's column can be read online at:
THREE IMPORTANT COLUMNS
(1) After a two-month stint in Israel, The New York Times' Clyde Haberman returned to New York and the fury of the mega-terrorism. His September 12 column is required reading: "When the Unimaginable Happens, and It's Right Outside Your Window":M
"Do you get it now?"
"It is a question that many Israelis wanted to ask yesterday of America and the rest of the finger-pointing world. Not in a smart-alecky manner. Not to say, "We told you so." It was simply a question for those who, at a safe remove from the terrorism that Israelis face every day, have damned Israel for taking admittedly harsh measures to keep its citizens alive...
"In Israel, there is no such thing as six degrees of separation. In a country that small, two degrees is more like it. If you don't know a bombing victim personally, you almost surely know someone who does. You may safely bet that an extraordinary number of New Yorkers will have the same relationship to someone whose life was cruelly extinguished yesterday in Lower Manhattan."
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(2) Michael Gove - "The Spirit of Munich is Alive in the Middle East, The West should support democracy, not more concessions to terrorism" - The Times (UK), September 11
Gove warns: "The talks which the West demands that Israel continues to hold with the Palestinian Authority will only confer further legitimacy on a terrorist state. It is not just that Arafat's territory harbours terrorists. It IS terrorist. Militarily, culturally, spiritually..."
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(3) Michael Kelly - "When Innocents Are the Enemy" - The Washington Post, September 12
"Of all the uses of terror, none in the past several decades has been more faddishly popular (at least on the left), and none has been accorded more respectful media coverage, than that of the Palestinians. Yes, Palestinian terrorists and terrorists on behalf of the Palestinian cause murdered innocents -- but that was understandable, the argument went. The Palestinians had been wronged. They were oppressed. They were weak. What else could they do?"
...[T]he monstrous evil of Sept. 11... rose, with hideous logic, directly from the philosophy that the leaders and supporters of the Palestinian cause have long embraced and still embrace -- a philosophy that accepts the murder of innocents as a legitimate expression of a legitimate struggle. If it is morally acceptable to murder, in the name of a necessary blow for freedom, a woman on a Tel Aviv street, or to blow up a disco full of teenagers, or to bomb a family restaurant -- then it must be morally acceptable to drive two jetliners into a place where 50,000 people work. In moral logic, what is the difference? If the murder of innocent people is for whatever reason excusable, it is excusable; if it is legitimate, it is legitimate. If acceptable on a small scale, so too on a grand."
PALESTINIANS CELEBRATE THE TERROR
Upon hearing news of the WTC attacks, Palestinians in Beirut, Nablus and eastern Jerusalem rejoiced, danced and handed out candies.
But that's only part of the story.
Palestinian groups, including the Arafat-backed Tanzim and the Palestinian police, then used intimidation and violence to prevent journalists from distributing the photos and videos of these celebrations.
One cameraman was kidnapped and threatened with death if his footage was aired. Ahmed Abdel Rahman, Arafat's Cabinet secretary, said the Palestinian Authority "cannot guarantee the life" of the cameraman if the footage was broadcast. Armed Palestinians also trapped foreign photojournalists inside a Nablus hotel on September 11 while thousands took to the streets in celebration of the U.S. terror attacks.
According to Israeli Radio correspondent Danny Zaken, at least two news organizations had footage of the celebrations in Nablus and Ramallah that showed Palestinian policemen shooting joyfully in the air. Zaken reported that the news agencies refused to broadcast the material after senior officials in the Palestinian Authority contacted the heads of the news organizations, threatening the lives of news personnel and warning an end of access to PA sources if they broadcast the reports.
Obviously, since these images portray Palestinian affinity with the fervently anti-American tactics of the WTC terrorists, they greatly damage the Palestinian cause in the eyes of the world.
Asked for his reaction to the pictures of celebrating Palestinians, Secretary of State Colin Powell told Fox News, "It is a searing image in my mind."
Did your TV station and newspaper show the despicable scenes of Palestinian celebration? Or did they succumb to intimidation?
We encourage you to contact local editors and producers, and demand that they show the videos and publish the photographs. Refer to Yahoo's photo gallery of Palestinian celebrations at:
A full list of U.S. newspapers is online at:
A list of major media contacts is online at:
Visit the following links for more documentation of Palestinian celebrations:
Beirut Daily Star
Salon.com - "Rejoicing in the streets of Jenin"
Even the Guardian (UK), the stalwart supporter of all things Palestinian, led its article ("Palestinian Joy -- Global Condemnation") with this:
"Palestinian gunmen at refugee camps in Lebanon fired into the air in celebration yesterday as the rest of the world united in revulsion at the 'monstrous' and 'abhorrent' attacks in the US. In East Jerusalem, people distributed sweets wrapped in the colours of the Palestinian tricolour and sounded car horns."