Mohamed Khodr’s Column
“In the world according to U.S. Media, the high moral ground in the Middle East belongs to Israels governmenteven when it slaughters Lebanese civilians as a matter of policy..Israels most crucial allies include the mass media of the United States. Together with top officials in Washington, news outlets keep reinforcing the assumption that the Israeli government can do little wrong.”
Norman Solomon and Jeff Cohen in “The Wizards of Media Oz”
A Divinely revealed fact accepted by humanity throughout history is that there are two sides to every story. However, the exception to this rule has been the Zionist success in limiting the story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a purely—Zionist “monologue” in Americas mass media. Through words and pictures the American public has been inundated with an organized well financed public relations campaign that ensures Americans only see Israels viewpoint. Realizing that American opinion is molded and influenced by our media it was only natural that Israel and its protagonists sought to dominate the word and airwaves. More important than Israels military victories against the Arabs is Israels victory in its image and public relations war against its antagonists. Such a campaign victory ensures the ongoing Israeli support among Americas public and politicians that have resulted in billions of dollars, weapons, and vetoes. The end result of this overpowering media campaign has been the total silence, intimidation, and submission of our nation to the will of Israel and Americas Jewish and Christian Zionist community. It is a shame and a stain on our history and legacy that such a small powerful minority manipulates the worlds greatest superpower into becoming a financier, supplier, and protector of Israel to the detriment of our credibility, leadership, moral values, and our own national interests. George Washington warned this nation against a “Passionate Attachment” to a foreign nation that in the end can be a threat to our own national security. America, we have a choice in this “land of the brave”we can tell Israel to “let our people go” or forever hold our peace.
In this article I hope to demonstrate how our medias blind support and acceptance of Israels views results in a homogeneous ad nauseum use of standard cliches regardless of the papers ideology. In Epidemiology this is described as a common source outbreak, an epidemic of words that arise from a single source. This single source of words for our media is usually the Israeli government, our government, or powerful Jewish lobbying organizations such as the American Israeli Public Action Committee (AIPAC), or the American Jewish Congress, or the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), or the Jewish Defense League.
In the American media there is no free speech when it comes to Israel. Opposing opinions to the “Israel only dogma” are not tolerated or accepted. Americans, including Jews or Arabs, who oppose our national subservience to Israel do not appear in our papers or on Television. Fortunately the Internet has provided many of us with an outlet.
During this Palestinian Intafada Americans are only exposed to the aftermath of Palestinian bombs but do not see the devastation a superpower like Israel unleashes against Palestinian civilians.
I have chosen quotes from major papers across the country to support my contention that our media tows Israels line regardless of truth and without any independent investigation or verification. The issue deals with Sharons victory. Notice the similarity of words that blame Arafat and the Palestinian “violence” for Sharons victory and for Arafats refusal of Baraks “generous concessions” for peace.
Heres how it potentially begins a day before the Israeli election.
This week’s election was not so much a referendum on the peace process as a plebiscite on violence. The Palestinian uprising, now in its fifth month, has deepened that sense of insecurity among Israelis that is never far below the surface. Barak labored throughout the violence of recent months to keep the peace process alive,
Sharon won because he promised to revive Israel’s fighting spirit, which once united Israelis left and right. By offering escalating concessions to Yasser Arafat even as Palestinian attacks increased, Ehud Barak seemed to be surrendering not only territory but the nation’s will.
BOSTON GLOBE EDITORIAL: FEBRUARY 7
Israeli voters have used the ballot to punish Barak for bringing renewed conflict instead of peace, for stripping away common illusions about what Israel could keep of its military conquests. Barak said of Sharon that he was ”almost personally the dominant figure in every blunder that we have got into in the last generation.”
DETROIT NEWS EDITORIAL: FEBRUARY 7
the loser in this election.is the Oslo Accords and the concept that if only enough concessions were given to the Palestinian Authority, there would be peace.It has become quite clear that no matter how much is conceded, Mr. Arafat will demand more. The mass of voters in the center of the Israeli political spectrum have come, at last, to realize this.
Many U.S. Jews say Arafat is responsible for Sharon’s sudden popularity because the Palestinian leader rejected peace proposals made by outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Barak and supported the new Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule.
”The people of Israel have said very clearly that they do not believe Yasser Arafat is serious about peace and they are worried about their personal safety,” said Kenneth Bricker, spokesman for the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, the chief U.S. lobby for Israel.
With Mr. Sharon, the onus shifts to the Palestinians to demonstrate a willingness to negotiate. Favoring bloodshed, they spurned Mr. Barak’s grand concessions and willingness to talk. Now they must deal with someone whose readiness for violence could be their match.
Yasir Arafat unwisely spurned Mr. Barak’s proposals and then encouraged a Palestinian uprising against Israel. That revolt doomed Mr. Barak’s peace policy and assured Mr. Sharon’s electoral triumph.
The American Jewish leadership was quick to express support for Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon. It also urged the US administration to pay attention to the election results, which it claims show that Israelis are unhappy with the direction of the current peace process. (notice lobbying pressure on Bush)
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations released a statement less than an hour after the polls closed congratulating Sharon and calling on the US and Israel to strengthen relations. “The enhancing of moral, political, and strategic ties between the US and Israel has never been more important to the interests of both countries,” it said. (again lobbying pressure)
Anti-Discrimination League national director Abraham Foxman and national chairman Glen Tobias released a joint statement just minutes after Sharon was reported to be leading in the exit polls. “The people of Israel have spoken,” they wrote. “Amidst the backdrop of ongoing Palestinian violence in the streets and intransigence at the negotiating table, Israelis have chosen Ariel Sharon as prime minister to guide Israel’s security and peace process policy.”
Rabbi Marc Schneier, President of the New York Boards of Rabbis, said “Yasser Arafat elected Sharon,” he said. “I believe that the American Jewish community, like the Israeli people, is disillusioned, disenchanted, and disgusted with Arafat’s unwillingness to make peace.”
From London.Board of Deputies President Jo Wagerman called on the Palestinians “to refrain from further violence.”
In the news reports from Israel, it is often said that about 400 people have been killed in the recent violence and that most of them have been Palestinians. The breakdown supposedly goes like this: 350 Palestinians, 50 Israelis. Why, then, did Israelis overwhelmingly vote for Ariel Sharon, a hard-liner, a right-winger and the scourge of the Arabs? Don’t they know the numbers?
Indeed they do. They know that most of the Palestinians were killed in fights they picked with Israeli soldiers. This is not the time to get into an argument over appropriate force and whether Israel should be condemned for responding to rocks with bullets. (Israel has been condemned by the United Nations, United States and every Human Rights Organization for excessive force) Arafat did little to stop the almost-daily murder of a Jew. (In actuality, the average is 3-4 Palestinians killed a day with 1 Jew killed every 3 days)
For over four months, Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been on the front lines of a guerrilla war, enduring sniping attacks, drive-by shootings and roadside bombings. (no mention of Palestinian victims)
One of Sharon’s closest advisers and supporters, Raanan Gissin, said: ”If they want to negotiate they have to stop the violence. Israelis are fed up with being suckers.”
Palestinians, too, have retreated, turning to attack mode by updating the 1980s-style intifada into street violence that now uses guns as well as stones. With only a smidgen of democracy under Yasser Arafat, violence is about all they have to express their resentments – against both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Both sets of peoples came oh-so close to a peace deal under Prime Minister Ehud Barak last year. He courageously broke Israeli taboos by offering concessions on Jerusalem and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. (Barak never offered “right of return” and Jerusalem concessions still meant Israeli sovereignty)
His (Sharons) campaign rhetoric may have included peace, but it was the Palestinians’ bloody, four-months-and-counting rebellion that got Sharon elected
Mr. Sharon’s provocation provided a catalyst for protests that eventually turned violent, with both sides using excessive force. (how can one compare Apache helicopters and tanks to stones and rifles)
The Arab nations shouldn’t aggravate matters by making the controversial right-wing politician an excuse for war…The last time Mr. Sharon made big headlines was in September. His visit to a disputed holy site in Jerusalem gave Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat an excuse to interrupt the peace talks with Israel with a new violent rebellion..War won’t get the Palestinians the sovereign state of their dreams.
Israelis on the right and left say Yasser Arafat is the one who brought Ariel Sharon to power, and it is hard to disagree. The Palestinian leader saw nothing wrong with waging a rebellion while talking peace, but objected when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak used the same tactic fighting back militarily while offering him better terms for a final settlement than any of his predecessors.
In rejecting Barak’s historic concessions over the future of the West Bank and Jerusalem, Arafat set in motion a new wave of violence.
Israelis are tired, and desperate for peace. But they are a brave people and they don’t like to be played for fools. Barak’s cowering response to Palestinian violence, rebuffs and insultswas more than Israelis could take. Barak’s final legacy is to have made Sharon prime minister. Barak’s accomplice in this, of course, was Arafat. (Krauthammer is a Jewish Columnist supporter of the extreme right Likud party in Israel who has defamed Islam and Arabs frequently. Israel is desperate for peace by rejecting for 52 years dozens of UN Resolutions and any mediation for peace including Americas)
Barak put everything on the table. He told the Palestinians they could have their own state on almost all of the West Bank and Gaza, and even part of Jerusalem, if they agreed to a lasting peace. The Palestinians said no, and thereby helped elect the very man they most despise in Israeli political life. The crucial voters who swung
from Barak to Sharon want both security and peace. After the new Palestinian violence, they’ll settle for security. (Mr. Dionne is Catholic. Why would the Palestinians, the Arab and Islamic world reject Baraks “everything on the table” if indeed he offered everything? Even the Israeli press rejects this notion.)
Every country has the right to make its own decisions through the democratic process and attempts to subvert those decisions by violence or threats of violence by neighbors should not be acceptable. That is the message the administration of George W. Bush should convey. (again pressure on Bush)
Our medias Pro-Israel “monologue” deprives America of truth and deprives both the Israelis and Palestinians who want to live in peaceful co-existence the opportunity to reach a just and final solution. As long as Israel is ensured of our medias support and its impact on our nation and government, Israel has no incentive to reach peace. Our contrived “Passionate Attachment” to Israel maybe fatal to our health in the long term.
Common Zionist themes repeated in our pro-Israel media that are ALL LIES:
Israel accepted the 1947 partition of Palestine but the Palestinians rejected it. The Palestinian refugees fled Palestine at the orders of the Arab armies.
Israel was attacked the day after independence by 6 Arab armies who outnumbered Israels army to destroy the Jewish State.
Arabs have attacked Israel in 5 wars.
Israel is a small, besieged, democratic and civilized nation surrounded by Arab hate with a fanatical Islam out to destroy it.
Israel is our only friend and strategic ally in the Middle East that shares our religious and moral values.
Arabs simply cannot accept a Jewish state amongst them and thus Israel is forever defending itself against Arab attacks.
Arab textbooks teach hatred for the Jews.
Islam does not respect the Judeo-Christian tradition.
What the Palestinians cannot get at the negotiating table they think they can achieve with Violence.
Israel does respect UN Resolutions. It abided by UN Resolution 425 and withdrew from Lebanon.
You cannot trust Arabs or their words.
Arafat is following the example of the Prophet of Islam by breaking agreements.
Israel simply wants to live in peace and security in a hostile region.
Any violence in the region is begun by the Arabs.
Iraq and Iran are a threat to Israel and America and only Israel stands in their way.
Israels and Americas interest in the Middle East are the same.
Israel is not legally or morally responsible for Palestinian refugees.
Israel considers the United Nations and all its agencies along with the rest of the world, excluding the U.S., as biased and Anti-Semitic.
An excellent site for those who are seeking the truth of the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is below. It is written by “Jews for Justice in the Middle East “http://www.cactus48.com/truth.html
Mr. Mohamed Khodr is an American Muslim physician and a native from the Middle East. He has worked in Academic Medicine and Public health with national and international health experience. He is a freelance writer who often writes columns on the Palestinian cause, Islam and on America’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East. He lives in the Washington DC area.