Times of Israel..
11 June ’12..
Consider this lofty statement on media conduct from Jovial Rantao, the editor of The Sunday Independent in Johannesburg:
Credibility is the lifeblood of our profession. Without it we are nothing. Without it, not one person will believe a single word that we write. One of the basic tenets of our profession is to ensure that the credibility of the information we gather…is unquestionable.” (Editor of a newspaper group)
If you follow a clutch of anti-Israel titles, including Guardian, the Times of London, The New York Times, and the BBC, you will know that the statement is wrong. Their Middle East reporters and correspondents care not a jot for credibility of information. Yet they are believed. What accounts for this anomaly?
The answer lies in something the statement failed to consider. Journalists not only report news, they also make news, or at the very lease participate in making news.
Before illustrating how they do that, we have to understand that a journalist can function in two different ways:
- 1. He can faithfully report what he observed and heard.
- 2. Alternatively, he can insert “attitude” in the report, allowing it to color, embellish or even create a story.
The first journalist is the one Rantao’s statement had in mind – the guy without attitude. There are no personal judgements in his report, no inclination to share feelings, and no desire to influence readers to share his feelings. The second journalist would do all of those things.
To illustrate both types, here are two reports on war. They are different wars in different periods, one in Afghanistan, the other in Libya. But we are interested in contrasting reporting styles, not their contexts. The first report was filed by Christian Lowe of Reuters.
The pattern of Nato airstrikes on Tripoli indicates that the alliance is trying to reduce Gaddafi’s ability to defend himself at the moment when his opponents, who for the time being are underground, decide to rise up.”
The credibility of the information is unquestionable, and the report meets the lofty statement of conduct.
Here’s the second report, again from a war zone, filed by Robert Fisk of Independent.
Sure it was a bad place for a car to break down. But what happened to us was symbolic of the hatred and fury and hypocrisy of this filthy war.
We at once know that we’re reading no observational report. Whatever purpose the writer may have, it’s not to report news. He conveys a personal attitude while not admitting to his attitude. He could equally have written, “I hate this war,” which would be stating a bald fact, not about events, but concerning his attitude toward events. We would know that he personally disapproved of the war, while not finding ourselves drawn into sharing his disapproval.
That’s clearly not the case here. The reporter, in the grip of strong emotion, gives us the benefit of his judgment and forces us to share that judgement. He hates war and so must we. The purpose of journalism of this type is quite different from journalism intended to relay a story.
The cases to follow might not be so obviously and nakedly emotional, yet all belong to the second type of journalism. They want us to share the writer’s feelings. More than reporting news, they make the news.
The case of grammar
Two Reuters reports, on the same day, deal quite differently with an act by Islamic pirates on the one hand and a US military operation on the other. We may call the first the passive case and the other the active case.
Under the headline “Achille Lauro mastermind in custody,” we read:
[Abu] Abbas is the leader of the Palestine Liberation Front, which highjacked the Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean, resulting in the death of a disabled elderly American man, Leon Klinghoffer.
Observe the passive case: “resulting in the death” – as if by some regrettable accident. In the film “The Pianist,” there’s a scene where Nazi troops storm into a Jewish apartment and order the family to its feet. The wheelchair-bound grandfather is unable to rise, so the Nazis carry him in the chair out to the balcony and dump both into the street far below. Change the apartment into a ship and the street into the sea and you have what took place on board the Achille Lauro. Abu Abbas (not to be confused with PA President Mahmoud Abbas) and his band carried the elderly man in his wheelchair to the ship’s side and dumped both overboard
Reuters not only omits these facts but alludes to a regrettable and unintended accident. And there is a further attempt to influence our opinions. The victim was “an elderly American man.” In fact he was an elderly Jew, which the very reason that Abbas and his band selected him to be murdered. They identified him as a Jew. Reuters did not want us to know this.
In the same wire service we read:
A senior US military officer said…he would launch an investigation into the killing by US soldiers of an Iraqi boy…
We may observe here the active case, “killing by American soldiers…” While the Islamic act leads (softly) to the death of a man, the act of Americans is a violent one, to kill.
The case of cauliflower man
What would it take for news of someone killed by a bulldozer to make the front page, not of a tabloid, but of a broadsheet for the serious-minded? And what would be the chance of this event making the front page if it happened in a distant country? To lengthen the odds, what if the story had no corpse to show for it? To make the odds even longer, what if the victim was no celebrity or VIP, but an ordinary citizen?
Yet it all came together, in Independent. Justin Huggler’s story was about how citizen Salem met his end.
Why was Mr. Salem front-page news? For one thing, he was a Palestinian. For another, he was a victim of Israel. Who was it who told Justin Huggler the story? The dead man’s son and daughter.
“Old” – that was the first adjective to stir emotions for the dead man. He was old. While on this tack, what more to wring out of the tragedy? What deeper emotion to plumb? On top of being old, the victim was deaf. Who said so? The son, Maher Salem, and the daughter said so.
“What more can you tell me about your old and deaf father?” we can almost hear the reporter ask, stirred to the full, and Salem jr., in full stride by now, discloses a poetic turn of mind. He relates how his father’s head had been flattened to the dimensions of a chocolate bar. On this, he was exact. His father’s head was no more than two centimeters thick, after Israeli bulldozers had flattened him in the house.
Here’s a story for mass outrage, told by the victim’s children, testified by no mortuary or grave containing the remains of the vegetative father; without so much as a document that there had been a father, in vegetable form or human.
The great hoax massacre
To advance from a sham murder to a hoax massacre. The great Jenin hoax is infamous enough to be familiar. It will illustrate the journalist who does not wait for news to happen, but makes it himself. The results were spectacular and went full circle: a scoop story, fame for the reporter, embarrassment, the most indelicate of retractions, and oblivion.
On April 16, 2002, Independent covered the front page with a story headlined “Silence of the Dead.” In font size, the headline equalled headlines for 9/11, reserved for news that changes the course of history.
“A monstrous war crime that Israel has tried to cover up ..has finally been exposed,” wrote Phil Reeves. He was on the spot, treading the ‘nuclear wasteland’ which had been the Jenin refugee camp, assailed by the ‘sweet and ghastly reek of rotting bodies.’ Killing fields; systematic and deliberate savagery: detestation of Zionists oozed from every word. The harangues of a pogrom-bent street mob set the reporter’s tone. And how Reeves forces us to share his hatred!
“It was impossible not to remember the lies and propaganda,” he wrote, ironically anticipating his own exposure as a liar and propagandist. But Hollywood could not have bettered the production, ‘Massacre in Jenin.’ The ghastly reek effects were obtained with animal carcasses, the phantasmal credits shared among complicit UN officials and Palestinian leaders.
But the finale was quite unlike Hollywood. It was muted, underplayed, and self-deprecating. The anti-Israel movement, in a hurry to move on to the next Zionist crime, scanned the vague, almost wistful apology tucked away on some inside page. Phil Reeves owned up. His scoop story was ‘highly personalized.’ (‘Personalized’ = driven by my personal feelings towards Israeli Jews.) He went on:
“It was clear that the debate over the awful events in Jenin four months ago is still dominated by whether there was a massacre, even though it has long been obvious that one did not occur.” (Meaning, ‘Israelis would not oblige so I produced their crime, which is no more than my job entailed.
Strange Murder Cases
Fabricating Israeli crimes is not the only way journalists can make news. In the first case we look at how Reuters and the BBC made news by inserting their own interpretations in the report.
Murder of a telephone booth
In April 2011, a bomb in a telephone booth went off by Jerusalem’s bus station. Reporting it, Reuters found it necessary to explain terminology. Although Israelis might see it as a ‘Terrorist Attack,’ explained Reuters, others might not see it the same way.
“Police described the explosion as a “terrorist attack” — Israel’s term for a Palestinian strike.”
A unique and grotesque way, you might think, of reporting a bomb that killed a woman and injured many pedestrians.
What exactly did Reuters have in mind? Think if it had reported the London bus bombings with the same formula: ‘Police described the explosions as a ‘terrorist attack’-Britain’s term for an Al Qaeda strike.’
What did Reuters hope to gain? First, it’s protecting a patent right. Israelis must on no account usurp the role of victim; the victim patent is held by the Palestinians, a most valuable and jealously-guarded right. A terror attack claims innocent victims, a strike does not. The whole narrative would be turned on its head should Israelis start being the victims of terror attacks. ‘Palestinians are the oppressed people – remember!’
Secondly, the euphemism, ‘strike,’ in place of, ‘terror attack,’ is carefully chosen. This too supports the narrative which Reuters wants to instill. ‘Strike’ is softer than ‘attack,’ and infinitely more so than ‘terror attack.’ It is not so hostile or so deadly. Palestinians do not attack –Israel does that. Palestinians, remember, are the oppressed people!
Another thing. ‘Strike’ conveys a normal military operation. Just like Israel, as a nation with a right to defend itself, so the Palestinians are a nation with the same right. Reuters conveys that one nation may strike another. A bomb to kill pedestrians at a bus station is one method of striking; hitting Hamas combatants as they fire rockets into Israeli towns is another way to strike. Both methods are part of the conflict – the ‘cycle of violence.’ Reuters, we see, is not merely reporting, it is conditioning news – packaging it in appropriate shape and form to keep the plot tidy.
To learn something different from the same case, look to the BBC: ‘Deadly bombing targets Jerusalem bus stop.’
This too is a formula, though different from Reuters.’ We are to understand that the bomb was not targeted at people. No – its target was a bus stop, an object fixed on the side of the road. Clearly the BBC has the same object in mind as Reuters: Israelis must on no account usurp the role of victim. Better the victim be a bus stop.
Knife murders family
Another real story now allows one to watch the reporter as he goes through the process of making the news. He starts off blaming a knife for the murder of three siblings and their parents (the Fogel family).
The murder of three siblings and their parents is blamed on a knife. Who blamed the knife? Time magazine’s Karl Vick blamed the knife for slitting throats and almost decapitating a toddler. “The murder by knife of three children,” writes Vick. The knife did it. Palestinians don’t kill children in their beds, knives do that. And the Fogels were not a family, they were ‘settlers.’ By using the impersonal and passive voice, Time Magazine takes Palestinians safely away from the horror.
“The slaughter did not eradicate the family,” Vick goes on. Now he decides that a knife is too inanimate an object for a credible murderer; he is prepared to own that something, or someone, called ‘The Slaughter’ did the deed. The murderer went by the name of ‘The Slaughter’. But he is still not sure whether The Slaughter is to be given human shape and form. “The means of entry into the settlement,” he writes, reverting to the impersonal voice.
We can understand Vick’s problem: ‘The Slaughter’s means of entry’ – not right at all! Only near the end of his report will he concede that humans might have perpetrated the horror. Still, he steadfastly keeps Palestinians away from it. The murders were done by ‘attackers.’ As to that he says, “the identity of the attackers remains unknown.”
Like Reuters and the BBC, the agenda of Time Magazine is not to muddy the plot; Palestinians may not be cast as murderers. They are the oppressed people – remember!
The melting pot
A popular and effective media device is to throw Israeli deeds into the pot with Palestinian deeds. What comes out of the pot is a tasty porridge given the name, ‘cycle of violence.’
It offers two benefits. One, acts of Palestinian barbarism can be softened or hidden altogether; and two, Israelis can be paired with this barbarism to impart the idea of both sides in the slime pit together.
There are many cases to draw on for the melting pot trick. I choose three, for their clarity or horrendous details. The first case deals with the execution of an Israeli child in her bed.
We know the reporter, Phil Reeves, producer of the Great Hoax Massacre. The headline Reeves chooses foreshadows what he will do with the story. The headline refers to aggression by Israel. We have to read through four columns on Israeli ‘offensives’ before coming, near the end, to a casual reference to a five year-old shot in front of her mother. “And so,” Reeves concludes, “the cycle of violence goes around.”
Into the slime pit he throws both: the Palestinian ‘militants’ who were killed in armed conflict, and a child executed in bed, in front of the mother. I say no more about the porridge Reeves has dished out.
Here Associated Press (AP) is caught playing another version of the ‘melting pot trick.’
In January 2002 there were two incidents on the same day:
1. A militant sprayed a machine-gun on Jews shopping for the Sabbath in downtown Jerusalem
2. The IDF found a bomb factory in the West Bank, and in a shoot-out killed the Hamas bomb-makers operating it.
Throwing the two incidents into one pot AP produces the headline: “Israel kills 4, Palestinian wounds 8.”
Observe: Jews are first to be thrown into the common pot, their act being worse – they killed. The Palestinian goes into the pot next – he does no more than wound people. Let us again simulate. If AP reported a WW II story it would headline it: British forces kill 4 SS men, SS men wound 8 camp inmates. Then the British would weigh in heavier than the SS on the scale of evil. Hail AP and its mess of porridge!
For a third case take the act of slitting the throats of a three-month old baby, two toddlers and their parents. The LA Times throws the atrocity into the pot and out comes the cycle of violence.
We’re currently witnessing the cycle in real time. On Saturday, five members of an Israeli family living in the West Bank settlement of Itamar were killed, including an 11-year-old boy, a 4-year-old boy and an infant girl, presumably by Palestinian militants. In response to this brutal tragedy, the Israeli government announced that it would build 500 more houses in existing settlements in the West Bank… Which is worse – stabbing children to death or building new houses in West Bank settlements? The answer is obvious. But that’s not the point. The point is that no matter how abhorrent the murders are, it serves no purpose to aggravate the provocation that led to them in the first place.
In other words the murder of a family is a predictable response to the provocation of building houses. Here’s a typical resort to excusing the murder of Israeli Jews. Anti-Zionists brought it into play for 9/11, claiming that it was brought on by America’s provocation in supporting Israel. Provoke Al Qaeda by supporting a country it hates and that’s what you get – 3 000 innocents consigned to a fiery death. America, claimed anti-Zionists, brought 9/11 on itself.
So with the LA Times; build houses where Palestinians hate houses to be built and that’s what comes of it – a family slaughtered like sheep. Israel brought this on itself. Observe, into the melting pot go the deeds of both sides: slitting throats and building of houses. They’re ‘tit-for-tat’ action and reaction. In the slime pot where evil cooks there is no difference between the two: houses = slaughter.
Karl Vick of ‘Time Magazine’ is another adherent of the formula: houses = slaughter. But he brings more categories into the formula. “Events,” he writes “lurched forward with something very like vengeance.” And he itemises Israel’s acts of vengeance:
1) Israel’s condemnation of the murder; 2) Israel’s approval of more home construction; 3) Israel’s complaint to the UN; 4) Israel’s fundraising for the surviving children; 5) Israel’s call on Palestinian leaders to stop promoting violence.
Therefore: slaughter of parents + children = fundraising = complaint = house construction = …
The media was not happy when Israel considered banning reporters who hitched a ride on the flotilla to Gaza. Journalists took to the high seas with activists and celebrities to ‘break Israel’s blockade’ of Gaza.
The Foreign Press Association (FPA) reacted.
This sends a chilling message to the international media and raises serious questions about Israel’s commitment to freedom of the press. Journalists covering a legitimate news event should be allowed to do their jobs without threats and intimidation.
Note, the flotilla was newsworthy only because the media covered it. If the media did not cover it, the flotilla would not have sailed. The media creates the news event through its coverage, and then demands the right to cover the story it created.
And that’s how the media, whether they report news or make it, condition us.
(Listed by YidWithLid)
Jewish Foundation Donors To MMFA
Stephen M Silberstein Foundation
Pritzker Family Foundation
Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, Inc.
Bernard & Audre Rapoport Foundation
Joseph H and Barbara I Ellis Foundation
Community Foundation of the United Jewish Federation of San Diego
Barbra Streisand Foundation
Lear Family Foundation
Rebecca and Nathan Milikowsky Family Foundation
Scott A. Nathan Charitable Trust
Jewish Communal Fund
Beatrice Snyder Foundation
Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund
Leonard and Sophie Davis Fund
Peter and Linda Solomon Foundation
Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
Joseph & Florence Mandel Foundation
(Media Matters Firsters | Washington Free Beacon)At a book signing event Monday evening in Washington, D.C., Media Matters for America (MMFA) chief David Brock refused to distance himself from the borderline anti-Semitic language used by one of his senior employees.
We “don’t feed the trolls,” said Ari Rabin-Havt, MMFA’s executive vice president, when asked if Media Matters condones and stands by the use of the term “Israel firster,” a borderline anti-Sematic slur that is regularly employed by MMFA writer M.J. Rosenberg.
“I’m not going to get in a debate about tweets,” Rabin-Havt said, intervening to field a question that was directed at Brock.
Rosenberg, however, has not just used the epithet on Twitter. He regularly employs the phrase in articles published by the Huffington Post and other outlets.
And now the controversy is spilling into the Jewish nonprofit world.
Several of the nation’s most preeminent Jewish charities are facing criticism for donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to MMFA.
Five Jewish charities in some of the nation’s largest cities have donated nearly $600,000 to Media Matters since 2006, according to documents obtained by the Daily Caller. The bulk of the donations came between 2008 and 2010.
A number of the charities in question are tied to the centrist Jewish Federations of North America, an umbrella organization that includes some of the country’s largest Jewish nonprofits, including those in New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
News of the donations surprised some Jewish and pro-Israel observers who have condemned Media Matters as a fringe outlier that promotes views contrary to those of the mainstream Jewish community.
Jewish donors “have no idea how this organization has turned into a bigoted group,” Alan Dershowitz, a prominent lawyer and Harvard professor who recently launched his own “personal war” against Rosenberg, told the Washington Free Beacon.
Since his hire in 2009, Rosenberg’s articles have focused on the power of the so-called “Israel lobby,” which he believes has placed a pro-Israel chokehold on the U.S. foreign policy establishment. Rosenberg has also appropriated the “Israel firster” phrase, a term that has its roots in the white supremacist movement.
Many Jews—particularly wealthy philanthropists—are unaware that Media Matters is condoning this type of content, Dershowitz told the Washington Free Beacon.
“Many Jews just couldn’t care less—and then there are … the M.J. Rosenbergs who work to destroy Israel,” Dershowitz said. “I would urge donors to reconsider their gifts.”
Asked if he was surprised to learn that Jews are fiscally backing Media Matters, Dershowitz responded, “Some Jews supported Mussolini and Stalin, so why should we be surprised?”
Of the five Jewish charities that have donated to Media Matters, the most prolific is the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, which has given the group $362,500 since 2007.
CJP president Barry Shrage did not respond to multiple requests seeking comment. However, a statement on the organization’s website states that it is not directly responsible for the donations that were made to Media Matters through its funding arm.
“CJP is now—and has always been—one of Israel’s strongest supporters,” the statement said. “The grant in question was from a Donor Advised Fund, and not from CJP’s communal funding allocations.”
Donor-advised grants are primarily controlled by the funder.
“While owned and ultimately controlled by CJP, [donor advised funds] do not involve communal funds, but rather reflect the interests of those individual donors,” the statement said.
The CJP said that it does “reserve the right to reject a grant to organizations whose missions are in conflict with our own and we have done so on several occasions.”
Dershowitz, who has ties to the CJP, said that while he disagrees with their decisions to fund Media Matters, Jewish donors should be granted the freedom to give to any organization they choose.
Joe Berkofsky, communications director for JFNA, the umbrella group that oversees several of these charities, including the CJP, recommended that the WFB “contact the individual Federations, which in fact are the actual custodians of the funds.”
The other charities that have given to MMFA include: The Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, the Jewish Communal Fund in New York City, the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, and the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties.
Each of these organizations either declined comment or did not return calls for comment.
A source close to JFNA described the entire funding controversy as “bullshit.”
“People request funds to be allocated from their endowment funds and donor advised funds that are housed at federations,” the source said. “They are not direct allocations by the federations. Federations serve as their philanthropic bank for donations to charities. Unless it’s Jews for Jesus or al-Qaeda, the requests are accepted.”
Jewish philanthropists and other experts said that although these charities have been directed by their funders to donate to Media Matters, they have a responsibility to exert oversight and prevent donors from making grants to organizations that subvert Jewish values.
“Media Matters is currently in the business of paying for and spreading anti-Israel and anti-Semitic invective, and these donations—which do not comport with Jewish communal values—are funding that organization and its work,” said Josh Block, a Middle East analyst and former top official at a pro-Israel group.
Block added that “these Jewish organizations have a special obligation to stand up and declare that funding groups using rhetoric that the ADL, AJC, and Simon Wiesenthal Center have all identified as anti-Semitic and anti-Israel is simply not appropriate—unless of course they agree with Media Matters and neo-Nazis that it is a good idea to call elected officials and other pro-Israel Americans ‘Israel firsters.’”
“I’m not surprised that federations are funding these far left liberal agendas,” said Richard Allen, founder of JCC Watch, an organization that tracks New-York based Jewish nonprofits. “I think there’s a group within these federations that is diverting Jewish community money for nefarious political purposes, and it needs to stop.”
Jewish philanthropists associated with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington—which did not donate to Media Matters but has taken heat for its funding of a local theater company that staged a series of plays condemned as anti-Israel—said that the funding dispute reveals a systemic problem.
“Sadly, Federations around the country are largely in the hands of secular liberals who have little sense of what’s actually Jewish, much less what’s pro-Israel,” said Michael Steinberg, a Maryland resident who stopped contributing to the Washington Federation for these reasons.
Louis Offen, another Washington-based philanthropist, added: “I’ve got liberal tendencies, but they don’t go in the direction of support for [those who use the term] ‘Israel firsters’ and M.J. Rosenberg.”
On YouTube there is a satirical cartoon video representing the leader of the Al Qassam Brigades as a baby, playing with a doll that represents Gilad Shalit and refusing to give him up, even for all the prisoners. While it appears that it was created by a disgruntled Arab, the Arabic media is claiming that this video is part of Israel’s psychological warfare against Hamas. No evidence is given. The YouTube user who uploaded it, “FreedomForPrisoners,” just joined the day he uploaded it. via elderofziyon.blogspot.com
|this is to all the ladies who said I wasn’t as cool as these guys|
Boy has this chick come back to bite the lamestream media in the ass:
It was a tiny item in the New York Times — a brief at the bottom of page B14 of Tuesday’s sports section, under Lacrosse: “Crystal Mangum, who falsely accused three Duke players of raping her in 2006, was charged with murder in the death of her boyfriend.” The man died two weeks after Mangum stabbed him, and Mangum has now been charged with murder.
The Times may prefer to forget that name, but it was far more interested in Crystal Mangum back in 2006. More than any other media outlet, the Times trumpeted her rape accusations against three Duke lacrosse players, accusations that quickly fell apart in a mass of contradictions and shifting stories.
Yet even as the case fell apart and other liberal media outlets were backing away, the Times issued a now-notorious, error-riddled 5,000-word lead story by Duff Wilson on August 25, 2006, concluding that there was enough evidence against the players for Michael Nifong, the soon-to-be-disgraced-and-jailed local prosecutor, to bring the case to trial:
By disclosing pieces of evidence favorable to the defendants, the defense has created an image of a case heading for the rocks. But an examination of the entire 1,850 pages of evidence gathered by the prosecution in the four months after the accusation yields a more ambiguous picture. It shows that while there are big weaknesses in Mr. Nifong’s case, there is also a body of evidence to support his decision to take the matter to a jury.
Perhaps most atrocious was former columnist Selena Roberts, who made a habit of slurring the innocent Duke lacrosse players. Even after the players had been all but formally cleared of the sexual assault, she continued to blame white privilege: “Don’t mess with Duke, though. To shine a light on its integrity has been treated by the irrational mighty as a threat to white privilege. Feel free to excoriate the African-American basketball stars and football behemoths for the misdeeds of all athletes, but lay off the lacrosse pipeline to Wall Street, excuse the khaki-pants crowd of SAT wonder kids.”
it is very hard for men to protect themselves from women whose testimony is full of contradictions. the media and liberal judges don’t do a thing when a woman commits perjury.
The Twits, author Roald Dahl
who believed this shit)
illustrated by Quentin Blake, 1980.
via fast times
But why does Thomas hate Israel so much, a hatred that spills over into antisemitism? I haven’t seen a single person who’s gotten it right. She’s no neo-Nazi or nut case. Thomas is of Lebanese descent, albeit Christian, and basically views herself on this issue at least as an Arab. The important factor is not her eccentricity but her typicality.
What Thomas is doing, then, and has done for many years, is to express ideas common in the Arabic-speaking world which are becoming increasingly common in the West.
Patty Herst and the Herst Corporation that fired Helen Thomas….
That’s why she’s significant and that’s where she’s coming from. Her blend of anti-Zionism and antisemitism–using traditional anti-Jewish themes, sometimes applied to Israel and at times to all Jews–is just like what exists in a high percentage of households in the Arabic-speaking and Muslim-majority worlds.
We’re not talking about a funny old lady but about a worldview held by millions of people in a lot of countries, by revolutionary Islamists and terrorists, and by a growing number of people on Western college campuses and in elite circles. This is not some joke but rather a “craziness” that kills and shapes the fate of whole nations and continents.
Thomas has a long history of anti-Israel rhetoric at White House press briefings. In 2006, Thomas posed a question to then-Press Secretary Tony Snow that suggested the United States supports “collective punishment for Lebanon and Palestine.”
Snow responded, “Well, thank you for the Hezbollah view.”
On the same day that a family of five were being murdered in their home in Israel, Harvey Weinstein ran a self-congratulatory promotional piece for his company’s terrorist propaganda flick, Miral. The photos stand out. The fat smirking face of Harvey Weinstein contrasted with the sleeping baby, the smiling little boys and the earnest couple who were their parents. They are all dead, and a Harvey Weinstein lives on to smirk another day. So it is with perpetrators and victims. The innocent children and the fat ugly men who profit from trafficking in the narrative of their killers.
Harvey Weinstein denounces Peter King and urges him to go watch Miral. But perhaps it is Harvey Weinstein who should drive to a small town lost in the Samarian Mountains and retrace the steps of the murderers in the name of the nationalistic mythology that movies like Miral glamorize. To fit himself through the living room window where the two terrorists entered, moving quietly in the dark, not seeing the six year old boy sleeping peacefully on the couch. That six year old boy who survived because like so many other little boys during the Holocaust, the men who were coming to murder him went right past him without seeing him. The six year old boy who was being orphaned around the same time that Harvey Weinstein and his PR people were conferring on a final draft for their Miral puff piece.
Come along Harvey, into the bedroom where a father and his three month old daughter, Hadas, were fast asleep. It can be hard to get a 3 month old baby to fall asleep. Her father must had quite a time of it that night. Babies may not have language, but they do have fears. They are afraid of the strange new world they were born into. And they need parents to comfort them and assure them that everything will be alright. That they are loved and protected. When Rabbi Fogel finally got his little baby daughter to sleep, she must have felt safe with her father there. The man who would have taught her about life. Who would have done his best to protect her. And the man whose throat was slashed in his sleep along with his child’s.
Tell me Harvey, do you know what goes through a three month old baby’s mind when her throat is being slashed? You can’t make a movie about it and you wouldn’t it if you could. Movies are complex stories. The characters change and grow. They become someone else. A three month old baby having her throat cut will never become anyone else. She is fixed in that moment of horror and pain. Dying without knowing why. Only that her parents couldn’t protect her. If you were going to make a movie about this scene, it would be about the killers. You would show their past and explain their actions. Surely an Israeli soldier stepped on their toe once or blew up their house. Stretch it out over two hours and you can justify anything. Even the knife being drawn across Hadas’ throat. That is the magic of cinema. But to three month old Hadas, there is no context. The movie of her life ended the night you were hard at work promoting yours.
Continue reading at the Sultan of Knish, AKA Daniel Greenfield
I’m starting to think that the college #Gaza and #BDS crowd needs a #Playboy Bunny, #HelenThomas ain’t workingMarch 20, 2011
…as being just as ugly inside as she is on the outside:
Of course I don’t condone any violence against anyone. But who wouldn’t fight for their country? What would any American do if their land was being taken? Remember Pearl Harbor. The Palestinian violence is to protect what little remains of Palestine. The suicide bombers act out of despair and desperation. Three generations of Palestinians have been forced out of their homes – by Israelis – and into refugee camps.”
Yes, she really compares terrorists blowing up an ice cream parlor filled with kids to Americans fighting in the Pacific in World War II.
And that’s only a tiny part of this interview that exposes Thomas as a thoroughly despicable human being, and those who defend her as being hypocrites of the highest order.
Veteran reporter Helen Thomas turned up in Playboy magazine this month (fully clothed, don’t worry) as part of her ongoing anti-Semitic publicity tour.
The former “dean” of the White House Press Corps sat down for an interview (link is to the Sun Herald’s summary) about her recent controversy. First she weighed in on the aftermath of her remarks about Israel last May (“I went into self-imposed house arrest”) and her views on the situation in the Palestinian territories (“the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way”). But then the interview took an uglier turn.
“Of course I don’t condone any violence against anyone,” said Thomas, when asked about Palestinian terrorism against the Israelis. “But who wouldn’t fight for their country? What would any American do if their land was being taken? Remember Pearl Harbor. The Palestinian violence is to protect what little remains of Palestine. The suicide bombers act out of despair and desperation.”
Thomas also took a shot at Holocaust-remembrance programs, insisting that Jews exploited the memory in order to persecute Palestinians. “There’s nothing wrong with remembering [the Holocaust], but why do we have to constantly remember? We’re not at fault,” said Thomas, adding, “Do the Jews ever look at themselves? Why are they always right? Because they have been oppressed throughout history, I know. And they have this persecution. That’s true, but they shouldn’t use that to dominate.”
And in case there’s anyone out there who’s still unsure about Thomas’s true feelings toward the Jewish people, she clarified them later in the interview.
“[The Jews are] using their power, and they have power in every direction,” she said. “Power over the White House, power over Congress. … Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood. Same thing with the financial markets. There’s total control.”
Thomas then looked at the interviewer and asked, “You don’t deny that. You’re Jewish, aren’t you?”
The 90-year-old reporter’s worldview, in fact, seems to be clouded with an obsession over who is a Jew. When asked about her views on Congress, Thomas simply listed off the names of Jewish lawmakers and intoned that they would be anti-Arab. “Do you think [Chuck] Schumer and [Rep. Ileana Ros-] Lehtinen — whatever her name is — in Florida are going to be pro-Arab?” she asked. “No. But they’re going to be very influential. Eric Cantor, the majority leader of the Republicans, do you think he’s going to be for the Arabs? Hell no! I’m telling you, you cannot get 330 votes in Congress for anything that’s pro-Arab. Nothing.”
Thomas’s comments are indicative of an extremely disturbed and damaged person. But even as she shoots off textbook anti-Semitic canards, she vigorously denies that she’s anti-Jewish.
“I think they’re wonderful people,” she says of the Jews. “They had to have the most depth. They were leaders in civil rights. They’ve always had the heart for others but not for Arabs, for some reason. I’m not anti-Jewish; I’m anti-Zionist.”
Not everyone who calls himself an anti-Zionist is anti-Semitic. But there are many, many anti-Semites, like Thomas, who hide behind the façade of anti-Zionism. And the fact that she was able to do this while in the spotlight for so many years makes one worry for the state of the media.