Excellent explanation of the Israeli media spin

For those who don’t understand the true cost of media “spin”, here is a well-written explanation by Yonatan Mendel that even the most clueless could probably understand.

A small excerpt:

In most of the articles on the conflict two sides battle it out: the Israel Defence Forces, on the one hand, and the Palestinians, on the other. When a violent incident is reported, the IDF confirms or the army says but the Palestinians claim: ‘The Palestinians claimed that a baby was severely injured in IDF shootings.’ Is this a fib? ‘The Palestinians claim that Israeli settlers threatened them’: but who are the Palestinians? Did the entire Palestinian people, citizens of Israel, inhabitants of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, people living in refugee camps in neighbouring Arab states and those living in the diaspora make the claim? Why is it that a serious article is reporting a claim made by the Palestinians? Why is there so rarely a name, a desk, an organisation or a source of this information? Could it be because that would make it seem more reliable?….
Another example: in June 2006, four days after the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped from the Israeli side of the Gazan security fence, Israel, according to the Israeli media, arrested some sixty members of Hamas, of whom 30 were elected members of parliament and eight ministers in the Palestinian government. In a well-planned operation Israel captured and jailed the Palestinian minister for Jerusalem, the ministers of finance, education, religious affairs, strategic affairs, domestic affairs, housing and prisons, as well as the mayors of Bethlehem, Jenin and Qalqilya, the head of the Palestinian parliament and one quarter of its members. That these officials were taken from their beds late at night and transferred to Israeli territory probably to serve (like Gilad Shalit) as future bargaining-chips did not make this operation a kidnapping. Israel never kidnaps: it arrests.

The Israeli army never intentionally kills anyone, let alone murders them – a state of affairs any other armed organisation would be envious of. Even when a one-ton bomb is dropped onto a dense residential area in Gaza, killing one gunman and 14 innocent civilians, including nine children, it’s still not an intentional killing or murder: it is a targeted assassination. An Israeli journalist can say that IDF soldiers hit Palestinians, or killed them, or killed them by mistake, and that Palestinians were hit, or were killed or even found their death (as if they were looking for it), but murder is out of the question. The consequence, whatever words are used, has been the death at the hands of the Israeli security forces since the outbreak of the second intifada of 2087 Palestinians who had nothing to do with armed struggle.

Read on yourself, it’s fascinating and disturbing. Read our newspapers, and watch the action words…and the modifiers. Talk about disturbing….

We don’t have an independent press, essential in a democracy. That’s why we came so close to tyranny.


Why the Peace Process in Israel/Palestine has not progressed to peace

First are the Media Rules, courtesy of israelity bites:

Rule #1: In the Middle East, it is always the Palestinians that attack first, and it’s always Israel who defends itself. This is called “retaliation”.

Rule #2: The Palestinians are not allowed to kill Israelis. This is called “terrorism”.

Rule #3: Israel has the right to kill Palestinian civilians; this is called “self-defense”, or “collateral damage”.

Rule #4: When Israel kills too many Palestinian civilians, the Western world calls for restraint. This is called the “reaction of the international community”.

Rule #5: Palestinians do not have the right to capture Israeli military, not even 1 or 2.

Rule #6: Israel has the right to capture as many Palestinians as they want (over 10,000 to date being held without trial). There is no limit; there is no need for proof of guilt or trial. All that is needed is the magic word: “terrorism”.

Rule #7: When you say “Hamas”, always be sure to add “supported by Hezbollah, Syria and Iran”.

Rule #8: When you say “Israel”, never say “supported by the USA, the UK, European countries and even some Arab regimes”, for people (God forbid) might believe this is not an equal conflict.

Rule #9: When it comes to Israel, don’t mention the words “occupied territories”, “UN resolutions”, “Geneva conventions”. This could distress the audience of Fox, CNN, etc.

Rule #10: Israelis tend to speak better English than Arabs. This is why it is called “balanced journalism”.

Next, courtesy of the same site, the quote:

“We’ll make a pastrami sandwich of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years, neither the United Nations, nor the U.S.A, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.” Ariel Sharon to Winston S. Churchill III in 1973.

Would’ve been nice to share that with the U.S. negotiators…..

But there is hope, because not all people feel the same way Ariel Sharon did:

“My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis
came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed. My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers.”
— Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP and Orthodox Jew.

And then there’s the old Testament:

He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Micah 4:3


israelity bites

Obama’s first interview is with Al Arabiya

Here is the full text of the interview, the video and the comments.

CBS and 60 Minutes tell the truth

On Sunday, January 25, I was surprised to see 60 minutes actually calling the Israelis out on their practices in the West Bank which have been likened to apartheid.

Here is the video

Here is the story where you can comment

Please do. And let CBS know that you want to see more of this type of content which was produced by Robert Anderson. I have a difficult time seeing this country, Israel, as being touted as the “democracy” of the Middle East. There is nothing democratic about taking over these people houses, their lands, and allowing these viral settlers to spew their hatred and continuously disobey their government and international laws.

Perhaps if Israel can’t control the settlers, they should just be prosecuted by the ICC for war crimes. It’s illegal for an occupying army to settle their own people in occupied land and the settler leader seemed clear that they would rebuild, rebuild, rebuild and revolt if anyone tried to dismantle their settlements.

Sorry, just doesn’t seem like a Judeo value.

A well done photo essay – pretty much says it all

Thanks to Desert Peace for posting it. See it here. And we wonder why there are terrorists after us….

Polls – as promised

I have created two new polls.

One asks if the ICC should investigate Israel for war crimes – take it here

The second asks if aid to Israel should be withheld until significant progress has been made towards peace – take that one here

Thanks for your support.

State Department asks Americans what our foreign policy objectives should be

The newly revamped State Department website, or “America 2.0” as the Red Eye in Chicago calls the Obama administration, has a new feature called DIPNOTE, which is a State Department blog.

The question of the week is: What Foreign Policy Objectives Should the Obama Administration Establish as its Top Priorities?

Answer it!!! Several people have already mentioned the Israeli/Palestine issue, but we must be direct.

I suggest the following line items:

  1. Insist the blockade be lifted to allow humanitarian aid and items intrinsic to economic survival into Palestine immediately
  2. Immediately halt the building of all settlements and begin the dismantling of all “outposts”
  3. Immediately investigate whether the using of phosphorous bombs in civilian areas is a violation of the Arms Export Control Act and punish accordingly if it is.
  4. Immediately work to engage Hamas and Fatah and get them on the same page – without both entities, there will never be peace
  5. Immediately get assurances from both Hamas and Fatah that any violations of the ceasefire by militants on either side will result in arrests and trial in accordance with the Palestinian Constitution not tribal law
  6. Freeze all aid and arms shipments to Israel until significant progress has been made towards the first two points
  7. Engage the international community to provide security for the checkpoints and remove all access requests from Israeli control
  8. Put the international community in charge of determining what aid gets into Gaza. It should not be an Israeli decision as they state they are no longer “occupying” the country.
  9. Send Americans into Gaza to determine what aid we could provide to rebuild their country and help their people. I would suggest evaluating the role wind and solar power could play in the rebuilding process, so they are no longer completely dependent on fuel and electricity from Israel
  10. Engage the Palestinian and Israeli business communities as they have the most at stake and are the best able to assist in rebuilding decisions

The link is here. Don’t worry if you are not from the U.S., other foreign nationals have already commented, and frankly, we need to engage the world after the last eight years.

If you like my ideas, feel free to copy and paste them. If you have other ideas – please – go for it. Every little bit helps., but make it constructive, no tirades about the past or blame or anything else. You get more traction that way.

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