The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel, and the Media (book review)

PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-US-JERUSALEM
Palestinians scuffle with Israeli occupation forces at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Dec 8, 2017. (photo: AFP)

Greg Shupak’s new book documents — and corrects — the warped media narrative on the Palestine-Israel conflict.

By Belen Fernandez | Middle East Eye | Feb 22, 2018


Shupak ably illustrates Israel’s usefulness in complementing US bellicosity and furthering imperial designs in not only the Middle East but also the wider world, describing Israel as a “garrison for US-led imperialist capitalism” as well as a convenient venue “for the US to subsidize America’s military industry” via gargantuan military aid and weapons deals.


In 1988, his final year of service as New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief before being appointed diplomatic correspondent in Washington, Thomas Friedman gave an interview to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, in which he proposed some symbolic concessions to the Palestinians in order to keep them in line.

The Palestinians must be given “something to lose,” argued Friedman, because “I believe that as soon as Ahmed has a seat in the bus, he will limit his demands.”

Writing shortly thereafter, Noam Chomsky wondered whether a prominent journalist might also be promoted to the post of chief diplomatic correspondent by “urg[ing] South Africans to ‘give Sambo a seat in the bus,’ or propos[ing] that Jews be granted something to lose, because ‘if you give Hymie a seat in the bus, he may limit his demands.’”

Continue reading “The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel, and the Media (book review)”

B’Tselem’s Hard Hitting Testimony Lost in the Telling by N.Y. Times

Muzzling Israeli Dissent in the N.Y. Times

By Barbara Erickson, TimesWarp.org
October 18, 2016


“The heart of the address is missing: El-Ad’s devastating deconstruction of the Israeli justice system as ‘a legal guise for organized state violence,’ the daily indignities and suffering under Israeli military rule, the demolitions of homes, theft of land and water and the impunity surrounding trigger happy security forces.”


Israeli rights advocate Hagai El-Ad spoke eloquently last week before the United Nations Security Council, appealing to the world body for action on the brutal occupation of Palestine, but according to The New York Times little of what this courageous activist said was fit to print: The real news was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s outraged response.

Thus we find a story on the speech appearing two days after the event under the headline “Settlement Debate Flares Again in Israel’s Quarrel With Rights Group.” The article by Isabel Kershner has much to say about Israeli government criticism of the human rights group B’Tselem, which documents and publicizes Israeli abuses in the West Bank and Gaza.

She says as little as possible, however, about El-Ad’s actual comments. Of his 2,000 word speech she quotes no more than two dozen: “Anything short of decisive action will achieve nothing but ushering in the second half of the first century of the occupation…[Living under occupation] mostly means invisible, bureaucratic, daily violence.”

The heart of the address is missing: El-Ad’s devastating deconstruction of the Israeli justice system as “a legal guise for organized state violence,” the daily indignities and suffering under Israeli military rule, the demolitions of homes, theft of land and water and the impunity surrounding trigger happy security forces.

His words become lost in the framing of this story, glossed over in the tit for tat between attackers and defenders of B’Tselem. Other media reports, however—in Israel and the United States—give readers more substantial excerpts from his address, and they also provide links to the actual speech, something the Times conveniently omits.

The Times also fails to say that amidst the turmoil over B’Tselem’s UN appearance, the U.S. State Department declared its gratitude to the organization for providing information on “fundamental issues that occur on the ground.” Times readers, however, are denied these same benefits.

[Continue reading here . . . ]

[Read the full text of the B’Tselem address here, along with video clips shown to the Security Council.]

The NY Times “Finally Realizes”

Netanyahu doesn’t care what Obama thinks

By Lisa Goldman, +972 Magazine
October 7, 2016


“For years, liberal American publications have been generally sympathetic to Israel, even when they are criticizing its governments’ policies. Now, in light of an unprecedented New York Times editorial, that attitude might be about to change.”


The New York Times editorial board has realized, about a decade too late, that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not care what the Obama administration — or any U.S. administration, for that matter — thinks about his policies regarding the Palestinians.

According to the editorial published Friday, October 7, headlined At the Boiling Point With Israel, the catalyst for this realization was Netanyahu’s decision to approve the building of a new settlement deep in the West Bank, only three weeks after the U.S. finalized a package of military aid for Israel to the tune of an unprecedented $38 billion, spread over 10 years. Israel receives more military aid than any other country, by far: Egypt, which receives $1.31 billion per year, is the second-largest recipient of direct military aid from the United States. [Continue reading here . . . ]