Pro-Israel, anti-Muslim media

Is American media pro-Israel and anti-Muslim?
CAMERA and FLAME, among others, say no.
Others, such as Kathleen Christison, say yes.
Surely the answer to this question lies in the eye of the beholder.

Nonetheless, this document will argue in the affirmative.

2006: Pope Benedict and the Settlements

In September 2006 an enourmous media brouhaha broke out over
the reactions of some Muslims to some remarks by Pope Benedict.
The main point of most of the media coverage seemed to be
to show how violent the Muslim world was.

At the same time, another Mideast story was all but ignored by the media.
This was the decision of the Israeli government
to build new houses in one of the West Bank settlements.

Why was the story that put Muslims in a bad light
beaten to death by the media,
while the story that showed how
Israel is yet further continuing its aggression against the Palestinians
is ignored?

I think the answer is clear:
In July and August of 2006, the media was full of news about
Israel’s conflict with Hezbollah and Lebanon,
which was so one-sided and punitive that it provoked charges of war crimes
from both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
One thing that Jews, masters of manipulation that they are,
do not want to leave on the public mind
is anything which would put Israel in a bad light,
especially as compared to the Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims.
How better to push out of the public mind
the views of carnage and destruction in Lebanon
than by endless claims of how either
Islam is a religion of violence or that Muslims are inherently violent
by endlessly high-lighting the angry reactions of some Muslims
to Pope Benedict’s address?
(By the way, I think it is really shameful that
Jews spend so much time criticizing Muslims,
but so little time reflecting on the damage that they have done to Muslims.
How would Jews react if Muslims did to them what they do to Muslims?
And to say that Israel is always the victim, never the aggressor,
is to tell a lie.)
So in September of 2006 we got
all those stories about Muslim anger and violence.
(Again by the way,
note how Jews howl when negative news about Israel is presented
without “context” which would show what provoked Israel’s negative actions,
while when negative news about Muslims is presented,
any context of what provoked those negative actions is typically omitted.)

Michael Scheuer has, fortunately, provided a useful picture of the situation.

Miscellaneous Articles


Intractable Foes, Warring Narratives
By Eric Alterman
MSNBC.com, 2002-04-02

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]
A Tale Of Two Stories
In most of the world,
it is the Palestinian narrative of a dispossessed people that dominates.
In the United States, however,
the narrative that dominates is Israel’s:
a democracy under constant siege.
Europeans and other Palestinian partisans point to the fact that
the Israel lobby in America is one of the strongest anywhere, and
Jewish individuals and organizations
give millions of dollars to political candidates
in order to reward pro-Israel policies
and punish those who support the Palestinians.
Another reason, however, is
the near-complete domination by pro-Israel partisans
of the punditocracy discourse.

Some Jewish groups in America like to harass
news organizations like The Washington Post or National Public Radio
for what they believe to be coverage insufficiently sympathetic to Israel’s plight.
even Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu
would not be able to complain about
the level of support their actions typically receive
from the members of the punditocracy.

[Note that, as Philip Weiss likes to observe, that
hard-right Israeli leaders
enjoy near universal support from the American Jewish community.]

For reasons of religion, politics, history and genuine conviction
the punditocracy debate of the Middle East in America
is dominated by
people who cannot imagine criticizing Israel.

The value of this legion to the Jewish state is, for better or worse,
literally incalculable,
particularly when push—as it inevitably does in the Middle East—comes to shove.


Israel May Have Misused Cluster Bombs, U.S. Says
By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post, 2007-01-30

[Note the absence of Muslim views.]

In the Mideast War of Ideas, The View From The Arab Side
By Paul Farhi
Washington Post, 2007-03-27

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

PBS’s excellent and comprehensive “News War” series wraps up tonight
with a report on the rise of pan-Arabic television
[“War of Ideas”].


“Because Arabs are upset about the presence of foreign forces in an Arab country,
there are no good images of an American soldier,”
Duncan MacInnis,
a member of the State Department’s “Rapid Response” information team,
tells [Reporter-narrator Greg Barker].
“An American soldier building a hospital in Iraq
is still an American soldier in Iraq.”

Barker also chats up al-Jazeera’s director-general
and scores an interview with a journalist at al-Manar.
Everyone seems perfectly reasonable, mainly because
“Frontline” shies away from
showing some of the uglier things
that pass for “news” in the Arab media....

[There are several problems indicated by this passage.
  1. Wny would Frontline shy away from showing these “things”?

  2. Why does Farhi think it acceptable, let alone laudable,
    that Frontline did omit showing these things?
The underlying issue is this:
How are we supposed to know “why they hate us”
if we are kept from knowing what they consider news?

What is incredibly harming American is that
its ADL/AIPAC-controlled media is performing this censoring function,
keeping us from understanding (which does not connote “agreeing with”)
their point of view.

The Frontline program itself contains much of the usual Zionist propaganda line,
for example,
“Hezbollah [is] one of America’s sworn enemies” (compare),
and describing organizations which resist Zionist aggression as “extremist.”
Perhaps the ethnic background (could it be Jewish?) of many of the patrons and sponsors of PBS and Frontline has something to do with this.]

Events Prod U.S. to Make New Push for Mideast Deal
New York Times, 2007-08-17

This “News Analysis” is a case study
in how the media is biased towards Israel.
The “Analysis” consists of a brief description of the situation
together with extensive commentary and analysis from one Martin S. Indyk.
But who is Martin S. Indyk?
The article describes him as
“a Clinton administration official and ambassador to Israel.”
No pro-Israel bias evident there.
But look at what was left out:
Indyk has been research director of AIPAC,
and spent eight years at WINEP,
the Washington Institute for Near East Policy,
described here, here, and here
as “a wing of AIPAC” that
“has largely followed AIPAC into pro-Likud positions.”
Beinin’s report also points out how WINEP under Indyk issued reports which
“urged the incoming administration to
‘resist pressures for a procedural breakthrough
[on Palestinian-Israeli peace issues]
until conditions have ripened’. ”

The NYT article states
But to do what, exactly?
Mr. Indyk, at the Brookings Institution
and thinking about the lessons of Camp David,
warns against hubris.
“If Rice goes for final status she’ll drive it into the ground,”
he said.
Israel does not have enough confidence in Mr. Abbas
or a divided Palestinian polity
to pull out of large sections of the West Bank,
fearing Gaza-like chaos that could rain rockets on Ben Gurion airport.
So here we have both Indyk and the NYT
stating the Israeli position as if it is the only reasonable one.
But there are some problems with that.

why would “going for final status” be hubris?
Why wouldn’t it just be doing the right thing?
(It’s really hilarious how Jews accuse everyone who disagrees with them
as being ruled by base motives, such as hubris and hatred,
while they claim that they represent
a “higher morality” and are “the chosen people.”
Just who is possessed by hubris?)

Israel has spent forty years putting off talks on final status.
Indyk is merely echoing this long-standing Israeli position.
He is nothing more than a flack for Israel.

Thirdly, why would

“pull[ing] out of large sections of the West Bank [lead to a]
rain [of] rockets on Ben Gurion”?
It depends on what parts of the West Bank were withdrawn from.
Further, before Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967,
was there Gaza-like chaos with rockets raining down on Israel?
Certainly not.
So if that is the expected situation now,
after forty years of apartheid-like rule by the Israelis over the Palestinians,
the Israelis have no one to blame for this situation but themselves.
But when did you ever hear an Israeli, or a Jew,
accept blame for disastrous situation in Israel/Palestine?

Seeing Is Believing
by Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times Op-Ed, 2007-08-19

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

I [Thomas L. Friedman] have a simple view about both
Arab-Israeli peace-making and Iraqi surge-making,
and it goes like this:
Any Arab-Israeli peace overture
that requires a Middle East expert to explain to you
is not worth considering.

It’s going nowhere.

Either a peace overture is so obvious and grabs you in the gut --
Anwar Sadat’s trip to Israel --
or it’s going nowhere.
That is why the Saudi-Arab League peace overture is going nowhere.
[For the text of the original initiative, scroll to the bottom here.]
No emotional content.
It was basically faxed to the Israeli people,
and people don’t give up land for peace
in a deal that comes over the fax.

[This is terribly, terribly wrong.
Let’s take the simple, linguistic, thing first.
Note how he asserts Israel is being asked to “give up” land.
One “gives up” things that it rightfully possesses.
One “returns” things that it took, or received, from others.
Israel seized, conquered, that land in 1967.
What it is being asked to do is to return or “give back
the land to its rightful owners.

But now on to the significant problems with Friedman’s views.
He seems to have three problems with the Saudi-Arab League peace overture.
Here they are (in italics) with my retorts:
  1. It is not “obvious” and, perhaps,
    “requires a Middle East expert to explain [it] to you”.

    The text of the proposal as given here (scroll to the bottom)
    seems quite simple, obvious, direct, and uncomplicated.
    The key point of the text is that it addresses the key issues of the conflict.
    The text, by the way, is only 516 words long.
    It may not be what Friedman,
    and the Israelis he undoubtedly is carrying water for, wants,
    but it certainly seems obvious and straight-forward enough.
    His gripe seems to be totally without merit.

  2. In Friedman’s view it
    fails to “grab you in the gut” and lacks “emotional content.”

    I don’t see any relevance whatsoever
    of the criteria Friedman mentions here
    to the requirements for a valid peace proposal.
    This seems like a total red herring.
    Further, does it really lack “emotional content”
    that the Arab world is willing to offer peace with Israel
    in return for Israel returning to its 1967 boundary?
    If Israel were more interested in peace than in conquered territory,
    then this offer would have plenty of emotional content.
    See, for example, 2002-03-04-Avnery.

  3. In Friedman’s view it
    “was basically faxed to the Israeli people” and
    “people don’t give up land for peace
    in a deal that comes over the fax.”

    It’s a beginning.
    That the initial initiative was sent through intermediaries
    is no reason to not pursue the openings that it offers,
    which could expand into much more than
    just communications through intermediaries.

The Arab peace initiative is obviously trying to break the ice,
to start Israel on a path to making peace
both with the Palestinians and with the larger Arab world.
It gives Israel something that it claims to want,
a status of peace with the Arab world.

The problem for the Jews, almost surely,
is one that they don’t want to talk about.
Israeli leaders, and evidently the majority of the Israeli people,
have decided that they are unwilling to give up significant chunks of the territory that they conquered in 1967,
even if they are being offered peace in return.
But rather than just coming out and admitting that,
they offer endless excuses a la Friedman,
or complain that “the situation isn’t ripe yet.”

Finally, note how Friedman’s excuses provide an updating to 2007
of “How to Torpedo the Saudis” by Uri Avnery.]

Muting the Alarm over the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The New York Times versus Haaretz, 2000-06

by Jerome Slater
International Security, 2007-Fall

[This is a really excellent 37 page academic paper.
Here is its abstract:]

The prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
remain poor, largely because of
Israeli rigidity as well as Palestinian policies and internal conflicts.
The United States has failed to use its considerable influence with Israel
to seek the necessary changes in Israeli policies,
instead providing the country with almost unconditional support.
The consequences have been disastrous
for the Palestinians,
for Israeli security and society, and
for critical U.S. national interests in the Middle East.
A major explanation for the failure of U.S. policies is
the largely uninformed and uncritical mainstream and even elite media coverage
of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the United States.
In contrast,
the debate in Israel is more self-critical, vigorous, and far-ranging,
creating at least the possibility of change,
even as U.S. policy stagnates.
A comparison of the coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
by the two most prestigious daily newspapers in the United States and Israel—
in particular, over
the breakdown of the peace process in 2000 and the ensuing Palestinian intifada,
the nature of the Israeli occupation,
the problem of violence and terrorism, and
the prospects for peace today—
underscores these differences.
While the New York Times has muted the alarm over
the dangers of the United States' near-unconditional support
for Israeli policies toward the Palestinians,
Haaretz has sought to sound the alarm.


Marty Peretz and the American political consensus on Israel
by Glenn Greenwald
Salon.com, 2008-12-28

This is posted in
Pro-Israel, anti-Muslim media (at kwhmediawatch.blogspot.com)
Jews and the media
America, American Jews, and Israel


Pure Propaganda From the Papers of Record
by Philip Giraldi
Antiwar.com, 2009-01-13

The Israeli propaganda machine
has called up its allies in the media and Congress
to make sure that no one will condemn the invasion of Gaza...

Good Words for a War That Goes On
By Jim Hoagland
(Hoagland is one of the Post’s regular op-ed columnists,
specializing in foreign affairs.)
Washington Post Op-Ed, 2009-02-01

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

Let’s be clear:
Americans did not initiate
the conflict with al-Qaeda and other Muslim extremists,
and Americans will not be the ones to declare an end to
the struggle against violent extremism practiced in the name of jihad.

That is a task that falls to Muslims themselves.
At its core,
this struggle is over the future of Islam.

  1. This view, that the U.S./Muslim conflict is entirely the fault of some in the Muslim world, is both bigoted and wrong.
    Michael Scheuer, for one, has extensively documented in both Imperial Hubris and Marching toward Hell the actions and policies of the U.S. and Israel that have contributed towards, and in fact initiated, the conflict.
    Muslims did not attack the U.S. before Israel, by force of arms, conquered Palestine.

  2. The Post is certain entitled to have one or more columnists as bigoted and/or ignorant as Hoagland presenting the Zionist point of view.
    But where is the regular columnist who will provide balance?

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