Good propaganda isn’t constructed on lies, but rather half truths. Missing context, however, is not the only component the Israeli media employs to distort the Israeli mind. Another subtle trick is what the media focuses on. Three stories were revealed to me, this week. They have little in common, but a lesson on the effects of media focus.
The Irrelevance of an Israel-Born Fatah Member to the Zionist Narrative
Thank god for alternative media, because I could have completely missed this fantastic fact:
"Loud applause broke out Saturday evening as it was announced that "brother" Dr Uri Davis had been elected to the Fatah movement’s largest governing body."
More fantastic facts about Uri Davis:
"…Jewish professor, who teaches Judaic studies at Al-Quds University in the West Bank… Davis was born in Jerusalem in 1943 eight years after his mother and father, Jewish immigrants from Czechoslovakia and Britain, respectively, arrived in Palestine in 1935. They were among early Zionist immigrants who established homes in the area more than a decade before the state of Israel was founded."
Israeli media seems to believe this isn’t much of a scoop. As a result, I found barely one article, on the issue, in each media outlet. The reports are, of course, modeled to make Davis an outsider, who’s crossed the line to "the other side". In this case, however, its not the direct fault of the media, as it exists, but the fact that it has a long tradition of misrepresentation of Palestinian-Israeli relations. It’s because of the complete lack of context that rational statements are completely misconstrued by the public:
"I distinguish between armed struggle against the occupation and terrorism. Armed struggle against the occupation is not directed against civilians, but against those wearing uniforms in occupied territory. Israel is the one who has inserted elements of terrorism in the equation by harming civilians," Davis claimed." [Ynet]
This must be a scary "claim" for Zionists. After all, it’s aligned with international law:
"…Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle;"
The Irrelevance of IDF Murder of Human Rights Activists and Denial of Responsibility to the Zionist Narrative
The state of Israel has a long history of shafting its international victims and their families. Here’s the latest addition:
"The Israeli Ministry of Defense has notified the Anderson family’s lawyers that Israel perceives the incident on 13 March 2009 as an "act of war." This classification was made despite the fact that Anderson’s shooting occurred during a civilian demonstration and there were no armed hostilities during the event or surrounding it. The consequence of such classification is that according to Israeli law, the state of Israel is not liable for any damage its’ forces have caused."
I got this quote from ISM, because it received absolutely no Israeli media coverage. Tristan Anderson was never big news, down here. After all, the media learned from the Corrie debacle: If you don’t talk about it, no one will know. And it’s not like he died or anything…
The Importance of the Anti-Semitism to the Zionist Narrative
So if an Israeli in the Palestinian government isn’t important, and if our mistreatment of international visitors (and all that stems from it) isn’t important, what is?! That’s right! anti-Semitism! Here’s the latest questionable tale:
"A leading Swedish newspaper reported this week that Israeli soldiers are abducting Palestinians in order to steal their organs, a claim that prompted furious condemnation and accusations of anti-Semitic blood libel from a rival publication."
The fact that this story (bad English translation) was run in a highly distributed newspaper, apparently lacking in evidence, is seriously irresponsible and is indeed a big scoop. Not for its seeming anti-Judaism, but for the subversion of the responsibilities of journalism, which are long gone in the majority of the mainstream media. Israeli media seems to have missed the scoop, again.
The most respected paper in Israel calls the Aftonbladet "a leading Swedish newspaper". This seems to be one of those half- truths the Israeli mainstream media is so skilled at. Feel free to correct me on this, but it seems that though Aftonbladet is "the largest daily newspaper in Nordic countries (according to Tidningsstatistik AB, a Swedish statistics company)", it is also a "tabloid". I agree, the large circulation is very intimidating, but obviously it’s widly accepted that this isn’t exactly a trust-worthy source. Another interesting quote from the same article:
""They plunder the organs of our sons," read the headline in Sweden’s largest daily newspaper, the left-leaning Aftonbladet"
The authors of the Ha’aretz article call the Aftonbladet "left-leaning". Though 50.1% of it is, in fact, owned by The Swedish Trade Union Confederation, and that would merit this title, I have a feeling that this isn’t what the authors are referring to. Israel’s right-leanings have created a reality in which the Israeli and international left is under attack, and is often characterized as "anti-Semetic/self hating (depending on one’s religious affiliation) terrorist sympathizers". The political labeling continues, as the authors are more than pleased to share with us the following:
"…the liberal Sydsvenskan – southern Sweden’s major daily – had harsh criticism for the rival paper, running an opinion piece under the headline "Antisemitbladet" (a play on the name Aftonbladet)."
The Sydsvenskan is indeed self-proclaimed "independent liberal" . What I don’t know is the quality of their work (apparently they’ve " changed its format from broadsheet to tabloid "), but Ha’aretz prefixes the columnist’s name with the words "leading columnist". The most revealing bit about the Sydsvenskan’s reliability is in this quote:
"Whispers in the dark. Anonymous sources. Rumors. That is all it takes. After all we all know what they [the Jews] are like, don’t we: inhuman, hardened. Capable of anything," the opinion piece says. "Now all that remains is the defense, equally predictable: ‘Anti-Semitism’ No, no, just criticism of Israel."
Wether "left-leaning" or "independent liberal", It seems that leading columnist, Mats Skogkär, has clear opinions on the issues of Israel/Palestine, and those seem to coincide with Ha’aretz’s authors’ opinions on the matter. The Zionist Foreign Ministry was quick to take advantage of the situation, creating yet another unneeded international-relations crisis, with their own, special interpretation of democracy:
"Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor said the newspaper’s decision to publish the story is "a mark of disgrace" for the Swedish press. "In a democratic country, there should be no place for dark blood libels out of the Middle Ages of this type," Palmor said. "This is an article that shames Swedish democracy and the entire Swedish press." A Foreign Ministry official said that Israel’s embassy in Stockholm have communicated a harsh condemnation to the Swedish government and the newspaper itself."
Such bad journalism would have best been dealt with by just translating the article and letting the public see that other than the image of Bilal Achmed Ghanan’s highly suspicious scar, there’s not much evidence to any of the article’s claims (no autopsy, no confirmed witnesses, no clear connection to organ trafficker Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, and a circumstantial connection to Israel’s illegal organ handling). Instead, the government went into an aggressive international-relations campaign and the media spawned a host of articles (1,2,3,4,5,6), still growing as we speak. Dare I speculate that Israel has single handedly created the media frenzy over the allegations of IDF organ harvesting?