Thursday, September 14, 2006
Notwithstanding the fact that the ZF and Board of Deputies were confirmed to have been pretty useless during the War, the event suggested that there are a lot of people sufficiently angry at the media lies to be motivated now to do something about it. There were also some interesting anecdotes. Shmuel Ben Tovin told the story of a friend who wanted to book a holiday in Dubai and phoned the UAE embassy to ask if it was OK to bring his girlfriend who was black. The embassy person ridiculed his friend for even thinking that it might be a problem given their determination to make Dubai the number one holiday destination. But then the friend said that his girlfriend was a black Israeli originally from Ethiopia. At this point the Embassy person was silent before hanging up the phone.
Another interesting discussion point during the evening was the role now played by NGO’s like Christian Aid, Save the Children and War on Want in demonizing Israel. I believe there is actually something very simple people can do about this and it is related to Ben Tovin’s story. A lot of these charities ran campaigns during the war asking for money for the suffering refugees/children in Lebanon and Gaza. I rang all these charity hotlines to offer a donation on the condition that it went to the suffering/displaced children in Israel (incidentally the Red Cross was one notable exception in that they explicitly included Israel in their appeal). The responses I got were quite amazing. The people I spoke to were never hostile in any way but were simply ignorant. They had no idea that there were any people suffering in Israel during the war. Interestingly, although I always left my number for somebody more ‘senior’ to call me back to clarify why Israel was excluded from the Appeal I never got a single call back. The point I am making is that if 500 people made similar calls it might at least have an impact.
Monday, September 11, 2006
I wrote this on a previous anniversary of 9/11.
Let’s look at how that day’s events might have been reported by the BBC, CNN or the Guardian if they used the same approach as they used to reporting terrorist attacks against Israel.
Headline to story: “Thousands of Arabs and Americans killed in day of tit-for-tat violence on east coast of America”
The cycle of violence in America reached a new crescendo today when a series of violent incidents left thousands dead. The dead are believed to include many Arab civilians and a number of American military personnel. Al Jaziera has revealed that many of the Arabs killed were refugee children who had fled from oppression. Although an American spokesman claimed that they too suffered “many civilian deaths”, this has been denied by the Al Quaeda organisation.
The violence started when a member of a group of five unarmed Arab civilians, who boarded a 767 aircraft in Boston, was refused permission to fly the plane, despite having a valid flying licence. The American authorities have been imposing increasingly tight restrictions on the freedom of movement of Arab civilians within the US. This humiliation to their dignity has created, not unsurprisingly, deep anger and resentment among even moderate Arabs. When the fully qualified pilot was denied the opportunity to work in his chosen profession, he became angry. It is reported that the outnumbered Arab men engaged in fighting with members of the crew, but what really happened next may never be known. What is certain is that all of the five Arabs were killed, along with the plane’s other occupants (believed to be primarily military and intelligence personnel) when the plane crashed into the North tower of the World Trade Center. Al Jaziera quickly confirmed that the building housed many Arab refugee children, who were all killed in the attack along with a number of Muslim workers. A number of illegal American immigrants dressed as businessmen may also have perished.
As news of the Arab civilian deaths became known, it is believed that Arab civilians on another aircraft reacted with understandable passion, battling with military and security personnel. This plane soon crashed into the south tower of the Word trade center. After this second crash the US military ordered an unprecedented grounding of all civilian flights over US airspace, thus denying all Arabs living in the US the right to travel. On hearing news of this attack on their livelihood a group of Arab militants mounted a daring tit-for-tat strike. With nothing else to lose, and in sheer desperation, the militants crashed the plane they were travelling in into the very heart of the US military machine – the Pentagon, killing scores of soldiers. In an escalation of the violence the US military responded by threatening to shoot down any airplane still flying that was piloted by Arabs. This led to the final, and most outrageous act of violence of the day, committed by a group of self-styled American vigilantes aboard flight 93 to San Francisco. On learning that their airplane was being flown by Arab pilots, the Americans took it upon themselves to massacre all the Arabs on board. In the ensuing struggle the Arab pilot was savagely killed and the plane crashed into a field, killing all the occupants, many of whom are believed to have been Arab refugee children. The US military is likely to have to accept full responsibility for the final massacre, since they had given messages to the passengers on board flight 93 that the Arab pilots were planning to crash the plane into the White House, even though no proof of such a wild claim had been presented to the United Nations. The French and German leaders have already demanded a UN enquiry into the massacre.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
At the end of July Smadar Haran was contacted by the BBC to ask if she was prepared to be interviewed for her views about the Lebanon war (which were presumably of general interest because of the stated Hezbullah intention to secure the release of Kuntar). She eventually agreed to the interview which was to take place at the Dan Accadia Hotel in Herzlia. When she arrived there the interviewer informed her that immediately prior to her own interview (which was to be shown live) the BBC was going to interview Kuntar's brother Basem Kuntar in Lebanon. Not suprisingly Smadar was not at all happy with this 'set-up' as the BBC had had ample time to let her know this beforehand. Still, as she had made the effort to come to the interview she reluctantly agreed to continue with it. Basem Quntar's interview took place in full and then the BBC switched to the interview with Smadar. But seconds into the interview the production team were told that the interview had to stop because of 'technical issues'. The BBC team at the hotel could not understand this as there had never before been 'technical' issues to stop doing such an interview. So the BBC ran an interview with the terrorist's brother but 'for technical reasons' were unable to provide an interview with the terrorist's victim.
What is almost certain of course is that the BBC never intended to interview the terrorist's victim but only ever wanted to interview the terrorist's brother. This was their despicable way of getting away with such a ploy while being able to claim 'even-handedness'.
Smadar Haran wanted to make the following additional comments about the 'interview':
- "I want to mention that after describing the killer's actions, I felt a kind of mockery from the reporter saying: We have just heared a graphic description of the murder which was brought by Mrs. Haran...
- A Short time after, the producer called and said that he has received many angry mails from listeners who were not willing to accept all this kind of behaviour.
- When I have called the Israeli Foreign Office for consulting, the response I got was that this is a typical and everyday behaviour of the BBC ."