Friday, March 18, 2011

"Nothing must be done to 'burnish' the image of Israel"

In 2007 Prince Charles's senior aide sent a memo explaining why neither Prince Charles nor the Queen would make a state visit to Israel. The memo famously stated that Prince Charles would not want "to help burnish [Israel's] international image." 

I've been thinking about that statement, and the attitude behind it, in connection with the media's refusal to cover the two big stories from Israel in the last week. The massacre at Itamar and the discovery of the major Iranian arms shipment to Hamas, demonstrate unequivocably the twin threats Israel faces.
  • The Itamar attack, and subsequent Palestinian celebrations of it, demonstrated the nature of the enemy that Israel is expected to negotiate and ultimately surrender to. An enemy unparalled in the world in its depravity, which glories in chopping the head off a 3-month old baby and which will never be satisfied until every Jew has been slaughtered.
  • The Iranian arms shipment, which happened as a direct result of the Egyptians allowing Iranian warships through the Suez Canal for the first time in 30 years, included state-of-the-art missiles and demonstrated not just the extent to which Iran contiunually lies about its ambitions and the extent to which it is prepared to go to destroy Israel through its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah, but also the unique threat posed by the new Eyptian regime.

In a normal world these two stories alone should have been sufficient to put an end to the entire anti-Israel narrative that dominates Western society and media. I genuinely believe that if these two stories had simply been given the coverage that they deserved, most people would immediately have seen the 'Israel problem' from a very different perspective. But of course they were not covered at all by the Western media. And that has nothing to do with the Japanese earthquake or the Libyan crisis;  the media did, after all, find plenty of time to condemn Israel for planning to build some houses two days after the Itamar attack. And each of these stories was FAR more important than the Gaza flotilla incident which totally dominated every news media for four days because, despite the video evidence in that case, the media decided it fitted their anti-Israel narrative.

But it is precisely because these two stories were obvious 'game-changers' that they were ignored.

And the attitude from which this results is perfectly captured by the Prince Charles memo. Never mind about real evils committed by the dozens of countries that the Queen and Prince Charles visit every year. And just as the Queen must not be allowed to visit Israel in case there is a chance it might show the country in something less than the purely negative light in which it is otherwise portrayed by the media narrative, so it is important to suppress any story - no matter how big - which demonstrates that Israel - and not the Palestinians - are the true victims.

1 comment:

Daphne Anson said...

Incisive as usual, Edgar. I especially like your blog because it always brings a thoughtful and often original perspective to events.