Shoot and cry: Liberal Zionism's dilemma

Liberal Zionists desperately wish to “acknowledge” and embrace the Palestinian “feeling” of suffering and dispossession, yet at the same time, help to solidify the Zionist mythology that was, and is, used to justify the Palestinians’ dispossession. Perhaps it is not quite strictly accurate to call it a “dilemma,” since for the Zionist — liberal or otherwise — there is no doubt when it comes to the crunch question of whether to support or oppose the ongoing colonization of Palestine and the dispossession of its people. Ben White comments for EI

Decoding the media's Palestinian "civil war"

Major news stories from Palestine/Israel are often accompanied by what becomes a self-reinforcing “vocabulary,” typically generated by Israeli government ministries or other propaganda outlets, and then picked up by the Western media. A classic example was the redeployment of Israeli settlers and military from the Gaza Strip in 2005, which was successfully packaged as a “disengagement” that pitted “Israeli against Israeli,” in a “painful compromise.” 

Mainstream media caught in the MEMRI mouse trap

Normally CNN, FOX, MSNBC and the New York Times have little in common with each other, let alone blogs like little green footballs, Americablog or the Huffington Post. But when it comes to disseminating Israel’s message, all are on the same page. On May 8, CNN, FOX and MSNBC began reporting on a Hamas-created children’s show, currently broadcast on Al Aqsa TV in Gaza, which features a Mickey Mouse-like cartoon character who does everything from teaching kids about the benefits of drinking milk to disseminating what CNN’s Jim Clancy described as “powerful message of HATE, RESISTANCE and DEFIANCE [sic]”. 

Honoring Israel's apologists

Every now and then, journalists who have shown excellence in their work are rewarded. A prize that recognises their investigative skills and critical thinking is a worthy achievement; a prize that rewards them for using their profession to “conspicuously” support a foreign state in conflict, is not. Rather, it raises questions about their impartiality, good judgment and integrity. Their professionalism can no longer be trusted. It happened in Australia this past week. 

Buying the War on Palestinians: The US Media, The New York Times and Israel

After four disastrous years of US military occupation, Bill Moyers’ April 25 PBS special Buying the War attempted to hold the mainstream US media accountable for its complicity in selling the war on Iraq to the US public. Tragically, despite the terrible consequences of 60 years of Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people, there is still no significant movement to hold the US mainstream media accountable for a similar, dramatic failure in covering Israel and Palestine, and for its complicity in the US’ uncritical support for Israel. 

The backlash against the UK National Union of Journalists' boycott motion

There’s nothing quite like a boycott to test the limits of the mainstream ‘liberal’ critique of Israel. This has been demonstrated once again by the reaction to a motion at the recent UK National Union of Journalists (NUJ) conference that gave the union’s support to the campaign to boycott Israeli goods. An official statement described the successful vote as a “decision of NUJ members as trade unionists and as citizens to try to help put pressure on the Israeli government” to stop the “continued occupation”, as well as referencing the specific issues of Israel’s withholding of PA money, and the refusal to recognise internationally-accredited Palestinian journalists. 

Film on "Radical Islam" Tied to Pro-Israel Groups

WASHINGTON, Mar 26 (IPS) - A controversial documentary on the threat of radical Islam, promoted by the two most-watched U.S. cable news networks, was marketed and supported in part by self-described “pro-Israel” groups, according to an IPS investigation. Abbreviated versions and segments of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West ran on FOX News and CNN, but neither station disclosed the film’s connection to HonestReporting, a watchdog group that monitors the media for allegedly negative portrayals of Israel. 

Concern over BBC documentary 'Will Israel Bomb Iran?'

Arab Media Watch is concerned by the ‘This World’ programme ‘Will Israel Bomb Iran?’, broadcast on BBC2 on 10 October 2006. Its severe lack of balance manifested itself in the number and range of sources used, the airtime given them, and the numerous unchallenged claims made about the Arab world. A statistical analysis of ‘Will Israel Bomb Iran?’ yields these figures: Israeli sources, of which there were 15, appeared 55 times for a total of 15 minutes and 58 seconds - 51% of talk time, 41.4% of the programme, 71.4% of sources and 45% of source appearances. In stark contrast, the Iranian sources, of which there were just two, appeared three times for a total of 52 seconds. 

Don't take right to education for granted

In your article “A model for EU-Israel integration” published in the English online version of Haaretz (17 January 2007), you argue that a closer relationship between the EU and Israel in the field of scientific and academic exchange would be of mutual interest for EU and Israeli citizens, as well as for its research communities and consumers. Building on the successful European experience of encouraging research collaboration and financially supporting those who want to study or research abroad, you are inviting Israeli researchers to apply for and participate in the new Seventh Framework Programme that will be funded with 55 billion Euros. 

Dennis Ross' curious maps problem

Dennis Ross’s [“Don’t Play With Maps,” 9 January 2007, The New York Times] concern over President Carter’s use of maps in Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid is curious. The first of the maps on page 148 does indeed resemble an Israeli map — one presented at Eilat in May 2000. The Palestinians rejected it categorically then. Perhaps it was also presented in July 2000 at Camp David. That Israel should have presented it at all shows audacity — and little Israeli interest in peace. That it might have been presented again boggles the mind.