Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

17 Ellul 5761 - September 5, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Media Bias Against Israel and Jews

To The Editor:

After many years surveying the "liberal" media it is virtually impossible to avoid concluding that it applies double- standards to Israel. I think I can summarize the assumptions underlying their position as follows:

(i) Since the Palestinians do not have an army, all Palestinians are civilians. (ii) Since all Israelis, both men and women, are conscripted they are all legitimate military targets (children may be an exception but since they will eventually be conscripted they cannot be completely ruled out). (iii) Israelis are "heavily armed settlers on illegally occupied Arab land" (according to the Palestinian Arab- language media this applies equally to Tel Aviv as Hebron where, incidentally there was a Jewish community for centuries until it was driven out in the massacre of 1929). (iv) The Palestinians were driven out of their homes by the "racist Zionists" (it is never mentioned that Jews were also expelled from their homes in areas of Palestine occupied in 1948 by Jordan and Egypt and barred even from visiting their holy places let alone living there, not even the anti-Zionist community which had lived in Jerusalem for hundreds of years). (v) Palestinians live in abject poverty in refugee camps because of this "ethnic cleansing" (no one ever explains why the oil-rich Arab states do not help them rebuild their lives in dignity as Israel has done for the over half a million Jewish refugees from Arab countries displaced at the same time). (vi) Israel has no right to interfere with the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation of their land. (This presumably includes sniping at civilian cars on the highway, detonating car bombs in residential and commercial areas and blowing up teenagers queuing up to enter a discotheque.) (vii) Jewish fundamentalists are the greatest danger to the region (Moslem fundamentalists are apparently to be excused because of their frustration at living under Israeli occupation).

Perhaps it is instructive in this context to consider the statement from her hospital bed made by 8-year-old Hayah Schijveschurder who was seriously injured, and whose parents and three siblings were killed, in the recent pizza bar bombing in Jerusalem:

"Everything that happens comes from G-d. G-d knows what He's doing. He wants to tell us to behave better." (Associated Press, 15 Aug.)

She and her family were what the liberal press likes to call "fundamentalist ultra-Orthodox settlers"; how different a reaction from the routine calls for revenge one hears at the funerals of Palestinians, even if they die as a result of a "work accident" while preparing a bomb to kill Jews.

In order to maintain an even-handed approach, the "liberal" media always seem to call for restraint from both sides in a way which is analogous to apportioning blame for a murder equally to the murderer and the victim. Is this not truly a case of double standards?

Yours faithfully,

Martin D. Stern

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