Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

4 Cheshvan 5761 - November 2, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Facing Hostile Media

Probably one of the most oppressive emotions afflicting the Israeli community and Jewish communities around the world since the riots began (second only to worry and fear) is the frustration. There is the frustration of those whose dream of peace was shattered, just when it seemed so close to fruition; there is the frustration over the treachery of Arafat and his cronies; frustration about the fact that the Palestinians seem not to appreciate at all the extent of the compromises that Prime Minister Barak was willing to make (with or without the backing of the Israeli people). There is anger and frustration about where to go from here; about the humiliation of the riots and the inability of the army to do anything about them; about the need to plead with Arafat to be so good as to stop the shooting; and deep frustration about the fact that most of the guns the Palestinians are using to shoot at us were given to them by Israeli governments in search of peace.

Notwithstanding all this, probably the greatest frustration and the most difficult to overcome has been at the success of the lying and distortions of the Palestinians in the world press, in portraying the conflict as exactly the opposite of its true nature, depicting themselves as helpless, pitiable downtrodden demonstrators up against Israeli aggression and powerful cruelty.

In this, many sympathetic Jews the world over share our frustration. It is almost too much to bear. It is almost incomprehensible how the whole world so easily accepts the Palestinian version of events, that they are the oppressed, that they are being pursued and killed because of their desire for peace by an Israel bent on crushing them.

In the riots, the Palestinians always attack Israeli positions (both military and civilian), and their cynical use of children is beyond cruelty. Calmly and coldly they send them and carry them into the lines of fire, hoping and expecting that they will be hurt or killed. Many times Palestinian fighters shoot at Israeli soldiers from behind children. The whole point is that their blood should inflame passions further and win the world's sympathy for the Palestinian cause. Parents of dead children -- mothers and fathers -- tell how they raised their children for that purpose, and they are proud and happy that it was achieved.

Israeli soldiers are so careful about where they shoot, but if a child is killed, whatever the circumstances, the pictures of the dead martyr are shown over and over again on the worldwide media, to "prove" how the unbridled agressiveness of the Israelis is a danger to the Palestinians.

Israel should welcome an objective international fact-finding commission or international courts to investigate the riots, since the facts are so much in its favor, but the lies are so strong that there is no way to be certain that the truth may ever have a chance. And so, Israel must adamantly oppose the Palestinian call for an international commission.

We all are the victims of the murderous Palestinian lies that are directed against each and every Jew, but it just seems to us that the shock is greater for one who has no previous experience with this sort of thing.

For those like our community who have seen it in other contexts, have already learned how to stand up to almost uniformly hostile media, have learned how the facts can be stood on their heads, have seen how an unfortunate mistakes can be exaggerated and presented as indicative, and those who know that even supposedly objective commissions and courts can be hostile and biased -- all these recent events are much less shocking.

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