The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Remember Jenin? Sever Plocker does:
After a lot of hesitancy and a short-lived attempt to take balanced positions, the worldwide left-wing has returned in full force to the "Jenin massacre syndrome."

To remind: Many of the world's leading journalists described the fighting in Jenin during the spring of 2002 as a cold-blooded massacre of thousands of Palestinians by the brutal IDF. TV screens around the world featured Palestinian "eyewitnesses," who gave exact details of blood-curdling actions by IDF soldiers that never happened. TV reporters reported against a background of destroyed buildings as "evidence" from the field that Israel had mercilessly flattened an entire city and the refugee camp next to it.

It took months for human rights organizations, even the United Nations, to issue their reports refuting Palestinian claims. There was no massacre in Jenin, no ethnic cleansing, no intentional destruction of hospitals. There was a bloody battle in which soldiers died on each side.

If you believe the reports on CNN and ABC, among other MSM organizations, Lebanon is in ruins, the population is decimated, and civilians are being killed wantonly by a rabid Israeli incursion.
The facts, of course, are tell a far different story, but facts and balance are irrelevant when advocacy journalism mascarades as “news.”

A small example. The other night ABC’s Nightline ran a 15 minute story (half the length of the program) about the a Hizbollah rocket attack on the city of Nazareth in Israel. The focus of the story was on Arab Israeli citizens* and their suffering caused by the rocket attacks. Not surprisingly, every Israeli Arab who appeared on screen blamed Israel for his suffering (even though it was Hezbollah who launched the rockets indescrimately into civilian population centers). Dirt smudged faces of little Arab children abounded.

But that wasn’t what was interesting. The reporters thrust was that Israel did not provide the town of Nazarath with a siren warning system like the one in, say, Haifa. The reporter, using ominous language and tone, implied that Israel didn’t care about its Israeli Arab citizens and failed to provide them with adequate warning for the attacks. After a commericial break and just before the piece ended, the reporter mentioned that the local Arab council had disconnected the sirens (yes, there were sirens) because testing disturbed the residents. In other words, there was NO story, but the perception of an uncaring Israel was achieved, unless you were paying very close attention at the end of the piece.

My point? When you hear hysterical claims about Israel’s “ethnic cleansing” or widespread mass destruction, think Jenin.

*An aside: It's interesting to note that Israel has about 1 million Arab citizens who live in relative peace and safety, own businesses, are free to practice their religion and raise their children in relative calm. Can the same be said for Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Gaza, or virtually any other predomentantly Arab, Islamic country? You'd think ABC might have mentioned this small, but interesting fact. But why do anything that might reflect well on Israel?