Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The mythology of Israel's atrocities:

NOAH POLLAK provides a short summary of media crimes when it comes to reporting "Israeli atrocities", well worth reading. Here is an excerpt:

The handmaiden of this phenomenon is what could be called, if one wishes to be polemical, the anti-Israel lobby, or, more accurately, a dominant culture of opinion shared by human rights organizations, NGOs, Middle East Studies departments and campus groups, the United Nations, “progressive” Christian organizations, and the overwhelming majority of the British and European media and cultural elite. These factions operate in a state of more or less permanent antagonism to Israel, and in no previous era of the Jewish state’s history has such a lavishly funded, mutually reinforcing international axis existed to challenge its very legitimacy. Today, in much of Europe and the UK, and in some parts of America, a caricature of Israel that once flourished only on the ideological fringes has been mainstreamed: Israel is believed to be a sadistic oppressor, a wanton slaughterer of civilians, a relentless Middle Eastern warmonger, and a grave strategic liability for the United States and the Western world.

Breath of the Beast provides an exceptionally effective account of the way one such "atrocity" became a defining myth, providing the moral justification for Jihadist gruesome mass murders and for mainstreaming Israel's pariah-status:

There was never any doubt that the story about al Durah served as an accelerant to the flames of Islamic inferiority and rage, Enderlin played a leading role in keeping them locked in the dungeon of resentment, intolerance and xenophobia. He gave them a tangible reason to stay enraged and aggressive and he allowed them to let their imaginations run riot on the idea that was even more distressing footage that they had not seen..

From Enderlin’s point of view, what was the downside, really? Even if his report had been truthful, even if he were dealing with us honestly about his reasons for hiding the footage, even if he had fully come forward with all of the rushes, it could hardly have made things worse than they have turned out. It made for a nice steady news cycle; the rage and violence produced as many incidents as he cared to cover, and his part in the fraud (whether as a willing tool or an unwitting useful idiot) gave him a nice cozy access relationship to the newsmakers.

But Last week, when Charles Enderlin showed up in court with nine minutes less video than he had been ordered to appear with, it was clear that he now had dropped the pretense that he had additional and more damning footage. He is now officially not riding the wave any longer; he is in danger of being pulled under by it. His arrogance when he informed the court that the footage that he did not bring either “didn’t concern that day” or “were irrelevant” actually drew laughs from the courtroom. His equally laughable narrations that went along with the actual screening were just as ridiculous. Perhaps it is just “his culture” (as he would say of the Arabs) as a high priest of media that makes him believe that he can tell the rest of the world what is of concern and what is not relevant but I suspect (and hope) that the judge will want to be the one making that call in her courtroom.


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