Thursday, November 22, 2012

 The truth shall make you free

Prof. AbuKhalil provides an invaluable resource of information. In this post from today, 22 November 2012, he quotes a correspondent (someone he corresponds with by email, I presume) as saying, in an aggrieved tone:

BBC coverage

Khodor sent me this:  "Just to let you know, I dont have the video but I personally saw the 10:00 pm BBC news yesterday and the guy said something along the lines of " People in Gaza have a culture of martyrdom and there is no sadness or grief". He also mentioned the IDF throwing flyers and said people listened to the advice and left along routes the IDF promised not to bomb. I wish I can find the video to send. Does not differ much from what other journalists you mentioned in your blog were saying."
The implication of the grievance could be one of two possibilities: One, that the information is a lie thus implying the BBC  is an instrument of ZOG, or two, that while the veracity of the information is not being disputed, the complainant is outraged by its being presented on the BBC. Why? Perhaps because it casts a more benign light upon the IDF, which should be shown as only brutal? Perhaps because it interferes with AbuKhalil's most cherished narrative, that Israeli soldiers deliberately, pre-meditatedly and malevolently target innocent civilians?
In my humble opinion, the second possibility makes more sense. The first possibility, the truth of the information, is easily verifiable, from a 20 seconds google search that produced the following report:
" In preparation for a possible impending ground incursion, and in an attempt to minimize civilian casualties, even at the cost of losing the element of surprise, the IDF has dropped another round of warning leaflets over some of the neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip. The flyers call on civilians to leave their homes for their safety, and the IDF details the routes they should take. A translation of the leaflets’ content is below:
The first leaflet:
To the residents of Sheikh Ajlin, Tel Al-Hwa, Rimal South, Zeitoun, Sjaiya, Turkeman and Sajiya Jadida: For your safety, you are required to evacuate your residences immediately and move towards the central Gaza city, via Al-Khara, Jma’at Al Dul Al Arabia, Al Aqsa Al Qudsiya, Um Alaimoun, Salah A-din, Al-Maqsurra, Hal’s Mjdad. In the central Gaza city, you are required to stay between the areas of Salah A-din from the west, Amar Al-Muchtar from the north, Al-Nasser from the east and Al-Quds St. from the south.
- Israel Defense Forces.
The second leaflet:
To the residents of of the outskirts of Shati, Al-Atatra, Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun: for your safety, you are required to evacuate your residences immediately and move towards central Gaza city via Al-Falujah, Al-Udda and Salah A-din. In the central Gaza city, you are required to stay between the roads of Salah A-din from the west, Amar Al-Muchtar from the north, Al-Nasser from the east and Al-Quds St. from the south.
- Israel Defense Forces."

I assume Prof. AbuKhalil, a bona fide professor  at an American university with a good standing, entrusted with the teaching of young students the arts of reading critically, would have checked to see whether the information was true or not. Assuming he is just as capable as finding information on the Internet as I am, I have little doubt that he knows, for a fact, that this information is correct.

So that leaves us with the second possibility for the aggrieved tone: That the BBC presented news that could cast a favourable light upon IDF's rules of engagement in fighting a war targeting terrorists embedded within a civilian population. The complaint suggests that the BBC should not have made this information available to the average British taxpayer. In other words, the BBC should have concealed this information from its viewers, which is tantamount to a dissemination of a lie. If these IDF's actions are not known, then that leaves the Palestinian version of civilian being deliberately targeted by Israel intact and unchallenged. In other words, AbuKhalil expects the BBC to collude with his perspective in which the Israel side is just a black block of evil and malfeasance.

Interesting, from a Prof. at a university duty bound by academic ethics to teach students the truth, and how to find out as much of the truth as possible.


Addendum:  Another example of the professor's courageous standing up for truth in reporting:

Zionism is always racism

"The Tel Aviv municipality has placed security guards at entrances to public bomb shelters that opened Saturday night in the southern part of the city after homeless people, mostly migrants from Africa, tried to sleep there." 
I have not the slightest doubt in my mind that Prof. AbuKhalil, who is intelligent and some would even go as far to say highly intelligent,  knows exactly what this information means: that, following the long ranch missiles lobbed at Tel Aviv by Hamas, the city opened up its public air raid shelters, to serve the people who find themselves in public places when the air raid sirens sound. These shelters are there to provide protection from air raids, not for homeless people, whatever their race, to sleep in. The same way that the Metro stations in Montreal  are there to serve the public and not s a place for homeless people to sleep in. Even on the coldest nights in Montreal, homeless people are not allowed to sleep in Metro stations.  So there is nothing particularly racist or heartless about homeless people in Israel being turned away from shelters meant to protect the public against attacks from the air. 

Yet you wouldn't know these very simple facts from AbuKhalil's way of presenting the information. What do you call such an intellectual, who tells his readers not the truth but a slanderous perversion of facts and contexts?


At 7:53 PM EST, Anonymous Brian Goldfarb said...

Oh, come now, Noga, you surely don't expect the Angry Arab to abide by "academic ethics", etc, do you? he hasn't up to now, so why should he start.

It is.however, very worrying that an accredited academic can't seem to tell the difference between evidence, truth and facts, on the one hand, and perfectly permissible opinion on the other.

I should now, as was an academic for nigh on 4 decades and always sought, very hard, to distinguish between my ideology and opinions based on that, and my duty to my students: not least to train them in how to think for themselves.

Pity we can't get Philip over on engageonline to see the world this way!

At 11:04 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BBC is safe to watch again?

Just wanted you to see this cartoon, and Charles Krauthammer's opinion that the WaPo apparently would not print:

I keep wondering if the Saudis still want someone to cut the head of the snake (my recollection of wikileaks)


At 8:32 PM EST, Anonymous TNC said...

The BBC is globally recognized as an objective source of information in the English-speaking world but when it comes to Israel the bias is horrible. Israel is constantly presented as an aggressor, occupier, etc. This latest conflict has been especially extreme.


Post a Comment

<< Home