Sunday, June 01, 2008

Modern Myths of Jewish Evil

This Jerusalem Post Editorial - Myth & Muhammad al-Dura - reminds us how the recent (and largely unreported) French Court of Appeals decision on the fraudulent al-Dura affair "calls much-needed attention to the ways in which world opinion is shaped by perceptions that are themselves shaped by a not infallible media and how such myths are "fervently seized by those who seek confirmation for their belief in Israeli culpability, that it is likely never to be erased from international consciousness."

The excellent blog "This Ongoing War" also succinctly put it as follows:-

"If the editors, photographers, cartoonists, reporters and analysts who shape the reports delivered into the conventional news channels were obliged to face critical analysis, had to justify their frequently agenda-driven spinning, had to give an accounting for their prejudicial distortions and lies, then most of the venom directed at Israel and Israelis wouldn't be there."

And it really is a case of frequent media spinning that is not confined to the single story of the Muhammed al-Dura video, filmed by Palestinian cameraman Talal Abu Rahma and aired by France 2 with its explosive but misleading commentary from Charles Enderlin who was nowhere near the scene but blamed the Israelis for the child's death. The cameraman's film (at least the 18 minutes out of 27 that the court ordered to be released) showed what the Jerusalem Post called "apparently staged scenes and faked ambulance runs". The international news media has been infested over the past decade by an industry of lies.

Danny Seaman describes how far reaching and damaging this industry has become for Israel and the Jewish people:

"Often we see reports about some kind of harm done to the Palestinians by Israel that immediately make headlines worldwide. In many cases, the charges turn out to be false, yet the damage to Israel is already done. This stems from the fact that foreign networks do not do the minimum they should be doing – verifying sources and crosschecking information. After all, they always attribute reports to Palestinian reporters and always find 'credible' sources that would confirm the charges."

We've seen this here in one of our reputable news outlets where, for 5½ years we had to endure one man's reporting which relied heavily on so-called "credible sources" telling tall tales that often contained obvious flaws that remained unchallenged by the reporter. Despite the failure of our media to cover the French Appeals Court decision, such reporters are now well and truly on notice. As the Jerusalem Post editorial concludes:

"[T]he sordid affair teaches a valuable lesson about the dangerous enthusiasms, especially in Muslim societies, and especially among those who claim to speak for an awakened conscience, for modern myths of Jewish evil."

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