Lately, for whatever reason, I’ve been getting bombarded with pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli emails. We’ve all realized over the years that the pro-Palestinian side has successfully built a narrative that has little bearing on the truth, but has a number of abettors. Among them the media. And it is a real problem when “news” ends up being slanted to one side or another because, well, because it fits a narrative the media prefers, because we remain poorly and incompletely informed. Funny how when that’s the case, flaky “facts” go unexamined, while real facts are downplayed, ignored or dismissed if they don’t fit that narrative.
Of course we’ve also been told, by the usual players, that there is no media bias and that the story is “true”. Of course, that’s using the post-modern definition of true. However, now an AP correspondent very familiar with the area, the coverage and the narrative, lays it all out in a couple of articles:
Most consumers of the Israel story don’t understand how the story is manufactured. But Hamas does. Since assuming power in Gaza in 2007, the Islamic Resistance Movement has come to understand that many reporters are committed to a narrative wherein Israelis are oppressors and Palestinians passive victims with reasonable goals, and are uninterested in contradictory information. Recognizing this, certain Hamas spokesmen have taken to confiding to Western journalists, including some I know personally, that the group is in fact a secretly pragmatic outfit with bellicose rhetoric, and journalists—eager to believe the confession, and sometimes unwilling to credit locals with the smarts necessary to deceive them—have taken it as a scoop instead of as spin.
During my time at the AP, we helped Hamas get this point across with a school of reporting that might be classified as “Surprising Signs of Moderation” (a direct precursor to the “Muslim Brotherhood Is Actually Liberal” school that enjoyed a brief vogue in Egypt). In one of my favorite stories, “More Tolerant Hamas” (December 11, 2011), reporters quoted a Hamas spokesman informing readers that the movement’s policy was that “we are not going to dictate anything to anyone,” and another Hamas leader saying the movement had “learned it needs to be more tolerant of others.” Around the same time, I was informed by the bureau’s senior editors that our Palestinian reporter in Gaza couldn’t possibly provide critical coverage of Hamas because doing so would put him in danger.
There are a couple of things to take away from this. One the uber-sophisticated press is being spun by those they tend to look-down upon. Apparently there’s such a thing as being “willingly spun” and we’ve been getting a whole heaping helping of it for years. The irony, if it wasn’t so damaging, is delicious. Two, this is how you get Ferguson’s. This is the same recipe on a domestic level. Facts, be damned, the narrative is what is important and so it is the narrative you get.
How does that serve the consumers of news?
This week, Michael, and Dale talk about all kinds of stuff.
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I know, like me, you’ve been watching with some wonder as Israel gets called everything but a child of God for defending itself from hundreds of rockets being fired into its country and then having the unmitigated temerity to strike back. Now we have a member of NATO upping the tensions just a bit more:
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described Israel on Monday as a “terrorist state” in carrying out its bombardment of Gaza, underlining hostility for Ankara’s former ally since relations between them collapsed in 2010.
His comments came after nearly a week of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip. An Israeli missile killed at least 11 Palestinian civilians including four children in Gaza on Sunday.
“Those who associate Islam with terrorism close their eyes in the face of mass killing of Muslims, turn their heads from the massacre of children in Gaza,” Erdogan told a conference of the Eurasian Islamic Council in Istanbul.
I’d go through the litany of the whys and wherefores that detail why there are “civilian” casualties when Israel strikes back (hint: because that’s part of the plan when Hamas does these sorts of things as a means of swaying the ignorant and those who tend buy into the “poor, wronged victims” they love to portray themselves as), but you know them as well as I do.
We’ve talked about Turkey’s inexorable slide toward radical Islam for quite some time, so in reality, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Turkey, which once looked west has turned its view to the east and is eyeing regional power. Turkey knows that there’s one requirement to admission to power in that region, and that’s embracing and touting Islam. In fact, it is about embracing a radical form of Islam that refuses to recognize Israel or it’s right to exist. This is just another shot among many that Turkey has taken. The NATO reference just reminds us of the possible difficulties their membership could pose in a situation like this.
And speaking of the present situation, as soon as Israel strikes back we begin to hear the false arguments about “proportionality” begin to surface. No one mentions that 750 to 1,000 unanswered rockets and mortars have flown disproportionally into Israel, it’s always about those 100 air strikes the Israelis put into Gaza that are condemned as violating this new law of proportionality. Yes, proportionality is only a concern when Israel acts, not when the terrorists attack.
The real reason that it comes up at all is because Hamas surrounds its launchers with civilians and are lousy shots and Israel isn’t.
It’s just not fair.
This week, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss Gen. Petraeus and Benghazi, Israel, and the Twinkie.
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I guess some people have to have a whack over the head with a clue bat before they begin to realize that Egypt is headed down an Islamist path with a military twist:
Gaza’s Hamas premier was in Egypt Monday on his first trip outside the blockaded territory since the Islamists overran it in 2007, saying his meeting with his Islamic ideological mentors threatens Israel.
Ismail Haniyeh discussed Mideast politics with the leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has emerged as the biggest winner in the first parliamentary elections in post-uprising Egypt, capturing nearly half of the seats so far.
Hamas is considered an offshoot of the Brotherhood.
Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie met Haniyeh at the group’s newly inaugurated headquarters in a Cairo suburb.
But, but … the Muslim Brotherhood is a “moderate” organization. Why? Uh, because they said so.
I don’t know about you but I’ve always believed that actions speak louder than words.
The Brotherhood center has always embraced issues of liberation, foremost the Palestinian issue," Badie said, according to Egypt’s state Middle East News Agency.
The Brotherhood renounced violence in the 1970s, but it supports Hamas in its "resistance" against Israel.
That’s how the “Brotherhood” can continue to claim it is a “moderate” organization while still remaining a radical terrorist organization … simply do the terrorism by proxy. Hamas is their terror organization and it is fully funded and supported by the “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood. Oh, and by the way, don’t be surprised if you see a Hamas presence established in Egypt now. The “moderate” Brotherhood will need a means of plausible deniability when acts of terror are perpetrated on enemies of the Brotherhood in days to come. And of course Hamas will provide that means and, of course, the Brotherhood can then condemn its actions in public for the Western press even while giving it the next mission.
That way the can keep the façade of moderation alive among those gullible enough in the West to still believe that.
Hamas calls Greek stop of US blockade runner “inhumane”– Israel on “Specially Designated Country” list for first time
In the world of overwrought spin and propaganda we find a premiere example of the genre from Hamas:
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Friday denounced Greece after its coastguard intercepted a US vessel which tried to sail to Gaza to break Israel blockade of the coastal strip.
In a statement issued by its political leadership in Damascus, the militant group described the action as "inhumane" and said Greece had played into Israeli hands.
"This is inhumane action, is contrary to international regulations and norms," said the statement by Hamas, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.
"Barring this aid from reaching the Gaza Strip is done as a result of pressure imposed by the Zionist occupiers," referring to Israel.
Of course the US ship, the “Audacity of Hope” has no aid. It is sailing with nothing but letters of support. Secondly, even if it was, there’s a very well-established route to deliver aid to Gaza. The blockade runners simply want to further demonize the Israelis by attempting to provoke an incident like that which happened the last time this was tried.
The Israeli-imposed blockade of Gaza "is unjust… and a mark of disgrace on the forehead of humanity," [Hamas] said.
Translation: “The blockade prevents us from smuggling in more weapons than we have now. “
Of course with the overthrow of Mubarak, the Egyptian portion of the border is quite porous now so even that objection is largely invalid.
Nope – just another example of a long line of examples of Hamas calling the right of a nation to defend itself “inhumane”, mostly because it doesn’t recognize that nation’s right to exist. Given all the other ways to get aid to Gaza – real aid – it is clear this has nothing to do with any of that.
It is simply another in a long line of attempts to provoke that nation into acts of self-defense so it can condemn it further. It is the equivalent of firing rockets into Israel and then condemning Israel when it reacts.
And for some reason, much of the rest of the world takes its condemnations seriously.
Meanwhile, CNS news reports that for the first time, Israel has landed on the “Special Designated Country” list. What does that mean?
[T]he Obama administration is currently listing Israel among 36 “specially designated countries” it believes “have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members.”
Also on the list are countries like Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza.
This is the first time Israel has shown up as an SDC.
Of course, no one seems to know how that happened, but ICE is the agency tasked to carry out the enforcement of what SDC means:
Even though the administration includes Israel among “specially designated countries” that it believes "have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members,” ICE Spokeswoman Gillian Christensen told CNSNews.com that the U.S. also considers Israel, as well as some other countries on the “specially designated countries” list, as partners in the struggle against terrorism.
“The U.S. does not and never has considered Israel to have links to terrorism, but rather they are a partner in our efforts to combat global terrorism,” Christensen said in a written statement. “Countries may have been included on the list because of the backgrounds of arrestees, not because of the country’s government itself.”
“The United States maintains close intelligence-sharing relationships with many of these countries in order to address security issues within their own borders and in our mutual pursuit of safety and security around the globe,” said Christensen.
ICE declined to say who put Israel on the list or when Israel was put there. However, in her written statement, ICE spokeswoman Christensen said the “specially designated country” list had been created "at least" seven years ago–which would have been during the presidency of George W. Bush–and that ICE was not responsible for creating it.
Yes, friends, it’s Bush’s fault. Bottom line though, given how SDC is defined, it is hardly the appropriate list for Israel to be on.
Oh, and who didn’t make the list this time but was on the last one?
For new readers, “QandO” is short for “Questions and Observations”.
- “Scientific proof” that Islam is the “correct religion” thanks to an electron- microscope. Yes, “molecules took beautiful shapes everytime they are exposed to air vibrations from reading the holy Quran or saying the word islam or the muslim call to prayer.” But is there scientific consensus?
- Apparently Hamas and al-Qaeda are fighting it out for the Gaza strip. 13 dead and 100 injured. Only al-Qaeda would declare Hamas as being “too liberal”. So how will the San Francisco anti-Israel protesters protest this? My guess is that somehow Bush will be the blame. Also note how hard the report tip-toes around identifying the Hamas opponents as al-Qaeda
- 60 Brooklyn New York seniors gave Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner an ear-full, with one of them calling him a crook who was trying to bankrupt the country. Weiner’s response? “You have a lot of good talking points”. Yeah, my guess is her “talking points” were in reaction to his talking points. You have to hope the Dems keep handling all of their constituent protesters in such an appallingly ham-fisted manner. Hard to turn old folks in a deep blue district into racist red-necks though, isn’t it?
- Zomblog does a terrific retrospective of the Bush/Hitler meme during the last 8 years that exposes the faux-outrage of both the media and the left for what it is. It’s a rather interesting reminder of how casual and how widespread it was. Just as interesting is the amnesia that both the media and left are seemingly suffering right now.
- Funny stuff. Exurban League has found the “new and improved” lefty bumper sticker and Tom Bevan has another example of a vicious and racist anti-Obama poster.
- Lefties are up in arms with Whole Foods CEO John Mackey after he came out in a WSJ editorial against Obama’s health care reform. You see, Mackey’s company self-insures and provides its own health care coverage. And it works. Mackey tops it off by saying we should be moving toward “less government control and more individual empowerment”. Liberals are enraged and boycotting, believing Mackey is biting the hand that fed him. I guess the entrepreneurial capitalist won out over the sniveling collectivist. He knows what got him where he is and it wasn’t government. Me? I’ve never shopped at Whole Foods, but I’m going to now.
- In all of this health care stuff, let’s not forget about cap-and-trade. The Heritage Foundation has a new analysis out. If the bill is passed and signed into law as is, look for a 58% increase in gas prices, a 90% increase in electricity prices, and a $3000 per family increase in goods and services. At a national level, we’ll see a loss of 9.4 trillion in aggregate GDP between 2012 and 2035 as well as a loss of 2.5 million jobs by 2035. Other than that, it’s a peachy keen bit of legislation.
- And for our “bad salesman tip” of the week – remember when you’re trying to sell government health care as an alternative to private health care, alway invoke UPS and FedEx as the good example and the USPS as the screwed up example. Heh … sometimes you just have to know when to shut up.
- Congressman Bart Stupak, D-MI validates the contention that most of the Democrats put party over country. Stupak told Detroit News columnist Frank Beckmann that protests weren’t going to deter him from voting yes on health care. He said, “We’re not going to allow a small, vocal minority to dissuade us (from) our goal.” IOW, “screw you folks, I’m just going through the motions in these townhalls, Nancy Pelosi has my vote”