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Friday, March 28, 2008

Israeli "journalism".

Interesting 1st person account by an Israeli journalist, Yonatan Mendel, at Counterpunch: How to be an Israeli journalist: never write "Murder" or "Palestine".

Key concepts:
- The Israeli Army
(euphemistically and oficially called Israel Defense Forces, IDF) never kidnaps anyone: they arrest them. If the Palestinian or Lebanese militias do the same, then it's a totally different case.
- The Israeli Army never commits a murder, but targetted assasinations. Again exactly the opposite happens when it's Palestinian militants who kill someone. When the Israeli Army murders, say, 14 civilians in such a sophisticated and precise operation, they are just killed by mistake.
- Palestinians can never be acting in self defense, the Israeli Army always does.
- There are no Israelis with blood on their hands, only Palestinians. Curiously a lot more Palestinians have been killed than Israelis at any time of the conflict - but it probably was God or some accident, who knows?
- Israeli's shock and indignation is always most important. Palestinians seem to be so tough that they suffer no shock from the continuous Israeli raids and nobody seems to care about their indignation anyhow.
- Sources: there are trustworthy Israeli Army sources and the occasional vage reference to Palestinians, as an amorphous headless mass.
- There are no low ranking Hamas members, specially if they have been killed by the Israeli Army. All are always high ranking.
- Restricting electricty to hospitals is a non-lethal weapon.
- Crowning (keter) is the euphemism used for the usual practice of neighbourhood sieges by the Israeli Army. In such sieges anyone who dares to get out to the streets or even peek through the window may be killed (never murdered) without any warning, no matter if that one is a young kid or whatever.
- Palestinian children become teenagers at the age of 6 if they happen to be accidentally killed or injured by Israeli troops.
- Palestine does not exist, even if Palestinians do.
- East Jerusalem does not exist either. Apparently common geographical notions do not apply to the holy city.
- Gaza strip (the largest concentration camp in the world) is now quasi-oficially Hamastan.
- Apology of murder is legal and highly encouraged if the murdered person happens to be labelled as terrorist. But it's not murder in any case... but, well, a targetted assasination - you know by now.
- Correspondants of Arab affairs must never be Arab, in spite of 20% of Israeli citizens being of that ethnicity and mastering Arabic much better than nearly any Israeli Jew.
- These words do not exist: occupation, apartheid, racism, Palestinian citizens of Israel, bantustan, ethnic cleansing and nakba ("the disaster": the 1948 Israeli invasion of most of Palestine). Forget about them... now!
- The Occupied Territories (West Bank and Gaza strip) do not exist: first they were the Administrated Territories, then Samaria and Judea and finally just the Territories. (And no, you can't call them Palestine either). How would Zionists occupy anything, if they always act in self-defense?, c'mon!

Ready to report in democratic Israel, young one?


Anonymous said...

Hi Maju, Yes the İsraeli journalist is definitley right.I wonder if you can see Muslims's attacks to Western world in the the same category as palestinians's ?

Maju said...

That's a delicate question. On one side I do see that opression of Palestine and the cynical and almost inconditional support that the USA and virtually all European countries give to Israel can trigger the reaction of Muslim or Arabs in that sense.

But it can also trigger the reaction of Atheist Europeans equally (heard of the now deceased Red Army Fraction, for instance?) that can equally act in the name of Palestinians or whatever other opressed group.

The main inacceptable elements I see to Alqaeda-like violence is not just that it's violence but that it is directed indiscriminately against everybody, including many Muslims (or do you think there were no Muslims killed in Nairobi or Madrid?). It's violence against the whole population, no matter that such population is probably sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. It's not just criminal: it's idiotic. You can't gain sympathies by making indiscriminate massacres.

And by making it an issue not of the opression of a people but allegedly of a religious conflict, they alienate all the population that don't think like them. It's not anymore like in the time of the kidnapping of the Achille Lauro some (arguably) heroic guerrillas that could be cheered by everyone, now it's a bunch of fanatics under the leadership of a mysterious wealthy aristocratic Arab that once worked for the CIA and that promotes an ideology of communitary hatred and islamo-fascism.

As I said, it's not just criminal: it's idiotic. You can't win by putting everybody against you.

And then there are the hate attacks like the murder of Van Gogh, that only attempt to destroy freedom of speech. And again are sublimly idiotic.

I have much more faith in, say, the PKK or the FARC than in any Islamist without a rational project. I don't mean to justify these but they at least make some sense. Even Hamas makes a lot more sense than Alqaeda: Hamas may be Islamist but they are not a bunch of boneheads without a neuron.

It's a basic of guerrilla tactics: or you make yourself a Robin Hood style fame or you are doomed. among Islamists, Hamas or Hizbullah do that: Alqaeda only sows terror everywhere. They kill you because you are Western, they kil you because you are Shia, they kill you because you are Kurd, they kill you because you are a women without chador, they kill you because you happen to be going to work when they decided to cause a massacre - no matter if you are the most faithful of all Sunni Muslims.

But they don't attack the economical interests of the West, they don't attack their armed forces, they make the easiest and most counter-productive of all kind of attacks: civilians. Naturally, the civil population hates them - everywhere and everyday more.

There are popular fights and there are dark hands: Alqaeda is a dark hand managed from (probably) Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyad. It's designed to sow discord among the the peoples of the world, sepcifically among Muslims and the rest and among different groups of Muslims. It's not designed to unite around it, but to divide. It's the perfect black hand.

Dont know if you have noiced but the groups that are fighting Israel in fact, are not alligned with Alqaeda at all, even if they are Islamists too.

And anyhow, coming back to the core of your question: the big error is to consider that Humankind is divided along religious lines. Either you work for Humankind or against it, for your own particular agenda. Or you are with the people or against it.

Anonymous said...

You're right about Al Qaida.They don't seem to be an organization ruled by Muslims.Interestingly USA is the primary beneficiary of their attacks.

But when you look at the İslamic world.Iraq is occupied by USA,Afghanistan occupied by Nato,Palestine occupied by İsrael and all of these occupiers are supporting each other.So now if Muslims (don't have to be al qaida)blow up somewere in Europe or USA would you consider it a self defense act made by Freedom fighters?

PS:I put your blog adress in my signature on Biodiversity.And it seems there's a new forum on biodiversity you may want to join.Here is the link:

Maju said...

What I think is
a- what's the objective?
b- what's the Muslim world

Regarding (a): there are two issues:

1- how valid is to attack civilians (instead of economial or military targets - and I'm not talking of collateral casualties here)

2- What's the scope of your enemy: I mean PKK is at war with Turkey or with all NATO? Hamas is at war with Israel or with anyone that supports it like the USA or Egypt or France or Jordan? So far these kind of really popular organizations have rarely or never targetted but their direct foe. The IRA once attacked military bases in Germany - but they were British military bases. The PKK does not bomb New York, nor does Hamas - at least so far. They are trying to maximize the effectiveness of their struggle and they know that becoming direct enemy of everybody is plainly idiotic, even if that "everybody" is ally of your enemy.

Regarding "the Muslim world", ok: it's a cultural concept (less so religious as there are many "Muslims" that are not really so: depending on who you read Albania is 75% Muslim or just 12%, Turkey is 95% Muslim or just 30%, etc.) But what the heck have in common Indonesia and Morocco? Tanzania and Azerbaijan? Quite little. Is there solidarity among them: also very limited (the Gulf sheiks mostly keep their petrodollars for themselves, though they may drop some crumbs for charities).

Often they fight each other: Turkey fights PKK, Iraq fought against Iran and Kuwait, Niger attacks the Tuaregs, North African Arabist regimes commit cultural genocide with Berbers...

Like the West (not anymore "Christian world", though maybe related), the Muslim World is divided, multiform and inconsistent. Like the West (and the South and the East...), it's divided along class, gender and ethnic lines. Like the rest is made up of people, with multiple singularities.

I don't think that "religious solidarity" is meaningful nor that it can create anything but religious enemity. I think that solidarity with the legimate struggles of the peoples of the world should be religion and race blind - at least as much as possible.

I don't stop supporting Palestinians because they are largely Muslim or because they have voted an Islamist party. I don't make a major difference between Palestinians, Kurds, Basques, Berbers or Tibertans. The details are different but the struggle for national (and popular) liberation is about the same.

The more that we divide Humankind along religious (or racial) lines, the less we will be able to be Humankind.

Maju said...

Btw, what's the difference between this new board and HBF? Racial Reality is administrator, Trog is moderator (sorry but I can't bear that super-racist woman), Crimson Guard is also mod...

Hmmm. I'll bookmark it and keep track maybe but guess that I'm not really interested right now.

In fact I was considering to recycle the Astrology forum into something in the line of (some of my interests, that are many) History + Prehistory + Archaeology + Genetics (no Coon, thanks, at least not mainly). And no tolerance with racist, sexist or homophobic nonsense. That's fundamental to keep a decent level of debate: zero tolerance for the intolerants.