Thursday, April 12, 2007

April 12 Media Critique: "Israeli Freedom of Religion Attacked in San Francisco Chronicle"

Times continue to be very lean for those engaged in the search for “media anti-Israel bias”.

HonestReportings latest effort is directed at an Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Yet again, HR conflate media bias with the expression of an opinion that they either don’t like or disagree with. It’s a common affliction of the intolerant.

The writer, Omar Ahmad, bewails what he sees, as threats to Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem and restrictions on access. And it is undoubtedly true that Israel regularly restricts access to the Haram al-Sharif for Muslim worshippers, usually in the name of ‘security’.

The recent controversy over Israeli excavations has heightened concerns, with good reason. Despite HR assertions to the contrary, Israel has been criticized over these works by UNESCO, as well as by Israeli archeologists. The primary problem is that Israel repeatedly violates the terms of its' agreements with UNESCO over the conduct of digs. Israel is meant to co-ordinate such work with the Islamic Waqf – it routinely ‘forgets’ to do so, leading to the kind of problems we saw recently.

Then, true to form, the incompetent bunglers at HR get it wrong. HR is unhappy with this from Ahmad,

In 1967, the Israeli army's chief rabbi, Shlomo Goren, urged Israeli forces commander Uzi Narkis, to use 100 kilograms of explosives to "get rid of" Al-Aqsa "once and for all." Narkis, as quoted by Israeli historian Avi Shlaim in "The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World," (W.W. Norton &Company, 2001) had the wisdom to refuse the rabbi's request.

Says HR,

Ahmad quotes the then Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren as advocating the destruction of Al-Aqsa in 1967. While this quote was actually attributed to Goren before he became Chief Rabbi, this in no way represents the religious or political view of Israel's Chief Rabbinate or indeed any Israeli government, which has always respected the rights of Muslims to their holy sites, as outlined above.

Unfortunately for the dimwits at HR, Ahmad was right, Goren was the “Chief Rabbi”. Goren became the IDF Chief Rabbi in 1948, a position he held until 1968. Maybe HR meant to say that he became Chief Rabbi of Israel in 1973.

How embarrassing, but then, facts have always been HRs weak point.

More so when HR asks its’ legion of gullibles to complain,

Please write to the San Francisco Chronicle - - asking why the paper has published an op-ed so riddled with inaccuracies and poor journalism from a writer with such an obvious and false agenda.

Inaccuracies and poor journalism! How outrageous. And Omar Ahmad isn’t a journalist, an accusation that will never be leveled at HonestReporting.

HR have corrected their error on the matter of Ahmads reference to the IDF Chief Rabbi,
Ahmad quotes the then Israeli army chief rabbi Shlomo Goren as advocating the destruction of Al-Aqsa in 1967. While this view was expressed by Goren at a time before he became Chief Rabbi of Israel,
What point HR are trying to make remains obscure however, except to fabricate an imputation so to refute it.