Saturday, August 25, 2007

August 23 Media Critique: “The Independent's Foul Play”

“Criticism of a UK Foreign Office decision turns into an excuse for hateful Israel bashing.”

When it’s not the evil BBC, it’s the evil Independent. What is it with those Brits??

Writing in the UK's Independent, Mark Steel criticizes the British Foreign Office, which is his right, before launching an astonishing diatribe against Israel, based not on facts nor reason, but on overt hate and disinformation.

The usual measured response from HR.

What indicates his “overt hate” for Israel? It’s Steels' suggestion that the Israeli Foreign Ministry might have pressured the UK to refuse the visa’s. I think it unlikely, but as Steele pointed out, the British FO initially supported the tour, so it is a little odd that they would then change course. HR seem to find it difficult to believe that Governments attempt to influence each other. Such wondrous naivety.

All Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip may encounter problems exiting crossings at Israeli and Egyptian borders, particularly following Hamas' violent takeover of the area.

Ah, the joys of the deletion of the active agent.

Palestinians simply can’t find the doors, that’s why they “encounter problems exiting crossings”. And it has been a little worse since Hamas won democratic lections, but Israel has been making it increasingly difficult over the last 15 years. It’s nothing new, just the continuation of the trend.

the latest incident is simply part of the process of petty vindictiveness that occupying forces often dish out. Even if there's no obvious military or political advantage to be gained, you can imagine them passing a law that no one in Gaza is allowed to hum, or on Mondays everyone has to speak in a Geordie accent.

HR remain suitably calm and objective by describing this quote from Steels' article as “simple hatred and demonization of Israel”. Conveniently, they miss, or ignore, Steels’ completely reasonable observation that this is typical of “occupying forces”, the plural form obviously referring to all occupying forces, hence not ‘demonizing’ Israel but being appropriately critical of occupying powers. To enhance the effect of this lie, HRs quote leaves out the preceding sentence which provides the context and background for Steels’ observation. The phrase “latest incident” gives it away, but HR readers are probably beyond such critical appraisals,

And during the Asia Cup, which the Palestinian national team had started with an 8-0 win, the Israelis detained the five players who came from Gaza so they couldn't get to their match against Uzbekistan

Oh, so it’s happened before!!

And it’s not just in sport that Israeli vindictiveness can be witnessed. Remember the saga of the greenhouses in Gaza? The wingnut-o-sphere frothed at the mouth over the destruction of greenhouses after the Gaza ‘disengagement’. Only 20% were affected, but they had a lovely time vilifying all Palestinians over the incident. It was a major economic goal to get the horticultural industry going. There were problems but crops were raised and goods set to be exported. But in the first season only 10% could be exported due to repeated Israeli closures of the Karni crossing for 'security' reasons. Never happened when the goods were Israeli.

Just bad luck I’m sure, and anyone who suggests otherwise is guilty of “overt hate”.

Cooked To Imperfection”

And they don’t like Jonathon Cook for writing articles like this .

They particularly don’t like him saying this,

a relentless campaign to target, discredit and silence critics of Israel.

The existence of HR makes that just a statement of the bleeding obvious. But not for HR, who indulge in the routine piece of sophistry that greets this observation, namely that since critics like Cook “are able to spread their flawed charge the claim that their voices have been silenced” is simply untrue. The sophistry comes in with the assumption that critics are saying that this has been 100% successful. But as Cook says, the pro-Israel partisans like HR have a “relentless campaign” to try and achieve this. The degree of success is not the issue.

Then it gets truly comical,

Jonathan Cook's agenda and that of others, it seems, is to delegitimize and silence the very legitimate opinions held by those in opposition to theirs

Now it’s all clear: Cook, and “others” in the media, have an agenda to “silence” HR, who are valiantly fighting to simply express an opinion the opposite of Cooks, which they do by attacking Cooks opinions. Makes sense doesn’t it? Jonathon Cook and “others” are anti-Israel partisans who, almost every week, write articles asking readers to send “informed correspondence” to HonestReporting in order to balance the one-sided debate in the media.

One wonders if even the script-writers at HR believe this stuff.