Thursday, October 25, 2007

Oct 24 Media Critique: "A One-State Solution: Advocating Israel's Destruction"

Is this thinly veiled strategy for destroying the Jewish state resurfacing in the mainstream media?

Well, it wouldn’t be HonestReporting without a good dose of hysterics. The source of this weeks edition of confected outrage is an Op-Ed in an Australian newspaper by the president of Women for Palestine, Sonja Karker.

While there is a virtual consensus among world leaders for a two-state solution, another "solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, insidiously sold in the language of peace, is the "one-state solution" or "bi-national state", as laid out in the op-ed columns of Australia's The Age.

Yes, it’s just that Israel seems to have little interest in the solution being applied in any meaningful way. At any rate, the one-state solution is simply the most egalitarian and democratic of all possible solutions. No wonder HR hate it. That said, it isn’t terribly practical at this time because of the lack of support for it.

HR then bore us to death with several of the usual suspects claiming that this is an evil conspiracy to destroy Israel. Chief amongst them is the ubiquitous apologist for Israeli crimes, and serial liar, Alan Dershowitz, who blabbers on quite stupidly,

The one-state solution proposal now being made by Palestinian lawyers and some anti-Israel academics is nothing more than a ploy…… to destroy the Jewish state of Israel

It even gets a bit bizarre,

But, in a world where ethnically mixed states such as Yugoslavia have broken down in bloodshed, and Muslim states such as Saudi Arabia claim Muslim Arab exclusivity, why does the only Jewish state have to be the test case for a far-fetched utopian experiment?

HR draw a parallel between Saudi Arabia and Israel! OK, I guess they both have a bent for religious extremism.

The attempt to label a democratic solution to the conflict as destroying Israel is as predictable as it is lame. Afterall, you can’t vociferously claim to be the only democratic state in the region and also reject a principled democratic resolution. It needs to be dressed up in much nicer sounding terms, like this,

Why is Jewish self-determination in a state of their own illegitimate?

Ah, self-determination! Such champions of it in Israel – for Jews, that is.
The 20% of Israeli’s who are Palestinian? –sorry, self-determination in Israel is only for Jewish Israelis.
The millions living the Occupied Territories for 40 yrs under Israel oppression? - well, maybe they can have a little bit, as long as it suits Israel.
Self-determination expressed at the ballot box in free and fair elections (as far as is possible under foreign occupation)? – nothing wrong with using bribery, coercion and blackmail to destroy that.

So what is the problem? Where is the media bias? There isn’t any, it’s just the usual HonestReporting problem of being unable to tolerate different ideas.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

October 18 Media Critique: "Bad News From the Netherlands"

A project sets out to prove that any country can be made to look like a pariah.

This is the epitome of HRs ‘confusion’.

HR is referring to a project by the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs that does what the title of this latest embarrassment from HR suggests. And so what? We now know that there is crime in the Netherlands. Is that really news to anyone?

There is something that you won’t read about in the JCPAs bizarre little ‘project’ (read it for a good laugh); and that is stories about the Dutch occupation and settlement enterprise. That’s because there isn’t one. You could report every single piece of “bad news” from the Netherlands, and it still wouldn’t be a “pariah”, because it would simply be the kind of news that one sees in every newspaper. However, if they were to start expropriating land outside their internationally recognized borders and started to expel the locals and build Dutch settlements, then it would be a very different story.

Perhaps HR are alluding to the media penchant for ‘if it bleeds it leads’. According to HRs logic, news organizations must be biased against the entire world – they're always reporting the "bad news".

HR’s problem is one of bias – its' own. Being the strident and extreme pro-Israel partisans that they are, they can’t tolerate reporting of Israel that produces a negative impression. Unfortunately for HR, it only requires reporting of the facts to create a negative impression. Perhaps HR and the silly JCPA think that media reporting about the conflict in Sudan is an example of bias? – after all it creates a very negative impressions of Sudan, making it a “pariah”. I strongly suspect that their ‘bias’ theory wouldn’t be applied in this case.

HRs problem is that it views media reporting through the prism of its’ own partisanship, and anything that is “bad news” is not factual reporting about a bad situation, but is bias. Hearing something that you don’t like does not make the source of that information biased - unless you are a fanatic.

Like HonestReporting.

Update: Here’s another ‘bad news’ site, which you can compare with Bad News from the Netherlands and judge for yourself whether the obvious differences stem from ‘bias’ or just reflect a different set of facts.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

October 11 Media Critique: "Failure to Disclose"

That can be a serious problem, removing information that might assist readers to make a judgement about the motivation and perspectives of the person quoted. It would have been better to identify Jeff Halper as a co-founder of the excellent ICAHD, as well a geographer specializing in Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements. Though there is certainly nothing distorting about the omission, despite HRs painful labours to suggest so.

But, as usual, HR ignores the log in its’ own eye while complaining bitterly of the speck in anothers.

How can a journalist "forget" his interviewee's position at the head of an anti-Israel NGO?

Indeed. It’s just shocking.

And an “anti-Israel NGO,” no less. Halper must be a remnant from the Third Reich, or maybe from nasty evil Iran? No. Jeff Halper is from Israel, as the name Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions might suggest.

Shocking! How can HR “forget” to mention that the “anti-Israel NGO" is an Israeli NGO? Failure to disclose!

But it’s not just “anti-Israel” Israelis who are on the menu.

Many times, media outlets and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) rely upon unsourced and uncorroborated Palestinian "eyewitnesses" to back up their stories, despite the unprofessionalism that lies behind this sloppy form of investigation.

Unbelievable. Journalist just go and talk to Palestinians eyewitnesses (sorry for leaving out the scare quotes) and report what they say. How could they? Professional journalists understand that "Palestinian" and "eyewitness" are mutually exclusive categories.

Sometimes the bigotry seeps through despite best intentions. Well, you know what they say – you can’t polish a turd.

HR suggest the Guardian article might be misleading by omitting metion of ICAHD, and hence, Halpers’ “agenda”.

ICAHD partners with radical NGOs to campaign against the two-state solution

Hhmmm….they are against peace. Evil Guardian.

But, let’s just check with ICAHD themselves to see if HR may not have made an inadvertent error and mistakenly misrepresented ICAHDs “agenda” as being "against the two-state solution".

As Israelis, we believe that the only chance for a genuine peace is one that enables the Palestinians to establish what we have, a viable and truly sovereign state of their own.

Another turd from HonestReporting.

Oct 3 Media Critique: “Israel Finally Refutes Al-Dura”


Refutes, as in, to prove a claim is false? No, not at all. HR is just doing what comes naturally – being dishonest.

Despite the headline, even HR have to ‘fess up to the reality,

Israel has finally officially denied responsibility

OK, so it’s just a denial released, purely by chance of course (7 years later), to coincide with the court action by the ill-fated conspiracy theorists who are trying to sue France’s Channel 2. They lost round 1 and are very likely to lose round 2 as well.

Not content with just denying responsibility, a group in Israel are claiming that the death was “staged”. I’m not exactly sure what they mean by this, but no-one is actually taking this seriously, not even the Director of the GPO, Daniel Seaman, who is an enthusiastic supporter of the conspiracy.

So, are they going to charge the Channel 2 journalists with 'staging' the death? No.

Or even revoke their GPO issued permits to work in Israel? No.

Beat-up for the faithful? Oh yeah!