Thursday, March 23, 2006

Why has Israel gone from 'Hero' to 'Outcast'?

Israel advocates have long been scratching their heads about this issue. How has Israel gone from a nation seen as the underdog, or a nation that has risen from the flames to world pariah and outcast?
Ron Fraser attempts to answer this question with a detailed overview of the history of the issue in an article titled 'Israel—From Hero to Outcast'.
Excerpts below...
The world sees the images, nightly, beamed in from Israel, while remaining largely ignorant to the effects of other major crises on the world scene which pale, by comparison, the skirmishes in Israel into relative insignificance. This is due in large part to the inability of news services to establish themselves within the extreme-level danger zones of these other largely closed societies. So images of the extreme gruesomeness of these major crises never reach the living rooms of the masses.But there is another element to this media distortion of the situation in Israel. It’s the element of often deliberately choreographed events on the ground, funneled through generally leftist reporters “dumped on the ground with little prior knowledge … forced to condense and ‘package’ terribly complex and crucial events,” which are then deliberately constructed to reflect the bias of media moguls by “producers sitting in carpeted, climate-controlled studios in New York and London” who are “making war their subject”
One of the more chilling of examples of the extent to which certain groups will go to block the truth given by Gutmann relates to reaction of the Palestinians to the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Gutmann relates how Palestinians took to the streets to publicly celebrate al Qaeda’s attack, with an estimated 3,000 celebrating in Nablus alone. An AP photographer filmed the celebrating masses in that city and forwarded his footage to his bureau in Jerusalem. The footage never made it to air. “Before it hit the wire, the photographer called his bureau … [while] sitting in the Nablus governor’s office with guns to his head. The reporter lived, but the truth did not. The AP was told by the Palestinian Authority that it ‘could not guarantee their safety’ in the future unless the AP learned to be ‘more careful’”
Another case which Gutmann exposes is that of two Israeli reservists who made a wrong turn when driving home and found themselves arrested by Palestinian police. Taken to the local police station, the two were then mob-lynched, their bodies brutally battered and set on fire. Again, this instance was witnessed by two press representatives, the one having his camera torn from his grasp and smashed by the mob, the other managing to capture a now-infamous image of one of the murderers of the two Israelis holding his bloody hands aloft to the cheering of the crowd. Death threats from the Palestinians quickly followed to those who manned the bureau for which the cameraman operated. This forced the flight of the bureau chief for his own protection.

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