Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is The World Getting Comfortable With Attacks On Israel?

How else to explain that, for all the outcry we've come to expect when Israel is held accountable for any wrong--real or imagined--when Israel is the victim there is silence.

For example, this week Israel intercepted a ship carry 50 tons of weapons to be smuggled from Egypt into Gaza. But the world media has shown little interest in the Victoria:

So far, the world media has shown only scant interest in the story. The likely pretext for the lack of interest is Japan’s overshadowing radioactive mega-scare.

Yet in November 2009 the interception of the Francop, with a haul of 320 tons of military hardware earmarked for Hezbollah (in brazen violation of UN Resolution 1701), also made almost no waves internationally. No looming nuclear calamity diverted the world’s attention at that time. Although Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke of the Francop’s cargo as constituting “components of a war crime,” much of the negligible resonance generated in some broadcasts actually dealt with accusations about “Israeli piracy.”

THE IMPLICATIONS are grave. Now, as then, there appears nearly no readiness to hear Israel out. Israeli grievances are essentially ignored. Aggressive anti-Israel schemes – of which the Victoria is only the most recent example – aren’t registered, much less internalized, at a time when the war against Israel has increasingly switched to the propaganda arena, where vilification and libel are the preferred weapons of choice. Iran’s protégés continually provoke Israel, yet are still allowed to masquerade as victims.
Responding to the article, P David Hornik notes that even the massacre in Itamar of the Fogel family has failed to garner the level of media attention one would expect:
All too true, I'm afraid. I've found that even on conservative websites, interest in "Israel intercepts arms ship" stories is not necessarily high. It's pretty hard for us to make our case if folks won't even listen to us. It seems to me the same thing happened with the Itamar massacre last Friday night. Seemingly the massacre of a family with knives, including a toddler and an infant, would at least have enough shock value to get media attention. 'Fraid not. "Jews as victims" won't go over anymore, it seems. That's for Holocaust Memorial Day.
The media are not the only ones that appear to be taking the murder of Israeli children in stride. CAMERA notes an Eery Silence from Mainline Churches on Itamar Attack, and thinks that some questions are in order:
Given the persistent failure of mainline Protestant churches and their allies in the Roman Catholic community to address this issue, it’s time to ask some very difficult questions.

Is there something about Muslim expressions of hostility toward Jews in the Middle East that echoes in the minds of Israel’s Christian critics in the U.S.?

Is there something about Muslim anti-Semitism that dovetails with Christian anti-Semitism?

Is that why they find anti-Semitic incitement so unremarkable? Is that why they have remained bystanders to the problem of anti-Semitism in the Middle East and Europe?

If Christians cannot talk bring themselves to speak forcefully about Muslim anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish incitement, can they truly claim to have overcome the problem of anti-Semitism in their own communities? In their own hearts?

If the CMEP and the churches it represents cannot bring themselves to forcefully condemn the anti-Semtic incitement as it exists in the Middle East, maybe these institutions are better off by remaining silent about the conflict altogether.

This is not an issue that would-be peacemakers can ignore.

And yet they do.
These same questions can be asked of the media as well, whose self-proclaimed objectivity and even-handedness is nowhere to be seen. Have they absorbed the Arab narrative of Israel and the Middle East so completely?

More to the point, these days the media prides itself on its freedom of speech and investigative reporting--yet journalists remain silent about the regular incidents of Palestinian incitement against Israel.

This is not an issue that dedicated journalists can ignore.

And yet they do.

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