Imagine a member of the KKK going on the Bill O’Reilly show and declaring all African-Americans are shiftless crackheads. Imagine the outrage and calls for Fox News to be investigated for promoting racism and hatred. Now imagine an Israeli diplomat going on Bill O’Reilly’s show and declaring all Muslims are terrorists. In fact, this happened, and nobody is calling the diplomat, Dan Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, a racist or are there demands Fox News be investigated for promoting racism and hatred. In Bushzarro world, it is fine and dandy to characterize all Muslims as terrorists.
“While it is politically incorrect to say that all Muslims are terrorists, unfortunately, it’s true that all terrorists are Muslim,” Gillerman said on O’Reilly’s show yesterday, July 16.
I picked up this quote from a blog. It was not mentioned in the corporate media. A Google News search returned no results. Either the people who post at the Truth Will Set You Free blog made the quote up or Israelis spewing racist hatred is so common and acceptable nobody bothered to mention it.
Of course, when Iran’s Ahmadinejad says anything about Israel, it is front page news. In fact, so eager is the corporate media to demonize Ahmadinejad, it reprints distortions of his comments (Ahmadinejad never said Israel should be “wiped off the map,” as widely reported), which are then used to further rationalize “all Muslims are terrorists” comments.
As FAIR noted late last month, the starting point of all discussion in the corporate media about events in the Middle East begins with the assumption Arabs and Muslims are terrorists. For instance, in regard to the Palestinians:
If anything, what “hardly ever varies” is mainstream media’s adherence to an attack-retaliation formula that overwhelmingly places the blame on the Palestinian side, though in the ongoing cycle of attacks both sides usually describe their actions as retaliatory…. From the start of the Intifada in September 2000 through March 17, 2002, the three major networks’ nightly news shows used some variation of the word “retaliation” (”retaliated,” “will retaliate,” etc.) 150 times to describe attacks in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. About 79 percent of those references were to Israeli “retaliation” against Palestinians. Only 9 percent referred to Palestinian “retaliation” against Israelis. (Approximately 12 percent were ambiguous or referred to both sides simultaneously.)
A 2002 Glasgow University Media Group report revealed “that television news on the Israel/Palestinian conflict [in Britain] confuses viewers and substantially features Israeli government views…. There is a preponderance of official ‘Israeli perspectives’, particularly on BBC 1, where Israelis were interviewed or reported over twice as much as Palestinians. On top of this, US politicians who support Israel were very strongly featured…. TV news says almost nothing about the history or origins of the conflict.” In America, this bias even more pronounced.
Few television news viewers (or zombies) realize Israel invaded Lebanon in 1978 and 1982, or that Israel occupied southern Lebanon for more than twenty years and this brutal occupation (as documented by human rights organizations) resulted in the formation of Hezbollah.
Few understand Israel has stolen Arab land, including the Golan Heights and Shebaa Farms, and common Israeli border provocations result in Hezbollah attacking Israel.
Few understand the magnitude of Israel’s abduction of Lebanese, accused of resisting Israel’s illegal occupation, or the fact many of them were tortured in the Khiam torture dungeon. “Lebanese detainees held without trial or after expiry of their sentences in Israeli prisons and in Khiam are Israel’s forgotten hostages,” notes Amnesty International. “Amnesty International knows of 21 Lebanese nationals who have been captured in Lebanon and transferred to Israeli prisons either without ever having been sentenced or held beyond the expiry of their sentences. These are just some of the detainees whom Amnesty International believes Israel to be holding as hostages. Most of them were captured by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) or by one of the pro-Israeli Christian militias in Lebanon, the Lebanese Forces or the SLA. Many of them were held in detention centers in Lebanon under Lebanese Forces’ or SLA control before being transferred, usually secretly, to Israel.” No mention of this in the corporate media. Instead, we are told, without additional comment, all Muslims are terrorists.
No mention in the corporate media of Israel’s continual and repeated violations of Lebanese airspace. “Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon today called on Israel to cease its air violations over Lebanese territory,” the UN News Center reported on November 4, 2004. “Staffan de Mistura issued his statement in Beirut in response to eight flights involving 11 aircraft and three drones across the Blue Line, as the line of withdrawal is known.” Israel has violated Lebanese sovereignty dozens of time, buzzing Beirut, Tripoli, Tyre, and other cities, often using sonic booms to intimidate the population. Earlier this year Terje Roed-Larsen, the UN envoy to Middle East, complained of “constant Israel violations against Lebanon,” but such stories seem to be of interest only to the Arab media.
No mention of Israel’s violence around the illegally occupied Shebaa Farms. In response to Hezbollah attacking occupation forces at Shebaa Farms, Israel attacks civilians as a matter of course. “News reports in Beirut said that the Israeli forces started artillery bombardment of Kafer Shouba village and the neighboring villages after Hizbullah fighters fired one missile at a site for the Israeli occupation army in Shebaa farms,” the Arabic News reported in February. “The Israeli bombardment resulted in injuring one Lebanese woman and damages to several houses in al-Habareyah and al-Kheyam and in al-Habareyah elementary school. One house in Kafer Shouba was directly hit.” In November, 2005, “police explained that one Israeli military tank and artilleries bombarded for 45 minutes several Lebanese villages…. [and Hezbollah] retaliated the Israeli bombardment and fired mortars shelling at three Israeli positions in Shabaa Farms.” In October of the same year, the IOF attacked Burket al-Nakkar and Jabal Saddaneh with attack helicopters. Of course, all of this occurred on Lebanese soil, and yet Lebanon did not invade Israel or incinerate school kids on Israeli roads.
Instead, Fox News welcomes comments that all Muslims are terrorists and this feeds into the perception that killing innocent Lebanese civilians is justified because they allowed Hezbollah to capture Israeli prisoners of war. If we are to use such a yardstick, then Hezbollah attacks on Israel are completely justified, as Israel has taken Lebanese prisoners by the dozens, not because they have done anything but rather because they are considered “bargaining chips.”