Sometimes people ask why I obsess about media slant. Here is one reason
A typical case of the media’s mendacity on Israel was the invented coverage of the Jenin “massacre” (not) by British news organisations, which were so anti-Israel that they popularised an event that they could not have witnessed, because it had not happened. They never apologised – because any Israeli “atrocity” is seen to illustrate a greater truth. Another example was the Israeli assassination of the man whom the BBC called Hamas’s “spiritual leader”: Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was actually a terrorist boss, about as “spiritual” as Osama Bin Laden.
Yet, in the British media, every Israeli sin is amplified, while those of the Arab world are ignored. The million dead of the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam Hussein’s 300,000 victims, thousands more massacred in Chechnya, the Arab militias killing black Sudanese, the torturing Middle Eastern tyrannies are ignored – but in Britain, every Palestinian death is reported like a sacred rite. Our media conceal the venom directed at Israel by Arab clerics, television and the internet, presenting Israeli complaints as propaganda. The Middle East commentator Tom Gross revealed in the National Review that when the “moderate” Saudi cleric Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais visited Britain this month, the BBC hailed him as a brave worker for “community cohesion”. Yet his Friday sermons call for Jews – “scum of the human race, rats of the world” – to be “annihilated”.
The first head of the hydra-like monster of medieval anti-Semitic conspiracy theories was the implied parallel between Israeli treatment of Palestinians and Nazis’ treatment of the Jews. This is a de facto cousin of Holocaust denial, as it diminishes and trivialises what really happened then. Since the second intifada started, 2,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis have died – an appalling loss of life, but hardly a genocide.
In blaming Jewish-American neo-cons and in longing to appease the terrorists, the bien-pensants purveyors of these conspiracies will not heal Islamist grievances. For such grievances are about western power, modernity and freedom. Islamist terrorists visualise “Jews” as perhaps a weak link in our western civilisation, but an essential part of our society. Those who swallow conspiracy theories miss the point. For al-Qaeda maniacs, we are all Jews.
For Western liberals/leftists any crime/terrorism/genocide committed by others is not the responsibility of human actors but a tragic act of god angry at the hubris of holding to our own values and demanding sacrifice. Jews, as people who maintain their identity in the face of constant demand to assimilate and relinquish their cultural identity, fit the bill.