Thursday, February 08, 2007
Israel and the Media: The Ten Commandments
Well, considering that the subject of my last post barely made the news this week, here are ten rules everyone should memorize before watching the evening news or reading the morning paper. They make everything perfectly clear:
Rule # 1: If the story is about the Middle East, the Arabs always attack first and Israel always defends itself. This is called "reprisals".
Rule # 2: Arabs, Palestinians or Lebanese have no right to kill the soldiers or civilians of the other side. This is called "terrorism".
Rule # 3: Israel can kill civilian Arabs. This is called "legitimate self-defence".
Rule # 4: When Israel kills too many civilians, the West asks Israel to be more "proportionate" in its attacks. This is called "the reaction of the international community".
Rule # 5: Palestinians and Lebanese are not allowed to capture Israeli soldiers, even if it’s only three soldiers, since this would pose "an existential threat to the state of Israel".
Rule # 6: Israelis have every right to kidnap as many Palestinians as they like. They now have approximately 10,000 such prisoners, including 300 children. There is no limit to the number that can be kidnapped and no need to prove the guilt of the kidnapped individuals. It is enough to use the magic word "terrorist" and that settles the matter.
Rule # 7: When you say "Hezbollah", you must always add the words "Islamists", "Shiites" and "backed by Syria and Iran".
Rule # 8: When you say "Israel" you must not add "the Jewish State" or "the Jewish army" and above all must not use the words "backed by the United States, France and Europe" since this implies an unequal conflict.
Rule # 9: Never mention the "occupied territories" or UN resolutions except for Resolution #1559, which called for the disarming of Hezbollah. And do not mention violations of international law or of the Geneva Conventions. This upsets TV viewers and radio listeners by forcing them to think.
Rule # 10: Israelis speak better English than Arabs. This is why we give them and their defenders as much time as possible to speak on the air. This allows them to help us better understand Rules # 1 - 9.
And this is what is called "journalistic neutrality".
Written by Sabri Khayat
Thanks to PAJU Montreal