Date: Thu Nov 2, 2000 2:58 am
Subject: Tell the Truth About Israel infotimes@...
Tell the Truth About Israel
(Wife of Justice Movement Chairman Imran Khan)
LAHORE, Pakistan, November 1, 2000 (InfoTimes): Generally, I am
sceptical about conspiracy theories. However, I feel the current
furore in the Muslim world about western media coverage of
events in the Middle East is justified.
First, I watched horrified as Israeli soldiers shot, in cold
blood, Mohammad al-Durra, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy. His
father tried to shield his cowering son while begging the
assassins in vain to hold fire. Equally shocking was the
senseless killing of the Palestinian ambulanceman who then
arrived. I watched this scene on several news channels and all
reported that the boy was caught in crossfire. This was
blatantly untrue and the captured images showed clearly that the
firing was one-sided and unprovoked. The Palestinians claim that
father and son innocently went shopping to Gaza. Israel claims
they were violent protesters. But even if they were, since when
did the hurling of rocks warrant gunfire?
I was equally appalled by TV images five years ago when a
Palestinian suicide bomber blew up a restaurant in Israel packed
with children, but the difference is that those reporting the
blast were as outspokenly horrified as I was by the images of
mutilated children's bodies.
In this case, however, far from condemning the brutal public
execution of a young boy, I was amazed to read the western press
condemning Palestinians for "sending their children out to die"
for the sake of "scoring media points". That doesn't explain the
shooting of an 18-month-old baby girl in the back seat of her
father's car. Or how another 12-year-old boy was shot in his own
Then two Israeli soldiers were filmed being brutally killed by
Palestinian protesters. It made shocking viewing. The news
channels reiterated the Israeli claim that they had mistakenly
"strayed into Ramallah". Yet Ramallah is a city under total
Israeli military siege and is completely blockaded except for
one entrance, which is entirely under the control of Israeli
military checkpoints. They were clearly undercover hit squad
agents who had deliberately infiltrated a funeral march. They
were recognised, and although Palestinian police attempted to
protect them, the furious mob invaded the police HQ and killed
them in full view of the international media.
This was presented immediately as justification for subsequent
Israeli aerial attacks, and increased block ades. No one can
condone the frenzied killing of these two Israeli soldiers and
the perpetrators will certainly be called to account - unlike
the soldiers responsible for killing the 12-year-old Palestinian
But why did Madeleine Albright present her immediate condolence
to the families of these two Israeli soldiers, when more than a
fortnight has passed without any such comments for the families
of the dozens of killed Palestinian civilians?
And she persistently refers to "violence on both sides"
(regardless of the obvious disparity between a nuclear state and
a lightly-armed police force. At the last count, there were 126
Palestinian fatalities, 35% under the age of 15, 4,000
Palestinian casualties and seven Israeli fatalities). In the
presidential elections Al Gore and George Bush were forced in
one of their first debates to compete in an almost farcical
fashion over who would be more loyal to Israel. Gore, the clear
winner, who has built his career on support from the Jewish
lobby, said he would pressure Yasser Arafat to stop "provocative
acts of violence".
Hillary Clinton, who a year ago called for a Palestinian state,
has been forced into a complete U-turn in her Senate campaign.
The Jews have been remarkably successful as a people, despite
historic adversity. As a result, the Israeli lobby in the US is
rich and influential. The media are largely controlled by the
Jews, as is Hollywood and they account for more than half the
top policy-making jobs in the Clinton administration.
Driving to pick up my son from school yesterday, I was horrified
to see a freshly painted red sign on a wall: "Kill all Jews.
Jihad". And a statement has just been issued from a London based
Islamist group that "all Jews and Americans have now become
targets in the Muslim lands as a result of American policy".
Abhorrent as this kind of extremism may be, it is a direct
result of what Muslims see as gross injustice, due to
overwhelming Jewish influence in US politics and the media. The
situation can only worsen, with an increase in fundamentalism.
Many of my friends are Jewish, as was my paternal grandfather.
The sad part is that I know the majority of them desperately
want peace in the Middle East, but that peace can only be
achieved once the US acts as an honest broker, and the US media
as impartial commentators.
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