Saturday, 13 November 2010

Palestinian "Justice"

- A young Palestinian has been jailed for criticising and mocking Islam on his blog and on Facebook groups that he created, claiming to be G-d. The blogger faces a potential life prison sentence, whilst residents of his West Bank town say he should be publicly executed. Somehow I don't think any of this will change his opinions on Islam.
- Meanwhile on Gaza's new "five-star" prison, the director said "We do not practice any torture here. That takes place at the interrogation centre, before people are convicted." Once convicted though, those accused of collaborating with Israel are hanged in the basement. But before that, they can enjoy tv and radio in their rooms, and to visit and be visited by their families.
- In other news, last month the Working Group Against the Trafficking of Women set up a window display in Tel Aviv's Dizengoff mall, where real women posed with price tags attached, under a banner saying "Women for Sale". The aim was obviously to create awareness of the issue, and to gather signatures for their petition, but Iranian media reported it as "Prostitution in Israel", describing it as a "slavery mall". Thankfully the Western mainstream media isn't quite at that stage yet, although there have been instances where it's not very far off.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Times' Narrative-In-Brief

On his visit to Israel, Germany's foreign minister called for Israel to end the Gaza blockade, the Times reported yesterday in a news brief.
What they forgot to mention was that:
he also called on Hamas to release Gilad Shalit: "it is very important that we help the family, that we help this poor young man and that we see him as soon as possible, safe and healthy, back in the arms of his family"
and he also "said his decision to not meet with Hamas stemmed from the Gaza leadership's refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel".
But of course if the Times had reported that, it might have ruined the Israel = oppressors, Palestinians = victims narrative.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Fight The Media? BE The Media!

I’ve always been a proud supporter of Israel and interested in media and journalism, so it was inevitable that I eventually started this blog in June 2009 – just about the time I’d finally had enough of the continuous and absurdly biased and inaccurate coverage of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

My main motivation for this blog was as an outlet for myself, to record the media’s hypocrisy and express my feelings on the subject. This was after spending much time getting into pointless and frustrating online arguments with Israel-hating lefties and terrorist supporters who repeatedly accuse Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing and Naziism, and ignore all the facts, logic, and evidence you throw at them.

It feels like the media and internet are so vast, how can we possibly counter all the hate and lies? - but it works to our advantage as well. There are so many outlets for expression that anyone and everyone can get involved in fighting Israel’s media war, and make a difference even by doing something as small as clicking ‘play’ on a YouTube video. Within a day of the notorious flotilla incident in May, Israel’s footage of their soldiers being stabbed and attacked on the Mavi Marmara was on the front page of YouTube, which then generated hundreds of thousands more views. The footage was later used in a BBC documentary of the incident, so informative and balanced that Israel’s critics were incensed. All of this was achieved simply by people watching the video and sharing it online.

Some of the most powerful online videos are only 30 seconds long, such as those by Free Middle East, or “What makes a hero?” by YouTube member aussievideodude. The IDF itself records footage and posts clips on its YouTube channel, and Honest Reporting do educational videos and podcasts. Just as effective – if not more so – is the use of humour in videos, such as No Laughing Matter’s mock interviews, Latma’s satirical news channel, and Elder of Ziyon’s ironic videos, like “The Humanitarian Crisis of the Gaza Mall”. Sometimes ridicule is the only way to get people to take another look at themselves.

Twitter is a great website for posting information as it happens and sharing it fast. When Israel was helping in Haiti after the earthquake there, they used Twitter not only to update followers of their efforts, but also to communicate with people who required aid. And last year on the third anniversary of Gilad Shalit’s capture, there was a campaign to create awareness of his plight that succeeded in getting his name as one of the top trends that day (until Michael Jackson died). If you have an important link related to Israel, post it with a related tag like #Israel or #IDF so it can be found easily. On the other hand, Twitter can also be used to directly fight back against anti-Israel bias. Chas Newkey-Burden has described how on his blog he fisked an article that a journalist had tweeted, and then sent his post to the journalists’ followers – succeeding in getting some of them to rethink and even retweet his blog.

On Facebook you can share news stories and videos, and discuss the Middle East conflict with other members – on both pro and anti-Israel groups. In one of my more enjoyable exchanges on a Facebook group, I simply responded to my opposition’s ranting with links to pictures and videos clearly in Israel’s favour; I didn’t even have to write anything, and he was so livid he could barely type (or maybe he just had a bad education). The key is not to emote, but to remain calm and polite (however painful it is). Remember that it is the Palestinian leadership who act against the interests of both sides, and so demonizing and boycotting Israel does nothing to help the Palestinian people.

Another essential way to fight Israel’s media war is to submit complaints and letters in instances of media bias or inaccuracy – you are likely to find plenty of cases yourself, or just follow media monitoring sites like Honest Reporting, Just Journalism, CiF Watch and Reuters-Middle East Watch.

And finally, there are the blogs, where you can choose to either get into heated debates with leftist, Israel-bashing bloggers, or else keep up to date on the latest news from Israel and the Middle East that you’d never otherwise find in the mainstream media, and share your own thoughts and frustrations with fellow Zionists and bloggers.

My blog is not in the league of must-reads like Elder of Ziyon, Chas Newkey-Burden’s Oy Va Goy, Robin Shepherd, Honest Reporting and CiF Watch, but I recently had a reader post this very humbling comment that makes it all worthwhile:

“I just found your blog during an angry debate with my viciously anti-Semitic, pro-Palestine aunt, during which she called me a Zionist and sneered that I might have Jewish blood. I just wanted to let you know you're doing a bang up job and I'm glad there are people like you out there. Sometimes I swear it feels like I'm the only pro-Israel person in the world.”

So whilst I started the blog for myself, never thinking it would have an impact on anyone else, it was extremely rewarding to find that it is actually making a bit of a difference, at least for one person in their fight for Israel.

Everyone can do something. And even when you feel like banging your head against a wall – maybe the brick wall that’s ignoring you – don’t give up. You are definitely making a difference.

For more advice and ways to fight Israel's media war, join

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Israel's New "Collective Punishment" Of The Palestinians

So what is this new new method that the evil Israelis have thought of to punish the Palestinians?
To impose "house arrest on stone-throwing youths in east Jerusalem and hold their parents legally responsible for their actions".
An East-Jerusalem activist, Fakhri Abu Diab, called it "collective punishment". It would be interesting to see the rest of the world and media's reaction to this, considering it's essentially the equivalent of ASBOs for Palestinian 'chavs'.
AFP observes that:
"the tensions stem from an urban development plan pushed by the Israeli-run municipality that would see the destruction of 22 out of 88 homes that were built without legal permits... The presence of dozens of families of Jewish settlers living in and around an archaeological site in the crowded Arab neighbourhood just outside the walls of the Old City has further inflamed the situation."
When will we learn? Jews must not live and Palestinians must not be held to the law.
Abu Diab reinforces this point, saying that the children "need to feel a sense of security in their [illegal] homes" and that "the daily clashes in Silwan need a political solution" - by which he surely means "Jews: get out", and not that Palestinians should teach their children that stoning isn't really acceptable in the 21st Century and that Jews are human beings, not pigs and apes (not that they should be stoned either).
Meanwhile Hamas continue to demolish Palestinians' houses in Gaza, as previously reported in May, claiming they are illegal even though the Gazans hold legal documents proving their ownership, forcefully dragging them out of their homes and beating them.
At that time, one Palestinian observed "At least when the Jews destroy your house they tell you first", whereas now a Fatah spokesman claims that "Hamas has proven to be identical to the Israeli occupation" - except they're not so identical really, one reason being that the only media that reports Hamas' demolition of houses is the Palestinian media that is daring enough to do so, whilst Israel's actions are continuously and disproportionately condemned by the international community.