It is increasingly difficult to criticize critics of Israel, and even more difficult to find any article about the subject that does not begin by decrying the Jewish conspiracy that is preventing free speech about Israel. Mearsheimer and Walt started the vogue by insisting that the "Israel Lobby" stifles all criticism. Jimmy Carter went around the US peddling his book and claiming over and over that the "Israel lobby" would not let him speak. His claims were reported incessantly in all major media. An organization called Muzzlewatch
reports on any attempt to get a fair break for Israel, to correct factual errors in reporting, or to insist that not every Israeli has horns and a tail, as "Muzzling."
Of course, those who insist on "freedom of expression," want freedom only to express their views. They were quite proud
when they managed to prevent Daniel Pipes from speaking at U.C. Irvine, and even prouder when they managed to prevent Benjamin Nethanyahu from speaking at Berkley. Only one type of opinion must be allowed.
An article in Arab News speaks frankly about the problem (see http: // www. arabnews.com/?page=7ßion=0&article=92722&d=25&m=2&y=2007 - remove the spaces to make the link work). We should point out that Arab News is the enlightened showcase English language organ of the moderate, and enlightened Saudi government, and that the author, Mr. Batarfi, considers himself a moderate as well. Mr. Batarfi has found a serious problem in the United States. The United State press is not free he maintains. Even though there are many journals and media outlets, the Jews control the media and do not allow any criticism of Israel. Batarfi managed to find, or invent, several US journalists like this one:
An American TV producer interviewed by an Arab radio was asked to explain the overwhelming support for Israel in the US Congress. He said: You need millions of dollars to run for Congress, and the Israeli lobby will make or break you depending on your loyalty, not to your country but to theirs. If you beat your competitor in pledging your undying loyalty to the Holy Cow, Israel, you win their steadfast support. Later, they watch you like a hawk and judge you on your voting record. One mistake and you are down with a scandal or in the next election. Therefore, the American explained, most elected politicians and lawmakers are in the lobbyís pocket. The interview was translated by an Israeli Arab-media watch group, an article was written about it in a pro-Israel paper, and the torture campaign began! In a few weeks the pressure was too much for his employers to bear and he had to resign.
He regales us with several more such incidents, all related anonymously.
I am wondering out loud, what would happen if a US newspaper printed a cartoon of Mohamed with a crooked nose or the wrong type of beard. Mr. Batarfi forgot what happened when such cartoons were printed in Europe. When Muslims rioted, burned buildings and killed people, Mr. Batarfi and Muzzlewatch were not there to complain.
Mr Batarfi cannot explain how it is that nonetheless, Professor Mearsheimer and Walt's study received wide, and usually favorable, coverage in US Media. Mr. Carter and his anti-Israel book were likewise well received, and his book is selling well, and will be a source of disinformation for many tens of thousands of people. During operation Defensive Shield in 2002, the Los Angeles Times published an Op Ed comparing the IDF unfavorably with the Waffen SS in the Warsaw Ghetto. During the recent Lebanon war, a Washington post Op Ed maintained that Israel is a mistake of history. More recently, the New York Times published an article equating anti-Zionism and support for Holocaust denial with "liberalism." Apparently these critiques are far too mild for Mr. Batarfi's taste. It seems that unless someone actually advocates a second Holocaust, they aren't serious critics of "Israel" in Batarfi's view.
In Saudi Arabia, they do not have such problems of course. Saudi Media are therefore free to publish drivel like Mr. Batarfi's article, as well as supposed Jewish recipes for baking Purim cakes from the blood of Christian children, false and libelous articles about the Talmud, fictitious articles on the nonexistent Jenin massacre of 2002, and other disinformation that would not meet with approval in the USA because of the "Israel Lobby." Such "freedom" has not been enjoyed in any Western country since the allied armies put the Nazis out of business.
The reason that Saudi Arabia enjoys such freedom of the press is simple: Saudi Arabia is Judenrein - no Jews can live there. Mr. Carter, Muzzlewatch and Jewish Voice for Peace are in good company with Mr. Batarfi.
Remember, not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism, but anti-Semitism is always anti-Semitism.
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Replies: 1 Comment
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Avi Schwartz, Tuesday, February 27th
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