Canadian Arab News
|Internet supplements provide nutrients lacking in our low-info mainstream diet
March 8, 2007
Journalists, as a rule, are no longer meant to inform the public. Where once one could argue that most of them served the public interest and abided by H.L. Mencken’s maxim “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” those who report and interpret the news now come under great pressure to distort the truth, censor themselves (or be censored), and serve certain interest groups, lest they take offence at being afflicted.
Rather than the exception, this habit seems to have become the rule. Disgraced New York Times reporter Judith Miller is arguably the most infamous example of the journalist-shill. Her incessant, fabricated reporting on Iraq was a major reason why the Bush junta was able to sell the lie of weapons of mass destruction.
On the other hand, the daily horrors Israel inflicts on the Palestinians are virtually invisible, or if they are reported they are depicted as somehow justified.
As such, North American newspapers are a lot like Swiss cheese—they’re notable for what isn’t there. Pick up a British paper like the Guardian or the Independent published on the same day as your local rag and you’d think they came from two different planets.
Because the Maginot Line of zionist censors has the mainstream media by the balls, our daily news diet is woefully lacking in nutrients (news) and overflowing with infotainment (empty calories), which does a marvelous job of distracting us from what matters most.
It is with your news diet in mind that I have selected the following excerpts, some of which are from electronic sources while others come from “the mainstream press” but were ignored, buried or not widely reported outside of their original source.
• “[John Dugard, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories] has likened Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories to apartheid South Africa and says there should be “serious consideration” over bringing the occupation to the international court of justice:
|These refugees collecting UN food aid in the city of Rafah attest to the malnutrition and unemployment caused by Isramerica’s deliberate economic suffocation of Gaza.
Source: (MaanImages/Hatem Omar) electronic intifada.
“Israel’s laws and practices in the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories] certainly resemble aspects of apartheid… Can it seriously be denied that the purpose of such action is to establish and maintain domination by one racial group (Jews) over another racial group (Palestinians) and systematically oppress them?’ ” (The Guardian, Feb. 23.)
• “[The World Food Program] originally planned to provide 154,000 tons of food to 480,000 Palestinians, but since various restrictions were placed on international funding to the Palestinian Authority in January 2006, the agency has responded to growing needs by raising the total to 600,000. Many people, who cannot afford to buy food, have been forced to sell off valuable livelihood assets such as land or tools.” (John Pilger, “Terror and Starvation in Gaza,” New Statesman, Jan, 22.)
• “Last Saturday [Jan. 27], following evening prayers, I went home and left my son Shadi, 18, at the store.… Six soldiers and more than 40 settler men and women, aged 18 to 25, were there. I asked them what was going on. One of the settlers said they had lost a jacket and wanted it. I told them, "I don’t sell jackets. This is a grocery store." Another settler asked me to close the store and go home. I closed the door, left with Shadi and Balal through the back door, and went home.
“We heard stones hit the door of the grocery store. They [the settlers] threw stones for about an hour. They swore and shouted, ’We want to slaughter Arabs.’… We did not file a complaint with anyone. Who could we complain to? We had already complained and never got any results.” (“Settlers assault family as soldiers look on: Three testimonies” Report, B’Tselem, Feb. 27. (electronicintifada.net)
|“Israel’s laws and practices in the OPT certainly resemble aspects of apartheid… Can it seriously be denied that the purpose of such action is to establish and maintain domination by one racial group (Jews) over another racial group (Palestinians) and systematically oppress them?”
• “The Supreme Planning Council for Judea and Samaria recently legalized the largest-ever illegal construction project in the West Bank. Part of the project is situated on private land, which belongs to Palestinian residents of the village of Bil’in.…The neighborhood is being built by Green Park and Green Mount, companies registered in Canada, along with two other companies: Ein Ami and Hefziba.” (Akiva Eldar, “Planning council approves illegal West Bank building plan,’ Ha’aretz, Feb. 25, Emphasis added).
• “Twelve UN agencies together with 14 NGOs operating in the occupied Palestinian territory today launched an emergency Appeal for $453.6 million to help meet increasing Palestinian humanitarian needs in 2007.… ‘It is particularly aimed at assisting the most vulnerable Palestinians, including children who make up about half of the population.” [said Kevin Kennedy, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator.
“Two-thirds of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are now living in poverty. Growing numbers of people are unable to cover their daily food needs and agencies report that basic services such as health care and education are deteriorating and set to worsen….” (“UN report on Canada led starvation of Palestinians,” Dec. 7, 2006) (Root web page)
• “Iran has banned CNN journalists from working in the country after the broadcaster misquoted President Ahmadinejad as saying Iran wanted nuclear weapons, the ISNA students news agency said. CNN admitted mistranslating Ahmadinejad’s statement.” (“Iran bans CNN for misquoting president,” aljazeera.net, Jan. 17, 2006) (Root web page)
• “The schlock Western pundits, journalists and politicians who keep maintaining that Ahmadinejad threatened ’to wipe Israel off the map’ when he never said those words will never, ever manage to choke out the words Ahmadinejad spoke on Saturday, much less repeat them as a tag line forever after.
“Supreme Jurisprudent [Ali] Khamenei’s pledge of no first strike against any country by Iran with any kind of weapon, and his condemnation of nuclear bombs as un-Islamic and impossible for Iran to possess or use, was completely ignored by the Western press and is never referred to.” (Juan Cole, “Informed Comment,” www.juancole.com, Aug. 27, 2006)
• “The U.S. has… taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.…
“The new strategy ’is a major shift in American policy - it’s a sea change,’ a U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said. The Sunni states ’were petrified of a Shiite resurgence, and there was growing resentment with our gambling on the moderate Shiites in Iraq,’ he said. ’We cannot reverse the Shiite gain in Iraq, but we can contain it.’” (Seymour Hersh “The Redirection” The Nation, March 3.
• “Some of the leading British Jewish intellectuals such as Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter, Marxist thinker Eric Hobsbawm, and film-maker Mike Leigh have come together on a common platform with a cross-section of others from the community to start a debate on free speech. This, they hope, will encourage independent voices in other communities also to stand up against attempts to gag them in the name of religious, ethnic, and national ’solidarity.’
“In what has been billed as a ’unilateral declaration of independence’ from the Jewish Establishment, their campaign is meant to challenge the claim of the Israeli state and its proxy institutions abroad to represent the opinion of all Jews, especially on the Palestinian issue. More significantly, it questions the idea that any criticism of Israel is, ipso facto, an attack on the Jewish people and therefore amounts to anti-semitism.” (Hasan Suroor, “British Jews take on Israeli lobby,” The Hindu, Feb. 13.)
• “A Burlington Grade 5 student has become the first child to receive the Writers’ Union of Canada’s Freedom to Read Award. Evie Freedman, 10, is being honoured for her spirited defence last year of the controversial book, Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak by Simcoe author Deborah Ellis.
“The book was pulled out of circulation in some Ontario school libraries, including those in the Toronto and York public boards, after the Canadian Jewish Congress complained it was an inappropriate selection for the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch reading awards program.” (Tess Kalinowski, “Plucky reader honoured for book’s defence,” Toronto Star, Feb. 28)
The next time you’re force-fed the same refried anti-Iran, anti-Arab, Israel-is-a-democracy pap, go to your computer and give yourself a healthy dose of Vitamin-I. We are told we are what we eat; the same applies to the way we feed our minds.