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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Who to believe?

"Arab satellite news channels Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya have been forced to fend off accusations that they served up Israeli propaganda with their coverage of the historic evacuation of the Gaza Strip settlements."

"We understand when the international media fall into the trap of the Jewish settlers and run live coverage of the evacuation," said Mr Abdel Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of the London-based Al-Qods Al-Arabi newspaper.

If the media coverage was anything like Australia - showing settlers in a great state of distress and conveniently forgetting that they had been living there illegally - Israeli propaganda did indeed win the day.

When the Sydney Morning Herald placed a crying man and his settler daughter on its front page, I wondered when a Palestinian's grief had been equally displayed. And I knew the answer.

4 Comments:

Blogger Glenn Condell said...

Amira Hass's latest is good:

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=107&ItemID=8571

A highlight -

'What talent it takes to live for 35 years in a flourishing park and splendid villas just 20 meters from overcrowded, suffocated refugee camps. What talent it takes to turn on the sprinklers on the lawns, while just across the way, 20,000 other people are dependent on the distribution of drinking water in tankers; to know that you deserve it, that your government will pave magnificent roads for you and neglect (prior to Oslo, before 1994) to the point of destruction the Palestinian infrastructure. What skill it takes to step out of your well-cared-for greenhouse and walk unmoved past 60-year-old fruit-bearing date trees that are uprooted for you, roads that are blocked for you, homes that are demolished for you, the children who are shelled from helicopters and tanks and buried alongside you, for the sake of the safety of your children and the preservation of your super-rights.

For the sake of about half a percent of the population of the Gaza Strip, a Jewish half-percent, the lives of the remaining 99.5 percent were totally disrupted and destroyed - worthy of wonderment indeed. And also amazing is how most of the other Israelis, who did not go themselves to settle the homeland, suffered this reality and did not demand that their government put an end to it - before the Qassams.'

Saturday, August 27, 2005 5:40:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Two quick points.

1. I am still not happy about portraying the settlers as criminals. They are still people, manipulated by one or the other political force whenever required. In the wash up, the children of these families did not choose to live in the occupied territory, and have likely been fed nasty politics since their youth. This event will only darken their outlook - recruits for the far-right groups in the future. These kids, too, are victims here.

2. You are spot on regarding the media portrayal of the evacuation. As for depictions of Palestinian pain, the European press (I hear DW and the BBC via NewsRadio) does a commendable job, but Australia is a long way off. Which is strange, really, given the constant shrieking from the rightist commentariat that the mainstream media in Australia is a hotbed for sociliasts. What a load of crap. A leftist newspaper would run a feature on life in a Palestinian refugee camp, or the daily pain of living with checkpoints and snipers and road closures and great big fucking walls. A leftist media would hammer our government for its support of the Zionist elements within Israeli politics. We see nothing unless we go looking for it elsewhere (including here).

Sunday, August 28, 2005 12:01:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Sorry - "socialists". I hate typos.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 12:05:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

DBO,
Your comments are, of course, beginning to be understood by more and more Australians, and hence, their greater scepticism towards Israel. This is a welcome sign and a good start.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 12:21:00 pm  

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