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July 1994


By Edward S. Herman


The previous two articles in this series pointed up the extremely racist and abusive character of Israeli policy toward Arabs, and the simultaneous virtually unconditional U.S. support for Israel and enormous pro-Israel (and anti-Arab) bias of the mainstream media and intelligentsia. There is considerable dispute over the reasons for this bias and policy tilt. The two most prominent explanations are Israel's strategic value to the U.S. and the power of the pro-Israel lobby; others include western guilt and sympathy for the Jewish people as a result of the holocaust, and anti-Arab racism. I will review briefly these alternative explanations, but will devote most attention to the power of the lobby, which I consider of primary importance.

Western Guilt

As an explanation of western support for Israel, guilt over the holocaust and sympathy with the victim people is a non-starter. Guilt rarely if ever affects national policy, which is almost always grounded in more earthy considerations. Concern over the holocaust victims never extended so far as to allow significant numbers of Jewish survivors to emigrate to the U.S. after World War II, nor did it lead to extensive prosecutions of the holocaust managers and beneficiaries. Large numbers of these, including major death merchants, were protected and put to use in the Cold War. The question may also be raised, why should there be such guilt related to the holocaust and neither to black slavery and subsequent discrimination against blacks, nor to the destruction of the indigenous Indians? And why shouldn't there be guilt over western connivance in the expulsion of Palestinians from their homelands and victimization in 27 years of occupation?

Guilt, in short, is easily managed, and can be brought into play effectively by those powerful enough to mobilize it for their own purposes.

Anti-Arab Racism

Another possible source of the bias against the Palestinians is racism. This factor is more important than "guilt," but I don't think it deserves heavy weight either. Palestinian racial types are variable and overlap with those of Jews. There is also great variability in Palestinian culture, much of it overlapping with that of the West. If Palestinians and Arabs are looked down upon today, and if racist stereotypes are expounded with impunity by Martin Peretz, Fouad Ajami, Hollywood, and the culture at large, this racism is mainly an effect and reflection of interest and policy rather than a causal factor.

Arabs who cooperate with the West, like the Saudis, Mubarak, and Fouad Ajami are not subject to racial epithets and stereotypes. This suggests that if other Arabs were more tractable and responsive to western demands they would cease to be negatively stereotyped. Scapegoating is a function of power and interest. Unfortunately for the Palestinians and many other Arabs, they have little economic or military muscle and stand in the way of powerful interests. It is still ironic and horrifying that Jews like Podhoretz, Peretz, and Kissinger, and the organized Jewish establishment, should be in the forefront of racist derogation and dehumanization of Arabs: doing to others what was done, with such terrible consequences, to their own in-group.

Israel As Strategic Asset

A more compelling analysis explains the policy tilt and bias in terms of Israel's value to the U.S. as a strategic asset. Most important in this view, Israel serves U.S. interests as a western-oriented enclave and proxy military and political force in the Middle East. It has also made itself available as a surrogate in covertly supporting regimes difficult for the United States to support directly and openly (Duvalier's Haiti, Guatemala in the years of mass murder, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Zaire, etc.)

There is an important truth in this line of argument. If Israel's interests were in real conflict with that of core U.S. power interests, or could not be reconciled with them, there is little doubt that support for Israel would be weaker. But conflict may be pasted over by an artificial and strained reconciliation, that employs an inferior political strategy based on a pre-ordained priority accorded one party. If core U.S. interests call for access to and control over Middle East oil, has the pro-Israel policy served this end well? Israel has no oil, and is disliked and feared by the oil rich Arab states. Support for Israel has brought not peace and stability to the region, but polarization and a string of wars. The U.S. policy led to the organization of an Arab-centered oil producers cartel and the embargo and damaging price increases of 1973. There is no reason to believe that a more even-handed U.S. policy that forced a peace settlement wouldn't have been equally or more effective than the one followed. Arguably, the U.S. was lucky to maintain hegemony through the turmoil that resulted from a policy of aggressive support for the Arab states' enemy.

It is true that Israel and the pro-Israeli lobby geared well into the demands and policies of U.S. militarists and the Reagan administration in the 1970s and 1980s. Israel did serve the surrogate function, and it and the lobby supported aggressive strategies and the arms race, and shared common interests with the military-industrial-complex and were warmly admired by ideological hard-liners. This was, I believe, of greater importance in generating support for Israel in dominant U.S. circles than their supposed service in Middle East policy.

With the fall of the Soviet Union and the downturn in the arms budget, the compatibility of interests of Israel and the domestic MIC has become more problematic. Competition between U.S. and Israeli arms manufacturers is tending to replace joint efforts to enlarge and share the pie. Elements of the Pentagon and contractors resent Israel's power over U.S. political life, and this has manifested itself in the treatment of Pollard, the recent controversy over claims of illegal Israeli transfers of Patriot technology to China, and other cases. This growing conflict of interest may eventually reduce the power of the camp urging generous support for the "strategic asset."

The Pro-Israel Lobby

Another important reason to doubt the importance of Israel's strategic asset role in explaining the pro-Israel policy and intellectual bias is the character and evident impact of the pro-Israel lobby. If scores of Democratic politicians take large sums from the lobby, and speak and vote in ways consistent with its demands, we may reasonably doubt whether this political behavior results from a considered judgment of Middle East issues. Long-time Democratic congressman (and economist!) Clarence Long acknowledged to Paul Findley that "Long ago I decided that I'd vote for anything that AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] wants. I didn't want them on my back....I made up my mind I would get and keep their support." Long, of course, rationalized his submission and could not comprehend why David Obey would raise questions about the level of Israel's aid. A colleague chided Long: "Maybe he's thinking about our own national interest."

The lobby's power is manifested, first, then, in the virtually open submissiveness of a large number of legislators. The lobby can muster remarkable numbers in support of Israeli interests in general or on any specific issue: in 1989, after Secretary of State Baker at an AIPAC convention, called upon Israel to awaken from its dream of the Greater Land of Israel, "the Israeli lobby showed who rules the town by making 95 Senators and 235 congressmen sign a declaration of support of Israel" (in the words of Alon Pinkas, in the Israeli publication Davar[June 28, 1991]).

Second, the lobby's power is shown by its ability to maintain Israel's huge claim on the foreign aid budget, which remains at approximately $4 billion a year--untouchable and undebatable--even in a period of serious budgetary pressures and neglect of large domestic constituencies. Even Israeli commentators wonder at the phenomenon and ask whether this may not eventually backfire: speaking of the pressures on U.S. politicians in 1991 to provide a $10 billion guarantee to help absorb immigrants to Israel, Ben-Dror Yemini noted in the journal Al-Hamishmar, that "the U.S. is full of poverty-stricken and downtrodden people who don't have an AIPAC, but still want to obtain something for themselves." They may be legitimately angry at the ability of the lobby to obtain generous benefits for relatively affluent foreign refugees, "which they may or may not interpret in their own minds in the light of some tenets of malignant anti-Semitic nonsense."

Third, George Bush greatly antagonized the Israeli lobby and its media spokespersons by trying to tie the $10 billion loan guarantee to Israeli restraint on further settlements in the occupied territories. The resultant reaction was, I believe, an important factor in his defeat, second only to the economic stagnation. Clinton, by contrast, promised Rabin there would be no cuts in the Israeli grants, and redefined the "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza as merely a matter of "disputed territory." As with Clarence Long, the Clinton administration finds it the better part of valor to give the lobby whatever it wants.

A fourth manifestation of lobby power is its ability to keep a lid on public discussion and exposure of Israeli abuses (e.g., torture, aid to terrorist states, cross-border terrorism of its own in Lebanon, illegal buildup of a nuclear arsenal). This even extends to covering up the massacre of U.S. military personnel. In 1976, following careful surveillance of the plainly marked U.S. intelligence vessel the USS Liberty, the Israelis attacked the ship repeatedly, killing 34 U.S. sailors and wounding 171. The Israelis aimed to sink the ship, apparently to prevent its intelligence gathering and reporting of an Israeli invasion of the Golan heights which took place the next day. Following the attack, there were delays in coming to the stricken vessel's aid, based on orders from Washington. Subsequent investigations involved a steady cover-up of the unquestionable fact of the deliberateness of the attack; the official and public line was "tragic error." The captain of the ship was eventually given a congressional medal of honor, but quietly, and only after it had been established that Israeli officials would not object. Admiral Thomas Moorer claimed that the Johnson administration covered up this crime strictly "for domestic political reasons. I don't think there is any question about it."

The basis of the lobby's power is political resources, intelligently and aggressively deployed, strong media and pundit representation and support, a well developed and powerful system of grassroots activism, and the absence of any seriously contesting opposition. Affluent Jews have responded generously in support of pro-Israel lobbying groups, especially in times of perceived threats to Israel. The leading U.S. lobbying group, AIPAC, with an annual budget of some $15 million in the early 1990s, is widely thought to be the most influential lobbying body in the country. There are more than 60 pro-Israel PACs, most of them closely linked to AIPAC, whose resources (supplemented by individual contributions) has made this collective the largest dispenser of single-issue money in U.S. politics. It is deployed aggressively and with sophistication, and its threat terrifies politicians, especially Democrats. They have seen what happens to a Charles Percy or Paul Findley, among many others. According to political analyst Stephen Isaacs, the Democratic National Committee gets about half of its money from Jewish sources, and he reports one non-Jewish strategist as saying: "You can't hope to go anywhere in national politics, if you're a Democrat, without Jewish money." Republicans have been less dependent on this source, but many of them (and their Christian right supporters) have been keen on Israel because of its harsh policies and support of U.S. militarism.

The lobby has benefited greatly from the sizable contingent of mass media pundits who aggressively push the Israeli foreign office and AIPAC line--George Will, William Safire, Charles Krauthammer, A. M. Rosenthal, and others. The rest of the mainstream media only rarely depart from the official U.S. line, which is basically strongly supportive of Israel, even if occasionally calling for small changes and symbolic gestures. Media adherence to the line is reinforced by the strength of the lobby's grass roots base and its activism. AIPAC has an estimated 50-60,000 active supporters, and the Jewish communities nationally have several hundred thousand more who follow the news, write letters and make phone calls to editors and reporters, and attend meetings where Middle East issues are addressed. They constitute a tremendous and effective flak machine that greatly constrains free speech and the scope of debate in this country.

As one illustration, when one of the officers injured in the Israeli attack on the Liberty, James Ennes, published a book on the case in 1980-- The Assault on the Liberty --he was under immediate and steady attack from Israeli officials, AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, and the grass roots activists, who would not tolerate a challenge to the official lie that the Liberty attack had been a mere unfortunate "error" and that there had been a major cover-up. Hecklers at his speeches called him a liar and anti-Semite, and when Ennes was announced as a guest on a talk show in San Francisco, the station got 500 protesting letters, and the show was inundated by hostile phone calls, including threats of physical harm to the author. His book became hard to get as his publisher, Random House, backed away from it.

The Lobby in Philadelphia

In Philadelphia, the grass roots activists of the lobby, including members of CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy [sic] in Middle East Affairs), the Zionist Organization of America, and others, monitor, protest, and threaten those with different viewpoints, and have greatly affected coverage of Middle East issues. At Penn, no posted signs for "hostile" speakers can stay intact for an hour, and speakers like Israel Shahak are treated to disruptions and extremely hostile questions. On local talk shows, speakers on the lobby hit list, or otherwise perceived as threatening, are subject to organized call-ins that include personal insults, invective, and bullying attempts to monopolize the discussion. All TV programs or Op Ed or news articles that depart from the lobby party line elicit a strong response. The pressure is incessant: there is a steady stream of letters, visits to editors to complain about unfairness, and sometimes threats. An insider at the Philadelphia Inquirer told one local academic that during the Senate campaign between Arlen Specter and Lynne Yeakel--the lobby strongly favoring Specter--the leading lobby spokesperson in the Philadelphia area faxed his comments and criticisms to the paper daily. With negligible responses from local Arabs, and episodic and unorganized responses from others, it is the pro-Israel lobby that the media most fear and to which they must and do adapt.

During the Specter-Yeakel campaign, the Inquirer 's reporter assigned to it repeatedly pointed out that Yeakel was wealthy and was putting money into the campaign, but never mentioned that Jewish PACs were pouring money into the Specter camp, although this information was publicly available. Yeakel's church had sponsored a Middle East program in which several of the speakers had criticized Israel. The Specter campaign took this up as showing "anti-Semitism," calling on Yeakel to dissociate herself from the program. The Inquirer played this up as real, never mentioning that Specter himself had been one of the speakers on the program. The paper published a series of letters by lobby members denouncing the church, and with ad hominem attacks on some of the church leaders, and blatantly false statements, such as "No Jewish leader has attempted to equate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism." The lobby leader who engaged in the daily faxing of criticisms had seven letters and four Op Ed columns published in the paper during 1991-92. A letter by this writer criticizing the Inquirer 's news coverage of the Senate campaign elicited a 5-single spaced page letter of reply from the Executive Editor, but the critical letter was not published. And replies from Yeakel's church group, even by individuals personally attacked, were refused publication by the paper. This cave-in and one sided policy on the editorial page paralleled serious bias in the news department. It is not clear that bias would not have been present without the incessant lobby pressure, but that surely took its toll.
June 1994

Normalizing Israeli Repression

By Edward S. Herman  

In her book Beyond Belief, Deborah Lipstadt showed how in the years of the holocaust the mass murder of Jews in Nazi death camps was treated in muted fashion in the mainstream U.S. media (including the New York Times and Washington Post); reports about these mass killings were treated episodically, on the back pages, and did not provide the basis for major investigative efforts or sustained and indignant editorializing demanding action. These were "unworthy" victims.

In one of the great ironies of modern history, the Jews have belatedly become worthy victims and their own victims have replaced them as unworthy. As in the case of the holocaust itself, the categorization--which reflects power and powerlessness--provides the intellectual and moral basis for horrendous actions.  

Eye Aversion

Key elements in normalizing the mistreatment of unworthy victims are eye aversion, low-key reporting where complete silence is not possible, and the absence of indignation. It would not be easy to find any discussions in the U.S. mass media of Israel's legally mandated discrimination against non-Jews in land and home ownership and rental, and state confiscations and purchases for the exclusive use of Jews, although such discrimination violates Western values and would elicit outcries if done against Jews. In the occupied territories, officially authorized beatings, large scale administrative detentions, the destruction of thousands of homes and numerous orchards, and systematic torture, have been almost entirely ignored. (The only scheduled program on Israel on PBS's main station in Philadelphia this spring has been "Israel: A Nation Is Born, with Abba Eban," the host representing the only acceptable form of bias on this subject.)

The more than one thousand killings of intifada protesters have been reported in very low key, on the back pages, as impersonal happenings like traffic death numbers. The coverage has been kept at a level--both quantitatively and qualitatively--that would not arouse public opinion or interfere with the Israeli policy of subduing the uprising by unrelenting low level state terror. The violations of UN resolutions and international law on occupation policies have been almost entirely ignored, by the same media that were so alert to Sadaam Hussein's failures to respond to UN resolutions and misbehavior in an occupied country.

The process of normalization by eye aversion is dramatically illustrated by the media's handling of the torture of prisoners. Generally regarded in the West as barbaric and an extreme form of human rights violation, its institutionalization in Israeli practice is simply not an issue in the West. Most telling, when it is mentioned--when, for example, a human rights group puts up a strong statement on the subject--it is reported with brevity, in a back page article, and without follow-up or editorial indignation. When the London Times did an extensive study of Israeli torture in 1977, the New York Times and Washington Post both declined the opportunity to use the original materials, and the New York Times ' first article on the report, on a back page, featured Israeli denials and included none of the substantive findings of the London Times study.

In 1993-94, when Israeli torture of Palestinians was running at 400-500 victims per month, a rare New York Times article on the subject mentioned the numbers being tortured quite matter-of-factly, deep within an article that stressed Israeli doubts about the merits of the ongoing "interrogation" practices (Joel Greenberg, "Israel Rethinks Interrogation of Arabs," Aug. 14, 1993). In William Safire's April 7, 1994, column in the Times,torture was condemned vigorously as immoral, uncivilized, and intolerable. The column, inspired by and mainly devoted to the Singapore caning case, also cited other countries using torture, but Israel was never mentioned. It is these kinds of evasion and dishonesty that help normalize state terror against unworthy victims.

Unworthy Victims as Terrorists

It has been standard practice in the West to designate insurgents and victims of western power terrorists and western state oppressors defenders against terror. The murderous governments of El Salvador and Guatemala were granted U.S. aid in 1983 under an "Anti-Terror Assistance Act," and in 1988 the Pentagon listed the African National Congress (ANC) as one of the world's "more notorious terrorist groups." As a U.S. client and ally Israel automatically qualifies as a victim of terrorism and is never treated as a terrorist state, despite its regular bombing of Lebanese villages outside the "security zone," or as a sponsor of terrorism, despite its maintenance of the brutal South Lebanon Army as a proxy force in Lebanon. Israel only retaliates and engages in counter-terror, it never terrorizes, by biased political definition.

There has been a great deal of tit-for-tat terrorism in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but Israeli initiatives and provocations have been at least as important as those of the Palestinians. In fact, the Israeli leadership has found that military provocations producing Palestinian responses are a perfect instrument for making the Palestinians "terrorists" and thus unworthy of political participation. This has been possible because the Israeli provocations are largely ignored, while the responses of the Palestinians are featured with great indignation. (For extensive documentation, Chomsky, Pirates & Emperors, chaps. 1-2.)

The intifada has demonstrated how far the corruption of language and framing of issues in service to the powerful can be carried. The Palestinians living in the occupied territories have been treated brutally and denied basic human rights for many years. In response, they rose up in a multi-year rebellion in which stone-throwers confronted a very well armed army. The army's violent response has never been treated by U.S. officials or the mainstream media as a case of state terrorism, which it has been; on the contrary, all through this period only the occasional Palestinian forays were designated terrorism and treated with anger; the vastly greater Israeli violence, with Palestinian deaths exceeding those of Israelis by the usual large factor, have been normalized.

Unworthy Victims Have No "Security Problem"

Another feature of the racist double standard of the West is the constant reference to Israeli "security" and the comprehensive disregard of Palestinian security. Just as U.S. "national security" was threatened by Arbenz and land reform in Guatemala in 1954 and by the Sandinistas in the 1980s, so Israeli security is always threatened by the Palestinians and Arabs, despite the disproportion in power favoring Israel. Bill Clinton has reassured Israel that he will not ask for any cuts in U.S. military appropriations because of its "security concerns." No security concerns for Palestinians have been recognized by Clinton, or by any other mainstream politician or pundit. The irony is that the Palestinians have real security problems, as they are subject to harsh military rule by a government that considers them inferior creatures and has a barely concealed interest in displacing them and seizing their property. Power also produces gullibility: the possibility that the alleged threat to Israeli security, like their unwillingness to deal with "terrorists," is a fraudulent cover for a 50-year long effort to crush the Palestinians and absorb their lands, is never suggested in western mainstream news and commentary.

A similar double standard has also applied to South Africa. During the "constructive engagement" years, and earlier, there were frequent references in U.S. official statements and media accounts to the security problems of the apartheid government and the need to accommodate to it, most notably by getting the Cubans out of Angola. The security problems of Angola and black South Africans were not mentioned. There are other parallels: ANC and SWAPO were frequently labeled terrorists; the South African government, like Israel, was engaged in counterterrorism.

Israel has been allowed to build up a nuclear arsenal, for which it even received direct Western support, in violation of non-proliferation laws and rules that are applied to less privileged states. South Africa also worked toward nuclear weapons development, in collaboration with Israel, and with little concern on the part of the great powers. It, like Israel, was allowed to have legitimate security problems, in contrast with "outlaw" states, although it did not have the high moral status and urgent security concerns that Israel had.

Israeli Shame and Action

Because Israel is powerful and has virtually uncontested support in the U.S. mainstream media, numerous protective devices are brought to bear when the cover on the normalized terror is momentarily blown. When several dozen Arab worshipers in Hebron were massacred by a settler in February, it was not possible to hide the fact that although the settlers were heavily armed and Palestinians lacked arms, the Israeli army was still allowed to fire only at Palestinians. The racist fury of the settlers against Palestinians was also forced into momentary prominence, although this was not linked to the overall apartheid system, the brutal handling of the intifada, or the long term policies of settlement and land confiscation in which the settlers served as frontiersmen coping with the native population.

The mainstream media quickly put forward the lone nut theory to explain the attack, and stressed Israeli horror and shame at the massacre and the government's intention to crack down on the settlers. These claims of horror and shame were not based on any serious sampling of Israeli opinion. The claim of a crackdown on Israeli settlers was also fraudulent. The real crackdown was on the Palestinians, who suffered a rigorous curfew and numerous army beatings and killings to prevent "terrorism." Settler-murderer Baruch Goldstein's house was not demolished; the settlers were not forced to move or to give up arms; Kahane Chai, while designated a "terrorist organization" by the Israeli government, did not have its offices and fund-raising operations in New York closed down.

Expressions of shame and apologies are cheap and serve to divert attention from abusive policies. The West is good at apologies, and has made capital over alleged PLO and Soviet failures to apologize. We may recall that the U.S. media assailed the Soviet failure to apologize for shooting down Korean airliner 007 in 1983, which showed their barbaric quality; by contrast, we expressed deep regret at shooting down an Iranian airliner in 1989, which showed our more moral character. The media have not made anything of the facts that there was no justifiable excuse for shooting down the Iranian plane, that the captain received a hero's welcome on his return to the U.S., and was quietly granted an official medal of honor in 1991; and that the ship's mission was to assist Sadaam Hussein in his war with Iran.

The "shame" model for Israel, contrasted with the Palestinian penchant for "terror," is thrown up by rote via the aggressively pro-Israel apologists who populate the syndicated columns and talk shows (e.g., Barnes, Krauthammer, Will, Safire, and Kondracke) and help form the "conventional wisdom." After Hebron, Krauthammer came through quickly with his formulaic: "Terrorism in the Middle East: For Israel, it's shameful: for the Palestinians it's policy." Following the 1982 Sabra-Shatila refugee camp massacres of Palestinians by Christian Phalangists, introduced there by the Israeli army in the certain knowledge of the murderous consequences, and with de facto support of the ongoing killing, Israel appointed the Kahan Commission to review the episode; it found that a number of Israeli army leaders had been careless and derelict, and several of them got harsh slaps on the wrist. This self-serving whitewash was turned by the U.S. media into a marvel of self-criticism and triumphant justice. Rather than becoming a terrorist state, Israel's moral stature and reputation for "purity of arms" were enhanced by its active involvement in one of the greatest massacres in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but followed by the obligatory remorse and "retribution lite."

Myth Structures

Apologists for Israel regularly rely on a structure of myths that justify ongoing policy, which are rarely contested in the mainstream media. One is that the exit of Palestinians in 1948 was voluntary, based on appeals by Arab leaders, rather than on fear, threats and violence. As 374 Arab villages were destroyed with "ruthless efficiency" (Flapan), the property of the 700,000 or more refugees expropriated, and the dispossessed never compensated or allowed to return, the myth is important in making the Israeli cause just. Otherwise the Palestinians would be victims of Jewish terror and their post-1948 acts of resistance would be counter-terror and retaliation. The refusal to allow the Palestinians to return or to compensate them for expropriated property violates international law, as has been accepted by the international community since 1948, including the U.S., at least nominally, until December 1993. (The U.S. de facto position on property expropriation in this case, with massive aid to the expropriator, is a bit different from its reaction to Cuban expropriation.)

The serious literature on the subject of the Palestinian flight does not support the apologetic version: as Flapan says in his The Birth of Israel, there was in Israel in 1948, as today, "a basic `philosophy of expulsion`" in operation, and "Nonrecognition of the Palestinians' right to self-determination turned into an active strategy to prevent, at all costs, the creation of the Palestinian state as called for in the UN Partition Resolution." The exodus was based primarily on Jewish threats and violence which pushed the Palestinians out. Arab leaders did not urge the Palestinians to leave, they were told to stay; they fled in fear.

A second myth is that the land proposed in the Partition Resolution for a Palestinian state became part of Jordan, which was therefore the Palestinian successor state. In reality, the proposed Palestinian state was taken over by Israel as well as Transjordan (as it was then called), each seizing about half, by collusive arrangement between Ben-Gurion and Transjordan's King Abdullah.

A third important myth is that the Palestinians and PLO have been "rejectionists," the Israelis (and U.S.) futilely seeking a negotiating partner but not finding one, until the recent PLO-Arafat/Israeli tentative agreement. (An alternative version is that the PLO is inherently rejectionist as its Covenant pledges the destruction of Israel.) It is true that the PLO would not recognize Israel for many years, as it was expected to do this unilaterally, without any Israeli rectification of the huge historic wrong that underlay the Palestinian resistance. And of course it was being subjected to a second round of dispossession, along with brutal state terror, in the occupied territories.

From 1975 onward, however, the PLO has been prepared to recognize the state of Israel as part of an overall settlement. On the other hand, until the recent Madrid talks and Arafat-Rabin deal, Israeli leaders consistently refused to recognize the PLO or deal with any Palestinian representatives. Furthermore, while the PLO and some of its members have occasionally blustered about damaging or destroying Israel, the Israeli state was actively eradicating Palestinian communities on the ground and refusing to abide by numerous UN resolutions and international law bearing on Palestinian rights. Israel still does not recognize any Palestinian national rights. Somehow this has never been "rejectionism" in the West: only the failure of the weaker party to unconditionally recognize Israel fits that category.

Alleged Media Bias Against Israel

The powerful and their agents never feel that the media serve them adequately. Reed Irvine of Accuracy in Media wasn't even satisfied with the media's performance during the Persian Gulf war, and he organized a conference in which the media's failings in patriotic service were the central theme. Similarly, Norman Podhoretz, Martin Peretz and their allies are never satisfied with media coverage of the Middle East and have held their own conferences and written books and articles denouncing the anti-Israel bias. What they want, essentially, is for the media to be an Israeli press agent, the role Irvine demanded the media play during the Persian Gulf War.

In addition to the techniques previously discussed, the preferred stories should be reiterated often, to demonstrate the evil of the unworthy victims. And this must be done without context, and with a certain amount of outright lying. Thus, the death of 20 Israeli teen-agers at Maalot in 1974, taken hostage by Palestinians, and then killed when the Israelis, refusing to negotiate, stormed the school, is repeated time and again as the salient case. Furthermore, Maalot is always presented without the context of immediately prior Israeli bombing attacks and killings in nearby refugee camps, and usually with the lie that the hostages were murdered by the Palestinians (when in fact, many of them died from Israeli fire). The focus on Maalot is itself a political choice that reflects a deep bias. Several dozen cases of equal or greater number of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians killed by the Israeli army, or by its proxy South Lebanon Army, are somehow not mentioned, let alone reiterated, as symbols of evil.

It is an uncontestable fact that Israel--a U.S. ally that receives huge and steadfast U.S. economic, military and diplomatic support, with a potent lobby serving its interests, and which has the Democratic Party groveling to express its devotion--gets staggeringly biased positive treatment in the U.S. media. The bias is so profound that news anchors and pundits openly display their fealty to Israel without the slightest qualm. Thus, Dan Rather, CBS New anchor, and Fouad Ajami, a CBS News consultant, attended an Israeli fund-raiser on June 3, 1992, where keynoter Henry Kissinger stated that "you can't really believe anything an Arab says," and Ajami asserted that democracy was unworkable in Arab countries and described a visit to a Bedouin village where he "insisted on only one thing: that I be spared the ceremony of eating with a Bedouin." Rather, introduced by the racist fanatic Martin Peretz as "my favorite newsman," made some extremely biased and ignorant remarks at the gathering on his own (see Sam Husseini, EXTRA!, Oct.-Nov. 1992); and although his participation in this partisan affair was contrary to CBS rules, he suffered no penalties at CBS or criticism outside of the alternative media.

Other brazen apologists for Israel like Krauthammer, Will and Safire also propagandize freely, essentially without debate even when they lie. In an enlightening case, several years ago George Will wrote a column in Newsweek in which he made a false statement about Noam Chomsky and a major error of fact about recent Middle East history. When Newsweek refused to publish a letter of rebuttal, Chomsky told Newsweek, tongue-in-cheek, that they would soon hear from his lawyers. The magazine then quickly agreed to publish his letter, but only the defense of the libel; they conceded that the rest of Chomsky's letter was accurate and that Will had made a gross factual error, but they would not allow the error to be corrected!

In short, the frequent noisy complaints about anti-Israeli bias reflect pro-Israel lobby power and serve as flak to further discipline the media to toe the pro-Israel party line. The mechanisms of this discipline, and the institutional underpinning of this remarkable bias, will be examined in Part 3 of this series.


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The best book on Jewish Power

The Israel Lobby - From the book

Jews and Crime - The archive

Sayanim - Israel's and Mossad's Jewish helpers abroad

Listen to Louis Farrakhan's Speech - A must hear!

The Israeli Nuclear Threat

The "Six Million" Myth

"Jewish History" - a bookreview

Putin and the Jews of Russia

Israel's attack on US warship USS Liberty - Massacre in the Mediterranean

Jewish "Religion" - What is it?

Medias in the hands of racists

Strauss-Kahn - IMF chief and member of Israel lobby group

Down with Zio-Apartheid
Stop Jewish Apartheid!

The Jews behind Islamophobia

Israel controls U.S. Presidents
Biden, Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton...

The Victories of Revisionism
By Professor Robert Faurisson

The Jewish hand behind Internet The Jews behind Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, Yahoo!, MySpace, eBay...

"Jews, who want to be decent human beings, have to renounce being Jewish"

Jewish War Against Iran

Jewish Manipulation of World Leaders

Al Jazeera English under Jewish infiltration

The Founding Myths of Modern Israel
Garaudy's "The Founding Myths
of Israeli Politics"

Jewish hate against Christians
By Prof. Israel Shahak

Introduction to Revisionist
- By Ernst Zündel

Karl Marx: The Jewish Question

Reel Bad Arabs - Revealing the racist Jewish Hollywood propaganda

"Anti-Semitism" - What is it?

Videos - Important collection 

The Jews Banished 47 Times in 1000 Years - Why?

Zionist strategies - Plotting invasions, formenting civil wars, interreligious strife, stoking racial hatreds and race war

The International Jew
By Henry Ford

Pravda interviews Ahmed Rami

The Founding Myths of Modern Israel
Shahak's "Jewish History,
Jewish Religion"

The Jewish plan to destroy the Arab countries - From the World Zionist Organization

Judaism and Zionism inseparable

Revealing photos of the Jews 

Horrors of ISIS Created by Zionist Supremacy - By David Duke

Racist Jewish Fundamentalism

The Freedom Fighters:
   Hezbollah - Lebanon
   Nation of Islam - U.S.A.

Jewish Influence in America
- Government, Media, Finance...

"Jews" from Khazaria stealing the land of Palestine

The U.S. cost of supporting Israel

Turkey, Ataturk and the Jews

Talmud unmasked
The truth about the Talmud

Israel and the Ongoing Holocaust in Congo

Jews DO control the media - a Jew brags! - Revealing Jewish article

Abbas - The Traitor

Protocols of Zion - The whole book!

Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem
Encyclopedia of the
Palestine Problem

The "Holocaust" - 120 Questions and Answers

Quotes - On Jewish Power / Zionism

Caricatures / Cartoons 

Activism! - Join the Fight!