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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

US taxpayers subsidizing terrorist propaganda and Holocaust denial in the Arab world

Tuesday's Wall Street Journal has an astounding article about the use of the Al-Hurra network. As you may recall, Al-Hurra is a US taxpayer subsidized Arabic television network that was started three years ago as a counterweight to Al-Jazeera. At the moment, it is anything but.
Almost six weeks later, on Jan. 20, Al-Hurra aired a follow-up story on the Neturei Karta, the fringe group of ultraorthodox, anti-Zionist Jews who met with Mr. Ahmadinejad. There was obviously world-wide media fascination with the Jews who ventured to a Holocaust denial forum hosted by the man who wants to wipe Israel off the map. Responsible journalists, though, were careful to provide the necessary context, the most important of which is that the Neturei Karta is a marginal group with world-wide membership, according to its Web site, of "several thousand."
Responsible Al-Hurra was not.

The Neturei Karta were presented as mainstream Orthodox Jews, and Al-Hurra claimed that they number more than one million. The story's angle is clear from the anchor's introduction: "They always put Israeli officials in a bind, who can't seem to understand how Jews can oppose Zionism, or how a Jew can encourage Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his opposition to Israel." Various Neturei Karta members uttered outrageous falsehoods about supposed "Zionist" cruelty, including "torture, detention, [and the] burning of their synagogues." None of these libels were challenged, let alone debunked.

"There is no purpose in doing a soft feature of the Neturei Karta, except to pander to or bolster vicious Arab and Muslim propaganda about Jews, Israel, and the Holocaust," notes Mark Broxmeyer, chairman of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

In fairness, there's no reason to suppose Mr. Register understood exactly what was being broadcast: He doesn't speak Arabic. Then again, there's no evidence that he bothered, or cared, to learn about the contents. Either way, Mr. Register clearly doesn't grasp Al-Hurra's mission.

Holocaust denial is rampant in the Arab world, even among the educated; there's a widespread embrace of conspiratorial explanations for world events, such as theories about Jews perpetrating 9/11, and notorious forgeries such as "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," which is widely sold and read throughout the region. Arab media do not challenge this mindset, but usually indulge it.

Combating this nonsense should be ground zero in our quest to inject truth and information into the Arab world. If we can't do this, how will we ever be able counteract the jihadists who preach to the masses that America is waging war on Islam?

The person tasked with counteracting those jihadists, Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes, is a stalwart supporter of Mr. Register. At an April 19 House Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee hearing, after two congressmen gave Ms. Hughes a bipartisan earful about Mr. Register, she responded that she has heard nothing but "high praise" and "rave reviews." Just last Friday, Ms. Hughes went to Al-Hurra's D.C.-area headquarters, signaling that she still backs Mr. Register. Meanwhile, five of the six BBG members--outgoing chairman Ken Tomlinson was the lone dissenter--are ardent Register partisans, voting 5-1 against investigating Mr. Register's questionable editorial decisions.
Read it all.


At 11:00 PM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

Isn't Hughes a friend of Condi's? IIRC, she was a close advisor and friend of President Bush, who left her job to go back to TX for awhile.

Any friend of Condi's is no friend of K'lal Yisroel, and this seems to more than affirm it.

I suppport President Bsuh, but have some very strong doubts re his true position on Israel. I would like to think that if anything happened that he would strongly back Israel...


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