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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Biased, self-hating and proud of it

In an astounding article in The Nation, an extreme leftist publication, Haaretz reporter Akiva Eldar (pictured) admits what we all knew all along: He does not write objectively about Israel. He has nothing good to say about it. He is the picture of 21st century media bias. And he's proud of it (Hat Tip: Elder of Ziyon).
The prominent Israeli columnist Nahum Barnea wrote in November 2000 (in a publication of the Israel Democracy Institute) that "there are Israeli reporters who do not pass the 'lynch test.'" These, he wrote, are journalists who could not bring themselves to criticize the Arabs even when two Israelis were savagely murdered by a mob in Ramallah [pictured below. CiJ]. Barnea, who last year was awarded the Israel Prize for journalism, went on to argue that our support for the Palestinian position is absolute. He concluded, "They have a mission." I was honored to be mentioned as one of those journalists, alongside my fine colleagues Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.
I admit to being guilty as charged. I am a journalist with a mission, and also no small amount of passion. Every Israeli with a conscience, in particular one who watches reality from up close on a daily basis, cannot write about the occupation from an objective observer's neutral point of view. My parents immigrated to Israel in 1933 out of choice and hope, not out of despair or fear. Sixty years ago, shortly after I was born, they sat glued to the radio when David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of a Jewish state that would be democratic, egalitarian and peaceful. My primary mission is to leave behind for my children and grandchildren a state that is loyal to these principles and values. The occupation of a people, while denying its basic rights, robbing its lands and trampling its dignity, is turning us Israelis into prisoners--prison guards spend a significant part of their lives behind prison walls.

There are many Jews who believe that there is no difference between Hebron and Tel Aviv, or between West and East Jerusalem. As far as they are concerned, the Land of Israel was promised solely to the People of Israel. Yet anyone who perceives the West Bank (and not "Judea and Samaria") and East Jerusalem as occupied territories cannot accept the policies of Israel's governments for the past forty years. Occupation does not have two sides. There is no symmetry between the occupier and the occupied. This is true even if the occupied fight the occupier with despicable and contemptuous methods.
Akiva Eldar is chief political columnist and editorial writer for the Israeli daily Ha'aretz. We don't call it Israel's Hebrew 'Palestinian' Daily for nothing. Gideon Levy and Amira Hess - both of whom are mentioned in this article - also write for Ha'aretz. Until recently, David Landau was its editor in chief.

I just want to address one substantive point in the material quoted above. Eldar says "There are many Jews who believe that there is no difference between Hebron and Tel Aviv, or between West and East Jerusalem." What he may be missing (or maybe he just doesn't care) is that to the 'Palestinians' there is no difference between Hebron and Tel Aviv or between West and East Jerusalem. To the 'Palestinians' it is all occupied. None of us has the right to be here. If, as Eldar claims, he believes that Israel should be a "Jewish state that [is] democratic, egalitarian and peaceful" he will have to confront the reality of the 'Palestinian' view that all of us are interlopers. Or he can be like Avram Burg and just run away to France.


At 4:15 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The point is the Israeli Left holds Israel to standards it does not hold the Palestinians to. Israel is expected to be holier than normal nations and exhibit a measure of altruism and selflessness demanded of no other country. Its ironic when one considers the biblical standards of righteousness and lofty behavior are of no use to the Left that rejects values based on religious principles. Yet they make allowance for the Palestinians to be despicable and brutal and to advance arguments for statehood based on religious grounds. Its more than hypocrisy; they see in the enemy their own ideal and they hate their own country passionately despite the fact Israel is the only country in the neighborhood that has a free government, has never waged wanton wars or committed genocide against another people. Israel is loathed rather than cherished. The Israeli Left has an existential problem but its wrong of them to use Israel's people as unwilling laboratory subjects to avoid coming to terms with the reality of the Middle East. To this day, Akiva Eldar and the rest of Israel's chattering classes deny that Israel for all its flaws and shortcomings, has really lived to its promise and more fulfilled the hope of the Jewish people for an independent and dignified existence in its ancient homeland.


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