Media Watch


There is an apocryphal story of the man who goes to synagogue each week, praying that he should win the lottery. Finally, he hears a voice, "Moshe, you have to buy a ticket."

While most of us would be happy to win the lottery, our survival's not dependent on a Powerball number. Still, we have much at stake in the year ahead, and we can ill afford to lose.

In the spring issue of Jewish Political Studies Review, "The Big Lie and the Media War Against Israel: From Inversion of the Truth to Inversion of Reality" examines the widespread media assault on Israel.

Writer Joel Fishman explains, "From the 1960s, inversion of truth and reality has been one the most favored propaganda methods of Israel's adversaries. One of its most frequent expressions has been the accusation that the Jewish people, victims of the Nazis, have now become the new Nazis, aggressors and oppressors of the Palestinian Arabs."

Adolf Hitler writes in Mein Kampf that it's better to tell big lies than small ones: "It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously."

Over the past two millennia, Jews have been held responsible for colossal but logically impossible crimes, from forcing the all-powerful Roman Empire to crucify Jesus all the way to being blamed for catastrophic plagues and bank failures.

Is it surprising that so many are ready to believe that Zionism is racism, or that, save for the existence of Israel, the Middle East would be at peace, and Islamism would not be a threat?

In The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jonathan Last observes that "a perverse form of dhimmitude is spreading throughout Europe: The leaders of the liberal, non-Muslim majority are searching for ways to subjugate themselves to the Muslim minority."

In the Netherlands, a Catholic Bishop has suggested that Christians refer to the Almighty as Allah. A newly graduated British Muslim police recruit refused to be photographed with her commanding officer, without penalty, because she thought the photograph might be used for "propaganda purposes."

In 2002, the French Prime Minister noted that Saladin was able "to defeat the Crusaders and liberate Jerusalem" from — that's right — the French.

Double Standards
Surely, if Europeans are willing to sell out themselves and rewrite their own history, then dumping on Israel and the Jews is an even easier call.

The BBC asked journalist Richard Littlejohn to prepare an authored documentary on a topic about which he felt "passionate." When they learned his topic was the preponderance of anti-Semitism, they lost interest. "I couldn't help wondering what might have happened if I'd put forward a programme on 'Islamophobia.' " he wrote. "It would probably have become a six-part, prime-time series, and I'd have been up for a BAFTA [a major broadcast press award] by now."

CNN, the American news network that infamously suppressed unfavorable stories from Saddam's Baghdad, recently ran a three-part series on "God's Warriors." In what might be considered suicidal obeisance to political correctness in a time of war, it exaggerated isolated episodes of violence by extremist Jews and Christians, attempting to equate it with the fundamentalist warfare originating in radical Islam, both against each other and those not of their faith, that has led to carnage across the planet.

The Jerusalem Post's Caroline Glick blames this on people who "base their views on their fantasies of how the world should be, rather than on the reality of how the world actually is." As she and others have observed, even Israeli elites are not immune.

Fortunately, these still small voices in the media are speaking out against global capitulation to intolerance, and the campaign against Jews and their state.

May they go from strength to strength as they write in 5768.

This column was written for the Israel Advocacy Task Force of the Israel Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.



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