Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hitler and Stalin Never Had It So Good

"Who needs hasbara when you have AP ‘analysis’?

by DetainThis

Israelis . . . see themselves as a besieged nation surrounded by enemies who want them dead. Given the rocket attacks from both Hezbollah and Hamas — and the suicide bombing campaigns that killed hundreds of Israelis — their fears are not misplaced.

Many Israelis believe Iranian proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas can never be diverted from their stated goal of eliminating the Jewish state no matter how much goodwill Israel might show.” [1]

To a vast majority of readers, that excerpt is just a typical analysis from one of the world’s largest, oldest, and most trusted news organizations. But to any honest person adequately versed in the contemporary history of Israel-Palestine, those two paragraphs are typical hasbara, a.k.a., Israeli propaganda. But it’s actually both: it’s the Israeli-centric analysis of Steve Gutkin, West Jerusalem bureau chief for The Associated Press.

Gutkin, like any hasbaranik, omits the most vital and basic facts: that Israel illegally and belligerently occupies and colonizes Palestinian land; that Israel has practically “eliminated” any chance for Palestinian self-determination; and that Israel is the regional superpower subsidized by the world’s superpower and, thus, it is ridiculous to even entertain the notion of its being eliminated by army-less, navy-less groups. Under international law, the first fact legitimates violent Palestinian resistance.

But AP is not bothered by legal and moral restraints — at least not the ones that restrain the allegedly-Jewish state. According to the AP timeline, the Israeli bombing and invasion of Gaza is a response to indiscriminate Palestinian rocket fire, and that’s that. But those terrifying rockets are a desperate response to the years-long Israeli siege on Gaza: revenue theft, embargoes, travel bans, asset freezes, systematic assassinations and kidnappings, and so on. These are acts of war and terrorism preceding, by at least three years, the currently cited Israeli pretext of Hamas rockets. But according to AP’s editors, the lifting of the forced mass-starvation and imprisonment of 1.4 million Palestinians is just another “Hamas demand.”

Gutkin says that hundreds of Israelis were killed by Palestinian and Lebanese attacks: a point with which reputable sources will agree. But his analysis omits both the context in which those attacks occurred (Israeli invasion, bombing, occupation, and so on) and the more numerous victims of Israeli attacks. In the same time span, thousands of occupied Palestinians were killed by Israel, the occupier-invader.

And apparently, according to Gutkin, “goodwill” is when the neighborhood bully beats you up and steals your property one week, then offers to stop beating you up and give you back 1% of your property the next — on condition that, from now on, you stop trying to prevent him from beating up your family and neighbors and stealing their property. This has been the Israeli modus operandi in the Israel-Palestinian “peace process.” Hasbaraniks typically refer to this strange form of goodwill as “painful concessions” or the “generous offer.”

But Gutkin’s analysis is just one of many pieces of evidence that show why the world’s largest and most prolific disseminator of “news and information” is merely a propaganda ministry and therefore culpable in U.S. and Israeli war crimes. Indeed, all of The Associated Press’ editorial analyses on the Israel-Palestine “conflict” are Israeli-centric. Most observers probably haven’t noticed it because editors such as Gutkin are experts at subtlety. But only an idiot or a liar would look at the body of work and conclude that it was merely a coincidence that AP’s views have aligned with Israeli and U.S. policies toward Palestinians all these years.

For example, exactly whose political opinion is being reinforced with this standard AP pigeonholing of the two rival Palestinian parties: the ”extremist Islamic militants of Hamas” (vs.) the “moderate president, Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas.” Would it be the same people who benefit greatly from Israeli and U.S. wars and colonization? The same ones who give Abbas tens of millions to keep Hamas and its supporters under the boot and to ultimately prevent Palestinian self-determination? Who else? It’s certainly not the victims of Fatah barbarism.

And here’s a real head-scratcher. Besides Gutkin’s, what entity’s political analysis asserts that Hamas and Hezbollah are merely proxies for Iran? Certainly not Hamas’, Hezbollah’s, nor Iran’s, nor their supporters’; they recognize and support what they consider legitimate resistance to Israeli occupation. Are the Israeli occupation forces and Fatah merely proxies for the U.S. government? The formers are openly subsidized by the latter.

And here’s a no-brainer that may have slipped by your BS sensor. AP won’t let you forget that Hamas, Hezbollah, et al., are considered terrorist organizations by the U.S. and Israeli governments and a few of their allies. But what they never tell you is that vice-versa is also true: Hamas, Hezbollah, et al., consider official U.S. and Israeli entities terrorists. Iran even made it official.

But perhaps AP’s editorial management are victims of their own ignorance. Maybe they don’t know any better than what U.S. and Israeli officials will tell them. This may be true in some cases; however, ignorance and yellow journalism are no excuses for systematically peddling illicit government policies year after year.

What decisively incriminates The Associated Press is that once AP editors are flooded with irrefutable evidence that their ‘facts” are dangerously wrong, they refuse to correct them. They continue to deceitfully report events in the Levant from the Israeli point of view.

AP never mentions the legal status of untold billions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid to Israel — much less, the U.S. Constitution and international law prohibiting it. What this does is keep American readers believing that U.S. foreign policy in the Levant is at least necessary to counter those “terrorists” who fantastically ”seek to destroy the Jewish state.” Yet, most Americans don’t even know that they are being looted in this manner, ironically, to subsidize the wanton Israeli destruction of Islamic institutions, as well as Israel’s decades-old and ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Hitler and Stalin never had it so good. Then again, they never had the world’s largest and most trusted news organizations to faithfully parrot their fraudulent propaganda.