From Israel Insider:
The wrong time to rub it in.
By Jack Engelhard August 21, 2005
Is this really the time to rub it in? We can expect Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas to rejoice as Israelis are being uprooted from their homes in Gaza and handing it all over to them. But what about the euphoria from the BBC and all the rest?
As the deportation was getting underway, the BBC reported that the land is being given back to the Palestinians. Wrong. Egypt occupied that territory. But that merely counts as an error, which is forgivable. Editorializing, however, does not belong in a program called BBC World News.
It is not news when a BBC reporter, Orla Guerin, tells her viewers that “most of the world agrees that the Jews did not belong there in the first place.” That is opinion, for it is doubtful that the BBC, vast as it is, interviewed most of the world. At one time, the British Empire spanned the globe, conquered 103 nations and ruled the world from A to Z, from Aden to Zanzibar.
Did Britain belong there in the first place?
But picture this: Those are Arabs, not Jews, being deported. Those are mosques, not synagogues, being demolished.
Would there be enough words to express the world’s outrage? Would there be enough buckets to collect the world’s tears?
Today’s war of Jew against Jew, Israeli against Israeli, is being fought on the ground, but also in the air, meaning the airwaves.
American television appears to agree with the BBC that “the Jews did not belong there in the first place,” and this goes for Gaza and virtually all of Israel. Some news organizations already use the term “Occupied Jerusalem” for their datelines. Tel Aviv and Haifa cannot be far behind as being part of contiguous Palestine, as Jewish Israelis are assigned to ghettos.
Who speaks for Israel? From network to network, we find Dennis Ross, architect of the Oslo Accords, which even reasonable thinkers on the Left concede as folly. Another commentator who seems to appear everywhere is Ehud Barak. This ex-prime minister of Israel was booted from office after a disastrous tenure in which his gift-offerings included all of the West Bank (except for two percent), half of Jerusalem and the entire Golan Heights.
When Palestinian Arab rioters overran Joseph’s Tomb, a lone Israeli soldier was left to withstand the assault, but bled to death when Barak refused to send timely help.
Such are the men to whom the networks turn for advice and wisdom. These men shape public opinion, and assure us that Ariel Sharon’s Disengagement Plan is democracy in action. That is incorrect. Sharon brought the measure before his cabinet, and was turned down. He fired the dissenters and replaced them with his cronies. He also brought his plan up for a vote before his Likud party, and lost overwhelmingly. None of that stopped him.
All that suggests dictatorship in action, not democracy.
In its “Reality Check” editorial of August 18, the New York Times points out that Gaza “was never a part of the Zionist state intended by the United Nations partition plan.” Maybe so, but why bring this up now, when the Jews are going, going, gone? Sounds like a kick in the pants.
John Podhoretz of the New York Post tells the Israelis of Gush Katif that it’s time to go, the very moment that they are forcibly going. Conservative pundit and editor William Kristol faces television and registers his disgust at the bad behavior of some of the resisters in Israel. We must assume that Kristol would be a model of good behavior if US soldiers came knocking on his door to evict him and his family for being Jewish.
Israeli opinion-makers may also want to think before speaking. One of Israel’s leading columnists, Nahum Barnea, recently shared these thoughts with Yediot Ahronot: “Israel can live without Gush Katif. It can even live without Jerusalem.” Such reflections are reckless, hurtful and mean-spirited, especially at a time like this.
Sharon himself is petulant that while his operation is moving swiftly, it is not going smoothly. He terms the objectors as criminals. These are mostly Jewish kids (dare we say “Zionists”?) from in and around Gaza whom he was sworn in to preserve and protect, but who now face punishment at his insistence. Sharon has met the enemy.
Back here, those zippers of parenthetical comment that run along the bottom of the screen as the news is being spoken remind us that “the West Bank was taken from Jordan.” Some context would be helpful in also reminding us that the land was “taken” due to wars imposed upon the Jewish State.
Moreover, Occupied Territory works both ways. Jordan was once Transjordan, land that was originally and legally parceled for the Jewish State — by the British. This is never mentioned. Perhaps, for the sake of evenhandedness, we should likewise be reminded that Palestinians are the majority of the Jordanian population.
The BBC, again, shows us Arab Gaza sitting in squalor and blames Israeli “occupation.” But the few Arabs in that land before most Jews arrived had hundreds of years without Israeli “occupation” to make the land fertile, but turned it into wasteland. (Whereas, the Israelis made the earth blossom.) Obviously, the BBC will not allow facts to disturb its partisan point of view.
If editorial liberties are fair game, some balance would seem to be proper, especially during this period when Israel is at odds with itself, and indeed making painful concessions to please the nations. Even some of Israel’s enemies (as reported in the New York Times) concede that Israel is suffering. For humanitarian reasons alone, this might be a good time to give Israel a break and give politics a rest.
This is not the time to rub it in.
Those of us who weep with Israel are not asking for favors. We don’t even ask for sympathy.