Rall’s no stranger to BackSpin — he’s the one who was ‘at home with Palestinian terrorists.’
A number of Norwegians from different backgrounds met to discuss the growing antisemitism in that country, as well as methods of treating post-traumatic stress disorder caused by terrorism.
Bjorn Staerk writes:
One of the central people behind this event is Ester Kristoffer, a psychologist who has written about the suffering of Israeli bus drivers. Over the last two months she has gotten a name for herself in several TV debates where she has criticized the Norwegian media for an anti-Israeli bias. She’s done a good job of it too.
On the Saturday evening news, NRK took revenge.
NRK (the Norwegian state TV network) interviewed members of the group, including Kristoffer, under the pretext of running a sympathetic profile of their activities. But by the time it aired, it had become ‘a conspiracy theory in which the Israeli embassy supports a secret network of Christians, through which it hopes to manipulate Norwegian opinion.’
It’s the kind of lie that demonstrates the inspiration of antisemitic ideas on modern anti-Israelism. People don’t just spontaneously come together to contradict what everyone agrees to be common sense. No, they form secret networks, with nameless and influential members. And at the center of it all, pulling the strings, there’s always a Jew.
See Staerk’s blog entry for a letter from Kristoffer to NRK, protesting ‘the Norwegian version of the Protocals of the Elders of Zion’.
* You know something has changed when both Kofi Annan and former PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas are calling for serious reform in Arafat’s PA.
* Great staff-ed in the Dallas Morning News (req. reg.) about Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan’s embarrassing appearance on Meet the Press. Host Tim Russert aired clips of a Saudi telethon that raised millions of dollars for Palestinian terrorists, then grilled the prince about it:
An increasingly exasperated Prince Bandar either denied the accusations or said they were part of the pre-Sept. 11 past. But Mr. Russert reminded him that the telethon occurred in April 2003 and that a May 2003 report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom found that official Saudi textbooks teach children extreme hatred and intolerance of Jews, Christians and Muslims who choose to reject the faith.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Crown Prince blamed a recent terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia on Zionists.
* Washington Post commentary investigates the journalistic culture that allows the Jack Kelleys, Jayson Blairs and Stephen Glasses to fabricate stories for years without anyone noticing.
* Jerusalem Post reports on how Hamas and Al-Qaida use the internet to further their goals. A researcher at the ICT charges that law enforcement agencies exaggerate “cyber terror” while overlooking terror groups’ more routine internet activities.
* (Lord) Robin Renwick in the Telegraph on the letter signed by 52 British ex-ambassadors criticizing Blair’s Mideast policy:
Many of the signatories were former Arabists in the Foreign Office, affectionately known as the Camel Corps. Some members of the Corps have shown a tendency over the years to develop a quite passionate attachment to the Arab world that, unfortunately, has not always been reciprocated by the Arabs. They have tended to concentrate on the crimes of the Israelis, rather than those of the Palestinians. Most of us would prefer to be more even-handed.
The Telegraph also has a staff-ed on the Camel Corps’ ‘passionate attachment’ to Arab leaders:
Some of the most prominent former diplomats who condemned Tony Blair’s policies in the Middle East have business links with Arab governments, The Telegraph can reveal.
In a letter published last week, 52 former British diplomats condemned the invasion of Iraq and the Government’s support for Israel.
The letter failed to disclose, however, that several of the key signatories, including Oliver Miles, the former British ambassador to Libya who instigated the letter, are paid by pro-Arab organisations.
Some of the others hold positions in companies seeking lucrative Middle East contracts, while others have unpaid positions with pro-Arab organisations.
The disclosure last night prompted allegations – denied by the diplomats – that they were merely promoting the interests of their clients. Andrew Dismore, the Labour MP for Hendon, said: “If an MP had made statements like these without declaring an interest in the subject they would have been before the standards and privileges committee we would have had their guts for garters.
“This casts a very different light on what the former diplomats have said.”
NY Times public editor Daniel Okrent addresses the Times’ description of Sheikh Yassin as a ‘spiritual leader’ of Hamas:
Nowhere in The Times’s coverage is the choice of words more flammable than in the paper’s reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I’ve been noting objections from both sides (although, I’ll acknowledge, many more from pro-Israel readers) for months, trying to discern whether there’s a pattern, as some charge, revealing one-sidedness. I’m nowhere near a conclusion on this larger question, but on this one – on Sheik Yassin – Mr. Irving [a reader who complained to Okrent] is right.
“Spiritual leader” may be correct, but only in the way that it’s accurate to say that Texas is bigger than Rhode Island; there’s much more to the story, and the two words can leave a mistaken impression. No one on either side seems to disagree with the assertion that Sheik Yassin was an ideological and political figure as well, and that in his sermons he endorsed killing as part of the Hamas strategy. The problem isn’t that “spiritual leader” does not convey this – it’s that it conveys something very, very different.
On Valentine’s Day a new U.S.-funded TV station, Al Hurra, began broadcasting in the Arab world. Critics jeered. “The Middle East hates its new TV station,” declared Slate. The Middle East Times reported “a tidal wave of criticism from Arab audiences.” NBC News reported that “many didn’t bother to watch the fledgling TV station or couldn’t find it” but had “a negative opinion” of it anyway. And the Associated Press reported Feb. 12 that “even before its first broadcast, a satellite television station financed by the U.S. government and directed at Arab viewers is drawing fire in the Middle East as an American attempt to destroy Islamic values and brainwash the young.”
So how’s it working out, less than three months later? “The controversial U.S. Arabic-language TV channel Alhurra is winning viewers as a news source in the Arab world,” Reuters reports. A U.S.-financed poll conducted by a French firm finds that the station “is being watched by an average 29 percent of the satellite-equipped households in seven countries, including a high of 44 percent in Kuwait and a low of 18 percent in Egypt.”
Oh well, never mind.
* Morton Zuckerman (US News & World Report) offers a quiz:
In light of the much-misreported Sharon- Bush meeting, here’s a little quiz to put the event in a perspective that eluded the media.
Q: Which Palestinian leader demanded the following immediate concessions as a condition for further talks:
(i) Israel must withdraw all 7,500 settlers from Gaza and leave the housing and infrastructure there intact.
(ii) Israel must remove settlers from four communities on the West Bank.
(iii) Israel must remove the military installations and checkpoints around these communities so there is an area of contiguous self-government and freedom of movement for Palestinians.
* Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post) on ‘The Real Mideast ‘Poison”:
Anti-Semitism, once just a European disease, has gone global…This Nuremberg atmosphere has reached the point where, if Israel were to announce today that it intends to live for at least another year, the U.N. Security Council would convene to discuss a resolution denouncing Israeli arrogance and unilateralism, and the United States would have to veto it. Only Britain would have the decency to abstain.
According to a new Freedom House study, “Freedom of the Press 2004: A Global Survey of Media Independence,” of the 19 Middle Eastern and North African countries, only one, Israel, is rated “Free,” with 90% of the countries in the region rated “Not Free.”
The Middle East is the only region in the world with an average rating of “Not Free.”
As reported in today’s British media:
The Governors’ Programme Complaints Committee, the BBC’s highest grievance body, has ruled valid complaints against a BBC TV programme which exaggerated the use of force by the IDF and claimed that the Israelis sought to destroy Palestinian history.
The programme, “Dan Cruickshank on the Road to Armageddon,” was broadcast on BBC2 in June 2003 and attracted ten official complaints. In the programme, architecture expert Professor Cruickshank sought to examine the impact of centuries of conflict on [the region's] ancient heritage, but the committee admitted that it “failed to focus on affected Jewish sites, such as the destruction of ancient synagogues in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem between 1949 and 1967.”
In a statement released by the BBC, the Governors stated that the programme “fell short of the BBC’s editorial requirements on impartiality”, and that disparaging comments about Jewish settlers “did not consider that such speculation lay within the frame of reference of a programme about historical sites, or within Professor Cruickshank’s field of experience.”
(Hat tip: Tom Gross)
A number of people have written us requesting more information on the film Jenin: Massacring Truth.
Here’s the purchase page from CanWest – scroll down to ‘Global Video Specials’. The DVD version ($21.95) is available here, and the VHS ($19.95) here.
And speaking of videos debunking the Jenin ‘massacre’, we’ll remind readers of the fake Palestinian funeral in Jenin, caught on video by the IDF.
[UPDATE: See the HR communique on this topic]
The new documentary film Jenin: Massacring Truth debuted on Canada’s Global last night. The film addresses the international media’s false, irresponsible reporting on the IDF incursion to Jenin in April, 2002.
Damian Penny saw the film and transcribes this exchange between Martin Himel and Dr. Tim Benson, head of the British editorial cartoonists’ society which honoured the Independent’s Sharon-eating-babies cartoon:
Himel: My question to you is, why, in all these paintings [sic] don’t we see Sharon and Arafat eating babies?
Benson: Maybe Jews don’t issue fatwas.