Cartoons and Conspiracies

Graphically illustrative of a widespread problem in the media is this cartoon from South Africa’s Business Day.

Israel is held wholly responsible for the situations in Lebanon in 2006 and the current crisis in Gaza. Only Ehud Olmert is seen to be stirring the pot or deliberately leaving it to boil over depending on one’s interpretation. Either way, the poisonous pen of Brandon, who titles his cartoon “Chef’s Specialty”, leaves no doubt as to whom he believes to be at fault.

This conveniently ignores Hezbollah’s primary responsibility for provoking the Lebanon war and the chaos and violence in the Gaza Strip, as Palestinian terror gangs fight each other and launch barrages of Qassam missiles at Israeli civilians in Sderot and the western Negev.

Comments to South Africa’s Business Day – busday@bdfm.co.za

Please be on the lookout for similar attempts to unjustly blame Israel and absolve the Palestinians from responsibility for the current situation.

For more on anti-Israeli media sentiment in South Africa, see the It’s Almost Supernatural blog.

USS LIBERTY CONSPIRACY RESURFACES IN AUSTRALIA

Despite comprehensive investigation and evidence proving it was an accident, the canard that Israel deliberately attacked the American warship USS Liberty during the Six-Day War continues to resurface, this time in an op-ed by Tim Fischer in Australia’s The Age.

Fischer disagrees with the conclusions of retired US Judge A Jay Cristol, whose definitive study put such conspiracy theories to rest. Instead Fischer contends that “If Israel did deliberately attack the most powerful nation on Earth, it knows it can do so and get away with murder” and “We now know it is from this period that Israel cheerfully began building its own atomic bomb. We know Israel will push over the edge whenever it suits, because recent history shows that it can get away with such actions.”

Judge Cristol himself stated in 2003: “there is no truth in these conspiracy theories against Israel. [But] those who hate Israel, who hate Jews, and those who believe in conspiracy, will not be convinced by anything.”

Read HonestReporting’s comprehensive response to the USS Liberty canard here and send your comments to The Age – letters@theage.com.au

THE SIX-DAY WAR: DIFFERING INTERPRETATIONS

The events of 1967 continue to have a profound effect on today’s Middle East and it is a perfectly legitimate exercise to engage in historical analysis with the benefit of hindsight. The Economist’s editorial “Israel’s wasted victory” takes a deeply negative approach towards the outcome of the Six-Day War, describing it as “a calamity for the Jewish state no less than for its neighbours.”

Responding on YNet News, Israeli commentator Sever Plocker strongly disputes the central theme of the editorial:

“The Economist is making a grave mistake. The Six Day War changed the course of history for the better, ensured Israel’s existence and convinced the Arabs to come to terms with it. Thanks to Israel’s full and shining victory, the rulers of the Arab states relinquished their vision of eliminating Israel, and by lack of choice engaged in dialogue based on the concept of “land for peace.”

Read the full article here.

As the 40th anniversary approaches, many media outlets will be featuring the Six-Day War. Some historical analyses will be perfectly legitimate. Others may be simply a rewriting of history in order to promote a politicized anti-Israel agenda. Be on the lookout and make full use of HonestReporting’s resources, which will be appearing shortly.

 

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