Imagine if the Israeli government called President Bush “the head of the snake,” described America as sinking into “a putrid swamp,” and made sexist and racist remarks about Condoleezza Rice.
How would this affect media presentation of Israel — specifically, Israel’s sincerity in pursuing the American-led peace effort? These remarks, no doubt, would be broadly reported to illustrate a fierce, official Israeli rejection of America’s leadership and its plan to move beyond ancient hatreds.
Now here’s what really happened:
On June 3 in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the Palestinian Authority’s Deputy Foreign Minister Adli Sadeq called President Bush “the head of the snake of the American oppression,” and opined, “America is sinking deeper and deeper in a putrid swamp, and will extricate itself from it only as a defeated, stinking loser.”
Then on June 26, in the official PA daily Al-Ayyam, columnist Hassan Al-Batal submitted a sexist and racist profile of National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, remarking that “she has a figure no less fine than that of supermodel Naomi Campbell,” then labelling Rice “the black spinster” and warning to “beware the lady of steel.”
Why did these statements fail to make Western headlines? Do they not call into question the sincerity of Palestinian officials regarding the American-led peace effort, and their commitment to moving this process forward in a spirit of mutual respect and accommodation?
On a related point, HonestReporting readers should find interesting this op-ed by Martin Peretz, who expresses bewilderment that some Westerners continue to romanticize the Palestinian cause. Peretz writes: “The truth is that no one who has had a real hearing among the Palestinians has ever articulated a vision of Palestine that is premised on an idea of social justice, a new relationship between the classes, among the clans and tribes, between the sexes.”
— QATARI PARALLELS —
In the Arab world, not only the PA remains mired in dangerous stereotypes.
Qatar recently served as combat operations center for American forces in the Iraq war. Yet even in this moderate Arab state, the anti-Israeli and anti-American hatred persists. The Qatari newspaper, Al Watan, whose chairman and half-owner are senior government officials, recently published the following cartoon:
In the middle: “The Arab States”
Upon being presented a full series of anti-semitic and anti-American Qatari cartoons by the Anti-Defamation League, Condoleezza Rice called the images “abhorrent” and “unacceptable,” and indicated that President Bush had raised the issue in his meetings with Arab leaders on his recent trip to the Middle East.
If so, where are the media reports to this effect?
HonestReporting encourages subscribers to insist that their local media report anti-American sentiment in the PA and Arab world, which continues to undermine progress toward Mideast peace.
Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.
— LA TIMES CORRECTION —
Kudos to HR subscriber Gary Dalin, who wrote to the Los Angeles Times to protest the Times’ attributing Monday’s death of four Palestinian terrorists to Israeli tank fire. The terrorists, in fact, were killed by their own bomb.
The Times issued a correction on Wednesday.