Thursday, January 08, 2009

A season of half-truths

[Text and images: Sameer]

Alan Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, at Harvard Law School is an old apologist for Israel. Apart from defending Israel for every possible crime against humanity that it commits, he spends time supporting the distribution of pornography in the US and counseling the likes of OJ Simpson [That cheat who now thankfully rests his heels to where he really belongs]. Unsurprisingly Mr Dershowitz thinks that Hamas is to be blamed for the current Gaza bloodshed. He is not alone. Fox and CNN are wily collaborators to his day dreams. The BBC is not far behind. Even Al-Jazeera English is party.

I’m currently in India. The specter of shallow capitalism is so frightening in this part of the world that all major TV channels [They have a diminutive CNN here too] dismiss Gaza in less than a minute. Majority of the mainstream corporate media is fixated on what an aging local film actor [hammy at best] plans to gift his latest girl friend. May be also because Indian’s are increasingly imitating the American’s and all that matters is valuation -- market and capital -- and other vagaries. Barring respectable exceptions Indian media is simply not up to snuff.

Coming back to battleground Gaza, Israeli warplanes continue their endless sorties. Last night the Israeli’s bombed a Palestinian school. 42 children were instantly killed. When the Zionists stoop to such abominable levels of brutishness, and increasingly start acting like monsters, whose appetite for blood just doesn’t quench, their spin doctors’ quickly rush to TV stations. To weave an intricate tapestry of lies and half-truths. No matter how grave the situation, poor professor Dershowitz has to show Israel in good light. This winter is being celebrated as the season of half-truths.

Increasingly we are witness to a warped coverage of the events. A fitting analogy that I couldn’t help adapt: In the BBC's reportage Palestinians 'die', Israelis are 'killed' [the latter implies agency, the former could have happened of natural causes]; Palestinians 'provoke', Israelis 'retaliate'; Palestinians make 'claims', Israelis declare. Schools, mosques, universities and police stations become 'Hamas infrastructure'; militants 'clash' with F-16s and Apaches. 'Terrorism' is something Palestinians do, Israelis merely 'defend' themselves – invariably outside their borders. All debates, irrespective of fact or circumstance, are framed around Israel's 'security'. So much for balanced reporting!

As Israeli bombers target more and more innocents in the burning ghettos of Gaza we are going to see two recurring themes emerging from the likes of Dershowitz and Michael Oren and Charles Krauthammer and Michael Goldfarb and hysterical groups like AIPAC and the Israel Project and the Israel on Campus Coalition: pure fakery and falsehood. They will in all likelihood hoodwink and lie – through their teeth. It may have already begun.

Israeli apologists have already started humming: You know it was Hamas that broke the ceasefire. Israel is just defending itself. That is a huge lie! The truth is [all you got to cut through the fog of lies is look up The Economist and London’s The Guardian] that Israel broke the truce twice. First on November 4, 2008 when its bombardment killed six Palestinians in Gaza and again on November 17 last year when another bombardment killed four more Palestinians.

In a scenario where truths chase half-truths and TV images are fabricated to cut out Israel’s monster like teeth, we have brilliant, fearless people like Robert Fisk who continues to file his unmistakably accurate stories from the middle-east. Intrepid Israeli’s like Amos Harel, Yuri Avnery and Avi Issacharoff continue to instill hope. There are many more brave hearts who continue to write the truth.

There is an amazing thing about truth: It will set you free, but first it will make you miserable. James A. Garfield would agree. He was America’s twentieth president. Sadly they didn’t let him rule for long. He was shot only four months in office.

Sameer