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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Australia's ABC and Palestinian Myth-Making

According to an allegedly responsible mainstream media outlet Down Under, the Australian Broadcasting Company, the growing drug addiction of the Palestinian Arabs is due to the "Israeli Occupation."

This is being presented as a deliberate policy of the State of Israel in order to facilitate drug addiction, which will force desperate addicts to sell their homes to Jews.

Like, the Arabs of the Middle East were never exposed to hashish before the State of Israel existed?

Here's the definition of a recognized English word in Dictionary.Com:

–noun 1. a murderer, esp. one who kills a politically prominent person for fanatical or monetary reasons.
2. (initial capital letter) one of an order of Muslim fanatics, active in Persia and Syria from about 1090 to 1272, whose chief object was to assassinate Crusaders.

[Origin: 1525–35; < ML assassinī (pl.) < Ar ḥashshāshīn eaters of hashish]

Note that the word derives from the Arabic for 'eaters of hashish.' Drugs have been around the Middle East a long time and are not the result of Israeli security measures and suicide-bomb interdiction in the thugocracy of the West Bank.

I note, just in passing, that somehow Abbas & Co. get a pass on drug interdiction in their own (alleged) territory in this hit piece of pseudo-journalism......since the PA has more heavily armed 'police' than most almost any police force in the world, maybe the Palestinian police should take some action?

Israellycool disposes of this garbage in short order. See Dave's post--just hit the link in the title above. None of the quoted speakers are verifiably involved in any of the things they claim to do; they provide soundbites but no studies; studies involving joint Israeli/Palestinian efforts to eradicate drugs, involve youth in other activities go unmentioned in this piece....

...and of course, what would any responsible journalist do in investigating drug use and smuggling? He would talk to those most intimately involved: the users, the sellers and the cops.

Of course, the Chief Talking Head involved in this spurious broadcast, Tony Eastley, also has a history of anti-Israel bias as reported in Australian Jewish News last February (http://www.ajn.com.au/news/news.asp?pgID=2497):

Pyrrhic victory

THE admission this week by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that some of its coverage of Israel’s war with Hezbollah last year was inaccurate appears, at face value at least, to be a great victory for all pro-Israel supporters in Australia.

The ABC has for years received a ritual flogging from Jewish leaders for its perceived anti-Israel bias. Small wonder then that Jewish leaders this week welcomed the admissions, heaping praise on Liberal Senator Michael Ronaldson for his scrutiny of ABC managing director Mark Scott at senate estimates hearings.

But a closer inspection of the actual errors which the ABC admitted to reveals, if anything, a pyrrhic victory. After all, the national broadcaster conceded that it mistakenly cited Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel instead of Jerusalem.

And twice it incorrectly identified Lebanon as the location where the two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped, instead of a cross-border raid on northern Israel. Mistakes no doubt, but worthy of censure?

Arguably the ABC’s most egregious example of bias was AM radio presenter Tony Eastley’s claim that “the seizure of the soldiers was used by Israel as a reason to launch attacks into Lebanon against Hezbollah”, implying that Israel was awaiting a pretext for an invasion of Lebanon. This was blatantly open to misinterpretation, and was rightly acknowledged by Scott as such.

So there it is. The evidence, from this vantage point at least, does not suggest the national broadcaster was guilty of wilful anti-Israel bias during the Hezbollah war.


Mr. Eastley's co-conspirator in this garbage is David Hardakar, ABC's ""Middle East correspondent." He should more correctly be titled ABC's Palestinian mouthpiece. A quick search of the web finds the following gems by Mr. Hardakar:

(1)Israeli authorities under attack for letting 21-year-old Gazan die of cancer. Passing mention is made of Israel's security concerns (such as former suicide bomb candidates who used medical needs as a pretext for entering Israel) and brushed off Egypt's responsibility to treat the patient, who had previously received his treatments in Egypt; [http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2007/s2097578.htm]

(2) in his coverage of a Hebron evacuation, Mr. Hardakar states:

"The 650 Jewish settlers in Hebron are surrounded by 30,000 Palestinians. They claim a religious and a historical right to live here. They're known for their extreme views and their harsh actions against their Palestinian neighbours. {Bakadiary note: no mention is made of the fact that historically Jews have lived in Hebron since Abraham, that many of the shops in the souk are Jewish-owned or that the Jews were forcibly evacuated from Hebron by the British in response to the Arab pogrom against the Jewish community there, or that the Palestinians have themselves more recently murdered a baby girl in her stroller} Spokesman Noam Arnon.

NOAM ARNON: Unfortunately this country today is being controlled by a leftist pro-Arabic organisation. And they lead the whole country to more concessions to the Arabs.

DAVID HARDAKER: But of course, the international community regards this area as belonging to the Palestinians. It is occupied by Israelis, so you are in fact arguing against almost all the rest of the world. (emphasis added to underline the speaker's inherent bias.)

NOAM ARNON: I speak about historical fact, this land was never Palestine, this land was Jewish under Jewish sovereignty for thousand of years. (Bakadiary note: Noam, we lived here but did not have sovereignty--that was the whole point of establishing a Jewish state for us instead of having to live under the rule of hostile gentiles with axes to grind--but yes, it was NEVER a nation called "Palestine;" that name was merely the British Imperial colonial designation for their occupied territory of the former Ottoman Empire, in which case the nomenclature admittedly existed from 1919 to 1948.)

Hardakar is apparently unfamiliar with the wording of the Geneva Convention, the Hague Convention, the definition of disputed territories or anything remotely resembling an even-handed history of the region. These sound-bites come right out of the Palestinian Propaganda Playbook.

(3) a critique of 'honor killings' in Ramle, Israel.....with no mention of the fact that such murders are not only rampant in Moslem countries, but virtually unpunishable by law in those lands;

(4) Some other pieces not related to Israel.

So why should it surprise us that Australian newscasters with a history of anti-Israel bias should construct a fable about Palestinian drug addiction being the fault of Israel? Well, maybe because we (especially those of us who actually worked in the MSM back in Woodward & Bernstein times) would like to believe that the Fourth Estate remains a responsible watchdog for civil liberties instead of the pandering propagandists many of them have turned into---including, apparently, these two Australian clowns, who have not yet responded to Dave's demand for factual verification of the lies published under the guise of 'journalism' -- which this piece clearly is not. ABC's sorry excuse is that their correspondent is 'overseas' --which is meaningless in the age of email, faxes, Blackberrys, cellphones and Skype.

The reality is that drugs are a social problem everywhere in every society. Drug abuse is rampant in many sectors of many societies. Israel's political realities have nothing to do with Palestinian drug addiction. There are Jewish drug addicts in Israel as well, and the dirty secret of Iran's Islamic Republic is that drug use is rampant there as well.

Two weeks ago, my husband, a Jerusalem cop, worked with the Border Police at the Security Fence -- and they pulled over an Arab-owned-and-operated car coming from Ramallah. The Husband was the cover officer while the other guys searched the vehicle---which was stuffed full of hashish being brought by the Palestinians INTO Israel.

Care to cover THAT aspect of the drug story, gentlemen? Thought not--it doesn't fit your let's-bash-Israel agenda. You certainly wouldn't want facts to interfere with your propaganda crusade. You wanna know about drugs? Talk to the cops.

The sad truth is that these so-called 'journalists' don't want to know about drugs. Or about honor killings. Or about the Jewish historical connection to Hebron. What they want is a heart-wrenching piece of fluff that will stick it to the Jews, promote the soft racism of pediatric Arabism (the poor-little-brown-people-who-need-the-protection-of-the-wise-strong-enlightened-Europeans schtick) favored by the Radical Left, and give the Palestinian propaganda machine a platform to justify firing more Kassams at Jewish kindergartens and schools in the name of "resistance."


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