«Jewish Observer»
December 2001
5762 Tevet

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I am rather surprised when I hear some say that Israel lacks funds for active information actions, that in why the world mass media is not objective. Sorry, is it really the lack of funds or may be anything else (at least, the lack of professionalism)? How can one sensibly explain the decision of the Israel Foreign Ministry not "to advertise" the festivities held in the "Arab street" after the act of terrorism in the USA.

Deputy Director of the Ministry's mass media department Gideon Meir said that "Israel should not "jump" on the wave of the public opinion raised by terror". According to his words, Israel will keep the film about the Palestinian joy over the death of Americans hidden until it is asked to show it (until now Israel wasn't asked and probably won't be asked). "It is not out task to draw parallels between terror in the USA and in our country", - added Meir. - We have to keep the propaganda discipline".

Well, what disciplined guys work in the Israeli Foreign Ministry! Meanwhile, the Palestinian autonomy authorities somehow differently understand this discipline. Journalists and photo reporters who shot festivities over terrorist acts in the USA were threatened with physical punishment.

By the words of some foreign journalists who wished to remain incognito, armed Palestinians used to withdraw the cassettes with films on festivities and break video-cameras. More active actions to better the damaged image of his countrymen were undertaken by Yaser Abd-Rabo, autonomy's "minister of propaganda". He rang to Western information agencies and warned: "We are not responsible for the life of reporters if their films are telecast". Apparently this appeal for "propaganda discipline" had a positive effect as the Western information agencies decided for better not to televise films about the boundless joy that swept over the Palestinian people upon the news of the death of thousands of Americans. Moreover the administration of BBC send their apologies to the autonomy administration for...reports from the place of the "national holiday". I suppose it is appropriate to mention the apologies given to Yasir Arafat by one Italian TV company for the fact that its reporter shot and the company showed the scenes of barbaric killing of two Israeli reservist soldiers by Palestinians in Ramalle, in autumn last year. Those scenes were thought to be also distorting the image of the fighting Palestinian people in the eyes of the world community. The world community, which is ready to sacrifice its own life for the freedom of information, swallowed all this and didn't even choke over. It seems to me that only old Charles Lynch turned over in his coffin from indignation because this bloody cruelty was called "lynch" in mass media though lynching in comparison with what happened in Ramalle was simply a specimen of humanism and justice.

I am also not very sure about the end of the political career of the Nobel peace prizewinner Yasir Arafat who is also the chief partner of Israel in the "peaceful process". Though being a convinced terrorist and the head of the terrorist organization, he should be acknowledged an experienced politician (one quality does not contradict the other). He is well oriented in the situation both in the Middle East and the whole world. One should not be deluded by his age, trembling lips and a possible illness (Parkinson's disease). He learned something and drew right conclusions from his old mistake when he supported Saddam Husein in occupying Kuwait. This mistake could have thrown out him from political life forever and made him an outcast in the eyes of the world community. I think he won't make such a mistake any more. The whole world watches him on TV screens giving blood to Americans - victims of the terrorist act organized by people of the same views. Supper hypocrisy, one may say. Let it be. But what a propagandist effect! I would like to say that Palestinian image-makers are highly professional. Being in Jerusalem at the initial stage of so-called "Al-Aks intifada" I watched Palestinian TV programs and I can say that the Oruell-like clips of "two-minute hatred" were made professionally. Watching them I didn't feel that they "lacked funds". Neither did I hear anything about the "propaganda discipline" much spoken of by Israeli propagandists-amateurs hiding their non-professionalism under the desire to wage the information war by gentleman-like methods in white gloves and with bows and curtsies towards the enemy.

Yes, with such ideas they can't afford showing to the weak-nerved Western TV public the bodies of two Jewish teenagers from the settlement of Tkoa. The bodies were so mutilated by the Palestinian "fighters for freedom" that they were identified only with the help of dentists. Or, 10-month Shalkhevet Paz shot right in the hands of her father by the Arab sniper in Hevron. The showing of such films might be apparently the breach of the same "propaganda discipline" or, may be it is this breach that "lacks funds".

The film of Arafat-donor was shown all over the world though he might snake the blood off his hands and it would be enough for all injured.

This contemporary little Tsakhes called Tsinnober possesses a valuable gift to make any situation in his favor. Without delay he expressed his condolence to Americans, branded Ben Laden, condemned the act of terrorism in the USA and appealed for the struggle with terrorism (Arafat fighting terrorism looks like an old variety-show turn - wrestling of Nanai boys). Moreover, he declared his comrades-in-arms against the "Zionist enemy" to be out of law. It is the militant faction of the People's Front of Palestine Liberation. Sure, these were only verbal declarations. Of course, if he goes on like this, we shall see Arafat as a new leader (ringleader) of the anti-terrorist coalition. Why not? He already played the role of the chief protector and patron of Christian holy places on the Palestinian territory.

By the way, there are some words about the ostentatious but fully foreseen reaction of the adherents of the Nobel peace prizewinner towards explosions in the USA. After the explosions all these hamases, Jslamic djihads and other outcasts, these "fearless" killers of children and women rushed into their holes like rats, rejecting their relationship to the done in concerted heart-rending peep: "This is not me! We have nothing to do with it!" They did understand that somebody overdid it, that the US reaction towards the explosion of the school bus for away and the diving of the civil plane into the New-York skyscraper would be quite different. And they were not mistaken.


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