Israel Seeks Balance And Harmony; Sanctions Al-Jazeera

The Associated Press reports today in the Globe that Israel has sanctioned  “the influential Arab satellite network Al-Jazeera, accusing it of slanted coverage favoring the violent Hamas movement.”

Al-Jazeera denies a bias in favor of Hamas. Eye of the beholder sort of thing, The Lion would suggest.

But in the interest of peace and harmony, The Lion notes the following:

Israel was especially incensed by the network’s coverage of the most recent round of intense violence in Hamas-ruled Gaza, saying it rarely showed Israeli casualties or Palestinian rocket fire.

So here, on public display (use your imagination), is the problem Israel has with Al-Jazeera.

On this side of the road, three dead Israelis killed in the recent and ongoing Gaza fighting.

On the other side of the road, 120 dead Palestinians, including dozens of civilians, killed in the recent and ongoing Gaza fighting.

Obviously Israel’s real problem is that not enough Israelis are dying in order to provide Al-Jazeera with material for a balanced presentation. The Israelis are not holding up their end of the public relations battle. If they want fair and balanced treatment more of them will simply have to volunteer to die. That seems only fair. To blame Al-Jazeera for Israeli failures is hardly realistic or fair.

As for Al-Jazeera’s part in the matter, their Jerusalem bureau chief noted that his reporters covered the shooting last week of eight Israelis in a militant center for Israeli settlers in Jerusalem.

“We are not the ones who launch rockets at Israel, and we are not the ones who send F-16s to bomb Gaza,” he said.

The Lion thinks the Israelis are in serious danger of revealing their own biases and imbalances. Or perhaps that’s why they’re clamping down on Al-Jazeera. They really don’t want the world to see their side of the story, the side about their brutality, their ongoing theft of land, their killing of civilians, their brutal administration of collective punishment, and the massive imbalance of death in which Palestinian corpses vastly outnumber Israeli corpses. It would be difficult for them to maintain their posture of being innocent victims under such circumstances.


30 Responses

  1. The students at the Jerusalem yeshiva weren’t right wing “settlers.” They were 16 to 25 year old students.

    Your comments bely your prejudice. Israel isn’t shooting rockets and mortars indiscriminately into Gaza. And most of the 120 Palestinian dead (if indeed you can believe this statistic in the first place) were Hamas fighters, not civilians.

    Let’s face it, Hamas is a TERRORIST organization funded by TERRORIST Iran, both of whom are looking to expunge Israel. The reverse is not the case, although no one would be happier if Hamas would meet its end ASAP.


  2. Granted I don’t watch much news on tv anymore, but I didn’t hear anything about what’s going on until I caught BBC America News last Friday night. What I liked about it was they had a representative from both sides on and basically asked each “how many kids need to die to make your point?”. None of this candy-assed American “journalism”. Of course not said in these words, each side’s answer boiled down to “that remains to be seen”.


  3. The contrast between the BBC and American news is stunning. It’s what I listen to in the wee hours before getting up. I think two of the BBC’s operating axioms are ‘Our listeners have some genuine intelligence’ and ‘Our listeners have an attention span considerably greater than 30 seconds’, neither of which operates in American television news.


  4. joel –

    Yes, writing ‘terrorist’ in capital letters really makes your point. What are you, twelve?

    As for the 120 figure, read any American newspaper covering the current conflict. Really, it’s not an anti-Israeli plot when many newspapers and news organizations print verifiable numbers.

    The school was known as a center for militant settlers. That statement neither condones nor justifies the killings, but since killing is a way of life in the Mideast you can’t expect outrage every time some crazy on either side blows up somebody on the other side in some isolated incident (though it can fairly be said there are no isolated incidents in the conflict). But you can expect some when an Israeli F-16 pops a couple of bombs in a crowded Palestinian neighborhood in response to unguided rockets that mostly land in the desert. I suspect you can’t really see the imbalance there though.

    But you go ahead and keep counting using whatever weird math you’ve been brainwashed with. Tossing around capital letters and bad math won’t get you much sympathy, at least not around here.


  5. I’ve wasted enough time trying to come up with a witty comment. I can’t.

    So I’m just going to say this is a really good post.


  6. heather –

    Hell, that was damn witty, and it is appreciated, thank you.


  7. Ric; – “Militant settlers”? No wonder you have some warm feelings to the Arab terrorists? 16 and 18 years old student will always be “militants” for those who seek to annihilate the Jews in Israel. Arab Palestinians preachers go further and order their followers to murder Jewish “militant” babies. The attended students came from all over Israel. If you mean to say that Ashdod and Netanya are “settlements” too, so you’re right in your statement. This is what the Arabs say too. All of Israel is one big settlement which the Arab Muslims want to remove from the face of the map.

    You show us that you know nothing about the combat incidents in Gaza. Israel usually doesn’t operate F-16 in Gaza but helicopters and UAV’s in precise targeting missions.The imbalance is that Israelis target ONLY terror targets, which unfortunately, deliberately located in populated areas that are used by the terrorists as human shield?!

    Arab terror operates deliberately from within civilian areas with young kids around them used as human shelters! .


  8. abe –

    That would be human shields, not shelters.

    Say, have you met Joel? You two would get along famously.


  9. The motorcycle diaries motif is cute; I’m near to visiting the local head shop and purchasing a Che t-shirt.

    Though my instincts insist otherwise, I visit the site weekly–this and others. The experience seems always–regardless of whatever cosmic injustice is being spewed–a fit occasion for an Eric Hoffer insight. Thus,

    “The quality of ideas seems to play a minor role in mass movement leadership. What counts is the arrogant gesture, the complete disregard of the opinion of others, the singlehanded defiance of the world.”


    “There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove our worth anew each day: we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything we are fixed, so to speak, for life.”

    Anyhow. That’s generally the stance I have when it comes to sites with this slant–that they are the output of people determined to do little more with a day than erect a academically valid and extensively footnoted claim to victimhood.


  10. @ Joel

    The students at the Jerusalem yeshiva weren’t right wing “settlers.”

    Oh please… these same Jewish militants (students) were witnessed chanting “Death to Arabs”. They attended the Mercaz Harav yeshiva, which has deep connections Jewish militancy in the West Bank and terrorism under the British mandate. The militants enrolled there are supposed to be between 18-30 and most are in the Israeli army – oh yeah, most of them are armed too. Yitzhak Dadon, one of the Jewish militants at the yeshiva, shot Ala Abu Dahim, twice in the head. Students don’t walk around armed!


  11. It’s a real own goal because Al-Jazeera is a lot less independent, and a lot more pro Western than it used to be. Nowadays it’s run by ex-BBC staffers and journalists. I’ve stopped visiting there website.

    The BBC is notoriously pro Israel but they are a lot ore subtle about it than the American media. They maintain the pretense of impartiality, they won’t ever use the word terrorist to describe the Palestinian militants but it’s always Palestinian attacks and Israeli operations, and there is far more attention given to Israeli deaths than Palestinian ones. It would be very hard from a BBC reporting that Palestinian rocket attacks are nearly always non-lethal and are a response to an Israeli siege of Gaza. The BBC is the most effective propaganda service in the world.


  12. steph –

    That explains my occasional discomfort with the BBC, when the bias becomes blatant in an interview. Although this morning one of them was putting it to an Israeli official. But on the whole, I’d rather listen to BBC than to what passes for news here. It’s just more of an interesting challenge to pick out the details of the bias… 🙂


  13. norris –

    Sounds like a longwinded version of ‘You’re a terrible bore’ from last week. 🙂

    Somehow I doubt you could tolerate a Che t-shirt or a motorcycle, but I could be wrong. I own neither at the moment, never having been too interested in Guevara or things Che, and my motorcycling days are far behind me, though I’m still tempted.

    Interesting quote from the academic longshoreman, but since I don’t aspire to either leadership or victimhood, and don’t blog to establish an alibi for my life, and assuming you are directing your quote at me, you’re wrong. And I have yet to add a footnote, unless of course you want to count links to source material – we might call them linknotes. Possibly toenotes.

    I look forward to your next expansive attempt to define me as a bore, and give you credit for this one. In fact, this one is quite clever. Its content says nothing to that point, but its tone speaks well to it. I suppose I should feel honored that you took the time and effort. Thank you.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find new and exciting ways to bore the crap out of people. Ta ta.


  14. norris –

    Do you have a blog or website? I’d like to visit.


  15. “I look forward to your next expansive attempt to define me as a bore, and give you credit for this one. In fact, this one is quite clever. Its content says nothing to that point, but its tone speaks well to it.”



  16. @ Ric

    I’m the other way, I don’t mind bias, as long as they’re honest about it, I hate the BBC’s mock impartiality and balance, when they are othing like impartial or balanced. The probem with the BBC is also there choice of guests, because guests can say the most outrageous things and are often unchallenged. There is a good video on this here


  17. Sorry, here:


  18. steph –

    Thanks for the video link. I watched about twenty minutes of it, and will catch the rest of it later. What I did see pretty much confirms my own thoughts, filling in the details. Sickening.


  19. ric,

    nope: no website, no visitors.

    i did see your comments on stephiblog today concerning the naziesque pledge of allegiance–or something along those lines. in the sincerest of terms, it’s a point-of-view i have a terribly difficult time understanding, but a natural enough one given the luxury we have in this country to dwell on ourselves as much as we do. i’ve cleaned out the basements of several of my relatives, basements with stockpiles of canned goods, old kool whip containers and mason jars–supplies hoarded our of the fear of the difficult old world that was still in their blood. in the place of that generation comes a generation of people that seem prepared to give it all away, to turn its back, to side with every devil on the planet who wishes us ill. Nevermind that every state on the planet that is and that ever has been has perpetually directed the bulk of its resources at maintaining or bettering its position. Somewhere we seemed to have learned that the rules of engagement must change–that maintaining advantages that will guarantee future generations the same quality of life can only be done with the consent of the people who seek to plunder all that we have. It makes me grateful that we are bordered by canadians, by mexico, and by two oceans, and not the hungry billions that would slit our throats for what we have.


  20. @ Norris

    These relatives who you cleared out – they must have been very disappointed, after all that hording and skulking around in their basements hoping for WW3 and it never happened.


  21. norris –

    Just a tad paranoid, are you? Hungry billions out to slit your throat? That must be why we’ve dismembered Iraq, dispersed at least twenty percent of its population, managed the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, dirtied ourselves by torturing people – to protect your precious little throat from paranoid delusions – and, oh, of course, to guarantee that we can continue our quality of life that’s fucking over the planet.

    I had thought that you might have something interesting, original, and thoughtful to say, having identified me as a bore, but no, there’s nothing there but tired generalizations from wingnut playbooks and psychiatric tracts.

    I am just not in the fucking mood. I have bullshit to dispense.

    Get thee a blog.


  22. steph,

    no, haunted–haunted by realities we have so far had the luxury of avoiding (except for in the dungeons of the blogospher) and i’d say fearful, too–fearful that one day the bountiful life they were living–they were immigrants, after all–would come to a grinding halt, as it no doubt had done in the past. they didn’t have the faith that we naively do in the power of vacant words to keep the world in order and murder at bay. they kept things because they knew that laws were whores, that enemies were never far from the harbor and that land that was ill-used by one race of men could and will just as easily be ill-used by another. if they had any disappointments–and who doesn’t–and those disappointments had anything to do with the future, they’d have likely come later in life and would have had, i do not doubt, something to do with what they knew were on our way to becoming: a country prepared to throw everything away.


  23. a few last words before i turn for my book, ric.

    my views have nothing to do with paranoia. sure, “slit our throats” is a little sensational, a little upturned. yet, the center of what i suggested is solid: around the globe there are literally billions of people who would use any advantage they could secure to have the life that we have.

    over the past decade more than 8 million people have immigrated here–legally–while millions of others are pooling their resources to file their petitions. those from countries nearer our borders or without wealth stow themselves in landing gear, mail themselves in packages and take to the ocean in overhauled pick up trucks in the hopes of reaching america.

    think they’d pledge their devotion?

    and as far as the quality of life that’s “fucking” over the planet goes–well, the solution for that is simple: surrender it. really. i don’t have qualms about it. no one gave it to us. we all started at the same point–in fact, i’d say that most countries actually got a head start–in a contest that has been being played on this planet since a time earlier than words. humans vie for advantage over one another. a state is a collection of humans. america just so happens to have be enjoying the advantages it secured–partially by luck, partially by grit, and partially by guise. history instructs us that it won’t last (the contest is never over). you carry on as if we ourselves invented the contest. and while i myself am not part of the generation that lifted this country above others, i’ll gladly do my part to keep it there–as no doubt there are states out there vying and colluding to pull us down. that’s not paranoia–that just is. throwing up our arms at every development that doesn’t abide by our ultra-sensitive moralities is, quite simply, womanly.

    get thee to a nunnery.

    til tomorrow.


  24. Your sentences are over the place but your first sentence suggests that your relatives were deluded paranoids, who irrationally feared the future because they were haunted by the past. Your last two sentences suggests that they were also racial supremacists, who were disappointed that the oppression that their adopted country inflicted on the others would be no more.

    No wonder you kept them locked up in the basement!


  25. Ric,

    Good as usual. Honest and fearless. Keep going my friend. Still waiting for your first book to get published.


  26. steph.

    deluded paranoids? supremacists? you are a modestly gifted deflector. let’s just say that like many newly arrived people in my country–current wave included–they took little for granted; their judgement was shaped by a history that cautioned against taking throwing away today what might not replaceable tomorrow, an idea which in some places applies right on down to bread. newly arrived immigrants didn’t uproot themselves and travel 10,000 miles across the globe so that they could blog.

    and locked in their basements? no, you got it wrong. they lived by themselves and owned their own homes. when your parents die, you’ll likely be cleaning out their attic or basement, too. and in doing so you might just learn that you didn’t know as much about them as you thought you had; people’s possessions are marvellous confessors. what they kept, what they refused to part from, shed a lot of life on the value they placed on what they had.


  27. and steph,

    i’d post on your site, but you have a practice of squelching opposing views that i haven’t observed here at grumpy’s place. i had sent you an email that compared the pledge of allegiance to a child’s recitation of the quran–a similarly “brainwashing” (your term) ritual that a child practices before fully understanding all of the implications of the faith he has “chosen.” i also provided you with the total time spent reciting the naziesque pledge–a figure near to 6 hours (over a denominator of 12 years). Why are you not equally critical of a child’s blind allegiance to a faith as you are a nation, which, in islamic societies is essentially one in the same? it cannot be that a mere child fully understands the content of his “oath.” aren’t those societies, too, guilty of teaching children not to question authority–to blindly subordinate themselves?


  28. norris –

    I don’t do nunneries. The nuns are too prissy and celibate.

    Seriously, why don’t you get your own blog? It’s free, requires virtually no maintenance, and you get to say whatever you want whenever you want. I’m not saying that to get you off mine, you’re certainly welcome to comment here, at least until I get really really tired of you. You have something to say, obviously, but …

    Steph has a point about your writing though. You make it difficult, whether purposefully or not, by not using capitals to mark sentence starts, and by piling on prepositional phrases and winding constructions about your sentences and thoughts until the thought gets lost or the reader gets tired of trying to figure it out. Hell, just starting sentences with capitals would help a lot.

    As for the pledge stuff, I believe that any required public loyalty pledge, whether required by law or by social pressure, cripples independent thought. Doesn’t matter much what country or faith.

    As for the rest, you apparently want to put nation above all else, which basically leaves the world in the same deadly bag of destructive priorities we’ve always been in. Maybe it’s time to think about moving beyond that narrow view.

    And I still don’t know what the hell those people in the basement are doing. What is that, a remake of Night of the Living Dead? Never mind. I admit I haven’t the patience to wade through your prose.


  29. @ Stephen Kutis (aka Norris)

    I didn’t ban you for posting opposing views on my blog; I banned you for telling me to go fuck myself, and I put you in my email spam filter because you repeatedly emailing me after I told you I wasn’t interested.

    I’ll let you into a little secret: your writing style is a dead give away. You can’t structure a sentence, form a coherent argument, or turn a phrase. You waffle endlessly and you’re an insufferable bore, with an over-inflated ego, who only posted a comment here because you’re sexually obsessed with me.

    You sad pathetic little man! (lol)


  30. Sorry Norris, I’m with Steph on this. You’re gone.


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