Pro-Israel propaganda keeps Americans stupid when it comes to Israel-Palestine
By Ray Hanania
I came across a really stupid letter in the Columbia Dispatch newspaper this morning.
Letter writer Barbara Doll (“U.S. is inconsistent in reaction to Crimea,” April 8) compared Israel’s presence in Palestine to Russia taking over Crimea. There is no comparison.
Assuming she is referring to the West Bank, I hardly think Israel’s building there goes unnoticed. It is constantly in the news. In fact, it is blown completely out of proportion by the American media. Israel entered the West Bank in 1967 because all of its Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians, threatened to destroy Israel and murder all Jews who lived there. Crimea is not a threat to Russia.
Israel has offered to leave almost all the West Bank if the Arabs agree to a permanent peace. Russia has made no similar offer regarding Crimea. While Israel permits its citizens to build homes on the West Bank, it does so only in areas it considers too important to Israel’s defense to give up even following a peace, or areas that were owned by the Jewish people prior to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Israeli homes on the West Bank comprise less than 5 percent of the land there.
The Palestinians could make a peace deal today but they won’t, because they are after much more than regaining 5 percent. They still hope to get all of Israel.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told President Barack Obama three things: They can never give up the right of return for all Palestinians to return to Israel, which means they hope to take over Israel by demographics rather than through war; they will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state; and they will never agree that a peace deal permanently ends the conflict.
Pretending to desire peace, they are after the whole of Israel. So, in short, the West Bank is not Crimea. The United States can justly condemn Russia while praising Israel.
LINDA KALETTE SCHOTTENSTEIN
Bexley (Click link to view letter online)
The writer is lying, of course on many levels. All you have to do is an Internet search on “How much land does Israel control in the West Bank” to find that the answer is 42 percent, not the fake 5 percent that the writer uses as the foundation for her stupid argument. And I’m not even talking about Arab Internet sites. I’m talking about an Israeli Internet site.
Here’s one from B’Tselem the Israeli Human Rights Organization. Click here to read. This was published in 2010. In truth, Israel’s military controls 60 percent of the West Bank Land, called “Area C” where all of the exclusive racist Jewish settlements are located (not including the racist Jewish settlements in the Annexed areas of the West Bank around Jerusalem which are not even in the mix. Click here to read about Area C.
I tried to post a response but the Columbus Dispatch Newspaper will not permit it to be published. They don’t want a discussion about Palestine or Israel, but they will allow pro-Israel flacks to publish lies, as the writer above did.
Here’s what I submitted and the newspaper continues to reject:
The writer is wrong. As a Palestinian Christian, my family lands and property were taken by Israel in 1948. In 1967, Israel took more of our lands. Israel can’t claim to be a Democracy if it denies equal rights to Christian (and Muslim) citizens, as it does in Israel and even worse in the West Bank. In the West Bank, Israel’s oppression is brutal. It’s not 5 percent of the land taken. It is 42 percent of the land now under Israeli, Jewish-only control (Read Haaretz. Read B’Tselem). Anyone who follows the Palestine-Israel conflict knows the truth. Israel is discriminating against non-Jews in Israel and in the West Bank. The truth is, what Israel is doing in Crimea is WORSE than what Russia is trying to do in the Crimea. RAY HANANIA
The original article had to do with the Russian conflict in the Crimea. The writer compared the Russian Crimea to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank of Palestine. That one sentenced started the issue and the Columbus Dispatch chose to run a letter rebutting that comparison, a letter that included propaganda lies and distortions to cover-up for what Israel is doing. You would expect the Columbus Dispatch to address these lies, but when it comes to Israel’s lies, the mainstream American news media and American journalists prefer to let Israel bully the American public with lies because it is too costly to confront the pro-Israel lobby here.
They will call you “anti-Semitic” if you dare to criticize Israel at all. So the Columbus Dispatch does what most biased mainstream news media does, allows pro-Israel activists to respond with lies or whatever, just to keep them happy and off the newspaper’s back. And those lies are accepted by the mainstream American public which remains dumb and stupid when it comes to the Middle East.
How many lies have Americans accepted about the Middle East. The most notorious came from war criminals like Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney who openly and intentionally lied claiming 1-Iraq was involved with al-Qaeda and the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Wrong!) 2-Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) in development. (Wrong!) 3-Most of the prisoners at Gitmo in Guantanamo were terrorists (Wrong!). 4-The US didn’t use torture on Arab POWs held at Gitmo and the American torture capital Camp Nama. (Wrong!) 5-Torture resulted in securing information that prevented future terrorist attacks. (Wrong!)
For many Americans, it’s just so much easier to accept the lies than to stand up for truth, especially when the lies are so convenient and wrapped in racism and hate.
Pretty tragic. But worse, is that the biased mainstream American news media which is supposed to provide information is complicit in the lying and the untruthful propaganda that is used to deflect legitimate criticism.
Sadly, America is a so-called Christian Country. But the truth is that many American Christians are not Christian at all. They sit back and allow Israel to brutalize Christians in Israel and in the Occupied West Bank. They sit back and allow Israel to steal Christian lands in Israel and in the West Bank like in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus that most Christians have turned their backs on. Bethlehem is under siege and Christians don’t care. Yet Christians will swallow hook, line and sinker lies from pro-Israel extremists and fanatics so they don’t have to “feel bad” when coloring their Easter Eggs yellow, blue and green, or place neatly wrapped presents under the decorated Christmas Trees.
Christians are dying. Christians are being oppressed. Christian lands are being stolen. And the only reason Christians are closing their eyes is because the theft is being done by Israel.
Wake up people. If you really care about Israel, you will stop allowing it to lie and commit war crimes. You will force Israel to live by the Democracy it claims it embraces and force it to recognize Palestine as a Sovereign State. Israel’s refusal to recognize Palestinian rights, Christian and Muslim, is the stumbling block preventing peace. Israel’s extremist government wants ALL of the land. It doesn’t want peace.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist and managing editor of The Arab Daily News www.TheArabDailyNews.com.)
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia as the Special US Correspondent for the Arab News at www.ArabNews.com, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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