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Sunday, November 5, 2000
Yediot's Nahum Barnea: Leftist Israeli reporters failed the Lynch Test

Aaron Lerner Date: 5 November, 2000

The following is IMRA's translation of excerpts from an article
written by Yediot Ahronot's senior correspondent Nahum Barnea titled
"Lynch Test" that appeared in the November 2000 issue of "The Seventh
Eye" published monthly by The Israel Democracy Institute.Yediot's Nahum Barnea: Leftist Israeli reporters failed the Lynch Test

Aaron Lerner Date: 5 November, 2000

The following is IMRA's translation of excerpts from an article
written by Yediot Ahronot's senior correspondent Nahum Barnea titled
"Lynch Test" that appeared in the November 2000 issue of "The Seventh
Eye" published monthly by The Israel Democracy Institute.

The day after the lynch in Ramallah reporter Gideon Levy was
interviewed on the morning program of Arieh Golan on Israel Radio.
Levy has a column in Ha'aretz that focuses on the crimes that Israel
carries out against the Palestinians. Every week, and sometimes
twice a week, he reports about children wounded by rubber bullets, a
mother who cannot meet her imprisoned son, the old man whose home was
demolished by the IDF. His fame is built on the guilt feelings of
his readership. Levy is Mother Teresa, or more exactly, strikes the
pose of Mother Teresa.

The lynch, Levy said, was "horrifying", and immediately recalled the
first body that was photographed thrown from a window was the body of
a Palestinian thrown by Jews, after an attack on Beit Shean 26 years
ago. "Let us not fool ourselves that we are completely in the right.
. .they are a nation under occupation fighting for their freedom and
we are an occupying nation sitting in its state with wealth and
strength."

Levy drove to Ramallah and brought back an interview from there with
the commander of the police, who claimed that he did everything in
order to protect the lives of the two soldiers. The words of the
officer were completely at odds with the photographs. Levy believed
him.

. . . The problem is greater that one error by one person. It goes
to the very threat of the concept "leftist press". The right has
claimed for years that the left enjoys overrepresentation in the
media. The reporters retort that this is natural, since the
profession requires a high degree of sensitivity to justice, human
suffering, suppression. Therefore, leftist reporters are prominent in
all democracies.

And then the lynch test came, and before it the test of the shooting
and fire bombs of the Tanzim fighters, and before it the test of the
violations of the Oslo Agreement by Arafat, and it turns out that the
support of some of the prominent reporters on Palestinian matters is
absolute. It does not derive from feelings about human rights but
instead other motives. Some are prisoners of love of Palestine.
Some in their hatred of Zion. Some are captives of their sources, or
habit, or their leanings towards balancing journalism serving the
other side. They have a mission.

The events of October raised in them a strong desire to be cinema
heroes like John Reed. Reed, an American reporter, was in Russia
during the Bolshevik Revolution. "Ten Days That Shook The World".
He turned the marketing of communism into the purpose of his life.
His activities were commemorated in the movie "Reds".

. . . Amira Hass (Ha'aretz) describes the demonstrations supporting
the Palestinians in the Arab world with excitement, demonstrations
that called, after all, for the slaughter of Jews because they are
Jews, and if possible also Americans.

Hass is an excellent field reporter, who draws on all of her
patronizing fervor to prove that the justice resides completely with
the Palestinians. The bloody crisis, she wrote, " is the natural
result of seven years of trickery and deception". The principle
anger is turned towards the Israeli media, that charges the
Palestinians with incitement when it itself is practicing incitement.

In her appearances, Hass compares the struggle she is covering to the
internal struggle that was in South Africa. The Jew are the whites,
the regime apartheid, the Arabs the blacks and she is the white
heroine who comes to their aid. It is very heroic, but anyone who
claims that the problem between the Israelis and the Palestinians is
human rights and racial equality hasn't apparently been here for the
last hundred years.

Gideon Levy explains, in a learned piece, that everything the Arabs
achieved in Israel they did with force, and therefore what they are
doing is logical. His colleague Akiva Eldar maintains in a radio
interview that Arafat is not guilty for what happened. Only Barak.

And more and more. Once when I asked one of the senior members of
the Palestinian Authority what he thought of the writings of Gideon
Levy, he laughed heartily. "That is for you," he said,
not for us."

Nahum Barnea November 2000 issue of "The Seventh Eye"

+++

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director
IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-5480092
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
pager 03-6750750 subscriber 4811
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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