Monday, April 23, 2012

Palestine in the Mainstream Media

Watch this 14 minute segment from last nights episode of "60 Minutes."  This show has a very high viewership, many Americans make it a tradition to gather together every Sunday night to watch and discuss the show.


Mainstream media in the USA rarely seeks to present Israeli apartheid for what it really is, but this 60 Minutes segment comes very close.  In 14 minutes, the plight of Palestinian Christians is introduced.  As a parallel, the fierce defense of Israel and its policies is revealed through Michael Oren.

For Israel, there could be serious economic consequences. According to Israeli government figures, tourism is a multi billion dollar business there. Most tourists are Christian. Many of them are American. That's one reason why Israelis are very sensitive about their image in the United States. And that could be why Ambassador Oren phoned Jeff Fager, the head of CBS News and executive producer of 60 Minutes, while we were still reporting the story, long before tonight's broadcast. He said he had information our story was quote: "a hatchet job."
Michael Oren: It seemed to me outrageous. Completely incomprehensible that at a time when these communities, Christian communities throughout the Middle East are being oppressed and massacred, when churches are being burnt, when one of the great stories in history is unfolding? I think it's-- I think it's-- I think you got me a little bit mystified.
Bob Simon: And it was a reason to call the president of-- chairman of CBS News?
Michael Oren: Bob, I'm the ambassador of the State of Israel. I do that very, very infrequently as ambassador. It's just-- that's an extraordinary move for me to complain about something. When I heard that you were going to do a story about Christians in the Holy Land and my assum-- and-- and had, I believe, information about the nature of it, and it's been confirmed by this interview today.
Bob Simon: Nothing's been confirmed by the interview, Mr. Ambassador, because you don't know what's going to be put on air.
Michael Oren: Okay. I don't. True.
Bob Simon: Mr. Ambassador, I've been doing this a long time. And I've received lots of reactions from just about everyone I've done stories about. But I've never gotten a reaction before from a story that hasn't been broadcast yet.
Michael Oren: Well, there's a first time for everything, Bob.
This mainstream presentation comes right after famed American travel guruRick Steves published his revelations of Israel. He wrote
"I've been duped.Do you know the frustration you feel when you believed in something strongly and then you realize that the information that made you believe was from a source with an agenda to deceive?I just watched a powerful and courageous documentary called Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land. It certainly has its own agenda and doesn't present balanced coverage. Still, it showed me how my understanding of the struggles in the Middle East has been skewed by most of our mainstream media. I saw how coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian problem is brilliantly controlled and shaped. I pride myself in understanding how the media works... and I find I've been bamboozled....
"In my view, many Palestinians live under inhumane conditions, and U.S. taxpayers help to make it happen. Please, watch this and then share your impressions. Criticism of Israel's policies is not automatically anti-Semitic (see J-Street for an example of a pro-Israel, pro-peace group). In fact, the irony is that for Israel's hard-liners, their clever PR strategy could be their own worst enemy. While Israel certainly deserves security on its land, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory (in Gaza and the West Bank) degrades Israel and drives Palestinians to desperation. The question of whether Israel is conducting a brutal military occupation or a reasonable defense against terrorism gets no real airtime. If we care about the long-term security of Israel, we have a responsibility to understand what our government is funding and supporting."
Steves in Iran "I was greeted by smiles. When I explained where I was from, the smiles got bigger. Hooking fingers seemed to be human nature—we can be friends and can get along." 


To watch the documentary that Rick Steves recommended, visit http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/peace-propaganda-and-the-promised-land/