Anti-Semitic Hezbollah Propaganda or News? You Be the Judge

Some crackpots believe that Iranian President Ahmadinejad did not call for wiping Israel off the map but that it was just some mistake in translation.

An Iranian holds a “wipe off Israel” poster during an anti-Israel rally on Friday Oct. 28, 2005 in Tehran. (AP)

Author Barry Rubin examines the anti-Semitic propaganda in the Western media that is disquised as news today in his article at GLORIA Center:

SELECTIVE BIAS

The fact is, also, that there is a political selectivity already being used to determine who is invited, or allowed, to speak at campuses following a certain–shall we say–political and ideological pattern. Without going into detail, the former president of Harvard was uninvited by the University of California because of his political views. And a group of repentant former members of terrorist groups—who want to speak of their experiences to Americans—have been barred from more than one campus.

Newspapers face similar dilemmas. The reporters only have so much time, the pages only so much space. Material is constantly being excluded due to its judged lack of importance, inaccuracy, and other reasons.

So should what seem to be lies and those who seem to be crackpots (at least on the particular points they are making) be given space? Should newspapers give their readers a sense that the Iranian president did not call for destroying Israel but that it was just some mistake in translation? (Despite the fact that the official Iranian translation of his words was “wiping Israel off the map”?) Should Hamas be given space for op-eds crafted by public relations operatives claiming moderation? Should easily demonstrable lies be published about Israel committing various massacres and other blood libels?

Well, these boundaries have eroded. For years, conspiracy theories and the extremes of Arab propaganda did not appear in the Western media. Now, even big publishers give contracts to those inciteful, false antisemitic screeds. (If you don’t believe me I’ll start forwarding to you the hate mail I receive.)

All of this is leading up to Sam F. Ghattas, AP, “Hezbollah Blames Israel for Killings,” October 5, 2007.

Hizballah’s leader blames Israel for the series of assassinations of anti-Syria, anti-Hizballah politicians. “`The hand that is killing is Israel’s,’ Nasrallah told thousands of supporters who occasionally interrupted his speech with roars of approval.” No information is given in the article that would lead a reader to believe that these are pitiful lies. (They are pitiful because Hizballah waited so long to make them. In the old days they would have been blaming Israel within hours of the killings and all Arab media would have been duty-bound to repeat them.)

So is this news?
And by the way the article concludes:

“The gathering by several thousand Hezbollah supporters was organized by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah to mark `Al-Quds Day,’ or Jerusalem Day, in support of Palestinian rights and emphasizing the importance of Jerusalem to Muslims.” So that’s what the demonstration was about? I thought it was about equating Israel with Satan, preaching hatred of the United States, and demanding that Israel be wiped from the pages of history. Perhaps my conclusions were all a mistake in translation and it was a human rights demonstration. Or, again, this is what readers might think.

There is more on this anti-Semitic Hezbollah propaganda at the GLORIA Center.

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