Column One: About those Jews... (JERUSALEM POST OP-ED) By CAROLINE B. GLICK 06/29/12)
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So it works out that Iran’s vice president really hates Jews. In
fact, he hates Jews so much that even The New York Times reported it.
On Tuesday, the Times published an account of Iranian Vice President
Mohammad-Reza Rahimi’s speech before a UN forum on fighting drug
addiction in Tehran.
Rahimi claimed that Jews control the illegal drug trade. We sell
drugs, he said, in order to fulfill what he said is a Talmudic writ
to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews.”
He said that our conspiracy is obvious since, he claimed, there are
no Jewish drug addicts.
He went so far as to promise to pay anyone who can find a Jewish drug
As he put it, “The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who
can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict. They do
not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade.”
Oops, sorry, he doesn’t hate Jews. He hates Zionists.
Some of his best friends are Jews.
At least that is what the Times would have us believe. As reporter
Thomas Erdbrink put it, “‘Zionists’ is Iran’s ideological term for
Jews who support the state of Israel.”
He also helpfully noted, “More than 25,000 Jews live in Iran, and
they are recognized as a religious minority, with a representative in
Aside from that, just so we don’t get the wrong impression about the
Iranian government, Erdbrink calmed us down by noting,
therapeutically, “Several Iranian ministers gave politically neutral
briefings on the impact of the drug trade on the country.”
So aside from the fact that its vice president is a frothing-at-the-
mouth anti-Semite, the Iranian regime is perfectly respectable.
Nothing to see here folks, move on.
Except, of course, that this is not the case.
Iran’s “Supreme Leader” routinely refers to Israel as a cancer. For
instance, in a sermon before thousands of Muslim worshipers in
February, Ali Khamenei said, “The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor
and it will be removed.”
Then, of course, there’s Rahimi’s direct boss, President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, who can’t ask what the weather is like without calling
for the annihilation of the Jewish people.
But then he too usually calls us Jews “Zionists,” (which most of us
are), so his calls for the genocide of Jewry is really just a
political statement and not proof that what moves him when he wakes
up in the morning and goes to bed at night is a passionate, obsessive
desire to murder an entire people.
Many commentators seized on Erdbrink’s write-up of Rahimi’s diatribe
as further proof that the civilized world cannot permit Iran to
acquire nuclear weapons. And that is fair enough.
Of course Iran cannot be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons. They
are religious fanatics who rule under a deranged banner of messianic
BUT THE real issue here is that these commentators felt it necessary
to seize on the Times’ write-up of Rahimi’s speech to make this
obvious point. That is, the real issue here isn’t the Iranians. The
real issue is the Western media. From the New York Times to the BBC
to the European media, Jew-hatred is the most under-reported – and
arguably most important story – of our times.
No issue unites the Muslim world more than venomous, murderous hatred
No single issue informs their foreign policies more than hatred of
Jews. And yet, reporting – even biased, misleadingly understated
reporting – of this massive, strategically pivotal phenomenon is
almost nonexistent in most major media outlets. As a consequence, it
is a major event when the Times finally publishes an anemic report
about it. And again, even that report hides the real story.
Erdbrink ended his report by quoting an unnamed European diplomat who
was in Rahimi’s audience at the conference. The diplomat told him
that on the one hand, “This was definitely one of the worst speeches
I have heard in my life. My gut reaction was: Why are we supporting
any cooperation with these people?” But, lest we reach any policy
conclusions from Rahimi’s bigotry, the diplomat soothed, “If we do
not support the United Nations on helping Iran fight drugs, voices
like the one of Mr. Rahimi will be the only ones out there.”
What both Erdbrink and his European interlocutor failed to
acknowledge is that Rahimi won’t be punished for his views. He was
promoted because of his views. Helping Iran fight drugs doesn’t
encourage non-genocidal Iranian politicians. It legitimizes the
regime that promoted Rahimi and Ahmadinejad and Khamenei and every
other powerful politician and military commander because of their
hatred of Jews.
The Western media has two basic approaches to their non-reporting of
Islamic Jew-hatred and its significance for international security.
The first approach is to ignore the issue because it is ideologically
The New York Times, like every other major Western media outlet
except The Wall Street Journal, is of the opinion that the Islamic
world should be appeased. The Muslim Brotherhood and Iran should be
If they gave Islamic Jew-hatred coverage commensurate with its actual
significance, they would be undermining their ideological agenda. In
light of their ubiquitous and vituperative obsession with Jewish
people, it is obvious that it is impossible to appease the Muslim
The second approach to contending with Islamic Jew-hatred is to
justify it by claiming that Israel has earned all the hate coming its
way. It’s “political” they say. The Islamic demonization of Jews is
understandable given the Palestinians and all that.
Obviously, both of these approaches to the story of Islamic Jew-
hatred are appalling. The former approach involves a breach of the
very concept of objective journalism. After all, the purpose of
journalism is to report on the world as it is, not as we would like
it to be.
And the latter approach is no less bigoted than the hatred it serves
to whitewash. The European diplomat’s gut reaction to Rahimi’s
speech, “Why are we supporting any cooperation with these people?”
was entirely rational.
AND IF Rahimi’s hatred had been directed against any other people,
race, creed, state or color, no one would support cooperation
with “these people.”
No one would support the Palestinian national movement if its
inherent, overwhelming hatred was directed, say, against the black
state rather than the Jewish state.
Demonizing and delegitimizing Israel is the core goal of the
Palestinian national movement.
To this end the Palestinian Authority’s Information Ministry
published a style guide to instruct Palestinians what terms they
should use to avoid legitimizing Israel.
According to Palestinian Media Watch’s report about the style guide,
language must be chosen that will avoid presenting Israel’s existence
as “natural.” As the book’s introduction explains, using Israeli
terminology “turns the essence of the Zionist endeavor (i.e., Israeli
statehood) from a racist, colonialist endeavor into an endeavor of
self-definition and independence for the Jewish People.”
Among its other guidelines, the PA’s style guide tells Palestinians
to replace the term “Star of David,” with “six-pointed star.” And
this makes sense. The term “Star of David” exposes the Jews’ national
rights to the Land of Israel. After all, this is the land of the
Jewish King David who founded the Jewish capital of Jerusalem three
thousand years ago.
But a central goal of Palestinian propaganda, and advanced by all
relevant sectors of Palestinian society, is to rewrite history and
erase the Jews from the history of the Land of Israel.
And rather than call them on this intellectual crime of literally
biblical proportions, the Western media collaborates with them. For
instance, on Tuesday, the New York Times published an article about
the efforts of the Palestinians from Battir, an Arab village
southwest of Jerusalem, to have their ancient terraced irrigation
system recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They claim the
designation is necessary and urgent because if they don’t get it,
Israel may build a portion of the security barrier through the
village and harm the irrigation system.
Isabel Kershner, the Times’ reporter, referred to the irrigation
system as “a Roman-era irrigation system.”
But as the bloggers Yisrael Medad and Elli Fischer pointed out, it is
a Jewish irrigation system from the Second Temple period. And while
Battir is a reasonable candidate for World Heritage Site status, it
is first and foremost a Jewish heritage site. Battir is the Arab name
for the ancient Jewish village Betar, the site of Bar- Kochba’s last
stand against the Roman Empire.
It is the last place where Jews were sovereign until the
establishment of the State of Israel.
But Kershner didn’t mention any of that.
Doing so would lead to too many inconvenient truths – about the
nature of Palestinian nationalism, about UNESCO, about Jewish rights
to the land. So the historical significance of Battir was left
unreported, and the nature of the irrigation system was reported
On the face of it, it can be argued that the Western media’s willful
blindness towards Islamic Jew-hatred and its influence on world
affairs are part and parcel of the Western elite’s collective refusal
to recognize and contend with the implications of the phenomenon.
But this is too forgiving.
Policy-makers who ignore Islamic Jew-hatred are doing so because they
are trying to sell their policies. What’s the New York Times’ excuse?
The media are supposed to report facts, not shape perceptions. The
facts, not the perceptions are supposed to inform policy.
That is, they are not supposed to collaborate with policy-makers,
they are supposed to inform policy-makers and the general public.
And this leads us back to the well-meaning commentators who seized on
Erdbrink’s report about how Iran’s vice president believes that Jews –
sorry Zionists – are monsters, and used it as proof that Iran cannot
be permitted to get the bomb. Yes, of course, they are right that it
is worth re-quoting his vile remarks to make the point. But by
quoting the Times, they may be scoring a couple of tactical points
today, but they are losing a long-term strategic battle. They are
giving respectability to a media organ that is consummately unworthy
of our respect. They are giving respectability to a news organ with
an institutional policy of denying, underreporting, and misleadingly
reporting about the most important issue that shapes events in the
Middle East today: Islamic hatred of Jews. (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 06/29/12)
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