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Time and terror

By Steve Farrell
web posted January 6, 2003

"The propagandist's purpose," wrote Aldous Huxley in The Olive Tree, "is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human," - to which we may add, ‘and to make one set of people remember that other sets of people are humane, and motivated by high and noble aims.'

If this is the propagandist's purpose, it ought to be observed, the propaganda mills are running at full tilt when it comes to "mainstream" media depictions of the Palestinian Israeli conflict.

The demons are almost always Israeli gunmen, Israeli settlers, and an old war-hawk general - the saints are almost always Palestinian men, women, and children, suicide bombers who give up their lives for the revolution, and George Washington like Yasser Arafats, who lead the charge.

Time Magazine is among the best at this ploy - and its Winter 2002, Special Issue, The Best Photos of the Year, ranks as typical. In that colorful volume there were seven award winning photographs focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Not one of them evidenced an ounce of support for Israel. Six of them, rather, cast the Israelis in a demonic dim, and the Palestinians in a holy light. The one "neutral" photograph, if that is what it was, refused to mention who 16 out of the 17 victims of a Palestinian suicide bombing were - that is, Israelis - that is, Israeli men, women, and children - that is, civilians who were minding their own business riding a bus. No crying Israeli mothers and children were depicted, no coffins hoisted through crowds of mourners, only an anonymously extended, blood stained arm, labeled simply, "10," which for all we know, might have been the arm of the Palestinian heaven seeker.

Consider the list:

The Victims

Photo 1, titled, "Mourning," is a two page spread of three Palestinian Women in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank mourning over a dead body. What caused their mourning? "Israeli tanks leveled the area," the text reads.

Photo 2, titled, "Left Behind" (a subtle allusion to the hypocrisy of George W. Bush's, "No child left behind" campaign in America, which, apparently, turns its back on Palestinian children overseas), shows a Palestinian child who lost his father and grandfather, standing on a blood stained cement staircase. The bloodthirsty killers? "Israeli soldiers."

Photo 3, titled, "In the Bedroom," obviously a staged photo op, has Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, leaning over his debris covered bed with his eyes bugged out in absolute horror, as he "[surveys] the damage to his private quarters on June 6." The words "bedroom," "private quarters," were carefully inserted for maximum effect, as if to say, that which is most sacred was violated by the invading hordes.

And who were they? "Israeli tanks had besieged his compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah." Nothing is said as to why the attack, nothing about the mounds of evidence linking Arafat to the murder and injury of hundreds of Israeli citizens, nothing about Palestinian maps which deny the existence of Israel, nothing about Israel's remarkable restraint in not ending it there and then for Mr. Arafat, which they surely could have.

The Villain

Photo 4, by contrast, "Old Man Alone," depicts Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sitting alone, it appears, "at the Knesset in early November after surviving three no-confidence votes and buying more time to repair his tattered coalition." The message. Here is the villain - a stubborn old man - with archaic values - alone against the world.

Get the point?

The contrasts continue. The next two pictures depict two kinds of soldiers, those who defend the homeland, and those who destroy homes.

The Defenders

"Walking The Beat," as if these men were New York City cops!, photo 5, depicts masked "members of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an offshoot of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, patroll[ing] the Jabalya refugee camp to defend against a possible Israeli incursion," - with guns pointing down.

The Aggressors

"No Safe Havens," photo 6, depicts three Israeli soldiers, "stationed inside a former Palestinian home that they had converted into a military stronghold," - guns pointed up, ready to fire.

Not Taking Sides

"A Gruesome Tally," photo 7, as already noted, demonstrates perhaps more than any other, how slanted Time Magazine and the "mainstream" media are, when they finally might have given the Israelis a one out of seven chance for a fair shake, they refuse to mention that the 17 victims, are all but one, Israelis. The word Israeli is, in fact, hauntingly absent from the quote.

Lincoln on deception

Abraham Lincoln observed: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all the people all the time."

Time Magazine and the left by making one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human, and by making one set of people remember that other sets of people are by contrast, high and holy, have decided to play the propagandist against Israel, and in favor of Palestinian terrorists, but guess what - we caught you.

Contact Steve at stiffrightjabsf@aol.com.

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