Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Biased American Mideast Reporting Has Cost Half-a-Million Lives

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Biased American Mideast Reporting Has Cost Half-a-Million Lives

Article excerpt

Biased American Mideast Reporting Has Cost Half-a-Million Lives

By Mitchell Kaidy

Standing in the White House, flanked by two presidents and a king, the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin grandly spoke of the occasion: "Just two years ago, this agreement would have been impossible...unthinkable."

He was wrong...tragically mistaken.

Anyone who looks back will find uncounted editorials, essays, books and magazine articles, position papers by both Israeli and American religious, diplomatic and peace groups--and even a few Israeli generals--all imploring a long succession of Israeli governments to reach a peaceful accommodation with the Palestine Liberation Organization--and at a much lower cost in pain and death than has been paid under a succession of savage Israeli administrations, including Rabin's.

The Israeli prime ministers, as well as their lieutenants, repeatedly professed to believe that that was impossible--the Palestinians were unrepentant terrorists who could never be reached by just, humane and reasonable policies. Yasser Arafat was a monster who virtually invented terrorism. Therefore there was no alternative but to subdue them by force.

The true reason Prime Minister Rabin stood in the White House for the second time in two years, shook hands with Yasser Arafat, and anointed both Arafat and the PLO as peace partners, was that the Palestinians had defeated him on an unlikely battlefield--in the dusty streets of the West Bank and Gaza.

Once more, as the United States learned in Vietnam, vaunted high technology had been unable to defeat those imbued with dignity, principle, and a love of freedom.

For years, this victory in the streets has been obvious to everyone but hard-line Zionists in Israel and the U.S. Daily it was advanced by valiant youths, teenagers and even children who threw stones at heavily armed Israeli soldiers invading their neighborhood. The Palestinians paid a heavy price--thousands died, tens of thousands were grievously maimed either by bullets or police beatings and torture, and the homes of hundreds of them were destroyed or sealed, leaving their families to exist in tents on the sites for years before they were allowed to rebuild or relocate. To this day thousands of the young freedom fighters remain in jail--prisoners of war who have not been released even though the war supposedly is over.

A secondary reason for Israel's sudden agreement with the PLO is the growth of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In the decades that Israel was condemning and rejecting the PLO, it literally spawned Hamas and winked at the appearance of Islamic Jihad, hoping to spark a Palestinian civil war between Palestinian extremists and moderates. When the extremists instead enlisted in the intifada, Israel turned to the PLO as the only possible negotiating partner, and now is striving, with U.S. assistance, to use the PLO as its agent to deal with the militant factions.

The American media still resonate exclusively to Israeli propaganda.

For the blood and tears that have cascaded over the Middle East since the 1967 war, the American media must bear a heavy share of responsibility. Incessantly their print and broadcast representatives have propounded the fiction of the conscienceless and irredeemable Palestinian terrorist who preys on defenseless and innocent civilians. …

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