You have to take off your hat in the presence of men like Robert Fisk and Phil Reeves, both British, both eloquent, both unyielding in their efforts to accurately report what their eyes see on the ground in the Middle East. A single day of reading the Independent of London will redeem your trust in the practitioners of the craft of journalism.
It is astounding that in America, a land where nearly 60,000 professionals are full-time journalists and editors, you still need to read a proper British journalist to get a realistic idea of what Israel is doing to undermine the Palestinian Independence uprising. This is no accident, especially in the major "national newspapers", which have a tradition of carefully censoring every little word about the Middle East in a manner that would make a Stalinist publisher proud.
Consider what goes unreported in the New York Times, a paper that has more coverage of Israel than of China, Mexico and Canada combined. They completely ignored the recent tirade by a senior Israeli Cleric in a Passover Sermon delivered on 4/9/2001. "It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable".
This talk of genocide came from the filthy mouth of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, leader of the Shas Party in a Passover sermon on April 9, 2001. He is also reported to have said that "The Lord shall return the Arabs' deeds on their own heads, waste their seed and exterminate them, devastate them and vanish them from this world," More from this Rabbi "God will beat them up, destroy them, vanquish them, bring them down, and humiliate them," "It is forbidden to be merciful to [the Arabs], you must give them missiles, with relish - annihilate them. Evil ones, damnable ones. May the Holy Name visit retribution on the Arabs' heads, and cause their seed to be lost, and annihilate them, and cause them to be vanquished and cause them to be cast from the world."
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has previously described the Arabs as "snakes" and "vipers" and has opined, "God regretted every day that he had created the sons of Ishmael."
This is not just a story about a bigoted man of the cloth. This is not a lone desperado with a dozen followers in Hayden Lake, Idaho. This man is a major player in Sharon's government. His followers are in the IDF and have a license to shoot Palestinians at will. The party he leads is a major player in the Israeli coalition government. His influence dwarfs Haider's influence over the Austrian government. Yet the New York Times did not report his overtly racist sermon, because many of the bigots who work for Sulzberger share the Rabbi's views. They may be slightly cleverer in the way they phrase their hate, but their sermons are no less lethal. For they are designed to either white wash a war criminal like Sharon or degrade the reader's vision of the daily crimes being committed by the State of Israel in the Palestinian colonies.
The only way to challenge the incessant Israeli propaganda on the pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post is to constantly check their stories against the English press
I have long maintained that it is foolish to assume that bigots at the New York Times can compartmentalize their racism and limit it to just the Palestinians. To propagate racist attitudes about Palestinians and pose as an anti-racist on this side of the pond must contribute to their warped intellect and their general lack of integrity as newsmen and as citizens of our Republic. Race and ethnicity continue to be polarizing forces in modern American society. We should all watch very carefully how the boys on 43rd street come down on issues relating to bigotry. On the one hand, they are hypersensitive about any criticism of the Jewish state. On the other hand, they pose as civil libertarians defending our rights as Americans against our secular state. They write about diversity and freedom, but they are willing collaborators of the brutal Israeli occupation and have encouraged the theft of native Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Gaza, the last colonial enterprise. The New York Times is a major ethnic player in the Middle East; it is the bully pulpit of the Israeli Lobby. It is a bizarre arrangement for a paper that markets itself as a national, nay, an international publication.
The only way to challenge the incessant Israeli propaganda on the pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post is to constantly check their stories against the English press. The boys working for Sulzberger and Graham know they can overwhelm a reader with sheer volume. Read the Independent of London on the subject of the Middle East and you will realize that something is badly broken at our major publishing houses. It comes down to intellectual corruption on a massive scale, every bit as damaging as the corruption of our political process.
Take a glimpse at the quality of coverage that is still available from a paper like The Independent of London. You judge if anything close could make the pages of an American paper. It is beyond disgusting that Americans are being subjected to a marketing campaign on behalf of a foreign government conducting an illegal, lethal, racist military occupation. Fortunately, as many of us turn to the Internet for reliable well-balanced coverage, you will still encounter many courageous Journalists who want to give you a straight story on the situation on the ground. I count Robert Fisk and Phil Reeves among the greatest of modern English language journalists. They work for a paper that deserves its name, The Independent.