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by Daniel Doron



Daniel Doron
Published Thu 12 Feb 2004
The Jerusalem Post

The American people so far remain relatively immune to the virus of anti-Western (namely anti-American) propaganda, and to plain anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism. Despite the strenuous efforts of America's leftist elites, who dominate its academia and media, to promote the notion that American imperialists designs, especially support for Israel, are the reason for all the world's troubles and the cause for the growth of terrorism; despite their claim that Moslem Fundamentalism is only a reaction to Western oppression, and that terrorism is justified because it is the only weapon available to "the weak"(namely "Third World"people) Americans do not fall for this "blame America and its friends"propaganda. Especially not after 9/11.

But this visceral popular American support for Israel could erode. The constantly repeated falsehood of Arab propagandists and their many media advocates that Israel is guilty of "stealing" "Palestinian lands" and of a gratuitous occupation is gaining credence. One hears ever louder voices among the chattering classes, even in Middle America, that hint or even openly assert that the US was pushed to wage war on Iraq for the sake of Israel, and not for its own national interests. There were always powerful pro-Arab lobbies in the State Department, in the oil industry and in some missionary churches (like the Quakers) that believed that if not for Israel's existence the Arabs would become America's best friend. However, a majority of Americans — notably the evangelical churches — have been supporting Israel despite the possible loss of Arab "friendship". They believe this is the moral thing to do since Israel — like America — promotes freedom and democracy, and that in a region rife with dictatorships and oppression. More recently, many Americans came to appreciate that Israel is a valuable ally in fighting the deadly threat of terrorism directed also at "The Great Satan" — America.

It is to undermine this moral status of Israel, indeed its very legitimacy, that its enemies in America are striving. Leading the onslaught is National Public Radio, the BBC's ideological partner.

For a decade, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America ("Camera") has been meticulously documenting its charge of "false and inflammatory reporting on Israel" by NPR. Camera has exposed many instances of bias, fabrications and lies employed by NPR and its correspondents.

A recent example of NPR's bias is its seven-part report on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict "The Mideast: A Century of Conflict". This report pretends to represent a pluralistic viewpoint, a narrative woven around the views of "experts". But these "experts" are anything but impartial. They were carefully selected and deployed to back up NPR's biased narrative. They include eight harsh critics of Israel, 4 Arab radicals — such as the notorious late Edward Said and an unofficial spokespersons of the PLO (a fact NPR hides) Phillip Mattar- plus four extreme left-wing Israelis who wants to see Israel denuded of its Jewish nature. To create an appearance of even-handedness the panel also includes one American, a former pro-Arab State Department official, and three Jews sympathetic to Israel. The researcher and moderator of the series is Mike Shuster, known for his anti-Israel reporting.

The "experts" views are cleverly manipulated to fit NPR's historical viewpoint that reflects the Arab propaganda line.

Zionism is condemned as a mere by product of European imperialist nationalism. NPR takes great pains to establish this false claim by asserting that the founder of Zionism, Theodore Herzl was an utterly secular Jew disinterested in Judaism and in its abiding and deep historical roots in the Holy Land. This despite many explicit statements by Herzl to the contrary, especially after he had evolved from an assimilationist to a nationalist and a man of faith.

NPR insinuates that Zionism lacked any valid historical claim to the Holly Land. It portrays the Zionist settlement effort as an imperialist sponsored land grab that violated its native population's basic rights. NPR hides the fact that the Balfour declaration guaranteed precisely such rights.

NPR also hides the fact that not only the Jewish national home was sanctioned by The League of Nations but that every Arab state — whose legitimacy no one questions — came into being the same way. In the post WW! Peace conference the European victors and America reapportioned the Middle East territories of the disintegrated Ottoman Empire. They crafted a deal whereby the Arabs were to be granted about 99% of former Ottoman lands while a measly one per cent of the territories would be returned to the Jews who had a preceding, stronger claim according to The League of Nations. Even this tiny territory was later partitioned with over 70% given to an Arab Kingdom of Jordan.

At first the Arabs, represented by the Emir Faisal, gladly embraced this fantastic deal that gave them such vast lands without them lifting a finger (NPR perpetuates the T.E. Lawerence bluff about an Arab army that helped liberate these lands while totally disregarding the crucial role of Jewish intelligence agents and fighters who made the conquest possible). Faisal even welcomed the Jewish return. Imperialist machinations by British colonial administrators, practicing their notorious tactic of divide and rule, coaxed the Arab leadership to resist the Jewish return. The British appointed the terrorist Mufti of Jerusalem (who is not even mentioned in the NPR history since his employment of total terrorism, and his partnership with Hitler, are apparently too embarrassing to the Arab cause). The Mufti, like his successor Arafat, terrorized first his own people, killing any leader who contemplated making peace with the Jews. The British winked at Arab terrorism meant to destroy the Jewish community in Palestine, the same way that they have actively assisted them to try and kill all Palestinian Jews in 1948.

You will find none of this in NPR's "history". As usual, NPR omits and twists facts to build a case against Israel's legitimacy and to promote the position of the Palestinians.


My February 12th column ("NPR's anti-Israel bias" — see above) demonstrating how National Public Radio repeatedly promoted the Arab propaganda line by distorting or ignoring facts. This drew many responses. Most felt that a warning about NPR's success in defaming Israel, especially among inexperienced, idealistic university students, was long overdue.

But even more instructive, perhaps, were the few angry responses I received from avid NPR listeners who identify strongly with the station's message and are convinced that NPR's stance against Israel is justified.

One of these listeners even suggested a comparison between Israel's occupation of the Arabs and Nazi oppression. And indeed it is easy to see how NPR listeners would jump to such a conclusion. NPR regularly presents Israelis as brutal oppressors, and Israel as a gratuitous and arbitrary occupying power. NPR does not explain how the conflict came about as a result of habitual violence by Arab leadership bent on Israel's destruction and how six million Israelis are still threatened by an Arab world with more than 100 million people in 22 militant dictatorships; how Israel is constantly battered by terrorism.

Israel is actually acting with great restraint. No other country would allow its citizens to be murdered and let the murders operate openly and survive. But let's look at a sample letter and see what anti-Israeli frame of mind NPR promotes.

A listener, Dr. Phil Brewer writes:

"Let's see, how many illegal Jewish settlements are there in Gaza and the West Bank? How many more illegal settlements and settlers are there than 10 years ago? Five years ago, One year ago?. How many homes a month is the Israeli Army demolishing this year?

Are you not ashamed to write about the "constantly repeated falsehood of Arab propagandists and their many media advocates that Israel is guilty of `stealing Palestinian lands?" The only falsehood I see is your denial of the reality of the situation.

Oh, I get it.

The Palestinians aren't really human beings. They don't have the right to anything. They've only been living on "your" land for several centuries. Now you're back, it's time for them to go.

Funny, another group of people was saying the same thing about 60 years ago. It's certainly better to be the oppressor instead of the oppressed. Or is it?

Okay, okay, maybe I misunderstood. Fine. Just tell me this: When someone goes to a farm that a family has owned for countless generations, bulldozes the house, the olive trees, the vineyard, makes the inhabitants leave, then builds a new house, a road, and a security perimeter for another family, just what is that called? In my language it's called theft. What language do you speak?"

HERE IS my response to Dr. Brewer:

I am not surprised that as a NPR listener you are probably not aware of certain facts. The Arab-Israeli conflict is not about territory or occupation it is about racist jingoistic Arab dictators not wanting any Jews living in what they consider holy Moslem territory anywhere in the Middle East.

You have appointed yourself prosecutor, judge and executioner, but this does not make your statement about the illegality of settlements truthful. I invite you to study the history of the Versailles peace conference, where a deal was struck whereby the Arabs received 99% of former Ottoman territories with the understanding that 1% will become a national Jewish home. The Arabs took the 99% and then reneged on the deal.

After Jordan was torn from what was to be a Jewish national home by the British in the 1920's, the Palestinians were offered a second independent state in 1948 and in 1999. Twice their leadership refused to accept a state, preferring to wage a war with the express aim of destroying "the Zionist entity" and throwing its Jewish inhabitants into the sea.

Palestinians waged a terror war against Israel, before Jordan lost the West Bank, which it forcibly annexed in 1948, and after the 1993 Oslo Accords freed most of them from Israeli occupation.

Hamas, as well as other Arab radicals, say openly that even if Israel withdrew to the 1967 lines, they would still continue to attack it until the whole land of Palestine was free of Jews.

You make severe accusations about Israelis going to Arab farms, destroying them and taking them over. I hope you can cite one concrete instance where this has happened. And spare us the lies of Arab propagandists (remember the fabricated charges about the Jenin "massacre").

Just cite facts. Where did it happen and when?

The fact is that to this day, 93% of the land mass west of the Jordan is empty and government owned. There is plenty of room for many more people there, Arabs and Jews. All Israeli settlements, which occupy less than three percent of "the West Bank", were constructed on such empty lands. They displaced few Arabs.

Could you tell me what is wrong in Israelis living in disputed areas of the West bank, while more than one million Arabs are living among the Jews in land that belongs to Israel? Only bigots cannot tolerate others among them.

I leave you to deal with your own conscience regarding the not so subtle allusion you made to what happened sixty years ago, trying to draw a really dastardly comparison between one of the most horrendous atrocities in history and the Palestinian predicament, mostly self inflicted.

I invite you to consider the proposition that there is a better way to deal with the true tragedy of the Palestinian people than by supporting dictatorships, the terrorists and criminals who call themselves the Palestinian Authority, people who have infinitely more harm and suffering on the Palestinians than anyone else ever would or could, though this is apparently not reported by NPR.


Daniel Doron is president of the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress, an independent pro-market policy think tank. Contact him by email at and visit his website:

This article appeared Mar 11, 2009 in the Jerusalem Post.


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