Archive for August, 2007

Stop the Hamas slave trade

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Hamas spokesman Ahmed Youssef says that if Israel releases Palestinians from Israeli jails, Hamas might reciprocate by releasing a video tape of kidnapped and illegally incarcerated Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit (‘Hamas may release Schalit video tape if Israel frees women, children’, Jerusalem Post, Monday 27 August).

Hopefully Israel will respond to the Hamas invite in kind, by agreeing to release video tapes of Palestinians held in Israeli jails – where they have full access to the International Red Cross and to legal representation. By contrast, Schalit still hasn’t been seen by a single living soul besides his terror organization captors, in violation of a whole raft of international conventions and legislation.

Hamas needs to be dragged out of its barbaric Middle Ages mindset into the 21st century and persuaded, by applying financial thumbscrews, that modern society does not condone abduction, human trafficking or the use of human beings for the purposes of barter – otherwise known in English as the slave trade. The international community’s most elementary tenets are being flouted by the terror organization at the same time as we continue to financially underwrite the society that spawns and nurtures this barbarity.

CNN confuses propaganda with journalism

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

The CNN programme “God’s Holy Warriors” with Christiane Amanpour remarkably tried to equate the few actions of a handful of extremist Jewish Israelis (some dating back 20 years, that’s how difficult it was to find anything negative to portray) with the constant, repeated, widespread and – in the wider Muslim world – largely universally acclaimed bloodthirsty actions of legions of Muslim warriors performing acts of unspeakable barbarity in the name of Islam – their claim, not this writer’s.

Witness the actions of Jihad al-Islami, Hizb a Tahir, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Republic of Iran, al Qaeda, Force 17, Fatah al Islam, the Taliban – the list is endless.

It is a journalistic travesty to equate the actions and policies of these bloodthirsty groups – supported both financially and logistically by Muslim nations and entities such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Palestinian Authority – with the handful of acts of terror perpetrated by individual Jews in Israel in their misguided attempt to defend their beliefs through violence.

Israeli society virtually universally condemns such actions.

Muslim society virtually universally applauds death and mayhem inflicted on infidels in the name of Islam.

Amanpour’s propagandistic piece totally ignored the truth. Large swathes of on-air time were devoted to how much some Muslim women appreciate being able to wear their veils and other traditional garments. Apparently no such angle was of interest when it came to portraying Jewish women – or Christians. If the programme was about God’s Warriors, why was it of interest to know there are Muslim women who enjoy wearing the burqa or hijab since they are so evidently not warriors of any sort? What was the purpose of such an irrelevant angle – was this not supposed to be a report on warriors? Why was it necessary to portray Muslims in this gentle way while failing to do so in the other two pieces?

Amanpour’s piece was more remarkable for what it didn’t put across than for what it did.

There’s nothing surprising in that, it is unfortunately what we have come to expect of her.
Christiane Amanpour is an articulate, well-educated and extremely skilled public relations officer. It’s just such a shame CNN confuses her brief with journalism.