The startling footage of Neda, the 27-year old woman shot to death in the streets of Tehran recently has reminded some of the image of 12-year old Muhammad al Durah (HT Tom Gross):
The footage of a Palestinian man [sic] being shot dead [sic] next to his 12-year-old son, Muhammad Jamal al-Durrah, by Israeli forces in Gaza in 2000 has been etched in the minds of many Iranians, as state television has continually replayed the images to highlight the "Zionist regime's brutality." Now, the Islamic regime itself has become the subject of similar allegations at home and abroad after gruesome footage of a dying young woman during the suppression of an opposition protest on Saturday was released on the internet.
The image of Neda Salehi Agha-Soltan, a 27-year-old philosophy student, bleeding to death on the asphalt road of a Tehran street after she was shot in the chest, has become the rallying cry of the country's opposition, which is disputing the June 12 election of Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad.
It’s always dangerous to play honor-shame games with people who are masters at it. And of course, when it’s a question of territory, you had better be ready to play honor-shame games, or lose territory. And when you lose, you lose big time because you lose not only territory, but face. Let there be no mistake here, there’s a battle for European territory — indeed, the street — between Muslims and the old guard.
I think that although this battle started years, maybe even decades before 2000, that the demonstrations against Israel’s “murder” of Muhammad al Durah represent the moment when the “Arab Street” took root in Europe. We have seen it many times since, including, of course, the riots in the French “zones urbaines sensibles”, as well as in response to such intolerable provocations as the Muhammad Cartoons and the Pope’s outrageous comments about a violent Islam.
Revealing Silence at the Egyptian Border: Why does Hamas victimize its own?
[A version of this essay appears at Pajama’s Media with some interesting comments. It is the first in a series of posts that will examine the (pathetic) way the MSM has covered the Gaza operation based on a 24/7 recording of BBC, CNN International, and Skye. If any other stations have particularly interesting coverage, please send me links.]
At about 1:10 on Sunday December 28, 2000, the BBC anchor Peter Dobbie found out, along with his audience, that there were 40 Egyptian ambulances ready to evacuate wounded, and lorries full of medical goods sent by Qatar to restock Gazan hospitals, waiting at the border crossing in Egypt. (According to another source there were also 50 Egyptian doctors ready to go into the Strip to help.) Since Dobbie and his audience had heard the repeated complaint from the people in Gaza that the hospitals were overwhelmed by the injured and desperately lacking in supplies, one would have expected the border to be full of purposeful activity. Instead, nothing was happening. The Gazan side lay silent.
A real journalist, someone with a smell for revealing anomalies, would have immediately recognized this as an important story to follow up on.
This article has been published at The American Thinker.
One of the major themes in CNN and BBC early coverage of Operation Cast Lead, is the issue, will this conflict encourage Arab moderation as the Israelis say they hope will happen, or, instead, will it backfire on the Israelis and strengthen Arab solidarities around Hamas. Indeed, one might argue, this is one of the Palestinian talking points that the media has fully embraced (see next article). In order to understand what’s at stake here, I lay out some of the key issues involved in defining “moderation.”
First let’s just sort out the difference between moderation and pragmatism: Moderation means taking a “reasonable” approach that renounces violence as anything but a last resort, a willingness to negotiate, to come to a positive-sum solution. Moderation depends on being able to treat one’s foe with reciprocity, to see their point of view and make compromises to reach a mutually agreeable solution to the hostility. Pragmatism takes “moderate” positions not out of any deep commitment to these principles, but as a response to a situation where zero-sum solutions (like war) do not promise a win.
I have written a good deal about honor-shame culture, its dynamic, its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the prohibition on mentioning it in post-colonial, politically correct discourse, and the contrasts with cultures that pursue the alternative principles of integrity and guilt. Let’s take a look at the difference between honor-shame moderates and integrity-guilt moderates. Moderates are those dedicated to positive-sum solutions and the rejection of zero-sum violence, moderates are concerned with human rights and respect for the “other”.
Arab “moderates,” demopathy, and the incomprehension of media moralism
On the 9 pm (Jerusalem time), December 28, 2008, CNN International channel, anchor Ralitsa Vassileva challenged Tsipi Livni in an interview. Livni claimed that this attack was meant to strength the moderates on the Arab side. But Vassileva countered: “Couldn’t this backfire? Isn’t it more likely that the Arab moderates will necessarily rally around beleaguered Hamas? Isn’t that what we’re seeing around the Arab world?”
Not satisfied with Livni’s response, like a teacher who keeps calling on students to get the “right answer,” Vassileva then turns to Diana Buttu, an “independent Palestinian analyst.”
France2 Steps in the Pallywood Doodoo… and what a revealing whopper!
A recent incident, well covered in both the blogosphere and (some) of the MSM, casts a brilliant light on some of the darker alleys of the media theater of war, particularly on the inner workings of Pallywood.
Not content with his work, Enderlin, in one of those fits of arrogance that often befall those who fool too many people too often, got France2 to sue Philippe Karsenty for saying France2 had presented the staged Al Durah Hoax as real news. In the appeals case, the court demanded that Enderlin show the (Pallywood) footage (which he cut), and then presented the court with a video that used Pallywood footage to try and convince the court they didn’t use staged footage.
Now we see them in a particularly egregious error that anyone who had been paying the slightest attention to what the issues involved in Palestinian footage would have caught:
I. The incident: On September 23, 2005, at a celebration of the “victory” of having driven the Israelis from Gaza after the “Disengagement,” a victory float of Hamas “activists” and their arsenal exploded, killing more than a dozen Palestinian civilians including several children drawn by the sight of the weaponry. Hamas tried, in true Pallywood style, to blame Israel, but with a less than united front between Hamas and Fatah, the real story leaked so badly the press did not snatch at the proferred bait. Of course, once the Israelis were no longer to blame, the story — Palestinian militants kill Palestinian civilians — had no legs. For the MSM, it died there.
II. The resurrection of the mutilated flesh: On January 1, 2009, Mounir1426 put up one of his first videos at LiveLink entitled, ISRAEL CARNAGE CIVILIANS CHILDREN GAZA. The explanation offered: Israel just bombed a large civilian street market in Gaza. His logo reads: FOR GAZA.