Mali Reveals the Media’s Gaza Bias

February 6, 2013 2:19 am 4 comments

French soldiers in Bamako, Mali. Photo: Wiki commons.

I support France’s military action in Mali. But the media’s reaction to it – when contrasted with coverage of Israel’s military actions in Gaza – reveals flagrant double standards. More on that after my reasons for supporting France’s Mali operation.

Islamists –  like those who overran Mali last March – reverse human progress and bring misery to those they subjugate: women, religious minorities, moderate Muslims, secularists, gays, and anyone else who doesn’t accept their primitive worldview. Islamists vitiate Islam, twisting its meaning and practice to advance their real aim: brute power. To that end, they break whatever Islamic and non-Islamic laws they please, engaging in drug smuggling, kidnapping, human trafficking, victimizing perceived opponents, and murdering innocents.

They viciously disregard life, property, and culture. Al-Queda destroyed 3,000 American souls and the Twin Towers on 9/11. The Taliban pour acid on the faces of girls seeking an education. Ansar Dine, the Islamists in Mali, last summer ruined much of Timbuktu’s archeological treasures after deeming them “idolatrous.” They also imposed sharia “law,” flogging music listeners and women caught showing their hair, amputating hands of accused thieves, and stoning to death fornicators.

Islamists conquer and rule by terror, not virtue. They destroy ruthlessly but build nothing.

So any force with the moral clarity and courage to oppose such evil deserves plaudits. In the case of Mali, that force is the French.

Fortunately, these judgments are obvious to the world press. Maybe that explains the scant reports of civilian casualties and absent images of bloody devastation produced by French airstrikes in Operation Serval. The alternative explanation – that there are no civilian casualties for the media to report because French military intelligence and technology are perfectly precise – seems farfetched.

Yet when it comes to Islamists in Gaza, suddenly all moral clarity disappears in an avalanche of clichéd images and headlines ignoring the most basic truths. France can launch military attacks about 2,000 miles south of its border in response to an Islamist threat that endangers nobody in France, but Israel is vilified if it responds militarily to deadly rocket attacks targeting its civilians from two miles to its south.

Like their Islamist brethren in Afghanistan and Africa, the Hamas rulers of Gaza have no program for the future other than expanding their barbaric domain by force — first to the West Bank (which Islamists don’t yet control) and eventually to Israel. Consider how Hamas came to rule Gaza in 2007 (by a bloody putsch against Fatah), and what it has done with its power since then (repress Gazans and attack Israel).

Human rights groups have accused Hamas of abysmal judicial abuses, replete with arbitrary arrests, torture, and unfair trials. Hamas mistreats journalists, terrorizes political opponents, restricts press freedoms, outlaws homosexuality, persecutes Christians, and condones honor killings against women – all practices that would delight Ansar Dine.

Hamas apologists blame Israel for Gaza’s woes, even though Egypt controls Gaza’s southern border, and Israel, which completely left Gaza in 2005, would much rather be developing trade with Gaza than defense systems to intercept thousands of unprovoked rocket attacks from there. But Hamas’ charter seeks Israel’s destruction, so how can Hamas lead its people or neighborhood towards anything positive?

Incidentally, Palestinian extremists have as little respect for non-Muslim holy sites as the Taliban had for the Bamiyan Buddhas: in 2002, they used the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem for military cover despite the obvious risk this posed to the Christian site. Last week (and in 2000), Palestinians desecrated Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus – hateful vandalism overlooked by every major news organization. Again, the double standard.

From the attention and sympathy that the Palestinian cause attracts, one would think that millions have died, and that they must be paragons of innocent victimhood. Neither is true. The entire Arab-Israeli conflict – from the 1920 Arab riots until today, including all regional wars (1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, etc.) – has killed roughly 25,000 Jews and 95,000 Arabs. The maximum number of Palestinian Arabs killed during almost a century of conflict is probably about 20,000. Today’s Syrian regime kills that many people in under a year. But a Google search for “Palestine genocide” today produces about 10.7 million results while the term “Syria genocide” produces just 9.5 million results.

Such disproportionate attention and sympathy is unfair to the victims of far deadlier conflicts and effectively whitewashes terrorism. But Palestinians are far from Tibetans in their preferred tactics: they have employed violent terrorism for decades.

So why is Palestinian victimhood prioritized? And if Hamas is similar to Ansar Dine, why does it get a pass?

Some might argue that — unlike Ansar Dine — Hamas represents its subjects. But Hamas represents only the power of its guns and its Iranian patron. Another argument: Mali’s government and people wanted French help in ousting the Islamists. But Hamas would never seek assistance in dethroning itself and who knows what Gazans want when they’re brutalized for speaking against Hamas?

Unfortunately, the media’s double standard has a simple explanation: anti-Israel bias. Just ask the non-profits established to address the problem: CAMERA.org, HonestReporting.com, and BBCWatch.org.

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, a military thriller about the Iranian nuclear threat. The novel also briefly explores the issue of media bias against Israel.

4 Comments

  • I am by no means a wordsmith master. Yet I do want to take action and take a stand for what you so poignanty wrote. Therefoe, Mr Beck, my plan is to send a copy of your well written document to:CAMERA.org,
    HonestReporting.com,and BBCWatch.org,and possibly to some other publications.
    PS
    If I don’t hear from you or a staff at Alegemeiner by Sunday the 10th if February2013, I will understand that I can send this article.

  • T.E. Barnes Jr.

    Apples and oranges…both fruit, but with many key differences.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.