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Fri, July 29, 2011 | Rubin Reports | By Barry Rubin

"Shape the World" by making stuff up - the Economist


If Anti-Israel Propaganda Becomes Too Ridiculous Will Nobody Believe it?

And if once-prestigious publications publish material that borders on satire will they be discredited?

This article in The Economist, once considered the world’s greatest international magazine for serious news and business analysis is so horrendous that I admit to laughing hysterically while reading it.

The opening sentence is priceless. Innocent Palestinian kids are just going to get water and for no reason at all Israeli soldiers start shooting them down in cold blood. If such an incident had ever happened, it would be everywhere in the mass media. Yet no date or place is mentioned, making it certain that this is fabricated or, more likely, the journalist merely writing down what he was told by Palestinians.

Then the reporter quotes an Israeli settler as saying that the soldiers should maim Palestinians more. No name, no place, no date. This one the journalist himself must have made up.

That’s the best line I have read since a USA Today reporter (later fired for making stuff up) wrote of how a settler was going out to kill Palestinians so he put on his kipa before he went out the door. [Note: Orthodox Jews always wear a kepah or hat even when at home not murdering Palestinians.]

When the individual named in the USA Today article as having been at least an attempted murderer protested to the newspaper that it was ridiculously inaccurate, they ignored him only to find out later that the reporter did make things up on other stories (and fiddled his expense accounts, too) and fired him.

If The Economist has reached the level of bias once achieved in Germany during the 1930s, what possible hope is there for the mass media? Remember, it isn’t just a writer’s work but also the acceptance of it by editors and the use of that person in future employment.

All of this raises an intriguing question: If the lies become continually larger and more glaringly ridiculous will such stuff lose credibility? Will anyone in authority recognize that such incitement does lead to hatred, terrorism, and even murder (or its justification)?

I’m not answering the question, I’m just asking it.

4 Comments to “If Anti-Israel Propaganda Becomes Too Ridiculous Will Nobody Believe it?”

  1. If Anti-Israel Propaganda Becomes Too Ridiculous Will Nobody Believe it? | #Israel #media #Palestinianism

  2. avatar Elisabeth says:

    If Anti-Israel Propaganda Becomes Too Ridiculous Will Nobody Believe it? | #Israel #media #Palestinianism

  3. avatar Mlpo says:

    I have the article in front of me. It doesn’t say anything about Israeli shooting kids down in cold blood. It says tear gas and sonic bombs. It states quite clearly that the place is Nabi Salah. The settler is named ss Iran Segal of Halamish. Are you unable to read properly?

  4. By Barry Rubin (RubinReports)

    I wrote recently of how The Economist ran an incredible article trying to make Israelis look like horrible war criminals based on what seemed to be made up and distorted material. The one person actually quoted by name in the article was Eran (distorted to “Iran”) Segal. I sent him the paragraph in question:

    “For some of Halamish’s settlers, irritated by the tear-gas that wafts into their living rooms from across the hill, this is not harsh enough. `The soldiers don’t maim enough Palestinians,’ complains Iran Segal.”

    Mr. Segal responded that he only talked to the reporter about how the Friday stonethrowing–note, not the tear-gas (fired by Israeli soldiers) but the stones thrown at him by Palestinians–makes life impossible. He explained to the journalist that stones can kill.

    The only thing he said about what the army should do was that if it had taken the problem more seriously in the past that the stone-throwing would have stopped.

    I believe Mr. Segal, who seemed genuinely shocked by the statement attributed to him. Note how his complaint about being a victim (stones thrown to injure and perhaps kill him) was changed into making him seem a bloodthirsty aggressor (wanting to maim harmless little kids who had done him no harm at all).

    Whether or not the settlements should be there, the land traded to the Palestinians in exchange for peace (if that’s ever possible), or the settlements should be dismantled after a peace agreement (if that ever happens) is irrelevant. That’s for the editorial pages.

    The views of people quoted and what actually happens should be represented fairly. One reporter I know who worked for a major American newspaper told me she was forbidden to write anything about settlers that might be deemed the least bit sympathetic. The narrative was that Palestinians were victims and that’s what all the stories should reflect.

    Mr. Segal has been slandered, but then that’s true for all Israelis.


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