by William A. Cook
“I keep reading between the lies” (Goodman Ace)
Rupert Murdoch’s recent speech before the ADL gathering at their dinner gala opened with this flattering observation, “You have championed equal treatment for all races and creeds.” What he omitted from that statement is the ADL’s treatment of the Palestinian people under Abraham Foxman, its national director, who “…uses high-mindedness and unfounded anti-Semitism hysteria as cover for backing Jewish supremacy and the right of Israelis over Arabs, including by occupation and belligerently enforced apartheid” (Steven Lendman, Socio-Economic History Blog). Murdoch omits a needed clause at the end of that statement: “except for the Palestinian people and their beliefs and their rights under international law.” Indeed, Lendman’s article refutes virtually every one of Murdoch’s claims, laying bare the truth behind Murdoch’s talk: see nothing, hear nothing, speak nothing against Israel or suffer the condemnation that comes with the label “Anti-Semite.”
“We live in a world where there is an ongoing war against the Jews,” intones Murdoch as he castigates all peoples as inherently discriminating against Jews everywhere. “Ongoing war against Jews” not “a rising tide of valid criticism against the Zionist controlled state of Israel with its current government’s defiance of the United Nations’ reports on crimes against humanity as published by the Goldstone Report, Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, the HRC report on the attack on the Marmara in May, and most recently the UNHRC by Dr. Richard Falk, the UN Representative for the Palestinian people.” No, Murdoch euphemistically conjures up a “war” against Jews, a suffering, weak, victimized people at the mercy of the world’s hate.
But there is no war; there is criticism, valid, righteous criticism that decries the wanton havoc inflicted on the Lebanese with Israel’s invasion of that nation in the fall of 2006; valid, righteous criticism that watched in horror the devastation of the defenseless people of Gaza at Christmastime in 2008/9 as their homes, schools, mosques, food, water, and gas supplies lay devastated under the bombs and missiles dropped upon them from the skies; valid, righteous, humane criticism that lamented the deaths of children and mothers and the old and infirm who had no place to run or hide encircled as they were by the Israeli war machine; valid, righteous, and incredulous criticism of the brutal attack against the humanitarian aid workers on board the Marmara as it made its way to help these very people yet found themselves guilty of interfering somehow with Israeli security as they brought a modicum of relief to a blasted people. None of these people hated the Jews; indeed, Jews joined those criticizing the government’s overbearing slaughter of the innocent including those who joined with me in the aborted ‘Boat Brigade” that was to follow the Marmara to Gaza in June. How convenient to stamp “hate” on all, that by that condemnation they must be silenced.
Not content with such slander against innocent people indignant at the unconscionable brutality of the Israeli war machine, Murdoch chooses to slide silently by the horrific massacres inflicted on the people of Palestine during the Nakba, insisting that Israel suffered decades of “straightforward” military force by those attempting to “overrun Israel.” He should read the reality of those days as described by Dr. Ilan Pappe in his work, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. This was the beginning of the genocide against the Palestinians as recorded in The Plight of the Palestinians recently published by Palgrave Macmillan that continues to this day.
“Then came phase two: terrorism. Terrorists targeted Israelis both home and abroad—from the massacre of Israeli athletes at Munich to the second intifada,” continues Murdoch, forgetting to mention Israel’s terrorism against its neighbor Jordan that elicited this response by the UN: “The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 228 unanimously deploring “the loss of life and heavy damage to property resulting from the action of the Government of Israel on 13 November 1966”, censuring “Israel for this large-scale military action in violation of the United Nations Charter and of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan” and emphasizing “to Israel that actions of military reprisal cannot be tolerated and that, if they are repeated, the Security Council will have to consider further and more effective steps as envisaged in the Charter to ensure against the repetition of such acts”(Six Day War, Wikipedia); nor did he mention the terrorism Israel perpetrated against the Palestinians in Beirut in 1982 where they watched the unfolding massacre of 3000 as their personally equipped allies, the Phalanges, mauled and raped and killed the abandoned Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, enjoying the slaughter so much they kept the skies alight throughout the night so their savage friends might not interrupt their savage servility. Instead of providing actions taken by Israel against its neighbors that gave rise to retaliatory actions, Murdoch decries how the world has risen to attack innocent Israel as though none suffer at the hands of Israel’s ruthless war machine.
Listen to Murdoch’s rant against the world: “the war has entered a new phase…a soft war to delegitimize Israel…the battleground is everywhere…to make Israel a pariah.” All media, all multinational organizations, all NGOs have joined forces as armies of terrorists to inflict WW III on Israel that stands alone against the forces of evil. Why? To rid the middle east of Israel. How? By spreading anti-Semitism throughout the world. Who? Polite society in the form of “progressive intellectual communities.” Indeed, Murdoch bemoans “…anti-Semitism today enjoys support at both the highest and lowest reaches of European society—from its most elite politicians to its largely Muslim ghettoes.” Where is this obvious? In Norway where the government forbids a German shipbuilder from using its waters to test a submarine being built for Israel; In Britain and Spain who boycott an OECD tourism meeting in Jerusalem; In the Netherlands where there is a reported increase in anti-Semitic incidents; and in the European poll that listed Israel ahead of Iran and North Korea as the greatest threats to world peace.
Given the veto power of the United States in the UN, a veto that has prevented any action on any resolution that has condemned Israel’s illegal and/or inhumane policies and military actions against Palestinians and its neighbors over a period of 63 years, the actions listed by Murdoch by European nations are but modest reflections of the frustration that exists throughout the world about the impunity this rogue state enjoys precisely because America “stands united in full support of Israel” regardless of its merciless behavior toward its neighbors in the mid-east. Yet Murdoch is afraid that the United States might be weakening in that support, one of the prime reasons for giving this talk before the ADL. “Some believe that if America wants to gain credibility in the Muslim world and advance the cause of peace, Washington needs to put some distance between itself and Israel. My view is the opposite.” For some totally unexplainable reason, Murdoch seems to think that a continuation of 63 years of force—of land confiscation, of theft of Palestinian aquifers, of home demolitions, of imprisonment of thousands without due rights, of abolition of civil rights, of humiliation and disrespect that comes with hundreds of checkpoints, soldiers who mock and deride civilians, who are indifferent to the suffering of a mother about to give birth as she is prevented from getting to a hospital, of the psychological pain a child endures, a pain that lasts a lifetime, when the soldiers break down the door and force the father to the wall incapable of protecting his family from such ruthlessness, of life lived behind a wall, a wall that testifies to the fear that Murdoch expresses in his talk to the ADL, a pathological fear imbedded in his very soul, and a wall that imprisons the youth of Palestine who grow to manhood locked behind concrete and steel and watch towers and guns—such is the view that Murdoch brings to Americans if peace is to be achieved in Israel.
One cannot but think that something is amiss here. Murdoch sees only through his own eyes, and he sees fear, a fear that has infected his entire being, a toxic residue of hate against the world brought on by ingesting every day another dose of Abraham Foxman’s diatribes against the world. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to look through the eyes of the world that Murdoch condemns. Norman Finklestein makes the point in his book, This Time We’ve Gone too Far: he cites the yearly resolutions of the UNGA that have condemned Israel for not returning to a legal position regarding its neighbor, Palestine.
Yearly, the US and Israel stand alone against the world as the people of the world view the catastrophe that is the occupied territories; recently, the world condemned Israel for its wanton destruction of Lebanon, and again only the US and Israel saw this action as justified yet Israel suffered no consequences for this illegal invasion of its neighbor; following the Christmas invasion of Gaza, the world rose against Israel’s inhumane behavior and only Israel and the US stood in support of that merciless destruction condemning the Goldstone Report and preventing justice form being exercised; then came the flotilla of mercy to Gaza and Israel and the United States alone in all the world refused to comply with the UNHRC recommendations or permit international investigations from determining truth. And so it goes.
There must not and will not be criticism of Israel because that is by virtue of the name of the state, a Jewish state, damnation of the Jews. How convenient. Thus does Murdoch erect his own wall of fear around the people of the world should they dare to find fault with the government of Israel. He hides truth thereby behind slanders and lies, seeing all behavior through his own eyes instead of viewing truth as it is seen by his neighbors who suffer the wrath of Israel. Should he take that black veil off his eyes might he not see neighbors capable of love and joy, desiring to live in peace in a homeland large enough to accommodate them, and willing to share the resources of Palestine equitably that all might live a fruitful life.
William A. Cook is Professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. His most recent book, The Plight of the Palestinians: a Long History of Destruction is now available at Macmillan publishing or through Amazon and other book sellers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.drwilliamacook.com