|Americans are becoming awake to the lies
Fear and Learning in America, by Robert Fisk, Counterpunch, April 16, 2002
"And there were the little tell-tale stories that showed just how biased and gutless the American press has become in the face of America's Israeli lobby groups. "I wrote a report for a major paper about the Palestinian exodus of 1948," a Jewish woman told me as we drove through the smog of downtown LA. "And of course, I mentioned the massacre of Palestinians at Deir Yassin by the Stern Gang and other Jewish groups - the massacre that prompted 750,000 Arabs to flee their homes. Then I look for my story in the paper and what do I find? The word 'alleged' has been inserted before the word 'massacre'. I called the paper's ombudsman and told him the massacre at Deir Yassin was a historical fact. Can you guess his reply? He said that the editor had written the word 'alleged' before 'massacre' because that way he thought he'd avoid lots of critical letters."
By chance, this was the theme of my talks and lectures: the cowardly, idle, spineless way in which American journalists are lobotomising their stories from the Middle East, how the "occupied territories" have become "disputed territories" in their reports, how Jewish "settlements" have been transformed into Jewish "neighbourhoods", how Arab militants are "terrorists" but Israeli militants only "fanatics" or "extremists", how Ariel Sharon - the man held "personally responsible" by Israel's own commissioner's inquiry for the 1982 Sabra and Chatila massacre of 1,700 Palestinians - could be described in a report in The New York Times as having the instincts of "a warrior". How the execution of surviving Palestinian fighters was so often called "mopping up". How civilians killed by Israeli soldiers were always "caught in the crossfire".
I demanded to know of my audiences - and I expected the usual American indignation when I did - how US citizens could accept the infantile "dead or alive", "with us or against us", axis-of-evil policies of their President. And for the first time in more than a decade of lecturing in the United States, I was shocked. Not by the passivity of Americans - the all-accepting, patriotic notion that the President knows best - nor by the dangerous self-absorption of the United States since 11 September and the constant, all-consuming fear of criticising Israel. What shocked me was the extraordinary new American refusal to go along with the official line, the growing, angry awareness among Americans that they were being lied to and deceived. At some of my talks, 60 per cent of the audiences were over 40. In some cases, perhaps 80 per cent were Americans with no ethnic or religious roots in the Middle East - "American Americans", as I cruelly referred to them on one occasion, "white Americans", as a Palestinian student called them more truculently. For the first time, it wasn't my lectures they objected to, but the lectures they received from their President and the lectures they read in their press about Israel's "war on terror" and the need always, uncritically, to support everything that America's little Middle Eastern ally says and does."
Fear and Learning In America
By Robert Fisk
Post by www.jewishtribalreview.org
Posted on the Independent Newswire on 19 April 2002
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