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Dear Jon and Message to The Media

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On 10/28/09, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart did what the mainstream media has failed to report about-the rapidly growing global nonviolent solidarity movement of resisters to the occupation of Palestine, by hosting a Palestinian politician and American Jewish scholar and activist author.

The News Media should be interviewing Dr. Mustafa Barghouti & Anna Baltzer, Jon's job is to entertain us, but once again, he lead the mainstream media to where many of US already are.

Jon also performed under duress from 'friends' who put him under pressure to censor the highly anticipated appearances of Dr. Barghouti and Baltzer. As of this writing on October 31, 2009, The Daily Show forum conversation regarding the BB show has attracted 21,059 reads to its first page and over 500 messages.

One of mine says: The morning after Anna Baltzer wrote:

Dear friends,

Last night Dr. Barghouti and I were on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart talking about Palestine.


The show was overwhelmed with angry emails and phone calls prior to the appearance, and up until the last minute it seemed like they might cancel. During the taping the show had its only heckler in 11 years. The entire staff were very nervous and may come to regret the monumental decision (and not make it again) as they will surely be inundated now that the show has aired.

That is why it is CRUCIAL that the show receive letters of support from anyone who appreciated the interview.

PLEASE take a moment to give a quick thank you to the Daily Show. I'm sure they will likely be affected by numbers rather than length, so it's OK to make it short, but spread the word to others! Be sure to put "Thank you" in the subject, and maybe Dr. Barghouti & my names.

Fill out the form here:
http://www.comedycentral.com/help/questionsCC.jhtml



Make sure to choose The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as your topic.


Many of you who watched the show on TV noticed that everything of real substance that I said was edited out.

The major issues cut out were (1) the US role in aiding Israel, (2) the lack of adequate coverage in mainstream US media, and (3) the Palestinian-led movement for Boycott / Divestment / Sanctions (BDS) to nonviolently pressure Israel to comply with international law"



Regardless of the cuts, this was a huge step for the movement (and Dr. Barghouti's left-in parts were excellent, in my opinion). If you agree, do make your letters positive, even if you decide to mention the disappointing discrepancy between the full interview and what was aired"I believe the interview wouldn't have happened 3 years ago. Times are changing. Keep on keepin' on...Anna


An audience member at the taping of the show wrote:

Jon Stewart made it clear to the audience that he was UNDER TONS OF PRESSURE. Lots of his pro-Israeli friends [called] up and were trying to force the cancellation of the show.

But Jon stood tall and allowed the show to be taped; HOWEVER he did ANNA ZERO JUSTICE BY REMOVING ALMOST 95% of her comments from the nationally televised broadcast...

Why did he remove them?

Simple, BECAUSE SHE WAS A JEW CRITICISING ISRAEL WITH SOLID FACTS!

"This is a 60 year old conflict and the proof is in REAL HISTORY, not some TORAH. Also the Heckler was an ISRAELI, who made it clear, the ISRAELIS WANT TO KEEP THE PALESTINIANS SILENT IN AMERICA. WHY??? BECAUSE THEY FEAR THEIR LARGE WELFARE CHECK FROM THE UNITED STATES MIGHT SOON DISASPPEAR.

I mean the Jews suffered the holocaust for 4 years; the PALESTINIANS HAVE BEEN UNDER COLONIALIZATION FOR MORE THAN 60 YEARS!-Shalom 10-30-2009 04:09 PM

Another forum commenter noted:

Jon Stewart has sent Rob Riggle to China, and Jason Jones to Iran. Sure, it was intended to be done with a light touch, but it was also to show that there wasn't too much different between our "enemies" and ourselves. I didn't see this kind of virulent Jon-hate when he showed Iranians to be pleasantly lovely people. The leadership, on the other hand, he's napalmed when they deserved it - and this goes for Yasir Arafat, as well as "Bibi".


Jon Stewart and his staff aren't "biased" toward anything but people in positions of power using said power to shut others up. And that includes both sides of the Palestinian and Israeli conflict.


To show how totally under the rug this kind of topic is - look at the Huffington Post right now. They always are happy to feature the Daily Show - But what's their main Jon Stewart story? How he mocked Fox News and the White House.


It's as if *this* entire interview never took place. If you do a search on google news for this show - you get only SEVEN articles even mentioning, and NONE of them are 'mainstream' press. By comparison, Jon Stewart's interview with Cramer has its own Wikipedia entry. ABC News webpage has a story on Jon Gosslins "Mantrums" and "Meet the Wiccan Next Door".


Yet a story that is frying this message board has got hardly *anything* notice-wise in the "real" world.

I know this is a comedy show, but really - the fact is he's willing to put his reputation and his show "on the line" to talk about a subject that he doesn't *have* to talk about - and there's nothing but resounding silence in the media.


I can only assume that no one else in the media has the balls to touch it, because the question will naturally come up "Well, why is a comedian talking about this - why isn't your news network interviewing these people?"


And that's a question the news media isn't too keen on having to answer."-M



Message 480 reads:

I have known Anna for a number of years and I have had the great honor of meeting Dr. Barghouti and introducing him at an event. They are both gracious and politically astute.

Personally, I was pleased that Anna let Dr. Barghouti have the floor. After all, Barghouti represents Palestinian civil society. They are the oppressed. Anna is a very privileged person who was there as an ally. It was ultimately more important to hear from Barghouti.

While I cannot speak for her, I would be very surprised to learn from Anna that she felt she was somehow being silenced or "upstaged" by Barghouti. She is much smarter than that, and I would suggest that people calm down and appreciate that they were given an opportunity to hear from a true leader of Palestinian civil society.

This said, I encourage people to 1) visit Anna's web site (http://www.annainthemiddleeast.com), 2) buy and study her book, 3) contact her and arrange to have her speak at your church, mosque, synagogue, or community group. She has several great, thought-provoking presentations and is dedicated to working for a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians. By the way, her DVD is also terrific, and you can organize a little living-room forum and show it to your friends and neighbors. She gives you the tools to join the struggle for a just peace. I hope you will. Both the Israelis and Palestinians need all of us to join in. [1]


In solidarity with all that, and I add we need a media who will stop spouting falsehoods, such as what caused Jon's misunderstanding about Iran's supposed intentions towards Israel.

In 2006, Virginia Tilley, Professor of political science wrote:

"In his October 2005 speech, Mr. Ahmadinejad never used the word 'map' or the term 'wiped off.' According to Farsi-language experts like Juan Cole and even right-wing services like MEMRI, what he actually said was 'this regime that is occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.'

"In this speech to an annual anti-Zionist conference, Mr. Ahmadinejad was being prophetic, not threatening. He was citing Imam Khomeini, who said this line in the 1980s-a period when Israel was actually selling arms to Iran, so apparently it was not viewed as so ghastly then.

"Mr. Ahmadinejad had just reminded his audience that the Shah's regime, the Soviet Union, and Saddam Hussein had all seemed enormously powerful and immovable, yet the first two had vanished almost beyond recall and the third now languished in prison.

"So, too, the "occupying regime" in Jerusalem would someday be gone. His message was, in essence: "This too shall pass."

Iran has also not launched an aggressive war in modern history -unlike the US and Israel-and its leaders adhere to the doctrine of "no first strike."



We need a media who will give us some truth-such as in this third part of a Bill Moyers-Goldstone interview:


Judge Goldstone on Bill Moyers 3




We need a media who will allow the voices of Israeli conscientious objectors known as Shministim; Hebrew for "twelfth-graders" and they are "Jews and Arabs from all parts of the country"[who] toil against the occupation and oppression policies of the Israeli government in the occupied territories, and in the territory of the land of Israel, and therefore refuse to take part in actions related to such policies, which are carried out"by the Israeli Defence Force." [2]


Shministim are also a community of activists whose conscientious objection to refusing to serve in the Forces that enforce the military occupation of Palestine stems from volunteer experiences, values, love and respect for their society and every human being, and they aim to better their country for all its inhabitants.


We need a media who will learn from American Israeli professor Jeff Halper, Founder and Coordinator of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, that "Israel is a not a democracy but is an Ethnocracy, meaning a country run and controlled by a national group with some democratic elements but set up with Jews in control and structured to keep them in control."

We need a media who will report about Israel's WMD program and the failure of the US government to support the best interests of we the people by failing to hold Israel accountable to the same criteria we demand of other states and nations.

In 2005, Mordechai Vanunu told me:

"When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to '69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them. Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year."


But we have a media that failed to even report on a freedom of speech trial in Jerusalem, and now it is too late for them to interview Mordechai Vanunu.

Vanunu quit talking to foreign supporters and media on July 6, 2009, when he "made the decision"to refrain from making any statements on the nuclear issue and other sensitive subjects about which he had knowledge" and Vanunu's lawyer added, "Until now he wouldn't commit to refrain from speaking of [Israel's nuclear program], but now he is." [3]


We need a media who can connect the dots from 1948 to 1967 to 1986 to now and catch the spirit of Edward R. Murrow: "To be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable, we must be credible; to be credible, we must be truthful."


We need a media that will inform the public that the modern conflict between Palestine and Israel, is not about religious differences, but all about land, human rights and international law.

Until then, we have the Internet and Jon.

Please send him a thanks:
http://www.comedycentral.com/help/questionsCC.jhtml


Choose The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as your topic and THANKS in Subject line.




See the un-cut interview on the Daily Show homepage or

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-october-28-2009/exclusive---anna-baltzer---mustafa-barghouti-extended-interview-pt--1

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-october-28-2009/exclusive---anna-baltzer---mustafa-barghouti-extended-interview-pt--2

Footnotes:

http://forum.thedailyshow.com/tds/board/message?board.id=1118&thread.id=4344

http://www.shministim.com/our-letter/

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Eileen Fleming,is a Citizen of CONSCIENCE for US House of Representatives 2012 Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org Staff Member of Salem-news.com, A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" (more...)
 

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Way to go Jon. Its going to take more stuff like t... by Michael Dewey on Saturday, Nov 7, 2009 at 8:47:03 AM