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Netanyahu's Corruption: How Israeli Journalists Project Israel's Crimes on to Palestinians

By       Message Ramzy Baroud       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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In the final analysis, somehow Israel maintains the upper hand and self-granted moral ascendancy.

From youtube.com: PM Netanyahu's Remarks at Weekly Cabinet Meeting {MID-258226}
PM Netanyahu's Remarks at Weekly Cabinet Meeting
(Image by YouTube, Channel: IsraeliPM)
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In an article published in Al-Monitor without a single verifiable citation, Israeli journalist, Shlomi Eldar, went to unprecedented lengths to divert attention from the corruption in his country.

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He spoke of Palestinian journalists -- all speaking on condition of anonymity - who "applauded" and "admired" Israeli media coverage of corruption scandals surrounding the country's right-wing Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Eldar's approach is underhanded and journalistically unsound. The Israeli media, which has largely supported Netanyahu's devastating wars on Gaza, continues to relentlessly defend the illegal occupation of Palestine and to serve as a shield for Israel's stained reputation on the international stage. It is hardly praiseworthy, even if it arguably provides decent coverage for the Netanyahu investigations.

For an Israeli journalist to handpick a few Palestinians who, allegedly, praised the war crimes-apologist Israeli media is a remarkable event that surely cannot be satisfactorily addressed in anonymity.

But Eldar's journalism aside, one would think that seeking Palestinian admiration for Israeli media should be the least urgent question to address at this time. Others are far more pressing. For example: Is corruption among Israel's political elite symptomatic of greater moral and other forms of corruption that have afflicted the entire society?

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And, why is it that, while Netanyahu is being indicted for bribery, no Israeli official is ever indicted for war crimes against Palestinians?

In fact, well before Netanyahu's corruption scandals included more serious charges -- for instance, quid pro quo deals in which his advisers tried to manipulate media coverage in his favor and offering high political positions in exchange for favors -- it included bribes pertaining to fancy cigars and expensive drinks.

What Israelis are trying to tell us is that, despite all of its problems, Israel is a good, transparent, law-abiding and democratic society.

This is precisely why Eldar wrote his article. The outcome was a familiar act of intellectual hubris that we have grown familiar with.

Eldar even cites a supposedly former Palestinian prisoner who told Al-Monitor that, while in prison, "we learned how the democratic election process works in Israel. The prisoners adopted the system in order to elect their leadership in a totally democratic fashion, while ensuring freedom of choice."

Others cited their favorite Israeli journalist, some of whom have served and continue to serve as mouthpieces for official Israeli hasbara (propaganda).

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Many of Israel's friends in western governments and corporate media have also contributed to this opportunistic style of journalism; they come to the rescue when times are hard, to find ways to praise Israel and to chastise Palestinians and Arabs, even if the latter are not relevant to the discussion, whatsoever.

Who could ever forget US Senator John McCain's criticism of his country's torture of prisoners at the height of the so-called "war on terror"? His rationale was that such a war can be won without torture, because Israel "doesn't torture" and yet it is capable of combating "Palestinian terrorism."

Thousands of Palestinians have been tortured, and hundreds were killed under duress in Israeli prisons, the last of whom was Yaseen Omar on the day when this article was written. Moreover, according to the Palestinians Prisoners' Club, 60% of Palestinian children arrested by Israel are also tortured.

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Ramzy Baroud is the Managing Editor of Middle East Eye. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold (more...)
 

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