I have to admit, I’ve lost touch with the Israeli mainstream media. I’ve found so many alternative medias online that there really isn’t any point to turning on the telly, or buying a newspaper. But one must travel into the alternate universe known as Israel every so often. So I put on my goggles and nose plug and sink my hands deep into Ha’aretz’s front page, knowing this is as left as the mainstream media gets down here. What does the Israeli mind preoccupy itself with while the international boycott movement is growing and Israeli citizens are turned refugees right under its upturned nose?
The number one obsession in Israel is US support, or rather the eating-our-cake-and-having-it-too notion of what we can get away with and still have US support.
Shaun Ley: The World This Weekend, this is Shaun Ley. Hello. Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has used a news conference this lunchtime to describe his re-election as President of Iran as an epic moment. There have been more protest by opposition supporters and criticisms from Iran’s neighbours.
Daniel Ayalon, Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel: It is now high time for the international community to stop immediately the very dangerous and relentless campaign of Iran to achieve nuclear capabilities.
That’s the view from Israel. We’ll be hearing a US perspective and the son of the former Shah joins me live.
Its a good example of how the selection of expertise on the BBC frames its news and current affairs output. As the listener pointed out in his complaint, none of Iran’s actual neighbours were in fact consulted by the programme. Only Israel, the US and the son of its former puppet.
The boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel continues to gain leverage every day as more people become aware of Israel’s atrocities. Many argue that the BDS movement must penetrate every aspect of society for it to be fully effective at encouraging people to demand that Israel halt its policies of ethnic cleansing and apartheid against Palestinians. The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has accordingly agreed to return funds provided by the Israeli Embassy to finance the visit of Israeli filmmaker Tali Shalom-Ezer. While Ginnie Atkinson from the EIFF continues to insist that the decision was not politically motivated, she prefaces her explanation for the move by stating that:
It is a mark of how the US media’s uncritical coverage of Israel is eroding when you see Roger Cohen in the New York Times consistently being allowed the space to describe the desolate scenes in the West Bank which are punctuated by “garrison-like settlements on hilltops”. In his latest article he writes of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit there, in which he states: “If you’re looking for a primer of colonialism, this is not a bad place to start.” This type of language represents a promising shift in the Times’ op-ed pages.
The sparring between the United States and Israel has begun, and that’s a good thing. Israel’s interests are not served by an uncritical American administration. The Jewish state emerged less secure and less loved from Washington’s post-9/11 Israel-can-do-no-wrong policy.
The criticism of the center-right government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come from an unlikely source: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She’s transitioned with aplomb from the calculation of her interests that she made as a senator from New York to a cool assessment of U.S. interests. These do not always coincide with Israel’s.
I hear that Clinton was shocked by what she saw on her visit last month to the West Bank. This is not surprising. The transition from Israel’s first-world hustle-bustle to the donkeys, carts and idle people beyond the separation wall is brutal. If Clinton cares about one thing, it’s human suffering.