Thursday, January 03, 2013

3-Jan-13: It's bad enough when events get distorted by an agenda-driven media. But what about the events that go entirely unreported?

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil... and ensure that
the evil survives and thrives [Image Source]
All of us who are concerned about the massive distortions that routinely appear in all parts of the news-reporting media industry know that certain kinds of news report are prone to being distorted, manipulated and enhanced. It's a major theme that has gotten - and certainly deserves -  up-close analysis.

But what about the news stories that don't get reported at all?

Khaled Abu Toameh, the Arab Israeli journalist whom we have quoted here often, has a pungent commentary today on the website of the Gatestone Institute that addresses this. In an article entitled "The Palestinian Authority's Inconvenient Truths", he lists a selection of what he calls "truths being hidden" from the attention of journalists, funders and decision-makers in Western countries. They're truths that, if they were known, would embarrass the Palestinian Arab power structure and especially Mahmoud Abbass' PA.

The text below is quoted directly from his Gatestone Institute report.

"Following are examples of some of the inconvenient truths that the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank do not want others to know about:
  • Over 100 senior PLO and Fatah officials hold Israeli-issued VIP cards that grant them various privileges denied to most Palestinians. Among these privileges is the freedom to enter Israel and travel abroad at any time they wish. This privileging has existed since the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO in 1993.
  • Out of the 600 Christians from the Gaza Strip who arrived in the West Bank in the past two weeks to celebrate Christmas, dozens have asked to move to Israel because they no longer feel comfortable living under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
  • Dozens of Christian families from east Jerusalem have moved to Jewish neighborhoods in the the city because they too no longer feel comfortable living among Muslims.
  • Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank continue to summon and arrest political opponents, journalists and bloggers who dare to criticize the Palestinian leadership.
  • The Palestinian Authority government, which has been complaining about a severe financial crisis for the past few months, just cancelled outstanding electricity debts for Palestinians in the West Bank. Palestinians pay their bills to the Arab Jerusalem Electric Company, which buys electricity from the Israeli Electric Company; the Palestinians have not been paying their electricity bills and many have been stealing electricity from their Arab company.
  • Tens of thousands of Palestinian Authority civil servants in the Gaza Strip receive salaries to stay at home and not work. The practice has been in effect since Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007. According to Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf, the Palestinian Authority, which is funded mostly by American and European taxpayer money, spends around $120 million each month on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
  • Mahmoud Abbas's ruling Fatah faction has allocated more than one million dollars for celebrations marking the 48th anniversary of the "launching of the revolution" -- a reference to the first armed attack carried out by Fatah against Israel.
  • Despite the calls for an economic boycott of Israel, more than 40,000 Palestinians have received permits to work in Israel. Moreover, another 15,000 Palestinians continue to work in Jewish settlements in spite of an official ban.
  • Top PLO and Fatah officials continue to do their shopping in Israeli-owned businesses both in the West Bank and Israel. Last week, for example, a member of the PLO Executive Committee and his family were spotted shopping in Jerusalem's Malha mall. Of course, the PLO official did not forget to bring along his private driver and maid.
  • The wife of a senior PLO official recently spent $20,000 for dental treatment in Tel Aviv at a time when there is no shortage of renowned Palestinian dentists in Ramallah, Bethlehem and Nablus."
Abu Toameh says that Palestinian journalists avoid reporting matters like these
"out of concern for their safety or for "ideological" reasons. These journalists have been taught that it is forbidden to hang out the dirty laundry."
In a way, it's understandable. Reporters operating under the two Palestinian regimes (the Fatah/PA regime presided over by Abbas, and the Hamas or Moslem Brotherhood regime that holds Gaza in its iron fist) are at considerable personal risk, and do what they need to do as a matter of self-defence.

But what can we say about Western journalists (and funders and decision-makers)? Is it even credible that they don't know about the kinds of things listed above? Assuming that they are (at least) as connected to the facts as we are, what does it mean when they ignore them?

How co-operative are reporters, editors, journalists and analysts in pretending not to see and not to hear and not to know what is obvious to anyone who troubles themselves to listen and/or to look? What kind of monkeys deliver the news of events in this region?

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