Keith Sanborn on Fri, 19 Apr 2002 14:33:41 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Speaking from New York

On Arab Hatred in the United States.

We have the opposite bias in our news media in the United States from 
the one decried by Oriana Fallaci in Europe. Here arabs are seen as 
madmen who go to their deaths with a twisted ecstatic smile on their 
faces. We hear little of the Israeli soldiers who, instructed to 
perpetrate systematic abuses of human rights in the Occupied 
Territories, refuse to serve there. We have no consciousness in our 
media of the connection between the murderers of Rabin and the 
current Israeli policies of State Terrorism. In our media the 
Israelis are seen to hold an absurd monopoly on the term 

I am saddened by the behavior of both parties in this conflict. But 
it was clearly the Israelis who walked away from the Oslo accords. 
This is never heard in our media. The "settlers" in the occupied 
territories are seen as pioneers reclaiming their homeland instead of 
invaders grabbing land. But to recognize that would be to awaken the 
bad conscience of most Americans, who have inherited a land where a 
parallel theft of land was perpetrated on the original inhabitants of 
this continent.

There is no defense for Terror, wholesale, or retail. It is painful 
to see each party justify its actions while blood runs in the 
streets. But here in the United States, it is seldom the blood of the 
Palestinians that is seen to be running, the Palestinians who have by 
absolute numbers and percentages suffered the majority of the losses. 
Yes, Palestinians possess the same human faces and emotions and blood 
arrogated almost exclusively to the Israelis by our media.

I admire Ms. Fallaci's passion and her sense of moral outrage. She 
speaks from her experience of fascism and against the received ideas 
which surround her. From this distance I cannot judge the conflation 
of support for the Palestinians with historical anti-semitism in 
Europe. But I believe she is mistaken to think that the support of 
the Palestinians by rightwing elements in Europe absolves the Iraeli 
government from its crimes of Terror, of destroying the 
infrastructure of Palestinian lands in the name of self-defense.

In the United States, it is the otherwise casually anti-semitic 
Christian right who supports the state of Israel, seeking to 
contribute to rebuilding the Temple on the site of the Dome of the 
Rock, not out of love of the State of Israel, but because they 
believe it will hasten the return of the Millennium and the ultimate 
doom of Israel. It is that same right who spoke up in admiration of 
the destruction perptrated by fanatics on the World Trade Center and 
the murder of thousands within its towers as the punishment of God on 
Babylonian New York. Though to be clear about it, the Christian 
right, while it has the ear of the current tenant of the White House, 
does not determine a great deal of what is reported as news in this 

In this battle, the Israelis are not the underdogs; they are the 
overlords. And though we drown in a sea of moral contradictions, that 
situation should not be lost sight of. From where I write, it is far 
easier to lose sight of the crimes of State Terror than the retail 
crimes of terror.

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