Is Suppression Of The Truth A Crime?

By Bernard J. Shapiro

Likud MK Benny Begin: "There is a voluntary suppression of the 'bad' news relating to the Oslo Project in the world's press".

At the International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress currently being held in Jerusalem, MK Benny Begin (Likud) charged that editors and journalists were not interested in news which reflected badly on the so-called "peace process". He said that it was most difficult to penetrate the press with stories on violations of the spirit and letter of the Oslo Accords. One newspaper editor told a reporter that the news was inflammatory and asked if the reporter wanted peace.

Begin spoke before editors and media executives from 85 countries and asked in summation: "when will a free press allow the people to know the truth". [From a special Shomron News Service (SNS) Report on March 28, 1996]

Begin's remarks were directed to members of the world press, but we all are aware that an even worse situation exists with regard to the Jewish press. Attempts to publish the full facts and logical consequences of the Oslo Agreement in Jewish newspapers has been almost totally prevented. Editors of most Jewish weeklies have maintained a uniform commitment to ignorance. What their readers don't know, want hurt them. Why ruffle the feathers of their local Israeli consulate?

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), which provides a large number of Jewish papers with their news, has been dominated by a Peace Now/Labor philosophy for years. It would be unthinkable for them to provide an honest assessment of the Oslo Process. After all they are committed to "peace."

My own personal experience with the Jewish Herald-Voice is illustrative of the problem faced at most Jewish papers. After writing a column on Israel for three years, I was dismissed following an expose (June 7, 1995) entitled "THE JERUSALEM COVERUP." My article revealed the ongoing discussions by the Israeli government to divide Jerusalem. At the time, the Israeli government was denying the existence of such talks. Today, this information is common knowledge. The editors insisted that their dismissal of me was not censorship but merely related to my use of strong language. By the way, in an examination of the previous six months of my columns, they were unable to locate any such "strong language." What really bothered them was my continued criticism of both the Oslo Agreement and the Israeli government.

Since I had developed my own publication, THE MACCABEAN, I let the matter of my column drop. However I did decide to test their sincerity concerning censorship. Over the last 18 months, I supplied the Jewish Herald-Voice with about 200 excellent articles by fax and e-mail. Articles not by myself, but by well known military and political commentators of national scope as well opposition Israeli leaders. All of the articles had one thing in common, they disputed intelligently the validity of the Oslo Process and the Israeli government's commitment to it. NONE WERE PUBLISHED.

My personal experience has been duplicated in the editorial offices of Jewish papers across America. What we are witnessing is a massive (though not necessarily conspiratorial) cover up of the truth about the dangers inherent in the Oslo Process. This coverup, designed to keep the Jewish community in ignorance, reminds one of the darkest days of the Holocaust. Then, as now, Jewish leaders and editors, saw fit to hide the truth from the Jewish community.

Is the suppression of the truth where Jewish lives are at stake -- -- a crime?

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