Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio Broadcast on May 28, 1998 / Sivan 3, 5758

THE PRESS BLEATS, THE SHEEP ARE SILENT

By Elyakim Ha'etzni

In This Article:

1. Nothing has Changed

2. We Finally Heard the Music

3. Barely any Coverage of Gingrich

4. And How About the Parade?

5. Linguistic Acrobatics

6. Our Role

1. NOTHING HAS CHANGED

It is at least two decades since the phrase "The People against Hostile Media" was coined. Stickers with this phrase are seen on cars even today. Nothing has changed in our public electronic media, although those who are active in this field are obliged by law to follow a strict line of impartiality, even-handedness, accuracy, fairness, and most important - not to abuse the public microphone by voicing their own private political opinions.

But some of the broadcasters themselves admit that they constitute a closed clique of leftist, pro-Palestinian Israelis - mobilized and dedicated to character assassination of so-called "settlers," religious Jews, rightists, and anyone who stands in the way of a "secular democratic" Israel, de-Judaized and de-Zionized. Their advantage over regular totalitarian propaganda machines is that they claim to be acting in the name of Democracy, Liberalism, and Free Speech. North Korea, Iraq, and Kaddafi should send experts to Kol Yisrael Radio and Channel One to learn how to do this in a refined, sophisticated way. Shelly Yechimovitch, Yisrael Segal, and Rafik Chalaby could certainly show them a thing or two.

2. WE FINALLY HEARD THE MUSIC

Something has finally moved, however. Until now I had the frustrated feeling of seeing the band playing through a thick, sound-proof glass. The fiddling movements, the cellos between the knees, the fingers playing the piano, the conductor waving his hands - and not a sound can be heard. Rarely were we able to actually prove the foul play - until this week, when, for the first time, I was also able to hear the music: Editors of Channel One on Israel Television "edited," or "cut" in plain English, a filmed tape, creating the impression that the Prime Minister waved approvingly, with a broad smile, to a crowd shouting, "Death to the Arabs!." The announcer then cynically remarked, "...now he'll claim that he didn't hear them..." Only because another film crew had also filmed the same scene separately was this ugly, frightening deed - which borders on the criminal and which should be investigated by the police - uncovered and brought to light.

As could be expected, those who were caught red-handed, even though punished very mildly, now mount a full-fledged counter-attack, in the name of - you guessed it: Free Speech. From the lowest depths of Hell, one can hear Joseph Stalin's admiring approval.

3. BARELY ANY COVERAGE OF GINGRICH

But this last incident is only one drop in the ocean. Let's look at a few other instances. Newt Gingrich was here this week, speaking in our Knesset and touring the country, at the head of a delegation of American

Congressmen, among them Democratic Minority Leader Gephardt. We are talking about the mightiest parliamentary body in the world. Gingrich is its head. They came to take part in our anniversary celebrations.. The American Congress is more pro-Israel than the Knesset, perhaps our only friend in the world. They defy their own administration in defense of our right to determine our security requirements and our borders as a sovereign state.

But lo, not one word of the visit on Channel One, and barely a word on the other stations. Why? Because this is good for Jews, because it supports the present government. But our media are dedicated to the Palestinian cause, set on bringing about the downfall of our government, therefore we were allowed to see and hear - instead of Gingrich - only the daily dosage of enemy propaganda, that which constantly poisons our life.

4. AND HOW ABOUT THE PARADE?

A huge parade, celebrating and identifying with Israel, was held in New York. Among them were many Gentiles, bands, army units, dignitaries. A breath of fresh air for 90% of the Jewish public in Israel. But except for a short glimpse, two seconds perhaps, we were not allowed to see, to partake, to have a chance for "nachess", a feeling that we are not entirely alone in the world. Who made this cruel decision? A bunch of self-appointed apparatchiks, producing from inside us a strange, frightening, alien, hostile, perverse voice, as if we were possessed by a dybbuk.

Or take another example: Netanyahu paid a state visit to New York, and decided to actually - eat in a restaurant! This remarkable incident was reported by Voice of Israel in these words: "The economy is at a standstill, unemployment is galloping along - and the Prime Minister dines in New York!"

5. LINGUISTIC ACROBATICS

One last example: On Independence Day, 10,000 people demonstrated at Har Homa in Jerusalem, demanding immediate construction of this new Jewish neighborhood. At the same time, 500 left-wingers demonstrated against the project. These figures were given by Channel One itself, and yet the coverage of the 500 surpassed by far the fleeting pictures given of the 10,000. I lodged a complaint with Channel One, and here is the reply I received: "Possibly, on the face of it, there was an impression of over-balancing, but in news matters one does not measure seconds and minutes, but evaluates professionally, using newsworthy discretion."

Can you figure this out? Especially that delicious linguistic invention whereby a tilt to one side is called "over-balancing"? In this fashion, a lie would be called "over-truth." So, George Orwell, you have yet something to learn from the Israeli media's "Newspeak."

6. OUR ROLE

All this is made possible only because of our silence, the silence of the sheep...

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Atty. Elyakim Ha'etzni, a resident of Kiryat Arba, a columnist in Yediot Acharonot, is a former Knesset Member from the Techiyah party.



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