Thursday, December 24, 2015

the Donald Trump of the Middle East

To hear the media regurgitate the tale, knife-wielding Palestinians constitute an almost monolithic threat to a beleaguered and virtuous Israel. Day after day and month after month, small stories recount yet another stabbing, sometimes fatal, sometimes not, perpetrated by yet another discontented Palestinian. Almost invariably, the perpetrator is shot dead by the forces of an implicitly righteous and purely defensive Israel.

This morning's contribution to this cookie-cutter amalgam begins like this:
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli authorities said Thursday that three Palestinians were killed after they carried out or attempted to carry out attacks against Israelis across the West Bank.
To question or even observe this litany is to risk being labeled an anti-Semite, a term that has been carefully co-opted to mean anti-Israel rather than taking a position against the peoples who speak a number of languages, notably Hebrew AND Arabic.

As the old saying goes, "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight." With the Americans selling weapons to pretty much anyone who wants them, why are the knife-wielders A. knife-wielders and B. a monolithic threat? Aside from anything else, the knife-against-gun outcome is pretty much the same over and over: 
Near-daily Palestinian attacks have killed 20 Israelis and an American student. Israeli fire has killed 123 Palestinians....
123 to 20. What monolithic threat is this? And with the Holocaust and apartheid and American slavery as a backdrop, how is anyone supposed to believe what the media seems to insist is believable? Not that the Palestinians are blameless and pure, but are they deserving of such imbalance both military and political?

Once upon a time, there was no 24-hour news cycle. A half hour in the morning, a half hour at noon and a half hour in the evening ... that was pretty much the news. But with a 24-hour news cycle, wouldn't you think there would be more time to dig in and ferret out the back-stories on tales that once got short shrift? That has not happened. Instead, the regurgitation and re-regurgitation of the same story all day long is the yardstick and template.

Arms dealers make money. News organizations make money. And any good understanding -- my own included -- of the news goes begging; heroes and villains are raised up; thought is placed on the back burner.

Sometimes it is hard not to see Israel as the Donald Trump of the Middle East.

Another monolith, I guess.

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