mardi 29 mai 2012

JPost - last but not least!

Even though I stopped interning for the Jerusalem Post a few months ago already, some of my latest articles hadn't been put on this blog yet. So here we are:

Book review of the autobiography of Vladimir Zeev Jabotinsky
Meeting with Ben Brafman, famous for having defended DSK last year
Presentation of The Israel Project, a local NGO
Visit of a new and much needed infant care center in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan in Jerusalem
Emmanuel Navon, professor of international relations in Tel-Aviv university and new member of the Likud central committee on the primaries in the party in January.
Meeting with Laurent Fabius, who since became the new Foreign Affairs minister of France
What is it to be both a religious Jew and gay? (part 1 and 2)
Book review of a translated and annotated version of a book of the rav Kook by Beno Gross (professor of philophy in Bar-Ilan university)

jeudi 24 mai 2012

Le Monde and journalism 101

Here’s how Israel gets delegitimized and the religious-zionist community demonized, which leads to outbreaks of violence by “avengers” such as we saw in Toulouse, France, two months ago:

First, a mainstream media account of an incident in Ytzhar, Samaria (West Bank) last week-end by the biggest French newspaper Le Monde:
(for English-only readers you can obviously find similar libels on most of the Web. If you don’t know where to start, don’t look too far, we can be confident Haaretz, the left-wing Israeli newspaper will have its word on it)

Now, what really happened there?
First, religious Jews, even under the hypothesis they would be that violent, wouldn’t stage such an attack on Shabbat, the traditional Jewish day of rest, as most of the activites implied in a “raid” are strictly forbidden under the Halacha [Jewish law] that day.
So why did this group of mostly young people leave their village (“settlement”) that holy day toward the neighboring Arab village of Assira Al-Qibliya ? Well, actually the fire mentioned by Gilles Paris (le Monde’s correspondent in Israel, always late/wrong) was set by a group of violent Palestinians, as they did the two previous weeks in order to destroy the Jewish fields/houses. (By the way, whoever is responsible for the beginning of the violence, there’s no need to blame a whole community as Paris does: “the inhabitants of the colony of Itzhak are well-known for their radicalism and their violences”)
When the Israeli volunteer fire-fighters team got to the place (again under Halachah, you can break Shabbat’s rules when lives are put in danger, such as in the case of an arson) they got stoned by the same violent group and the security guards of the village had to intervene to protect them. So first, we’re dealing here with a case of legitimate self-defense  and second they didn’t even shoot with real guns but with rubber bullets (in case you didn’t figure out by yourselves that if the guy received a head-shot with a real bullet he would have died…).
Then, why the two soldiers seen in the (very partial) footage didn’t intervene? Well, davka because they were two, in the middle of two groups composed of dozens of villagers on both sides, and probably waiting for instruction by their hierarchy on how to react.
Then let’s deal with the video itself. It was published by the famous NGO “B’Tselem” but was shot by local Palestinian villagers. I’ve been myself able to find two different footages, taken from different angles, by people installed on high position in order to have a good view and who started shooting before any violence erupted (if you except the Palestinian arson which triggered the whole thing…). They were here to be able to register the mere fruit of their provocation in order to put the blame on Israel the day after. And, sadly, it systematically works.  Indeed, contrary to the title “ordinary violence”, incidents in which Israeli settlers are involved aren’t that numerous as the ones who really happen (if you count this as being a real incident) are always filmed by the other side. Why isn’t there any footage by the Israeli side? Again, this is the whole interest of the Palestinian extremists to stage those incidents on Saturdays: religious Jews won’t film what happen on that day so the Arab propaganda can get a highway to the media…