Fighting propaganda

Fighting propaganda

Reporting on the Middle East is almost as controversial as the issues that divide the region. For some real facts, check out Palestinian Media Watch (

PMW reports what Palestinians say on TV, print in their papers, and teach in the schools. This information gives everyone unbiased factual information; I think it’s the most reliable source available.

PMW director Itamar Marcus and analyst Nan Jacques Zilberdik spoke to about 60 people at Temple Beth O’r/Beth Torah in Clark, on Nov. 18. I wish more members of our community had the opportunity to learn about his work. His presentation was riveting, as he demonstrated through video clips the vicious propaganda promulgated not just by Hamas, but also by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah.

In one video shown on the website, Abbas holds a stone rendering of his emerging state. The shape is unmistakable. It is not Palestine of pre-1967 borders, as is often discussed in the peace talks, but recognizable to anyone as the State of Israel. Where is the possibility of a two-state solution in this gesture? In several Palestinian TV quiz programs, Palestinians were asked to name several large Palestinian cities. Tel Aviv and Haifa were often among the correct answers. These are Israeli cities, which are not within any proposed Palestinian state.

Perhaps most telling of all: as recently as 1995, more than 80 percent of Palestinians considered Israel the most respected democracy in the world (Israel scored higher than the United States). Fast forward to today where more than 80 percent of Palestinians think Israel has no right to exist (they also supported the terrorist murder of eight yeshiva boys in Jerusalem in 2008).

To those that think Israel is the bully standing in the way of peace, direct them to Palestinian Media Watch. The work of this NGO has persuaded the Canadian government and others of the facts on the ground. This information helps the international community to sharpen its focus on the real impediment to peace — propaganda.

Susan Lewis Knopf

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