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Australasia anti-Jewish, anti-American

Reader comment on item: Polls, Palestinians and the Path to Peace

Submitted by Tim (United States), Dec 26, 2003 at 15:16

I've recently moved to New Zealand and have been appalled at the level of anti-Semitism (anti-Americanism too, but I was a bit more prepared for that). Every news item, every email virus, every conceivable issue is a chance to blame either rich, fat Americans or the "dehumanizing, intolerant Israelis" for all of the world's problems. It has been amazing to see multiple explosions in Istanbul pinned squarely on the back of the Israelis when the synagogues were bombed, and squarely on the back of the Americans when downtown was bombed. It seems clear that every event is an excuse for blaming of Americans and Jews, sort of like everyone's birthday is a reason to party.

The first reaction to the Bali bombing was "why didn't cowboy George stop this?". The first reaction to the stabbing and burning of 200 completely innocent civilians in Nigeria over a beauty pageant was a vigorous debate over whether the blame lie with the Americans for bringing such an inciteful event to Nigeria, or with the reporter who dared to rile the masses. America was also then blamed for moving the pageant out of Nigeria, abandoning Nigeria because it was Muslim. No blame at all for the actual perpetrators or those who inspire them to their deeds.

Similar for the Arab-Israeli conflict. Every act by Israel such as targetted bombing of Hamas leaders is met with indignation, while pizza-parlor/grocery store bombings of Jews is met with quiet acceptance. I asked an otherwise respected Kiwi friend about this, and he said that it is not right to meet violence with violence, even if the target is a Hamas leader. "Then what about the bombings of Israelis civilians, isn't this also wrong? Why aren't people upset about that?". He answered: "People have been killing Jews for thousands of years!"

Here's a news headline from the NZ press: "Israel vows more attacks". On reading the article, it was about how, after a week of multiple attacks on Israeli civilians, the Israeli's bombed and killed a Hamas leader (and some of his associates, and some nearby civilians) who was reportedly actually on his way to an attack on Israeli civilians. In response, Hamas vowed a huge retaliation against all the people of Isreal. And the Israeli response was that they will continue to target Hamas leaders until the terrorism stops. How do you look at those facts and call the headline "Israel vows more attacks"? How about "Hamas vows massive retaliation against any Israeli civilians it can find". New Zealanders, even the well-meaning ones (which I'd say make up the vast majority) are constantly exposed to this sort of slanted coverage to the point that they believe it is true, they believe the Americans and Jews are destroying the world for the rest of us, including, but not limited to, the peace-loving Palestinians.

How was the battle of the world-press lost so completely?

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