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Follow-up to my previous comment

Reader comment on item: What Jewish Ties to Jerusalem?
in response to reader comment: Truth in the Arab World

Submitted by Peter Irwin (United States), Jun 30, 2006 at 06:50

...Friends have pointed out the absence of documentation to support my contention and what they consider analogous fictions proferred by influential leaders in developed countries. Examples of Arab fabrications coming readily to mind are many -- along with Pipes refutation of Islamic claims on Jerusalem in this article, reference by Islamic leaders to Protocols of the Elders of Zion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Protocols_of_the_Elders_of_Zion), Ahmedinejad's holocaust denial (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/01/08/INGODGH99Q1.DTL), daily war status reports by Iraqi officials during Iraq Wars, and the alleged "massacre" in Jenin (http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=7&x_issue=14&x_article=217) to name a few.

While one can easily point out fabrications by those with influence in cultures having a free press, their fabrications are constrained by the knowledge that their claims will be open to public scrutiny and verification, so liars can be taken to task. The general populace in Syria, Saddam's Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Palestinian areas, etc. do not have free presses (http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2005), have limited access to facts that might contradict their leaders, and are subject to intimidation for criticism. Thus, while Arab leaders might pontificate in a similar manner to our own fabricators, there is no path within their culture for validation. The aforementioned confabulations about Jews and Israel have not been given a critical public airing in any Arab country. The presumption that the incidence of those buying into fabrications is greater in Arab countries than in developed countries is based on the current popularity of hate-mongers in the Middle East – e.g., Ahmedinejad and Hamas. In contrast, the waning of credulity in the US for the apparent fabrication of WMD in Iraq and the partially consequent loss of popularity of our president demonstrates the difference. Beyond these observations and personal anecdotal experience, I cannot otherwise substantiate my inference that unchallenged fabrication is an accepted form of persuasive discourse in Arab countries.


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