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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 2, 2005 / 23 Nissan, 5765

Myths of the Intellectuals

By Jonathan Tobin


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Insight on French bias also gives perspective on American enemies of Israel





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Ya'acov "Koby" Mandell and Mohammed Al-Dura were both kids. One was an Israeli, the other a Palestinian. But the deaths of 13-year-old Mandell and 12-year-old Al-Dura in the first year of what's been called the second Palestinian intifada have come to symbolize the distorted coverage of that conflict by the international media.


Al-Dura, who died during an exchange of fire between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli soldiers, was lionized as a martyr whose slaying epitomized Israeli brutality. Film footage of the incident from the French state-owned TV channel France 2 portrayed the event as a straightforward Israeli slaughter of an innocent.


Only later did we learn that the footage had been selectively edited, and that it misled viewers about what actually happened. Objective analyses of the story by German television and The Atlantic magazine leave little doubt that Al-Dura was likely killed by bullets fired by Palestinians.

DEATH OF A ‘COLONIST’
By contrast, Koby Mandell's death is little remembered. Just one of many Israeli children who've perished in this senseless war, he and a classmate were murdered in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists who stoned him to death and then mutilated his body. When this crime was reported by the same French media that had popularized the Al-Dura myth, they characterized Mandell as a "colonist" that was killed by the Palestinian resistance.


The significance of this distinction was highlighted in a French-made documentary "Decryptage" (defined as "deciphering"), which is making the rounds of American Jewish film festivals this spring.


Made in 2002 at the height of the now-concluded intifada, the film is an interesting counterpart to "Relentless," a less skillful, though useful, English-language polemic about who was responsible for the collapse of the Oslo peace process.


Though a bit dated now that Yasser Arafat is dead and the terrorist war he launched is over, French filmmakers Jacques Tarneo and Phillippe Bensoussan are still able to cut to the heart of the question of why the French media's coverage was so one-sided.


Their answer should interest us not so much for what it says about the French as for what it tells us about a concept of the conflict that is well-represented on American college campuses and among activists who've guided some church groups to support punitive measures against Israel.


"Decrytage" offers Americans a look at the obsession that the chattering classes of Paris and London have with their continent's legacy of imperialism.


For European intellectuals, especially those on the left, their nations' original sin is colonialism. But in their haste to disown every vestige of that era, many Europeans have falsely identified Zionism — the national liberation movement of the Jewish people — as being indistinguishable from the impulse of the British to own India or the French to claim Algeria.


Viewed through this prism, the Arabs were, and are, innocents oppressed by alien Jewish settlers. That the Jews are the natives of the land known as Israel — or "Palestine," as the Arabs call it — doesn't seem to have changed many minds.


For the French, in particular, the savage war for Algerian independence, in which atrocities on both sides scarred that country's politics for generations, has been the most frequently cited analogy.


What is especially dangerous about this misleading notion is that when you adopt that mindset, "colonists" like young Koby Mandell aren't really victims. They are, in that view, complicit in a crime — the existence of the State of Israel — and are legitimate targets, a rationale French journalists interviewed in the film acknowledged.


The importance of this point cannot be overestimated. If you see Israel as a colony, then it doesn't matter that the Palestinians are the ones who choose war when Israel offered peace, or that Israel's military goes out of its way to avoid civilian casualties while the Palestinians target innocents. All that matters is that Israel has no right to exist and has no right to self-defense — no matter what the provocation.


Only when you grasp that the point of French bias isn't merely anti-Semitism but delegitimization of Israel can you properly understand why Europe is up in arms over Israel's security barrier, and opposes Israel's self-defense measures even as it makes unilateral concessions, such as its planned withdrawal from Gaza.

A RATIONALE FOR DIVESTMENT
Though such views are far from mainstream in this country, the French experience does give us a glimpse into the thinking of anti-Israel activists on American campuses and among church groups, such as the Presbyterian Church USA and other mainline liberal Protestant denominations.


Adopting the same sort of language popular in Europe, all these groups see are Arab victims and Israeli oppressors. And in the name of this libel, they promote economic warfare in the form of divestment and boycotts of Israeli products and institutions.


Through this distorted lens, groups such as the International Solidarity Movement, which opposes Israel's existence and aids terrorists in their resistance to Israeli countermeasures, become "peace activists" while Jewish men, women and children riding buses in Tel Aviv are legitimate, if unfortunate, targets for extermination.


Once you comprehend that the point of these protesters isn't really issues like the demolition of Palestinian buildings or "illegal settlements" but Zionism's illegitimacy, then it's easy to see why they are impervious to reason. As long as this is the way some view Israel, debates with them about the rights and wrongs of things the country does will not persuade them. Neither will the arguments put forward by some friends of Israel, which center on Israeli concessions.


Indeed, once you grasp that these foes are not interested in a smaller Israel but in no Israel at all, you begin to understand why the last decade in which the Jewish state has made so many sacrifices for peace has also been one in which its international image has plummeted. And we shouldn't be surprised if this trend continues when, as is likely, the next round of conflict begins.


That's a depressing realization, but one we must keep in mind even as we hold on to hope that the latest peace feelers will succeed. It's a point that only a fool — or those blinded by the anti-imperialist myth that guides Israel's foes — would ignore.

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JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here.

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