(January 17, 2021 / JNS) A red line was crossed this week when the already biased Israel reportage by some of the mainstream media has seen an unprecedented spike. At a time when disinformation is designated as one of the chief strategic adversaries facing modern democracies, those who profess the arbitration of truth and accurate reporting fall time and again in the all-too-tempting anti-Israeli trap.
Unfortunately, CNN has joined the choir by embracing the once-fashionable anti-Israel vogue, especially by categorizing as “news” false accusations propagated by negligible political activists, such as the far-left Israeli NGO B’Tselem.
In its recent publication, B’Tselem not only has embraced the Palestinian narrative about Israeli presence in the disputed 1967 territories, as it often does, but has stepped up its assault by attacking the state’s core founding principle as the democratic home of the Jewish people. It does this by characterizing any policy pursuant to this objective as no less than a “Jewish superiority” regime—reminiscent of history’s worst anti-Semitic blood libels.
B’Tselem offers to strip the sole home state of the Jews of its core identity while adopting the equivalent Palestinian national aspiration. Its propaganda has also determined that the only democracy in the region can no longer be called a democracy, but rather an “apartheid state.”
While we would normally disregard it as another PR stunt by a marginal political organization, designated to tarnish Israel on the world stage, we were shocked and appalled to learn it was given a platform by CNN as a news item.
B’Tselem is infamous for calling Israel an “occupying force” in the cradle of Judaism—the Holy Basin in Jerusalem or the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron—allegedly committing “ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria (“the West Bank”), whose population has more than tripled since 1967.
Now, it is deliberately obscuring the difference between three separate governing entities: the State of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip.
It is surprising that CNN quotes B’Tselem without fact-checking its accusations, especially in light of the network’s tireless efforts to do so with stories that shed a positive light on Israel. Contrary to B’Tselem’s claims, Israel is far from governing 14 million people.
To set the record straight, the Gaza Strip was delivered to the Palestinians following Israel’s disengagement from the Strip in 2005. And since 2007, it has been under separatist Hamas rule, not administered by Israel.
Hamas’s ongoing terrorist activities have forced Israel to instate partial marine restrictions on Gaza, including the interception of Iranian cargo ships filled with weapons and explosives. Palestinians living both in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria are regularly hospitalized in Israeli medical centers, visit their families and receive dozens of daily humanitarian and financial aid deliveries facilitated by Israel. It is also worth noting that Gaza shares a land border with Egypt.
In Judea and Samaria, the P.A. has been in full civil charge of Palestinians living in Areas A and B since the 1995 finalization of the Oslo Accords, following the arrangements agreed upon with the Israeli government. Much like the small minority of Palestinians living in the Israel-controlled Area C, tens of thousands of them are provided with regular work permits that allow them to provide for their families through employment in Israel, in joint Israeli-Palestinian industrial zones and in the agriculture and services sectors around Judea and Samaria.
Furthermore, contrary to CNN’s claims, the government of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin government never endorsed the “two-state solution”—but rather called to form an autonomous Palestinian entity that is “less than a state.”
To add insult to injury, B’Tselem concluded that 2 million Arab-Israelis somehow live under an “apartheid regime.” To quote legal expert Eugene Kontorovich, “Apartheid is not just a term for policies one dislikes,” but a clearly defined international crime that includes “widespread” racial-based segregation, murder and enslavement.
Accusing democratic Israel of committing “apartheid” against its Arab community, which enjoys full equality under the law and has been seeing an unprecedented rise in the number of working women (up 50 percent) and students in universities (up from 10 percent to 18 percent), while being highly represented among the country’s doctors (17 percent) and pharmacists (47 percent), is patently absurd.
Finally, CNN echoes the outrageous position that Israel’s identity as the homeland of the Jewish people, guaranteeing a Jewish majority and encouraging the “ingathering of exiles,” should be considered racism. This reflects an attempt to apply globalist and racialist theories to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, fundamentally considering the world as an ethnic struggle between “oppressors” and “oppressed,” and rejecting the very concept of religious and national identity—yet only when it comes to Jews.
B’Tselem attempts here to fawn on world progressive movements, creating an artificial parallel to the common trope of “white supremacy,” by considering the Jewish affinity to Israel a form of “Jewish superiority.”
The recent example of this “fashion” on social media to refer to “Jewish privilege” as a parallel to “white privilege” proves how anti-Semitic sentiments traditionally and still apply to these groups’ credo. This is not only an insult to the historic yearning of Jews worldwide, but also to Israel’s recognition and endorsement by the international community—in the 1920 San Remo Conference, in the 1947 Partition Plan, preceding Israel’s foundation a year later, and on countless other occasions.
It is regretful that CNN has chosen to cooperate with the attempt to subvert Israel’s very existence. Far from covering news, it cherishes distortions.
Israel is not an identity-free immigration hub; it has always been intrinsically bonded with Judaism as an inseparable part of Jewish existence while preserving equality under the law of all of its citizens, as is stated in its Declaration of Independence.
IDF Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Amir Avivi is the founder and CEO of Habithonistim–Protectors of Israel.
Jewish News Syndicate
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