The media, the Bible and Israel
What to believe?
When you live in a country that is geographically 'the
farthest place from Israel' on the planet, and your only source of information
is provided via a television screen, radio or newspaper, you are reliant on the
unbiased accuracy of media reports to stay 'in touch'. Travelling around,
one quickly senses that many, even well meaning believers have been unable to
'stay in touch' with the realities of the situation in the Holy Land, the
picture has become pretty blurred. Like a game of 'Chinese whispers', except
much more deliberately manipulated, we need to know how to 'filter information'
we receive about Israel, or risk 'losing the plot'.
The Inside Israel newsletter issued a guide for 'filtering
information' received from the media:
1. Democracy: Israel is the only true democracy in the
2. Freedoms: Israel is the only nation in the area that
has freedom of speech and freedom of the press. It is common knowledge among
journalists that any negative reporting about an Arab-Muslim country will
eliminate their future access to that nation and maybe other nations in the
Arab-Muslim world as well. In the trade it is called "writing for your visa."
3. Refugee Camps: Understand that these have existed
since 1948. The Arab world has maintained them as a propaganda tool against
Israel. During this same period Israel has absorbed nearly five million
immigrants from over 150 nations of the world. The Arab nations, with their
billions in oil revenues, have chosen to keep these Palestinians as virtual
prisoners in abject poverty so Arab leaders can continue to point out how bad
the Jews are for causing this.
It is an established fact that the Arab leaders in 1948 told the Arabs living in
Palestine to flee for just a short time while they would drive out or kill all
of the Jews in the land; when that would be accomplished, they could then move
back and occupy their houses and lands.
4. Interviews: When you see/hear a news reporter
interviewing average Palestinians (meaning not a member of the Palestinian
Authority or one of the terrorist groups), those individuals are not at liberty
to say what they really feel, for should they do so, their lives and the lives
of their families are in grave danger. On the day of this writing, the report
comes from Ramallah that following the withdrawal of the Israeli Army the brutal
executions of Palestinians by Palestinians is starting again. If any individuals
are suspected of collaborating with Israel in any way, they can be executed
There is one other news item today that may show that this fear of revealing the
Palestinian's true feelings is changing. An interview on Israel's Channel 2
with a 14 year-old boy was something seldom ever seen with adults or children.
He had been sent with another boy at night on a suicide mission. Halfway there
he said he stopped and told his companion that he did not want to die. With
tears rolling down his cheeks, he told the interviewer, "I wanted to go back
to my family."
And, amazing as it may seem, his family took part in the interview. The mother
said, "They take our children when they are too young to understand, to decide
if they want to die. Why don't they take the louts hanging around the markets?
My boy is in shock. He can't stop weeping. He doesn't know whether he did
right or wrong. We don't let him out of the house without his father -– in
case he changes his mind again, or they catch him. We are all in shock." She
also told the interviewer she was not alone, that many other mothers in Gaza are
keeping a tight hold on their young sons.
In Jenin, Israeli solders learned to be careful with much younger children as
well. On the walls were large posters of dozens of dead youths; some appeared to
be as young as seven, with the hidden bombs strapped to their bodies.
5. A Christian Palestinian has to be even more guarded,
or should we say more violent in their condemnation of Israel because they are
already considered traitors because they have maintained a foreign religion,
foreign to the Islamic world.
6. Judea-Samaria: At this point in time, it is not in
Israel's best interest to control or to annex the population centers of
Palestinians in the areas the Bible describes as Judea and Samaria. Because
Israel is a democracy, annexation would eventually require citizenship which
would create a Palestinian majority and thus eliminate the Jewish State.
7. Arabs living in Israel have citizenship and elect
representatives to the Knesset. They are a recognized voting block and can have
a strong influence in Israel's general elections.
(Inside Israel Newsletter -– Vol. 22 No. 5 May 2002)
Palestinian guerilla dead -– Suicide?
"Abu Nidal, a Palestinian guerilla leader and foe of
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, has been found dead from gunshot wounds in his
Baghdad residence, senior Palestinian sources said yesterday. The militant
leader, Sabri al Bana, was widely known by his nom de guerre Abu Nidal as the
head of the Fatah Revolutionary Council group that broke with the Palestine
Liberation Organisation in 1974, saying it was too moderate. The sources
confirmed a report saying that Abu Nidal's death was apparently a suicide and
occurred three days ago. He was 65." The Press, 20 August 2002
The Israeli Embassy in NZ is to be closed before the end of
2002. There has been no comment made as to why the office would be closed.