We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

mainstream medias and middle east

by Ahmed arab-jewish-world citizen-human being Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2000 at 8:30 AM

article by Robert Fisk

errorNew Statesman 16 October 2000

Yasser Arafat may be an effete, brutal and despotic leader of the Palestinians, but the western media should remember that we created him.
By Robert Fisk

We always love Arab leaders who know how to keep control. King Abdullah of Jordan - the present King Abdullah's great-grandfather - was described by the first British senior official in Transjordan as "lovable, considerate and generous". His grandson King Hussein, ruthlessly suppressing the PLO's Black September revolt, became the "PLK" - the "plucky little king", a sobriquet that Hussein once told me he appreciated. We supported Nasser, before he nationalised the Suez Canal. We much preferred the military-minded Colonel Gaddafi to King Idriss, until he threw the RAF out of Wheelus Field.
We positively adored Saddam Hussein.

"I welcome you as my personal friend," the then prime minister Jacques Chirac told Saddam at Orly Airport in 1975, when he arrived in France on an arms-buying spree.
"I assure you of my esteem, my consideration, and my affection."

When Saddam invaded our enemy Iran five years later, the Pentagon and the CIA furnished him with photo-reconnaissance pictures - in 1996, I met the German arms-dealer who took
them from Virginia to Baghdad - but when Saddam invaded our friend Kuwait in 1990, he became the Beast of Baghdad. "Our" dictators must do as they are told.

We also like to control the abilities of Arab leaders, in both war and peace. "It is true that I made you lose the war," Henry Kissinger told President Sadat after Ariel Sharon's Israeli forces had crossed the Canal into Egypt in 1973. "But, Mr President, be assured that I'll make you win the peace."

We stayed faithful to Sadat - until he was killed by one of the Islamists he was supposedly controlling - and then we stuck by his successor, Hosni Mubarak, when he "controlled" the Islamist uprising in Egypt by torturing prisoners and hanging them after being sentenced to death in military courts. Even after Mubarak's enemies had slaughtered a group of tourists in Luxor, Britons among them, the Foreign Office was still cheerfully telling us that holidays were more or less safe in Egypt.

It is in this historical context that we should see the shameful events of the past few weeks.
Yasser Arafat, blamed by President Clinton for not making enough "compromises" at Camp David - for which read capitulations - was accused by the Israelis of fomenting the
very riots in which his people were dying.

"Arafat can control his people if he wants," the Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak's press spokesman announced.

Can Arafat really control the Palestinians? Can he control the violence? Did he encourage his people to violence? Within three days of the start of the bloodbath - a tragedy clearly provoked by the right-wing Ariel Sharon's visit to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount - radio interviewers were parroting the same questions down the line to me in Beirut.

"Do you think, Bob, that Arafat can really control the streets?" a reporter asked me from BBC Radio Wales.

It was a bit like being interviewed by Israeli radio. Israel had set the news agenda - just as it was to do later by announcing a "deadline" to end the "peace process" - and journalists dutifully picked up the colonial line. Control, control, control. Like that old racist curse "terrorist" - used about Arabs but never about Israelis - "control" became the buzzword for our coverage of the savagery in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

And note how swiftly Arafat was called to account. He had failed, in his role of local dictator, to be a friend of the west, to make peace with Israel - albeit a "peace" that most Palestinians now seem to regard as unjust, humiliating and dishonest - and to control "his" people.

In 1993, he was turned from super- terrorist into super-statesman by CNN in just 24 hours; I shall always relish the satellite chain's fawning interview with Arafat's new wife on the day he flew to Washington, the reverential photographs of the young "freedom-fighter", his new title of "Chairman" - as if the leader of the Long March was about to shake hands with Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn.

Since being given the garbage tips of Gaza, the Bantustan of the West Bank and his tin-pot airport to run, the leader of the "Palestinian Authority" was supposed to curb all outward signs of anti-Americanism, anti-Israeli anger or opposition to the misnamed "peace process". Anyone who suggested that Arafat was a dictator was locked up. Anyone who resisted Arafat's rule by protesting in the streets was beaten up by Arafat's CIA-trained "policemen" and often tortured in prison. Sometimes, indeed, tortured to death. So what was this loyal Arab leader doing when "his" people were throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and policemen?

The BBC's coverage of the killings in the Occupied Territories - or "what you call the occupied territories", as their UN correspondent snottily corrected the Palestinian Authority's man at the UN - was a lesson in colonial reporting. Repeatedly, we were told that Palestinian "policemen" - they themselves did not qualify as "security forces" in BBC parlance - were shooting at "Israeli security forces".

The BBC reporter told us on the World Service on the morning of Friday 6 October that "the Palestinians now have two extra days to stop the violence". In other words, the reporters had accepted Israel's claim that the Palestinians - and therefore Arafat - were "behind" the violence.

Had I not witnessed the same inverted logic in action during Israel's 22-year occupation of part of Lebanon, I would not have believed my ears. It's not that we reporters should be romantic about the corrupt, effete, nepotistic, brutal rule of Yasser Arafat. Nor sentimental about the cruel men of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

But a Palestinian policeman's first job - as is true of any policeman anywhere - is surely to protect his people. And when Israeli "security forces" were using automatic rifles and helicopter-fired missiles against rioters, it is not very surprising, surely, that Arafat's men started shooting back. After all, they didn't open fire on the first day of the rioting, when the Israelis had the killing-fields to themselves.

But, no, the Palestinian Authority was not exercising the authority invested in it by the Israelis and the United States to protect Israel, and to abide by the ever more humiliating clauses of a "peace" that will give the Palestinians neither a viable state, nor an end to Jewish settlements on occupied land, nor a capital in Arab East Jerusalem. No wonder the Israelis complained. Listening to some of their spokesmen last week - complaining about the inability of their serving soldiers to enjoy the peace of Yom Kippur at home - you would think it was the Israelis who were occupied by the Palestinians.

And so we come to the famous "deadline". Barak, the BBC informed us, had given the Palestinians until the night of 9 October to "control" the violence or the "peace process" was at an end. On air, I repeatedly questioned this so-called "ultimatum". The Israelis were always making such threats in Lebanon, and either backing down by delaying them
indefinitely or blasting their way into another self-inflicted catastrophe.

My own guess was that the Israelis thought that Arafat - true to form - would back down at the last moment and announce that, alas, he could "control" the violence and would now bring it to an end. And I rather suspect that Barak's six-hour cabinet meeting was spent vainly waiting for Arafat to crumble. But he did not - and the Israelis did what they so often did in Lebanon: they simply abandoned the deadline. On the BBC, Israel "bowed to intense international pressure".

So could Arafat have "controlled" his people? Yes, if he had been offered a decent peace, something that really answered the aspirations of a people who want a state - a real state, not an American-Israeli subject nation.

But the real question was not asked. Why couldn't Barak control the Israeli "security forces" who shot and killed more than 100 Palestinians, including children as young as nine, who fired missiles into a Palestinian apartment block and who then - according to an uncritical BBC reporter - threatened to use machine-guns? Couldn't Barak control the Israelis who - just like their Palestinian neighbours - went on an ethnic burning campaign in Nazareth?

The question remained unspoken. For Israel's role as a "peacemaker" cannot be questioned, its rule in the still-occupied territories has no need of any critical analysis, except in the mild "excessive force" language of the United Nations. Arafat's role is colonial. To do as he is told. And to keep control.

Robert Fisk is Middle East correspondent of the Independent
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
intifada keli Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2000 at 9:04 AM

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

911 : establishment terror J22 11:18PM

Actor Patrick Kilpatrick Discusses and Signs his New Book Dying for Living J22 10:42PM

The Attack of Corporations and the Rich on the Rest of Society J22 2:36PM

bataclown J22 12:32PM

bataclone J21 8:08PM

VAN ATTACK HOAX J21 7:35PM

Mobile Royale Hack Online Generator - Get Unlimited Crystals J21 3:03PM

Unification, séparation et fragmentation J21 2:48PM

Testing Upload J21 7:10AM

FARCELONA.2 J20 7:18PM

FAKE NEWS POR SOROS J20 6:11PM

Chemtrails and Prince J20 2:43PM

Wages For Housework J20 2:41PM

Tutelle comportementaliste J20 9:18AM

A Mistake: Jesse Jackson-Toyota deal-in Lexington -Ky is .8 billion over 10 years 2018 J20 1:17AM

If Trump Declares a AantionalEmergency, He'll Be Breaking the Law J20 12:47AM

Jesse Jackson's Sneak Attck on Toyota Lexington Ky and it's workers 2018 J19 9:12PM

Video: Chris Herdges in Eugene, 1 hr 24 min J19 5:37PM

FAKE NEWS J19 2:31PM

MACROTHSCHILD.2 J19 11:03AM

Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM

BATACLOWNS J18 9:28AM

FALSAS VICTIMAS J18 9:22AM

Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM

MACROTHSCHILD J17 9:38PM

FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM

DEAD MAN LIVING J17 10:46AM

DIARY OF A CON MAN J16 10:40PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy