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Two Editorials Fall Short

by Stephen Lendman Monday, Nov. 04, 2013 at 11:42 PM


Two Editorials Fall Short

by Stephen Lendman

It's no surprise. Major media opinion at its best goes so far and no further. Sensitive red lines aren't crossed.

News and information consumers are cheated. What's most important to know isn't reported. Sanitized content substitutes.

Haaretz is Israel's oldest broadsheet. It was founded in 1918. It was the year WW I ended. Britain's Mandate government sponsored it. In 1919, Zionist immigrants took control.

Initially it was called Hadashot Haaretz (News of the Land). Later it became Haaretz (The Land).

In 1937, Salman Schocken bought the paper. In 1939, his son Gershom became editor-in-chief. He remained so until death in 1990.

It's published in Hebrew and English. It's available online. It's content is mixed. It includes responsible journalists like Amira Hass and Gideon Levy.

It gives op-ed space to Alan Dershowitz, ADL's Abe Foxman, and other reprehensible figures. Its editorials go so far and no further.

On November 4, it headlined "Netanyahu's distorted priorities." It was a good start. It sounded promising. It covered important ground.

It stopped short. It didn't go far enough. It excluded some of what Israelis most need to know.

It said "Netanyahu's recent decisions show that he remains determined to perpetuate the distorted realities he followed in his previous term."

His holy "trinity" includes "security, settlements and Heredim." Haaretz explained them as follows:

• maintaining fortress Israel "led by a tier of officers who enjoy growing and bloated financial benefits;

• expanding settlements that "thwart the division of the land;" and

• "cultivat(ing) a Haredi 'society of learners,' whose sons are exempt from military service and employment."

Prioritizing "these sectors comes at the expense of the rest of the public." It's "forced to pay high taxes." In return, it gets "dismal public services."

Fact check

Israel, Britain and America are the most unequal developed countries. Rich elites enjoy disproportionate benefits. Most others are unjustly deprived.

Except for exempt groups like Haredim, military service is mandatory for young men and women. Israeli youths are indoctrinated to be warriors. It begins early in life.

Politics and militarism are wedded. Israel is a modern-day Sparta. Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion established the standard still followed today, saying:

"The whole nation (is) an army and the whole land (is a) front."

Israel's military exerts enormous influence. It recycles its commanders into high government positions.

They become mayors, other local officials, ministers and heads of state. Others serve as business executives or directors.

Military education begins in kindergarten, at home and on streets. Militarism is omnipresent in Israel.

Uniformed soldiers teach in classrooms. School walls are adorned with photos of military heroes.

Curricula, textbooks and other elements of daily life highlight militarism. Children are taught the importance of mobilizing for war.

Israel's only enemies are ones it invents. Throughout its history, Israel lived by the sword. Nations doing it invariably die the same way. Haaretz didn't explain.

It failed to disclose Israeli poverty, homelessness and hunger. It said nothing about settlements built on stolen Palestinian land.

Homes are lawlessly bulldozed. Residents are dispossessed. They're ethnically cleansed. They're left on their own sink or swim.

Kafkaesque control dominates Palestinian life. Millions of long-suffering Palestinians are prisoners in their own land. They're held in bondage. They're virtual hostages.

Over 2,500 military orders cover all aspects of their daily life. They include criminal, civil, political, economic, social, military and security issues. They reflect institutionalized racism.

Palestinians are viciously persecuted. They're exploited. They're denied virtually all rights. Haaretz didn't explain.

"Israel deserves a different agenda, one that will guarantee its future as a democratic and prosperous country," it said.

It includes a "peace agreement with the Palestinians, the integration of its Arab citizens and (responsible) civil investment(s)."

True enough. Much more is needed. Israeli democracy doesn't exist. Elections exclude real choice. Hardliners run things.

Most Jews are denied equal rights. They have no say. Arab citizens are treated like fifth column threats.

They're ruled by the tyranny of the majority. Their few Knesset members are treated like potted plants. They're barely tolerated. They have no say on policy.

Change is "within reach," said Haaretz editors. What's lacking "is just leadership." It "does not exist today in Israel."

Indeed so. Haaretz editors stopped short of explaining why in detail most important for readers to know.

The New York Times isn't America's oldest broadsheet. The New Hampshire Gazette holds that distinction. It's been published since 1756. Times editions began in 1851.

On November 3, Times editors headlined "Congress Can Help Iran," saying:

"It is crucial that Congress work constructively with President Obama as he tries to lead the way in negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran."

"But some lawmakers are so suspicious of Iran and so blindly committed to more sanctions that they could sabotage the best opportunity in years for a peaceful resolution of an issue that has long blocked any fundamental improvement in relations between the two countries while complicating the prospects for stability in the Middle East."

Fact check

Duplicity defines US policy. Iran's been maliciously vilified for decades. November 4 marks the 34th anniversary of Student Day.

It's when Iranians wanting change took over America's embassy in 1979. It was a den of spies.

Documents showed they plotted to overthrow the newly established Islamic republic. Washington's agenda remains unchanged.

It wants all sovereign independent governments toppled. It wants pro-Western puppet regimes replacing them.

Obama and most congressional members are in lockstep. Nuclear talks change nothing. Imposed sanctions are illegal.

They harm ordinary Iranians most. They violate international law doing so. Times editors didn't explain.

They support regime change. They regurgitate lies. They stoke bogus fears. They do so about a nonexistent Iranian threat and need to confront it. They do so in editorials, op-eds and other commentaries.

"Concerns" they raise about Iran's nuclear program don't exist. It's entirely peaceful. It fully complies with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions.

Annual US intelligence assessment say it has no military component. IAEA inspections verify it.

Times editors don't explain. "There are, of course, reasons for doubting Iran and its intentions," they said.

They wrongfully claim "Tehran hid its nuclear program for nearly two decades and has pushed inexorably ahead to develop the expertise and technology necessary to produce a nuclear weapon."

"If negotiations collapse, or Iran proves a faithless partner, fresh penalties can always be imposed later."

Fact check

Iran's nuclear program is the world's most intensively monitored one. Doing so shows it's entirely legitimate.

Punitive sanctions are illegal. They're acts of war. They're crimes against humanity.

Times editors support the worst of imperial US policies. They falsely claim Obama wants rapprochement.

They ignore his hardline agenda. They said nothing about his involvement in imposing sanctions. They're silent about longstanding war plans.

They left unsaid what readers most need to know. It doesn't surprise. It's longstanding Times editorial policy. It bears repeating. With few exceptions, all the news fit to print isn't fit to read.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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