Thursday, December 14, 2006

Carter: Israel apologists stifle media

Is there a not-so-hidden hand stifling debate in America on matters concerning Israel? Has the Israeli-Palestinian situation degenerated into an apartheid system?

Jimmy Carter makes these charges in a newspaper commentary and in his latest best-seller, "Peace Not Apartheid," which has ignited an angry outcry from a number of Jewish groups.

In Friday's Los Angeles Times, Carter wrote these words:

"The many controversies concerning the Palestinians and the path to peace for Israel are intensely debated in Israel and throughout other nations -- but not in the United States. For the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee and the absence of any contrary voices."

The former president added that Congress cowers before the Israeli lobby and that news managers are overriding their own Middle East correspondents.

He said most critical rerviews of his book come from armchair Israelophiles who wouldn't deign to set foot in the disputed areas.

The hero of the Camp David peace accords is being reviled as a dangerous anti-semite, especially with respect to his characterization of the current state of Palestinian-Israeli affairs as a system of ethnic segregation similar to the old days in Dixie or to South Africa under all-white rule.

The former president's criticism implicitly covers many subjects that have been made taboo, such as the marginalization or ruin of news professionals who favor objectivity and even-handedness on Israel.

Also, the political timing indicates that the "war on terror" no longer chokes off all criticism of Israel and what Carter terms its abuses of human rights.

Today's New York Times story on the controversy appeared in the Arts section. ??

Israelis cite blog blocks
The blog and website of a provocative, right-leaning Israeli politician is under continual brownouts and blackouts by net servers, according to an email I received from a related site a couple of days ago (today is Dec. 18, 2006).

The email requested that, as a means of countering net censorship, I mention the site's name, which is http://www.samsonblinded.com/blog

The fact that the politician is Israeli does not mean his messages are not being supervised by those who are promoting a particular Israeli agenda, as delimited by AIPAC.

I of course am not promoting that site's viewpoint.

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