what's left

Ignoring the Untermensch

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By Stephen Gowans

There are many ways in which the press is biased. One way is that it tends to be chauvinist. On foreign affairs, the press of the United States consistently reflects the view of the US State Department, while the Chinese press reflects the perspective of the Chinese state, the Russian press the point of view of the Russian state, and so on. Since the major press in each country is invariably owned by the class that holds state power, this is inevitable.

A national press also reflects the viewpoint of its government’s key foreign allies.

In the US press, for example, Israeli positions tend to dominate coverage of affairs in former mandate Palestine, consistent with Israel’s status as an instrument of US Mideast foreign policy. US news stories tend to be written from the perspective of Israelis, with Palestinian viewpoints largely ignored.

A blatant example of this is provided by a November 15 New York Times story reported by Ethan Bronner (whose son, at least as of earlier this year, was a solider in the Israeli armed forces) and Mark Landler (A 90-Day Bet on Mideast Talks).

Bronner and Landler write that: ”The West Bank, although inhabited by millions of Palestinians, is the heartland of much ancient Jewish history, so for many Israelis, giving it up is a painful prospect…”

What the New York Times reporters neglect to mention is that for millions of Palestinians who live in the West Bank, the prospect of being driven from their homes by the steady expansion of illegal Jewish settlements is surely a good deal more painful. And yet it is the Zionists’ metaphorical pain of failing to consolidate their goal of ethnically cleansing all of mandate Palestine that figures in Bronner’s and Landler’s reporting and not the very real Palestinian pain of being ethnically cleansed.

It’s as if denied conquest of all of Europe, reporters had written that for many Nazis, giving up the dream of Lebensraum was a painful prospect, saying not a word about the devastation wrought by the Nazi’s Lebensraum policy.

The US media accord Arab Palestinians as much importance as the Nazis accorded their Untermenschen, the Slavs. Arab Palestinians—who have consistently been denied the right of self-determination by great powers—have long been treated as Untermensch, whose lives and rights matter not a fig, and whose lives and rights these days are subordinate to the interests of US foreign policy, and inasmuch as US foreign policy depends on a Western imperialist presence in the Middle East, are in turn subordinate to the interests of Zionist Jews. Accordingly, in the US newspaper of record, the metaphorical pain of Israeli religious fanatics matters; the real-life pain of Palestinians merits not even a passing mention.

Written by what's left

November 15, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Posted in Israel, Media, Palestine

3 Responses

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  1. I read the Bronner and Landler article yesterday and had to check it over a couple times to make sure I read it correctly. Even for the NY Times, this level of chauvinism struck me as exceptionally idiotic.

    You left out the complete quote from Bronner and Landler which ends with ” …and should come only as part of a comprehensive deal including Palestinian recognition of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.”

    Do Bronner and Landler also want the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Canaanite and Philistine peoples? They were there first after all. I’m also no World War II historian, but I don’t think the Allied leaders ever worried much about the Nazis self-esteem and recognized Central Europe as “the homeland of the Germanic people” as they kicked them out of their respective countries.

    Jason

    November 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    • When it came to countries like Nazi Germany, I really don’t think countries like the US really cared if Nazi Germany was to continue in how it was. In fact, if Operation Valkyrie would’ve succeeded, we would’ve witnessed a Nazi-Germany/US peace pact initiated, and would’ve been used to dismantle the Soviet Union.

      That was the initial end conclusion for Operation Valkyrie if it was to succeed, to oust the SS, assassinate Hitler, and bring about a new Nazi leadership that had the sympathies from the US, and discontent against those of the Soviet Union.

      BJ Murphy

      November 17, 2010 at 6:19 am

  2. I agree with your statement. Truman’s statement “”If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible…” was obviously quite reflective of the West’s desired destruction of the Soviet Union during WWII.

    My point was that calling for the Palestinians to recognize the land occupied by their oppressors (Israel) as somehow innately Jewish in nature is both historically unprecedented and outright ridiculous, but this does not stop Israel, the United States, and Europe from demanding it regularly as part of de-legitimatizing any Palestinian claims to the right of return or reparations and further subjugating them to Israeli superiority in the region.

    Jason

    November 17, 2010 at 9:30 pm


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