Target Israel. CNN Strikes Again

June 12, 2005. Updated June 4 , 2006

Maybe I dozed a few minutes shortly after idling through CNN’s 3 p.m. news program (Israel time, 8 June 2005) when I suddenly found myself watching a feature on Israel’s “separation wall”. I was puzzled for a brief moment trying to connect the clip to a terrorist incident. But there was none, CNN was merely filling air time with another Israel smear.

CNN has undoubtedly already featured more than a handful of similar clips in the recent past. A scorpion’s gotta do what a scorpion’s gotta do. So viewers were treated to yet another unfair, unbalanced feature on Israel’s oppressive behavior to the noble Arabs. Only the sting was not in the tail – it was all over the place.

The Noble Farmer And His Faraway Land

There was this sad farmer at the fence pointing to his agricultural holding across the way. Before Israel had intruded its anti-terrorist barrier into his life it had only taken 5 minutes to get to his land. Now he was forced to a crossing point where he was checked and searched. So it took him all of 45 minutes to get to his land. CNN wanted the world to see what terrible people these cruel Israelis occupiers are.

What CNN knew very well, and had deliberately omitted to tell its audience, was that Israel’s anti-terrorist barrier was already playing a significant role in preventing Arab suicide bombers crossing over to Israel to kill scores of our women, children and men. And to maim, wound and disfigure hundreds more, reducing many to helpless cripples for life.

CNN’s interviewer left no doubt where her sympathies lay. “Land grab” and “occupied lands” – the Palestinian Terrorist Authority’s mandatory mantras were severely intoned. She felt it necessary to assure viewers that Israel had no intention to alter the barrier’s route at some future time. Even though the route had already been changed in several places by Supreme Court decree. And even though Israel has indicated that the route could be changed by mutual agreement in a future peace settlement.

CNN Emasculates Israel’s Spokesperson

CNN’s interviewer had contacted Gideon Meir, a senior Israeli spokesperson, for the Israeli point of view. I then realized from his very brief screen appearances that in fact this was not a live report but an edited version. There can be no doubt that Meir got a raw deal. He may well have made a good defense of Israel’s anti-terrorist barrier but none was aired.

Although Meir has excellent PR credentials he appeared inarticulate and ineffective. He had been emasculated. Henry Kissinger’s guiding principle is worth recalling. He was willing to be interviewed on live TV, but would never participate in (say) 60 Minute invitations, because it permitted the editors to cut and paste, and tell their story, not necessarily his.

Missing Transcript

Unfortunately, I had not noted the name of the interviewer nor the title of this upsetting program. I thought I would easily locate a video clip or transcript based on time of day but my intensive search came to naught. It’s possible CNN withdrew the item from its website and cancelled further repetitions of the report following complaints.

Unashamed, Deliberate, Inexcusable.

CNN’s bias in this particular feature is shown in two ways. Firstly in what the editors show to make their case; secondly how they prevent the Israeli side from making their’s. Additionally, the context of the anti-terrorist barrier is completely omitted, giving the impression that having nothing better to do, Israel started building an unbelievable costly anti-terrorist barrier – to worsen its economic situation – and to make Palestinians more miserable.

Such inconvenience as they might indeed suffer at checkpoints is the direct result of their terrorist intifada. No intifada no inconvenience. Cause and effect could not be simpler. Did they expect the ‘never again’ nation to lie down and die . . . quietly?

CNN’s interviewer and editors knew full well that Israel was compelled to build a costly anti-terrorist barrier as an effective, non-lethal method to reduce if not eliminate Palestinian suicide terrorists from their killing and maiming spree. CNN’s omission of this context was deliberate, inexcusable and immensely harmful to Israel.

Portable

CNN allowed its interviewer to opine that the wall is permanent. However, it was designed and built in small sections and transported to site on multi-wheeled trucks. Cranes moved the sections into place. The sections are not concreted together, they’re inherently portable.

CNN is also complicit in airing the false impression that 97 percent of the construction is wall and only 3 percent is fence. Of course the very opposite is true. But CNN carefully omits showing the fence – so how are viewers to know any better?

Monumental Achievement

CNN was undoubtedly aware that the anti-terrorist barrier had virtually eliminated the suicide terrorists from carrying out their deadly work. If CNN was not inherently anti-Israel it would at least have paid some lip service to this monumental achievement.

Conventional wisdom had been unanimous in the days before the barrier that it was not possible to stop individual suicide terrorists from keeping a date with their 72 black eyed virgins. All the murderers had to do to qualify for eternal sexual satisfaction was to shed Jewish blood. The more copious the more successful.

Un-newsworthy News Feature

Jewish loss of life and limb and its prevention is trivial in CNN’s view when juxtaposed against the enormity of Israel’s “crime” causing the noble Arab farmer to take 45 minutes to get to his land only 5 minutes away. Ah yes, the cruel fence! Ah yes, those cruel, cruel Israelis!

That CNN would choose to press this farmer’s case and turn a strictly non news item into a pretentious international feature is nothing short of amazing. Only extreme bias embedded in the collective soul of their news department could possibly have made this happen.

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