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It becomes more apparent that with each passing year, the Arab-Israeli conflict gets a new facelift in the media headlines. Many notable news sources demonize Israel in the most “objective” manner possible, concentrating always on angles irrelevant to the real conflict. When foreign journalists come to Israel with their notebooks, pens, and preconceived notions, there is very little chance that their audience back home will have the opportunity to understand the conflict in an unbiased way. An overabundance of misinformation places Israel and her citizens into a very vulnerable position.
On the day that the settlement freeze expired, CNN featured the following headline in big bold lettering on its news site: “Palestinians: We fear Violent Israeli Settlers.” The article focused on one Palestinian family, using them as the only example to support the story’s sensational title. What the article did not point out was that that for many Palestinians, settlement construction is a major part of their livelihood and that many are currently out of work due to the freeze. Even more sadly, stories highlighting friendly relations that do exist between Israeli settlers and Palestinians rarely appear in Western media. The first West Bank team in Israel’s amateur American football league, which includes Israeli settlers and Palestinians, has largely been ignored by most mainstream news outlets, including CNN.
This sort of misrepresentation of the conflict is further strengthened with such articles, as “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace,” published in Times on September 2. The author, Karl Vicks, writes that “the truth is that Israelis are no longer preoccupied [with peace],” rather, they are busy “making money and enjoying the rays of late summer.” Photos of Israelis smoking hookah on the Ashdod beach appear alongside the article. Vicks bases his argument primarily on two Israeli real-estate agents, Eli and Heli from Ashdod, whose viewpoints he uses to represent the opinions of close to six million other Israeli Jews.
But media networks aren’t the only ones assigning wrongful and misdirected blame as to who is at fault for Mideast tensions; government officials are also echoing their sentiments. Former US President Bill Clinton recently seized the opportunity to also assign blame to Israelis, but to a more specific sector– the Russian immigrant population in Israel. Clinton recently told US press that Israeli Russians “are the hardest-core people against the division of the land,” and “present a staggering problem” to peace.
In truth, the staggering problems facing the Middle East peace process have nothing to do with Israeli Russians, nor with the settler community.
The obstacles have all to do with the rising nuclear power of Iran and the republic’s fervent financial and military support of terrorist organizations in Gaza and Lebanon as well as in other areas across the world.
Without the financial support of Iran, Hamas’s network could not exist and would not be able to keep Gaza under its hold. With a $540 million budget for 2010, of which Iran provides the largest share, Hamas’s connection with Ahmadinejad’s government is rooted not only in money but in guns as well.
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