Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2001 11:42:58 -0500
From: Mark Rosenblit
In an effort to be “evenhanded”, the mainstream media, within the past year, has decided that wherever the “Temple Mount” shall go, “al-Haram al-Sharif” or, at least, the “Noble Sanctuary” shall follow. In today's edition of the Courant some enterprising writer decided to save some ink and simply referred to the “Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary”. The claimed rationale for this new grammatical rule is that since the “Temple Mount” is the Jewish name for this holy site -- which thereby evokes memories of the two Jewish Temples which, in seriatim, once stood there -- it is only fair to mention, as well, the Arabic-language name (“al-Haram al-Sharif”) for this place or, at least, its English-language translation (“Noble Sanctuary”), neither of which evokes such Judaic memories.
However, the problem with this rationale is that it is based upon a false premise, namely, that the designation “Temple Mount” is Jewish nomenclature. It is not!
Every language has its own name for something, and the “Temple Mount” is simply the English-language name for this very special place. The fact that the English language acknowledges the Jewish connection to this place is a reflection of the fact that this place was called, in the English language, the “Temple Mount” long before the Islamic Arab Empire’s invasion and subjugation of the Land of Israel (including Jerusalem and its Temple Mount) in the 7th Century, and consequently even longer before the subsequent erection atop the Temple Mount of “al-Aksa Mosque” (which was built upon the ruins of the “Church of Our Lady”, which was erected by Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th Century).
By inventing alternative names for the Temple Mount, the media is not being even-handed at all. Rather, it is torturing the English language in the service of those who seek to erase from Humanity's historical memory the eternal Jewish bond which the name “Temple Mount” evokes.
Finally, there is, indeed, a Jewish name for the Temple Mount. It is the Hebrew-language designation “Har HaBayit” which translates into the English language as “Mountain of the House [of God]”. I await, in vain, the day when the “even-handed” media employs this Hebrew-language name or its English-language translation in order to balance its ubiquitous use of “al-Haram al-Sharif” and “Noble Sanctuary”.
© Mark Rosenblit
Note: The foregoing is an example of that which I label “structural” bias against Israel as compared with that which I label “transactional” bias against Israel.
Transactional bias occurs when the details of a news story -- which (unlike an opinion essay) is supposed to be a factually accurate depiction of the events and circumstances described -- fail to convey the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth thereof, and, instead, manufacture lies and/or half-truths and/or distortions of truth in the service of advocacy. In the case of reportage concerning Israel, this happens because a reporter's bias against Israel induces him to insert into his news account some assertions which are outright fabrications (e.g., the assertions that, during its March 2002 military operation in Jenin, Israel's military forces perpetrated a massacre of 800 “Palestinian” Arab civilians and buried the victims in mass graves which are now conveniently hidden from detection under demolished buildings, destroyed an entire wing of Jenin's hospital, cut off electricity to that hospital, and prevented Arab ambulances from transporting the injured to that hospital -- each one of these published assertions was an outright LIE, because there was neither a massacre of noncombatants nor damage to, nor disruption of services provided to or by, Jenin's hospital) and/or some assertions which, while facially true, omit necessary contextual information (e.g., the assertion that “Palestinian” Arabs have been barred by a series of Israeli military checkpoints from traveling freely throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza or from freely entering pre-1967 Israel -- this published assertion was a HALF-TRUTH because, while it was indeed true, it omitted the contextual information that Israel effected these restrictive measures only after a series of “Palestinian” Arab terror attacks, launched from these very areas, killed hundreds and maimed thousands of Israelis, and that such measures have, in fact, succeeded in substantially reducing both the number and severity of such terror attacks) and/or some assertions which are a mixture of truth and fabrication (e.g., an assertion that, after the celebrants at a bat mitzvah in Hadera were massacred by “Palestinian” Arab terrorists in January 2002, Israel bombed the headquarters of the broadcasting system of the Palestinian Authority because it objected to the fact that P.A. radio and television had voiced opposition to Israel's presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza -- this published assertion was a DISTORTION OF TRUTH, because, while the portion of this published assertion that reported the bombing of the P.A. media headquarters and its connection to the Hadera massacre was indeed true, the portion thereof that attributed Israel's choice of target to mere pique over unfavorable reportage was false; for, official P.A. television and radio have habitually and relentlessly utilized their monopoly of the airwaves to incite hatred against Jews and to provide religious justification for their annihilation, thereby rendering themselves legitimate military targets).
Structural bias occurs when the news story's commonly-accepted nomenclature is itself the source of bias -- and this may occur even if the news story contains no transactional bias. In a way, structural bias is even more insidious than transactional bias, because while transactional bias may distort the truth of a particular event being recounted in a particular news article, structural bias, by utilizing commonly-accepted nomenclature to falsify or obscure historical truth, conceals itself in the background of the news story and thereby creates the distorted lens through which the reader begins to view every news article concerning Israel. The attempt to render “al-Haram al-Sharif” and the “Noble Sanctuary” as commonly-accepted and favored alternative designations for the “Temple Mount” is hardly an isolated example of the media's use of fraudulent nomenclature to express its structural bias against Israel disguised as neutral reportage. For instance, the media universally refers to Judea and Samaria only as the “West Bank”, despite the fact that Judea and Samaria are the correct English-language historical designations for those geographic portions of the Land of Israel, and despite the fact that these English-language historical designations were recognized and utilized by the international community as late as November 1947 (via the border delimitation reference thereto in United Nations General Assembly Resolution no. 181 II, commonly known as the “Palestine Partition Plan”, in Part II thereof, entitled “Boundaries”, at Section A thereof, entitled “The Arab State”). However, when Transjordan (precursor to Jordan), illegally seized Judea and Samaria (and the eastern portion of Jerusalem) during its 1948 invasion of Israel, the media universally began treating Judea and Samaria as if they were inseparable and permanent parts of Jordan, rather than Jewish territories temporarily under Arab military occupation. Only after Israel's reclamation of these lands in 1967 (during its repulsion of an attempt by Syria, Jordan and Egypt to invade and annihilate the Jewish State) did the mainstream media (as well as the nations of the World) suddenly recognize (or remember) their geo-political distinctness -- but only as the “West Bank”. This raises an important question: Why did an administrative designation used by an illegal Occupier for 19 short years (from 1948 to 1967) achieve international precedence over the internationally-recognized designation used for approximately 2,700 years before the Jordanian Occupation? The reason for the mainstream media's (and the World’s) post-1967 boycott of the designations “Judea” and “Samaria” is obvious. Like the designation “Temple Mount”, the designations “Judea” and “Samaria” are simply too evocative of the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel, and consequently these historically-correct designations have been jettisoned in favor of the de-Judaized historically-nonexistent designation “West Bank”. Unsurprisingly, the media has not seen fit to rename the historically-correct designation “Gaza” precisely because this name already sounds non-Jewish -- at least in the English language. However, the English-language name “Gaza” is derived from the Hebrew-language word “aza” (meaning: “strong [city]”), which is the name given by the Hebrew Bible to this ancient city.
A unique dilemma for the media -- and another example of structural bias
Firstly, while every city in the World is necessarily comprised of its
geographic portions, such geographic portions are not treated by the
media as if they constitute different cities -- except when the city in
Secondly, the eastern portion of Jerusalem is neither “predominantly” nor “traditionally” Arab. Since only a slight majority of the eastern portion of Jerusalem consists of Arabs, the media promotes a demographic lie when it refers thereto as “predominantly Arab”. Moreover, since, for almost a century immediately prior to the illegal occupation of Jerusalem's eastern neighborhoods by Jordan, as well as for the 10 centuries immediately prior to the Roman Empire's sacking of Jerusalem, Jews were the majority population thereof, the media also promotes a historical lie when, due to the brief Jordanian occupation thereof, it refers to the eastern portion of Jerusalem as “traditionally Arab”. If not for the media's interminable structural bias against the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel, the fact that Jordan -- through massacre and expulsion -- had rendered the eastern portion of Jerusalem completely Judenrein (cleansed of Jews) for a brief 19-year period more than a half century ago would never have been deemed sufficient to justify referring to the eastern portion of Jerusalem as anything other than “traditionally Jewish”.
Moreover, for years, the media has even utilized its news articles' datelines
as instruments of structural bias against
Note: Perhaps because the mainstream media prefers a more subtle approach to its brazen balancing of the faux designations “al-Haram al-Sharif” and “Noble Sanctuary” against the normative designation “Temple Mount” with respect to each and every news article in which that Jewish holy site is mentioned, the mainstream media has gradually phased out altogether its employment of the designation “Temple Mount” (as well its favored anti-Judaic alternatives). Instead, for the most part, the media now speaks only of a Muslim holy site known as “al-Aksa Mosque Compound”. -- Mark Rosenblit
Note: The legitimization of the designation “al-Aksa Mosque Compound” in lieu of the designation “Temple Mount” has finally reached even the United States Government. Note the second paragraph in the recent travel advisory for Jerusalem posted on the U.S. Department of State’s Jerusalem Consulate website at http://jerusalem.usconsulate.gov/wm_10022009.html -- Mark Rosenblit
2009 Warden Messages
The final two of the local autumn holidays, Sukkot and Simhat Torah, will be celebrated this weekend and next.
October 2, 2009
The final two of the local autumn holidays, Sukkot and Simhat Torah, will be celebrated this weekend and next. American citizens should avoid the Old City for one week from sundown Friday, October 2nd, through sundown on Friday, October 9th, 2009. Vehicle traffic in and around the Old City will be restricted by the Israeli National Police (INP).
Although it is a good idea to avoid the Old City for the entire week, Monday, October 5th, is expected to draw the largest crowds due to the annual pilgrimage by Jewish worshipers who will assemble at the Western Wall for special prayers. Additionally, political and religious tensions are expected to be high in the areas immediately adjacent to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound throughout this period. A large police presence in the area may provoke spontaneous violence in the form of civil unrest and police actions.
Finally, the crowded environment could result in an uptick in criminal activity to include pickpockets, physical assaults and other crimes. American citizens should avoid crowds and walking or driving around the Old City. Carry a mobile phone and stay cognizant of your surroundings.
For the latest security information, Americans should regularly monitor the Department's web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, including the Travel Warning for Israel, West Bank and Gaza, and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays.)
Americans in Jerusalem are strongly encouraged to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. U.S. citizens who require emergency services may telephone the Consulate General in Jerusalem at (972) (2) 622-7250.
(Emphasis supplied by Mark Rosenblit)
Note: The below article demonstrates another facet of media bias against Israel, namely, its obsessive focus on negative -- even if accurately reported -- events occurring in Israel. Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit
Targeting another country, for a change
By MANFRED GERSTENFELD
(Jerusalem Post, June 5, 2007) Many foreign correspondents apply a variety of techniques to express bias against
Reversing this method illustrates how it works, and to do this most effectively one should apply it to a country with a good reputation. The
AN ARTICLE on a week of developments concerning the
In mid-May, charges resurfaced that Dutch soldiers had used torture in
Other news on the Dutch military: On May 16, nine Dutch soldiers were arrested in the town of
A few days later the UN Commission Against Torture expressed its worry regarding Dutch asylum policy. Due to accelerated procedures, asylum seekers do not get enough time to plead their case, creating the possibility that refugees will be sent back to countries where they might be tortured. This goes against a 1985 convention signed by the
On the same day, Dutch papers wrote about the State Department's International Narcotics Strategy Report, which stated that the
A few days earlier, Jan Kees de Jager, deputy minister of Finance, was accused of having broken a broad range of labor laws in his previous position as director of his own software company.
On May 18, a
When the judgment became known, Rutte said that were he deputy minister now, he would send the same letter. He added that if the judge thought this discriminatory, the law would have to be changed to make it legal. Rutte said one sometimes has to target perpetrators of fraud. Targeting is now more common in The Netherlands. A few days earlier, the government announced that it would provide five million euros to the four largest Dutch municipalities specifically to fight crime in the Moroccan community.
Geert Wilders, the heavily guarded leader of the conservative Freedom Party whose life is regularly threatened by Dutch Muslims, filed another complaint with the authorities. Among his latest hate mail was a threat from somebody calling himself “Mohammed B. II.' which said he would be killed, his throat cut in the same way filmmaker Theo van Gogh was slaughtered by religious Muslim Mohammed Bouyeri in 2004.
It isn't only politicians who are insecure in the
ALMOST ANY WEEK would yield a similar collection of negative facts in a country which is far from facing
But anti-Israel correspondents get a great deal of media space. This phenomenon has its roots in the two-milennia-old incitement against Jews in the Western world.
The writer is chairman of the Board of Fellows of the
Note: In June 2006, a team comprised of Hamas, Fatah and Popular Resistance Committees members tunneled under the security fence surrounding Gaza, in the process murdering two Israeli soldiers and kidnapping Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Since that time, Shalit has been held incommunicado in Gaza. In October 2011, Israel agreed to release over 1,000 imprisoned Arab terrorists belonging to these three groups in exchange for Shalit. In at least one instance, a major news service reported a significant half-truth instead of the whole truth. Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit
From: Mark Rosenblit
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 11:38 AM
Subject: Sloppy reporting
In “Joy, sting in prisoner swap”, the 10-19-11 Tribune Newspapers story detailing the aftermath of Israel’s release of 1,027 convicted terrorists in exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, the Tribune Newspapers reporter omitted the context for, and a material caveat in, Schalit’s response to a loaded question from Egyptian state television.
First, the context: Schalit had just arrived in Egypt from 5 years of captivity in Hamas-controlled Gaza. He and his Hamas escort were immediately brought to the television studio. No family members or Israeli government representatives were informed in advance about the interview; nor were they present. Instead, his Hamas minder was at his side. As far as Schalit knew, his return to Israel was dependent upon his answers to the Arab interviewer’s questions.
the loaded question: “Gilad, you know what it’s like to be in captivity. There
are more than 4,000 Palestinians still languishing in Israeli jails. Will you
help campaign for their release?” The
subtext of the question is that Israel has imprisoned thousands of innocents
for no apparent reason, and that Schalit ought not only to empathize with them
but to demand their unconditional release as well.
Third, the Tribune Newspapers’ paraphrase of Schalit’s response (which was given in Hebrew): “Schalit said he would be happy to see them reunited with their families”. By his reported response, Schalit appears to have agreed with the interviewer’s disingenuous portrayal of the Arab terrorists still imprisoned in Israel.
Fourth, Schalit’s actual response (which was given in Hebew), including his caveat: “I would be very happy if they were released -- provided they don’t return to fighting Israel.” The caveat, which shed a different light on the imprisoned Arab terrorists than that intended by Egyptian Television, was not translated by Egyptian Television from Hebrew into Arabic. Apparently, the Tribune Newspapers reporter missed it as well.
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