Last photo of little Zissel at the Western Wall, a short time before her murder
Oftentimes what is barely mentioned – if at all – by the world’s media is (or ought to be) as thought-provoking as what the talking heads focus on with undisguised relish.
The fetching face of three-months-old Chaya Zissel Braun, for example, was missing from front pages around the globe and it was never featured on any foreign TV news outlets. She was murdered (as was 22-year-old student Karen Yemima Mosquera) last week by an Arab terrorist who homicidally rammed his vehicle into a crowd of passengers waiting at a light rail stop. But to observers abroad this amounted to dog bites man.
Uninteresting. Been there. Heard that before. Jewish whines. Who cares?
Newsroom groupthink doesn’t only trickle down to conformist reporters on the scene who quickly figure out what the chiefs want to hear and what they shouldn’t be bothered with. The signals from atop the journalistic hierarchy also determine for news-consumers what constitutes news and what does not.
Media linchpins put together the current-events agenda and they shape mass awareness. Perforce they dictate public opinion. What doesn’t pass through their selective filter will forever remain esoteric knowledge – even in these days of social networking on the World Wide Web. Continue reading
A young woman – 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari – was hanged last Saturday from the gallows in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison. Her crime was self-defense. She struck down an attacker as he attempted to rape her when she was still a teenager in 2007.
President Hassan Rouhani, who won election last year on a purportedly liberal reformist platform, failed to intervene and commute the death sentence imposed back in 2009.
If anything, this tragedy underscores the gaping chasm between the regime’s “make-nice” affectations toward the international community and the unchanging face of the harsh ayatollah rule at home.
Jabbari’s sad story exposes Iranian hypocrisy and double-dealing vis-à-vis the West, which could barely contain its alacrity to ease sanctions on Tehran as soon as Rouhani was sworn in. Continue reading
For quite a few hours it was assumed last Wednesday that terrorists had launched the attack from Sinai on IDF troops patrolling, inside Israel, along the border with Egypt. It wasn’t far-fetched conjecture considering that the extremist Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis rushed to claim responsibility. Wounding an Israeli officer and her adjutant was a prestige-booster.
Later, however, it transpired that this was a drug smuggling caper gone wrong. Nonetheless, there is no cause for any sigh of relief here.
The undeniable fact of Sinai’s anarchic reality is that the lines between crime and terrorism are so blurred that they often become altogether indistinguishable. Sinai’s rampaging outlaws dabble in everything indiscriminately. All their diverse illegal pursuits are intrinsically intertwined and mutually beneficial. Continue reading
Medieval manuscript showing Jews burned at the stake in Flanders according to the popular antidote to the Black Death
In all fairness, it’s not just the Obama Administration which is fond of insinuating that somehow Israel is to blame for all that ails the Mideast. This has been the underlying theme of the US State Department since Israel’s birth in 1948.
The variations in the stance vis-à-vis Israel derive from the intensity of antipathy – the subtlety and sophistication of the tone in which it’s expressed. Given its strident hectoring, the Obama Administration is doubtless America’s least-subtle and least-sophisticated ever.
While past presidents and their secretaries of state took greater pains to pretend not to side with glaring Arab anti-Israel falsehoods, such niceties are all but absent from Barack Obama’s and John Kerry’s rhetoric. Anti-Israel idioms and calumnies are repeated by them as an obvious and infallible politically-correct gospel.
And thus Kerry had the colossal gall last week – significantly at a White House ceremony for the Muslim fest of Eid al-Adha – to claim no less that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (i.e. the Jewish state’s struggle for survival) bolsters the mass appeal of Islamic State radicalism.
Hardly knocking Israelis for a loop, the State Department’s spokeswoman later accused us of getting it all wrong. In deadpan delivery she insisted that Kerry “did not make a linkage between Israel and the growth of ISIL [Islamic State]. Period.”
But her boss’s words speak for themselves and belie her assertion. Continue reading