qrcode

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Iran Disinformation in re Israel

I watched a BBC show "Endgame" last night about how the fall of apartheid came about and I was interested in learning more so I "prayed" through the good offices of Google to "God" (the Internet) and hit upon the idea of checking out the CIA World Factbook, an excellent source for basic information. This search collected the link associated with the title of this blog. According to the report, which makes a prima facie case for the demise of Israel within 20 years with the Jews in Israel emigrating to the US, Russia, and Europe.

This "report" noted (my words) that seismic shifts such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the deconstruction of the Soviet Union, and the fall of Apartheid can happen with surprising speed. This is true. The problem is that the report is a phony. The origin of this story comes from an Iranian web site. Read the changing headlines at the top of the page and you will see that it has an Iranian bias -- that is, a bias toward stories concerning Iran and its enemies.

I have long wondered why Iran hates Israel so much. There has never been direct Iranian-Israeli hostilities; Iran's borders don't touch Israel's; Iran is not an Arab country; Iran is Shia while most of the Arabs that Israel has engaged in military conflicts with are Sunni; Israel actually cooperated with Iran when it sold them arms in the notorious Iran-Contra affair; and etc. So, why?

The reason, according to an interesting blog, The JC.com, is that Israel is a Western country which presents the same threats to any fundamentalist Muslim society that the rest of the West does, in that it offers freedom of speech and action, something that is anathema to fundamentalist Muslims. The Mullahs know that freedom and speech and action will lead inexorably to the importation of Western values, starting with their kids wearing blue jeans, listening to and playing pop music, and, alors! dancing while touching. That will lead to the sort of sesmic shifts that the phony Iranian story noted.

I do not know whether Israel's proximity in any way has hastened the importation of Western values, any more than would have happened anyway. The Internet brings the world to everyone. However, Iran can't focus its hatred on all Western devils, including those of Europe, for that would would make their craziness all the more apparent. Focusing on Israel and the US, which have a close relationship of course, gives them traction with and influence over fundamentalist Muslims in the Arab world, especially those who are fairly frequently in active hostilities with Israel.

Usually, Iranian propaganda is overt. This time it was subtle. And way more persuasive. It gulled a bunch of dimwits to parrot its message such as those of Al Jazerra (who possibly didn't really care whether it was true or false), Global Research.ca, Ease News.net, and The San Franscisco Bay View. As in all things, it is best to do a little research before you buy into anything you read.

Tweet This!

21 Comments:

Blogger hass said...

What rubbish. If you think Israel offers "free speech and action" go tell it to the millions of dispossessed Palestinians. And if you think Israel is "Western" then obviously you've never been there and don't know much about Mizrahim and Judaism and Iran's long influence on Judaism. Stick to talking about things you know something about.

10:43 AM

 
Blogger The Language Guy said...

You would be right, of course, were you to say that Israel appears to be more open for some than others within its borders, but that doesn't alter the fact that what it represents to Iran, the subject of the blog, is a Western intrusion in the Middle East. I should have spoken more carefully but my focus was not on what is good and bad about Israel but an hypothesis about why Iran hates Israel so much -- what self-interest is Iran protecting.
in your view. You suggest you know so much. Enlighten us.

11:12 AM

 
Blogger hass said...

Iran doesn't "hate" Israel. You should read Trita Parsi's book. Again, stick to something you know something about. Attributing "hatred" to "them" is itself a rhetorical device to short-ciruit thinking, which is intended to portray "us" ("Westerners") as rational and logical, and "them" ("Muslim fanatics") as crazy and driven by bling passions. That's very appealing to racists, but is not the state of the world. Sorry.

2:47 PM

 
Blogger The Language Guy said...

Your clearly a game player. The question is why did Iran promulgate this propaganda against the interests of the state of Israel?

By the way, saying "A hates B" does not entail or imply they are irrational. I hate Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Nothing irrational about that. Its a very well-founded emotion.

3:19 PM

 
Blogger Rita said...

L.G.
I hope you are not thinking that the JC.com web site is not also biased?

From what I've read about the history of the country of Israel it is no way innocent of egregious human rights violations against the people that were already living there when they took over & lay claim to the territory by right of divine decree, manifest destiny & the rest of the nonsense that victors spout. I also think there was a lot of holocaust guilt among the complying nations in the late 1940's including the U.S.A.
From the little that I've gleaned from news reports & reading history, the situation in Israel cannot continue the way it is. The tiny country of Israel seems to be between a rock & a hard place & the holocaust is becoming a distant memory in the minds of a younger generation.
But Israel put itself in the situation of martyrdom.
It's very hard to have sympathy for that!
Iran is just exploiting the situation.

It will be interesting to see what transpires.

2:00 AM

 
Blogger SusieQ said...

Rita, you say that "Israel put itself in the situation of martyrdom." How so?

You appear to know a lot more about the history of Israel than I, but don't forget that the Jews have been a part of that population and that area for centuries and centuries.

Also, don't forget that the Jews have a long history of being persecuted by one group or another, by one country or another. At first they were persecuted because of their religion, then it became a matter of their race.

11:16 AM

 
Blogger The Language Guy said...

The UN made a terrible mistake creating Israel and one cannot blame the dislocated and persecuted Jews of Europe for not taking them up on it, cannot blame the indigenous Arabs for being angry about it to the point of engaging in armed conflict, and cannot blame the Israelis for fighting back. The Arabs that left -- ostensibly voluntarily -- I don't know much about though I have read a lot about the early history of Israel. That's a topic that was not touched on. Too bad. Maybe I can ask Google for help.

2:20 PM

 
Blogger Rita said...

Rita, you say that "Israel put itself in the situation of martyrdom." How so?

SusieQ
Well, by justifying their position, in two ways...the physical location of the country & by playing upon persecution.

I became interested in Jewish history when I tried to find history of ancient Judaism apart from it's own scriptures. The very best book I found for that is one titled "The Bible Unearthed" subtitle: "Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel And the Origin of it's Sacred Texts" By Israel Finkelstein & Neil Silberman.

Another excellent (IMO) book that deals with the history of modern Israel is titled, "The Lemon Tree" by Sandy Tolan. It has some pretty comprehensive history of how the country of Israel came to be & also examines the impact on two families, one of Jewish immigrants from Bulgaria & one of displaced Arabs.
Those are two recent books that come to mind & of course the rest of my "knowledge" of Israel comes from the news, the internet, the library, my own mind & all those other places we pick up information.

LG
What I find interesting is that the whole world has been involved since the conception of the country of Israel & continues to be embroiled in the conflict. Why is that, I wonder?

6:41 PM

 
Blogger The Language Guy said...

The US is stuck. I wish we either were or if we are were perceived as more even handed. We certainly toss money at both the Arabs and the Israelis. However it seems we buy no influence as a result.

8:09 PM

 
Blogger Rita said...

Well, according to statistics we've given a lot of money over the years to Israel to fund their continuing existence. But, because of some of Israels hard line policies, recent publicity of what can only be perceived as human rights violations against inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, & other factors, American public opinion toward further funding & support of Israel is not nearly as favorable as it once was.
I wonder, where would Israel be without us?

11:15 PM

 
Blogger SusieQ said...

LG, you may be right about the U.N. making a big mistake. But Israel is such a small piece of property in that vast Arab countryside and yet all those Arab countries rose up in protest. Israel is about the size of our New Jersey, and New Jersey is small.

The Jews have a historical connection to that piece of property that goes way back. They've looked to it as their homeland. They have also been a presence, though small, in that region throughout the centuries.

The modern Zionist movement was started by a secular Jew in the late 1800's. He considered it a solution to the Jewish problem of persecution.

What troubles me are how thousands of Palestinians became refugees in the end. I don't like that at all.

I think you are correct, LG, about why Iran wants Israel gone. I've thought that myself for a long time now. It seems obvious to me.

Rita, the U.S. support of Israel has been in our best interest, don't you think.

12:01 AM

 
Blogger Banzajka said...

Hello,
I'm a student of English from Poland. This year I'm going to write my thesis on Sexism in Language. I'd really like to use some of yours materials to my thesis, but I can't do this if the source is not reliable. All i know is that you're a Professor Emeritus in Linguistic, but I really need your name, to add it to my bibliography. Could you please send me that? I'd appreciate if you could help me with that. My e-mail adress banzajka1988@go2.pl Greetings.

7:06 AM

 
Blogger Banzajka said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:07 AM

 
Blogger The Language Guy said...

Its my understanding that the Arabs that fought the Jews as Isreael was being populated encouraged residents to leave and the Arab countries screwed them over royally. They want to come back of course.

The historical tie to the land is a phony argument. Initially, before the UN acted, Jews began settling in the area by buying land. That was ultimately met with armed resistance and the Brits themselves tried to limit the Jewish expansion. This led to the famous bombing of the Hotel King David where the British were located. The Irgun did the dirty deed.

8:47 AM

 
Blogger SusieQ said...

In the past couple of days I have tried to read up on this issue although you undoubtedly know more about it than I.

What about the Balfour Declaration of 1917 which stated British policy regarding the question of the Jews making Palestine their homeland once again? The Brits were not opposed to the idea at all. Yes, they did limit Jewish immigration, but wasn't that to pacify the Arab population there who were in an uproar over it all?

I hope we can continue this discussion. I feel that I am learning a lot. I have tried to find sources of information that are not biased either way.

7:00 PM

 
Blogger Rita said...

SusieQ I have also tried to find sources of information that are not biased either way.

I hope you do check out "The Bible Unearthed" subtitle: "Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel And the Origin of it's Sacred Texts" By Israel Finkelstein & Neil Silberman.

You asked if I thought the US support of Israel has been in our best interest. Honestly, I don't know. I'm sure the political powers at the time thought it was a good idea, else they wouldn't have supported it. Perhaps no one originally realized what a political hotbed the whole issue would become? Or how the general public perception might change about certain things?

It's a whole different world since the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Thoughts & attitudes that might of been acceptable then, just aren't anymore.

I agree LG that we are stuck, & the rest of the world is stuck with us. Is it really about Western vrs. Arab values, though?

8:58 PM

 
Blogger SusieQ said...

Rita, I checked out "The Bible Unearthed" at Wikipedia and read the summary there. I don't have a problem with what Finkelstein unearthed regarding the Bible.

I've tried to do more "digging", too, so I can come to a better understanding of how the Israeli/Palestinian conflict evolved.

After the 1936 Arab uprisings in Palestine the Peel Commission (Britain) was formed to find out what caused the uprising. One of the Arab complaints was that Jews had bought up a lot of land leaving little for the Arabs. But according to the commission the reality was that the Jews had bought up mostly swamp land and land with sand dunes. These lands were not being used for anything prior to the purchase. Later they were developed by the Jews who turned some of the land into orange groves. The commission determined that the land shortage the Arabs were complaining about was more a result of the increase in the Arab population there (Arab immigrants) which came about due to the economic opportunities that had arisen in Palestine.

The Peel Commission recommended that Palestine be apportioned between an Arab and Jewish states. The Arabs rejected the idea completely. The Jews were willing although a little reluctant. Nothing was done about it at that time though. Britain curtailed Jewish immigration instead.

When Britain asked the U.N. in 1947to take over the Palestine problem, the U.N. went ahead and apportioned the land. Again the Arabs rejected it. The Jews accepted it and declared their Jewish state to the world then in 1948.

There is really so much to uncover or should I say "unearth."

Have you read anything about the influence that Hitler and his propaganda had on the Arab population regarding the Jews?

1:32 AM

 
Blogger Rita said...

SusieQ

No I haven't. But, I will.

I have tried to see both sides of the issue fairly & like you I have been "digging" for more info. :)

As far as the Arab complaints about the Jews purchasing land back then. I think they were legitimate complaints. It doesn't really matter what kind of land it was. Because, it was a legitimate threat to the Palestinians. That's pretty much played out to be true.
I am not unsympathetic to the plight of the Jews though.
One way I approach the problem is to remember I am an outsider, I can never see the situation except from my outside POV. Even if I read 100 books like "The Lemon Tree" or watch 100 documentaries, whatever...I think this an advantage in a sense, but also a burden to me to examine my own prejudices & assumptions.
I would think that the UN would also have that advantage. But, as with all things political, there is always more to the story then meets the eye.
I'll get back to you on my take on the Nazi propaganda.

1:21 PM

 
Blogger Rita said...

Susie Q said:
"Have you read anything about the influence that Hitler and his propaganda had on the Arab population regarding the Jews?"

I've read up on it (just for this discussion ) & I'm a little puzzled as to what your point is.

Do you mean to imply that Iran is exercising the same influence as the Nazis by spouting anti-Jewish propaganda to the Arabs?
Considering the existing sentiments & the nature of propaganda, that's a given. But Iran is not a Nazi government & this is a totally different era.

Or are you implying that Nazi propaganda helped create the situation that contributed to the uprisings by Arabs back then? Or now?

I'm always leery that people are playing the Hitler card when they throw Nazis/Hitler references into a discussion.

Back to the original post & the issue of Iran's propaganda:
Focusing on Israel and the US, which have a close relationship of course, gives them traction with and influence over fundamentalist Muslims in the Arab world, especially those who are fairly frequently in active hostilities with Israel. I do agree with this analysis.
In my assessment of the situation, events leading to the establishment of the country of Israel & the subsequent expulsion of the Palestinians & the stealing of their property by the Israelis has only perpetrated the negative sentiments against Israel by Arabs. But, the other major players including the U.S. are not guiltless either, whether they supported Israel or just turned a blind eye to the plight of the Palestinians. The Palestinians who were mostly peasants, were treated as pawns. Perhaps at the time, nobody thought they any force to be reckoned with. Israel never had any intention of returning the Palestinian Arabs property after it was lost.

4:14 PM

 
Blogger SusieQ said...

Rita, I thought you might have lost interest in our discussion.

I ran across a book (author Jeffrey Herf) that is newly published about Hitler's attempt to influence the Arabs regarding the Jews. Here is a link to Barnes & Noble where you will find a description of the book Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World . I think I will go ahead and buy it.

As you know a large percentage of Arabs and others over there don't think the Holocaust took place. I believe this denial and the anti-semitism that exists in that part of the world may in part come from the propaganda Hitler fed the Arabs back then about the "terrible" Jews. Yes, I do think Hitler's propaganda was an influence. Remember that his goal was to exterminate the Jews throughout Europe and beyond.

Also, here is a link to a Wikipedia article about the Arabs in Israel It gives you a good idea of what it is like for Arabs in Israel today.

11:57 PM

 
Blogger Rita said...

Susi Q
Well, you might be right. It seems every nation involved in this conflict & the U.N. is guilty of something egregious.
The religious justifications for continuing the hate are also disgusting and dangerous.

9:41 AM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home