“journalism” by omission

There is a new writer covering the ME conflict at NRK, Laila Ø Bakken.

On the surface, she appears to be accurate enough, even balanced. But that is only if you are prepared to take her news as truth. In fact, on closer read, she manages to contradict herself, and some of her “facts” do not bear scrutiny.

Lets trace her work from June this year , where she writes a rather lengthy piece on Gaza’s dark future, going back as far as 3300 BCE, skip-jumping major events to land uncomfortably in the thick of the plot of 1948.

In this article she expressly says that the 1948 war lead to a stream of refugees, 750.000 of them. However, there is no mention of the order from the great Mufti to evacuate (a point which Abbas himself made in a speech earlier this year, when he tripped up and admitted that they were evacuees, rather than refugees) Israel, so that the fledging state could be crushed by the invading Arab armies.

Oh well, semantics apart, lets compare the number of evacuees in this June article to an article published on the NRK website on September 1, where mysteriously this number is down to 300.000 (which probably is the more realistic number of evacuees)! In both of the pieces she claims that the establishment of the State of Israel led to the dismantling of Palestine as a geographical entity.  Interesting choice of word since

  1. The UK shutting down and withdrawing from its colony (which it had dubbed ‘Palestine’ – that name a particularly nasty Roman emperor chose for this province he could not dominate) naturally meant it closed down its adminstrative offices –  the so-called  geographical entity.
  2. There never was a nation called Palestine, as she has pointed out, they called themselves Arabs, reflecting the fact that during the Ottoman empire, ethnic groups from what is today’s Jordan, Syria, even Bosnia (yep, Bosnia, if you don’t believe me, just take a tour around famous sightseeing places, for instance Caesarea), settled, or were settled, in the ancient land of Israel. ‘Palestinians’ they were not!

To complete both articles, she has put together a “fact” box, again omitting the fact that the land of Israel always was the land of well, the Israelites, and that Israelites has always lived there, no matter how barbaric the invading forces – be it Romans, Crusaders, Turks or Brits – and their brutal means to annihilate the native population (i.e., Israelites).

Also missing from this “fact” box is the mention of the rather inconvenient matter of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands. From one day to another they were kicked out, their properties seized and stolen, all rights voided, and all 1.2 million of them had nowhere to go but to their ancient homeland.

Her amusing intent to present a balanced view becomes risible when in a parallel article she flogs Netanyahu – the man who never yields (her article on Abbas is titled “he carries the weight of the Palestinians on his shoulders). Digging up dirt, she does her very best to portray him in a rather negative light, while covering up for Abbas and his role in the Munich Olympic Games bloodbath and assassination of Israeli Athletes.

For some mysterious reason there is no “fact” box on Israel and its history accompanying this article, does this mean she has no knowledge of the native population of this contested land?

2 comments for ““journalism” by omission

  1. Joe
    May 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Were these “Israelites” Ashkenazi or Sephardic?

  2. May 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Both in fact. And also Mizrachi.
    And to add to your troubled mind, there were also Italian Jews, they don’t consider themselves neither Ashkenaz or Sefarad and have their own liturgy. I don’t think you can start to imagine the tremendous importance of our historical homeland, from China, India, the Sudan. Ethiopia, to more Northern latitudes such as Afghanistan, Russia, Norway – we have never forgotten where we come from, integrated into our communities but not assimilated.
    Maybe it’s just me, but your question stinks a little.

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