Sunday, October 17, 2021
Sunday, October 17, 2021
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David Bensoussan: Stereotyping a Conflict

How is it that the fundamental truths of the Middle East conflict are ignored by analysts?

Agence France-Presse does not even need to send correspondents to the region, as their discourse can be effortlessly predicted from the head office. Similarily for the photos that represent only one side of the suffering (that of the Palestinians) and that, when they are not convincing, are accompanied by captions that are only there to support the stereotyped message. One would have to be blind not to notice that in journalism, the disempowerment of Palestinians is the order of the day.

Media reporting of the Middle East conflict is one of those clichés. It is viciously selective, distorted and misleading. Perhaps it is time for Agence France Presse to report on the 40,000 cars that are burned in France each year.

Acording to the media, it would seem that the latest conflagration was due to the respossession of a few homes in Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem and that it was part of the policy of ~Judaization of the city. It is so comfortable to forget that since 1967, the Arab population of Jerusalem has grown from 60,000 in 1967 to 350,000 in 2016.

Gaza is represented as a description of misery due to the Israeli boycott. However, there are also luxurious neighborhoods that are never shown by the media. On the other hand, Gaza imports rockets and rocket launchers by the thousands that are sent indiscriminately to Israeli cities. Doesn’t anyone notice the incongruity of this state of affairs?

The real criminals in this conflict are those who train and arm Hamas in Gaza: Turkey and Iran. With the financing of Qatar, Turkey supports the militant movement of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is feared like the plague by the majority of Arab countries as well as Western countries. As for Iran, it has made the destruction of the state of Israel and the great Western Satan a theological duty.

As far as the Temple Mount is concerned, we have seen interviews with Arabs who complain that they cannot pray during Ramadan because of the police presence. But never will we see interviews with those who go there with their pockets full of stones to throw at Jewish worshippers at the Wailing Wall.

The current conflict arises because the Abraham Accord upset the Palestinians who have refused all peace agreements and who benefit from considerable international funding (more than $ 31 billion since the Oslo accords).

The international definition of refugees has been changed only for Palestinians who have a special agency, UNRWA, and a refugee status that does not meet the standards of international agencies, a status that is totally ignored for Jewish refugees from Arab countries. These include Jewish refugees from the 1948 war from Jerusalem and elsewhere who, when not massacred, were driven out by the Jordanian army. Jordan promised to repatriate the survivors to Sheikh Jarah within three years. This did not happen.

As long as the media and right-thinking people continue to exonerate ~the Palestinians from their crimes, the solution to the conflict becomes more distant. Hamas makes genocidal calls against Jews and the Palestinian Authority continues to glorify suicide killings of Israeli civilians. As an example, here is the massage issued by Hamas leader Fathi Hammad on Tweeter: “Jerusalemites, we want you to cut the heads of Jews with knives.  With your hand, cut their artery from here. A knife costs five shekels. ”

In the face of this reality, the formula of exchange of land (the West Bank) for peace seems impossible. The evacuation of southern Lebanon and Gaza has resulted in a deterioration of Israel’s security. No doubt those among the Israelis who despair of peace will prefer to strengthen their presence on the barren hills of Judea and Samaria

One often hears the term illegal when it comes to Israeli actions. However, one only has to follow Dr. Jacques Gauthier’s careful analysis on YouTube to realize that this is not the case. But it is much easier to ignore fundamental truths and continue to stereotype the conflict.

Both Fatah and Hamas, competing for political supremacy, incite violence against Jews by calling for a holy war against an alleged Israeli intention to invade the Al Aqsa mosque. Hamas is holding the population of Gaza hostage. Suffice it to know that 30% of the missiles fired by Hamas have fallen on Gazan territory causing civilian casualties.

King Hassan II of Morocco used to say that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the aphrodisiac of the Arab countries. They use this conflict to mask the problems in their own countries. It seems that this reflection applies even more to Erdogan’s Turkey and the Iran of the mullahs. This conflict is also the aphrodisiac that gives the media the opportunity to wallow in stereotyping.

The media’s  behaviour recalls the legend of the sheep of Panurge. They also have their responsibility in the perpetuation of this conflict.

(Dr. David Bensoussan holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from McGill, he is a Professor at the University. Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Montreal, and a member of the CIJR Academic board.  Dr. Bensoussan publishes broadly in the Times of Israel, among other notable publications.)


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