Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Deluxe Occupation

I've given up on ever getting decent coverage of Israel from NPR. If you want to hear Eric Westervelt say, "With Israel's total victory in the Six Day War also came weighty responsibilities, especially the occupation of the heavily populated Palestinian West Bank." Or if you can bear today's comment from Westervelt: "Israeli writer Gershom Gorenberg says those conflicting feelings are widespread among East Jerusalemites who are living under what he calls, 'Occupation Deluxe.'" Then NPR is the place for you. Weighty responsibilities and Occupation Deluxe - damn!

It's striking to compare this tepid coverage with the BBC's look back where we learn that the Israeli military lied to the Israeli public about it's knowledge that it would easily destroy the Arab armies arrayed against it. And on the BBC we hear how the Soviets duped Nasser into attacking Israel because of - guess what - the Israeli's nuclear program at Dimona (that's an inconvenient truth!) For a really fine consideration of what the 1967 war means check out Tony Karon's piece at Rootless Cosmopolitan, Makdisi at Electronic Intifada, or Amnesty's report on 40 years of occupation.

A final note: NPR erroneously reports that Israel is not occupying Gaza, which is not correct but is excellent Zionist propaganda.


Porter Melmoth said...

Yes indeed, the NPR coverage of the 40th anniversary was loaded with innuendo as well as nostalgia. My NPR station was rather deceptive, too. In the teaser, the announcer said 'And we'll look at the Six Day War through the eyes of CBS News.' Well, they used the CBS clips, but more as historical sound bytes than as a theme for the report. At any rate, personally, I remember the war, and I remember the US coverage was definitely pro-Israeli in the sense that the Cold War aspect was tied to it (as accurately pointed out in the NPR piece). Plus, the notion was always implied that Israelis are people 'more like us' than the Arabs, who were largely an unknown and stereotyped entity to the American public back then (and still are to a large extent).
I found the NPR piece provided literally nothing as far as interpretive perspectives are concerned. A straight documentation of historical events is one thing, but the NPR spin was less than objective, to say the least.

Thanks for pointing out the resources for understanding the wider aspects of the Six Day War, NPR being the worthless airwave clutterer that it is.

bluetaco said...

Anyone else notice the complete lack of voices from the Palestinian side? Instead we get the American-born Israeli propagandist Michael Oren and the revisionist Israeli historian Tom Segev. Lots of time spent on how afraid the Israeli public (not the military) was of the Egyptian army; not a peep from one of the residents of the occupied territories, as far as I could gather.

Porter Melmoth said...

Yup, NPR's comfort zone is safely within the non-Palestinian-oriented ('pro-Israeli' just might be too controversial a term for compassionately conservative NPR!), Cold War-desiring, American Empire-believing, low-key corporate partnering and Beltway-incestuous package that promises so much ongoing success. Day by day, the term 'shill' must be increasingly and unabashedly applied to the broadcasting outfit known as NPR.
That's why I call them Neocon Public Radio.
After Murdoch reels in the Wall Street Journal, he can waddle over to NPR, and they'll be down on their knees, waiting for him.