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Conscience in Quotation Marks

Posted 15/6/2014

The Western reaction and coverage of the Israeli drama

First published in The JerUSAlem Connection Report, Washington, D.C., USABy Inna Rogatchi

© Inna Rogatchi, 2014


As Israel and the Jewish world in Diaspora hold their breath and carry their prayers for three teenagers kidnapped by Hamas near Hebron a few days ago, coverage of the developing story by two scions of world media, CNN and BBC has been marked by the utterly shameful punctuation of a moral low. Both companies have put the word 'kidnapped' in quotation marks while reporting on the drama in Israel.

That could be the end of story as it is completely self-revealing and fully self-attesting. But enough is enough. Hamas terrorists abducted not even soldiers, this time. They attacked unarmed teenagers, Yeshiva students. This is what happens when patented and self-justifying criminals and terrorists are allowed into a government.

But we hear only fanfares and see those over-sugar-like smiles of the dead-trusted friend of Hamas in Europe Ms Ashton promising to work with the new government and encouraging such work; we get more encouragement of the sort – and not a single reprimand, or at least very well-justified worries – from other leaders of the European Union and its abominable policy of appeasing terrorists infinitely.

We get the same softest-of-the-soft response to the new Palestinian government-of-united-terror from the Washington Hill, not surprising given the current occupiers of the Hill, but not less outrageous either. It is too much, really, when the supposedly-most-powerful nation in the world sees no problem in an openly terrorist organisation entering a governmental body, doubly so in such a highly and permanently explosive region as the Middle-East.

The world knows that one of those among the kidnapped boys is an American citizen. Did we hear an adequate reaction to the crime and concern regarding the safety of its citizen by the US Administration, so far? We did not. We were only informed in a clearly lowered tone that the US Secretary of State was talking with Mahmud Abbas, and that the "State Department is working closely with Israeli and Palestinian authorities and hopes for the soon re-unification of the boys with their families".

During many decades, and under the reign of many US Administrations, there has never been such a weak and in-articulated reaction of the US state on the fact of kidnapping of a US citizen, as we saw now with regard to the kidnapping of Naftali Frenkel, and the two young Israelis Gilad Shaar and Eylad Yifrach. At the same time, the world witnessed in dumb bewilderment the recent exchange of five senior Taliban terrorists for a US army deserter – which had been carried out, as was explained to us all by the US President, "in the best national interests of the USA". So, such are the understanding, priorities and policies of this administration at the moment. This is not the America we used to know and rely on in times of crises, sadly, and very alarmingly, too.

The UN General Secretary and the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs expressed their deep concern over the unfolding drama with the kidnapping of the young boys in Hebron. We have neither heard a personal statement of the US President, so far, and this is the third day of this critical situation at the moment; nor have we heard a statement from the European Union and its leadership. It is a weekend, of course.

Maybe, one should not over-react to the absolutely shameless coverage of the kidnapping crime and crisis in Israel by both CNN and BCC who simultaneously put 'kidnapped' in quotation marks. We all know their utterly biased stand towards Israel, and there is nothing new in it – apart from a record-breaking shame of quoting, and thus doubting, the nature of the terrorist attack against two 16-year old boys and one 19-year old youth.

Who do they think they are, those cowardly and utterly dishonest editors and program supervisors of those two giants of the media world who think that they outsmarted us all, in that insulting way of bringing out the news?

There is no surprise in this code of behaviour for both of them, clearly; but actions must be taken in this screaming-out-for-them case. The state of Israel should ban the activities of both CNN and BBC from the territory of Israel until there are full public apologies from both of them and their bosses provide guarantees that their journalists and editors will conduct their duties in a professional, civilised, responsible, and un-biased way.

The public in Israel and those people world-wide who feel indignant about the shameful conduct of these two major TV channels, should address them with an open public petition demanding from the leadership of CNN and BCC that they discipline the editors personally responsible for quoting their conscience and compromising their channels in such a shameful act, and to maintain live-crises coverage to be done in correspondence with the commonly accepted norms of human morality, not following the way of barbarians who celebrate with fireworks, music, dances and candies, and such a happy laugh as we all are privileged to see from CNN and BBC reports from happy Gaza and West Bank celebrating the abduction of three young boys.

I have not noticed any quotation marks in CNN and BBC coverage of those 'celebrations'. It is only the conscience in the head-quarters of these big media holdings that has become quotation-marked, and has become a hostage of their mental surrender to terrorism.

June 15, 2014

Dr INNA ROGATCHI is the author and senior international affairs adviser to a number of institutions. She is co-founder and president of The Rogatchi Foundation –

First published in The JerUSAlem Connection Report, Washington, D.C., USA

Copyright © 2017 by the Inna and Michael Rogatchi Foundation. All rights reserved.