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"Yea is Yea and Nay is Nay; Anything Else Smacketh of Evil"
A reader no longer trusts us about Yugoslavia because we said the 'wrong' things about Israel
Jared Israel Comments
[ www.tenc.net ]
Jared Israel Comments
Thank you for your kind words about my work on Yugoslavia.
Regarding Israel, we at Emperors Clothes used to believe it was mainly responsible for the problems in the Middle East. However we changed our minds. Consequently some people are mad at us.
We began studying the Arab-Israeli dispute and anti-Semitism last spring. We had several reasons.
First, we found the media coverage of the fighting in Jenin to be biased against Israel in ways reminiscent of anti-Serb media coverage in Bosnia and Kosovo. The media accepted outrageous claims (that hundreds or even thousands had been brutally murdered, etc.) without applying common sense skepticism. This coverage created the public impression that, in Jenin, Goliath was massacring David. After the smoke cleared, only a few newspapers had reports such as this:
The more we researched Jenin, the more we realized the media was even ignoring information *from the Arab press* that refuted the charges against Israel  Many of the same experts being quoted against Israel regarding Jenin had previously been quoted by the media against Serbia regarding Kosovo and Bosnia - or even against Armenia in its conflict with Azerbaijan!This contradicted my own view, that Israel was simply an extension of U.S. power.
Second, we saw in the mass media, especially in Europe and the Arab countries, as well as on a variety of antiwar Websites and among critics of the US government, a growing campaign of anti-Semitism (in other words, not merely critical of Israeli government policies.) This campaign was geographically widespread and politically diverse. People with seemingly opposite politics attacked Israel in strikingly similar ways.
Thus, in the USA, some self-proclaimed Leftists, such as the A.N.S.W.E.R. organization, and open hatemongers such as David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, claimed Israel was *the main problem in the world*. [3a] Both made the amazing charge that Israel was Nazi. Last April, A.N.S.W.E.R. mobilized people, mainly Arab Americans, for what turned into an anti-Israel rally in Washington DC. People who attended under the impression the focus would be on globalization told me the large rally was dominated by threateningly aggressive Palestinian groups, openly celebrating the suicide bombers. The only country attacked was Israel. Nobody attacked the Islamic states, perhaps the most harshly repressive in the world (and especially repressive against women). Quite a few demonstrators had signs equating the Star of David with the Swastika, and we heard reports that the same thing was happening in France and Italy.
This was not a demonstration for *peace* but for PLO victory and for Israels destruction. How did the major media respond? They could have ignored the demonstration (thats how they handled demonstrations during the bombing of Yugoslavia). Or they could have given equal space to the opposing side. The opposing side would have said that comparing Israeli Jews as Nazi-like victimizers and the Arabs as Jewish-like victims is absurd because it leaves out the entire history. First of all, Jews were the most law-abiding of German citizens, whereas the Arab world has been organized around terror with the goal of destroying Israel for more than 50 years. In Israel, anti-Arab hate crimes are prosecuted, but the most extreme hate propaganda - calling for killing all Jews - is a staple of Arab TV. In Arab countries, Nazi texts are bestsellers and officially endorsed, and violence against Jews is officially tolerated. [3b]
Israeli policies are a legitimate subject for critical scrutiny. However, it seemed patently absurd to me to portray Palestinians as victims of unprovoked attacks. After all, even I, who was very sympathetic to the Palestinians, and felt Israel was mainly at fault, knew that Palestinian terrorists based in the West Bank and Gaza had been murdering Israeli civilians and pro-peace Arabs since the early 1950s.
But the media neither ignored the demonstration in Washington nor published both sides; rather, the demonstration was covered favorably. By way of example, I will put up a couple of pieces from the Washington Post from last April.
Why such favorable coverage? Why, I asked myself, unless the Washington Post was trying to make this destroy-Israel position appear mainstream!
On the Web, people on the Left posted and circulated a *fictitious* interview with Ariel Sharon, supposedly himself boasting he was a Judeo-Nazi!
Others circulated a fictitious quote, which had Sharon (again) himself boasting (again!) that The Jews ran America - shades of that other fabrication, the Protocols of Zion.
I traced the sources of the interview and the quote and found they were fabrications. When I posted my findings on email lists, I was accused of bringing up irrelevancies (!), or apologizing for Sharon, or working for the Mossad - or the CIA Clearly there was an effort to demonize Sharon so that any attempt at a fact-based consideration of his actions would immediately marginalize one as an apologist for a Nazi.
In email list discussions, people argued that they could empathize with the Palestinian suicide bombers because, What else can they do? Others justified murdering *any* Israeli citizen because all were part of an oppressor state. Yet nobody on these lists made such harsh judgments, let us say, about Belgium, whose unbelievable crimes in Congo and against Yugoslavia (as part of NATO) are a matter of public record. Nor, for that matter, were they made about the US and Britain for what they did to Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. And what about the Palestinian Authority, which kills Arabs if they are caught selling land to Jews? Indeed, they didnt talk this way about any country or organization in the world, except for the Israeli Jews.
Was something wrong with this picture?
Emperors Clothes reprinted six articles on Jenin, three from each side. We received dozens of furious emails, accusing us of being Israeli propagandists - this even though we had printed *both* sides without editorial comment. Apparently it was impermissible even to let the Israelis *speak*! These attacks came from people who identified themselves as being on the Right and Left. However, based on their arguments, I could not tell them apart.
On top of this, there was a campaign to blame Israel for 9-11, both in the West and the Muslim world. This campaign was publicly begun by Maj. Gen. Hamid Gul, quoted in an article on MSNBC two days after 9-11. Gul said he was sure The Jews did 9-11 because they are responsible for *all* problems. Why did MSNBC find this anti-Semitic trash newsworthy? According to that article Gen. Gul is:
Reading this, I wondered: why was the CIA demonizing the Jews?
The campaign to blame The Jews for 9-11 took off in a big way - indeed, it is still going on in the Muslim world and getting stronger, part of an escalating Arab media attack on The Jews. But the same idea was spread in the West as well.
All this made us wonder. Why the sudden escalation of anti-Semitism? It was too widespread to be a fluke. Leftists, Rightists, the mass media, the CIA Could it be that the US, European and Arab establishments were resurrecting the time-tested device of using anti-Semitism to create a fascistic opposition under the banner of Oppose Zionist Imperialism? And regarding Israel, since it was clear we were getting misinformation - and outright fabrications! - both from the mainstream media and from so-called progressives, could it be that we ourselves had been misled about the situation in the Middle East?
So we began, last spring, to study the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the history of anti-Semitism. The more we studied the more we found that our assumptions had been false - in my case, for thirty years! We have now started to share with our readers what we learned.
Francisco Gil-Whites Palestine is Our Land And The Jews Are Our Dogs! is the main article we have posted to date on the Arab-Israeli conflict. It does not focus on Israeli government tactics or foreign policy. It examines the widely held view that (as a friend solemnly informed me), Israel is on the side of the bad guys; Palestinians are the good guys. Its that simple.
Francisco Gil-White examined that construct and found it to be historically false. We published his analysis, and it upset you so much, Dave, that you say you can no longer trust our writings on Yugoslavia.
But why does that
How We Do Our Work
You see, we are not sloganeers. Our exposure of anti-Serb reporting does not rely on blind trust.
It is based on *facts about Yugoslavia* and *comparative media analysis*. The latter is possible thanks to specialized research tools, like the Lexis search engine. These can scan thousands of news reports for the presence or absence of phrases. This makes research on media patterns *much* faster and more reliable. For example, researching Elie Wiesels 1992 trip to Bosnia, I uncovered AP, UPI and BBC dispatches which flatly contradict Wiesels claim, made recently at The Hague Tribunal, that his 1992 trip to Bosnia confirmed the horror stories then being published about the Serbs. Moreover, I found that the English-language news media had almost entirely suppressed those elements of the dispatches in which Wiesel failed to support the media claim that the Serbs were the villains in Yugoslavia. (Not that Wiesel was at that time *fair* to the Serbs - he was just *less unfair* than most public figures in the West, and less unfair than he is today!)
I will publish my research on Wiesel very soon.
Feel Free to Challenge Our Facts and Logic
Our documentation can be checked for accuracy because unlike most journalists we cite and name our sources. Our reasoning is clearly stated and therefore can be challenged.
But Dave, you make zero effort to contest our facts or logic. You simply threaten to doubt us on Yugoslavia because we strayed on the Middle East. This reduces political analysis to a negotiated contract. You will uphold *our* favorite positions as long as we uphold *yours*. We broke ranks, so now you blackmail us, withholding trust until we return to the fold. This is silly.
Political analysis is useless if it is based on blind adherence to an approved list of dogmas that exclude whole areas of investigation. We are not interested in political correctness.
Yugoslavia - an Excellent Test of Integrity
Dave, your standard for trusting others is where they stand on the issue of support for the PLO. But why not the other way around? Couldnt one decide whether to trust the PLO or its supporters based on what they say and do regarding Yugoslavia?
This is not a hypothetical issue. Many PLO supporters have spread lies about the Serbs or have even organized anti-Serb violence. For example, Saudi Arabia funded Islamic terrorists who slaughtered Bosnian Serbs. [10A] Since they have also been funding the PLO, couldnt this make one uneasy about the PLO? Yes, it could.
Or consider Noam Chomsky. Hes a leading opponent of Israel. In addition, much of his public discourse is Serbophobic. In correspondence with me, Chomsky admitted that NATOs attack on Yugoslavia *required* lying about Milosevic. Yet in his public appearances and articles, Chomsky proceeded to spout anti-Milosevic lies. Given this manifest lack of integrity, mightnt one doubt Chomskys integrity when he talks about the Arab-Jewish dispute? Yes, one might.
While such *doubts* do not constitute proof that Chomsky is wrong about Israel, such doubts cannot easily be dismissed, Dave. Unlike your criterion for correctness (support the PLO, and the facts be damned!) *our* standard is backed up by several hundred meticulously documented articles. These articles expose media lies about Yugoslavia. Hundreds of thousands of people have read them but nobody has been able to refute either their factual accuracy or their logic. Likewise, nobody has been able to dispute our video, JUDGMENT!, which shows how the media fabricated images to demonize the Bosnian Serbs.
Noam Chomsky knows this work. His inability to show where we are wrong combined with his refusal to stop smearing the Serbs does mean that Chomsky lacks integrity.
Regarding the use of
Yugoslavia as a standard of integrity, here is an
interesting point. I have found that the Israelis who
most strongly oppose Arafat and Co. are the ones most
critical of US policy in Yugoslavia, whereas, from my own
experience, Israelis who are sympathetic to the PLO are
also sympathetic to the secessionist Serbophobes in
Yugoslavia. Along those lines, let us not forget that in
attacking the Bosnian Serbs, Mr. Elie Wiesel and other
well-known Jewish figures were apologizing for the
Bosnian Islamic Fundamentalists, led by Alija
Izetbegovic. Mr. Izetbegovic is on record stating that
destroying Israel is the #1 moral issue in the world, and
that any Jew who says Israel has a right to exist is the
enemy. This is the man for whom Wiesel was
apologizing! All I can say is, there is a whole lot
of corruption in this New World Order
The Quality of Truth is not Strained
Dave, you tell us that you would agree to trust us if we didnt say what we now know is true about the PLO. Others tell us that they would trust us if we stopped publishing what we know about Milosevic. And still others would trust us if we would just remove our articles about 9-11, even though we know those articles are accurate.
We dont calculate what we write based on whether people will like us. We write what we believe is true. Either one does that - just tells the truth - or one does not.
One of the biggest problems with those who opposed injustice this past century - that is, with those on the Left - is precisely that they often compromised what they *knew* was true, following a line justified by expediency. Or supposed expediency. Or temporary expediency. Or whatever. In other words, they lied.
For example, when the Soviets decided for geopolitical reasons to ally with Arab regimes, the Soviets helped those leaders undergo a socialist makeover. A wave of the wand and supporters of the Nazi leader, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, became Marxist-Leninists. Down came Hitlers portrait. Up went Lenins.
The Arab or Jewish or other Leftists who had not already been murdered by people like Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt were now instructed by Communist leaders to hail them as heroes. What a nightmare! And now history repeats itself as farce. The Soviets are gone and various modern-day Leftists tell us that the authoritarian Arab regimes and Islamic fundamentalists are leading an Arab Revolution. They are Heroes of the Great Anti-Imperialist Struggle. Ah, yes. And just who are these Imperialists whom they fight? As King Fahd of Saudi Arabia put it, Israel, of course. Who else?
Israel is the main problem in the world, say Saddam Hussein and Yassar Arafat Is this the Great Anti-Imperialist Struggle or is it just an old-fashioned (*very* old fashioned!) Muslim holy war? You know, jihad:
We have received a variety of letters about Francisco Gil-Whites article.
Some indicate intellectual ferment, which is inspiring.
But as for the letters that sharply disagree with Francisco, they are like yours. That is, they rely on assertions of political correctness and/or they put the world upside down (the Star-of-David-equals-Swastika slander), and/or they issue threats. A few include badly documented and sloppily argued general material with which we are already familiar. A few include insults or curses. But what *none* of them do is to take *any* of Franciscos specific claims and show either that his facts are wrong or that his logic is flawed. None.
I close with this remark by the famous economist, John Maynard Keynes. Someone criticized Keynes for changing his position on an important issue. Keynes responded:
When the facts change, I change my mind.
Tell me sir, what do you do?
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Footnotes and Further Reading
massacre reduced to death toll of 56,
By Paul Martin; THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Al Ahram Weekly Unwittingly Disproved Anti-Israel Jenin
Charges, by Jared Israel *will be posted as soon as
 Most interesting in this regard is Prof Derrick Pounder, who has worked as a kind of travelling demonizer for the OSCE. Another old favorite wheeled out for Jenin was Helena Ranta, the Finnish so-called forensic pathologist (she is *not* a pathologist; she is a dentist) who was used in Bosnia and Kosovo and was to lead the medical (dental?) investigation at Jenin I shall post more on this ASAP. - JI
*An Editorial Thought Concerning The
Arabization of the Left*
That "former" Ku
Klux Klan leader David Duke calls Israel the world's #1
problem is no surprise. After all, he is...the KKK. He
openly proclaims that America is run by "The Jews",
who are allied, of course, with that other evil group,
"The Blacks". It is not surprising that Duke
has been a frequent guest in Arab countries and Arab
media, including Al Jazeera, where he rages against
[3b] The extent and extremism of anti-Semitism in the Arab media and schoolbooks is stunning. The contents of this material are not publicized much in the Western media, though the problem is sometimes mentioned. This is important. To be told once in awhile that there is anti-Semitism in Arab countries is not the same as reading quotes from actual schoolbooks and, most important, watching the TV programs.
Here are a few links for the TV programs:
Ask: 'Aren't Israeli Jews Exposed to the Same Sort of
Racist Propaganda As Arabs?' Jared Israel Responds,"
discusses an Egyptian TV program in which a leading
Psychology professor endorsed suicide bombing as the
height of the human experience. Includes a translation of
the text and link to the RealPlayer video.
* An Egyptian TV program
demonstrates the effects of racist indoctrination on a 3-year
old child. I find this video heart breaking. The TV
program was translated and put on the Web by www.memri.org For the RealPlayer video, go to
A transcript can be read at
* www.memri.org has made
RealPlayer videos of sermons broadcast on Palestinian
Authority TV, with English subtitles. To view several, go
Regarding schoolbooks, the New York based nonprofit organization, Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP) has translated texts of schoolbooks used both in Israel and in Arab areas, including by the Palestinian Authority and by Syria. Note that the UN relief organization, UNWRA, which handles the education of many Palestinian Arabs, *uses the same textbooks that are used in host countries.* Therefore, for example, UNWRA uses Syrian textbooks in Syria. Here is a small part of the report on Syrian textbooks.
articles on the Protocols of Zion, go to
started the last century by slaughtering possibly ten *million*
Congolese. A lot of human beings for a small country to
kill. Belgian crimes in the Congo have continued, but
nothing they did subsequently matched the initial
slaughter. The philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote about
the Belgian system that led to that genocide. See, Eyewitness
to Hell, at
 The six
articles on Jenin can be accessed at
the continuing attempt to blame 9-11 on The Jews,
see the statement by Saudi Interior Minister, Prince Naif.
Naif is in charge of the Saudi investigation of 9-11 and
also heads up the committee that gives money to the
families of suicide bombers and also is in charge of the
Saudi Committee for the Prevention of Vice and the
Protection of Virtue, which beats and arrests those who
fail to adhere to Islamic lifestyle rules. (They patrol
with long clubs
) The statement by Mr. Naif (also
spelled, Nayef) can be read at
[10A] The US used Islamic Fundamentalists in Bosnia in the 1990s and in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Bosnia represented an advance over Afghanistan in that in Bosnia US intelligence succeeded in eliciting the cooperation of Saudi Arabia and Iran to import and fund Islamist terrorists. (These terrorists were a key part of the war effort of the U.S. backed side.) But in the earlier war in Afghanistan, only the Saudis played a significant role.
For more on the US
coordination of Saudi and Iranian terrorist activities in
Bosnia see, "A Diabolical Game: The US In Bed With
Terrorists," by Nico Varkevisser at
For an overview of the earlier
use of terrorists, in Afghanistan, in the 1980s, see
"Washington's Backing of Afghan Terrorists:
Deliberate Policy," at
 To read
the exchange between Chomsky and me, go to
 Evening Standard (London) May 19, 1994; SECTION: Pg. 9; LENGTH: 907 words; HEADLINE: A NEW KIND OF JIHAD
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