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Email to Sunny Hundal re Left reaction to Obama

 
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joe emersberger



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: Email to Sunny Hundal re Left reaction to Obama Reply with quote

RE The racist flipside of anti-imperialism
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/30/obama-white-house-barackobama

Mr. Hundal.

I agree with you that vague, race specific put downs like “Uncle Tom” should never be used. I can also agree that there has been reluctance among some within the Left to acknowledge anything positive about Obama’s election, or to concede that the small differences between Obama and McCain can translate into drastically different outcome for millions of the most vulnerable people in the US and around the world.

But while Pilger, Nader and others on the left have been guilty of some insensitivity, you go light years beyond them in this article when you equate opponents of Zionism to bigots like Malanie Philips. Barack Obama is an enthusiastic supporter of Israel’s policy of ethnic cleansing. To say that anyone who opposes that policy (Zionism) is a bigot reveals tremendous dishonesty and a chilling indifference to the victims of Israeli aggression.

Moreover, when Barack Obama said that US has nothing to apologize for over the last eight years, he effectively spat on the graves on millions of people –Iraqis, Haitians, Colombians, Afghans, Palestinians – who were on the wrong side of US guns. You object to traces of racial insensitivity on the Left but in this article appear to accept the flagrantly bigoted assumptions of politicians like Obama.

Joe Emersberger
Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:28 am
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joe emersberger



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

REPLY from Sunny Hundal

Hi Joe,

I didn't say Pilger was racist for opposing zionism. My point is that
declaring someone a liability merely because of their background is
racism - in the same way if Melanie Phillips fingers someone Muslim, who
may declare a belief in the Caliphate by peaceful means (and there are
plenty of Muslims who do), that they are a terrorist.

Barack Obama is not "an enthusiastic supporter of Israel’s policy of
ethnic cleansing". That's a bit like saying just because I'm a supporter
of Palestinian self-determination, then I'm an enthusiastic supporter of
Hamas suicide bombings.

thanks

sunny
Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:45 pm
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joe emersberger



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Sunny,
You wrote

"Pilger is obsessed by the fact that Obama is surrounding himself with "Zionists". If Melanie Phillips had complained that Obama was surrounding himself with Muslims, no doubt he would be (rightly) accusing her of bigotry."

That clearly equates anti-Zionism with bigotry.

You are in denial, or perhaps ignorance, about Obama's support for Israeli ethnic cleasing.
Obama made quite clear in his speech before AIPAC that he will continue the long standing US policy of backing Israel no matter how murderous the actions of its government. .

http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2007/03/obamas_aipac_speech_text_as_pr.html

"....we must preserve our total commitment to
our unique defence relationship with Israel by fully funding military
assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defence
programs.

we also know that we should never seek to dictate what is
best for the Israelis and their security interests. No Israeli Prime
Minister should ever feel dragged to or blocked from the negotiating table
by the United States."

Scour it for any acknowledge of Israel's crimes. You won't find any.

Judging by this address, Obama believes no US president should ever whisper a word about massive Israeli human rights abuses and violations of international law. If you dress up ethnic cleansing as self defence, and commit yourself to unconditionally funding it, then you are, to put it mildly, "an enthusiastic supporter of Israel’s ethnic cleansing".

Joe Emersberger
Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:47 pm
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joe emersberger



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Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

> sunny@pickledpolitics.com writes:
>
> I was talking about the number of people and their
> backgrounds, who attended... not whether the media reported
> it or not
>
> cheers
>
> sunny


> Surely a key objective of any demo is too force the media to pay attention.
> You wrote that Palestinians need the support of " wide swathe of the
> population" and to engage in an effective PR effort.
> How, with the media coverage that leaves people ignorant of the nature
> of the conflict?
> Joe

despite the media, the british public is quite supportive of
the palestinians. The problem is, they dont come to the
demos though. why do you think that is?

MY REPLY

Being vaguely supportive of the people in Gaza does not translate into the public pressuring their governments to quit backing Israeli aggression. The media promotes ignorance and that prevents enough people from demanding that their governments take effective action - in this case ending support for Israeli aggression, supporting boycotts etc..A clear example of this was illustrated recently by a medialens reader (see below).

The media demonizes, ignores and dismisses activists who protest on numerous issues - not just the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The corporate media does not exist to promote political activism. Aside from that there are many reasons why people don't go to demos. I don't go to nearly as many as I could myself.

Joe Emersberger

Analysis of BBC articles today
Monday, 5 January, 2009 7:14 PM
From:
"Chris Newman"
To:
info@bbc.co.uk, helenboaden.complaints@bbc.co.uk, jeremy.bowen@bbc.co.uk, steve.herrmann@bbc.co.uk

Dear Ms Boaden, Mr Bowen and


I would like to make a complaint that the BBC News, with specific regard to reporting on Israel and the Occupied Territories, is not meeting the standards required by the Broadcasting Code Section 5: Due Impartiality and Due Accuracy and Undue Prominence of Views and Opinions. Observance of this Code is also required in the case of the BBC by the BBC Agreement.


The Code outlines the meaning of “due imparitality” thus:
“Due” is an important qualification to the concept of impartiality. Impartiality itself means not favouring one side over another. “Due” means adequate or appropriate to the subject and nature of the programme. So “due impartiality” does not mean an equal division of time has to be given to every view, or that every argument and every facet of every argument has to be represented. The approach to due impartiality may vary according to the nature of the subject, the type of programme and channel, the likely expectation of the audience as to content, and the extent to which the content and approach is signalled to the audience. Context, as defined in Section Two: Harm and Offence of the Code, is important."


As such I have begun analysing articles as of this morning and have reviewed 19 articles that are easily found on the BBC website. Due to the time pressure I may have accidentally missed some articles and/or mentions. The articles reviewed are given at the bottom. I have been unable to perform the same for the television news and radio due to lack of resources.


From these articles I have counted the following mentions:


Mentions of refugees of 1948 or 1967, who make up the bulk of the Gaza population and are entitled to right of return under international law– 1 mention in a side article “Who are Hamas”

Mentions of the Occupation of Gaza (as stipulated by the UN it is still occupied) – 2 mentions in a side article “Who are Hamas”

Mention of the democratic Palestinian elections of 2006 – 2 mentions in a side article “Who are Hamas”

Mention of the rejection of Palestinian election results by non-Palestinians – 1, again in “Who are Hamas”

Mention of any of the 69 UN resolutions pertaining to Israel's actions in the region – 0

Mentions of the 2 year long illegal siege of Gaza – 0

Mention of Human Rights – 0

Mentions of West Bank settlements - 0

Mentions of Israeli air attack on Gaza on 4 November killing 6 and ending the ceasefire (sic) - 0

Downplayed or underreported figures for Palestinian civilian casualties – 5

Downplayed or underreported figures for Israeli civilian casualties – 0

Details of Hamas weapons used;

o

numbers - 1 in a detailed table (table has feature in at least one other article which was not included in the 19 due to date).
o

type – 5
o

origin – 6 (references to smuggling and Egyptian border)

Details of Israeli weapons used;

o

numbers -0
o

type - 9
o

origin – 0 – no mention of massive US military aid, direct procurement channels etc

Hamas spokespeople directly or indirectly quoted: 5

Israeli spokespeople directly or indirectly quoted: 9 (figure does not include Peres broadcast)

Hamas rockets given as reason for attack without qualification – 7

Hamas rockets given as reason for attack with qualification – 3

Israeli occupation/siege given as reason for Hamas resistance without qualification – 0

Israeli occupation/siege given as reason for Hamas resistance with qualification – 1

Mentions of Israeli press censorship or restrictions on access – 5 (two in recent diary by Jeremy Bowen. In all other articles mentions were near or at the end)

Mentions of Hamas rocket or missile attacks – 46 (11 of which in one article -Map: Gaza and Israel Conflict)

Mentions of specific Israeli air, sea or land attacks – 50 (17 of which in one article -Map: Gaza and Israel Conflict)


As you can see, if the “Who are Hamas” article is excluded very little context to the foundations of Palestinian resistance is given, and the nature of that article means that these are seriously diluted. The UN has reported that it is the Occupation that is the cause of the Palestinian resistance, and as such these are extremely important points - are are current and relevant.


I think the rest of the figures speak for themselves. I will continue to analyze articles over the coming days and will be looking into the best means of bringing this the attention of Ofcom.


Regards

Chris Newman







BELOW IS AN EXHANGE WITH HUNDAL ABOUT ANOTHER ARTICLE _ ONE HE WROTE ABOUT ISRAEL'S ATTCK ON GAZA

: RE: Your objections to a "religious
: demo"
:
:
: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/05/israel-palestine-gaza-demo-london
:
: Mr. Hundal:
: You wrote
:
: "My point is this: unless Muslim, Sikh
: and other organisations find ways to broaden
: their coalitions, whether through language
: or focus, then their issues can easily
: remain neglected. "
:
: But you neglected the issues in your
: article. Why?
:
: At any rate, I have heard similar theories
: to the one you posed used to explain why the
: murder of tens of thousands of peasants in
: El Salvador by US supported death squads
: failed to generate much interest in the
: Western media, ditto with murder of hundreds
: of thousands in East Timor by a US/UK backed
: government, ditto with the millions murdered
: in Vietnam.
:
: It was some shortcoming, or tactical error,
: on the part of those struggling to bring
: attention to these crimes which explained
: why they were largely ignored - didn't dress
: well enough at the demo, too
: "radical", too intellectual, not
: intellectual enough etc...... .anything but
: the fact that the corporate media in the
: West doesn't exist to educate people about
: crimes for which it responsible.
:
: Joe Emersberger
:
> sunny@pickledpolitics.com writes:
>
> I was talking about the number of people and their
> backgrounds, who attended... not whether the media reported
> it or not
>
> cheers
>
> sunny

>
> Surely a key objective of any demo is too force the media to pay attention.
> You wrote that Palestinians need the support of " wide swathe of the
> population" and to engage in an effective PR effort.
> How, with the media coverage that leaves people ignorant of the nature
> of the conflict?
> Joe
>

sunny@pickledpolitics.com writes:
despite the media, the british public is quite supportive of
the palestinians. The problem is, they dont come to the
demos though. why do you think that is?


MY REPLY

Being vaguely supportive of the people in Gaza does not translate into the public pressuring their governments to quit backing Israeli aggression. The media promotes ignorance and that prevents enough people from demanding that their governments take effective action - in this case ending support for Israeli aggression, supporting boycotts etc..A clear example of this was illustrated recently by a medialens reader (see below).

The media demonizes, ignores and dismisses activists who protest on numerous issues - not just the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The corporate media does not exist to promote political activism. Aside from that there are many reasons why people don't go to demos. I don't go to nearly as many as I could myself.

Joe Emersberger

Analysis of BBC articles today
Monday, 5 January, 2009 7:14 PM
From:
"Chris Newman"
To:
info@bbc.co.uk, helenboaden.complaints@bbc.co.uk, jeremy.bowen@bbc.co.uk, steve.herrmann@bbc.co.uk

Dear Ms Boaden, Mr Bowen and


I would like to make a complaint that the BBC News, with specific regard to reporting on Israel and the Occupied Territories, is not meeting the standards required by the Broadcasting Code Section 5: Due Impartiality and Due Accuracy and Undue Prominence of Views and Opinions. Observance of this Code is also required in the case of the BBC by the BBC Agreement.


The Code outlines the meaning of “due imparitality” thus:
“Due” is an important qualification to the concept of impartiality. Impartiality itself means not favouring one side over another. “Due” means adequate or appropriate to the subject and nature of the programme. So “due impartiality” does not mean an equal division of time has to be given to every view, or that every argument and every facet of every argument has to be represented. The approach to due impartiality may vary according to the nature of the subject, the type of programme and channel, the likely expectation of the audience as to content, and the extent to which the content and approach is signalled to the audience. Context, as defined in Section Two: Harm and Offence of the Code, is important."


As such I have begun analysing articles as of this morning and have reviewed 19 articles that are easily found on the BBC website. Due to the time pressure I may have accidentally missed some articles and/or mentions. The articles reviewed are given at the bottom. I have been unable to perform the same for the television news and radio due to lack of resources.


From these articles I have counted the following mentions:


Mentions of refugees of 1948 or 1967, who make up the bulk of the Gaza population and are entitled to right of return under international law– 1 mention in a side article “Who are Hamas”

Mentions of the Occupation of Gaza (as stipulated by the UN it is still occupied) – 2 mentions in a side article “Who are Hamas”

Mention of the democratic Palestinian elections of 2006 – 2 mentions in a side article “Who are Hamas”

Mention of the rejection of Palestinian election results by non-Palestinians – 1, again in “Who are Hamas”

Mention of any of the 69 UN resolutions pertaining to Israel's actions in the region – 0

Mentions of the 2 year long illegal siege of Gaza – 0

Mention of Human Rights – 0

Mentions of West Bank settlements - 0

Mentions of Israeli air attack on Gaza on 4 November killing 6 and ending the ceasefire (sic) - 0

Downplayed or underreported figures for Palestinian civilian casualties – 5

Downplayed or underreported figures for Israeli civilian casualties – 0

Details of Hamas weapons used;

o

numbers - 1 in a detailed table (table has feature in at least one other article which was not included in the 19 due to date).
o

type – 5
o

origin – 6 (references to smuggling and Egyptian border)

Details of Israeli weapons used;

o

numbers -0
o

type - 9
o

origin – 0 – no mention of massive US military aid, direct procurement channels etc

Hamas spokespeople directly or indirectly quoted: 5

Israeli spokespeople directly or indirectly quoted: 9 (figure does not include Peres broadcast)

Hamas rockets given as reason for attack without qualification – 7

Hamas rockets given as reason for attack with qualification – 3

Israeli occupation/siege given as reason for Hamas resistance without qualification – 0

Israeli occupation/siege given as reason for Hamas resistance with qualification – 1

Mentions of Israeli press censorship or restrictions on access – 5 (two in recent diary by Jeremy Bowen. In all other articles mentions were near or at the end)

Mentions of Hamas rocket or missile attacks – 46 (11 of which in one article -Map: Gaza and Israel Conflict)

Mentions of specific Israeli air, sea or land attacks – 50 (17 of which in one article -Map: Gaza and Israel Conflict)


As you can see, if the “Who are Hamas” article is excluded very little context to the foundations of Palestinian resistance is given, and the nature of that article means that these are seriously diluted. The UN has reported that it is the Occupation that is the cause of the Palestinian resistance, and as such these are extremely important points - are are current and relevant.


I think the rest of the figures speak for themselves. I will continue to analyze articles over the coming days and will be looking into the best means of bringing this the attention of Ofcom.


Regards

Chris Newman
Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:03 pm
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