Saturday, July 9, 2011

"We're not antisemitic, just anti-Israeli"

With propaganda, writer and editor choose their words very carefully in an effort to covertly influence the reader to embrace a biased message.  Take for example this story by Reuters correspondent Robert Evans on the latest scandal involving U.N. official Richard Falk:
GENEVA, July 8 (Reuters) - The United States said on Friday it has called on the U.N. human rights investigator for the Palestinian territories to resign after he published a cartoon on his blog which he later withdrew as "anti-semitic".
The U.S. diplomatic mission said its ambassador to the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council, Eileen Donahoe, had made the call in lodging a "strong protest" with the world body about the investigator, 80-year-old U.S. academic Richard Falk.
Falk, long a controversial figure, has himself apologised for running the cartoon showing a dog wearing a blue-and-white Israeli skullcap and a body-warmer marked USA chewing on human bones while urinating on a figure representing justice.
Note that the specific allegation made by the United States and acknowledged as true by Falk is that the cartoon is antisemitic.  And a quick glance at the cartoon -- a dog wearing a wrap labeled "USA" and Jewish yarmulke, chewing on a bloody skeleton while urinating on Lady Justice -- will be interpreted by any impartial observer as clearly antisemitic, i.e., a slur against Jews.

Indeed, there is no such thing as an "Israeli skullcap".  Yet, Evans deliberately mischaracterizes the yarmulke as "Israeli" so as to manipulate readers into perceiving the cartoon as one that is anti-Israeli rather than antisemitic.  This is the same trope and defense employed by those who wish to disguise their (socially unacceptable) antisemitism as (socially acceptable) anti-Israeli sentiment.

1 comment:

  1. Joe in AustraliaJuly 10, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    If you look closely at the blindfolded representation of Justice you can see that her lips are pursed as if she's whistling. Instead of the usual drawing of a musical note, though, it appears to be a dollar sign: it implies that she's been paid to ignore Israel's actions. Yet another antisemitic trope.