Wednesday 24 February 2010

"Discrediting" Israel

El Universal February 23,2010

Beatriz W. De Rittigstein recently posted an opinion article concerning Israel. She mentions that while there are humanitarian tragedies due to extreme Islam, everyone focuses on how to create propaganda that distorts Israel's actions in order to "discredit" them. Rittigstein goes on to say that while there are no protests against the persecution of dissidents in Iran, massacres in Sudan, or the limited rights of women in Iran there are always protests against Israel. People, "with great cynicism", have the nerve to compare Israel to an apartheid while in Cuba the leaders keep their citizens separated without liberty or movement as they provide tourists with every amenity they need. Rittegenstein concludes saying that sadly the left and radical Islam, use anti- Israel comments to mask their anti-semitism. All they do is "manipulate" the circumstances for their own convenience and to satisfy their own interest.
This article is a breath of fresh air for the anti-semitic environment that exists within Venezuela. Rittigstein was brave enough to stage her opinion in the national newspaper and make an important point which is why does everyone focus all their attention upon Israel, who does things correctly, and not on the inhumane actions of countries such as Iran or Cuba? Rittigstein's conclusion points to the fact that people are simply masking their anti-semitism with anti- Israel sentiment. This is exactly the issue within Venezuela. While some may say that it is anti- Israel many of the articles point to being anti-semitic. While it is small in the scheme of things, hopefully Rittigenstein's article will make a point to El Universal's readers that journalists should stop spending so much time trashing Israel and start looking at the many other world issues that are facing us today.
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Tuesday 23 February 2010

Diplomatic Storm Created after Murder of Hamas Leader

February 19- Aporrea
According to recent news, the assassins used advanced technology to enter the hotel and fled Dubai less than 24 hours after the murder of Hamas leader, Mahmud Al Mabhuh. These new findings, according to Aporrea, all reveal the professionalism of the attack.Hamas has revealed several suspects; one from Britain, five from Ireland, one from Germany, and one from France. Neither Ireland or Germany says these passports were stamped when going to Dubai. Slowly, the international community has begun pointing to Israel. As a result France has asked for an "explanation" from Israel, while Great Britain has asked that their Israeli Ambassador and his government "completely cooperate" with the ongoing investigation. While in Europe there is just diplomatic pressure in Dubai the accusations have been much more direct. As the leader of the police department, Dahi Jalfan says," I am 99 percent sure, if not 100 percent sure that this was an action of the Mossad." He went on to say that their records directly link Israel to the murder. Israel has dismissed the accusations, saying that they think it could have been a plot staged by the Palestinians in order to place the blame on Israel. The article concludes saying that Israel has the strong hand against them, going on to cite six events where Israeli spies were sent abroad: Norway, Cyprus, Jordan,Switzerland, and Cyprus again.
Aporrea once again stays upon their common anti- Israel path in this article. They reveal the accusations yet they barely touch upon what Israel has to say about the situation. When they finally do mention that Israel thinks this may be a plot against them, they turn around and accuse them once again by citing examples where Israel has either sent agents to spy or murder. This article twists the event in order to lead viewers to relate more to the Palestinian plight and raise doubts about Israel's actions.
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Aporrea: "Isreal Destroyed Civilain Property with Military Vehicles"

February 19

Aporrea, the government supported newspaper of Venezuela, reported that this past Thursday military vehicles entered the private territory of Gaza to destroy everything. This action came just hours after a Hamas group promised to avenge the death of their leader Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai. Israel violated their pact, entering the frontier through the central zone,near the Deir Al- Balah barrier, and continued 200 meters only to destroy everything in their path. A few hours later, Israel was attacked by Palestinian explosives, who were "provoked" by the Israeli anti-tank munitions and artillery. Palestinian leaders have vowed to attack Israel due to the murder of Mabhouh. As Abu Obeida, a Palestinian leader says "All the assassins can do now is wait." The Palestinians say that there are eleven suspects that used European passport to enter Dubai in order to commit the murder.
This article is completely one-sided. It presents the Palestinians again as the victims in the situation. As it says, they were "provoked" to take action after Israel entered their territory. Yet the article fails to mention that in fact Israel was the one provoked to defend itself due to the terrorist planning that is currently occurring on the Palestinian forefront.It also victimizes the civilians living in the territory, although the majority of them are linked to Hamas. This article is detrimental to the national perspective of Israel because it refers to them as murderers without a cause.

Thursday 18 February 2010

Israel in its absolute form

In Aporrea last week the writer Eduardo Guerrero wrote an opinion piece on Israel. The result was a four page criticism where Guerrero delineates Israel's mistakes throughout history. Guerrero begins by saying that Israel was born and developed around terrorism and a "false" memory. This "terrorist" war that Israel has created is fueled by American and European support and indifference. The "genocide" in Gaza is clear yet no one has done anything to stop it. Guerrero compares the streets of Gaza to the hell Primo Levy described in Auschwitz.The elections in the government are twisted according to Guerrero because by forbidding Arab political parties they are excluding 20% of the country's vote. He dismisses claims that Israel is the only "democracy in the middle east" saying they are simply militaristic. The article then criticizes "hypocritical" Spain for defending Israel against the attacks made against them during Cast Lead and providing them with arms to stage this "genocide". Guerrero creates this strong alliance between them inciting that they are working together in a negative fashion. In the end he says this situation must be dealt with labeling it the "moral struggle" of our generation.
Recently I wrote about an article that differentiated between anti-Israel and anti-semitic. The fine line that exists between them and separates them. That fine line is definitely broken by Guerrero. He does have the power to criticize Israel even though his assumptions are poorly rooted, yet the fact that he said the state was created by a false history directly criticizes and offends the Jewish community.Also an event as scarring and atrocious as the Holocaust should never be used in a comparison because the destruction and tragedy is on a different level than anything else we have seen in history thus far.Guerrero has no sensitivity towards the Jewish community in this aspect. This article does great damage to Venezuela's perception of Israel because it attacks them as a country and a government and questions their existence. If Venezuelans are to only read these one-sided articles their perception is very narrow and obviously they in effect will also begin to criticize Israel's actions.
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Israel and Uncle Sam

In a recent Aporrea article Rofelio Duc criticized the way Israel has been acclaimed for assisting the situation in Haiti. Duc says that yes while a "bravo" may be said,Israel should not be placed on a pedestal for their actions. Duc claims that Venezuela,Israel and other countries have worked together to improve the situation in Haiti. While Israel did not hesitate to respond quickly and arrive with great technology, create temporary hospitals, and bring in surgeons, nurses and paramedics Duc says that the international community should not "exaggerate". For Israel, "It is not necessary to pass an ocean and travel more then 10,000 km by plane for Israeli medics to find themselves in such a grave humanitarian crisis." According to Duc all Israel has to do is look at their past, referring to Operation Cast Lead. Duco says while a "bravo" may be said no one should forget to bring "Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak" to the international court to be tried for the "crimes against humanity" they committed just a year ago.
This article shows just how far some media outlets will go to bring Israel down. While at the beginning Duc does recognize that Israel has done a good job in Haiti, he immediately focuses back the attention to Israel's negative past with his far- fetched comparison. He lessens the significance of their humanitarian work that has been so instrumental to the assistance of Haiti's citizens while they rebuild their destructed communities. This is a common media tactic with Israel, to draw away from their achievements so that Israel will never receive the support they need and deserve. Venezuelan media outlets are particularly skilled in their criticism and that is why the anti- Israel sentiment has increased significantly in recent years.
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Sunday 14 February 2010

Aporrea discusses Iran's plans to destroy Israel

Freddy Yepez, of the government supported Aporrea newspaper, reported that according to Ali Jamenel, the leader of Iran said that the Middle east "will one day assist the destruction of Israel". The reason they say is because zionism represents a huge danger to the Muslim world. Yepez mentions "with all respect to Islam and Iran" that both religions represent a danger to world because within them no capitalist regime exists. This Yepez believes is the solution to the problem. He says the first solution is to create a system not based on religion but rather on Marxism. He says that the world functions because of the struggle within the classes, it should not be based off religion at all. He then goes on to speak about the concept Marx had about the Jews, saying that if the Jews spread their wealth they get from the "Jewish God" there would not be as many issues. Zionism,according to Yepez, has reached its maximum imperialistic and capitalistic point. Everything that exists within Israel is "atrocious" and they rely on the unconditional support provided to them by America. Zionism is the "general of capitalistic imperialism" within the Middle East. Yepez makes the realization that Israel cannot be destroyed due to its close ties with America, but suggests another Marxist solution and that is to destroy the borders of Israel. If the borders of Israel are destroyed, capitalism will be eliminated and socialism will reign throughout the world.
This article is not only anti-semitic rather revolutionary. Yepez is a marxist who believes that socialism will solve the issues facing the world today. This pro-government newspaper is trying to reach out to its readers in order to bring about international reform, yet they do not realize how unrealistic their plan is. Yepez criticizes Israel and the Jews throughout the article, in effect blaming them for the capitalistic system that exists within the world today.
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Washington Post discusses Venezuela's grim future

March 26,2009

The Venezuelan community has been under significant pressure under President Chavez "revolutionary" government. The main Sephardi synagogue was vandalized, Hebraica -a social, sport club and school- was twice intervened by the police, the Israeli Embassy was closed, and anti-israeli and anti-semitic graphite are widespread. Now it has even spread to the performing arts. The state- sponsored Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho Orchestra withdrew from performing the acclaimed classic Fiddler on the roof. The Orchestra's conductor claimed," We receive financial aid from the government, and the given the current situation we prefer not to participate in a play that has Jewish content." This anti-semitic action comes as no surprise following the many other recent actions of the Venezuelan Government. In 2004 the government staged an attack on the private Jewish School where police led a search for weapons. During the 2006 UN memorial to Auschwitz victims, Venezuela was the only country who twisted it around in order to make it a forum for the Palestinian plight. During Christmas time, Chavez blamed the "Christ killers" for all of the country's problems.The situation escalated with the recent attack on the synagogue.In March rumors emerged that Chavez was creating an alliance with Hezbollah in order to kidnap Jewish travelers in the international airport for ransom. In any of these cases the message is clear, the situation has gone too far and Chavez needs to be stopped before anything else happens.
While this article was written a few months ago, it continues to stress the dangerous situation that the Jews are living in. Even a simple night of culture, has been stripped away from them. There have not necessarily been headlines about the Jewish community recently, but there has definitely been action going on behind the scenes. As I continue to speak to my family, they tell me the situation is getting worse and worse. There has been a rise in kidnappings and the government is nationalizing companies in an attempt to control the market. Besides the deteriorating situation for the Jews, the economy is collapsing and simple things like milk have started to disappear off of the grocery store shelves. The quality of life has gone down significantly and that is why there is a huge wave of emigration, particularly from the Jewish community.
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