Media manipulation as art


And it’s business as usual for AP, writing underdog pieces about their favourite Palestinian media darlings trying to stand up to the big bad evil tyrants of Israel.

This time, the issue is a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners, which is about as made-for-the-media an event as I can possibly imagine:

Palestinian prisoners launched a hunger strike Sunday, in what was shaping up to be the biggest showdown between thousands of inmates and the Israeli authorities since the outbreak of fighting in 2000.

[ . . . ]

Mr. Barghouti is taking part in the hunger strike, his daughter Aruba said. The strike started Sunday with 1,600 inmates in three prisons and was to spread to others, with all 7,500 prisoners to take part by the end of the week.

The Palestinian government said it backed the prisoners and declared Wednesday a day of solidarity. “We fully support the legitimate demands of the prisoners and the ending of the policy of collective punishment, torture and terror by the Israeli prison administration against the prisoners and their families,” Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia said in a statement.

Torture and terror, my ass. There’s a sort of irony in watching the Palestinians imprisoned for terrorism accuse Israel of terror.

Their chief complaints? They want more phone access and more liberal visiting hours for their families. Poor babies.

But then, they know full well that the world doesn’t care why they’re in jail, or how many innocent people they’ve murdered… a hunger strike will still get them front-page coverage and worldwide sympathy. Excuse me while I gag.

Meanwhile, sometimes I wish that the Israeli officials who get interviewed for this stuff wouldn’t make it so easy for the press by obliging with statements like this one:

Israeli Public Security Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said over the weekend that Israel would not give in to the prisoners’ demands. “The prisoners can strike for a day, a month, even starve to death, as far as I am concerned,” Mr. Hanegbi said.

Would it kill the Israelis to at least try to make their case in the press? I realize their attitude of frustration is largely a result of years of biased coverage, and they figure why bother being polite. But come on, this stuff just makes it so easy for the Palestinians to spread their propaganda. A few classes in media relations for any Israeli in a position to be speaking to the foreign press might be a wise investment.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DaninVan 08.17.04 at 4:26 PM

Somebody in the Israeli gov’t is floating a suggestion that the prison authorities will be ‘hosting’ barbeques at the prisons in order to entice the inmates into eating. “Another slice of roast pork, Sir?”


2 blogging as struggle 08.22.04 at 8:12 AM

you are a racist piece of shit. you have less than no right to comment on prison conditions.

have you ever fought for anything in your life or is blogging from your corner of privelege your apex?


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