Can the Whole World Be Wrong?

(Melanie Phillips) Melanie Phillips - One of the mysteries of the war against Israel is the extent to which a monstrously twisted narrative about Israel and the Palestinian Arabs - casting the former as evil and the latter as sanctified victims - has been absorbed by so many people. The astonishing story of Mohammed al-Durah illustrates this. On Sep. 30, 2000, the French TV station France 2 broadcast footage from Gaza that apparently showed 12-year-old al-Durah being shot dead by Israeli fire as he clung to his father during a demonstration. The footage incited hysteria across the Arab and Muslim world. But it was all a set-up and a grotesque lie. As I saw in a Paris courtroom in 2007, previously unseen French TV footage showed that the scenes of battle had been staged. Palestinian "demonstrators" were laid out on stretchers and carted off to ambulances. But there was no blood or evidence of injuries whatsoever, not even on al-Durah, with the boy peeping through his fingers moments after a reporter announced he had been killed. The person who has done more than anyone to bring this monstrous calumny to public attention is Richard Landes, a professor at Boston University. His new and magnificent book, Can the Whole World be Wrong? Lethal Journalism, Antisemitism and Global Jihad, is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand today's lunacies. As Landes says, today's Western journalists behave like true believers in the lies about Israel. Journalists who report Palestinian jihadi war propaganda as objective fact fail to grasp that they are thus reporting their own enemy's war propaganda as news. This has led to what Landes terms: "The Alice in Wonderland mindset: when jihadis attack a democracy, blame the democracy."

2023-02-23 00:00:00

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