Friday, 2 April 2004

NPR: Israeli Spokespiece, or Honest Journalism?

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Today, 2 April 2004, on Morning Edition, the act of throwing stones was protrayed as violent. Palestinians have taken to throwing stones as part of their resistance methods. When tanks, APCs, and jeeps invade Palestine in a willful breach of international law, the youth of the city that has been illegally invaded typically gather, stones in hand, to defend their city. They generally remain in the open, making themselves easy targets for Israeli gunfire - much of which consists of both rubber and live bullets, as well as poisoned "tear gas" containing DDT. I have heard the sound of a ston hitting an APC. APCs are obviously not as fortified as tanks. The stone made a sort of "plonking" sound. It did not do any damage whatsoever, even form a short range. The person who was reporting live through the radio indicated that there was not even a dent in the vehicle. The hand of a yong person is tiny; and the amount of rock that a youth can carry, much less throw, is minimal.

These stones are not violent.

What is violent is the Israeli response: the poisoned tear gas, the bullets, and the tank shells which the USA has gifted to the Israelis thanks to our own tax dollars. On Saturday, 11 January 2004, Israel illegally invaded the Balata Refugee Camp near the major Palestinian city of Nablus, violating once again the 4th Geneva Convention and several UN Security Council Resolutions. As usual, they were greeting with youth bearing stones. Oshan `Abdul Aziz Shanir, 22 years old, was shot in the heart and immediately killed. Omar Alloush, 16, was shot in the chest. Salhi, 16, was shot in his shoulder. A youth whose last name is known as Taha, 17, was shot in the calf. Omar Saqar, 18, was shot in his groin. Another youth with the last name Zabbara, 18 years old, was shot in the shoulder. Two more children were taken to the hospital - names and injuries unknown. Every single stone lying on the ground after the Israeli assault on these children was the size of a child's palm.

Bullets to the chest rip through lung tissue, major arteries, and the heart. They cause massive bleeding, suffocation, and heart failure. Bullets aimed at the shoulders slice through lung tissue, leaving children sufficating. Shots to the groins open up major veins and slice through reproductive organs. These children often bleed to death or, if they survive, are unabl to bear children - a deliberate sterilisation campaign. Bullets shot through the lower legs shatter small bones and rip apart muscle tissue. These troops kow what they are doing. Shots to these vital body parts occur often enough that the international community knows that they are intentionally aimed. Children who are unable to access medical attention die from blood loss and suffocation. Illegally occupying Israeli military vehices often intentionally prevent ambulances from reaching these wounded children. Then they are detained at illegal checkpoints andprevented from reaching the hospital. All of these measures are direct violations of international law as per the Geneva Conventions.

Who is violent? What is violent? Is it the youth? The stones? Or is it the DDT-laced tear gas, the bullets, and the tank shells. Were the facts actually reported, we the people could decide.

This time, the reporter was Julie McCarthy. However, we usually hear Linda Gradstein reporting on Palestinian issues. Everyone knows of this woman's corruption. No-one trusts her reports from the Middle East. She is known for her many speeches as zionist functions, as well as the donations that she accepts from zionist sympathisers. In February 2002, Coca-Cola (a well-known pro-zionist corporation) cosponsered a lecture given by the pro-zionist NPR correspondent Linda Gradstein at the University of Minnesota. On Tuesday 19 February 2002, Coca-Cola partnered with the University of Minnesota to fund a pro-Israel propaganda lecture, which was given by Linda Gradstein. The event was co-sponsored by zionist organizations like Friends of Israel and National Hillel.

Gradstein has long been a favorite on the pro-Israeli lecture circuit, especially with Hillel, a nationwide organization which in close cooperation with AIPAC (the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) and the Israeli government, works to promote a strongly pro-Israeli agenda on college campuses. In fact, at least in one case, Hillel openly acknowledges that it sees Linda Gradstein as a propagandist for Israel. Gradstein was paid $2,500 for this appearance, according to the Hillel evaluation, $2,000 of which was raised from Hamagshimim, a group that describes itself (below) as "a dynamic pro-Israel/Zionist movement for young adults."

Gradstein received a $1,000 honorarium from the Amy Adina Schulman Fund, a foundation whose stated funding criteria include promoting "Zionist youth movement" activities, for a lecture she gave in Princeton in April 2001. These are only two examples of the dozens of appearances Gradstein has made since 1993 for many of which she has received cash honoraria and in-kind benefits from pro-Israeli lobby groups.

Are you an Israeli spokespiece, or are you a media outlet based on journalistic integrity? Your record of shabby reporting and zionist affiliations seems to indicate the former, not the latter.

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