Letter to the Editor

29 July 2017

Refers: Fearless

I have yet to see a more blatantly biased, misleading and unsubstantiated article about the Israel/Palestinian conflict than that penned in the Saturday Star by Sameer Naik. This is no more than dishonest, anti-Israel propaganda at its worst.

Hardly a day has passed in the last few weeks that this publication and others from the Independent Media stable have not featured some distorted major article on Israel’s effort to control the smuggling of weapons onto the precincts of the Temple Mount. This resulted in the murder of two Druze policemen whose presence was to facilitate the peaceful worship by all Muslims (and Infidels) visiting the Dome of the Rock, the Al Aqsa Mosque and/or Temple Mount.

In achieving that goal, Israel erected metal detectors at all entrances to the Temple Mount which was met with furious dissent by the very Muslims they were designed to protect. They have since been withdrawn.

In the deeply emotive scenario that ensued, The Star saw fit to publish a one-sided, full page expose with 7 photographs depicting sweet-looking 11 year old Janna Fayyad, who, if her quotes are to be accepted at face value, is articulate beyond her tender age.

e.g. “If you don’t have fear, you’re not normal.  But you should never let your fear control you”. “… too much blood is being shed. So we have to make sure that the next generation lives in a world of quality”.

Janna, described as one of the world’s youngest journalists, claims that during a “peaceful demonstration”, she was so severely beaten on her legs by Israeli soldiers, that she was unable to walk for a week. It is indeed strange that a “journalist” would not have at the very least photographed these injuries to support so damning a claim.

Janna expresses her wish to “tell the truth” through her reporting which we whole heartedly endorse. However, based on the op-ed penned by Sameer Naik, both of them will have to do somewhat better to convince that this one-sided anti-Israel offering reflects anything close to the truth. Personally, I have read too many media expose’s by “Honest Reporting” (available online) to accept anything written by Palestinians about Israel without some cynicism.

No mention is made of the continual acts of terror that occur on Israeli streets (knifings of innocent civilians; vehicle ramming; shootings, stone throwing  etc - the ever-present fears of, and attacks on,  the Israeli community which  would never earn the full front page of Canvas Life.

If little Janna wishes to leave a mark on both fair and positive journalism while promoting an effort to achieve future peace in that troubled region, she could use her talents to alleviate fears on both sides and sketch a fair, un-biased picture of what is truly happening.

Indeed, what is not happening is a regular, unprovoked assault on the legs of 9 year-olds;  a regular Friday assault using “tear gas, rubber coated bullets and live ammunition” against the peaceful residents of the village of Nabi Salleh, which Janna claims has caused  “countless deaths”.  Exactly how many deaths must occur to be recognised as “countless” or is the word merely used for emotion?

Finally, for Muhammed Nawajah to claim that “(Israelis) don’t want us to go to school and educate ourselves because we are the next generation that could make Palestine free” contradicts the fact that Israel  established as many as 9 universities in the disputed territories where previously there were none. Ironically, the co-leader of the BDS movement, Omar Barghouti, is studying for his PhD at Tel Aviv University.”   

Obviously, Israel recognises that if she is to achieve any form of peace she requires educated and far-sighted peace partners and not the bigoted variety like Sameer Naik and his now 11 year old cohort.