Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Israeli invasion is bad enough without manufacturing hatred,

On another blog, I read a lengthy post which repeated a quote attributed to Ariel Sharon. The quote was fabricated, yet, the blogger repeated it in his post like a mantra, as proof that the Jews control America. Zionism is bad. I'm waiting for him to suggest that it was Zionist Jews behind the attacks on 9/11, because that's how misinformed I find him to be. But he writes well, and given the American tendancy to believe blindly, the comments on his post all support him as being right on, the voice of reason. Personally, I find him to be hateful. Filled with hatred, misinformation, which he dissembles as not being anti-semetic.

Listen, folks. The Israeli government is wrong. However, The USA controls Olmert and the Knesset. It is not the other way around. Rather than focus your misguided hatred on Israel, it is better served to focus on Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Rice, Kristol, Wolfowitz, and the PNAC.

But back to the quote:

Syndicated Columnist Georgie Anne Geyer Uses Fabricated Sharon Quote by Tamar Sternthal

In a May 10, 2002 column (“Now Isn’t the Time for Bush League Moves”), nationally-syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer included bogus and inflammatory allegations against Prime Minister Sharon and Israel’s supporters in America.

First, she wrote:

In fact, it [American support for Israel’s actions] led Prime Minister Sharon to tell his Cabinet recently, “I control America.”

CAMERA conducted extensive Nexis and Internet searches, and found that no mainstream news organization reported as true the fabricated quotation.

The hoax originated with an October 3, 2001 press release from the pro-Hamas group, the Islamic Association for Palestine. It said:

An acrimonious argument erupted during the Israeli cabinet weekly session last week between Ariel Sharon and his foreign Minister Shimon Peres during which Sharon reportedly yelled at Peres, saying “don’t worry about American pressure, we control America.”

Notably, in the same press release, the direct quotation “we control America” changed to “we the Jewish people control America.”

IAP wrote:

According [to] the Israeli Hebrew radio, Col [sic] Yisrael Wednesday, Peres warned Sharon that refusing to heed incessant American requests for a cease-fire with the Palestinians would endanger Israeli interests and turn the US against us. At this point, a furious Sharon reportedly turned toward Peres, saying “...I want to tell you something clear, don’t worry about American pressure on Israel, we the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it.”

According to the IAP press release, the statement was reported on Kol Yisrael. However, CAMERA’s calls to Kol Yisrael confirmed that no such broadcast occurred.

Geyer’s second problematic claim was:

Look at U.S. television: One minute, you see pro-Israeli ads saying the Arabs are all dogs...

However, here too investigation turned up no evidence that any such ad ever appeared on U.S. television.

Since the Sharon “quotation” and the “Arabs are dogs" ad are preposterous on their face, one would have expected Geyer (and editors who publish her column) to verify their accuracy before including such inflammatory statements in her column.

Geyer’s piece, which is syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate, is known to have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and the San Diego Union Tribune.

UPDATE (June 15, 2002): Geyer Expresses "Regrets"
CAMERA notified Geyer’s editors that the Sharon “quote” originated on a pro-Hamas website (the Islamic Association for Palestine), and that it had not been corroborated by any reputable media organization. CAMERA also pointed out that IAP’s alleged source, a report on Israel radio, is apparently fictional – Kol Yisrael denied to CAMERA that it had ever broadcast any such report.

When CAMERA requested substantiation from Geyer, the columnist first asserted that she was abroad and would have to check her notes when she got back home in June. After CAMERA contacted editor Bruce Dold of the Chicago Tribune (which ran the Geyer column), he replied:

Ms. Geyer does indeed cite the same sources you note [an Islamic Association for Palestine press release that claimed Kol Yisrael radio reported the Sharon statement] on the Sharon quote. If you have a statement or confirmation from Kol Yisrael, I’d like to see it. As for the second point [concerning the alleged television ads], that is not a direct quote from an ad, but Geyer’s own interpretation of the nature of the content.

Informed that the Kol Yisrael reporter assigned to cover the Israeli Cabinet [where the Sharon statement was alleged to have been made] denied Sharon had made the attributed comment, Dold responded with a different story from Geyer. She now claimed that her sources were two anonymous Israelis.

Finally, Geyer’s syndicate disseminated the following Editor’s Note which appeared on June 14 in the Chicago Tribune and Sarasota Herald Tribune and will likely be published by other papers that ran Geyer’s May 10 column.

Editor’s note: Georgie Anne Geyer’s May 10 column included a quote from Ariel Sharon, 'I control America.’ This quote was widely reported in the Palestinian press but cannot be confirmed in independent sources. Geyer and Universal Press Syndicate regret not having attributed the quote more specifically.

While the syndicate thus admitted that “This quote...cannot be confirmed in independent sources,” it failed to state unambiguously that Sharon never uttered the words and that the alleged quotation first appeared in a press release from the pro-Hamas IAP. Since IAP said that Kol Yisrael was their source and Kol Yisrael denies broadcasting any such report, there should be no question that IAP was attempting to perpetrate a hoax. The syndicate also should have written “alleged quote” whenever referring to the supposed statement by Sharon.

Furthermore, the Editor’s Note implies that the problem was one merely of mistaken attribution – that it would have been acceptable for Geyer to use the bogus quotation had she cited “Palestinian sources.” Obviously, since these sources have been proven false, the quote should not have been published at all.

Additionally, the Editor’s Note fails entirely to address the other baseless assertion in Geyer’s May 10 column, her outrageous statement: “Look at U.S. television: One minute, you see pro-Israeli ads saying the Arabs are all dogs...”

Repeated CAMERA requests for Geyer to identify the specific ad that led to her “interpretation” have gone unanswered. Clearly there is no way that her readers could have understood that she was “interpreting” rather than paraphrasing or quoting from a supposed ad. Since it is extremely unlikely that any “U.S. television” station would have broadcast any such ad, Geyer and her syndicate owe her readers another “Editor’s Note” or apology.

15 comments:

Comandante Agí said...

Is it fair to assume that Geyer is a Mel Gibson fan?

DivaJood said...

Agi, she might review POTC 2, The Sequel.

Alicia said...

Jood - you should diary this over at My Left Wing.

betmo said...

diva- i am glad i have your blog so i can be more informed on this issue. i have altered my view on this whole thing and i do concur with your first paragraph or so- america is behind this whole thing. i think olmert really wanted to participate but this has cheney and rumsfeld written all over it.

DivaJood said...

Betmo, it is so much a part of the original position papers of the PNAC, that it is disgusting.

Alicia, thank you for your encouragement. But I've got a troll comment at MLW.

Tina said...

And let's not ever, ever forget that it was former Dem presidential candidate Gen Wes Clark who told us all that he (in his capacity as General) had been told by the Pentagon that "The Five-year campaign plan [includes]... a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan."
.... Olmert is just happliy going along for the ride b/c I honestly think Olmert believes this will somehow cement Israel's wishes and wants with America's wishes and wants, but when dealing with these ghouls and fiends, Olmert will be damn lucky if HE isn't taken for a big, big ride himself when all is said and done.
True, screwing over Israel will hurt the PNAC/GOP with Jewish voters, but since 69% of Jewish voters voted for Kerry in 2004, how many pissed off Jewish votes will they really be losing?
And once they get their BushCo fascist detention laws in place for US citizens merely suspected of having "terror ties", how many people will be too damned scared to pipe up?

sumo said...

One thing you can say...this is not boring...everyday something new pops up for us to digest.

DivaJood said...

Tina, great point! The Pentagon/PNAC five year plan - wasn't Clark the first person to put the spotlight on this horrific invasion scheme? Now we have Condi "birthing" a "New Middle East" while innocent people die. Olmert needs to realize that his wishes and wants are not the same as Israel's wishes and wants. As Bushco proceeds with invasion after invasion, my real fear is that Israel will be destroyed. And Bushco doesn't care. Scare the people into silence. A dictatorship in embryonic stages.

Sumo, I'd be happy with boring at this point. Peace is a goal to strive for, and so is the truth.

Pete's Blog said...

The US/Israel relationship is, of course, more complex than Israel simply adhering to an American 5 year plan.

Hezbollah is firing real rockets (perhaps 190 in the last 24 hours!) into Israel - once Hezbollah improves their accuracy they'll become far mor dangerous.

Iran is developing a nuclear missile capability more quickly than most expected.

Iran's first long range missiles will be able to reach Jerusalem but not Washington. Therefore Isreal should be alarmed all by itself - no need for US misinformation on this one.

Pete

DivaJood said...

Pete, of course it is more complex - Hezbollah has a well organized, capable militia. They're constantly improving their capabilities, and, driven by their own hatred, quite focused.

I used to believe that Muslims would not bomb Jerusalem because it holds Islamic holy sites, but seeing what happens in Iraq on a daily basis, I no longer believe that.

The Fat Lady Sings said...

My friend Amy and I were discussing this very issue today; but in a broader sense. Mel Gibson felt comfortable enough to give voice to his hatred because for a number of years - in print and on TV - spewing hatred and prejudicial commentary has become as regular as commenting on the weather. Just last week Coultergeist called Al Gore a 'fag'. The only eyebrows raised were those objecting to Gore's being referred to as gay. Not one mention of the gay-bashing intention behind Coultergeists hate-speech. Hell - two years ago she called Helen Thomas 'that old Arab' and no one blinked then either. So making anti-Semitic remarks just plays into the aura of hatred that has infected America lately; and it’s gonna get worse - just wait and see.

DivaJood said...

TFLS, Mel Gibson has just gotten a wrist slap with a DUI. He's reached out to the Jewish community, however, a lifetime of hatred doesn't change overnight.

People like Gibson, and Coultergeist, spew hatred publicly and it erodes any semblance of restraint someone might have. Common decency erodes, and yes, it becomes easy for people to spew more hatred.

Hell, we do it when we refer to the Neocons with epithets. We demean them, we demonize them - my son once told me that it doesn't help to make change when we do this. But then he said that it is a natural response to frustration.

Helen Wheels said...

Well said and well written, DivaJood!

I do blame the evil cabal and the PNAC for the world's explosion into violence. Thank you for your continued voice on this issue - you are really informative.

I'm already a *tad* scared to pipe up, Tina! I have no problem doing it on my blog but I'm literally afraid to put bumper stickers on my car or wear political t-shirts. What's with that??!!! AND I'm in Los Angeles!!!

DivaJood said...

Helen, I was afraid to speak up until I started blogging, and found that I wasn't alone in my fears about the PNAC. I don't wear political t-shirts because I don't like to call attention to the fact that I need to lose some weight, but that's vanity. But I speak up with others now, and I will continue to do so, even if there are ultimate consequences.

anita said...

Very interesting post Divajood, as are all your policy-related posts. Your blog really is "required reading" in my (extremely) humble opinion.