Media Bias: Why Israel Newspapers are the
most anti-Israel in the world
truth in the Mideast
Metcalf interviews author, journalist, historian Joan Peters
© 2001 WorldNetDaily.com
Question: You spent about seven
years researching your book, "From Time Immemorial," right?
Answer: Really, it was a lot more
than that, but there were seven years in the field.
Q: What precipitated your interest
in the history of the Middle East?
A: I was sent there by CBS for the
1973 Yom Kippur War to do a series of documentaries. I stayed for the war
and its aftermath -- it became a very long process. Then, Doubleday offered
me a contract to do a book and I became an instant expert. So, I started
doing the book and eventually realized that I and everybody else who had
been studying it had been studying it from the wrong end, and it was turned
on its head. So, I had to give back the contract.
Q: You mean they didn't like the
conclusions you were coming to after doing the research?
A: It wasn't that they didn't like
them. To be fair, they were very interested. But it was an open-ended time
estimate and I couldn't give them any deadlines. They needed a book on
the Middle East so, with all fairness, I gave back the advance and said,
"Maybe I'll come back to you when I've finished, if I ever finish."
Q: What was it you found? Everybody
is confused about the Mideast.
A: Yes, they are.
Q: All people are getting is what
they are being fed through the mainstream, and so much of that is mitigated
by partisan politics and other concerns. What did you find that was surprising
and different from the conventional wisdom?
A: I'm going to back up a minute.
People are learning from the media -- that's true. But today's media has
some more taxing problems. I don't know if you get a rather unfamiliar
-- not very popular -- publication called Commentary Magazine.
Q: Sure. If it is unpopular and
not mainstream, I read it.
A: In the January issue -- I don't
remember the name of the Italian journalist who was translated -- but it
told a very chilling story about what's available in the Middle East for
publication and why. There are open threats by the Palestinian Authority,
Q: I remember that article. I butchered
the writer's name for over 10 minutes.
A: The problem of the Middle East
media is they have to write things the "right way" or else they are dead
Q: It has to be politically correct
to their perspective?
A: It's more than politically correct.
It means they don't report an Israeli who has been murdered. They don't
report the reason for an Arab slaughter of Israelis. They report it as
though it was an Israeli provocation. There was one exception to that.
I'm sure you and your audience must remember the ... I can't even call
it a mutilation. They called it a "lynching," but it was much worst than
Q: Yeah, we remember that. They
hacked up those soldiers.
A: The reporter who had the audacity
to photograph that and then publish it in Italy and then worldwide had
to get down on his knees and beg forgiveness from the Palestinian Authority
to prevent from being killed. There is no freedom to publish there anymore
than there is in places like Egypt, where the news starts at the top of
the pyramid -- I was told that by an Egyptian editorial writer once, a
Q: Wait a minute. You've got two
adversarial factions there. Both sides are propagandizing -- there is no
argument about that. So why would one side be more successful at inhibiting
A: You're talking about Israel and
A: There is nothing equitable about
that. There is not even an analogous situation. Israel has a free press.
Everything bad you can write about Israel is welcome in Israel. In fact,
the Israeli press has been arguably the source of most of the anti-Israeli
material in the world. They have many more papers that are what we would
call anti-Israel than they have pro-Israel.
Q: The guy who published the piece
about the slaughter of those Israeli soldiers -- where was he from?
Q: So whose ring did he have to
A: He was reporting to an Italian
newspaper, an Italian media company. And he thought his job was to report
Q: He didn't get the memo?
A: No. That's about it.
Q: How come the Arab refugees are
perceived so differently? There are a lot of other people who were displaced
after World War II in far greater numbers than the Arabs. Who drew up the
rules on this as far as perception versus reality?
A: There are a lot of disturbing
questions -- and that is a very disturbing one. It has become an urgent
matter to talk about the refugees but people in the Middle East don't want
to talk about refugees. They want to talk about Palestinians.
The refugee situation was equal in 1948.
There was more or less an exchange of populations. There were an unknown
countless number of hundreds of thousands of Arab-born Jews who fled or
were expelled from Arab countries with the advent of Israel. And they left
their properties or their properties were confiscated in those Arab countries.
The Palestinians who fled or were ordered to run from Israel -- many of
them recently arrived nomads who had come for a job -- those people could
have taken over the positions that were left by the Jews in those Arab
countries. It could have been solved and it could have been one of the
more humane solutions to the refugee problem anywhere in the world.
There were many international boards of
inquiry. There were many recommendations by American and foreign presidents
and prime ministers to solve the Arab refugee problem. As the Arabs said
in the Arab League at that time, "We want to keep this as an open sore
and use these people as a pawn against Israel."
Q: They actually had the brass to
A: Oh, they say it. In my book,
it is quoted many times.
Q: In the wake of your research,
what do you see as the most crucial, compelling challenge in the Mideast
A: The most crucial, compelling
problem in the Mideast is standing history on its feet from its place turned
on its head, and trying to get justice turned back on its feet. The history
of the region has been so distorted by the flames of a politically motivated
force. There is no way to right this unless people just stop and say, "Whoa!"
It's going to have to be an almost revolutionary movement in historical
terms. People are going to have to go back to the books and find out about
some of the disturbing questions that could create another holocaust.
Q: A long time ago I read a book
by, I think, some former colleagues of yours, called "O Jerusalem."
A: Yes, a good book.
Q: I thought it was a pretty fair
and balanced analysis of the history. How rabid is revisionist history
in the Mideast?
A: I can tell you it isn't even
revisionist history anymore. It's almost mainstream. It's become so prevalent
and it is a complete hoax. It is bogus. The situation that we are hearing
about is not relevant to the truth of the situation about the conflict
of Arabs and Jews in Israel.
Q: What is the reality?
A: The reality is that Israel is
a very small place, a Jewish place, and without a huge struggle, the Jews
would never have had it. But they had it before the Second World War. It
was a Jewish national home mandated internationally by the League of Nations
as long ago as 1917 at the time of the Balfour Declaration. And then it
was adopted by the international League of Nations Mandate in the '20s.
Q: In 1947, the British sat down
with a crayon and carved up the Mideast. From that point forward, what
is the complaint that the Arabs have?
A: They have no complaint. What
they want is Jews out. First, they want the Saturday people out and then
they want the Sunday people out. I sat with some very soft-spoken, very
chilling people in Gaza -- Islamic Jihad leaders who told me very carefully
and very quietly and very succinctly that no one and no border exists for
the Arabs, the Islamic Arabs, in the area between the Atlantic and the
Mediterranean except the Islamic borders, and that any others are artificial
and the governments must be wiped out.
Q: How do they deal with the cruel
reality that every time a bunch of them get together with rocks and try
to choose victims that are trained, armed and motivated, they come up on
the short end of the stick?
A: First of all, they are not stones.
They are not rocks. I have some examples of these lethal weapons that people
think are tiny little gravel pieces that are slingshot material. They are
lethal weapons. Imagine a group of people with lethal weapons of any kind
going into a crowd of American police who are, for any reason at all, in
a cluster, preventing some kind of rioting. Imagine what would happen to
them if they suddenly threw these lethal weapons or shot at our police.
How quickly would they be rounded up? And how quickly would they be put
out of action?
Q: First, they would be immediately
arrested -- those that could still walk, because the legal justification
of the application of deadly force is if you are in danger of your life
-- and you can be in danger of your life if attacked by a rock or an RPG.
You can take out that attacker. I have a dear friend who is a police officer
who shot and killed an assailant who assaulted him and his partner with
an iron crowbar. It was a righteous shooting -- no harm, no foul. So why
doesn't it happen there?
A: The Israelis have been in a position
of extreme restraint since day one, because the British always considered
the Jews provocateurs just because they were there. They treated the Arabs
as natives in the Jewish national home, and, they allowed Arabs to come
in illegally and take places that were being frantically cleared by Jews
for other Jews to come from Hitler's Germany. It's a very concise and very
traceable history. If you trace it, it loses the complicated factor and
it becomes quite clear.
Q: Why are you the Lone Ranger here?
A: As a matter of fact, [WorldNetDaily
Editor] Joe Farah is very keen on my research and the research, of course,
is not just mine. It belongs to the world. There is a new documentary being
prepared on the book, called "The Myth." It looks like people are finally
waking up to the fact that there is nothing Israel can do except die out
for the Arab Muslims to be satisfied. And since that will not satisfy the
world either, they are going back to reality. I am very encouraged by that.
And, I must say I thought I was the Lone Ranger.
Q: One of the things that has been
so frustrating throughout this latest travail of attempting to grasp the
fiction of peace in the Mideast is that every time Yasser Arafat would
do something bad, the Clinton administration was rewarding him. Then, they
scratch themselves on the head and ask, "Why is he doing this bad stuff?"
Because there are no consequences to the bad stuff.
A: You are right. We have an election
in Israel on Feb. 6.
Q: Barak is toast. The obvious question
is when Ariel Sharon gets in there -- he is the hawk of all hawks.
A: That is the conventional wisdom
-- and that is the same kind of public relations by which Arafat is a peacenik.
If you believe one, you believe the other. In fact, Ariel Sharon is probably
the only man who can keep that country from fragmenting.
He is the only man the Arabs both trust
and fear -- and they respect him because they know he will be fair
and will operate from a position of truth, not from their lies and not
from the mythology that has been used by the Labor Party in Israel. With
the best of intentions, the Labor Party has been misleading the world.
Metcalf is a talk-show host for
Metcalf's daily streaming radio show
can be heard weekdays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern time.
This page was produced by Joseph
Middle Eastern Political and Religious
Brooklyn, New York
to a friend
Source: "From Time Immemorial" by Joan
OFFER Purchase this national bestseller available at WorldNetDaily