by Rachel Hirshfeld
Often, what is reported in the media is just as significant as the way in which the information is relayed as well as what stories and details get omitted, determined to be ‘unfit to print.’ Politically savvy readers quickly learn that they must read between the lines, ascertain the nuisances of political headlines and deconstruct the language being used, in order to discern the true message behind the information being conveyed.
On February 3, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reaffirmed the Iranian regime’s commitment to obtaining nuclear weapons and fighting any country that seeks to hinder such efforts, namely the United States and Israel. He espoused that any attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities would result in an attack “10 times worse for the interests of the United States.”
While the story quickly made headlines, Commentary Magazine’s Jonathan S. Tobin poignantly notes that not all noteworthy publications, namely The New York Times, chose to report such noteworthy news. He states, “there was something missing from the Times report of Khamenei’s speech that was reported elsewhere. Other accounts noted that in addition to threatening the United States, Khamenei said this: ‘The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed.’ While we don’t know how or why a mention of this element of speech managed to get excised from the account in the Times, it’s a question worth pondering.” As one of the leading newspapers in the United States, one must question whether such an omission was simply a careless oversight, or an intentional omission, aimed at understating Israel right to defend itself, whether or not given the “green light” from the American administration.
Furthermore, last week the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Hussein, exemplified the incitement and hatred that is so prevalent in Palestinian society, encouraging and exalting the killing of Jews. Marking the 47th anniversary of the founding of Fatah he said, “The hour of judgment will not come until you fight the Jews… The Jews will hide behind the stone and behind the tree. The stone and the tree will cry, ‘Oh Muslim, Oh Servant of God, this is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” This statement came only a few days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, during which world leaders, or at least those still committed to preventing genocides against the Jewish people, pledged to never allow such an atrocity to occur again.
While proclamations of “Never Again” are all very noble and heartwarming, one must ask, given the anti-Semitic trends of our times, if such statements really hold any weight. If President Obama, who, upon his quest for the Jewish vote in the upcoming elections, pledges his commitment to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel, why, then, were there no statements issued condemning the remarks of the Grand Mufti, whose rhetoric, like that of the Iranian regime, directly mirrors the rhetoric used by Hitler and the Nazi party?
While it is true that if one is still surprised by the aforementioned statements, he or she has, apparently, not been keeping up with the political trends of our times or the reoccurring cycle of Jewish history. However, whether leaders, like the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Supreme Leader of Iran, unmistakably proclaim their desire to obliterate the “Zionist entity” or, whether journalists and politicians, who chose to omit or refrain from issuing harsh and unapologetic statements of condemnation in response, are all embarking down a similar path, overt or covert, characterized by undermining the State of Israel and Jewish People.Rachel Hirshfeld
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