"He Must Decide"
established this false analogy, two main propaganda arguments were
formulated by the Cabinet: "First, in the strong wording of
a message transmitted to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat: He must decide
to which camp he belongs to the basement of terrorism or to the
living room of the civilized nations"; second, "the disaster
has not prevented decision makers in Jerusalem from making a concerted
effort to give Israel the image of a country that is part of the
community of the Sons of Light, fighting against the Sons of Darkness,"
to quote Benziman again.
were not the original Israeli propaganda themes. They were set by
the US, and Israel just produced a localized version an Israeli
translation if you like. Let's see how it works.
reliable mouthpiece of the American government, columnist Thomas
Friedman, wrote from Jerusalem(!) for the New
York Times: "A country like Syria has to decide: Does
it want a Hezbollah embassy in Damascus or an American one? If it
wants a U.S. embassy, then it cannot play host to a rogue's gallery
of terrorist groups." The theme "He Must Decide"
was born in America; it was then adopted by Israel with a slight
modification, making it refer to Arafat; and in this localized version
it is cultivated by the Israeli media, especially by the "free,"
"critical" and "pluralistic" daily Haaretz.
column on Thursday just hinted:
as a victim, and as it readies for a counter-attack, will face a
simple question that it will state clearly to countries and organizations
worldwide: Are you for us or against us? Those who want to be considered
friends of the U.S. will no longer be able to hide behind their
editorial was explicit:
Palestinian Authority, which the IDF has wanted declared a "terrorist
entity" for a very long time now, will have to abandon its
hypocritical stance and clearly show where it stands. If it continues
to be involved in terrorism."
very Friday, senior political columnist Yoel
Marcus also had a strikingly innovative idea, which he felt
obliged to share with his unprepared readers: "PA Chairman
Yasser Arafat will have to decide which side he is on: good or evil."
finally then on Sunday (Haaretz rests on Saturday), a fully
developed editorial for the yet uninitiated:
of local movements and organizations must now declare anew their
position. Are they part of global terrorism through their acceptance
of local terror as a legitimate method, or are they part of those
fighting terror as it is now understood and defined in light of
the destroyed American buildings? Among those who must make this
decision is Yasser Arafat, who must decide whether he is prepared
to withdraw his support for all terrorist organizations and acts
how the Sons of Light's free, critical and pluralistic media works
how very different from primitive propaganda machines of the
Sons of Darkness, that just repeat the same clichés over
and over again.
Sons of Light, Sons of Darkness
demagoguery of Sons of Light against Sons of Darkness is a banal
Hollywood myth, used to justify the Sons of Light when they actually
behave as Sons of Darkness, as we are likely to see soon in Afghanistan
or elsewhere. Its Israeli localization must stress a rather delicate
point, namely, that Israel belongs to the Sons of Light. A Haaretz
editorial of September 12 talks pathetically of "all freedom-loving
countries, including Israel, which are not ready to bow their heads
before extremists who enlist God to justify their murderous activities.
[...] It is possible to point the blame at all those who are ready
to accept a solution made up of violence and murder as a path to
justice. Those will be the ones America will fight, with its partners
who share America's values."
countries", says the editorial; and hastens to add, to avoid
mistake: "including Israel." Whose freedom does Israel
love so much? Is it the freedom of every person to marry his beloved
one, a freedom still denied to couples of mixed religions? Is it
the freedom of foreign workers, hundreds of thousands of whom are
living in Israel in conditions of near-slavery? Or is it the freedom
of the occupied Palestinians, who have been living under Israeli
military regime for 34 years, without nationality, without human,
political and social rights, and in the last decade even without
the basic freedom of movement beyond the nearest Israeli checkpoint,
never more than a couple of miles away?
who are those who enlist God to justify their murderous activities?
Are they just Moslem fundamentalists, or do murderous Jewish settlers
who terrorize the occupied territories do the very same thing? Who
are "all those who are ready to accept a solution made up of
violence and murder as a path to justice"? Are they the evil
Palestinians, who are using violence as a path to the just cause
of ending the occupation or is it virtuous Israel, that has been
using a much more murderous violence as a path not to justice,
but rather to injustice, to impose occupation and illegal settlements?
a controversy has occurred between PM Sharon and Foreign Minister
Peres. Sharon draws the analogy to its end, compares Arafat to bin
Laden, and has vetoed a meeting between him and Peres. Peres called
Sharon "part of the rejectionist front" for this veto.
Peres would not have dared to make such a charge, unless he was
aware of American support for such a meeting. Indeed, President
Bush seems to be considering including the Palestinians in his "coalition."
At such a moment, very much depends on so-called Arab and Moslem
such solidarity exists, Arab states such as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi
Arabia should join forces and convince Bush that ending the Israeli
occupation is a vital American interest. In this case, we might
witness another solution for Samson's riddle: "Out of the strong
came forth sweetness," with strong American pressure on Israel.
If, on the other hand, Arab and Moslem solidarity proves non-existent
once more, and Israel convinces Bush that it will be able to contain
the Palestinians with no damage to American interests, we might
all face many more suicide bombers to come, with an ever-destabilizing
520 S. Murphy Ave., #202
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Contribute Via our Secure Server
Credit Card Donation Form
contributions are now tax-deductible