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MetulaNews Agency© 

Anews agency specializing in strategic analysis, media watch and proximity coverage 
Copyright © 2002MetulaNews Agency – New heading – Useful details at the buttom of this article

Anatomy of an amnesia ! (Info # 011907/2 EV)

By Denis Elkoubi © Metula News Agency

We are worried at the Mena. We sincerely think that Le Monde has become amnesic. The symptom clearly appeared at the moment of the Amnesty International report entitled "Israel and the Occupied Territories-Palestinian Authority", on July 11 2002. Because we are obliged to note that, by July 15, this daily paper, a mainstay of the Parisian press, had still not thought fit to publish the slightest line about this report.

Gilles Paris prefers to deal with "terrible blunders" of the Israeli army, rather than the branding by Amnesty International of suicide attacks committed by Palestinians as crimes against humanity.

Can we speak of professional conscientiousness and ethics with regards to this scribbler?

That the Israeli army, like any other army [massively much less than the average Western army in the field — editor’s remark], commits inexcusable blunders is hardly matter for a journalistic scoop. We certainly feel sympathy for the victims of these absurd and superfluous acts of war. We are also pleased to see that a genuinely democratic country like Israel has opened 200 inquiries in order to verify suspicions of blunders and, like Gilles Paris, we will remain vigilant about their outcome. This journalist was undeniably right to speak about the development of these inquiries.

But the existence of blunders — not systematic, however, isolated, not representative of the conduct of the Israeli army — does not authorize this penpusher to deduce — on the sole basis that he mentions it in his article — the "murder" of a Palestinian journalist, when the inquiry he is speaking about is still in progress. Paris possesses no reserved share in the instinctive exercise of justice and nothing authorizes him to publish (Le Monde neither, for that matter) the ruling of "guilty" regarding an event when he possesses no proof in order to do so! And if he does, he is required to disclose them — which he does not do — and cannot content himself with feigning their existence. This way of acting makes Gilles Paris' pen that of an informer, which is somewhat reminiscent of the conception of truth in Vichy's journalistic tradition.

At the same time, and that also reminds us of a past we would rather forget, Gilles Paris, Le Monde's permanent correspondent in Israel, and the entire editorial team of Le Monde along with him, continued to obstruct this news — I mean, precisely, to conceal it from their readers' knowledge — concerning the principle news from the Middle-East of these last few days, the one that settles the question regarding the appropriate way to consider the Palestinian collective assassinations — aggression or resistance — and which is contained in the condemnation by Amnesty International, without distinction, of all attacks committed against civilians by armed Palestinian groups.

The concealing of this news by the correspondent of Le Monde at Jerusalem and by the entire editorial team of Le Monde until July 16 (the report was officially released the 11th) constitutes one of the most remarkable acts of manipulation of French public opinion since the Liberation from German occupation.

Why? Because in 44 pages and in an abundantly circumstantiated manner, founded on the indisputable, Amnesty International formulates a categorical refutation of the assertion of the Arab League, but also that of the Association for a Just Peace in Palestine and the presentation of the events chosen by numerous French press organizations, according to which the collective assassinations derive from a legitimate form of resistance. According to the conclusions of Amnesty International, not only are these acts not acts of resistance, but they fall under the very specific definition of crimes against humanity.

And this application of the notion of crimes against humanity imposes logical conclusions of the greatest import in considering the responsibilities for the Middle-East crisis. Thus, and as Stephane Juffa clearly pointed out in his analysis of yesterday ("No!"), the presumptions of a spontaneous, popular, emotive, resistance, or one caused by reprisals are incompatible with the notion of war crime against humanity. In other words, Amnesty International's report establishes that the assassination of Israeli civilians are premeditated acts "belonging to strategic and tactical dialectics" and not responses to other acts.

Beyond the two preceding ethical revolutions, the issue of the Amnesty International report, by establishing that Palestinian acts of terrorism (systematic attacks of civilians by armed individuals) proceed from crimes against humanity, implicitly recognize that Israeli military actions belong to a logic of legitimacy, since their aim is to attack organizations that devote themselves to crimes against humanity. This notion of legitimacy of the right (or the duty?) exerted by Israel in utilizing its armed forces in order to protect its inhabitants fundamentally modifies and denounces as manipulation, the constructed image that the French government and media strive to give of the Middle-East war. They present a situation in which Palestinians, subjected to invasion, humiliation and brutalities of the Israeli army, react by spontaneous acts of despair, whereas for Amnesty International, it is a matter of Palestinian war crimes against the Israeli population, to which the Israelis react.

Obviously, the two propositions are irreconcilable, so the French press in general, and Gilles Paris and Le Monde in particular, have made the decision to omit informing the public about this major event — or to mention it in a subsidiary way, as an episode whose meaning and implications are not clarified — simply because it does not fit in with the editorial line that has been followed up until now and which, with no regard whatsoever for public opinion's right to be correctly informed, they intend to continue to follow!

Drawing conclusions in the place of the consumer of current events, guiding these conclusions by the selection of news that he is allowed to know about, proceeds from prerogatives that are arrogant, manipulative and ethically despicable, which originate in Maoist — but also Trotskyist and Gaullian — theories of the didactic utilization of information. In the France of FR2 television, Le Monde and Chirac, the television spectator and reader remain more than ever gullible recipients devoid of rights, that today we would call suckers.

This is not Gilles Paris' first attempt at didactic misinformation. He spends his time whitewashing Arafat of all his crimes and denying him any responsibility in the tragedies that the Israeli and Palestinian populations are going through. At the Mena, we also remember that he has never deigned to express the ignominious nature of Palestinian collective assassinations or the unavoidable fact that they are frequently organized by armed Palestinian gangs from Arafat's entourage and that the latter was caught red-handed, financing crimes against humanity. For this reason, the readers of Le Monde, deprived of significant factual bearings, remain ignorant of entire sections of the circumstantial fresco. They are unaware, for example, that the American administration has precisely made the decision to remove Arafat from any future process of negotiation in the Middle-East because they have examined and analyzed the conclusive proof of the involvement of the old Palestinian leader in the organization and financing of Palestinian crimes against humanity. In the eyes of the French suckers, the way things have been arranged, because Gilles Paris and Edwy Plenel have deprived them of elements necessary for the understanding of events, George Bush's decision came out of the blue, it seemed to be dictated by the atavistic naivety of the American government and by its unconditional support for Israeli agressiveness, when it is not — for the racists among them — because it gives in to the dictates of the Jewish lobby in the press and in business.

In Le Monde we find published, by way of intellectual backing, along with the factual misinformation of the Gilles Paris type, the racist scrawlings of Morin, Naïr and Sallenave or those of the trendy left-wingers that lament the Israelis' barbarity, the shameful support of the Americans, and excuse suicide attacks, considered as so many dignified outbursts of the sons against the father's humiliation.

Even the time of dupes and suckers only lasts so long. Even if this time drags on. Only yesterday, Jean Daniel claimed there was a typographical error when his daughter accused Israeli soldiers of raping young Palestinian women ; today, Alain Lipietz asserts — without printing errors, this time — that they rape young Arab boys instead. The political abjectness of Le Monde, Liberation, Le Nouvel Observateur and the manipulators Edwy Plenel, Serge July, Jean Daniel and others will not last forever ; a time of reckoning will inevitably come and a time to consider the habits they bequeath to French society. And, as my cousin says, writings remain, we will have the means to recognize them.

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