As Israeli economist Steven Plaut points out, all the foreign news teams have agreements with the PLO not to embarrass it. Italian TV broke the rules when its film crew filmed shots of the Palestinian mob gouging out the eyes, murdering and mutilating the two IDF reservists and then dipping hands in the blood of the murdered men and waving their bloody hands in triumph. The PLO was furious when the film went round the world.
Richard Cristiano, the representative of Italian state television, accordingly wrote a letter of apology to the Palestinian Authority (his letter was published on Oct. 16 in Al Hayat al Jedida). He said he worked under the PA's rules for journalists, blames his competitors in the Italian media for broadcasting the pictures and promises never again to film events liable to cast a negative light on the PA. To underscore the point, Italian TV put large ads in all the West Bank papers apologizing for inadvertently putting the PA in a bad light.
Israel's government press office temporarily suspended Christiano's card in protest. Given that all the foreign press works under the same PA rules (ever wonder why CNN and BBC coverage is so ludicrously one-sided?), if Israel were serious, it should be suspending all foreign journalistic credentials. An added twist to the story: Barak himself, while wanting the foreign press to see the film, did his best to bar it from Israeli TV; his attempted ban was circumvented when an Israeli TV station simply copied the video from a foreign channel).
Shimon Peres, impervious to experience (experience is history, and after all, Shimon has told us "there is nothing to learn from history"), has no second thoughts about the peace process. Asked by a CNN reporter how he felt about having armed the PLO to kill Israelis, Shimon, that Simon-pure pillar of political correctness, replied with the gun lobby's slogan: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." The NRA is quite right on this score, which makes it the greater pity that the reporter did not have a follow up question: given that it is indeed people who kill people, why did you choose to give guns to those people?
Shimon is by no means alone in being incapable of being mugged by reality. As the Arab "street" rioted, lynch mobs flourished, and Palestinian Authority radio and TV urged it all on, a poll was taken of Jewish Israelis: 35% said they would vote for an agreement based on Barak's proposals at Camp David and 27% said it was possible to reach a full peace agreement with the Palestinians.
As the PA heated up the war process Yitzhak Rabin initiated in 1993 (what Steven Plaut, in this issue, calls Israel's policy of permitting the "controlled carnage" of its citizens) two people stood up at a soccer game at Jerusalem's stadium and shouted "Kahane was right." They were promptly arrested for incitement. Meanwhile Arabs hung a Hamas banner from the golden Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. As Plaut points out, "Israel did, well, nothing."
At age 88, Moshe Landau, former President of Israel's Supreme Court, after decades of self-imposed silence, has finally decided to speak out. In an interview with Ha'aretz, published in both its Hebrew and English editions, he warns that the state faces the apocalypse: that the "politics of weakness" has brought the state to the edge of destruction. "We're undermining ourselves more and more. We're heading toward political and national suicide." Symbols, history and national honor are important, says Landau. "Zionism is the longing for Zion. And what is Zion if not the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, the Old City?" He speaks about small minorities who impose their views upon the public: a far left media that tries to dictate to the public what to think, a
(Continued on p.12)
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Outpost - 2 - November 2000