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Florida Rabbi Calls the Gaza Massacre a Biblical Prophesy [Media Bias & Distortion]

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gaza1newyorktime.jpg*Link to complete coverage of Gaza Massacre on MM*

*Pls DIGG post by clicking here*

Ahmed Bedier, Human Rights Activist and Florida radio-host (I interviewed him at/about MANA) forwarded his NBC interview to me yesterday. What I found especially intriguing in the video (see below), other than Ahmed’s solid performance, were the comments of the Rabbi Eli Lazer, a University Professor.

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Rabbi Lazer calls the Gaza massacre part of “Islam’s war against those who don’t believe in their religion”. Because, according to him, the Bible’s prophesies are true [I believe he is referring to the Old Testament]. In essence, the Rabbi is calling this attack part of a holy war.

This interview with the Rabbi is important in its implications and also once again reemphasizes the double-standards of the media. My questions to the Rabbi and the media would be the following:

  1. First of all, I don’t get it. Israel massacred nearly 400 Palestinians so far, most of them civilians (yes, police-officers under a Hamas government are still civilians according to all international laws), and Hamas’s rockets have killed a total of 16 Israelis in 3 years (make sure you read this HuffPo post for the “true story behind this war”), yet this is “Islam’s war on Israel??” I mean, does the Rabbi think that Americans are so stupid that we will buy this rubbish cop-out as an excuse for massacre?
  2. Which prophesies is the Rabbi referring to? And since Muslims are not explicitly mentioned in the Testaments, what does Rabbi Eli’s reading and other Orthodox Rabbis’ readings of the Old Testament consider Muslims as?
  3. While the world harps over so-called radical verses in the Quran, why does the Bible get a free-pass? I have heard this question answered many times this way, “no one takes the Bible literally”. Wrong! You have a Rabbi in America, a Professor, who takes it quite literally. What about all those extremist Jewish settlers in Palestine, what are they taught in school? Why haven’t we put their books and literature up for public scrutiny, as the jihad-hunters spend day and night going through Islamic literature? Where is UK’s Channel 4’s hit-job on extremist Jewish literature that talks about the “greater Israel”?
  4. What is the difference between this Rabbi and the so-called “Muslim radicals”, who sees the world as a war between Islam and the rest of the world. Aren’t they the two sides of the same extremist coin?
  5. Imagine if an Imam or a Muslim university Professor IN AMERICA had come on TV and opened a Qur’an to justify carnage in the name of holy war? Just because there is a j-word one side, and a mitzvah war on the other, there is no consequence for the latter?
  6. While Hamas’s “Islamist roots” reverberate through every media article (as if having Islamist roots makes you a justified target for murder) why isn’t the role of extremist, orthodox Jews (especially among the settler movement in Israel) who as a majority don’t want Palestinians to have their own land not an important issue? In fact, politics of the right-religious vote in Israel is what many consider as one of the driving forces for this massacre. Don’t get me wrong, there are anti-Zionism Orthodox Jews who are against Israel’s injustice, but they form a small minority by all accounts. So, once again, its not the religion, but the ones who are exploiting it for their political and territorial purposes.

On a related note of knowledge of facts, the following website is a must-have on all blogrolls and links for fair-minded bloggers and websites:

If Americans Knew: What every American needs to know about Israel/Palestine

ap-if-americans-knew.JPGI urge everyone to donate to this website, even a few dollars. There are few “opinions” on this site; rather the site is full of statistics and hard-facts, something which Israel can run away but cannot hide from. Let facts REVERBERATE, not the lies and distortions of the Israeli media campaign.

Also, it is important for all fair-minded individuals to understand how the Israeli PR machine works by taking quality time to see the video below (it’s lengthy but every minute is worth it). Finally, you will have real, hard data and facts to explain how the media bias works to back up what most already know. I mean, just pick up any AP article, and you will hardly ever see mention of an Israeli attack, except that it is stated (sometimes a dozen times) that it is in retaliation or response to a Palestinian crime. NEVER is Israel a “first-mover” in injustice, it is always portrayed as the innocent victim, RETURNING fire, never starting it. If we really want to play this game, then we’ll have to remind everyone that the occupation ALWAYS comes first, by all accounts. So, if there is an ultimate first-mover of injustice and violence, it is indeed the Israelis.

Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This pivotal documentary exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites–oil, and a need to have a secure military base in the region, among others–work in combination with Israeli public relations strategies to exercise a powerful influence over how news from the region is reported.

Please see this video (below Ahmed’s NBC interview) and spread the word.

Rabbi calls it a religious war.

[youtube 9zLcIIuBfwU]

Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: Media & the Israel-Palestine Conflict, produced by Media Foundationwww.c2ore.com

[google -6604775898578139565]

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Amad

    December 31, 2008 at 3:55 AM

    I hope that someone can volunteer to go through the 80 minute video and make a nice 1-page summary. A short (10-page at most) powerpoint presentation would also be awesome. I say this because I know many Americans have short attention-span, so the more we can squeeze facts into small parcels, the better chance they will be read and understood.

    If someone can do so, pls mention it here or email us, and we’ll post it inshalah.

  2. Ali Shehata

    December 31, 2008 at 5:20 AM

    Salaam alaikum ya Amad,

    May Allah reward you for pulling up these sources and videos. I started watching the 80 minute video and while I agree it is long, i am not sure that justice could be done to it in any other form. It is very powerful subhanAllah and I think that if someone even had only time for the first five minutes it will do an effective job of pulling them in for even more. jazak Allahu khayr for this.

    Ali

  3. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    December 31, 2008 at 10:30 AM

    innalhamdolillah. mashaAllah, Amad, maybe your best post ever, and it enjoins what is good for all people. may Allah accept it from you, may He reward you for it in this life and in the next. and may He free Gaza and all of Palestine from Israeli hegemony, tyranny, and insanity.

  4. ibnabeeomar

    December 31, 2008 at 12:01 PM

    does the Rabbi think that Americans are so stupid that we will buy this rubbish cop-out as an excuse for massacre?

    Have you watched the news lately? not only the average americans buy this, but obama and his “if someone fired a rocket where my daughters are sleeping” is buying it too.

  5. IbnAbbas

    December 31, 2008 at 12:39 PM

    great video!! its a must-watch for everyone and we should promote it by pressuring the islamic channels and others to air it on their shows.

    JazakallahKhair for the post Amad.

  6. Hidaya

    December 31, 2008 at 1:20 PM

    Amad,

    Digg link is not working!

  7. Amatullah

    December 31, 2008 at 1:23 PM

    JazakAllahu Khair brother for sharing, may Allah SWT reward you. Ameen.

  8. Amad

    December 31, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    DIGG link fixed:
    http://digg.com/world_news/Florida_Rabbi_Calls_Gaza_Massacre_Biblical_Prophesy

    So everyone who clicked on it before, should DIGG again… it only has a few DIGGs, and since it was on dailykos too, I assume we missed a lot of DIGGing :) Khair, let’s do it now.

  9. anonymous

    December 31, 2008 at 7:29 PM

    palestine israel 101 is a nice summary of Peace Propoganda and Promised Land on YouTube

  10. Sanuma

    December 31, 2008 at 11:17 PM

    the bias and prejudice of this strikes out to me: reporters have actually gone to Israeli civilians and gotten their side and made them look like the victims, yet, has anyone gotten the Palestinians’ story?

  11. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    January 1, 2009 at 10:48 PM

    innalhamdolillah. bismillah.

    by contrast, i offer this orthodox NY rabbi who calls for an apology to the Palestinians, the restoration of all their land, and the dissolution of Israel and zionism.

    http://www.kaltura.com/index.php/kwidget/wid/mo76wkpke8

  12. Miako

    January 2, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    the settlers are terrorists, or as good as (stealing someone’s home is a crime, most places, ain’t it?). The average Israeli is no more a criminal than the average Palestinian (I might insert something about the corruption of the government, but that contains a cultural element). Naturally, the Average Israeli says that they want to negotiate with Hamas (opinion polls, etc)

  13. scot7

    January 3, 2009 at 11:04 PM

    leave israel alone god will work it ou. honestly god will kick ass as hes awesom

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