13 March 2008

Letter to the International Herald Tribune

In reply to the article by Alison Smale in the IHT "'Magic is over' for U.S., says French foreign minister" yesterday:


In Alison Smale's article, she makes at least two statements which are highly controversial and neither make any mention of the opposing interpretation needed to maintain a balanced approach:

Firstly, she refers to the canard that "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad...has called for the destruction of Israel". As scholars such as Juan Cole and British journalist Jonathan Steele have pointed out "The fact that he compared his desired option - the elimination of "the regime occupying Jerusalem" - with the fall of the Shah's regime in Iran makes it crystal clear that he is talking about regime change, not the end of Israel." According to Cole, "Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to 'wipe Israel off the map' because no such idiom exists in Persian". Instead, "He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse." The Iranans have also denied any intention to 'destroy' Israel, but there is no balancing Iranian remark to this effect nor is there any comment by a neutral party in the article and this proves the bias.

Secondly, she paraphrases Palestinian President Abbas: "which he accused of committing a coup". Again this is an opinion from one party to the conflict, and again in balanced journalism both sides' point of view should be produced, or at the very least a comment from a neutral party. This gives the appearance of bias, in short, propaganda especially considering the latest exposé by David Rose in Vanity Fair reported in the Guardian thus "The Bush administration, caught out by the rise of Hamas, embarked on a secret project for the armed overthrow of the Islamist government in Gaza". This was also suspected at the time by both the NYT and the Guardian.

I know in this day and age that one is unlikely to encounter fair and balanced journalism in the US press. This is just more proof.

Yours Sincerely

No comments: