The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) has condemned the Playboy magazine for publishing an article criticizing Israel. For CAMERA any opinion that is not totally biased in favor of Israel is distorted. For them, the editors who publish these opinions don’t know a zit’s ass about the conflict in the ME and are not equipped to edit. And for them, the people who read popular magazines and professional journals don’t have the mind to know what is good for them. CAMERA puts it like this:
distorted articles about the Arab-Israeli conflict have increasingly turned up in popular magazines and professional journals that don’t ordinarily cover world affairs (eg: Vogue, Architectural Review, Oprah and Lancet). Editors of such publications are generally unequipped to spot inaccuracies, distortions and lack of context on Middle East issues. Because these publications usually provide information on non-controversial or human interest stories, when they promote fringe, false and inflammatory points of view the mainstream public is likely to accept these views as credible.
But what did Playboy do? It published an article by Jonathan Tasini titled “Israel Shouldn’t Get a Free Pass: Real Debate Is Not Anti-Semetic”.
CAMERA became worried because the article agrees with Jimmy Carter‘s description, in his book “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid“, of the control over Palestinians’ movements as similar to South Africa’s apartheid system.
CAMERA finds it most disturbing that the Playboy,
the racy but popular men’s magazine, has published in its October 2007 issue an article comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa.
And what, in Tasini’s article, made him and Playboy earn this condemnation?
Here are the introductory paragraphs, the entire article is at Sabbah’s:
Why can’t American Jews, particularly liberal Jews, think straight about Israel? American Jews can easily condemn the war in and occupation of Iraq, as well as the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians and the violations of civil rights there. Yet the same passion for peace, justice and human rights is muted when it comes to talking about unpleasant activities in the Israeli government. American Jews and many politicians who pander for Jewish votes are hurting Israel and the cause of peace by refusing to have an honest debate about our country’s historically one-sided position vis-a-vis Israel and the Middle East conflict. An honest debate is underway within Israel itself, but in the US it’s impossible to be critical of Israel without being labeled anti-Semitic or worse.
Before I dive further into this, I should establish my bona fides for making this argument, which itself says alot about the terrain. I am a Jew. My father was born in what was then Palestine and fought in Israel’s war of independence. My father’s cousin was killed in that war. I lived in Israel for seven years, including the period of the 1973 Yom Kippur war. A cousin of mine was killed in that war, leaving behind a widow and two children. My step-grandfather, an ikd nab wgi was no threat to anyone was killed by a Palestinian who took an axe to his head while he was sitting quietly on a park bench. His murder was revenge for the massacre of dozens of peaceful Muslims the day before, slaughtered by an ultra-nationalist Israeli soldier as they knelt in prayer.
I care about Israel as I care about our country, but I wish to speak the truth about it. In 2006, when I ran in the New York Democratic primary for Senator because of incumbent Hillary Clinton’s support for the Iraq war, my campaign coincided with Israel’s bombing of Lebanon, a move triggered by the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers. While campaigning I said that Israel had committed acts that violated the Geneva Conventions and international standards. Within an hour reporters from all four New York daily papers called me, alerted to my comments by my opponent’s operatives. Betraying their bias, the reporters had no idea my position would not be considered novel or radical in Israel where the country’s conduct in the war was a topic of hot debate. >>>the rest…Image by: Carlos Latuff