After three weeks in Los Angeles I was reminded of the plethora of reasons it’s great to go back and visit. Family, friends, ballgames, and Slurpees are just a few.
Another activity I thoroughly enjoy back home is going to my local bookstore. On this particular trip, I reintroduced myself to the master of horror Stephen King. King is a brilliant storyteller, and what most impresses me is his painting of every scene with an appropriate ambiance. This talent is what makes nothing but letters on a page make the hair on the back of our necks stand on edge.
In “The Stand”, after a particularly dramatic family argument in the parlor, King depicts the eerie silence that followed a smack delivered by a husband to his raving wife. “The grandfather clock did not fly into outraged dust at the sound,” King describes, “but went on ticking just as it had ever since it was set going.” What King did here, was ground the reader, who may be expecting dramatic events to have dramatic effects. A clock cannot sensationalize a moment and a clock cannot make a story more than it is. A clock can only tick away time, not transform it.
Unless, of course, that clock belongs to CBS.
Something I experienced in the States, but surprisingly fell just short of my “reasons it’s great to be home” list, was catch an episode of the CBS news magazine show 60 Minutes (the show with the ticking clock). In this episode, 60 Minutes reporter Bob Simon (who was kidnapped and beaten by Islamic terrorists) conducted a report on the fate of Christians in Israel.
I marveled as I watched Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren put on one of the most artful displays of restraint I have ever witnessed. Simon’s blatantly loaded and bias questioning of the ambassador would have provoked the rage of most pro-Israel supporters, but Oren kept his cool.
Thus, Simon decided to attack him from another side, feigning dismay at learning Oren had protested to CBS News chairman Jeff Fager that Simon was doing a “hatchet job” on Israel.
Watching this attack I attempted to take a page out of Oren’s book and remain calm. Bob Simon had a history of smearing Israel and this was merely par for the course. However, after returning to Israel, I saw that fellow Jerusalem Post journalist Ray Hanania had posted an article entitled “Oren should apologize for comments”, underscoring that “60 Minutes was unfairly criticized”.
I am not Michael Oren and I will keep my calm no longer.
There are four points in Hanania’s piece that boggle the mind.
The first was his ridiculous assertion that “the CBS report scored some propaganda points for Israel” when Simon “noted that terrorism had subsided by 90 percent since the construction of the concrete wall…a clear defense of the wall which Arabs denounce.” This is all fine and dandy if you did not see the program. However, Simon’s stoic reading of that statistic played as the camera introduced us to one of the report’s main subjects, an Arab family whose house is surrounded on three sides by said wall. Simon then sympathetically explores the walls effects on the failure of their business and then backs it up with other Arab businesspeople who claim the wall is crushing their economy. Score one for Israel Ray!
Hanania then posits his own theory about Israel’s treatment of Christians in the Holy Land, a view I am sure he sees as yet another plus for public opinion of the Zionist state. “Israelis do discriminate against Christian Palestinians, but not because they are Christian, rather because they are not Jewish and they are Arab.” This must be why Israeli soldiers continues to maintain and protect the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City while a cursory internet search produces a five-page long list of religious sites of worship destroyed by Muslims.
Next, just in case you may be tempted to call Bob Simon or Ray Hanania’s vicious claims anti-Semitic, Ray makes sure to beat you to the punch. Hanania laments “Oren called criticism of Israel’s record toward Christians ‘anti-Semitic,’ the powerful word that has over the years become a political tool rather than a phrase to describe Jew-hatred.” It couldn’t possibly be that anti-Semitism still exists today! Rather it is Oren who is sensationalizing according to Ray. I assume Mr. Hanania would disregard Professor Robert S. Wistrich’s (professor at Hebrew University and a world leader in anti-Semitism) nearly 1,000 page book on the history of anti-Semitism and its very real manifestations in modern society as simply “political” as well.
Finally, proving my previous point, Hanania echoes a classic anti-Semitic sentiment that 60 Minutes introduced during the report. In a false attempt to appear understanding Ray writes, “I understand Oren’s concern. The story quickly moved from discrimination to the impact it might have on how Christians in America view Israel. Simon noted Israel relies heavily on tourism and the majority of tourists are Christians.” Both Simon and Hanania seem to assert that if it were to have no effect on Israel’s economy Oren and true Zionists wouldn’t be outraged by being falsely labeled racist. Who knew CBS hired former authors of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”?! Maybe they can help out on Two and a Half Men.
Hanina’s call for Oren to apologize to CBS is everything that is wrong with liberal ideology. We cannot be bullied into feeling guilty for defending ourselves. Has the messages of Yom Hazikaron, a mere week ago, already left us?
I think Ray Hanania should apologize to Ambassador Oren for his comments. Come on Ray, the clock is ticking. Tick…tick…tick…tick.
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