Monday, May 14, 2007

The enormous injustice perpetrated in 1948 when Israel ethnically cleansed most of the indigenous population


"It is interesting that in an 11-program series focused largely on the Middle East, no mention is made of the core issue of the region: the enormous injustice perpetrated in 1948 when Israel ethnically cleansed most of the indigenous population, and its ongoing and ruthless efforts in this direction today. While the series focuses on the activities of people who are opposing past and present dispossession, it appears that no mention is made of the oppression they are resisting. It is a little like describing the actions of someone being attacked by wolves without mentioning the wolves.

The issues in the Middle East and 9/11 have far more to do with the usual causes of war, competition over territory and resources, than with religion. Nevertheless, there are religious dimensions to the conflict, and it would certainly be valuable to explicate these. Yet PBS ignores the fact that there are three major religions centered in the Middle East, not just one, and that the major ethnic-cleansing at the region's core was done in the name of one of the two religions ignored in the series. If one of the religions is going to be examined, with much of the focus on its alleged warts, it seems to me that the other two should be exposed to equal scrutiny. Why was this not done?

Fundamentalist Jewish settlers are among the most fanatic and violent populations in the Middle East, and they proclaim that their violence is endorsed, even required, by their religion. Growing numbers of Christians endorse and fund this violent dispossession of the world's original Christians and others, and also claim to base their activities on their religion. Similarly, violent Jewish and Christian extremists operate in the United States, some cells defined, even by the US government, as "terrorist." While at least six out of PBS's eleven programs focus on Muslims and their connections to violence, not a single program focuses on Jewish extremists who torture farmers, attack children regularly, and whose core beliefs include the proposition that a non-Jew is "not worth the fingernail of a Jew." Similarly, there is not a single program examining American Christians who advocate violence at home and abroad, and who eagerly anticipate mass slaughter, in the name, they say, of their religion." - written by Alison Weir. Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew. Her blog is

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