Dr. Inna RogatchiThe writer is president of the Rogatchi Foundation. Her forthcoming book is "Stars of Despair, Stars of Hope: Personal Reflections on the Holocaust in Modern Times".
As Israel and the Jewish world in the Diaspora hold their breath and pray for three teenagers kidnapped by Hamas a few days ago, the coverage of the developing story by two scions of the world media, CNN and BBC, has been marked by the utterly shameful punctuation of a moral low. Both companies have put the word ‘kidnapped’ in quotation marks while reporting on the drama in Israel.
That could be the end of the story as it is completely self-revealing and fully self-attesting. But enough is enough. The Hamas terrorists did not even abduct soldiers, this time. They did attack unarmed teenagers, yeshiva students. This is what happens when patented and self-justifying criminals and terrorists are allowed into a government.
But just recently, we were hearing only fanfares and seeing the sugary smiles of the trusted friend of Hamas in Europe Ms. Catherine Ashton promising to work with the new government and encouraging its work; we were getting more encouragement and not a single reprimand, or very well justified expressions of concern – from the other leaders of the European Union, just its abominable policy of appeasing terrorists indefinitely.
We were getting the same softest of the soft response to the new Palestinian Arab government-of-united-terror from Capitol Hill, not surprisingly given the current occupiers of the Hill, but not less outrageous either. It is too much, really, when the supposedly-most-powerful nation in the world sees no problem in an openly terrorist organisation entering a governmental body, doubly so in such a highly and permanently explosive region as the Middle-East.
The world knows that one of the kidnapped boys is the American citizen. Did we hear an adequate reaction to the crime and concerns regarding the safety of its citizen by the US Administration, so far? We did not. We only were informed in a clearly lowered tone that the US State Secretary was talking with Mahmoud Abbas, and that the "State Department is working closely with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities and hopes for soon re-unification the boys with their families”.
For decades, under the reign of many US Administrations, there has never been such a weak and inarticulate reaction from the US on the kidnapping of a US citizen, as we saw now with regard to the kidnapping of Naftali Frenkel - and the two young Israelis Gilad Shaar and Eylad Yifrach . At the same time, the world witnessed in silent bewilderment the recent exchange of five senior Taliban terrorists for the US army deserter – which had been carried on, it was explained by the US President, “in the best national interests of the USA”. So, such are the understandings priorities and policies of this administration at the moment.
This is not the America we used to know and rely on in times of crisis, sadly and alarmingly.
The UN General Secretary and the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs did express their deep concern over the unfolding drama of the kidnapping of the young boys in Hevron. We have not heard a personal statement of the US President, so far; nor did we hear a statement from the European Union and its leadership. It was a weekend, of course, but it took five days to hear a lukewarm reaction with the irrelevant hope for peace from Ms. Ashton.
This kind of attitude from the world leaders and the institutions which are expected to react on the humanitarian crisis aggravated by the terrorist plot, makes it easier for figures like infamous Arab Israeli MK Hanin Zoabi to behave in her customary way, purposefully provoking the entire Israeli public. Completely justified outrage caused by her disgusting behaviour and statements all over Israel these days, must be followed by the logical and adequate disciplinary actions. It is simply stunning to see such public representative receiving the tax-payers’ earnings in the house of the parliament of the state of Israel. Israel should not tolerate such insults to its face, especially from the members of its own Knesset.
Maybe, one should not over-react on the absolutely shameless coverage of the kidnapping crime and crisis in Israel by both CNN and BCC who simultaneously put ‘kidnapped’ in quotation marks. We all know their utterly biased stand towards Israel, and there is nothing new in it – apart from the record-breaking shame of quoting, and thus doubting, the nature of the terrorist attack against two 16-years old boys and a.19-year old youth.
Just whom do they think they are, those cowardly and utterly dishonest editors and program supervisors of tboth giants of the media world who think they have outsmarted us all, in that insulting way of reporting the news?
There is no surprise in the code of behaviour of both of them, clearly; but actions must to be taken in this case - it cries to the heavens. The state of Israel should ban the activities of CNN and BBC from the territory of Israel until there are full public apologies from both of them and guarantees by their managers that the professional duties of their journalists and editors iwill be conducted in a civilized, responsible, un-biased way.
The public in Israel and those people world-wide who do feel indignant about the shameful conduct of the two major TV channels, should address an open public petition to the leadership of the CNN and BCC demanding to discipline the editors personally responsible for compromising their channels in a shameful act, and insisting that life-crises coverage is done in correspondence with commonly accepted norms of human morality, not following the way of barbarians who celebrate with fireworks, music, dances and candies, as we all are privileged to see on the CNN and BBC reports from a happy Gaza celebrating the cruel abduction of three young boys.
I have not noticed any quote marks in the CNN and BBC coverage of those ‘celebrations’. It is only the conscience of the main media headquarters that is in quotation marks. They have become hostages of their mental surrender to terrorism.