However there is a disturbing aspect of the Media Lens alerts, an angry thread running through them, especially directed at those in power. This is difficult to capture in a quotation as it diffuses though the whole piece but the superfluous and emotive adjectives appearing in the latest alert are marked, e.g., ‘repeated and brutal transgressions of international and humanitarian law over forty years’, which could have been written ‘transgressions of international law over forty years’.
This phrase was applied to Israeli actions, which is bound to inflame the sensibilities of the very people whose behaviour Media Lens seeks to change. It is more difficult to raise awareness of the actions of someone once they have been provoked. According to the Buddhist tradition compassion is the antidote to anger—they can’t exist together—anger being a delusion giving rise to violent and unskilful (i.e., violent) action.
The alert also talks of Israel being ‘massively supported – financially, militarily, diplomatically – by Washington’. but in truth the Israelis are supported by the whole of the industrial world, as we can see in our media. That support may be a little less craven in Europe than the USA, but this is really a matter of degree. In a sense Europeans can afford to hold onto their liberal consciences safe in the knowledge that the Americans will do what is necessary. Some Europeans may wring their hands but they are perpetuating the system (just look at the change in the ruling Labour cabinet ministers in the UK from their student politics days to today to see a clear example of this).
I have written about this before (Stop the Demonising and Peace Politics), how this particular phenomenon of the ‘Left’ in the industrial world (unconsciously) using the Palestinians (and others) as surrogates for their own angry agendas (and, of course we wouldn’t be the only people to use the Palestinians in this way). Thus the dismal, dysfunctional cycle continues with everyone’s prejudices in place. We are all a part of this cycle; we are all a part of the problem and we need to recognise this before we can start to effectively tackle the problem.
One of the central issues driving the show is guilt over the horrendous European record of persecuting Jews culminating in the horrible excesses in the middle of the 20th century, where the ‘good Europeans’ (and Americans) left the Jews to their fait. This needs to be honestly acknowledged as it is clearly contributing to the ongoing dysfunctional cycle where Israel is encouraged by the international community to continue on her current path of violence, something that we are all contributing towards, not just the Israelis, or the Zionists or the Right or the Americans or whatever.
Rhetorical violence is perpetuating this problem. Can we please have some intelligent analysis motivated by and grounded in sincere wisdom and compassion, that acknowledges the confusion and suffering of everyone in the situation, especially those whose behaviour we seek to change.