Thursday, September 11, 2014

DO NOT USE EBAY Pierre Omidyar, Glenn Greenwald, and Their War on Israel Gabriel Schoenfeld

Pierre Omidyar, Glenn Greenwald, and Their War on Israel Gabriel Schoenfeld

When it comes to Israel, The Intercept’s coverage crosses the line from opinion journalism to a crude and vile form of propaganda.
Published on September 9, 2014

Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman of the auction site eBay, became a billionaire at the age of 31. Having made his fortune (his net worth is somewhere in the ballpark of $8 billion), the French-Iranian-American entrepreneur wants to give back. A decade ago, he established the Omidyar Network, an institution that is part venture capital and part philanthropy, to help businesses and nonprofits that share a “commitment to advancing social good at the pace and scale the world needs today.”

The only product of First Look Media thus far is The Intercept, an online publication whose three founding editors are Jeremy Scahill, Laura Poitras, and Glenn Greenwald.

When it comes to the Middle East, however, The Intercept’s slant becomes far more pronounced. While the war between Israel and Hamas was raging, for instance, it published around a half-dozen pieces about Gaza that proffered a one-sided view, to put it in the most generous possible terms.

In one of those articles for instance (“Cash, Weapons, and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack“), we learn that the war, which in fact began with the Hamas kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers and then rocket fire from Gaza directed at Israeli civilian centers, supposedly began as the result of an “Israeli attack on Gaza.” The “aggression” was sponsored by the “indispensable, direct involvement of the U.S. government,” which “has long lavished overwhelming aid on Israel, providing cash, weapons and surveillance technology,” all of which “enable Israel’s military assaults” and its “massacres” of Gaza’s “trapped civilian population.”

In another piece (“Terrorism in the Israeli Attack on Gaza”) we are instructed that the term “terrorism” is much misused. Indeed, as applied to Hamas and the Palestinians, it is nothing more than a “fear-mongering slogan.” Israel is the party using “massive, brutal force against a trapped civilian population, overwhelmingly killing innocent men, women and children,” and if anyone deserves to be called terrorists, it is the Israelis. “The most generous claim one can make about what Israel is now doing in Gaza,” writes Greenwald in yet another contribution, “is that it is driven by complete recklessness toward the civilian population it is massacring.”

Augmenting this commentary is Greenwald’s prolific Twitter output (at last count, more than 48,000 tweets), in which his hatred of the Jewish state takes its most pristine form:

At no moment did Greenwald or The Intercept pause to make judgments about the rockets Hamas fired at civilian targets across Israel, the tunnels it constructed into Israel packed with motorcycles and weapons to kidnap and kill, Hamas’s use of hospitals and schools as military positions and ambulances to ferry fighters, or any of the other clear violations of the laws of war carried out by jihadi extremists in Gaza. To be sure, The Intercept makes no pretense of being a neutral news organization reporting on a war, but it cannot properly be called opinion journalism either; its one-sidedness is so flagrant and relentless that it easily traverses the line separating argumentation from propaganda.

The propaganda in question is a stream of venom and denunciation directed toward the democracy that is Israel, and a similar stream of extenuation and denial about the terroristic activities of Hamas and affiliated jihadist groups, while also maintaining a deafening silence about the various Islamic and secular butchers from Iraq to Syria to Libya who have turned much of the Middle East into a slaughterhouse.

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