Last night, I viewed a disturbing video called War of Images. The purpose of this French-produced film is to expose Westerners to what the mainstream media have hidden about the Palestinians. The video contains footage of teenage Palestinian boys beating Israeli motorists, lynching Israeli soldiers, and throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Jewish citizens, their homes, their holy places, and Israeli troops.
Probably the most disturbing parts of the video are the clips of Palestinian propaganda—to their own people, including their children! One clip records the Palestinian version of something like The Mickey Mouse Club or Sesame Street, but apart from its audience being children, it cannot be compared to these American shows. Instead of singing silly songs about numbers or purple hippopotami, elementary school children are singing or chanting phrases like "every parcel of your soil I have impregnated with my blood," "I will throw [my life] into the abyss of death," "my life [is like] a living bomb," and "we will march like Jihad warriors." In another place, a boy of about ten years shouts into a microphone, "I will eat the flesh of my conquerors!"
Such hatred and anger instilled in children portends continued fighting for another generation. In addition to the propaganda, the video shows "summer recreation camps" training boys to march; to strip, clean, and reassemble machine guns; to run obstacle courses; and to engage in hand-to-hand combat. As the film shows Yasser Arafat himself saying to an adoring crowd, the Palestinian people have been engaged in a war for more than a hundred years, and the only word they know is, "Jihad, jihad, jihad, jihad!"
Why is this not generally known in America? Why are our media outlets not running news stories and exposés on Palestinian child-endangerment? One must dig into "alternative news sources" to find stories about Palestinian mothers boasting of their sons'—and now daughters'—"martyrdom" after blowing themselves up and taking dozens of Jewish victims with them. The network news programs do not produce stories on the Palestinian's use of women and children as human shields for fighters or to look for Israeli troop positions during street fights.
We have been inundated with "stories"—not facts, but mere rumors—that Israeli troops massacred hundreds of Palestinian civilians in Jenin in northern Israel. For instance, notice this from The Independent, a British newspaper, on April 18, 2002:
Palestinians who survived the long battle—in which Israeli helicopters fired rockets and machine-guns into a densely populated area—have said the Israeli army committed many atrocities. Witnesses have described people being shot as they surrendered; houses being bulldozed with people inside; the use of human shields; the burial of 32 bodies in a trench, and one case of Israeli soldiers turning on the household gas supply before tossing a stun grenade into a room full of people.
Now notice an article from April 19, 2002, as some of the facts are beginning to surface:
Slowly the bodies are emerging. So far only 36 have been identified. . . . Four are women, one is a 13-year-old child. And the rumor persists that bodies have been removed. Israeli military sources have said it was the army's original intention to take the bodies away and bury them in a "special cemetery" in the Jordan Valley. But now they say that the plan was dropped.
What is coming to the fore is that Israel's incursion has indeed been restrained. The Christian Science Monitor reports that Israeli troops used bullhorns to warn Palestinians to leave the buildings they were going to bulldoze. They purposely did not use massive bombing (as America did in Afghanistan) to reduce civilian casualties, instead sending troops into harm's way to make alley-by-alley sweeps through the refugee camp. These points are rarely made in mainstream media.
Why? There can be only one of two reasons: 1) They are blind to the facts, or 2) they are purposely disregarding them. The first is unbelievable, for the facts are readily available, so the second reason must be correct. Rather than reporting the news, the media are filtering the news so an ideology is preached. They are making political points, instead of conveying what is happening. This is the point of Bernard Goldberg's new book, Bias.
What does it mean to Christians? We should not take the news, especially mainstream newscasts, newspapers, and magazines, at face value. Do not believe everything in print! Part of our job is to learn to discern the truth (I Corinthians 13:6; II Thessalonians 5:21).
We should also be aware that God specifically warns that there are ungodly and unrighteous men "who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18). They do this to hide any fact that would lead to the recognition of God's existence, show the wisdom of God's way of life, or glorify Him (verses 19-21).
We should keep these biases firmly in mind as we watch world events.
- Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Return to the C.G.G. Weekly archive (2002)