Sunday, March 02, 2008

THE WORD

When Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai used the word "shoah", he was speaking to the media in the Hebrew language about the current situation in Gaza. One of the words he used triggered off an international media blood libel against the Jews: the word is "shoah" and in Hebrew, it means "disaster".

Vilnai's exact words to the media were:-

"The more the Qassam rocket fire [on Israeli civilians] intensifies and increases its range, the Palestinians are bringing upon themselves a bigger disaster because we will use all our might to defend ourselves."

The Reuters newsagency came up with this story by Adam Entous and Joseph Nasr with additional reporting from Nidal al-Mughrabi - "Israel Minister warns Palestinians of "holocaust".

Among its dubious claims and reporting errors was the following gross blood libel made against the Jewish people and against the memory of all those those Jews who perished at the hands of Nazi Germany and its acolytes:-

"Holocaust" is a term rarely used in Israel outside discussions of the Nazi genocide during World War Two. Many Israelis are loathe to countenance using the word to describe other contemporary events".

T
his is a malicious and filthy lie calculated to bring Israel and the Jewish people into disrepute. The Hebrew word "shoah" for catastrophe, a cataclysm and a disaster entered the modern Hebrew language from the Biblical Hebrew. In modern Hebrew the word pre-dates the Second World War by decades and in Biblical Hebrew it has been around for millennia. "Shoah" can also be used in reference to a "holocaust" but when referring to "The Holocaust" the word used is "Hashoah" or "The Shoah". The Holocaust was all of these things - a catastrophe, a cataclysm and a disaster. It was the greatest example of a holocaust, hence called "The Holocaust". The Reuters spin is false however, because the word "shoah" is used in everyday modern Hebrew to refer not to a holocaust or The Holocaust but to a disaster which is exacly what Hamas is inviting on the Palestinians of Gaza with its escalation of rocket attacks at mainly civilian targets in Israel.

The Reuters article sparked off a frenzy among those in the news media eager to make capital from what they wanted to turn into an embarrasing gaffe:

The BBC: Israel warns of Gaza ‘holocaust’

The Guardian: Israeli minister warns of Palestinian ‘holocaust’

The Times (of London): Israel threatens to unleash ‘holocaust’ in Gaza

Melbourne Age - Israel warns of Palestinian 'holocaust' as violence in Gaza worsens.

Tom Gross opines on Media Blog that "... given the virulently anti-Israel (and many would say anti-Semitic) track record of some of the news organizations who have jumped to prominently headline these mistranslated comments on their home pages, one wonders if they are making this mistake in innocence?"

If it were a matter simply of innocent mistake, the newsagencies would be offering their apologies for the libel committed against the Jews rather than hastily rewriting their handiwork as the BBC has done - The Mother of all mistranslations.

As for the Fairfax newspaper, The Age, I just can't see any apology on the horizon. There was no apology for the Fairfax Sydney Morning Herald blood libel in the Warsaw/Gaza letter writing affair despite clear breaches of standards already set down by the Australian Press Council so would it apologise for shoddy jornalism from a correspondent who by his own admission is "lazy"?

After all, what journalist would not, in this instance, have taken some time to check whether the Hebrew word "shoah" as used by Vilnai meant what was inferred by the use of the emotive word "holocaust" given the history of the Jewish people? What journalist would fail to understand how implausible it would be for this Israeli minister to threaten a "holocaust" on another people?

Perhaps one who, in his reporting of the region, routinely looks away when Israel's enemies like Ahmadinejad refers to them as "filthy bacteria", when Nasrallah wishes that all Jews could be in Israel to be killed together "so that it saves us going after Jews worldwide", or when he tells the world he has body parts of Israeli soldiers left on southern Lebanon's battlefields? One who ignores the real threats of genocide made against Jews that are ingrained in the Hamas Charter (see Article 7)?

Or perhaps one who just gleefully picks up and runs with every irresistable opportunity to malign the Jewish State?

8 comments:

Gilliver_on_Tour said...

We are indeed very fortunate that there is about to be a regime change at the Age and that the next Fairfax Middle East bureau person promises to be at least even handed in reporting the news.

This means that he might well be as tough on Israel as the incumbent but at least Fairfax readers will get to understand better why Israel does what it does and the role that the Arabs living around her have to play in those events.

We're going to learn that Israeli operations such as those that are taking place at the moment with tragic loss of life on both sides don't just happen like shit or biased so-called "journalists".

Marcus Neumann said...

Does anybody at the Age ever read their own opinion articles?

Holocaust survivors are not laughing

http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/holocaust-survivors-are-not-laughing/2008/02/29/1204226990270.html

Shame Fairfax, shame!

Rocky said...

You're right Wilbur.

On its own, "shoah" does NOT mean "holocaust". It means "disaster". But of course, the professional Jew-haters don't speak Hebrew - and can't follow a simple argument. Or they refuse to, lest the outcome portray the Jews in a less mendaciously negative light.

Russell Wallis said...

You're all wasting your time. Reuters has repeated the lie today and so has CNN. Tomorrow, Ed will follow suit and he will embellish it with stories of Palestinian deaths, the majority of which will be civilian and some of them will be children.

There will probably be a photo of a grieving Palestinian mother with arms outstretched in pain but nothing of the grieving families of the Israeli soldiers killed or of the student who was murdered by a kassam rocket last week.

There will definitely not be a photograph of a Palestinian terrorist in uniform.

Think about that ...

If the terrorists are not wearing uniforms to differentiate them from civilians then how can it be verified whether a casualty is civilian or not? Do we believe Hamas which lies through its backside?

I think the usual suspects from the Joe Goebells School of Reporting do.

Wilbur Post said...

Ed's report will probably be along the same lines as the ABC report below which is factual but it omits the important fact that in calling on both sides to end the violence Ban Ki-moon first condemned the Palestinian rocket attacks. Here is the text of his statement:-

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the loss of civilian life in Southern Israel and Gaza, and at the escalation of violence that has taken place today.

"The Secretary-General condemns rocket fire against Israel by Hamas, which intensified today and killed an Israeli civilian in Sderot. He calls on Hamas and other militant groups to cease such acts of terrorism.

"The Secretary-General also condemns the killing of four Palestinian children, including an infant, in Gaza in IDF strikes. He calls on Israel to exercise maximum restraint and ensure respect for international humanitarian law so as not to endanger civilians.

"These events underscore the urgent need for a calming of violence, and must not be allowed to deter the continuation of the political process."


There's no mucking around a la Kofi Annan here. His words about the rocket fire against Israel are clear and concise as is his characterization of these attacks as "terrorism". So it's the terrorism that triggered off the violence. But not according to our ABC which even throws in comments from one of its apparatchiks John Ging who shilled for Hamas when it turned off Gaza's electricity in a broad daylight PR stunt, but it fails to inform readers that Ban clearly blames Palestinian terrorist for allow their own people to fall into their current plight:-

UN calls for end to Gaza violence
March 2, 2008 - 3:49PM
Source: ABC
http://www.bigpond.com/news/breaking/content/20080302/2177461.asp

The United Nations Security Council has gone into emergency sessions following the bloodiest single day of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza for many months.

The session was requested by President Mahmoud Abbas after more than 50 Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces overnight.

Many of the dead are militants but civilians, including children, have also died.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on both sides in the conflict in Gaza to scale back the violence of the past few days.

Speaking at an emergency session of the UN Security Council, Mr Ban condemned what he called Israel's "excessive" use of force and also called for an end to Palestinian rocket attacks.

The head of the UN relief agency, John Ging, has condemned the Israeli attacks.

"Let's unify around humanity and legality and lets put the people before the politics because the people of Gaza have suffered far too much," he said.

"It's inhuman, their suffering, and it has to end. They have to be given a chance to live a decent and civilised life."

But Israel's deputy ambassador to the United Nations Danny Carman says the government has a duty to protect its people from Hamas rocket attacks.

"I reiterate Israel's determination to protect its civilians and territory, cities, towns and villages," he said.

"It is what they expect from us and it is what we must do for them.

"Sitting on the sidelines will only embolden the extremists and convince them that they should not stop the violence."

Russell Wallis said...

Uncanny that Wilbur.

O'Loughlin never mentioned a word about Ban's direct condemnation of the Hamas rocket fire and his description of it as terrorism.

You couldn't get a more blatant one sided report as the filth he wrote in today's Age.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to quote someone from Jihad Watch:

'Last I looked, the deliberate and very careful targetting of terrorists for assassination, and the effort intended, over the last few days, to do one thing -- stop those who keep raining down rockets on Israeli villages and cities -- was not quite equivalent to what we call The Holocaust. And it does not become "The Holocaust" even if, because of the way in which those who build and rain down those rockets live not on separate bases, but choose deliberately to fire from, and plot and plan and scheme and live within, civilian areas, precisely because they are aware that the Israelis exhibit such superhuman compunction about killing civilians (no other Western army -- and certainly, thank god, not the American army, would subject itself to the kind of hyper-moral principles that the Israelis insit, to their own great harm, in observing, and should long ago have reconsidered, and jettisoned). The deliberate targetting of civilians is one thing; the hitting of some civilians -- and just how "civilian" is that "civilian" population that appears to be foursquare behind the Lesser Jihad and all of its works and days, anyway? -- in an attempt to get at terrorist rocketeers is quite another. No sensible person regards this as equivalent -- in words or in life -- to the round-up, and mass-killing, with gas, prussic acid, bullets to the heart, hangings, being burned alive in synagogues, starved to death, subjected to medical "experiments," tortured in every conceivable way, six million inoffensive men, women, and children, which is what is meant by the phrase "The Holocaust"). But Reuters did, or tried to. The BBC, following Reuters, did, or tried to.' This 'immoral' equivalence is more than just reprehensible. It's evil.

The same applies to the Age. It's evil to the core. The headline to the obituary of Dan Shomron, an Entebbe hero was reprehensible and belonged in the same gutter that O'Loughlin occupies.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to quote someone from Jihad Watch:

'Last I looked, the deliberate and very careful targetting of terrorists for assassination, and the effort intended, over the last few days, to do one thing -- stop those who keep raining down rockets on Israeli villages and cities -- was not quite equivalent to what we call The Holocaust. And it does not become "The Holocaust" even if, because of the way in which those who build and rain down those rockets live not on separate bases, but choose deliberately to fire from, and plot and plan and scheme and live within, civilian areas, precisely because they are aware that the Israelis exhibit such superhuman compunction about killing civilians (no other Western army -- and certainly, thank god, not the American army, would subject itself to the kind of hyper-moral principles that the Israelis insit, to their own great harm, in observing, and should long ago have reconsidered, and jettisoned). The deliberate targetting of civilians is one thing; the hitting of some civilians -- and just how "civilian" is that "civilian" population that appears to be foursquare behind the Lesser Jihad and all of its works and days, anyway? -- in an attempt to get at terrorist rocketeers is quite another. No sensible person regards this as equivalent -- in words or in life -- to the round-up, and mass-killing, with gas, prussic acid, bullets to the heart, hangings, being burned alive in synagogues, starved to death, subjected to medical "experiments," tortured in every conceivable way, six million inoffensive men, women, and children, which is what is meant by the phrase "The Holocaust"). But Reuters did, or tried to. The BBC, following Reuters, did, or tried to.' This 'immoral' equivalence is more than just reprehensible. It's evil.

The same applies to the Age. It's evil to the core. The headline to the obituary of Dan Shomron, an Entebbe hero was reprehensible and belonged in the same gutter that O'Loughlin occupies.