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May 12, 2008

Time Magazine's McGirk Invents False Balance in Palestinian-Israeli Conflict


In his latest comment on Israel, "Israel at 60: The Long View", Time Magazine's Tim McGirk tries very hard to impose a moral equivalence on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Too hard...

Trying to show that both Israelis and Palestinians are equally to blame for the situation, McGirk is forced to invent the facts:

Palestinians speak of pushing the Israelis into the sea. Israelis speak of driving the Arabs into the desert sands.

For decades, Arab leaders have vowed to destroy Israel and "push the Jews into the sea." There is, however, no record of Israeli leaders promising to "drive the Arabs into the desert sands."

Whether this is a figment of McGirk's overactive imagination or whether he deliberately decided to invent a metaphorical equivalent to the famous Arab pledge of driving the Jews into the sea, McGirk and Time Magazine have shown a disturbing lack of journalistic ethics in their desperate attempt to impose a false moral equivalence on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Posted by rh at May 12, 2008 11:10 AM


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Posted by: Tekdragon at May 12, 2008 05:40 PM

My coment to the editor of Time..

The comment by Tim McGirk "Palestinians speak of pushing the Israelis into the sea. Israelis speak of driving the Arabs into the desert sands. " is in itself a half truth. The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel in writting but there is no corresponding proof for the invented phrase "... driving the Arabs into the desert." It is very distrubing to me on how poor the editing is at Time and that you allow "made up half-truths" in attempt to make a story appear "un-biased."

Posted by: aRTie at May 13, 2008 02:43 PM

That's nothing. McGirk, Scott Macleod, and Lee Butters regularly post at Time's Middle East Blog, which is really just a portal for anti-Israel, pro-Iranian propaganda.

You should see what McGirk posted in "honor" of Bush's visit to Israel.


Posted by: davesax [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 13, 2008 11:12 PM

Maybe McGirk could have phrased it: "drive the Palestinians up against the fence"? Your nit-picking carping on this Camera blog is an embarassment to intelligent Jews everywhere

Posted by: heyjude at May 15, 2008 02:48 AM

You're missing the point. (Or maybe you get the point, but your playing word games to distract from it.)

The problem isn't about McGirk's choice of words over where the Palestinians should be driven. It's about the false idea that the Israelis talk of driving the Palestinians anywhere.

The Arab world had for years rejected -- and many still reject -- Israel's existence, and they vocalized their hope of reversing time with comments about driving Jews into the sea. The Jews had accepted a Palestinian Arab state before 1947, they did in 1947, and they do now. They accept Egypt's right to exists, and that of Jordan, and Syria, and Lebanon.

So there never has been any talk of driving anyone anywhere. And "intelligent Jews" know this.

Posted by: hey heyjude... at May 15, 2008 09:22 AM

Well, there have been frequent mutterings inside Israel about displacing the Arabs of East Jerusalem, plus residents elsewhere in the West Bank, and shifting them all to Jordan. (which has some desert sands) Certainly, Ariel Sharon intended to drive many Palestinians off their land by allowing outposts and settlements and few have been dismantled. McGirk did not cite any written statements. He said "Israelis speak..." and they do. THe unspoken government policy of Israel is to make life so miserable for the Palestinians that they will go away to find work and stay away.

Posted by: heyjude at May 15, 2008 03:30 PM

Hey Jude,

McGirk wasn't talking about "mutterings". He drew an equivalence between the well-known pledge of Arab leaders to drive Israelis into the sea with supposed Israeli calls to "drive the Arabs into the desert." This is simply false. Can you name one Israeli leader who called for "driving the Arabs into the desert?" And can you be more specific about the "mutterings" you talk about? Who muttered and what exactly did they mutter?

Posted by: brian at May 15, 2008 05:21 PM

Oy veh. See Obadiah Shoher's Samson Blinded;

Similar sentiments are spoken about in some of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem's Zionist circles and by Yeshiva students too. Have you ever seen the talkbacks on Ha'aretz, Ynetnews or the Jeru Post? These are mutterings which are traceable. One overhears such rhetoric at busstops and coffee shops inside Israel.At the synagogue.
Probably the Knesset, too. It's a lively bunch.
Nuff said

Posted by: heyjude at May 15, 2008 06:50 PM

You seem to be making brian's point for him. McGirk (and you) are comparing threats openly trumpeted by the leaders of the Arab world to the wacky opinions of a powerless fringe, "traceable" only to talkbacks by anonymous commenters on a website. Yet McGirk pretends these are equivalent.

This is why he's being criticized. He's misleading readers, and that's unjustifiable.

Posted by: hey heyjude... at May 16, 2008 03:52 PM

Starting with Yosef Weitz, a Polish Jew who settled in Palestine in 1908, the "transfer of the Arabs" has repeatedly been a proposed solution, and this could be rephrased as 'driving the Pals into the desert' that's definitely the idea, one also espoused by David Ben-Gurion,Moshe Sharett, Menachem Ussishkin, Moshe Dayan, Arthur Ruppin, Shmuel Zuchovitzky, Avraham Katznelson, Golda Meir. Need I go on?

There aren't any intentional falsehoods on the Time blog. Your interpretation is over the top. Camera overreacts, as usual, resulting in worthwhile dialog being ditched to attack mode.
Get a grip.

Posted by: heyjude at May 17, 2008 06:33 AM

Poor heyjude is reduced to using false quotes put out by Palestinian propagandists to support his statements. Heyjude, can't you do better?

Posted by: anon at May 19, 2008 09:28 AM

Don't you find it the slightest bit ironic that you cite "Palestine Remembered" in an attempt to prove CAMERA "overreacts"? I do.

But what I wonder more is, did you even read your link carefully?

Ben Gurion:

"We do not want and do not need to expel Arabs and take their places. Our whole desire is based on the assumption --- which has been collaborated [sic] in the course of all our activity in the country -- that there is enough room for us and the Arabs in the country and that if we have to use force - not in order to dispossess the Arabs from the Negev or Transjordan but in order to assure ourselves of the right, which is our due to settle there- then we have the force."

Now compare that statement by Ben Gurion to the following, not cited on your Palestine Remembered page:

Secretary-General of the Arab League Azzam Pasha, 1948: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades."


In a 1948 interview with the New York Times, Muslim Brotherhood head Sheikh Hassan el-Bana said: "If the Jewish state becomes a fact, and this is realized by the Arab peoples, they will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea" ("Aim to oust Jews pledged by sheikh," Aug. 2, 1948).

Posted by: hey heyjude... at May 19, 2008 03:36 PM

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