The other day it came out that Reuters had published doctored photographs related to the recent Gaza Flotilla incident. The images were “cropped” in order to make the good guys look bad and the bad guys look better. A picture, so it is said, is worth a thousand words.
Helen Thomas used considerably less than a thousand words to bring her career careening to an ignominious end. But her words dripped with venom reminiscent of Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels. Later Thomas released a statement to the effect that her words didn’t represent her true feelings, but by then the damage was done. She tried too late to “crop” what she said.
What do we learn from these two seemingly unrelated yet actually similar stories? Well, we are reminded that the age-old hatred of the Jewish people is alive and well—and everywhere. Distortions, twisted images, word-pictures, and invective abound in a kind of Neo-Philistine effort to mold and mobilize the Goliath of world opinion against the ever-diminutive David.
Sadly, it’s nothing new.
While fires were still smoldering at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and in a Pennsylvanian pasture, malicious people conjured up an evil myth. In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, many in the Arab world believed that the vicious attack on America was not the work of Islamists, but rather was an Israeli-driven Mossad operation. This legend soon developed muscular legs and is now widely regarded by millions of Muslims as the truth.
And why not? For decades school children in Muslim nations (not to mention their parents at home) have been baptized in anti-Semitic narratives. The opinions in their world about Jews in general, and Israel in particular, are concrete—thoroughly mixed up and permanently set. Even more alarming is that fact that it seems that this distorted view of history, geo-politics, and reality itself is gaining a foothold here in the United States.
The most persistent and pernicious ideas that have been accepted by millions as factual truth flowed from the poisonous pen of a guy named Mathieu Golovinski. The spurious publication called the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an Islamist must-read. The work tells a story that fits the pattern of long-standing prejudices. The words reinforce the visceral hatred Islamists have toward Jews.