Here is today’s example of the abysmal ignorance that characterizes the local press in the USA, from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Shepherd Express. The story begins,
Can one billboard on Milwaukee’s North Side bring peace to the Middle East?
Not likely, but that’s not the sponsors’ intention. Sister Virgine Lawinger, a Racine Dominican nun and the chair of Friends of Palestine, said the group hopes that the billboard will raise awareness of the ongoing crisis in Palestine and its ripple effect on the Middle East.
And here’s the billboard:
Bear-witness.net is operated by “Friends of Palestine,” an amalgam of Arab and left-wing anti-Zionist groups. It calls for withdrawal from the territories and Jerusalem, opening the border with Gaza, elimination of Israel’s nuclear deterrent, end of US military aid and a boycott of Israeli products (“until Israel ends the occupation”), and a right of return for the descendants of 1948 Arab refugees.
“Bring peace?” The organization supports the Arab agenda to destroy the Jewish state. The “ongoing crisis” in ‘Palestine’? I’d say the Iranian-financed war against Israel. And the “ripple effect” of helping the anti-Zionist side can only be to bring war, not peace, closer.
This is not a middle-of-the-road ‘liberal’ position. It is a radical anti-Israel one. But the local reporter — and News Editor of the Shepherd Express — who wrote this article, Lisa Kaiser, apparently has no clue. She quotes the organizers without comment, as if they are involved in a charitable enterprise!
“The kind of response that we hope is happening,” Lawinger said, “is that people look at that billboard and perhaps never paid much attention to that issue before, but somewhere in their brain is deposited the thought, ‘Is that so? Why would our government give them all of that money? What’s in it for the U.S.? What’s our interest there?’”
And that is exactly the point. The Shepherd Express has, probably unwittingly, lent its support to the increasingly successful effort of Israel’s enemies to turn the conflict upside down, and to recast the war to destroy the Jewish state that is being waged by the numerically superior and petro-financed Arab states and Iran as the persecution of the powerless Palestinian Arabs by Israel.
It’s the responsibility of the media — even the local media — to educate themselves at least to the point where they can recognize a controversial issue, lest they allow themselves to be used to “deposit thought[s]”.