Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Sol Salbe: Media 101 - Death of Rafael Eitan

Media 101: Death of Rafael Eitan


Comment by Sol Salbe

Former Israeli Chief-of-Staff Rafael Eitan was swept to his death on 23 November by a giant wave as he stood on a breakwater.

Of course having more blood on his hands than most was still no reason for Israeli media and politicians to praise the late general. But it is the amazing inaccuracies in the media that should be dealt with here.

The Melbourne Age didn't get any detail wrong - you can't get any detail wrong when you don't cover it at all. The Sydney Morning Herald in tandem with many others carried Reuters' assertion that "he formed two right-wing parties called Tehiya and Tzomet." Yes he did form Tzomet but the Tehiya was already an established party electing members to the Knesset in 1981 when he was still chief of staff.

This was a relatively minor error. Al Jazeera on the other hand spoilt its copybook by stating that in his "late teenage years [Eitan] joined Jewish groups such as the Hagana and Stern." In those days Eitan was part of the Labour side of Israeli politics while the Stern gang was the most extreme of the Revisionist groups.

To use a local Aussie analogy one is as likely to join the Haganah and the Stern Gang as one is to become a member of both Collingwood and Carlton. [The two traditional rivals of Australian Football.] (Eitan joined the Palmach - the elite troops of the Haganah. )

Chiming in, The Australian Jewish News reported that Eitan was forced to resign in the wake of the Sabra and Shatila massacre. He wasn't - the commission of inquiry decided that as his service appointment was coming to its end anyhow no recommendation for a less than an honourable discharge would be contemplated.

But it is the omissions of Eitan's vile record that stand out most. Take the SMH "Nicknamed "Raful", Eitan earned notoriety for outspoken comments about Arabs and opposed interim peace deals with the Palestinians in the mid-1990s." The paper was being rather chairtable. In fact his suggestion was to treat the Palestinians in such a way that they will act "like drugged cockroaches scurrying in a bottle." In 1980 he told his fellow officers: "We have to do everything to make [Palestinians] so miserable they will leave." Eitan believed in ethnic cleansing.

In another obituary the Israeli Hasbara committee said we was straight. Not quite accurate. According to the Guardian "by 1994 the party split, partly over revelations that he had diverted campaign funding to his mistress's charity." Earlier he gained notoriety when the now defunct magazine Koteret Rashit exposed the way he was blending his home made (with Palestinian labour) extra-virgin olive oil with commercial oil. It's hard to reconcile these two incidents with being "straight."

Finally some of the obituaries contained a major point whose significance was missed. The Herald again: "At the age of 16, Eitan joined the Palmach." Now how many times have you read recently that the Palestinians are engaging in child abuse by militarising their children? How often are they considered eveil for allowing 16-year old to participate in the struggle? Is it alright to eulogise people who did on on one side and condemen those who do it on the other.

By the way if you think that 16 is almost an adult let the London Daily Telegraph remind you: "Aged only seven, Rafael already knew how to use a gun."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news