Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai has provoked outrage after threatening Palestinians with a “holocaust,” but the same media who obsessed about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s “wipe Israel off the map” misquote are scurrying to defend Vilnai’s disgraceful comments.
“The more Qassam (rocket) fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves,” Vilnai told the Army Radio on Friday.
However, in a Reuters report, despite the fact that the rest of the statement was translated into English, the incendiary word “holocaust” remained in its original Hebrew version – “shoah”.
Why Reuters would choose to print the rest of the statement in English yet cherry-pick one word to remain in Hebrew is obvious – they don’t want to draw any attention to the fact that Vilnai is threatening the Palestinians with a holocaust.
Vilnai’s spokesman has attempted to diffuse the controversy by claiming Vilnai was speaking in terms of a “disaster” and not a holocaust.
Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai
But you can’t have your cake and eat it.
When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad allegedly called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” the media blindly repeated the quote ad infinitum, and it became second nature for them to carelessly drop it into any propaganda piece intended to hype Iran’s supposed threat to Israel and the world.
Barely a day goes by that Israeli, American and British warhawks don’t spew the phrase like a broken record in an attempt to create a catchy clichÃ© and brand market the next jaunt of imperial blood-letting.
No matter that, according to numerous different translations, Ahmadinejad never used the word “map,” instead his statement was in the context of time and applied to the Zionist regime occupying Jerusalem. Ahmadinejad was expressing his future hope that the Zionist regime in Israel would fall, not that Iran was going to physically annex the country and its population.
To claim Ahmadinejad has issued a rallying cry to ethnically cleanse Israel is akin to saying that Churchill wanted to murder all Germans when he stated his desire to crush the Nazis. This is about the demise of a corrupt occupying power, not the deaths of millions of innocent people.
On the other hand, even as Reuters is forced to admit, Vilnai’s use of the word “shoah” is intrinsically allied to the context of “Discussions of the Nazi Holocaust of Jews,” adding, “Many Israelis are loath to countenance its use to describe other contemporary events.”
So will the media make reference to one of Israel’s top minister’s expressing his wish to inflict a Palestinian “holocaust” in all future reports about Israel’s geopolitical motives, just as they do with Ahmadinejad’s supposed call to wipe Israel off the map?
There’s more chance of Yasser Arafat and Menachem Begin coming back from the dead to broker a peace settlement.