Exclusive: Israel’s Flag Offensive to Pro-Hamas Crowd? Have the Police Rip It Down!
by DR. ROBIN MCFEE
April 8, 2009
Freedom comes under assault again! Israeli Flag Offends Pro-Hamas Mob So German Police Tear It Down! –The growing threat of vocal extremist Muslims and the dangers of a silent media. This is a cautionary tale from Europe for the United States as increasingly vocal and insistent radicals try to impose their beliefs, their Sharia laws and will upon us.
“The mob is man voluntarily descending to the nature of the beast….It persecutes a principle; it would whip a right; it would tar and feather justice, by inflicting fire and outrage upon the houses and persons of those who have these.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Apparently, freedom of expression is alive and well in Germany – as long as you aren’t a Jew. And apparently freedom of speech is not so alive and well because you won’t find any mention in the mainstream media of the ongoing assault on equal protection under the law for German Jews compared to German Muslims. As will be discussed momentarily, German police trampled the rights of the individual (pro-Israel) to appease an anti-Israeli mob. And, not surprisingly, you won’t see the double standard of German police enforcement or lack thereof discussed in the main stream media (MSM) either. So much for a free press committed to covering important stories. Can you think of a more important story than a democratic nation, a NATO nation, selectively limiting the rights to certain citizens and along ethno-religious lines, who have NOT broken any laws nor are likely to do so? Once again, the media has shirked its responsibility to cover important issues, regardless of their ideology.
Over the last several months, from Germany to the Netherlands to the United Kingdom, the power of mob rule has countered the law and undermined freedom of expression. Geert Wilders, a member of the Netherlands Parliament also is a filmmaker, producing Fitna, which depicts radical Imams preaching hatred against Jews and other violent outbursts. Because his work offends Muslims, and the growing risk of Europeans that violence will erupt as a result of intolerant Islamic radicals, of course under the guise of multiculturalism, he has been arrested, threatened and most recently deported by British police after landing in Heathrow. If the German police removing an Israeli flag is symbolic of European intolerance, Mr. Wilders should thus be the poster child for and reminder of the fragility of freedom and the need for courage to replace cowardice in the West. Not that you’d read much about Mr. Wilders poor treatment at the hands of supposedly democratic societies, including his home country!
A free press is critical to the safety of a nation and freedom of the citizenry, but only when it acts impartially and with integrity. Hiding under its collective desks for fear of or pandering to a large, organized and increasingly threatening group of extremist Muslim agitators is unbecoming an industry that gave rise to such notables as Edward R. Morrow and Ernie Pyle. Moreover this does not do justice to the powers invested in the Fourth Estate by the Framers. Germany would do well to remember this, so should we in the U.S. The following series of events occurring in Germany is only a preview of what we may face.
SETTING: GERMANY, 2009
As written in The Jerusalem Post Online, along with Turkish Weekly Online, (among the few to cover this):
“German police officials in the cities of Duisburg and Dusseldorf, located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, prohibited pro-Israeli supporters from displaying Israeli flags. During an anti-Israeli demonstration organized by the radical Islamic group Milli Gorus, which attracted 10,000 protestors in Duisburg, two police officers stormed the apartment of a 25-year-old student and his 26-year-old girlfriend and seized Israeli flags hanging on the balcony and inside a window. The hostile crowd pelted stones and other objects at the flags.”
The student in an interview with Der Spiegel said that he wanted to show (by flying the flag off his balcony and in his apartment window) “solidarity with the sole democracy in the region,” and expressed concerns about the indifference in Germany toward Hamas rocket attacks against Israel. By all accounts he did not actively incite the crowd; his flag merely flew without taunting or fanfare – a free expression of his beliefs.
And in return for peacefully flying the flags, police break into his home and remove them.
According to witnesses, the protest march passed from the city center down a main street; at an intersection the pro-Palestinian demonstrators noticed two Israeli flags. They started yelling “death to Israel” and the group began throwing icicles and other objects at the flags. Witnesses saw the police go to the balcony removing one flag and then breaking into the apartment to remove the second one – apparently eliciting cheers from the crowd.
Subsequently more widespread pro-Palestinian, pro-Hamas demonstrations have led police to limit pro-Israel activity and displays.
“All that is required for evil to triumph is for good to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
Where is the benevolence of the Palestinian cause when supporters – globally – almost invariably resort to unprovoked violence? Clearly, evil won on that cold winter day in Duisburg.
Though out-voiced and outnumbered, the Central Council of Jews in Germany – expressed their outrage at the cowardly acts of the police.
Another voice in the wilderness, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Director of the SimonWiesenthalCenter in Jerusalem asked, “Can anyone imagine the German police going into a private home to remove a Hamas flag?”
If the German police broke into a home removed a Hamas flag it would make the front page of the New York Times with quotes from Constitutional experts decrying the outrageous limitation of free speech and rights of privacy in other nations. But where oh where was the New York Times in real time when it did happen to folks flying an Israeli flag? No double standard there, right? Where is the ghost of Adolph Ochs when we need him?
Presciently, Dr. Zuroff cautioned “this type of response will only encourage more aggressive and violent behavior by anti-Israel demonstrators and send the message that in Germany, Jews and supporters of Israel do not enjoy the full protection of the law.”
“Obedience to law is liberty.”
John Adams often decried people taking matters into their own hands, opining “we are a nation of laws, not men.” If pro-Palestinians are always so friendly, inclusive and peace loving, why do we see violence and angry outbreaks at their demonstrations? I can see why the peace process is going so well in Gaza. As seen over and over again, it would seem the mere mention or display of anything beyond their world view causes anger. Clearly, this is a mature group of people. Actually, it isn’t about maturity it is about power – the power of the mob. And it works. John Adams and the Framers understood this; at times feared it as much as the very people they were trying to lead.
As an aside, never has there been better orchestration of “spontaneous outrage” than has been exemplified by the highly choreographed global pro-Hamas Gaza demonstrations as has occurred in this latest round of fighting. Does anyone doubt that the entire gambit against Israel wasn’t planned – that the playbook had chapters on fighting, media relations, public protests and political lobbying?
Dr. Zuroff understood the situation and over the last few weeks numerous anti Israel demonstrations continue across Germany, with calls to “kill Jews.” And the police are doing what? In Mainz pro-Palestinian demonstrators shouted “Jewish pigs” and other epithets as they became increasingly aggressive towards a few people waiving Israeli flags who then had to seek refuge in a department store. Peace in Gaza movement? Of course! All peaceful people threaten the opposition, right? And in Kassel, pro-Palestinian protestors attacked an Israeli solidarity stand, and attempted to tear down Israeli flags. Do you recall Jewish supporters returning the favor? I think not.
Anti-Semitic violence continues against Jewish institutions and people, and it’s always under the guise of being “linked to Israel’s Gaza operation.” This is tantamount to saying, your second cousin’s uncle on your paternal great aunt’s side four generations removed insulted me…bang, you’re dead. Huh? Since when does a Jewish synagogue in Berlin have anything to do with the IDF targeting terrorists?
Evil is the world that allows such moral relativism to go unchecked. The Israeli Air Force attacks an installation in Gaza, so of course the world’s extremist Muslims must break out into violent protests across Europe and the Middle East – their collective grief and angst needing an outlet, no doubt. This is obscene. Have we no moral clarity, moral backbone, or even the most rudimentary of moral compasses left? When such riots break out, it’s called jail time, not excuse time. Of course, I mean jail the perpetrators, not the innocents on the sidelines. Only when the West demonstrates the same resolve and holds protest leaders accountable for the violent behavior of their followers and only when we punish extremist Muslims who injure or kill in the name of Allah, with the same force of law that we do with other criminal behavior, will we all be safe. Bad behavior cannot be protected by ethnic tradition or religious dictates. Criminal is criminal. Religious racism is no more moral than color racism because it is done in the name of a god.
At any rate, eventually responding to the concerns of Dr. Zuroff and the Central Council of Jews in Germany and their criticism that the police actions were cowardly and incomprehensible, (not that you would have known about it from domestic news services) Duisburg Police Chief Rolf Cebin posted a statement on the police web site. How courageous…a website memo. Cebin states “I deeply regret that feelings, especially those of our Jewish fellow citizens, were hurt. The removal of the flags was, as we see it today, the wrong decision. The situation was very heated and the officers wanted to avert harm to the participants, including the residents of the apartment. They acted with the best of intentions in a tricky situation, under considerable time pressure, in order, from their point of view to prevent an escalation.”
What, only two cops for 10,000 people? Were the cops using tin cans and string for their communications system? They couldn’t tell the folks to “move a long” or call for back up? And what’s this nonsense about “avert harm to the participants?” A mob of 10,000 had to fear two flags hanging from an apartment and the handful of people living there? If the cops were so concerned about the risk of large numbers congregating, couldn’t they have called for some help instead of kicking down the door of a pro-Israel couple? I know when I’m surrounded by a bunch of folks, my first instinct is to kick down a door. Newsflash…maybe the cops wanted to get away from the crowd?! Safe harbor and appease the mob: the true story why Deputy Barney Fife and Sergeant Shultz went into the apartment.
Clearly the Duisburg PD is a Cracker Jack unit in the preparedness arena. We’re all so proud. Let’s send two cops for a volatile mob. Was this the first time the police noticed a big bunch of people yelling, screaming and huddled together? Wow, their eyes can see again! It’s a miracle.
In addition to sending some free educational material on crowd control, perhaps someone should also give a copy of the German constitution to the Duisburg police.
Article 5 of the German Constitution, also referred to as German Basic Law reads as follows:
1. Everyone has the right freely to express and to disseminate his opinion by speech, writing and pictures and freely to inform himself from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by radio and motion pictures are guaranteed. There shall be no censorship.
2. These rights are limited by the provision of the general laws, the provisions of law for the protection of youth and by the right to inviolability of personal honor.
3. Art and science, research and teaching are free. Freedom of teaching does not absolve from loyalty to the constitution.
And where in Article 5 does it allow for removing symbols of expression without due process?
It gets better….
Ramon van der Maat, a spokesperson for the Duisburg police department, was asked if police plan on confiscating Israeli flags from supporters who may demonstrate against the anti-Israel protest that is coming up. His reply “we have to see what is expected. It depends on the situation and one cannot, across the board say that Israeli flags will be permitted.”
Nice to see they have learned the errors of their ways. So much for upholding the constitution, asking for mutual assistance and more cops, and just flat out saying “It is not hunting season for Jews in Germany.” But that would take moral clarity and courage. Better to appease the mobs. So, Israeli flags may not be permitted.
Yet a court in Berlin struck down an administrative ban on Hamas flags, clothing and banners. No double standard in Germany? At least the pro-Palestinians got their time in court. No such protections have been given to pro-Israeli Jews.
Apparently feeling enlightened, the court however did allow in the ban a prohibition on invoking a call by Hamas Foreign Minister Zahar to murder Israeli children worldwide. The ban was initiated by Commissioner for Security, Ehrhart Korting. At least someone over there gets it. In an interview with Morgenpost daily, Korting said “because of their terrorist attacks, and especially their constant rocket attacks on Israeli citizens, Hamas has been on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations since September 2003. Support for Hamas in Germany through demonstrations justifies the rocket attacks on Israel and encourages Hamas to undertake further rocket attacks.” He offered concern “if a court permits support for verifiably anti-constitutional and anti-Semitic organizations, other ways must be found to limit pro Hamas activity.” Perhaps Heir Korting should send a memo to the Duisburg police. Someone in the German government who understands the threat? Remind me to send him a thank you note.
Fortunately, the incompetence of the Duisburg police has not escaped the notice of deputy Parliamentary chief – Raif Jager. In an interview on Speigel Online he is quoted “the central question is this – why was the potential for danger during the protest so underestimated that police were forced into a situation in which they had to concede to the demands of violent protestors rather than protect the right to freedom of speech of others?” Great question.
While some claim the Duisburg police believed only 1000 would attend instead of 10,000, deputy chief Jager offers that the police should have better predicted the situation and the fact that they didn’t raises the question of whether the state’s Office of Criminal Investigation had done enough preparation.”
Forgive me, but duh!
Let’s see – the Islamist group Milli Gorus has been monitored by German intelligence and law enforcement agencies for years. Their track record is no secret – they are able to mobilize large groups. What were the police waiting for? Preparedness implies the ability to respond to a wide array of threats to prevent loss of life and property. No training programs in the Duisburg police department? No mutual aid agreements with other law enforcement entities in the region? For a martial, law and order type of nation, not very characteristic.
But the elephant in the room and the dark side of this saga is obvious. The threat of violence from an ever growing extremist Muslim mob is a potent force for accommodation. The German police understand that threat equals intent times capability. It is a numbers game. Period! Muslims – angry or otherwise, moderate (whatever definition you want to attempt) or extremist (in case you believe the links and support between the two are truly distinct) – outnumber Jews in Germany and worldwide. And while the per capita buying power of Jews is probably impressive, the currency most countries trade in, at least on a par with money, is security. Domestic tranquility or at least the absence of riots goes far in allowing business as usual. Never mind that the price for such appeasement leads ultimately to moral bankruptcy or societal suicide. Along come several million Muslims in Germany and with them radical groups that can readily mobilize tens of thousands of people using just in time inventory control of ‘protestors on demand’ – and you start worrying the establishment. Is it any wonder Germany, holocaust guilt or not, is pandering to radical Islamists? As the number of extremists grows in the U.S., we can expect the same. For now the U.S. is capitulating under the doctrine of political correctness. Unless we limit the danger that has befallen Europe, we will ultimately fall under the doctrine of appeasement.
The ultimate threat is in the lack of information the citizenry is receiving and the one sidedness of the media, thought and political leaders in representing global events.
I did several online searches on this issue – looking for articles in the New York Times and other high circulation U.S. papers. Nada! Several times I emailed the NYT to ask about the event in Duisburg, and why it wasn’t covered. I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to learn that their editorial department didn’t reply to my queries. For a paper with the motto “All the news that is fit to print,” one would think the recent actions in Germany curtailing freedom, police prohibiting the display of an Israeli flag, and aggressively entering into an apartment to appease a group of protestors, might reach the level of newsworthy. One has to ask, why wouldn’t a newspaper, any newspaper, but especially the putative standard bearer for U.S. journalism, and at least theoretically a proponent of freedom of expression – carry this event – make it a cause célèbre? Can you imagine if the German police took down a pro Hamas flag by force? The outcry would be heard from the PeoplesRepublic of China to the Peoples Republic of Berkeley.
Consider the importance beyond “just” the infringement of individual rights, which are significant: intrusion into a private domicile, confiscation or disordering private property, limiting freedom of expression. The further damage results from publicly declaring such actions may continue. The battle lines have been drawn. Clearly the message has been said loudly and clearly that pro Palestinians have the upper hand and the German police – keystone cops to be sure – will continue to protect them to the detriment of the Jews, who do not rate equal protection under German law, albeit their Constitution so guarantees. Only the village idiot cannot predict this will embolden extremist actions. This should send a chill through any fair minded pro democracy individual and every American. From political correctness to thought police to loss of freedom is a short series of baby steps and the Germans have already taken their first ones.
And more insidious than the German police racing into the apartment of young adults who have committed no crime, to remove Israeli flags from visibility because they offended an angry mob – bad though these actions are – is the pervasive anti Semitism, anti Zionist movement reemerging in Europe and the U.S.
One of the fundamental realities and a distinction that cannot be lost when discussing Israel and Gaza (Hamas) or dealing with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas or Palestinian jihadists … we’re not talking about “peace,” nor are we talking about morally equivalent entities, we’re talking good versus evil.
“Peace” by appeasement never works. When will we learn? How can we learn when the mainstream media censors news? And the big news and the elephant in the room that needs to be dealt with is the growing threat of vocal, extremist Muslims. The media is failing horribly to acknowledge this is an unfolding story of epic proportions – the radicalization of the West. That will probably become the chapter title in history books a hundred years from now. The 20th century will be known for medical miracles and men walking on the moon, great advances in stem cell research, and the internationalization of information through the Internet. It will be remembered for great democracies, vaccines, the Concord, and solar heat. People peacefully coexisting, drawn from diverse backgrounds- agnostics to fundamentalists, “dead heads” to the “KISS army” and “Rolling Stones fans” to teeny boppers for Britney and Hannah Montana, with a sense of tolerance for religions, fashion, food and artistic expression. In the 21st century, will the books record the greatness of the 20th century, the 100 years of exploration and advancement and how it has been replaced by a world aflame, Sharia law, an era of intolerance, conformity and the politics of non-offensiveness?
What is happening in major international cities can, has, and will happen here. Europe is the prelude; the target is Western civilization, and the prize, the United States. History books of the future will write about how our Western Civilization was overtaken by a growing threat within our borders – much like the barbarians that overtook Rome. Germany, like the Huns of old, once again is giving us a front row seat to the power, the influence and the danger of the new barbarians at the gates – only this time they are Muslim extremists and Jihadists.
Berlin’s administrative appeals court thinks it is ok to openly support Hamas and burn Israeli flags.
So it is ok to torch the flag, just not fly it…
“Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together. An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery. … The power to mould the future of the Republic will be in the hands of the journalists of future generations." – Joseph Pulitzer
“To know the right” – Hmm, perhaps the New York Times is unfamiliar with Pulitzer or his inspirational charge to students of the Columbia University School of Journalism that he helped found – ironic for a paper that has received 98 Pulitzer Prizes. Although no saint himself, having succumbed to the profitability of lurid headlines a la “yellow journalism” – nevertheless, Pulitzer saw the value of inspiring to our greater angels and tried to establish an institution to promote greater values in the media, which at the time was primarily the printed word.
Yet much of the media are cowering under their desks at the mention of offending extremist Muslims.
Across Europe growing evidence that freedom of expression is being curtailed by fear of religious fundamentalism (euphemism for radical Islam). Robert Redeker a French educator wrote that the Koran is a book of extraordinary violence in Le Figaro, is laying low for fear of reprisals. Grayson Perry a British artist has claimed he consciously avoids commenting on radical Islam in his provocative works because of threat of reprisals. Danish journalist Lars Hedegaard wrote a book Groft Sagt (Rough Talk) which is a collection of columns and contains illustrations from Westergaard – a few of which are critical of Islam or the Prophet Mohammed. Recall it was Kurt Westergaard drawings of Mohammed in the paper Jyllands Posten that annoyed Muslims and sparked a flurry of violent protests. It is estimated that 100 deaths resulted from the extremists’ temper tantrum.If you need to know anything about radical Islamists realize this – they immediately turned to violence over political cartoons which resulted in hurt or killed people. The home of Martin Rynja – the British publisher of the novel The Jewel of Medina – a controversial book about a child bride of Mohammed, was firebombed. And newspapers such as Berlinske Tidende either avoid covering these important issues or cancel subscribing to the writers such as Hedegaard or Westergaard for fear of reprisals.
Clearly no one should intentionally try to insult someone when an equally effective alternative is available; but realize many of our contemporary political cartoons are highly offensive to someone – the civilized thing to do is denounce the artist, the journal, the editor – not kill anyone. Move on, get a life.
And, in spite of our increased reliance upon the Internet as our news source, and some rightly can argue it is one of the few places to get “fair and balanced” information, notwithstanding the need to separate the factual from the fantasy sites, newspapers still drive public opinion far more than the televised or other media would like to admit.
Our security is tied to the information we as a society are given. If the average citizen gets a world view from the mainstream media, we are all in trouble. Opinion is shaped by the media – George Soros and his ilk know and use this all too well to garner political support for their candidates. He is one of the chief shareholders of the Democrat Party. With a media, think tank, financial and now political empire at his disposal, the Soros world vision can become a reality. Though beyond the scope of but related to this article – the media is big business – and it is, as it was in the late 19th and early 20th century, part of the entertainment business. It shapes and is shaped by commercial appetites; therein lies the weakness of the system and ultimately our strength as “the public.”
Political correctness insidiously has become the norm – the thought police are alive and well in America. And the media are prime enablers. As with most evil marketed under the guise of enlightenment and sold by well meaning dupes, political correctness appealed to our sense of decency at the cost of our common sense and ultimately will cost us our common good. By “protecting” the supposed underdog of the day by limiting honest discourse as the unintended (?) consequence of limiting potentially offensive ethnic jokes – an affirmative action policy on speech, if you will – our ability to address critical issues and solve major problems has been undermined.
Talking about a legitimate problem that affects a community and offering solutions – whether the ideas come from within or outside the community – is NOT racism. We have at least 35 Jihad camps in North America. We have a growing Fifth Column in the United States. The pro Islam thought police are alive and well on our college campuses. Consider the reaction when criticizing the current president -automatically that comes with the labels “racism,” “regressive,” “partisan” or “anti-Obama,” when in reality it may just come from common sense and the ability to think.
When the German police took down the Israeli flags the thought police won another battle. Whether in words or symbols, when anyone is silenced, we all are vulnerable.
When will we learn that filtering out unpleasant discourse will not make the underlying problem go away, just because we put a happy face on it or try to shift the blame and burden elsewhere? Why didn’t a question happy media do its job? Why does it continue to fail miserably in discussing the tough issues that face Americans every day? Instead its hatred of Bush, the non left, and pretty much, Mom, Chevrolets and apple pie, drives an editorial policy that limits the equitable coverage of contemporary issues, and makes “news” almost indistinguishable from “op ed.” We all lose.
This is nowhere more obvious than in the Gaza, Hamas, Israel news coverage. Clearly, anti-Israeli bias is alive and well in the media. And it is often subtle. Consider a recent article covering the Gaza war which showed two photographs – a larger one revealing Gaza civilian “victims” and a much smaller one below it showing “an Israeli.” If one had the temerity to ask the paper (and the amazing good fortune to get a reply) they would counter – we put in two pictures – one for each side. Sure; a big one with lots of crying pathetic people on top of a little one with a well dressed isolated person. And it isn’t just once, nor is that the only trick of the trade that can be used to slant a story.
Virtually every major newspaper has put Gaza civilians front and center in their articles, while relegating the real story somewhere towards the end of the article, and usually off the front page in the “continued on” section – the reader actually finds something about Israeli civilian casualties or, oh yeah, Hamas launched rockets into Jewish towns –only to then find a caveat –”Israel’s military is more powerful.” No mention that Hamas broke the cease fire, or that the stated mission of Hamas and almost every pro Hamas organization in the world is the destruction of the State of Israel and many call for the deaths of Jews wherever you find them.
Where are the PC police calling these folks to task? Calling for the death of another ethnic group isn’t offensive? Isn’t newsworthy? Can you imagine if a Christian church or offshoot organization called for the deaths of Muslims, even just extremist Muslims? That would be on every front page. But the one world ideologues couldn’t possibly tolerate having a paper report on the mission statement of Hamas calling for the death of Jews; it would be considered racist, and unfair. Living in the purple haze of their own arrogance the elitists running much of the media believe that somehow they will create utopia, if only we drink their Kool-Aid; they can’t possibly admit their pals are evil, or that anyone is evil – except of course folks who disagree with them. Sad reality – these ideologues who sponsor peace summits, peace centers, peace studies programs ad nauseam fail to understand that they are being used by the very people who ultimately undermine the peace. Check out the number of “peace” centers and you’ll find some form of Islamic support – not bad in and of itself, but scratch beneath the surface and you will find a link, a tie with Muslim Brotherhood or other front group. The Muslim clerics or scholars or spokespersons are usually welcomed with warm embraces while others – like pro Zion organizations are tepidly allowed in.
We no longer are free from retribution, ridicule – even violence, when the increasingly few vocal dissenters among us raise the alarm about the dangers the United States faces, whether in the media or public forums or classroom. The tale of two sides is ever increasingly slanted.
While having a media abandon its collective responsibility to present the facts and report on important global events, especially if they are interconnected to a broader issue or challenge is bad enough, largely this impacts older minds – minds that can influence the next generation. But as any adolescent health expert will tell you, there are other arenas where young adults are molded and influenced – peer groups and schools. Can we afford to abandon the minds of the next generation?
Academia – to the uninitiated is the bastion of Socratic, Platonic, Virgilian thought – free expression and young minds being enriched, expanded and challenged. Nice thought. Reality check: the liberalization and radicalization of college campuses is on the rise. Teaching liberal thought is fine, as long as conservative and other lines of reason are also allowed to flourish. Yet more and more faculty aim to indoctrinate instead of educate – students who do not toe the liberal left one-world anti Zionist anti U.S. ideology, or fail to convert, then they face public humiliation, blackmail or intimidation through the power and threat of lower grades and poor recommendations. Even faculty members face recrimination and professional threats, including delayed tenure or promotion if they don’t adhere to the conventional wisdom or ideology of the administration. That certainly is not equal protection under the law.
And it is not equal protection in the media, who are deafeningly silent in their coverage of students or faculty who are attacked for pro-Bush or pro-military or pro-Israel or conservative thought. When a Hillel wants to sponsor a Jewish scholar or leader – the usual suspects start the protests – to the cheers of pro-Hamas Muslim extremists (and likely not so extremist followers) but usually with little attention by the media. When a Star of David is desecrated on a campus, little attention is given. But when a Muslim student demands an accommodation – a fountain for daily ablution, or the removal of a Christmas tree because it is offensive, and then the demand isn’t immediately satisfied – the media trip over themselves to cover the story. And the ACLU rapid response team takes flight, capes and masks freshly starched and ready to wear so they can swoop in and save the day. Where was the ACLU when swastikas were painted across the walls of a Boca Raton Chabad? Maybe their capes were at the drycleaners.
Adherence to the best tenets of journalism, or our Constitution is clearly lacking. For all the PC left’s yammering about free speech and extolling the virtues of a fairness doctrine, their sense of fair play and justice end when it comes to supporting opposing viewpoints. Funny thing about being the thought police – eventually a new sheriff comes to town.
Fortunately there are groups rising to the occasion in defense of individual rights at America’s colleges and universities such as FIRE – The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
The press is the guardian of liberty. The media has the responsibility to unmask injustice, raise awareness about threats to our nation, our neighbors and our culture. The media is a force for change; it should inspire us towards our greater angels and not pander to the lesser demons.
Our vulnerabilities are many.
As written about by me and others in FSM, because you won’t find it in the MSM, our borders, especially with Mexico remain HUGE vulnerabilities. Dare to assert that the growing number of illegal aliens is directly linked to the increase in crime – violent crime in our cities, and every Latino, leftist, DNC, and other professional protestor groups including the ACLU come out of the wood work, like the city pet of New York to scream foul and yell “racism.” But these illegals overwhelmingly become Democrats, and increasingly are being organized a la Boss Tweed or Tammany Hall for and by DNC operatives. So the “inconvenient truth” of their being criminals – raises the “r” card faster than a speeding bullet by those pandering to the new constituents. At least now I understand why so much money is being expended on welfare programs in the Obama-Pelosi earmark – er, uh stimulus plan – it makes perfect sense for President O, former community organizer, to create a new form of WPA (not your grandfathers Works Progress Administration)… the Working as Protestors Administration! As an aside, don’t these protestors on demand folks have real jobs? Once again see our welfare dollars at work.
Telling an “inconvenient truth” about extremist Muslims and their Fifth Column in our midst, or the increasing violence associated with their growing communities earns epithets and accusations of racism from the left, the pseudo-intelligentsia, academicians and significant column inches in the media. Yet the capitulation – here and abroad that has and will continue to cause violations of our freedoms, as seen in Germany, cannot go unchecked. The fact that this same community has foist upon us Shariah finance, honor killings, considerable concessions in our public schools and community spaces, fostered unrest, even violent protest in our cities – virtually all without so much as a peep from the main stream media – demonstrates our sorry state of affairs and underscores our vulnerability to dummying down the public.
Honest discourse – well publicized points of view, including the loyal opposition – are critical to informing the public, a public that through the power of voting can have an enormous impact upon the future of this nation.
Just like the question, do scientists become terrorists or do terrorists become scientists, (yes to both), do people become the news they read or does the news become (influence) the people? Media watchdogs would argue the former more than the latter. And those who control, own or manipulate the media, know this all too well. One has to wonder how many people would have voted for “the messiah” as Farrakhan has referred to Obama, had the liberal, fawning media in their “slobbering” love affair as Bernie Goldberg refers as the title of his latest book, instead done their job and reported “all the news that’s fit to print” and not just what their ideology sponsored? Would the public have become so “anti Bush” had the media not hammered home all the reasons they didn’t like him or his policies?
Whether it is the silliness of Chris Mathews, a one-time credible journalist and now a DNC shill and elderly cheer leader for Obama, doing everything but wearing a costume and waiving pompoms, to the New York Times allowing unsubstantiated accusations (think Jason Blair) and overtly pro Hamas anti-U.S. anti-Israel biased articles, to the Sun Sentinel doing the journalistic equivalent of “air brushing” an article to give the hostile, at times violent pro Palestinian mob of protestors in Ft. Laladale the same appearance of moderation or legitimacy as the peaceful pro Israeli folks – our media is failing us. Consider the “air brush”: Angry pro-Palestinians were screaming “Jews back to the ovens” – and other vile epithets at a protest in South Florida, while the pro-Israelis by all account were peaceful, outnumbered and trying to show a sign of support for Israel. The newspaper tried to convey equivalence between the two groups as if both were merrily carrying signs in the sun. “The media” clearly are complicit by censoring news that is contrary to its ideology or world view – never confuse a zealot with facts.
But the public need facts. Not journalists with a tingle up their leg.
There are too few organizations holding the press accountable. One of them, CAMERA – Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, has listed numerous sins of omission and commission. It’s clearly a good start, but not enough.
But they are not alone. WE the people have a responsibility. When we allow others to bully us into hiding our convictions, avoiding supporting what or who we believe in, instead of speaking out, standing in solidarity with just causes, we yield the moral high ground, too. If we do, then we become as complicit as those actually perpetrating the evil.
We can affect change – using our voice – emails, letters to the editor, phone calls, voting, organizing affinity groups, and with our money – advertising, supporting alternative news sources, sponsoring issue forums.
When the public allows political correctness to be a surrogate or substitute for fair play, supporting biased media in the process, and tacitly backing government actions that allow mobs to dictate policies limiting the equal protections that should be accorded to all members of society, the popular, the weak or the strong – we are all to blame for the dangers we face. It is only a matter of time when liberals here will want to ban speech that is considered culturally offensive. One day, we might be in that group that the masses decide to turn on. Who will protect us if not the law? If the law is as malleable as the whims of the masses, no one will be safe as the 21st century plays out. And the clock is ticking. The inexorable influence of radical Islam in most of the major cities worldwide, and the likely impact on the United States of this extremist Fifth Column, along with a growing population of criminal aliens – are not racial or ethnic problems; these represent a significant domestic security problem that will impact everyone of us in every major domain – economic, political, educational, social and community safety.
In George Washington’s era, the power to influence through the press was a powerful force for change; our great nation is one such result. But it was a two edged sword, and the Founding Fathers recognized that reporters were “Infamous Scribblers” – a less than complimentary nickname our first President gave to journalists who also had a penchant for a bit of muckraking, back in the day, and the name of a book covering early journalism in America. Without a courageous media to display the dangers front and center it will be hard to contain threats.
Freedom of expression is a basic right and cornerstone to an enlightened society. Germany continues to forget this; we cannot afford to. The press would go apoplectic, and does, every time the government tries to impose a form of censorship. Why is self censorship or selective skewing of information by the industry any less unacceptable? Putin has and will continue to clamp down on the media in Russia. Think TASS, think 1979. It is no less vile for the media to slant information for its own ends than if a dictator demands it.
Once again freedom took a holiday – all because a flag offended. And a movie. And cartoons. And a book (Jewel of Medina). What will cause the next preemptive censorship? Will it be a scholar carrying a Bible? An American flag pin worn by an innocent vacationer? As a society we cannot allow freedom to take a holiday. Thoughts usually have a way of expressing themselves, and when expression is curtailed or confined, often the alternative outlets and ramifications are less pleasant than conventional means. Eliminating differences, especially in expression and methods of celebration, even peaceful protest, is not the same as eliminating the strains that exist between groups. Selectively silencing one group because it might offend another group – who should decide which group gets silenced? Should any side be silenced in the name of PC? In the end, it devalues all of us when some are considered worthy of protection or deemed necessary to silence.
We rise or fall as a society. Our nation cannot survive if it becomes merely a holding pen of loosely affiliated groups that don’t share in a commonly held set of values; our greatness derives from a bond cutting across all communities based upon respect for all and support of individual liberties. When we allow any group to dominate or intimidate, none of us are truly free. The U.S. courageously and rightly opened the doors for Geert Wilders. But he needed intense security.Yet the size of the threat (thought police, political correctness, radical Islam) is growing, multiplying, spreading. Even in the face of threats, we cannot afford to allow freedom to take many more holidays.
Apparently freedom of expression is alive and well in Germany, as long as you aren’t a Jew. When will the media and the world start to care? And when will we learn the United States could be next?
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Dr. Robin McFee is a physician and medical toxicologist. An expert in WMD preparedness, she is a consultant to government agencies, corporations and the media. Dr. McFee is a member of the Global Terrorism, Political Instability and International Crime Council of ASIS International. She has authored numerous articles on terrorism, health care and preparedness, and coauthored two books: Toxico-Terrorism by McGraw Hill and The Handbook of Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Agents, published by Informa/CRC Press.