Home > Direct Action, Suppression of Dissent > Channel Two TV news demonstrates how to railroad a non-violent protest movement

Channel Two TV news demonstrates how to railroad a non-violent protest movement

The Sheikh Jarrah protest movement pulled off an impressive demonstration on Friday (June 25 2010.) More than five hundred Israelis and Palestinians marched in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, to protest the planned demolition of 22 Palestinian homes.” Bernard Avishai has posted an interesting account of the event at TPM Café. Here’s a short video clip, which shows a powerful, non-violent, protest:

Israeli TVs didn’t show. Since the event was extraordinary, however, Channel Two TV News had to mention it in the evening newscast. Here’s the clip:

Yair Lapid

The script, delivered by aspiring politician Yair Lapid, is matter-of-fact:

Some five hundred leftist activists and Palestinians demonstrated this afternoon in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem in protest of the approval by the Local Planning Committee in Jerusalem of the King’s Garden plan, which includes the planned demolition of 22 Palestinian homes in the neighborhood to make way for the construction of a new archaeological garden.

Channel Two did not have its own footage. They had options, however. They could have bought footage from the wires or Arab TVs, who were there in force. They could have approached the organizers and gotten free footage.

Instead, they used B Roll from the archive. Fair enough. They could have used, for example, their own footage from previous protests and marked it as archival.

Not only was the B Roll not labelled. It was highly unrepresentative of the event — prayers at an open-air mosque, followed immediately by children throwing stones at Police jeeps. End result: For the the lay viewer, the protest is associated with violence (preceded by Islamic religious incitement, no less).

Was this done with intentionally? As documented in-depth by Max Blumenthal last week and demonstrated in a Coteret series a few months ago, the Israeli mainstream media tends to serve as dutiful stenographers of government information, especially on security and foreign policy issues.

It’s doubtful if anyone was briefing in this instance, however. My hunch is that someone at Channel Two was pandering to his audience’s sensibilities (or to his own), consciously or subconsciously averting cognitive dissonance. For many months and years, Israeli audiences, of Channel Two TV in particular, have been subject to nightly conditioning: The only opposition to government policies on Palestinian issues is from violent Muslims and their lunatic-fringe Israeli sympathizers. Images of masses of young and “normal” Israelis (some of them religious!) marching peacefully to protest patent injustice, would move viewers outside their comfort zone, and on a Friday night to boot.

This is a large part of the answer to the question of where the Israeli peace movement has been for a decade. It would still be dormant if the new media had not allowed activists to break free of the restrictions of the MSM and top-heavy NGO structures. The demonstration at Silwan, like the dozens in Sheikh Jarrah that preceded it, was organized with nearly no outlay using Facebook and other social media.

Facebook also enabled many supporters who could not be present to support the demonstrators.  Not only through the sharing of reports and images. On Saturday afternoon, one of the organizers — Daniel Dukarevich — sent out a note (Hebrew) describing what Channel Two had done and asking readers to e-mail the relevant ombudsmen with complaints. Twenty-four hours later, he reported that the Israel Press Council had received the largest number of complaints over a single incident ever and that Channel Two News had contacted him: They had gotten the message and really needed to unclog their inbox.

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  1. June 27, 2010 at 21:53

    The movement needs to be seen in order to be effective in changing minds and hearts – I do believe this is the consistent old policy to prevent any footage of Palestinian nonviolence. The good news is, it is done precisely because these images can change minds and hearts. Sending letters is one thing, sending these pictures around is even better.

  2. June 27, 2010 at 22:11

    The Israeli peace movement has been dormant for a decade because the Israeli MSM has failed to report on it? Huh?

    • June 28, 2010 at 07:48

      Yaacov: That little piece of demagoguery is based on such a blatant falsification of the text, that you would have been thrown out of the the first round of a debating tournament. You’ve demonstrated you’re capable of much better. I think I already told you on Friday, I won’t engage in mudslinging with you while you maintain the pretension of being an intellectual.

      • June 28, 2010 at 11:19

        Didn’t you write this, Didi?
        This is a large part of the answer to the question of where the Israeli peace movement has been for a decade. It would still be dormant if the new media had not allowed activists to break free of the restrictions of the MSM and top-heavy NGO structures. The demonstration at Silwan, like the dozens in Sheikh Jarrah that preceded it, was organized with nearly no outlay using Facebook and other social media.

      • June 28, 2010 at 11:25

        Lozowick: “because the Israeli MSM”; Text: “part of the answer”
        Lozowick: “failed to report”; Text: “conditioning”

      • June 28, 2010 at 13:49

        Demagoguery?

      • June 28, 2010 at 13:52

        From the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

        Main Entry: 1dem·a·gogue
        Variant(s): also dem·a·gog \ˈde-mə-ˌgäg\
        Function: noun
        Etymology: Greek dēmagōgos, from dēmos people (perhaps akin to Greek daiesthai to divide) + agōgos leading, from agein to lead — more at tide, agent
        Date: 1648
        1 : a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power
        2 : a leader championing the cause of the common people in ancient times
        — dem·a·gogu·ery \-ˌgä-g(ə-)rē\ noun
        — dem·a·gogy \-ˌgä-gē, -ˌgä-jē, -ˌgō-jē\ noun

  3. Fnord
    June 27, 2010 at 23:41

    Sirs, without being panicky or sensationalist, this is quite serious. Do you have any alternative Indymedia moivement in Israel, who can get out documentation on web-tv more or less on air?

  4. Sivan
    June 28, 2010 at 05:23

    Didi, this is very important documentation of a phenomena that isnt talked about enough.
    It helps to understand why Israelis are the way they are, it helped me when i struggled with the knowledge (at 44!) that everything i ever knew was with a fixed agenda and necessarily NOT the whole truth. It has been a devastating journey for me personally so often ground shaking but i am glad i made it through.
    Keep up your amazing work!
    thanks
    Sivan

  5. Steve
    June 28, 2010 at 08:49

    Good for channel two. Of course supporting Israel comes before giving a voice to acts of sedition.

    • June 28, 2010 at 08:51

      Couldn’t have put it better myself, Steve. One of the things I’ve discovered is that sometimes the best kind of illustration comes form commenters.

  6. Steve
    June 28, 2010 at 09:32

    Indeed, patriotism, a country’s self survival comes before everything else.

    In the United States there were a lot of things that they didn’t print during WWII for fear it would hurt the war effort.

    This is the survival of the Jewish race we are talking about here. The Jewish must stand up for themselves this time because it looks like the same forces that were gathering in the 1930s are gathering again.

    • June 28, 2010 at 09:50

      What a succinct analogy, Steve. You don’t have to go back to WWII, however. There are some great examples from Vietnam and Iraq.

      Anyway, come back often. You’re illustrative capacity is priceless.

    • Shoded Yam
      June 28, 2010 at 16:50

      If you’re going to wrap yourself in the flag every goddamm day, just remember to launder it every so often. You’re making it stink.

  7. Steve
    June 28, 2010 at 09:34

    thrown out of the the first round of a debating tournament.

    Life is no debating tournament is it. You aren’t competing for a trophy. In this case Jews are fighting for their very life as a people.

    • June 28, 2010 at 09:47

      Absolutely, Steve. I’m sure Yaacov understands how lucky he is to have an advocate of your caliber. Make sure you check out his blog, yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com, you’ll have a lot to contribute there.

      • June 28, 2010 at 11:23

        Thanks for the plug Didi. Alas, the blog is rather slow these days, since I’m busy at other things.

      • June 28, 2010 at 11:27

        Always happy to channel an audience to a place where it can make a difference.

  8. June 28, 2010 at 11:52

    Didi –

    You pride yourself on your debating prowess. Moreover, you make your living from PR or media or some such: meaning, you’re a wordsmith of sorts. Go back to that little exchange we just had, above, and see if you’re abiding by plausible standards. I stand by my original position: your article seems to be saying that the Israeli MSM has hampered the rise of Israel’s left this past decade. You don’t say this is the full truth nor the only truth, but you clearly say it’s an important part of the story. (“A large part”).

    I’m asking if you really mean it. It was only a blog post, we all know that blog writers dash things off, they don’t have editors, and sometimes in the heat of things they say outlandish things. Your statement is very outlandish, but perhaps you didn’t really mean it – so I’m asking if you meant it; if you did, I suggest you retract it. That’s all.

    • June 28, 2010 at 12:06

      Yaacov,

      1. Very plausible standards, because there is a MAJOR difference between attributing a phenomenon to one cause and saying that a cause had an important part in contributing to a phenomenon.
      2. Yes, I stand by my opinion that the Israeli media had a major role in marginalizing and discouraging the Israeli peace movement. This is something I’ve studied for years. Go to the Haaretz archive and you’ll find some data on this I provided as early as 2002. But I’m hardly the first to express the opinion. In fact, it has been studied academically.
      3. This is not to say there were not other important factors, including ones that you would embrace whole-heartedly.
      4. I will not abide by your frequent technique of taking an inductive argument, presenting it as a deductive one, and then posing a question.
      5. As I’ve experienced, the general atmosphere among your commenters is one where debate at this level of precision and logic is considered “snotty” or “snobbish.” That’s why I’ve stopped coming. This is my blog, however.

      Best,

      Didi

      • June 28, 2010 at 12:34

        Didi,

        I don’t know what you’ll stand for and what not. If you don’t stand for it, what does that mean? That you’ll delete my comments? Be my guest, and live with the opprobrium of blocking woices you “don’t stand for”. Heh.

        You’re splitting hairs, rather than admitting your mistake. But then, the entire far-left Israeli scene is based on never admitting to their own mistakes, so you’re not unusual. Not admirable, either, but there you have it.

        So far as I know, I’m older than you. If so, this means I was in favor of a sovereign Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza earlier than you were, and in any case, many years before it became the reasonable thing to say. I don’t need confirmation from you or anyone else to claim the title of long-time member of Israel’s peace camp. Neither I, nor anyone else I’ve ever spoken to, abandoned our previous positions because the Israeli MSM had us do so. We did so in a state of considerable cognitive turmoil, intellectual anguish, and of course, personal danger, when the Palestinians forced us to recognize and admit we’d been wrong. In my case, wrong my entire adult life.

        That was the one and only reason for our change of position. Is there academic research to say otherwise, as you indicate? I expect there is. Academics can be as silly as anyone else; unfortunately, many of them are malicious, not silly. We discussed one of them just yesterday, you and I, but he’s for from the worst of them.

        Israel’s Zionist peace camp is dead – yes,even now – because there’s no-one to make peace with. Would that it were otherwise, but it isn’t. That’s why Meretz has a meager 3 MKs. Aongside that defunct camp there always was, and is now too, a non-Zionist camp of Jews in Israel, some of them even anti-Zionist. This group will never get elected to anything significant in Israel, but they’re adept at making loud noises and appearing to be a growing force. Inside Israel, however, they aren’t. Outside Israel, their supporters are legion. None of this has much to do with Israel’s MSM.

        As usual, I’m signing off first. You can have the final word. As you say, it’s your blog.

      • June 28, 2010 at 12:51

        Yaacov,

        As I explained, it’s not “splitting hairs.” I would expect that someone who constantly blames Haaretz and the media for so many of Israel’s international problems, would be willing to accept that the Israeli media has a role in shaping reality domestically.

        By “not abide” I mean I will challenge disingenuous questions rather than answer them.

        I think one day you’ll look back and come to terms with two things: (1) The damage wrought by your exclusive approach to the definition of Israeli and Jewish identity; (2) Your role in undermining the prospects for Israel, by focusing on reasons not to change counter-productive and self-destructive policies and de-legitimizing those that think otherwise.

        Best,

        Didi

  9. Bruce
    June 28, 2010 at 13:46

    I just read your blogpost. In fact, you expressly state that the MSM is responsible for the dormant state of the Israeli left. Your words:

    “This is a large part of the answer to the question of where the Israeli peace movement has been for a decade. It would still be dormant if the new media had not allowed activists to break free of the restrictions of the MSM and top-heavy NGO structures.

    • June 28, 2010 at 13:53

      Hey Bruce, good to see you here. I’ve answered that remark by Yaacov. No sense in just parroting him.

  10. dickerson3870
    June 28, 2010 at 21:36

    RE: “the Israeli mainstream media tends to serve as dutiful stenographers of government information, especially on security and foreign policy issues” – Didi Remez
    FROM WIKIPEDIA: Cult, The Study of cults, Mind control
    Studies performed by those who believe that some religious groups do practice mind control have identified a number of key steps in coercive persuasion:[31][32]
    •People are put in physically or emotionally distressing situations;
    •Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized;
    •They receive unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader or group;
    •They get a new identity based on the group;
    •They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives, and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled.[33]

    This view is disputed by scholars such as James Gene [34] and Bette Nove Evans [35], among others, while the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion[5][36] stated in 1990 that there was not sufficient research to permit a consensus on the matter and that “one should not automatically equate the techniques involved in the process of physical coercion and control with those of nonphysical coercion and control”.

  11. June 29, 2010 at 00:21

    Yeah, I think you’re trying to bend “a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power” in a way that the lexicographer hadn’t expected.

    Didi Remez :
    From the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
    Main Entry: 1dem·a·gogue
    Variant(s): also dem·a·gog \ˈde-mə-ˌgäg\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Greek dēmagōgos, from dēmos people (perhaps akin to Greek daiesthai to divide) + agōgos leading, from agein to lead — more at tide, agent
    Date: 1648
    1 : a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power
    2 : a leader championing the cause of the common people in ancient times
    — dem·a·gogu·ery \-ˌgä-g(ə-)rē\ noun
    — dem·a·gogy \-ˌgä-gē, -ˌgä-jē, -ˌgō-jē\ noun

    • June 29, 2010 at 08:19

      Oh Safire, you’re dearly missed.

      • June 30, 2010 at 18:03

        I assure you that there are non-Republicans who think we should use words according to their meanings rather than to evoke responses by their associations.

      • June 30, 2010 at 19:39

        I truly miss Saphire’s language columns. He marveled at its flexibility and evolution and would probably would have been amused by your prudishness, especially since it’s pretty clear you got the message.

        Sent from my iPhone

  12. esthermiriam
    June 29, 2010 at 05:03

    Was there not a recent story in Haaretz by Amira Hass about the way Palestinean media do not report Israeli involvement in protests?! Ironies abound…

    • June 29, 2010 at 06:58

      “Loose with the facts” as Yaacov would say: The article was about an official PLO report, not the media. It’s revealing when nationalists use examples of Palestinian behavior as justification for our own.

      • June 29, 2010 at 12:11

        It is just as revealing when irrationalists ignore Arab behavior that justifies Israel’s own.

      • June 29, 2010 at 13:52

        Two wrongs make a right, eh? Not surprising, coming from a foreigner who has the gall to adopt their enemy’s moral standards.

      • esthermiriam
        June 29, 2010 at 20:00

        Yes, Didi is correct about the article’s focus. Still seems ironic,
        even sad, although certainly not a justification for anything… and that was not intention/implication
        of my post.

        Much appreciate the site, but maybe I’ll just step back from joining in.

  13. June 30, 2010 at 02:20

    Didi Remez :
    Two wrongs make a right, eh? Not surprising, coming from a foreigner who has the gall to adopt their enemy’s moral standards.

    First, I reject the question as it pertains to me on the grounds that I do not see what is “wrong” about tearing down illegal structures, or of imminent domain for the public good, or of self serving righteous actions taken by the city. You have not made the case that implementing Mayor Barkat’s plan is wrong by any stretch of the imagination, though you have made it clear by boasting of your participation in an irrational gathering that you feel it is yourself. If there is a moral failing it is yours, sir.

    In a paradox of solemnity and comedy, I am thankful that you do see the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians as the “enemies” of us all, foreigner or not, but I utterly reject the straw man you erected that I have adopted their morality so must therefore be wrong in my criticism of you. What in the single sentence I wrote here, or wrote on the rarely used test website I created, or that you have read from Googling my name led you to that profound conclusion? Unlike the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians that you champion with your word and deeds, there is nothing that an enemy of mine could ever do to me that would cause me to shoot a 70 year old cripple to death, roll his wheel chair to the edge of a ship, and dump his lifeless body into the ocean. There is nothing that an enemy of mine could ever do to me that could allow me to take his child from him, execute him in front of her, then crush her skull with my rifle and saunter past her mangled corpse with a sense of accomplishment lightening my stride. There is nothing that an enemy of mine could ever do to me that would fill me with so much rage that I could shoot the tires out of a family sedan, stroll up to it, place the barrel of my weapon against the swollen womb of an expectant mother and pull the trigger three times to make sure the family’s first boy would die first, then proceed to execute, at point blank range, her four screaming children huddled together in a final embrace, the oldest not even a teen ager at the ripe old age of eleven.

    No, sir, there is nothing my enemy could do to me and there is no hate I can imagine harboring that would drive me to do those sorts of things or the hundreds of other similar things your Arab friends have done to Israeli Jews over the course of this conflict. In fact it is precisely my morality that brings me here, it is precisely my morality that drives my pen to criticize, and it is precisely my morality that motivates me to oppose the moral perverts that side with, further the cause of, or advance the goals of a craven peoples that honor, congratulate, idolize, and revere the child martyr, the suicide belt, the death squad killers, and the bloody handed mass murderer. The question is, why do you do it and how do you live with your own enormous hypocrisy?

    • July 1, 2010 at 15:51

      Michael, you are a blogger’s delight, please come back often: You illustrate well what kind of thinking drives Israeli policy today.

      Yours is moral relativism incarnate. In context, you basically assert:

      Members of extended group X behave immorally. Therefore, members of group Y are justified in taking any action against other members of group X.

      Yaacov Lozowick, among whose blog commenters you would feel at home, was quick to embrace this guide to policy. And of his merry band immediately found an application:

      Maybe jews should begin planting bombs all over Europe to compensate for 2.000 years of pan-european murderous antisemitism.

      • July 7, 2010 at 04:04

        You want me to return often? Why? Have you just stocked up on your supply of ego preservative? This isn’t the first rock I have kicked just to see what slithers out into the light of day.

        Though you meant it as an insult, I take it as a compliment and a sign of hope if I represent the kind of thinking that drives Israeli policy today. Sadly, it is not true though, because were I a reflection of said policy I would immediately embrace self defense as a national unalienable right and goal instead of just a national pass time.

        My what is moral relativism incarnate? My morality? I gave you some hard edges to that and the best you can do is piece the straw man back together for another round of flailing at phantoms? Is your ego that fragile or are you just frightened to look in the place I am standing? The light won’t hurt you once your eyes become adjusted to it, man.

        As to your matchbook digestion of what you think I was saying, turn the projector off, Didi. In context, I said that it is revealing when irrational people ignore Arab behavior that justifies Israel’s own. The Arab land grab and illegal structures built in Silwan mean nothing to you and the fact that the people you support glorify mass murder means nothing to you, because you have been duped into wearing a set of blinders that obscure context. That is classic moral relativism and you are guilty of wearing it like the emperor’s new suit, to your shame, your Highness.

        Why do you side with them is the deeper question? If it is true that you have some role in the NIF, what sort of Israel do you want to see the old Israel replaced with? And you might try using logic in explaining that next time instead of putting words in my mouth to color straw filled effigies with.

      • July 7, 2010 at 08:16

        Michael, I swear that I am not a member of the Communist Party, NIF that is.

        Thanks for the visit. Illustrative as always.

  14. June 30, 2010 at 18:04

    justquoting :
    I assure you that there are non-Republicans who think we should use words according to their meanings rather than to evoke responses by their associations.

    Perhaps that particular effort at self-control is one of the differences between “the Left” and “the Narcissistic Left.”

  15. July 1, 2010 at 06:52

    Didi Remez :
    I truly miss Saphire’s language columns. He marveled at its flexibility and evolution and would probably would have been amused by your prudishness, especially since it’s pretty clear you got the message.
    Sent from my iPhone

    Yeah, I “got the message.” I know what demagoguery means. I know you wanted to apply it to Yaacov … Wow, what a hard message to get across.

    It’s interesting though, when you consider that your comparison (which I’m aware does not seem silly/bloviated to you) of Yaacov to a leader trying to rally the mob by appealing to their prejudices implies that you think that Yaacov’s message is tailored for popular appeal, and your version of solidarity with the less powerful has more appeal for the elite.
    And I didn’t like Safire’s column, but I’m fairly sure he would not be impressed at your use of “demagoguery.”

    • July 1, 2010 at 09:14

      Can’t say I’m surprised. You need to chill. See Yaacov’s latest post. Seems he’s more of an adult than his advocate.

      BTW, Saphire would not have an eyebrow at the use of the word in a comment exchange, but he would have been amused by your apoplexy.

      Sent from my iPhone

  16. July 1, 2010 at 21:31

    Didi

    Didi Remez :
    Can’t say I’m surprised. You need to chill. See Yaacov’s latest post. Seems he’s more of an adult than his advocate.
    BTW, Saphire would not have an eyebrow at the use of the word in a comment exchange, but he would have been amused by your apoplexy.
    Sent from my iPhone

    Didi, I wonder how it doesn’t worry you how often in your own blog, you commend yourself, now it seems through ventriloquizing. What do you need out of this effort? Only to fight the good fight? If so, why is your ego show itself as insecure and dissatisfied?

  17. July 1, 2010 at 21:31

    Didi

    Didi Remez :
    Can’t say I’m surprised. You need to chill. See Yaacov’s latest post. Seems he’s more of an adult than his advocate.
    BTW, Saphire would not have an eyebrow at the use of the word in a comment exchange, but he would have been amused by your apoplexy.
    Sent from my iPhone

    Didi, I wonder how it doesn’t worry you how often in your own blog, you commend yourself, now it seems through ventriloquizing. What do you need out of this effort? Only to fight the good fight? If so, why does your ego show itself as insecure and dissatisfied?

  18. July 8, 2010 at 12:18

    Didi Remez :
    Michael, I swear that I am not a member of the Communist Party, NIF that is.
    Thanks for the visit. Illustrative as always.

    Your name was mentioned in one of the comments at the post you linked to as having something to do with the NIF. If I were part of a national embarrassment I would not want to admit to any relationship with them either.

    Anyway, thanks for allowing my comments to post and answering all of my questions with such wisdom and depth, comrade. You are a paragon of honesty and insight. I truly feel good about my new found desire to cripple Israel with sanctions, boycotts, divestments, and join the struggle to resist the colonial apartheid regime, the state sponsored racism and terrorism, and the deplorable phenomena of Islamophobia Israel promotes now.

    Deny you later, Didi……genocide, apartheid and ethnic cleansing…oh my! genocide, apartheid and ethnic cleansing….oh my!

  1. June 28, 2010 at 09:41
  2. June 28, 2010 at 19:58
  3. June 28, 2010 at 21:40
  4. June 29, 2010 at 21:02
  5. June 30, 2010 at 20:33
  6. June 30, 2010 at 21:49
  7. July 6, 2010 at 13:29
  8. July 12, 2010 at 07:55
  9. July 25, 2010 at 12:16
  10. August 2, 2010 at 14:55

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