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ZOA challenges TIME magazine to debate on Israel

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

NEW YORK (Press Release)–The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned TIME Magazine for the anti-Semitic and misleading cover/article in its September 13, 2010 issue, falsely claiming Israel doesn’t care about peace, while ignoring the reality of Palestinians having repeatedly rejected every extraordinary peace deal Israel has offered. Not only do they reject peace offers, they also responded with terror and more incitement against Israel and Jews.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein is publicly challenging the author, Karl Vick, or the TIME Magazine Editor, Richard Stengel, to a public debate on the subject of whether the Israelis or the Palestinians have shown little interest in a peace deal.

“The cover depicts a Star of David composed of daisies with the caption contained within, ‘Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.’ The cover and the article are a malicious depiction of Israelis as a people more interested in making money and enjoying material pleasures than in concluding a peace agreement with the Palestinians. To prove its bogus thesis, TIME Magazine primarily relied on the words of two Israeli real estate agents, a left-wing columnist, a left-wing academic and a few others, while totally ignoring Palestinian Authority (PA) lack of interest in peace.

Karl Vick’s article drives home the idea that Israelis are not interested in peace repeatedly, even in the article’s subtitle that includes the words, “Israelis feels prosperous, secure – and disengaged from the peace process. Is that wise?” The idea is insinuated in the article that the Israelis are heedlessly ignoring dangers and that Mr. Vick’s warning will be vindicated when violence at some point in the future breaks out – whereas in fact virtually all Israelis desperately want a real peace, but have understandably lost faith in the possibility of one because they see the PA daily fomenting violence and extremism in its schools, media, speeches and sermons.  They have also seen numerous past peace offers rejected by the Palestinians. After striving for years, making concessions, offering almost everything the Palestinians publicly claimed they wanted, only to receive terrorism and hatred in return, it is like the case of the boy who cried wolf – Israelis do not believe the stilted public statements directed to them from the PA about wishing to live in peace. The PA has no credibility with them.

Karl Vick also unsubtly introduces traditionally anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews being preoccupied with money at the cost of human virtues – “they’re otherwise engaged; they’re making money, they’re enjoying the rays of the late summer” and preaches to the Israelis – “don’t Israelis know that finding peace with the Palestinians is the only way to guarantee their happiness and prosperity?” The article shows picture after picture of Israelis enjoying themselves in cafes and lying on sunny beaches (Karl Vick, ‘The good Life and Its Dangers,’TIME Magazine, September 13, 2010).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This anti-Semitic and misleading cover and article plumbs new depths in TIME Magazine’s long-running, historic bigotry towards Israel. The ZOA demands an apology and retraction of this story which ignores all the concessions Israel has made to the Palestinians, including giving away half of Judea and Samaria, all of Gaza and agreeing to the recent 10-month construction freeze.

“During this period, there have been no Palestinian concessions, no fulfillment of its signed agreements to arrest terrorists, outlaw terrorist groups and end incitement to hatred and murder against Israelis and, until last week, a refusal to even negotiate. Meanwhile, the PA honors and lauds terrorists. But Karl Vick dishonestly withheld all this from his readers.

“Palestinian polls indicate continuing Palestinian support for terrorism and non-acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state. Palestinians have been consistently polled supporting the so-called ‘right of return’ to Israel by Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendents, something that would turn Jews into a minority in their own country and end the Jewish state.

“Palestinian Authority leaders have publicly honored and glorified terrorists who murder Jews, including last month holding a public celebration of the 1978 coastal road massacre carried out by Fatah terrorists led by Dalal Mughrabi, in which 37 Israelis, including a dozen children, were murdered. The PA has also named two youth summer camps in Mughrabi’s honor. It has accused Israel and the U.S. of poisoning Yasser Arafat.

“In recent weeks, senior PA officials have called for Israel’s destruction and demonized Israel, not for peace and conciliation. On the very day negotiations between Israel and the PA commenced in Washington, D.C., the PA ambassador to Iran said that the PA will continue its war on Israel until ‘the complete eradication of the fabricated regime in due course’; another PA Minister threatened war if Israel does not return  to its ‘owners’ Jerusalem, which he described as ‘Palestinian … throughout history’ while another PA Minister honored the families of dead terrorists and accused Israel of harvesting the organs of dead Palestinians.

“None of this found its way into Mr. Vick’s article. It couldn’t – had he had the integrity to inform his readers of these issues, it would be impossible to falsely state that the Israelis are a bunch of heedless materialists who are unaccountably uninterested in making peace with Palestinians. Mr. Vick would be forced to admit that Palestinians are not interested in peace.

“Instead, Mr. Vick praises the PA for ‘taking a serious stab at governance, starting by professionalizing the security forces.’ He even writes, in reference to the murder of four Israelis by Hamas terrorists last week, that PA forces, even before that terrorist assault, ‘arrested more than 300 Hamas activists.’ What Mr. Vick didn’t tell his readers is that the PA is in a struggle with Hamas and therefore arrests Hamas members that are a threat to the Fatah-controlled PA, not because Hamas murders Israelis. He also didn’t tell his readers that in January, when Fatah terrorists murdered an Israeli in a similar roadside assault, the PA praised the terrorists as martyrs and heroes while condemning their killing by Israeli forces and that Salam Fayyad personally paid condolence calls on the terrorists’ families.

“As Bret Stephens observes in the Wall Street Journal, ‘Can the magazine point to equally pointed cover stories about internal Palestinian affairs and what, perchance, they mean for the peace process? I checked: It last did so in April 2002 with a largely sympathetic portrait of Yasser Arafat ‘All Boxed In’ by an invading Israeli army.’

“This wretched issue of TIME unfortunately partakes of a long anti-Israel tradition that includes instructing readers in 1977 that then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s name is pronounced like ‘Fagin,’ the hideous, villainous Jewish character in Charles Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist. TIME Magazine also called Begin ‘dangerous.’

“TIME Magazine and Mr. Vick will no doubt repudiate these criticisms. I challenge Mr. Vick or Mr. Stengel to a public debate in which he will have the opportunity to explain why at length.”

Preceding provided by the Zionist Organization of America

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