Wednesday, January 10, 2007

  • Wednesday, January 10, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Every once in a while I find a website online that makes me feel redundant.

A Hebrew online journal, Omedia, has recently launched an English edition and so far it looks stellar. It is chock-full of well-written, serious political analysis, media criticism and historical context. In other words, it does what I attempt to do but much, much better.

Here is a recent fantastic article about the extent of censorship and thought-repression in Iran:
The Iranian Thought Police
Nir Boms and Niv Lilian

“Ignorance is power” wrote George Orwell in his novel “1984”, in his description of the thought police, which kept “bad” ideas away from good people. Throughout history, “Big Brother’s principle has been effective in eliminating undesirable ideas by isolating them from those who would use them. With no alternative thought or faith– the only available thought or faith will triumph. Good Morning Iran.

The Security Council’s decision to impose sanctions on Iran reflects the consensus building up against Iran’s intentions, which are no longer taken as innocent. However whereas the West has only just begun shutting down access to Iran through fruitless economic sanctions, Teheran beat everyone to it, and recently finished closing down possible channels of communication with the “vile West”. This policy recently blocked the “New York Times” website, the video clip site, “YouTube”, and the free encyclopedia site “Wikipedia”, all following on Iranian thought police orders.

Iranian internet providers were also ordered to narrow the bandwidth to 128 kb/sec, to prevent internet telephone communication (VoIP) and prevent people from downloading files. Add to this other measures like removing satellite dishes, actively blocking broadcast frequencies, and arresting bloggers and Iranian opposition activists, a dismal picture is obtained of Iranian freedom of expression and freedom of thought.

These measures will even further limit the maneuverability of students and researchers, who have also been hounded of late, and of opposition activist in Iran whose voices recently began to be heard again. As if all this isn’t enough, Iran's head of the Communication Development Agency announced that text messaging would also be monitored from now on. Big Brother's eye is always open.

Praising Indoctrination

For the Israeli public, Iran is presently perceived as a strategic-militaristic threat closely connected with weapons of mass destruction. However, the subject of Iran's most powerful weapon, mass repression and the blocking of the free movement of ideas and thoughts is missing from Israeli discourse. The Iranian regime is not only working to repress Western-liberal thought but also to export the revolution, including through familiar groups such as Hizbollah. Iran's influence is evident in Iraq, Africa, Lebanon, and closer to us, in the Palestinian Authority.

Ever since the Islamic revolution of 1979, Iran has shone in propaganda, which it considers an important value. In the Iran-Iraq war, thousands of Iranian children were sent to the front with "keys to heaven" round their necks. They were sent to clear minefields and march before the soldiers to undermine enemy morale and show the Iranian people's determination. Those who died were declared martyrs and were guaranteed a place in the next world. 500,000 plastic keys were imported from Taiwan for this and many of them were used.

A new study by the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace shows that Iranian textbooks speak of the "collective sacrifice" that will bring about the desired salvation. For example, an eighth grade textbook reads "The order of Jihad will be given by order of the prophet, the Imam, or the Muslim leader, and the Muslim army will defeat the army of the proud (the American enemy and its allies) in a holy war and pave the way for free preaching, awakening, and redemption."

There is A Partner

Despite this, the Iranian people, in contrast to its government, give the impression of being less radical and malevolent. The Iranians are mostly peace-loving though trampled by a fanatic, radical, separatist, religious government. Only last week, for example, we saw a successful student protest in Teheran, which despite strict security measures, managed to convey the message that Ahmadinejad was not wanted in an institution that respects knowledge and education.

The students, who represent the vast majority of Iranians under the age of thirty, are identified with the opposition, which is working to change the regime and make it more democratic.

The Iranian people–again, as opposed to its government–also finds ways to communicate with Israel. Daily, large numbers of Iranians respond to Israeli radio broadcasts in Persian by telephone and email. A new Jewish Agency website recorded over 55,000 hits in the first month, 50% of them from Iran (before Iranian censorship also discovered this site).

In the Iranian theater, there is a routine clash between fundamentalism and liberalism, freedom and dictatorial suppression. This is a struggle for Iranian public opinion – and not just in Iran. The propaganda war continues as does the fight for public opinion in countries of the region whose citizens could be influenced one way or another. On the one hand, it would be a dangerous threat to Israel and to the stability of neighboring regimes if Hizbollah's modus operandi were successfully copied to other borders such as Egypt or Jordan. On the other hand, there a few light ray in the form of critical new voices on television and across websites in the Arab and Muslim world.

Find A Good Listener

Precisely in these dark days, when all knowledge and thought channels are being blocked by Ahmadinejad's regime, it is all the more important to reach the Iranian public. Activities like Israeli radio broadcasts in Persian and the Jewish Agency website, which are aimed directly at the Persian people must continue.

For some reason, though, these issues were missing from Defense Minister Amir Peretz's budgetary demands. We can assume he realizes that Israeli radio broadcasts in Arabic cannot even be received in Jerusalem because of the lack of transmitters, and that the budget for printer paper and ink for the Iranian radio station's old printers ran out long ago. Which is a pity.

“Every citizen can be monitored by the police 24 hours a day and influenced by official propaganda when every other communication channel is closed. This was the first time it was possible not only to enforce complete submission to the will of the State, but also to force complete agreement on each and every matter."

This Orwellian vision of "1984" is now being practiced in Iran. We must not let the Iranian thought police win. The loud, clear voice of freedom of expression, as well as our own voice, must continue to resound even in the suburbs of Teheran.

Nir Boms is vice president of the Center for Freedom in the Middle East
Niv Lilian is deputy editor of the YNET computer and Internet channel

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz



follow me

Follow by Email


Share on Whatsapp


For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!



The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo Chakindas Chanukah Christians Clark Kent conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive