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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Psychotic Israel-bashing in NJ newspaper

Opinion pieces in newspapers can and should have points of view. But it is unconscionable for newspaper editors to allow such opinion pieces to be filled with lies.

Here are just the first two paragraphs of an absurd screed printed in the Home News of Central New Jersey, written by a Hassan Mahmoud, published on the first day of Passover:
A civil discourse about ideas is anathema to fanatics, whether they are al-Qaida followers or Zionism espousers. Both practice bigotry and intimidation against their opponents and commit unspeakable violence to achieve their sinister goals.

Al-Qaida wants to establish an archaic form of Muslim caliphate empire from Spain to Indonesia, and the Zionists want to establish a biblical kingdom from the "river of Egypt unto the great river, the Euphrates," Genesis 15:18. The current Israeli flag, which exhibits two blue parallel lines (the Nile and Euphrates) dominated by the Star of David in the middle, thus encompassing the land from Egypt to Iraq, symbolizes that fantasy. Both enterprises are based on religious intolerance.
This theory about the Israeli flag has currency among rabid Jew-haters and people who froth at the mouth at the mere mention of Israel. It is nothing less than a lie. The ignorant author uses it as evidence of Al-Qaeda-like extremism not only among those dreaded Likudniks but for every single Zionist, from Peace Now to the settler movement.

Readers of the newspaper will expect that the editors will do some basic fact-checks before printing such garbage. Alas, most newspaper editors are as ignorant about the history of the Middle East as the author himself.

The Home News, in propagating this myth, does a grave disservice to its readers.