Thursday, September 18, 2008

US Consul: "Ugly rumors of US bias towards Israel"

Ma'an has an interview with US Consul for Public and Media Affairs Micaela Bluhm.
Fluent in Arabic, Bluhm consistently surprises Palestinians who speak to her in English.

Bluhm concluded the interview by summarizing the US attitude on a number of issues.

As the cultural representative to Palestine, Bluhm said she tries “each year, especially during Ramadan, to increase cultural activities and correct ugly rumors about the US bias toward Israel.”

When questioned on upcoming American presidential elections, Bluhm said that whoever wins will not change America’s commitment to Palestine.

“We are all still concerned, and whoever wins will be just as committed to creating a state called Palestine,” she said.

She said that in the next three months America could still lead negotiators to a peace agreement.

Despite numerous complaints about US policy toward Palestine, Bluhm said that America hopes to “encourage the Palestinian people.”
Why would a US bias towards Israel - which is undeniable - be considered an "ugly rumor"? Why is a US official apologizing for US policy?

She has said some eyebrow-raising statements before:
In her speech, Schweitzer-Bluhm applauded the Palestinian journalists for their "dedication to service", "commitment to getting at the truth" and "solidarity and bravery in the face of intimidation."

She particularly expressed her appreciation of the obstacles Palestinian media personnel must overcome to carry out their jobs, mentioning roadblocks, checkpoints, accusations of bias, threats, violence and gunfire. "Despite these obstacles, you do get the news out every day," she congratulated.

She applauded Palestinian journalists for challenging their own government, governments of neighbouring countries and the government of the United States. "Your inquiries and reports are a required part of a democratic Palestinian society," she said. "You are providing your fellow citizens with the information, the tools, to make decisions and be active members of their society. I urge you to continue to question and investigate and report."
As I wrote then, for her to praise the Palestinian Arab media - which is responsible for consistent incitement against Israel, as well as out-and-out lies - is ridiculous. And it has only gotten worse since I wrote that posting, as Ma'an has turned from a somewhat reasonable media outlet into one that is too scared to say anything negative about Hamas.

This US consul is sacrificing truth for appeasing her audience.