The Media, the Blogisphere and Middle East Madness

America and its relationship with Israel are at a dynamic crossroads. Both the United States and Israeli governments are relatively new. The extent, parameters and depth of the alliance will certainly change, after all the personalities and the priorities of both countries have changed.

As with any fast changing situations, many of the stories filed by some in the main stream media are either unsubstantiated or simply false and many of us in the blog world take these reports that may have only one source, and run with them. Here are some recent examples:

  • Obama Disses Israeli Chief of Staff: Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi cut short his visit to Washington after getting an extraordinarily cool reception from the new U.S. administration. Only source
The truth is he left to join in the talks to liberate Gilad Shalit. It's relatively easy to figure out the story is fraudulent. While you or I might stop off at a friend's house without an appointment, no Army COS, or any major governmental official is going to fly off to another country hoping to get a meeting. Their time is too valuable. Every appointment is pre-arraigned or they don't get on the plane.

  • Obama Tells Palestinians that they don't have to recognize Israel as Jewish State: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people as a condition for renewing peace talks is unacceptable to the United States, the State Department said during special envoy George Mitchell's visits over the weekend to Ramallah and Cairo."
The only source is Ha'aretz. The only place where this appeared was Ha'aretz. Ha'artz is the NY Times of Israel, a newspaper whose leftist agenda supersedes delivering the truth. Last month, Ha'aretz published a story about Israeli War Crimes that was based on rumors. This month they publish the above story to try and make the Netanyahu Govt. look bad. As a rule of thumb if Ha'aretz says the sun is shining make sure to look out the window and double check.  It's not that they are never right, but always get a second source to confirm.

According to Netanyahu he never made the demand about Israel being recognized as a Jewish state. Even if Bibi did make the demand, it doesn't make sense that Mitchell would make it public, or tell the Palestinians about it. This, his first trip to the region in his new capacity, is for fact-finding not for negotiations.

  • Bibi Cancels US Trip Because Obama won't meet with him: "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled his visit to the US to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference after he learned that President Barak Obama will not meet on the scheduled time, Arabs48 quoted Israeli sources as saying.

    Sources, according to the internet site, said last week that Obama refuses to meet Netanyahu in the time being and that every Israeli effort to make the gathering possible was to no avail."  Source a web site called
    Arabs48 via Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera contradicted that story a day later:

"Commenting on reports from Israel that Netanyahu could visit US for talks with Obama as soon as May, Gibbs said: "If the prime minister is here, the president would be anxious to sit down and talk with him, as he sat down and talked with him last year about this and other subjects that relate to our security."

Before the election many of us warned of the dangers to Israel of an Obama win. Barack Obama has spent much of his life being mentored by, advised by, or simply associating with people who are Anti-Israel. Additionally it is expected that his one-world, everyone loves each other, let's engage, approach to foreign policy will be harmful to the Jewish State.

Nothing that he said or done since his election has moved me away from that expectation. In fact his decision to join the UN Human Rights Committee, his promise of engagement with Iran despite Ahmedinijad's crazy ranting and Iran's continued nuclear development, and  the fact that he toyed with going to the Durban II conference until the day before it started, are all ominous clouds surrounding USA/Israel relations.

The key here is to evaluate the source, and its history.  There is so much truth that we must alert out readers about. But if we don't check our sources, the truth will be washed out with the fiction

Sammy Benoit is editor of The Lid