May 18, 2014
The Simon Wiesenthal center is coming at RT over a parody video which appeared on a rap news show dealing with the Israel v. Palestine conflict.
US President Barack Obama’s former speechwriter Jon Lovett coined the phrase “the culture of shut up” where views that do not conform are silenced by often misplaced moral outrage. To name but a few recent cases, former CEO of Mozilla Brendan Eich was silenced and forced to resign after it hit headlines he had supported California’s Proposition 8 which sought to ban same sex marriages. While Somali activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali fell afoul of the mainstream for her criticism of Islam, which sparked outrage among religious groups.
RT has fallen into the same trap and been branded as anti-Semite by a Jewish rights organization. The Wiesenthal Center has demanded a public apology over a satirical show broadcast on RT they say expressed “raw Jew hatred.”
The channel has denied these claims labeling them as “baseless” and “outrageous” and maintains the show in fact depicts the exact opposite, acknowledging the tragedy of the Holocaust and the right to a Jewish state.
The Wiesenthal Center published a statement on its website on May 12, decrying an Australian-made, satirical show called Juice Rap News which is broadcast on RT. The organization leveled claims of anti-Semitism at RT, pertaining to an installment of Juice News entitled “Israel vs. Palestine” broadcasted three weeks ago.
The episode contains parodied versions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry as well as a host of others, and intimates that those who challenge Israel’s policy on the occupied territories are branded as “anti-Semites.”
The Wiesenthal Center’s accusations are indicative of a strategy to try and silence debate on the Israeli-Palestinian debate, author and media analyst, Danny Schechter told RT.
“This criticism is ridiculous, it’s obviously written by people who don’t know anything about satire,” said Schechter. He said that the Center fails to make the distinction between news and satire.
“They’re so used to hearing voices that agree with them, it is very hard for them to accept a voice that questions them,” he said.
Schechter also broached the accusations of “self-hatred” leveled at American political scientist Norman Finkelstein who appears in the Juice News episode.
“It suggests that if you’re Jewish and you criticize Israel, somehow you’re a self-hater, a self-hating Jew,” said Schechter, stating that this tactic is used to silence debate that challenges the status quo in current affairs. Any group setting itself up as an “arbiter of truth” is dangerous, said the political analyst.
I wish Wiesenthal was correct, and RT was an Antisemitic station. But alas, this is not so. Although RT does do a percentage of good reporting, which has me checking the site daily, they have consistently failed to address the Jewish problem. In fact, they have purposefully avoided the Jewish problem, save for where it relates to Jews murdering Arabs.
To give credit where credit is due, they are the only American media outlet which does fairly cover the murderous behavior of the Jew state. But this is hardly enough. Recently, they went so far as to downplay the Jewish nature of the opposition to the Ukrainian separatists by omitting the parts of recent audio leaks where the Jews involved were discussing their Jewishness.