Following recent debates, Cody and I have decide to do a concurrent post on the topic of the Israel Palestine conflict and put forward our view on why there is a difference of opinions on either side of the Atlantic. Cody's can be found here.
Plainly, there is today a vast gulf between European and American attitudes towards the Israeli Palestine conflict in the Middle East, but it is hard to recognise the argument that European sympathy for the Palestinians is no more than anti-semitism.
Such was a short lived attempt to paint any criticism in the media as anti-Jewish, a group of prominent British Jews broke away from the country's Jewish establishment, arguing that it puts support for Israel above the human rights of Palestinians, smashing the dangerous myth that if you criticise Israel, you are criticising Judaism as well.
The media gives us the facts and we have to decide whether to accept, refuse or set about hunting for our own take on them.
Our press does have left and right leanings but it was Sky News, owned by the Murdoch Corporation and one of the most right wing pro-American media’s we have here, that was the largest critic of Israel’s actions in Lebanon a few summers back.
In America, the powerful ‘Israel Lobby’ is blamed for influencing the dearth of facts that the media put out to the American public. Ex President Jimmy Carter said: “The many controversial issues concerning Palestine and the path to peace for Israel are intensely debated among Israelis and throughout other nations - but not in the United States.”
In this weekends newspapers, Tony Blair was quoted as saying that after his visit to the West Bank that he was shocked and taken aback at the depth of the Palestinians' distress caused by the occupation.
So is the lack of sympathy in Europe for the Israeli cause down to the full facts being presented in our media and not in America because of the shady Israel Lobby?
Could it be that to criticise Israel’s actions in America is to invite being called out as anti-semitic while we here have no such problem and are much more freer to berate anyone we see meeting out punishment we deem as in breech of Human Rights?
The Palestinians are criticised just as heavily here when they fire rockets into Israel but as Israel is seen as an occupying army illegally seizing and building settlements on Palestinian land, defying UN resolutions, killing innocent Palestinians with rocket attacks, holding over 9000 Palestinians in its prisons, destroys farms, bulldozes homes and businesses, builds a monstrous wall deemed illegal by the international court of justice that moves another 10% of Palestinian land onto Israel territory amongst numerous other violations, maybe Israel just has more to be criticised for.
You cannot make an informed decision without all the facts as was shown by the Iraq adventure but with the shrinking of the global community, the days of what we hear and see being controlled by the media is coming to an end.
Whether we want to go looking for an alternate view is another thing altogether.
For an American view on this subject CODY BONES