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Indymedia’s Assault on Truth By: John Perazzo
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The George Soros-funded Independent Media Center (a.k.a. Indymedia) is an Internet-based, news and events bulletin board with more than 150 individual and autonomous centers scattered around the globe. Professing a dedication to “radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of the truth,” Indymedia invariably represents a far-left, anti-capitalist perspective. Among the most common threads running through its reports is a bitter animus directed against the United States and Israel. Comparisons of the U.S. to Nazi Germany, links to websites supportive of Palestinian terror, and shrill denunciations of American imperialism are peppered liberally throughout Indymedia. Equally commonplace are posts equating Zionism with racism, likening Israelis to Nazis, and advocating boycotts of Israeli products.

Entirely consistent with these perspectives is Indymedia’s portrayal of Israel’s recent war against Hamas in Gaza. In Indymedia’s version of the conflict, “Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip with the stated goal of destroying the elected government in Gaza, Hamas, and the suspected goal of helping two senior Israeli politicians in upcoming elections.” Rather than provide some context for Israel’s military incursion, the Indymedia account implied that Hamas -- a jihadist group that has sworn itself to Israel’s permanent destruction by violent means -- is an entirely legitimate political entity whose authority merits the dutiful respect of the very nation it candidly seeks to obliterate.

Indymedia ascribes the enduring strife between Israel and Hamas to the purportedly hidden political agendas of the former. Condemning Israel’s recent “air strikes which were launched in response to small scale rockets that killed four Israelis,” Indymedia apparently sees no need even to mention the more-than-5,000 rockets and mortar shells that Hamas and its comrades launched into Israel with impunity between 2005 and 2008. In Indymedia’s reading of the facts, the warring parties are neatly divided into two very distinct groups -- Israeli savages and Palestinian victims.

Indymedia’s coverage of the December-January war was complete with photos of children who allegedly had been killed by Israeli firepower. The photos, like the articles, were presented without a shred of context; most notably, without mentioning that Hamas fighters, as a matter of strategy, routinely hid themselves and their weaponry among the noncombatant civilians of Gaza -- exploiting them first as human shields, and then as propaganda trophies if they happened to be killed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). It seems that Indymedia is disinclined to draw any distinction between civilians who die because Hamas combatants deliberately place them in harm’s way, and victims who are deliberately targeted. “At least 43 civilians were killed and 100 others wounded when the Israeli troops launched an attack on the school in the northern Gaza town of Jabalia,” one Indymedia story brayed, implying that IDF monsters were amusing themselves by taking needless potshots at defenseless young children.

Another Indymedia piece charged that the Israeli military was “blowing up [Gazan] residential areas, destroying power plants, bombing sewage facilities, annihilating hospitals, [and] pummelling (sic) roads, all into bloody rubble.”

Ultimately blaming Israel’s leaders for the atrocities allegedly carried out by the IDF, Indymedia has produced a series of “Wanted” posters bearing photographs of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Linvi -- portraying the three as war criminals who ordered the “indiscriminate” aerial “bombardment of Gazan population centers” and “residential areas.”

As for the aforementioned rockets that Hamas has been lobbing into southern Israeli towns on a near-daily basis for several years, Indymedia casually rationalizes them away as “a response to continued indiscriminate Israeli military bombardments” and to “structural genocide in the Occupied Territories.” Indeed, we are expected to believe that those rocket-launchings are merely acts of retaliation carried out by a desperate, besieged population -- as if the genocidal objectives enumerated in the Hamas Founding Charter, which pledges to “obliterate” Israel via “Jihad” and classifies all peace negotiations as “a waste of time” -- did not even exist.

In the final analysis, Indymedia depicts Israel’s “war on Gaza” as “a war on democracy; a war on the right of peoples to self-determination.”

At the root of each of Indymedia’s foregoing claims is a fundamental distortion of the historical facts of the Arab-Israeli conflict; a failure to understand that while tiny Israel has repeatedly demonstrated a desire to live peacefully alongside its 300 million Arab neighbors in the vast Middle East, those neighbors have responded, almost without exception, with terrorism and wars of attempted annihilation. Whether the misinformation disseminated by Indymedia is rooted in willful distortion or in unwitting ignorance, the end result is the same: Indymedia brings its readers nowhere close to the truth.

John Perazzo is the Managing Editor of DiscoverTheNetworks and is the author of The Myths That Divide Us: How Lies Have Poisoned American Race Relations. For more information on his book, click here. E-mail him at WorldStudiesBooks@gmail.com

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