Hate radio is alive and well in Tampa Bay, Florida. The station is 88.5 WMNF. The show is ‘True Talk’ with Ahmed Bedier and Samar Jarrah, two supporters of and apologists for radical Islam. The themes of the show usually center around denouncement of American foreign and domestic policy, with regard to the issue of terrorism. The last show, airing Friday, December 22, 2006, featured the CEO of a Palestinian propaganda organization and a pro-Iranian blogger. The target of both guests was the state of Israel.
Bedier and Jarrah, the two hosts of ‘True Talk,’ have a history of animosity towards Israel. Bedier, who is also the Communications Director for the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), in September of 2003, openly complained that the post 9/11 climate has been “an effective tool to silence anti-Israeli views” in the United States. Jarrah, a self-described “Palestinian” that was born in Kuwait, in December of 2001, in an open letter to the cable television news network CNN, stated, “No wonder more and more people label you as the ZNN. (z=Zionist).”
The guests that pervade the show epitomize this animosity. They include such individuals as the head of CAIR and Hamas supporter Nihad Awad and Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives Ghassan Ballut and Sameeh Hammoudeh. On December 22, 2006, the show continued the trend with invitees Leila Sansour, the CEO of Open Bethlehem, and Chris Voidis, the director of the blog ‘The Reign of Terror.’
Leila Sansour, an anti-Israel film producer, began her organization, Open Bethlehem, in November of 2005. The focus of the group – with offices in Washington and London – is to bring attention to the wall that Israel has built separating Bethlehem from Rachel’s Tomb. Rachel’s Tomb, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, has been the target of constant terrorist attacks, most recently a pipe bomb attack on December 27th. On Open Bethlehem’s website, the security barrior has been reduced to nothing more than a “prison wall.”
Sansour continued her group’s misleading and hateful rhetoric, thanks to Bedier, Jarrah and their station, on Tampa’s airwaves. On the show, Sansour recited a litany of anti-Israel propaganda. She stated that Israel “is about abusing another people, about colonizing another people, about stealing other people’s property.”
Sansour, without protest, blamed all on Israel, made excuses for terrorists, and threatened continued violence. She stated, “History, here, did not start with suicide bombings... The angry response from these people – who sometimes – which sometimes gets extreme, is also driven by very very extreme circumstances in which they live... So it’s very important for all of us to understand the reason behind the problem, and we clearly see the reason as Israeli intransigence. Israel does not want to achieve an agreement by which it gives justice to the people – to the Palestinian people –living here, and that is the problem... Unless this is achieved, it’s impossible to talk about peace here.”
Sansour, totally discounting the role of terrorism against the Jewish state, wildly claimed that the Oslo Accords failed, because Israel “did not respect the conditions” or “the spirit” of the agreement. She then minimized suicide bombings as acts that do “not look particularly nice”
Later, Sansour avowed her misguided opinion of Hamas, starting with Hamas, the “political party.” She said, “First of all, Hamas as a political party – a political force – came about after so many political parties, who were very peaceful, who were very keen on building serious bridges and the proper peace agreement and were recognizing international – all international law – constantly failed. So when we have a whole people, for decades, subjected to being losers all the time... you are likely to get political parties, who will get stronger and stronger and, if you wish, more bound on ‘the resistance,’ on a larger scale, in a more determined way, and in a stronger form.”
Finally, Sansour discussed the issue of Hamas’s (and her) non-recognition of Israel’s existence. She stated, “[T]he problem is not that Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel. The problem – the major problem – is that Israel never [sic] recognize Palestine. So we live in a place where we’ve never been recognized by Israel, so why is it that now Israel wants to claim a unique right for recognition, when it doesn’t recognize us?”
The other guest on the show was Chris Voidis, who, according to Bedier, is an independent blogger and a journalist from Canada. Voidis runs a blog titled ‘The Reign of Terror’ from his website, www.yioni.com. On his blog, one can find the following:
- “When fanatical radicals slammed those hijacked airplanes into their targets back in September of 2001, their greatest ‘achievement’ was not the damage to life and property that resulted. Rather, their greatest achievement was to force the hand of the US and to lure it out into the open where the people of the world could see what really lurks in Washington.” (‘The President That Threw Away The Empire...’ December 5, 2006)
- “President Bush can rest assured that he will not be tried like a common war criminal. After all, he is an uncommon one.” (‘Of Presidential Ladders...” December 3, 2006)
- “The only other powers that compare to the amount of death and suffering that the US has caused on this planet are Nazi Germany, the USSR and the British Empire...” (‘Of Presidential Ladders...” December 3, 2006)
- “So, what could have Syria gained from such a planned assassination? My guess is that Syria would have gained nothing but troubles from it, just as it did. On the other hand, who could have gained the most from Hariri’s assassination? My guess is Israel.” (‘Who Stands To Gain From This Latest Assassination?’ November 21, 2006)
Chris Voidis, like Leila Sansour, is living in a made up world of conspiracy theories, enhanced by engrained prejudice. For Voidis that prejudice includes an unhindered belief that the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, can do no wrong. On ‘True Talk,’ speaking about the recent Holocaust conference held in Iran, attended by such hatemongers as David Duke, Voidis acted the role of Ahmadinejad’s media spokesman. And Voidis’s target, of course, was Israel.
Voidis stated, “Well, one of the things that I’ve noticed, as far as this whole ‘Holocaust Denial Conference’ is concerned, is there is a lot of misinformation about what exactly the conference is about. Now, I don’t think this conference was necessarily a Holocaust Denial Conference. I think this conference was more a move on President Ahmadinejad’s part to sort of poke fun at the West for its inability to understand Muslim sensitivities...”
And “…the fact remains that the whole concept of the Holocaust – the whole history, rather, of the Holocaust – has been used, to a large extent, by Western media and by Western governments in order to justify what has happened in the Middle East, in terms of the partition of Palestine and the building up of the state of Israel and a denial of the right of Palestinians to their own state... [T]his is how I understood what President Ahmadinejad called ‘the myth of the Holocaust’ or ‘the myth surrounding the Holocaust.’”
Voidis ends his series of rants with his idea of how Israel will come to make “peace” – through force. He states, “...the only way to deal with Israel is through power – is to be able to project power and to be able to make Israel feel that it must negotiate – it must reach a peace agreement – because it has no other choice... Israel must be dealt with power, in order to negotiate... And I think that Iran wants to show the Arab world – the Muslim world – that it is willing to bring this kind of power to the Middle East.”
Just like with the case of Sansour, every charge made by Voidis went unchallenged. The guests were given carte blanch to make any claim, no matter how absurd or outrageous. And to make matters worse, Bedier and Jarrah jumped in and piled on the anti-Israel attacks. From both their mouths, the terms “occupied territories” and “apartheid wall” were heard seven times and two times, respectively – proving the deep obsession of the subject of Israel with the hosts.
Through all the hateful and fictitious statements being spewed forth on this show, an uninformed listener could easily get confused and think that America and Israel are the enemy. The Holocaust proved that such talk could have grave consequences.
And this was all made possible by WMNF.
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