Would you trust a news source if it explicitly breeds hatred and intolerance? What if it attempts to manipulate or even ignore the truth? Or how about if it justifies the oppression it has a moral duty to report on?
Deputy news editor of the Jerusalem Post Israel Kasnett is caught in a very awkward spot. It is unfortunate to see that although the public entrusts him and his staff of journalists to accurately portray the news without indulging in any bigoted ideologies, Kasnett finds it acceptable to promote his fundamentally flawed belief that “63 years ago [P]alestinians did not exist!!!”
Kasnett’s remark, published through Twitter, came as a response to Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah’s statement that after sixty-three years, Israel now has its very own “massive ghetto prison for the ethnically cleansed, called Gaza”. Kasnett’s remark also serves as the critical foundation for the denial of the Nakba in which upwards of 800,000 Palestinians were forcefully removed from their homes in 1948.
These are the misinformed ideologies we face today.
If an individual — especially one who is responsible for maintaining historical accuracy — is to deny the Nakba, then he or she might as well deny the Holocaust and any other documented events in history as well.
If an individual is to deny the existence of Palestinians, on the basis that they didn’t exist pre-1948, then by that same logic, he or she should deny the existence of Israelis who also didn’t exist pre-1948.
If an individual is to blame surrounding Arab states for the mass eviction of Palestinians in the 1940s, then he or she must also blame his or herself for ignoring the facts, for blindly blaming the victims, and for flaunting dishonorable cowardice through his or her inability to accept accountability.
If an individual is to promote anti-Palestinian propaganda, his or her actions fall nothing short of anti-Semitism.
If an individual is misguided to such a degree that he or she perpetuates the inherently racist ideologies that deny Palestinians the right to live, he or she should not be providing us with the news. Unless the Jerusalem Post operates in full compliance with Kasnett’s remarks, which I sincerely hope it doesn’t, I expect it and any other affiliates to openly condemn Kasnett’s racist words.
One might argue that Kasnett was egged on to say these remarks on an informal social media network through which he is free to express opinions that don’t necessarily align with those of the Jerusalem Post. But that is a faulty argument. Once a journalist, always a journalist. If a physician were to promote the spread of a lethal virus (which is exactly what this anti-Palestinian sentiment is) on his own spare time, his hospital would deservedly receive flack for his actions. Why would you employ someone who contradicts the values of a medical practitioner?
In the very same light, why would the Jerusalem Post employ someone who contradicts — even on his own spare time — the values of an objective, analytical, insightful, courteous, accurate, and just-minded news editor?
It is high time to put an end to this hatred and intolerance.