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Amira Hass’s Prize For Propaganda


One of four Courage in Journalism awards to be presented later this month by Christiane Amanpour and Irshad Manjie, among others, will go to the Israeli journalist Amira Hass, whose unremitting critique of Israel serves as a veritable blood libel against the Jewish people.

Hass describes Israel as an “apartheid” state and her columns in Haaretz are often stomach turning.

I have met several such Israelis-on-a-Holy Mission who are absolutely obsessed with the Palestinians and truly see them as the “new Jews.” Perhaps these Israelis are, belatedly, trying to rescue their parents or their collective ancestors by focusing on the tragic plight of yet another people – and by so doing, perhaps unconsciously, are seeking special treatment for themselves in any future Islamist Reich.

In most interviews, Hass talks about her parents being Holocaust survivors. This is meant to explain why Hass refuses to take a “bystander” position. Hass’s parents, however, were not run-of-the-mill Holocaust survivors; they were communist partisans who fought the Nazis in Sarajevo and Romania.

Hass’s childhood was that of a “red diaper baby.” This is no crime, and I do not mention this to defame Hass. But that kind of background explains why someone might view the world in black and white, spout doctrinaire opinions, hold a paranoid and conspiratorial view of power, and maintain an unshakeable belief in the purity of any group labeled as victims.

No matter that Hass has sometimes also criticized certain Palestinian policies and leaders. She used to live in Gaza (and wrote about it) and now lives in Ramallah. I wonder how many other Israelis could safely live in either Gaza or Ramallah. None, I think it’s safe to say. The areas are “Judenrein.”

But Hass is a “special” kind of Jewish Israeli – one even more useful than the South African jurist Richard Goldstone. She is worth more to the Palestinians and the Arab League alive than dead.

In her own words, in a document published by UNESCO, Hass admitted:

“We Israelis enjoy the freedom of expression and information. There is no danger to our life and liberty if we expose corruption of a prime minister or a former minister of finance … (we are able to criticize the IDF and military actions too). It is true that Palestinians who are Israeli citizens enjoy a considerable freedom of speech and expression … this is not enough for a democracy. What about their economical rights, what about their collective rights as a national group – deterritorialized and dispossessed 60 years ago.”

This is a perfect example of why Hass does not deserve to share an award which is being given to women journalists who live in countries where such “freedom of expression” does not exist or where it means jail, torture, and perhaps death.

And note the flying leap – typical for a red diaper baby – from a statement about freedom of speech right into a doctrinaire Marxist denunciation of Israel.

Language has been so perverted in the service of political propaganda that there is no longer any such thing as good or evil; everything is relative. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. The Israeli Jews trying to defend themselves are the Nazis, while the Palestinian jihadists are the new victims.

Amira Hass has not had to take risks for her work – she has not been beaten or dangerously imprisoned for her heartbreakingly libelous critiques of Israel – and yet she is being honored together with three women journalists (Iryna Khalip, Agnes Taile, and Jila Baniyaghoob) who have nearly been killed for telling the truth.

Hass traffics in untruths but lives safely. Her inclusion in this mix is meant to confuse us. Make no mistake: Hass is being awarded for her pro-Islamic, anti-Israel political views.

About the Author: Dr. Phyllis Chesler is a professor emerita of psychology, a Middle East Forum fellow, and the author of fifteen books including “Women and Madness” (1972), “The New Anti-Semitism” (2003), and her latest, “An American Bride in Kabul” (2013). Her articles are archived at www.phyllis-chesler.com.


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