“Quiet” – The Silence of The Ethical Media


Mohamed Khodr’s Column

Suddenly I don’t need my Prozac and Zantac these days for my depression and heartburn.  I went to see my doctor and he couldn’t find anything physically wrong with me.  So, like all good doctors, he told me it was all in my head in the first place and I should be grateful.  I left the office cheated of a diagnosis.  I know I’ve had these symptoms for the last ten months.  I went home, read several of the papers on the internet, watched the network news, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, PBS, listened to NPR, and then went to sleep wondering why my blood is not boiling, why am I not enraged as usual, why am I not going out of my mind thinking the world must have lost all its senses, intellect, compassion, and knowledge of what’s right and wrong. Nevertheless, I went sound to sleep.  In my dreams the number ten repeatedly haunted me and I began to see headlines, editorials, columnists, TV anchors, Congressmen, Bush, Powell, and Rice, all screaming at me with one refrain: “PALESTINIANS MUST BE QUIET”; “PALESTINIANS MUST STOP THE VIOLENCE AND TERROR”; “PALESTINIANS HATE JEWS, HATE AMERICA, HATE PEACE”; “PALESTINIANS REJECTED BARAK’S MOST GENEROUS OFFER”; “PALESTINIAN PARENTS THROW THEIR CHILDREN TO DIE”; and best of all “ISRAEL IS THE VICTIM.”

I woke up screaming, EUREKA!!!.  I know why my symptoms went away, I know why I stopped my medicines of ten months, I know why I went to sleep tonight.  For some days our “independent” media has been eerily “QUIET” about the Palestinian “occupation” of Israel and its wanton destruction for Jewish homes, farms, property, and life.  I tried to figure out why all of a sudden the media PC’s have gone “quiet” when for the last ten months they’ve turned my life and health upside down with Palestinian “terrorism” against Israel.  It finally dawned on me.  It must be that in the last few days the Israeli “Resistance” to Palestinian aggression must be working and turning the tide.  Israeli’s are finally scoring some hits against the overwhelming Palestinian army despite its possession of 200-300 nuclear weapons.

So I decided to confirm my hypothesis by calling the guru of ‘Globalization and Memo writing” the New and “Improved” Thomas Friedman of the New York Times.  Tom has a unique fortune telling talent.  He knows what the American President, Congress, the Israeli Prime Minister, Arafat, Mubarak, the 3 Wise Kings of Arabia–Fahd, Abdullah, and Muhammad VI–the Arab League and citizen, the Islamic world, the European Union, China, Russia, Japan, Alan Greenspan, Wall Street, Hollywood, the powerful Jewish lobby, and most importantly, Don Imus, the man who can take any book and suddenly make it all seem worth while, of course to Tom’s financial credit.

Anyway, I called Tom on his second tier personal/friend line since obviously the man is “globally” connected.

“Hey Tom, I’ve got good news and bad news.  The good news is I’m off Prozac and Zantac but the bad news is I think it has something to do with our media not reporting squat on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  I’m not sure what’s going on but suddenly there are no stories in your paper, not in the Post, or any other paper, not on CNN or any of the networks, not even on any radio talk show.  What’s going on.?”

Tom is “quiet” for a moment and then says:  “Well, you know if all of us stopped these two drugs that will really hurt the “Globalization” effort. In any case if you have extra supplies we could send them to “PISS”, the Prevent Israeli Stress Syndrome, they really don’t have enough supply to meet their global demand after what they’ve been through the last ten months.  But going back to your question, You mean why is there “QUIET” all over the media on the issue.  “QUIET”, GET IT.”

I say: “No, I don’t.  Why are you repeating the word “QUIET” as if it means something?  All I know is for ten months every paper I read, every radio I heard and every TV channel I saw I was inundated and overwhelmed by the fear of Israel’s eminent demise and destruction at the hands of the Palestinian “onslaught” against innocent Israeli civilians who simply wanted to ride their bus and drive their car or go shopping in peace.  Every day there were innocent Israeli’s wounded and dying and everywhere you looked those pictures were shown over and over again.  I couldn’t believe that none of the Israeli’s could at least shoot back and kill a Palestinian or two, but obviously there were no pictures of Palestinians hurt so I figure the Palestinians must all be supermen with overwhelming power such as M-16″s,F-16″s, Apache Helicopters, Gunships, Laser guided missiles, and submarines.  I’m glad they haven’t decided to really “liquidate” the Israeli’s with their nuclear bombs.  Tom, I was so shaken by what the media was inflicting on my head and stomach I had to take Prozac and Zantac so I could work and send more of my taxes, charitable contributions, and blood to save those poor Israeli’s.  As if the Christian Nazi Holocaust wasn’t enough, now they have to endure a Muslim Holocaust.  When will the suffering of your people end, Tom?  Can’t you start a “global” effort to send peacekeepers and observers to stop the Jewish bloodshed?”

Tom was really “quiet” this time but then said:  “I’m not in a position to reveal this to you, but, I’m told that Bush/Powell during the “G8” Summit (you know the GLOBALIZATION Summit, hmmmm!!) convinced the Europeans, Russia, and Japan to all be “QUIET” about the issue since Sharon informed them that they are now capable of turning the tide against the Palestinians. They have enough rifles, pistols, and suicide bombers to really inflict pain on the Palestinians, maybe even kill Arafat himself.  They also have a plan to infiltrate the Palestinian Authority and cause inner conflict that may start a civil war and further weaken the Palestinians.   Bush/Powell asked all countries to stifle their media and create small newsworthy “distractions” like Missile Defense, Stem Cell Research, Global Warming, Oil Drilling, more Environmental Pollution, and promised America will do its part by vetoing and opposing any international discussion and agreement to reduce small arms sales, germ warfare, land mine elimination, and child health issues.  This will give Sharon the quiet cover to free his people from Palestinian occupation on the ground and their occupation of the United Nations.”

I was dumbfounded:  “You mean Sharon will finally….”

He interrupted me:  “Yes, Sharon will be the Moses of his time.  He is already a hero in the eyes of every Republican Conservative, Christian Evangelist, Labor Union, Media publisher, Television Network, and every Congressmen and women from Peoria to Bonn.  In fact I’ve heard that the man with the Artificial Intelligence himself, Steven Spielberg, is already working on a movie based on Sharon.  It’s draft title is:  “SHARON’S LIST”

I ask:  “What about the United Nations and Kofi Annan.  It seems they’ve been quiet too.”

“Not only the U.N. but the Arab League, the Arab streets, the Islamic world, Africa, Asia, even Pat Buchanan and Robert Novak.  It is in everybody’s interest to be “QUIET”.

I humbly say:  “Now I know what you mean about the “QUIET” media.  When a Palestinians or Palestine dies the media is “QUIET”; but when an Israeli dies the Media is “HYSTERICALLY NOISY” because there are so few precious Jews left and all of us Americans must stand together with our taxes, weapons, vetoes, even bodies behind the underdog–little old Miss “Israel”. By the way, how many have died during the last ten month Palestinian Attack on Israel?”

Tom looks at me firmly and says:  “There have been 700 Palestinian deaths, 30,000 injured, 500 homes demolished, thousands of acres of farms burned, 35 assassinations, schools and hospitals destroyed, hunger, poverty, and 10 ambulance deaths at checkpoints.”

“NO, Tom, you global buffoon.  I meant how many Israelis?”

Tom flippantly says:  ” I think about 100 dead and 700 injured.  And you thought the Palestinians were Supermen.”

But, Tom, how come…..

“QUIET”, as he slams the phone in my face.  Apparently, Sharon and Bush/Powell were calling him on a conference call.

Mr. Mohamed Khodr is an American Muslim physician and a native from the Middle East. He has worked in Academic Medicine and Public health with national and international health experience. He is a freelance writer who often writes columns on the Palestinian cause, Islam and on America’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East. He lives in the Washington DC area.

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