September 13, 2001 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Sorry but it's a little too late to muzzle this beast. The Palestinian Authority tries to stop press coverage of post-bombing celebrations (sorry if this has already been posted).
posted by estopped (19 comments total)
It's going to take me some time to get over those images. I know that they are not necessarily representative of the views of all Palestinians, but right now I don't really care. It makes me question my past support for their cause. Screw 'em.

The head and the heart are fighting.
posted by estopped at 10:38 AM on September 13, 2001

god. stopping press coverage?!? You'd hope they would try and educate their citizens -- stop the celebrations themselves, not the coverage, for crying out loud.
posted by mattpfeff at 10:41 AM on September 13, 2001

You'd hope they would try and educate their citizens -- stop the celebrations themselves, not the coverage, for crying out loud.

What does that tell us? It says to me that their main fear is public perception; they don't want to lose what support they have here in the U.S. for their cause. So the question is, how sincere are their claims of sympathy and sorrow?
posted by gd779 at 10:46 AM on September 13, 2001

Interestingly, not many people have seen photos of Palestinians mourning.

Here's one.
posted by misanthropy at 10:53 AM on September 13, 2001

gd779, I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. The facts are that the vast majority of Palestinians were upset and shocked by the carnage, because they are human. At the same time, most of them hate the Government of the United States for sponsoring the country that has killed their friends and relatives.

Of course their fear is public perception, because the vast majority do not want to be perceived as something that they're not-- which is what has already has happened anyway. The fact that their might be sick, twisted individuals who rejoice in sorrow in a society with a legitimate cause is not surprising.
posted by eric anders at 11:05 AM on September 13, 2001

misanthropy: Your link seems to be to Brazilian stock-brokers. Here are mourning Palestinians.
posted by poseur at 11:20 AM on September 13, 2001

I know that they are not necessarily representative of the views of all Palestinians

They are definitely not representative of the views of all Palestinians. Can you imagine trying to get a snapshot on how a country responds to a major issue by showing you a picture of 100 of them responding? Even at times like these, it is impossible -- and should be impossible -- to make generalizations about the beliefs of groups of people based on their religious, geographical or political affiliations. We need to remember this.

The Palestinian press doesn't want to incur wrath towards the entire country of Palestine because some Palestinians were photographed smiling, celebrating, whatever. With GW's statement about meting out punishment, I can see where they are coming from, even if their attempts to stop press coverage will be futile.
posted by jessamyn at 11:29 AM on September 13, 2001


no, that was the pope and some ambassador for me. i think any post to yahoo pictures is messed up, maybe every time you click it, and maybe depending on the computer (i.e. it has some cookie values or something). when i clicked on misanthropy's picture link earlier, i hadn't gotten brazillian stock brokers, but actually a picture of george w. bush
posted by moz at 11:31 AM on September 13, 2001

There was very good story on CBC news last night, showing the "official" Palestinian mourning, said to be organized by the Authority, and the small "celebration" that had happened the day before. However, the reporter made the point that the bulk of Palestinians are probably now terrified; they know that the already pro-Israeli US government is not going to stop the Israeli's from cracking down on them. The last shot of the report was of tanks surrounding a Palestinian village, and the comment that, in fact, there was no US reaction to the latest occupation.

Dislike for the US is strong in many Arab countries, because the US is perceived to be anti-Arab and pro-Israel, a perception which I think history has shown to be quite accurate. God knows, there is enough blame to go around in the region.
posted by tranquileye at 11:32 AM on September 13, 2001

They are definitely not representative of the views of all Palestinians.

This statement is obviously correct, based on the interviews I've read with a few average Palestinians, but I'd feel a hell of a lot better about it if Yassar and the PA made a strong statement denouncing the celebrations. If they were willing to go out on a limb politically we'd be able to judge Palestinian reaction to the condemnation. That should give a good picture of where the bulk of Palestinians stand.

Trying to stifle media coverage looks more like a pathetic PR coverup than anything else, although granted that US coverage will probably run the pictures ad nauseam. Regardless, I'm questioning my previous support for their cause.
posted by estopped at 11:50 AM on September 13, 2001

With the advent of that video footage, regardless of whether it is an accurate depiction of Palestinian feelings, I think the US is officially out of the "making peace in Israel" business. For good, probably, since the Israelis have already begun moving back into Palestinian territories.

this time next year, I doubt there'll be any Palestinians to make peace with.
posted by UncleFes at 11:54 AM on September 13, 2001

Once again, thanks Val.
posted by estopped at 12:00 PM on September 13, 2001

eric: I have no way to gauge the true responses of the Palestinian people, except this: If the leaders truly cared about America, and the people also mourned, than it seems logical that government would feel comfortable educating the protestors rather than trying to cover them up. Yet we're not exactly seeing a strong outpouring of support from many Middle Eastern countries.

My (uneducated) guess is that there's a lot of resentment towards the U.S. for it's pro-Israel stance, and that's why nobody is loudly condemning those who celebrate what we mourn.

On the other hand, I congratulate Arafat for symbolically giving blood. Whether self-motivated or not, it was a demonstratable show of support.

Fes: I'll take that bet. I think that things will now get worse for the Palestinians, but I think that the fighting will continue for the foreseeable future.
posted by gd779 at 12:03 PM on September 13, 2001

The press coverage on 9/11 of Palestinians celebrating in the streets was phony -- it was the middle of the night there, so any shot you saw of Palestinians happy in the daytime was file footage standing in for the handful of Palestinians who were up celebrating in the middle of the night. (I'm sure this has been covered somewhere on MeFi, but I think it should be brought up again.) I would at least like to see that stopped, and I think it has...but not before newspapers picked up shots from it to use in their stories, further transmitting the half-truth.

Besides, as tranquileye alluded, the Palestinians have nothing to gain and everything to lose by attacking the US or even just celebrating the attack. They need our sympathies far more than the Israelis do in that unbalanced conflict.
posted by me3dia at 12:03 PM on September 13, 2001

Ahem, it most certainly was not the middle of the night in that region when the attack happened, nor for several hours thereafter. Israel and the West Bank are in the GMT +2 time zone, six hours ahead of NYC. The attacks happened between 3 and 4 p.m. their time, and the news was certainly promulgated there within a couple of hours. It was later in the day, but it was not the middle of the night.

Did you even think about verifying that claim before you spouted off such nonsense? Time zone information is readily available. . .
posted by Dreama at 12:18 PM on September 13, 2001

Damn... yahoo keeps changing the link to the photo...
posted by misanthropy at 12:20 PM on September 13, 2001

Dreama, I stand corrected. But considering all the other confusing coverage, you'll pardon me for not following up. Sorry.

Still, the rest of my point still stands; all the anti-Palestinian rhetoric is misguided. There may be some there that are rejoicing, but there are some in many countries that are rejoicing. We don't see any photos of them, though.
posted by me3dia at 2:56 PM on September 13, 2001

What gets my goat is that the real reason Americans are mainly seeing -- and mainstream media are mainly showing -- Palestinians celebrating as opposed to mourning is because it feeds the stereotypes most Americans hold of followers of Islam, and it makes a better story from CNN's/NBC's/name your favorite network's perspective. In short, people will watch, and advertisers pay money when people watch. If it incites a rash of paranoid violence against Middle Eastern peoples in the U.S., so what? At least they watched the Nike commercial at the break. Ah, capitalism...
posted by Bixby23 at 12:02 AM on September 14, 2001

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