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Keith Graves and Sky News on a Weekend of Pain
Last uploaded : Tuesday 5th Mar 2002 at 20:09
Contributed by : The Editor



Readers may wonder why our columns remain static for up to a week at a time. We had originally intended this site to be a fortnightly (once every two weeks) edition.

Events of the past week, the bloodiest in the annals of the ‘new Intifadah,’ have compelled us to regroup and compile several new articles for the coming week.

This article deals with coverage of the Middle East conflict by the British media. You may sigh and say, ‘Oh, not again..’ but this weekend has seen some alarming pronouncements by ‘reporters’ who are supposed to cover stories with impartiality.

This weekend, in the wake of the terror attacks in Netanya and Jerusalem, Keith Graves of Sky News has taken it upon himself to explain why the terrorists are so angry. In the process of doing so, he has insulted a generation of Jews who still remember the Holocaust, not to mention those who survived the Hell of Hitler’s world.

Graves stood with the ruins of a Palestinian refugee camp behind him. (British reporters never, ever stand in front of the Habimah Theatre or the magnificently renovated Roman forum in Caesarea or the Technion.) He lamented the misery and deprivation being heaped upon the refugees. His camera crew focussed on a man inside a ruined apartment block, who ‘had not eaten for 48 hours.’ (Editor’s Note: The twenty-somethings all killed in the Moments Cafe will never eat or love or pray again, and the little South African baby killed in Netanya will never see life at all.)

One does not doubt that there is suffering, and we at JewishComment would be betraying Jewish ethics if we did not pray for a just peace and an end to violence.

However, we believe it is unethical for Keith Graves to express his passions as a professional journalist by suggesting that the anger of these Palestinians ‘ not being addressed: their anger started fifty years ago when they were driven from their homes by the establishment of the State of Israel.’

A few years ago, I was prepared to read about Deir Yassin and to feel terrible remorse about the injustices that emerged from the early days of the State. Now, frankly, this litany is becoming alarming. There is not much loose change between Keith Graves’ laying the blame for terror at the feet of the Jews, and Hitler cleverly blaming the Jews for all the ills and abject poverty of Germany’s unemployed millions. ‘The Jews drove you out of your neighbourhoods.’...’The Jews drove you out so they could open shops...’ ‘The Jews muscled you out of your university post and your hospital consultancy.’

Journalists like Keith Graves never mention the many wars to which Israel was subjected after partition was rejected in 1947-48, when the longed-for Palestinian state could have enjoyed its birth celebrations alongside its Jewish neighbours. Mention is never made of the rivers of young Jewish blood shed in war after war. The suicide bombers are a waste of young life who could be studying alongside a Jewish boy at the Technion; the Israeli youths struck down by terror could instead be sharing computer innovations with a Palestinian friend.

The Palestinians’ cause may be an obsession for Keith Graves, whose report tonight could have been broadcast by al-Jazeera, but the lack of sensitivity of the British media to the mountain of Jewish loss since 1948 is insulting. In a weekend when Jews around the world have had to suffer at the sight of more children killed in the cafes of Israel, Sky’s report is a deeply hurtful, thoughtless stab in the hearts of grieving Jews less than a few hours after their dead have been laid to rest.

We have come to the sad conclusion that the sentiments of Keith Graves are a few short hair-breadths from wanting Judenrein in Israel. It was reported to us that on New Year’s Eve 1999 – Millennium Eve – Keith Graves stood on the summit of the Golan Heights Winery holding up a bottle of Yarden, explaining that if the peace process went as planned, ‘next year in this time this will be Syrian wine!’

Syrian wine rhymes with ‘Judenrein,’ Mr Graves.

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