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Subject:  Re: Arafat interview with Haaretz - sound promis Date:  7/14/2004  9:35 AM
Author:  ShaggyDabbyDo Number:  3525 of 22877

Hi Elan,

Eolith said: 'But you don't give him enough credit for knowing exactly what he is doing and why. He knows what he is and what he is doing. He's fully aware of the sly nuanced references that denigrate and insult Israel. He knows.'

You replied: 'I have my doubts. You have to remember the environment. The media in Europe and in Britain in specifically is dominated by virulently anti-Israel reporting. The standouts in Britain are the BBC, Reuters, and The Guardian. Many people are not exposed to balanced reporting and they end up believing what they are told. It is also fashionable to be socialist, anti-establishment, anti-corporate, pro populist-justice, in Europe. People get swept up in this group think without thinking for themselves, and they parrot what they hear. America is the target of much is this populist group think, and Israel is perceived as a mini-America.'

I do try and read media via the internet from many different sources to inform myself. I use as my main source of information. I also only read English written sources, the occasional French. I do make an effort to put myself in another's viewpoint my reading media from their perspective, thus, I think, giving me an overall veiw of perceptions and finding, hopefully, the truth in article being reported.

'There's also a natural tendency to sympathize with the side that appears weak, whether that side is right or wrong. It's easy to focus on individual hardships of the "weak" Palestinians in the media. It's harder to portray Israel as the weak party, an isolated country in a hostile sea of bigotry bent on destroying it.'

Yup, I do have a natural tendency to side with the underdog - I think this is perhaps a national trait in the UK.

'When an individual has been brainwashed in this way, he's not going to let go of his formed opinion easily. If he has an interest in the subject he will research it and latch on to every piece of confirming evidence he can find, whether right or wrong. That's how anti-Semitic viewpoints can be adopted without the individual being aware that he is espousing anti-Semitism.'

Perhaps I was brainwashed early on in my life, but having travelled a log, met lots of people from lots of different backgrounds while travelling through life in general, I think my initial brainwashing has been eradicated.

'Very few people are self confident enough to question their own beliefs, to seek out contrary information, and to change their opinion. This is true about most of us.'

This is what i try and do, and one way of doing this is to 'enter the lions den' and gather information from those dens (hope this metaphor has not offended as well).

Regs, Shaggy.
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