04.21.2011 09:39 AM

“Israeli apartheid” – Peter Kent’s Israel-bashing documentary

An anonymous reader send me the full transcript of the analysis of Peter Kent’s anti-Israel “documentary” by Daniel Kamin and George Gruen for the American Jewish Committee’s Institute of Human Relations.  It makes clear that Peter Kent’s NBC program promoted some despicable anti-Israel propaganda – and that he is a hypocrite, or worse, to now claim to be a pro-Israel advocate in this election campaign.

A sampling of what Kamin and Gruen said:

  • “[Kent’s documentary] on Israel’s occupation of the West Bank neglected the context of the occupation, failing to give any historical perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.”
  • “[Kent’s approach was] misleading and unbalanced.”
  • “NBC was quite clear on what it saw the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be all about. Showing pictures of the subdued Palestinians who were rounded up after a Jew was stabbed in Hebron’s Casbah (marketplace), NBC’s Peter Kent asserted: ‘This is what Palestinians fear every day: Being in the wrong place at the wrong time. . . . This is what the occupation is all about’…As John Cony of the New York Times wrote in his July I review of the program, NBC should have included a map and a brief history lesson to tell its viewers what the occupation is all about.”
  • NBC’s Peter Kent reported (p. 4) that “every day Arabs are arrested for resisting the occupation. ‘Security offenses’ like promoting the outlawed PLO, or flying the PLO flag, or displaying a picture of Yassir Arafat, mean jail.” Other security offenses, such as planting bombs and stabbing civilians were notoriously absent from Mr. Kent’s litany of Palestinian security offenses. Indeed, a Jewish civilian shopper was stabbed by a Palestinian on the very day Peter Kent visited Hebron, but Mr. Kent’s report focused solely on the Israeli reaction to this act of terror.”
  • “There were repeated references to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the spokesman for the Palestinians…NBC neglected to state that the United States also considers the PLO to be a terrorist organization.”
  • “Why did this NBC special not include these significant developments which occurred in the weeks before the program was aired? Had these events been noted, they would have challenged the simplistic view that the Israeli occupation is the  problem and a monolithic, peace-loving PLO is the solution.”
  • “[In Kent’s documentary] the Palestinians were portrayed as genuinely favoring a two-state solution, when, in fact, a poll taken last year revealed that 78 percent of West Bank Palestinians rejected a state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip as the ultimate solution to the conflict. These Palestinians saw the establishment of an independent state in the occupied territories as only an interim step toward full control over all of what is now Israel.”
  • “Unbalanced coverage of the conflict…. It is reprehensible that NBC hung this [terrorist] label only on Israeli Jews (p. 22), while refraining from categorizing either the bus bombing or the stabbing as acts of terrorism. There were no visual images to show the wounds of the victims or the suffering of the families of the six Israelis killed in the bus incident. This sympathy was disproportionately with the Palestinians.”
  • “[In Kent’s broadcast] the clear implication was that Israel is responsible for the failure of the peace process. The program neglected to mention the Arab and Palestinian intransigence which has blocked peace negotiations.”
  • “When [NBC] mentioned apartheid in connection with Israel, [they] exploded an emotional powder keg. The inflammatory linking of Israel and South Africa served only to confuse and prejudice the salient issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is difficult to promote dialogue between the parties concerned when one prejudges one of the sides so completely. A more objective, impartial inquiry by NBC would have helped promote public understanding and not simply strengthened misconceptions and fanned passions. We hope that future NBC programs will clarify the issues and also examine viable options for a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”


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    Michael Behiels says:

    Kent, as a broadcaster, was advancing his own career prospects by siding with the Palestinian side in this prolonged and tragedy filled state of war in the region.

    Kent, as a Conservative political hack for Harper, is advancing once again his new career prospects as a Cabinet member. He may even get a Senate seat if it looks like the CP just might be thrown out of office at some time down the road!

    Clearly he is not a person of ethical principles. He does not deserve to be reelected.

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      Kevin_B says:

      Laughable. The Conservatives are staunchly Pro-Israel. Kudos to Kent for seeing beyond the ideology of his party to the situation at hand, for it will do him no cause with his fellow party members who support Israel to the hilt.

      Anything that is critical of Israel would be bashed by this partisan organization whose purpose is the whitewashing of Israeli conduct. That they put out a response does not make the documentary inaccurate. Shame on Warren for immediately siding against something because a PC member is involved with it.

      Was Jimmy Carter being a conservative political hack when he wrote “Peace Not Apartheid”?

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        Warren says:

        You’re an idiot.

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          Kevin_B says:

          Did you watch this documentary? Or are your opinions solely formed from the response by Pro-Israel organizations?

          I’ll admit my error in only being aware of the issue from this particular post and that the video in question is from 24 years ago and Michael Behiels post makes sense in that context, although the claim the Kent’s reporting is entirely due to career interests and not any form of sincere coverage is baseless.

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    Jimmy says:

    New York Times article is at following URL


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    Tyler says:

    Canadian politics shouldn’t revolve around a country on the other side of the world.

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    Jerome Bastien says:

    Good on you for being a staunch Israel supporter Warren. You must have been upset at Iggy when he falsely accused Israel of war crimes in the summer of 2006.

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      Namesake says:

      So, you’re content to do the same thing Peter Kent’s been accused of then, eh, JB?

      Do a drive-by smear without providing the context, in service of some political agenda?

      Because the context was this:

      Ignatieff had been asked about:

      “The 2006 Qana Massacre …also known as the 2006 Qana airstrike or Second Qana massacre… an attack by the Israel Air Force (IAF) on a three-story building in the small community of al-Khuraybah near the South Lebanese village of Qana on July 30, 2006, during the 2006 Lebanon War in which 28 civilians were killed, of which 16 were children.”

      … where the Israelis apparently believed the building had been vacated except for the Hezbollah, who were launching rockets from it, into nearby Israeli villages, except that it turned out that there weren’t any Hezbollah there when the Israeli’s bombed it… but there WERE innocent civilians taking refuge in the basement, who got killed.


      And initially, Ignatieff had said — a little too callously — that he wasn’t losing any sleep over it, evidently because he thought that Israel was justified in doing something like that, under the circumstances (of the constant rocket attacks).

      But subsequently, he corrected himself, and took what you now consider to be the opposite extreme, and remarked that, technically, this appears to have been a war crime.

      (Israel’s attack on Qana a ‘war crime’, National Post October 11, 2006 http://urlm.in/hoqo )

      Which it may well have been, if the attacking force did not have adequate intelligence and did not do its due diligence on whether what was, after all, a civilian building that was being targeted was indeed uninhabited by any civilians.

      And that was a charge which not only the Lebanese prime minister but also a number of independent human rights groups and even the Secretary-General of the UN was levelling at the time.



      So even if the Israel Defense Forces’ subsequent investigation cleared, um, itself, that doesn’t exactly settle the matter as to whether this was either a false or even an unfounded allegation on Ignatieff’s part (although it was certainly an impolitic one).

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    FiscalTim says:

    An analysis by the American Jewish Committee on anti-Israel propaganda…

    Isn’t that like Media Matters finding bias on Fox News?

    Newbusters finding bias in the New York Times and MSNBC?

    Favoring one side in the Israeli/Palestinian quagmire isn’t something our government should do. Chretien has the right approach.

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      J.G. Love says:


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