Fighting for the Truth

November 17, 2012 by Michelle Coleman
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“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most spoken about conflict globally, not because it’s claiming more lives and not because it’s the most complicated. It’s sexy because it’s a Jewish conflict.” Israeli journalist Ben-Dror Yemini tells Michelle Coleman.

Ben-Dror Yemini

These were the words with which Israeli researcher and journalist Ben-Dror Yemini opened his interview with J-Wire in Melbourne. For him the conflict in the Middle East harks back to traditional anti-Semitism, now masquerading insidiously as anti-Zionism.

The demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel is one of the most dangerous aspects of the conflict and the one that Yemini has chosen to tackle with his research and writings.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not producing more violence than other conflicts. Statistically it’s zero, but it has 80% of the media coverage so it’s a big distortion,” said Yemini. The distortions that Yemini refutes include the expulsion of Arabs during the 1948 War of Independence, the alleged targeting of civilians during Operation Cast Lead, the apartheid canard and the over-intensity of focus on Israel while other states in the region systematically murder their own citizens.

Yemini’s enemies are NGOs such as Amnesty International, media bias and the human rights discourse in both the West and Israel itself. “The source of much of the problem is Israeli journalists,” said Yemini, employing as an example a recent article in Ha’aretz under the headline ‘There is no Israeli partner [for peace]”.

Ha’aretz is a main source of lies against Israel; it’s unbelievable! They are counter-productive to peace,” he stated.

Yemini himself began his political activism as a member of the peace camp, even travelling to Tunis to meet with Yasser Arafat. “Being part of the peace camp I was exposed to so many false claims against Israel. Durban was the turning point. I had to check the false claims,” he explained.

Since then Yemini has written and spoken prolifically in refutation of the lies, distortions and misrepresentations that abound about Israel.

“The peace camp don’t like me,” he joked, but he refuted those who would call him right wing. “In my opinion we should have a two-State solution but I don’t think we have a partner for peace.” Yemini has also spoken out against settlement in the West Bank.

Although his work can be frustrating, Yemini insisted that he would not give up. “Israel has no exemption from criticism, but you shouldn’t come with blood libels,” he said.

Yemini was visiting Melbourne as part of an Australia-wide speaking tour.


2 Responses to “Fighting for the Truth”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    Ben Dror-Yemini is a breath of fresh air. He speaks to the core issues, he keeps it honest and factual and he includes any necessary complexities that exist. He’s capable of seeing the ‘whole’ and separating rhetoric from informed thinking. We need more of him and less Israeli pseudo-historians pushing their own barrows, as well as less extreme left wing do-gooders who fight in smugly superior and self-righteous manner for the plight of the people who would happily kill them, with rockets or otherwise.

  2. Lynne Newington says:

    An interesting way to put it, yet true.
    Wonderful the Australian Government have made their voice heard on this.
    Bishop Power has retired.

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