Tim King, Executive News Editor of the US website Salem-News.com, vows to continue highlighting the plight of the Palestinian people and the brutality of their Israeli oppressors, following a relentless attack and false accusations of “anti-Semitism” by a pro-Israel bigot.
"False accusations of anti-Semitism are easily dismissed by those who know us; for those who don't, the only thing we're guilty of is honest reporting on a very hard topic." – Tim King
People who are dialled into the news know that Israel struck the people of Gaza during the winter of 2008-09 in an unprecedented military attack called "Operation Cast Lead" that killed more than 1,400 people, primarily civilians, including over 340 children.
Salem-News.com has been under attack in recent days in every imaginable public setting because we tell the truth about Israel's military tactics and oppression of the Palestinians.
The person attacking us claims that photos shown of Palestinian children killed in Gaza are "forged", even though there are more published online than anyone could count.
We have said it a thousand times and I will say again now, that we engage this subject for the sake of humanity. We do not believe that any group has the right to subjugate, imprison or eliminate another group of people.
We are accused of something that is utterly false; we are accused of being anti-Semitic, when the only thing we do is report from the perspective of the oppressed, unarmed, poverty stricken, hungry and tired people of Gaza.
We care because these people are under fire.
In fact, there is great diversity among the Salem-News.com team of 52 writers. Almost, if not every race is represented. We have multiple writers of each of the three major religions – Christianity, Judaism and Islam – and we have writers who are not religious at all.
I spent a long time on the telephone on 10 May with a rabbi who is a member of J Street and other peace groups, and this is an individual who does not deny the outrageous and unacceptable treatment of Palestinians.
However, he told me nuance has a great deal to do with it, and he strongly believes that using terms like "racist Zionist" is counterproductive. He also believes that any analogies comparing the suffering of the Palestinians with that of the Jews during World War II "borders on anti-Semitic".
I want to say that this was a good conversation, but I am sad that, in the end, it is all about the spoken words; the delivery of the message more than the message itself.
But I give this rabbi credit, and I give credit to all people who believe that every human deserves an equal chance. I think his biggest point to me was that if we are going to cause people to open their eyes, we have to be selective with the descriptions we offer. I give merit to his point, regardless of whether I agree.
To those unfortunate people who have been drawn into the snare of an individual who has been viciously attacking us for two days by writing to our advertisers and stating untruths, I apologize. I hope they all understand that there is a machine in place that attacks us if we criticize Israeli policy. We will never stop; we are going to greatly increase our efforts. That is the one single guaranteed result of the attack.
I will bear in mind the conversation with the rabbi, though I make no promises, because I am not the person or people treating others with a heartless nature – the Israel Defence Forces do that. Some day they will have to stop.
Today, every week, unarmed protesters are attacked by Israeli forces because they demonstrate for peace. We have shown this over and over, and sooner or later everyone will eventually see it. Some day Salem-News.com won't be the only news group carrying these stories and conveying their relative level of importance, but we have become a central point between well-written blog posts and commentary and the mainstream news world. Every day we hear from more people, and we will keep moving it in front of the eyes of our readers, because this is the information age and the people who commit illegal actions are on the record more than ever.
Bear in mind that it was a Jewish judge called Richard Goldstone who investigated Gaza on behalf of the United Nations. It is he who declared that war crimes had taken place, and it is Barack Obama and the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who ultimately blocked it from being fully investigated.
How is complaining about illegal warfare and oppression anti-Semitism? It is not. Yet that is the charge of the individual who has relentlessly emailed our advertisers, churches and synagogues, our writers and far more. This individual has brought the team together from our distant locations like never before.
He calls us Israel bashers, when all we oppose is the violence and oppression. We love Jewish people and would defend them the same way. If the Israelis were penned behind walls and surrounded by Palestinians, who believe, because of their religion, that the whole place was theirs, and that the Jews had to live under separate apartheid laws, then baby, we would be only on the side of the Israelis.
Tim King is Executive News Editor of Salem-News.com, a locally-owned news service for Salem, Oregon's capital city, and its surrounding region. A former US Marine, Tim King has 20 years of experience on the US west coast as a television news producer, photo-journalist, reporter and assignment editor. He spent the winter of 2006-07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq during the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the US Army and the Marines.
A version of this article originally appeared on Salem-News.com.
Source: Redress Information & Analysis (http://www.redress.cc). Material published on Redress may be republished with full attribution to Redress Information & Analysis (http://www.redress.cc)