Sino-phobia is now all over Israeli media and I promised to continue with a few more examples. Here’s another one from a relatively well-known news show with a well respected news reporter, taking her time to lecture the Israelis against China and the Olympics, almost on prime time. Here’s from Keren Noybah in Channel 1’s “News Today”.
I’ve long ago given up on the hope that any of the potential viewers would decide to boycott the Olympics due to the Chinese issues of human rights, it even goes against the ratings aspirations of the news channel I’m currently working for.
Even I, would probably sit down with my 6 years old kid in the upcoming Friday and would watch the impressive opening ceremony. It’s kind of an experience for him. But for those of us above 6, do yourself a favor and keep in mind a few stats regarding the Chinese giant for when you’re watching the games:
China is leading the world’s in preventing human rights. The Chinese ruling party perhaps endorses the western economy but doesn’t accept the western thinking and system of government. Democracy? Come on, don’t push it. In Hebrew we call it – Dictatorship in the worst possible form. 10 kilometers from the Olympic village are work camps for those opposing the government. 12 people in one room where they eat, sleep and use as a toilet. Re-education camps, they call them. In China there is no free press, millions were evicted from their homes with no compensation. In China, there is a wild body-organs market with nothing to stop it.
What does this have to do with us? it’s in far away China. Well, that’s exactly it, that it does. If you’re sitting down and watching the Olympics, you’re participating in an act of deception. Oh, here’s China opening up to the west, how lovely. No, it really isn’t so. It’s just legitimizing the horrifying Chinese. I know dozens of Israeli businessmen are making millions there, and that it’s probably really fun to watch the Olympics, … that still doesn’t make the Chinese government any better.
Scary stuff. She’s a brave and conscious news reporter, isn’t she? not in my book. You have actual news to report, report them. What Keren is doing goes into the twilight zone of news reporting. I think it’s wrong and at the essence of cheap populist Sino-Phobia. I won’t argue with the points she’s making, although there is much for me to say on that too, but what I will suggest is to think how a similar message would look if the same thing would be done on Israel, America or any other country. Israelis do have that with Al-Jazeera quite often, TV shows and news people lecturing against Israel for similar things to what Keren mentions about China, and we’re all appalled that they dare discuss us in such a way. “The world is against us’”, we argue. We might even call it Anti-Semitism, if we’re really bored. We would all be at shock if the Chinese would, God forbid, say something about the American policy in Iraq or the Israeli policy in the occupied territories. “But it’s not the same” I can already hear the responses, to which I would ask – how do you know? what have you done to learn something about China or the Chinese before making the statements that you’re making?
I’m not suggesting human rights aren’t important, I’m suggesting there’s a much bigger more complex issue at hand and that when it comes to the Chinese we – and I would generalize this to “the west” – have double standards. You know something is wrong when you hear everyone in the media quoting the exact same cliches, even if they sound so moral and enlightened.
Rachel Beit Arie continues to do a good job presenting the problem with “Beijing 2008 : Not human robots – the Israeli response to the opening Olympics ceremony insulted the Chinese living here” on Calcalist (in Hebrew).
More examples later on…