So often the western press presents cases of hate-filled rhetoric from Islamic religious leaders. This article from Al-Ahram (Genocide announced, by Saleh Al-Naami) is a reminder that extremism is not exceptional to Islam or to Arabs. I would never try to equate the crazy ideas presented by Rabbi Yisrael Rosen as representative of those of all Jews, or even of a majority of Jews, and the important point to take from this piece is to also reserve the same level of judiciousness when reading equally reprehensible reports by some Islamic clerics, as views from the extreme margins.
Al-Naami’s argument is that when inflammatory Islamic rhetoric from any public source is identified the western press, and politicians, often report it vigorously, and in a way that suggests that these views are shared by a large proportion of Muslims or Arabs (which they are clearly not). In addition, al-Naami points out that incendiary remarks from a significant public figure like Rosen has received no coverage in the western press. I am not arguing for a “softer” approach to views that call for the destruction of Israel, but only for an equal exposure in the western media of hateful calls for the “destruction” of Palestinians.
This article illustrates two things with clarity. Firstly, extremism can be as Jewish as it is Islamic (and for that matter Christian or Hindu). And secondly, the media bias in the reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is as much about what the press/media ignores as the way that events are reported.