Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Narwani Continues to Blur Journalism and Propaganda

Sharmine Narwani keeps posting on her post about the interview with Hamas and with every post we learn more about her than we do about anything else.


OK, so let's unpack this comment. First, Narwani uses loaded, Electronic Intifada copyrighted terms to describe Israeli institutions, specifically the "separation wall" and the "economic blockade". Israel refers to the barrier as a security fence because it is designed, obviously, for security, not to separate Palestinian groups. While it is entirely too much for us to expect Narwani to use the Israeli term for the barrier, an honest journalist would, as I did, use a neutral term like "barrier" to describe it, not a term loaded to support one side of the other.

Second, Narwani straight up lies when she calls the Gaza blockade an "economic" blockade. An economic blockade, by definition of the term, prevents only economic activity from entering and leaving the area. But Israel is also preventing military equipment from entering Gaza, and terrorists from leaving Gaza. But because Ms. Narwani doesn't want her dumb readers to learn that the Palestinians are occasionally violent, she'll just gloss over those aspects of the blockade and focus on the economic parts. That fits her worldview of the poor innocent suffering Gazans better.

Third, implying both of those two structures are designed to target Palestinian civilians "specifically" is again trying to remove Palestinian violence from the equation. Narwani seeks to remove all knowledge of Palestinian violence from her readership, and even if it does come up, it's "resistance". Therefore, if the Palestinians are never violent, then the measures Israel takes to stop the violence are obviously only there to target civilians. Simple, logical, and completely removed from reality.

And, of course, she echoes Meshaal's hand-wringing about the suffering of the poor Hamas militants captured by Israel, but fails to mention, as an honest journalist might, about the kidnapping and torture of Fatah members by Hamas. Again, trying to present Hamas and the Gazans as victims of injustice, not people whose actions have consequences.

It is clear from her articles and comments that Sharmine Narwani has a purpose on the Huffington Post. Her purpose is to make Hamas seem like a perfectly fine organization, with a realistic worldview and reasonable goals. All their violence is "resistance" and there really isn't that much violence to begin with. But we really should talk to Hamas, they are reasonable people with reasonable goals. This crosses the line from journalism to propaganda, Narwani is essentially making the case for Hamas, and the Huffington Post is giving her a voice on their website. This should be very problematic to any fair and impartial observer of this conflict, especially when there are no counter-voices that are saying the opposite about Hamas.

1 comment:

  1. What does she really does is cross the line from journalism to advocacy journalism.

    And consider Hamas head Khaled Meshaal (yes, the same one she interviewed) has already threatened to kill "illegal settlers," we know the genocidal vision that informs the organization's actions towards Israel.

    Just don't look for Sharmine Narwani to share it with her HP readership.

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