For some reason, (perhaps yahweh was punishing me for writing nasty things about Sarkozy), I stumbled upon the video of Bibi Netanyahu’s address to congress in May 2011. Certainly, the entire speech is one long, sickening lie from start to finish, but what caught my eye was the heckler about 5 minutes into Bibi’s address, and Bibi’s response.
The young heckler, Rae Abileah (she’s Jewish and of Israeli descent) was trying to tell Bibi and the US Congress that someone should “stop Israeli war crimes in Palestine”. Unfortunately, she didn’t get very far before members of AIPAC dragged her out like a sack of spuds. Rae was hospitalized for neck and shoulder injuries, and then arrested.
According to Bibi, Rae being man-handled out of Congress for daring to interrupt a speech based on a pack of lies was an example of “real democracy” in action. The rapturous applause from the rabble in Congress suggests they agreed, although it’s unclear if Congress was applauding Rae being allow to interrupt or her being dragged out for interrupting (the safe money’s on the latter).
Bibi took the opportunity to remind Congress that such brief protests, followed by a beating, hospitalization and arrest, would not be allowed in Iran. I don’t know if such protests are allowed or even possible in Iran, or if beating and arrest would be the response, but I do know that a few days ago, a few protestors managed to get up close and personal with Ahmadinejad when he visited the Iranian city of Bandar Abbas:
First of all, can anyone imagine anyone getting this close to Obama without being immediately tased (or worse) by Secret Service personnel? Note that the young woman not only gets to give Ahmadinejad a good talking to, but he seems to invite her to join his entourage.
The western mainstream media chose to more or less ignore this video, and the few newspapers that did carry something on it, tried their best to use it to catapult more anti-Iranian propaganda. One such story was penned by the UK Telegraph’s Alex Spillius, who chose to title his hit piece:
Spillius went on to claim that:
“Dramatic footage has emerged of Iranians mobbing the car of Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to complain about poverty and hunger.”
“The three-minute video […] offers a rare glimpse of the simmering dissent in Iran at rising prices and a worsening economic situation.”
“It may provide some encouragement to Western leaders that tough sanctions designed to force Tehran to scale down its nuclear ambitions are beginning to work.”
I have to admit that I didn’t know that one old man could “surround” an entire car in a “poverty protest”. I also didn’t realise that one old man could, in and of himself, constitute evidence of “the simmering dissent in Iran at rising prices and a worsening economic situation”. I was even more amazed to learn that, according to Spillius, this one old man provided “encouragement to Western leaders that tough sanctions designed to force Tehran to scale down its nuclear ambitions are beginning to work.”
Spillius’ story might have qualified as yellow journalism, if it hadn’t strayed so far into farce.