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essay on how to make pakistan a superpower

essay on how to make pakistan a superpowerEssay on how to make pakistan a superpower -The Israel story is not a story about current events. The Old Blank Screen For centuries, stateless Jews played the role of a lightning rod for ill will among the majority population. White people in London and Paris whose parents not long ago had themselves fanned by dark people in the sitting rooms of Rangoon or Algiers condemn Jewish “colonialism.” Americans who live in places called “Manhattan” or “Seattle” condemn Jews for displacing the native people of Palestine.When Israel opened a transportation service for Palestinian workers in the occupied West Bank a few years ago, American news consumers could read about Israel “segregating buses.” And there are a lot of people in Europe, and not just in Germany, who enjoy hearing the Jews accused of genocide.It has different goals about which it is quite open and that are similar to those of the groups listed above. One thing I have learned—and I’m not alone this summer—is that I was foolish to have done so.That was significantly more news staff than the AP had in China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined.Having rehabilitated themselves against considerable odds in a minute corner of the earth, the descendants of powerless people who were pushed out of Europe and the Islamic Middle East have become what their grandparents were—the pool into which the world spits.Who they are and what they want is not important: The story mandates that they exist as passive victims of the party that matters. 16, 2011, I decided to count the stories coming out of our bureau on the various moral failings of Israeli society—proposed legislation meant to suppress the media, the rising influence of Orthodox Jews, unauthorized settlement outposts, gender segregation, and so forth.(The policy was then, and remains, not to inform readers that the story is censored unless the censorship is Israeli.The AP’s editors believed, that is, that Syria’s importance was less than one-40th that of Israel.When the hysteria abates, I believe the events in Gaza will not be remembered by the world as particularly important.I wish I could say the tragedy of their deaths, or the deaths of Israel’s soldiers, will change something, that they mark a turning point. This round was not the first in the Arab wars with Israel and will not be the last.In a very conservative estimate, this seven-week tally was higher than the total number of significantly critical stories about Palestinian government and society, including the totalitarian Islamists of Hamas, that our bureau had published in the preceding three years.Coverage is a weapon to be placed at the disposal of the side they like. The Israel story is framed in the same terms that have been in use since the early 1990s—the quest for a “two-state solution.” It is accepted that the conflict is “Israeli-Palestinian,” meaning that it is a conflict taking place on land that Israel controls—0.2 percent of the Arab world—in which Jews are a majority and Arabs a minority.And so we were instructed to ignore it, and did, for more than a year and a half.The Jews of Israel are the screen onto which it has become socially acceptable to project the things you hate about yourself and your own country.It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews.In this essay I will try to provide a few tools to make sense of the news from Israel.Since the mid 1990s, more than any other player, Hamas has destroyed the Israeli left, swayed moderate Israelis against territorial withdrawals, and buried the chances of a two-state compromise. An observer might also legitimately frame the story through the lens of minorities in the Middle East, all of which are under intense pressure from Islam: When minorities are helpless, their fate is that of the Yazidis or Christians of northern Iraq, as we have just seen, and when they are armed and organized they can fight back and survive, as in the case of the Jews and (we must hope) the Kurds. Today, people in the West tend to believe the ills of the age are racism, colonialism, and militarism.News organizations have nonetheless decided that this conflict is more important than, for example, the more than 1,600 women murdered in Pakistan last year (271 after being raped and 193 of them burned alive), the ongoing erasure of Tibet by the Chinese Communist Party, the carnage in Congo (more than 5 million dead as of 2012) or the Central African Republic, and the drug wars in Mexico (death toll between 20: 60,000), let alone conflicts no one has ever heard of in obscure corners of India or Thailand.In early 2009, for example, two colleagues of mine obtained information that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had made a significant peace offer to the Palestinian Authority several months earlier, and that the Palestinians had deemed it insufficient.I don’t mean to pick on the AP—the agency is wholly average, which makes it useful as an example.essay on how to make pakistan a superpowerStaffing levels in Israel have decreased somewhat since the Arab uprisings began, but remain high.But reporters generally cannot see the Israel story in relation to anything else. The Jews are a symbol of the evils that civilized people are taught from an early age to abhor.The West has decided that Palestinians should want a state alongside Israel, so that opinion is attributed to them as fact, though anyone who has spent time with actual Palestinians understands that things are (understandably, in my opinion) more complicated.The key to understanding this resurgence is not to be found among jihadi webmasters, basement conspiracy theorists, or radical activists.They believe Israel to be the most important story on earth, or very close.I have lived in Israel since 1995 and have been reporting on it since 1997.It is not coincidence that the few journalists who have documented Hamas fighters and rocket launches in civilian areas this summer were generally not, as you might expect, from the large news organizations with big and permanent Gaza operations. The fact that Israelis quite recently elected moderate governments that sought reconciliation with the Palestinians, and which were undermined by the Palestinians, is considered unimportant and rarely mentioned.The Israeli campaign was little different in its execution from any other waged by a Western army against a similar enemy in recent years, except for the more immediate nature of the threat to a country’s own population, and the greater exertions, however futile, to avoid civilian deaths.Reporting the Olmert offer—like delving too deeply into the subject of Hamas—would make that narrative look like nonsense.(Perhaps “Israel-Muslim” would be more accurate, to take into account the enmity of non-Arab states like Iran and Turkey, and, more broadly, 1 billion Muslims worldwide.) This is the conflict that has been playing out in different forms for a century, before Israel existed, before Israel captured the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank, and before the term “Palestinian” was in use.This decision taught me a lesson that should be clear to consumers of the Israel story: Many of the people deciding what you will read and see from here view their role not as explanatory but as political.Because a gap has opened here between the way things are and the way they are described, opinions are wrong and policies are wrong, and observers are regularly blindsided by events. In the years leading to the breakdown of Soviet Communism in 1991, as the Russia expert Leon Aron wrote in a 2011 essay for , “virtually no Western expert, scholar, official, or politician foresaw the impending collapse of the Soviet Union.” The empire had been rotting for years and the signs were there, but the people who were supposed to be seeing and reporting them failed and when the superpower imploded everyone was surprised.There has been much discussion recently of Hamas attempts to intimidate reporters.Israel is not an idea, a symbol of good or evil, or a litmus test for liberal opinion at dinner parties.Orwell did not step off an airplane in Catalonia, stand next to a Republican cannon, and have himself filmed while confidently repeating what everyone else was saying or describing what any fool could see: weaponry, rubble, bodies.They were mostly scrappy, peripheral, and newly arrived players—a Finn, an Indian crew, a few others. These lacunae are often not oversights but a matter of policy.The key to understanding the strange nature of the response is thus to be found in the practice of journalism, and specifically in a severe malfunction that is occurring in that profession—my profession—here in Israel.Instead of describing Israel as one of the villages abutting the volcano, they describe Israel as the volcano. International press coverage has become a morality play starring a familiar villain.Corruption, for example, is a pressing concern for many Palestinians under the rule of the Palestinian Authority, but when I and another reporter once suggested an article on the subject, we were informed by the bureau chief that Palestinian corruption was “not the story.” (Israeli corruption was, and we covered it at length.) Continue reading: Analyzed and criticized Israeli actions are analyzed and criticized, and every flaw in Israeli society is aggressively reported. I counted 27 separate articles, an average of a story every two days.People were killed, most of them Palestinians, including many unarmed innocents. essay on how to make pakistan a superpower The Israel Story Is there anything left to say about Israel and Gaza?Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate.Those who grasp this fact will be able to look around and connect the dots.In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago.The big players in the news business practice groupthink, and these staffing arrangements were reflected across the herd.He knew he was witnessing a threat to European civilization, and he wrote that, and he was right.A representative article from a recent issue of of ISIS, and the rest of the article—30 sentences—to Israel and Gaza.If you follow mainstream coverage, you will find nearly no real analysis of Palestinian society or ideologies, profiles of armed Palestinian groups, or investigation of Palestinian government.Understanding what happened in Gaza this summer means understanding Hezbollah in Lebanon, the rise of the Sunni jihadis in Syria and Iraq, and the long tentacles of Iran.It requires figuring out why countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia now see themselves as closer to Israel than to Hamas.Spain, he understood, was not really about Spain at all—it was about a clash of totalitarian systems, German and Russian.During the 2008-2009 Gaza fighting I personally erased a key detail—that Hamas fighters were dressed as civilians and being counted as civilians in the death toll—because of a threat to our reporter in Gaza.Belgian reporters condemn Israel’s treatment of Africans.A knowledgeable observer of the Middle East cannot avoid the impression that the region is a volcano and that the lava is radical Islam, an ideology whose various incarnations are now shaping this part of the world.I acquired these tools as an insider: Between 2006 and the end of 2011 I was a reporter and editor in the Jerusalem bureau of the Associated Press, one of the world’s two biggest news providers.What was important was the Israeli decision to attack them.Hamas is the local representative of radical Islam and is openly dedicated to the eradication of the Jewish minority enclave in Israel, just as Hezbollah is the dominant representative of radical Islam in Lebanon, the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and so forth. It was their role in Christian tradition—the only reason European society knew or cared about them in the first place.Newspapers this summer have been full of little else.The “Israeli-Palestinian” framing allows the Jews, a tiny minority in the Middle East, to be depicted as the stronger party.Who Cares If the World Gets the Israel Story Wrong? essay on how to make pakistan a superpower Israel is a tiny village on the slopes of the volcano.This had not been reported yet and it was—or should have been—one of the biggest stories of the year.Reporters don’t need Hamas enforcers to shoo them away from facts that muddy the simple story they have been sent to tell.In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.And when Israel flares up, as it did this summer, reporters are often moved from deadlier conflicts. The volume of press coverage that results, even when little is going on, gives this conflict a prominence compared to which its actual human toll is absurdly small.Jerusalem is less than a day’s drive from Aleppo or Baghdad, and it should be clear to everyone that peace is pretty elusive in the Middle East even in places where Jews are absent. When the people responsible for explaining the world to the world, journalists, cover the Jews’ war as more worthy of attention than any other, when they portray the Jews of Israel as the party obviously in the wrong, when they omit all possible justifications for the Jews’ actions and obscure the true face of their enemies, what they are saying to their readers—whether they intend to or not—is that Jews are the worst people on earth.It is instead to be found first among the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry; decent people, many of them, and some of them my former colleagues.Hamas is not, as it freely admits, party to the effort to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Like many Jews who grew up late in the 20th century in friendly Western cities, I dismissed such ideas as the feverish memories of my grandparents.What Is Important About the Israel Story, and What Is Not A reporter working in the international press corps here understands quickly that what is important in the Israel-Palestinian story is Israel.It is rather an empowered strain of Islam that assumes different and sometimes conflicting forms, and that is willing to employ extreme violence in a quest to unite the region under its control and confront the West.Above all, it requires us to understand what is clear to nearly everyone in the Middle East: The ascendant force in our part of the world is not democracy or modernity.To offer a sense of scale: Before the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, the permanent AP presence in that country consisted of a single regime-approved stringer.(I am a believer in the importance of the “mainstream” media, a liberal, and a critic of many of my country’s policies.) It necessarily involves some generalizations.I will first outline the central tropes of the international media’s Israel story—a story on which there is surprisingly little variation among mainstream outlets, and one which is, as the word “story” suggests, a narrative construct that is largely fiction. Staffing is the best measure of the importance of a story to a particular news organization.Any veteran of the press corps here knows the intimidation is real, and I saw it in action myself as an editor on the AP news desk.This definition also allows the Israeli settlement project, which I believe is a serious moral and strategic error on Israel’s part, to be described not as what it is—one more destructive symptom of the conflict—but rather as its cause.To draw the link with this summer’s events: An observer might think Hamas’ decision in recent years to construct a military infrastructure beneath Gaza’s civilian infrastructure would be deemed newsworthy, if only because of what it meant about the way the next conflict would be fought and the cost to innocent people. The Hamas emplacements were not important in themselves, and were therefore ignored.The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself.It is a small country in a scary part of the world that is getting scarier.The Israel story is framed to seem as if it has nothing to do with events nearby because the “Israel” of international journalism does not exist in the same geo-political universe as Iraq, Syria, or Egypt. Some readers might remember that Britain participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the fallout from which has now killed more than three times the number of people ever killed in the Israel-Arab conflict; yet in Britain, protesters furiously condemn Jewish militarism. essay on how to make pakistan a superpower It has different goals about which it is quite open and that are similar to those of the groups listed above. One thing I have learned—and I’m not alone this summer—is that I was foolish to have done so. essay on how to make pakistan a superpower




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