Chesler Chronicles

The Prize as Propaganda: President Obama and Amira Hass

What Do These Two Awardees Have in Common?

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
…And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


William Butler Yeats wrote The Second Coming just after the first World War but it is an apt commentary on almost everything, including President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize and Amira Hass’s upcoming Courage in Journalism Award.

Unsurprisingly, one of four Courage in Journalism awards to be presented by Christiane Amanpour and Irshad Manjie, among others, will go to the Israeli journalist, Amira Hass, whose critique of Israel constitutes a veritable Blood Libel. Hass describes Israel as an “apartheid” state. Her columns in Ha’aretz, a left-leaning Israeli newspaper, are often stomach-turning.

Hass is the daughter of Holocaust survivors and I have met a few such Israelis-on-a-Holy Mission who are absolutely obsessed with the Palestinians and truly see them as the “new Jews.” Perhaps they are, belatedly, trying to rescue their parents or their collective ancestors by focusing on the tragic plight of yet another people—and by so doing, perhaps unconsciously seeking “special” treatment for themselves in any future Islamist Reich.

In most interviews, Hass talks about her parents being Holocaust survivors. This is meant to explain why Hass refuses to take a “bystander” position. However, Hass’s parents were not only Holocaust survivors. They were also communist partisans who fought the Nazis in Sarajevo and Romania. Hass’s childhood was that of a “red diaper baby.” This is no crime nor do I mention this to defame Hass. But this kind of background explains why someone might view the world in black and white, have doctrinaire opinions, a slightly paranoid, conspiratorial view of Power, and an unshakeable belief in the purity of Victims.


No matter that Hass has sometimes also criticized certain Palestinian policies and leaders. She used to live in Gaza (and wrote about it) and she now lives in Ramallah. I wonder how many more Israelis could safely live in either Gaza or Ramallah….none, really. The areas are “judenrein.” But Hass is a “special” kind of Jewish Israeli—one even more useful than the South African jurist Richard Goldstone. She is worth more to the Palestinians and the Arab League alive than dead.

Please note that Hass has never been beaten or nearly killed by the Israeli government, nor has she spent long years in jail because of her writing. Israel is a democracy and allows freedom of the press. However, Hass tried to enter Gaza as part of an anti-Zionist “protest;” she was also arrested, briefly, when she tried to re-enter Israel from Gaza.

Three other female journalists are also being honored for their Courage in Journalism. Their experiences have been different. Jila Baniyaghoob is from Iran, and she has “been in prison four times as a fearless reporter and advocate for women. Her most recent arrest was in June, during the government crackdown on journalists and dissidents.” Agnes Tailie is from Cameroon, and her writing has “brought her threats, then a near fatal attack. She was abducted at gunpoint by three hooded men, beaten and left for dead in a ravine. She recovered and immediately went back to work.” Iryna Khalip is from Belarus. She has been “arrested, subjected to all-night interrogations and beaten by the police, who keep her under constant surveillance.” Thus, these three awardees have all been imprisoned, beaten, nearly killed, literally left for dead, presumably for their reportage by their own governments.


In her own words, in a document published by Unesco, Hass admitted:
“We Israelis enjoy the freedom of expression and information. There is no danger to our life and liberty if we expose corruption of a Prime Minister or a former minister of finance…(we are able to criticize the IDF and military actions too). It is true that Palestinians who are Israeli citizens enjoy a considerable freedom of speech and expression…this is not enough for a democracy. What about their economical rights, what about their collective rights as a national group–deterritorialized and dispossessed 60 years ago.”

This is a perfect example of why Hass does not deserve to share an award which is being given to women journalists who live in countries where such “freedom of expression” does not exist or where it means jail, torture, and perhaps death. And, please note the “red diaper baby” flying leap from a statement about freedom of speech right into a doctrinaire Marxist denunciation of Israel. As my friend Nechi Sirota has pointed out, “Hass knows she is safe in Israel and knows she is endangered in Gaza–even as she is fighting for their cause.”

One more thing. On December 23, 1996, in the pages of the Jerusalem Post, Judith Colp Rubin interviewed Amira Hass. Apparently, when Hass first moved to Gaza she felt “most comfortable (as a single woman) veiling her face, saying ‘it was not up to me to lead the feminist struggle in Gaza.” The same journalist being feted for standing up to Mighty Israel, could not, did not want to, stand up to the forces of Islamic fundamentalism in Gaza.


Hass’s refusal to go bare-faced, as she does in Israel, possibly endangered all those brave women and men in Gaza who initially resisted the veil and, in addition, wrote or talked about honor killings, forced marriage, child marriage, polygamy, and gay rights, subjects which Hass does not focus upon–and which do not exist in Jewish Israel except, sometimes, among Palestinian Israelis.

The International Women’s Media Foundation has organized this award which will take place on October 20th, 2009 at the Waldorf-Astoria. Guess who is the co-chair of the foundation’s board? Akwe Amosu, who is affiliated with George “Left” Soros’s very own Open Society Institute. Amanpour (whose anti-Zionism and pro-Islamism is very clear) is also on the Women’s Media Foundation Board. This foundation is a large, well funded enterprise with huge grants from the Howard G. Buffett and Ford Foundations, from the Bank of America, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times Companies, as well as from many prominent do-gooders.

And, if you want to know who the Norwegians judges for the Peace Prize are, as well as their politics, please read my colleague Claudia Rossett’s piece HERE.

The global addiction to ecologically dangerous oil funds the jihadic fight against the West. Saudi oil money has paid for censorship and lawfare galore but their most lasting harm has been their perversion of language and therefore of reality which makes it impossible for so many people, including the (ig)noble Norwegians and the Soros Ladies, to understand the truth of any matter.


Language has been so perverted in the service of political propaganda, that there is no longer any such thing as “good” or “evil,” everything is relative. One man’s “terrorist” is another man’s “freedom fighter.” The Israeli Jews trying to defend themselves are the “Nazis,” while the Palestinian genocidal-jihadists are the new “Jewish victims.”

Obama has, as yet, done nothing to bring about world peace. What he has done is make a disquieting series of dhimmi-like gestures of appeasement towards the Islamic world, which clearly, the Norwegians believe will lead to or which already constitute “peace.”

I would call it “surrender” but one man’s “peace” is another woman’s “surrender.”

As I’ve pointed out, Amira Hass has not had to take risks for her work. She has not been beaten or dangerously imprisoned for her heartbreakingly libelous critiques of Israel–and yet she is being honored together with three women journalists (Iryna Khalip, Agnes Taile, and Jila Baniyaghoob) who have been nearly killed for telling the truth.

Hass tells lies but lives quite safely. Her inclusion in this mix is meant to confuse us. The Norwegians wish to reward Obama for his Pro-Un Third Worldism. Both Obama and Hass are being awarded prizes for their pro-Islamic, pro-terrorist, anti-democracy, and anti-Israel political views.

I will let William Butler Yeats have the last poetic words.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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