Saturday, December 10, 2005

Call It What It Is

How many times have we heard this same old mantra? "The Arabs aren't anti-Semitic, they're anti-Israel." Well, let's not pretend it's anything other than flat out Jew-hatred when an Arab country refuses entry to a fifth generation American reporter...who happens to be Jewish. And just in case anybody thinks the reason for the snub was because the reporter in question is known to be sympathetic to Israel, consider the fact that the non-Jewish radio talk show host with whom he was traveling, is an outspoken and unabashed critic of this same Arab regime...and he got a thumbs up.

World Net Daily
December 8, 2005

U.S. reporter denied entry to Syria because he's a Jew
By Joseph Farah

WASHINGTON - Aaron Klein, WND's Jerusalem bureau chief was prevented today from entering Syria, where he planned to interview officials from Syria, Lebanon and the U.S. as well as co-host ABC Radio's nationally syndicated "The John Batchelor Show" because, according to at least one official in the Syrian embassy, he's Jewish.

Klein, an American citizen whose family has resided in the United States for five generations, is currently working full-time for WND in Jerusalem. He and Batchelor, along with producer Lee Mason, made arrangements with the Syrian embassy in the U.S. in advance of their trip. All three were told Monday by Ammar al-Arsan, the press attache for the Syrian embassy in Washington, that the applications for the visas were approved, and that Damascus had sent an approval letter that would permit them to enter the country from Amman, Jordan today.

However, when the trio arrived in Amman, they were told there was a problem with the application. They met with Eyad Alarfi, assistant to the consul general in Amman, who could provide no information about what was holding up the visa. Later, Alarfi said approval for visas were granted for Batchelor and Mason, but not for Klein.

By telephone, Klein spoke to an official from the Ministry of Information in Damascus who declined to provide his name. At first he refused to suggest why Klein had been singled out and prevented from entering the country. Later, however, he asked: "What religion are you?" Klein said he refused to answer. "You know what religion you are," the official said.

Mason, who made the initial arrangements for visas with Syrian media representative al-Arsan, said a red flag was immediately raised when Klein's name was mentioned. He reportedly told her it would be better if Klein did not go. She asked if it was because he is Jewish. Al-Arsan replied: "Yes, it is."

Batchelor and Mason decided to leave the Syrian embassy without their visas.

Batchelor is staying in Amman and broadcasting from the Grand Hyatt Hotel, one of three Jordan hotels hit by al-Qaeda bombing attacks last month. Batchelor said he would dedicate the program tonight to the story of Syria's blatant racism.

"It seems like it's 1938 and Czechoslovakia all over again," said Batchelor. "Aaron told me to go on to Syria and broadcast. But I told him that if I was to leave him behind, the enemy has won a victory. What we represent to the people of Jordan and Syria is that we don't sepparate people on the basis of race, color or creed."

Later, another official in the Syrian embassy told Klein he didn't think he was being singled out because he's Jewish, but rather because he is a Jerusalem-based correspondent. However, Klein pointed out that other non-Jewish Jerusalem-based correspondents, including Fox News Channel's Jennifer Griffin, have recently been granted visas by Syria.

Now, it will be interesting to see if one of those organizations like "Reporters Without Borders," is going to raise a stink over this overt act of racism against an American journalist. Yeah, maybe when hell freezes over. But, probably what's the most interesting aspect of this whole sordid tale is that the Syrian government is essentially a secular one run by the Syrian Baath Party, which makes it ideologically very similar to Iraq under Saddam Hussein, rather than to fundamentalist Islamic regimes like Iran or Saudi Arabia. But, apparently, when it comes to the subject of Jews...it's a distinction without a difference.

14 Comments:

At 5:46 AM, Blogger cube said...

I hear you. These PC ways are most annoying.

 
At 7:45 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

This kind of thing drives me crazy; I can`t stand when people close their eyes to reality. Until we accept the truth of the situation, we are doomed to fail in our efforts at reform of the Middle-East.

The scary part of all this is that their viewpoint seems to be spreading, rather than contracting-just look at France!

Great Post!

 
At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Jake Porter said...

This is wrong and pure anti-Semitism. This man was denied entry because he was Jewish not for any other reason which proves the government hates the Jewish people.

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Can we really say we're surprised? Aaron and I have a mutual friend -- and I told the friend Aaron is nuts after he interviewed those terrorists from Fatah a few posts down. Now Syria? Does he have a death wish? He has two strikes against him for Syria -- he's Jewish and he has been to Israel. Both would keep him out of Saudi Arabia for sure.

I can't believe anyone would deny that Arab countries are anti-Semitic. The problem is no one in the Western world seems to bothered by that fact.

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger Rory said...

Cube,
I agree. They're utterly infuriating, but no matter how hard the Syrians try to make excuses, they're completely transparent...except to those who don't want to see it, I suppose.

Timothy,
Thank you, and I definitely agree with you. What the Syrians have done is out and out racism, and anybody in the West who makes excuses for them is no better. But, they may get their comeuppance now that they've gotten John Batchelor riled up.

Jake,
Sheer, unadulterated anti-Semitism is exactly what it is and Syria can't use that b.s. "anti-Zionism" excuse this time.

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger cube said...

This goes beyond Syria. Look at the Iranian president calling for the destruction of Israel. It's unbelievable that a head of state would talk like that. Where is the outrage?

 
At 9:30 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Cube, who do you want to see outrage from? If you want it from the left, then he would have had to address that to a sect other than Jews. They only support the underdog and for some reason, a tiny country the size of New Jersey, surrounded by 22 Arab states who hate their guts and want them dead, doesn't make them underdogs but rather opressors. If you want it from Europe, well, they're pretty much the left. If you want it from people in this country, they'd have to read the paper. If you want it from the world, you're dreaming. I think the world has more than proven they don't care what happens to Jews or Israel. We just have to learn to take them at their word, rather than believing they're simply misunderstood.

 
At 10:07 AM, Anonymous seawitch said...

The Syrian government puts out the red carpet for the likes of David Duke. They are committed to the destruction of Israel as are most Middle Eastern governments. I admire Batchelor and Mason for standing up to this blatant anti-Semitism.

 
At 11:59 AM, Blogger Rory said...

Esther,
I agree with you. I think Aaron Klein is either very brave or very stupid. Surprised? Not at all, and it's true about Saudi Arabia, which is why I made the point that the Syrian regime really has nothing politically in common with countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, except for the fact that they all hate the Jews.

Cube,
The truth is that, with very few exceptions, it's true of all the Arab countries. Look at Egypt, for instance. For all the aid we give them, we still can't get them to stop all the anti-Semitic (and anti-American) incitement, for example. And as far as that maniac in Iran is concerned, I almost prefer him to the others because at least he makes no pretense at being moderate. He's so extreme he's even got the Saudis nervous, although I doubt they have a problem with his message. They're probably just afraid he'll make other Islamist regimes look bad.

Seawitch,
David Duke and Bashar Assad...wasn't that a match made in hell? And I agree that Batchelor and Mason showed a lot of integrity by sticking to their principles, but I think the Syrians may regret ever having gotten John Batchelor's ire up.

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger muse said...

great post
problem is that people don't really care

 
At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Felis said...

It all starts with Islam.
It is basically a spiteful anti-semitic cult.
It tolerates other "religions" only because they deliver material gains which Islam followers cannot.

Jews have very "special" place in Quran the Muslims of today follow the teachings of their holy book.

 
At 2:54 PM, Blogger Rory said...

Muse,
Thank you and I'm afraid you're probably right. We certainly won't see any outrage on the part of people who'd be screaming bloody murder if the Israelis denied entry to a Muslim journalist because he was a Muslim.

Felis,
Lovely, isn't it? I'm still flabbergasted over the story that was in the news about Muslims in Denmark who have their knickers in a twist because they're insulted about something called a "Jewish cookie" that's sold in bakeries around the Christmas holiday. I mean how do you even begin to deal with that sort of mentality? Certainly not the way the Danes are proposing--which is to change the name of the cookies.

 
At 11:36 PM, Blogger patrickafir said...

One thing you have to appreciate about degenerates like this, though, is that at least they're honest. Far different from duplicitous snakes like the ISM, COde Pink, et al., ad nauseam.

 
At 2:06 AM, Blogger Rory said...

Patrick,
The problem is to us they're totally transparent, but we know their apologists will manage to put their own spin on it. But, maybe some minds will be changed after John Batchelor gets through with them.

 

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