Journalist Tells of Harrowing Protest Experience in... Israel?

July 13th, 2009 4:56 AM

Over the last few weeks dozens of Iranians yearning for a more democratic government, striving to beat back the oppressive Mullahs, desperate to live free, have been killed in the streets of Iran during democratic protests. In China Uighurs and members of the religious sect Falun Gong are constantly attacked, imprisoned, tortured and killed for their ethnicity or beliefs by Chinese officials. Not long ago Buddhist Monks were killed by police for their protests in the streets of Myanmar. And on a nearly daily basis, members of the Taliban are killing villagers for not observing their oppressive rule in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

We live in times of violent protests tearing at some of the most oppressive governments in the world. And so, Australia's ABC fielded a report about one "violent" protest experienced by one of its own reporters. Was it murderous Islamists attacking villagers? How about Chinese thugs killing ethnics? Perhaps it was an Iranian Mullah ordered massacre of citizens wanting democracy that frightened her so much?

Uh, no. It was Orthodox Jews that spit on her.

That's right, of all the true violence being rained down upon citizens yearning to live free, wishing to have a say in their own governments, ABC thought that it was of far more interest to denounce some Orthodox Jews that are mad at violations of the Shabatt in Jerusalem.

For ABC, Middle East reporter Anne Barker filed a July 7 report about her feeling "humiliated and degraded" as she attempted to cover a protest organized by Orthodox Jews that are upset that a parking lot for non-Jewish tourists is being staffed and operated during the Shabatt, a day when Orthodox Jews believe it to be sacrilegious for work to be done.

The ridiculous thing of it is, the most she could say was that she was spit on (quite a lot, actually) during the protest. With people being murdered in the streets across the world for participating in protests, this woman was all upset at being spit at.

Oh, but she's scarred for life, she is:

Suddenly the crowd turned on me, screaming in my face. Dozens of angry men began spitting on me.

Spit like rain

I found myself herded against a brick wall as they kept on spitting - on my face, my hair, my clothes, my arms.

It was like rain, coming at me from all directions - hitting my recorder, my bag, my shoes, even my glasses.

Big gobs of spit landed on me like heavy raindrops. I could even smell it as it fell on my face.

Somewhere behind me - I didn't see him - a man on a stairway either kicked me in the head or knocked something heavy against me.

I wasn't even sure why the mob was angry with me. Was it because I was a journalist? Or a woman? Because I wasn't Jewish in an Orthodox area? Was I not dressed conservatively enough?

In fact, I was later told, it was because using a tape-recorder is itself a desecration of the Shabbat even though I'm not Jewish and don't observe the Sabbath.

Yeah. I'm heartsick for your plight, sister.

So, she was spit on a bit. Meanwhile, Neda Agha Soltan was gunned down by Iranian thugs for having been in the streets during a protest there.

With all the protests around the world filled with common people desperate for freedom flooding into the streets and being murdered and beaten by oppressive government thugs, this is the story that ABC thinks is worth promoting? Does ABC know what news is? Does ABC think that a few rioting Jews is just as newsworthy as murderous Iranian dictators?

I think I'd take being spat upon like Anne Barker was in Jerusalem as opposed to experiencing what Neda did by being shot down like a rabid dog on the streets of Tehran. Which do you think is more harrowing?