Media Analysis

‘Let’s talk about art’– NPR promotes Israeli claims about Gaza massacre and leaves out medic’s killing

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We have written before about the Netflix series “Fauda,” which glamorizes undercover Israeli security forces in the occupation. The show has gotten a red carpet from the New Yorker and other Israel supporters in the media.

Well on Saturday morning, NPR highlighted “Fauda” as “a fan favorite in 190 countries around the world.” Host Scott Simon interviewed co-creator/star Lior Raz. “He brings personal experience as an IDF undercover agent to the table,” Simon said.

The NPR host did have the moral/professional strength to ask Raz about the killings in Gaza. And Raz lied and told him to move on. Here’s the exchange:

SIMON: I have to ask you, as a citizen, even more than a producer or actor, if you have any reaction to recent events in which scores of Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in what was called the March of Return along the Gaza border.

RAZ: First of all, as a citizen, every person who died there – it doesn’t matter. Israeli or Palestinian – it’s heartbreaking. But from the other side, just imagine you have to protect yourself. And I think Israel protected herself.

SIMON: Weren’t there are a lot of innocent people, though, and children certainly unarmed?

RAZ: I don’t know. I know that 60 people – or something like that – got killed. And it’s heartbreaking. But 50 of them were terror members of the Hamas. This is what the Hamas said. But let’s talk about art.

SIMON: All right. What do you hope Americans will learn watching “Fauda”?

Note that a top NPR host allowed a former Israeli undercover officer to lie about the numbers killed in Gaza — not 60; it was 123 as of Saturday, among thousands injured by live fire. And to spout propaganda about the massacred being Hamas terrorists. When their affiliation does not matter if they were going unarmed to the fence.

And the two men were speaking a day after Razan al-Najjar, 21, a paramedic in a white coat, was killed…

“But let’s talk about art.”

“All right.”

Imagine if Simon had responded, “I don’t want to talk about art. Yesterday an Israeli sniper killed a 21-year-old Palestinian medic as she tended to wounded. Isn’t this how the world now sees Israel?”

BTW Simon and Raz also spoke about filming the show in Kfar Qasim, in 2014 during the Gaza onslaught. Again one must ask: Why didn’t Simon mention that Kfar Qasim was the site of an Israeli massacre in 1956, carried out by the predecessors of the security force in Fauda– 49 killed over a violation of curfew. Why do his producers and editors know that Fauda was filmed there but not that a massacre happened there? That’s negligence.

Simon: I gather you filmed in Arab-Israeli village Kafr Qasim. What was that like?…

Raz: Listen, let’s talk about coexistence. And immediately, like that night or day after, we came for month and a half or two months. And we actually was there from morning till dawn till night working in Kafr Qasim in, like a bubble of creativity and love, of Arabs and Israelis work together, because the missiles … don’t know if you are Jewish or Arab — they are just falling.

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yet another reason why NPR is no longer supported by “listeners like me”

I wonder if “ terror members of Likud” will ever become part of the lexicon?

Thanks for this report. I didn’t hear it. It’s disturbing, but not surprising. Simon is pretty consistent. And not only him. It seems to me that NPR’s bias–always present–has actually gotten worse over the years. But that perception may well be due to the fact that, thanks to the WWW,… Read more »

Switched off NPR long ago. I can always tell who is PEP, because they all love NPR. Switched over to the local fine arts music channel and driving has become so much more pleasant.

“Let’s talk about art.”

“OK. What do you think of Picasso’s ‘Guernica’?”