Thursday, November 04, 2010

Was Queen Noor Al-Hussein of Jordan Censured by NBC over Middle East Views during MSNBC Morning Joe Appearance?


Today on MSNBC Morning Joe Show Queen Noor of Jordan, American born widow of King Hussein of Jordan was being interviewed and began talking about the problems in Gaza where Israel has cut off the Palestine resident from the outside world including many supplies needed to live normal lives.

You would think a major world figure in Arab Israeli relations might be an interesting guest but it seems the show only had time for a short interview at the end of the three hour broadcast. When she did get on and began explaining the non-violent movement of Palestinians in Gaza, a movement in which the Hamas, Palestinians, Israelis and other people came together to save a village from being cutoff by the Israeli defense forces, she was asked about Israeli efforts to help promote the non-violent movie.

She began explaining how the Israelis had done everything possible to stop the film from being promoted and that the Israeli government had no interest in peace when all of a sudden music began playing in the background and a still picture of the Morning Joe logo appeared as her voice was faded way and then Mika could be heard thanking her for appearing as the Queen was still talking about the Middle East problem.

Did NBC deliberately delay her appearance until the end of the show? Since Morning Joe often runs long into the next morning news show why did they choose to cut off the Queen?

Was this a convenient excuse to pull the plug on a world figure defending the Palestinian side in the Middle East? Did the pro-Israeli bias of the news media have any influence on cutting off a discussion of the problems with Israel in the Middle East?

It sure looked like bias and censorship to me when we were just getting the other side of the Arab Israeli problem than what we are normally fed by the media and government. Both sides in the Middle East have made mistakes but denying a discussion of them, by non-violent people no less, serves no logical purpose.

Here is a Los Angeles Times review of the movie she was trying to discuss when she was so rudely cut off.

Los Angeles Times
Movie review: 'Budrus'

A documentary profiles a Palestinian village where a spirit of nonviolent protest led to cooperation and understanding.

October 22, 2010
By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Movie Critic

Budrus is a tiny village where something potentially very big happened, the setting for a hopeful story in an area of the world that has produced hardly any hope at all in recent years.

As introduced in the surprisingly heartening documentary of the same name, Budrus is a small agricultural settlement in the West Bank, definitely not the kind of place you'd expect a popular movement encouraging nonviolent resistance to take root and grow. But that, as this Julia Bacha-directed film shows, is what took place.

With most of its estimated 1,500 inhabitants members of families that have lived in the area for generations, Budrus gets both its income and its sense of self from its venerable olive orchards. As landowner Hosnie Youssef puts it, "uprooting trees is like death. What will we do without our land? How will we live?"

All this became an issue in 2003, when the Israeli government decided to build a separation barrier in the West Bank with the understandable aim of protecting its citizens from terrorists.

For Budrus, the barrier would separate the town from 300 acres of its farmland and about 3,000 olive trees, many of which would be bulldozed out of existence. "It's as if we were strangers in our own land," the ancient Youssef dramatically exclaims. "Death would be a relief."

Ayed Morrar, a Budrus resident and a quiet but determined Palestinian political activist, had the idea of using nonviolent resistance to try to stop the barrier. He didn't suggest this, he is quick to point out, because of nobility of spirit. He did it because he believed those tactics were the most likely to be effective.

Bacha, who co-wrote and edited the excellent "Control Room," was not present when these events took place, but she has done a professional job of getting her film up to speed. She did empathetic interviewing with many of the people involved, including Israelis such as border police officer Yasmine Levy, who was in Budrus from the beginning of the situation. Bacha also collected footage from more than a dozen individuals who were on the scene at key moments.

What is clear in "Budrus" is that the movement's initial success stemmed from the remarkable personality of organizer Morrar. One of five activist brothers and himself imprisoned for six years by the Israelis earlier in his life, the soft-spoken Morrar is a person with a gift for pragmatic cooperation that is far from business as usual in his part of the world.

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