Why I love Al Jazeera English…there is actually a diversity of perspectives here in the reporting on the event. Only here and on Democracy Now! would one know that there were people who were supportive of President Ahmadinejad’s right to speak at Columbia University and not just a band of Zionist protesters outside. The bias against him–even before he spoke–from Columbia President Lee Bollinger was astonishingly un-collegial and anti-intellectual with statements such as: “he exhibits all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator” and “For the illiterate and ignorant, this is dangerous propaganda,” he said. He called the Iranian leader “either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated.” This is especially anti-intellectual given that many of the most touted attributions to Ahmadinejad’s statements about the Nazi Holocaust, for instance, are not translated properly. CNN, of course, built on this with their own fiery rhetoric by inviting readers of its website to view Bollinger “slam[ming]” Ahmadinejad. Predictably, no one wants to deal with the reality of Ahmadinejad’s questions about why a European problem, genocide of Jews, among others, in Europe during WWII became the problem for Palestinians. Why must one people be ethnically cleansed to make room for another people who have been massacred?
What also seems to go unnoticed here: Iranian television is running a program now that has been dubbed the Iranian Schindler’s List:
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – It is Iran’s version of “Schindler’s List,” a miniseries that tells the tale of an Iranian diplomat in Paris who helps Jews escape the Holocaust – and viewers across the country are riveted.
That’s surprising enough in a country where hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has questioned whether the Holocaust even took place. What’s more surprising is that goveing it on state-run television.
The Holocaust is rarely mentioned in state media in Iran, school textbooks don’t discuss it and Iranians have little information about it.
Yet the series titled “Zero Degree Turn” is clearly sympathetic to the Jews’ plight during World War II. It shows men, women and children with yellow stars on their clothes being taken forcibly out of their homes and loaded into trucks by Nazi soldiers.
Do we get such nuances from university presidents and the media in the U.S. questioning Ahmadinejad?