Naphtali Perlberger

Jerusalem Censored!

This glorious morning I watched, tears in my eyes, as Prime Minister Netanyahu ended his address with the blessing of Shehecheyanu. BBC and Fox were covering the event in a split-screen format. On one side was the stage and audience at the US Embassy and on the other side was the melee occurring at the Gaza border fence, where some 36,000 were attempting to storm and breach to fence ostensibly to wreak havoc within Israel, but in actuality to sacrifice lives so that it could divert and dominate the coverage of the news on this day.

When I turned to CNN, the lead story were the casualties among the Palestinians who were attempting to set off bombs, burning tires, engaging in programmed violence, which had been aroused by Hamas, Abbas & Al Qaeda (the latter calling for outright jihad). The cameras were focused on the stretchers and ambulances coming into Gaza proper. Even more incredible was what I beheld when I flipped to the major networks to see if either NBC, ABC or CBS were airing any portion of US Embassy opening event. Each station was continuing unabated the programming of the hour – ridiculous talk shows and serials. Was this because their audiences just didn’t care what was going on, because they were hopelessly ignorant, or was it something else, more insidious?

In the eye of the storm raging outside its borders, Israel celebrated the reaffirmation of Truth – the move of the embassy to Jerusalem was in a simple sense an act that announced what we Jews had always known – that Jerusalem is and has always been the capitol of Israel. But, in a global, contemporary setting, in this age of internet news and social media, this day had major implications.

Israel’s enemies and detractors would ignore the consistent message that was being said by President Trump, Ambassador Friedman, Jared Kushner and PM Netanyahu — that this event was the making of history by telling the truth about history! The call for peace, for sharing love and fellowship among all the players in the region would not be “heard”. These naysayers would blame Israel for the Gaza uprising and for all the terror, G-d forbid, that may follow in all corners of the world. The UN, as it has consistently, would condemn Israel and President Trump for all the terror that has preceded today and will follow. The media would report on the stabbings in France and the suicide bombings in Indonesia, but stand behind the Islamic terrorists as freedom fighters, the oppressed, the victims of Israeli and American aggression.

I am writing this in the mid-afternoon, but have no doubt that lip service will be given by most of the left-wing media to the inspiring and eloquent addresses in Jerusalem, and the bulk of the commentary will focus on the Palestinians, on how President Trump has caused chaos and possible outbreak of full-scale riots and even war.

Today’s media coverage is not an isolated phenomenon. Whether you turn to Fox News, or get your NEWS from the major networks or the cable news outlets of CNN, MSNBC or the like, you will be receiving very different information, very different perspectives on what is Truth. Unfortunately, this is painfully true in our daily doses of supposed news and information, even from such social media platforms as Facebook. Unabashedly, censorship is practiced daily under the guise of “national security” or “prohibited speech”. It is waged over the wires, in print and in every forum where speakers are invited or dis-invited. Sadly, nowhere is this more prevalent than in our secondary schools and on college campuses, where young minds are being shaped.

President Trump kept his promise – one that every president before him refused to honor, despite a nearly unanimous bi-partisan Congressional vote more than 20 years ago, calling for the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. He will be vilified by those who hate him and who are still reeling from the election that was to have been Hillary’s. His track record of achievements, of which there are many and many more to undoubtedly come, will be trashed and ignored by a media that is obsessed with Stormy Daniels.

So, ironically, while history is being made – while America grows stronger and more prosperous, while America cements even stronger bonds with Israel, censorship will continue to seek to sway public opinion at home and abroad.  Here, in America, the bias has and will continue to build as we approach mid-term elections and again, with a vengeance, as 2020 nears. Should violence escalate, the debates for and against open borders will continue to form the battle lines of endless disunity and conflict.

What must change?  In earlier articles that may be found on the Times of Israel site, I have called the present conflict, the War of Words. On the military battlefield, Israel has proven that the millions who seek its destruction cannot prevail. Bombs may destroy, missiles may fly, but at the heart of the palpable carnage is the manipulation of our minds and hearts. It is the aberration and censored Freedom of Speech that is the greatest threat to threat world peace. We are slaves to our smartphones, our internet, our visual and print media, and those who control the Words that we are permitted to hear and see are the true Enemy.

Today has been a day to remember.  It has been a day of great pride, of great promise of unity and peace. I only pray that today will not be overshadowed with the Words that will distort, mislead and turn us away from Truth. It is not only Israel’s future that hangs in the balance, but so does all of Civilization.

About the Author
Naphtali Perlberger is a senior lecturer for AISH HaTorah and gives weekly shiurim at Chabad of Golden Beach and Aish Chaim of the Main Line. He is one of the founders and a past president of the Philadelphia Community Kollel. He is Founder & President of Philadelphia Chapter of Children of the Holocaust, and past FJA Chairman of Men's Organizations; past President of Kosloff Torah Academy; and, talk show host for a radio show, "G-d is Listening".