Sejumlah pernyataan di bawah ini saya kutip dari sebuah posting di Internet. Terkesan simpel, tapi bagi saya –yang kebetulan dulu sering meliput politik Timur Tengah– memang ada kebenarannya. Hegemoni wacana pemikiran, yang merugikan posisi Palestina dan Arab, memang banyak menghinggapi insan media. Kita juga bisa membandingkan dengan pemberitaan media atas agresi Israel ke Lebanon, Juli-Agustus 2006.
Tetapi penilaian tentu terserah Anda masing-masing. Ini adalah sejumlah “rules” yang sering dipraktikkan media, dalam meliput konflik di Timur Tengah:
Rule No. 1: In the Middle East, it’s always the Arabs that attack first and Israel that defends itself. That’s called retaliation.
Rule No. 2: Arabs, whether Palestinian or Lebanese, have absolutely no right to kill Israeli civilians. That’s called terrorism.
Rule No. 3: Israel has every right to kill as many Arab civilians as it wants. That’s called legitimate self-defense.
Rule No. 4: When Israel kills too many civilians, the Western powers urge for restraint. That’s called the reaction of the international community.
Rule No. 5: Palestinians and Lebanese have no right to capture Israeli soldiers, even if their numbers are limited to three.
Rule No. 6: Israelis have the right to capture as many Palestinians as they wish — over 10,000 prisoners as of today, of which 300 are children. Uttering the magic word, “terrorist,” is all that’s
needed to throw Arabs behind bars without charges.
Rule No. 7: When you say “Hizballah,” you should always add “supported by Syria and Iran.”
Rule No. 8: When you say “Israel,” you should never add “supported by the United States and Europe” lest the conflict appear imbalanced.
Rule No. 9: Never mention “occupied territories,” or “UN resolutions,” or “violations of international law,” or “the Geneva conventions.” That might perturb television viewers and lead them to ask questions.
Rule No. 10: Israelis speak English better than Arabs. That is why we always give them — and their supporters — more air time. That way, they can explain Rules 1 through 9 to us. That’s called media objectivity.
Rule No. 11: If you don’t agree with any of these rules, or if you think they favor one party over another, that’s because you’re a dangerous anti-Semite.