Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Times uses anti-Israel terrorist supporter as Israel's spokesperson

When the Turkel report into the Mavi Marmura incident cleared Israel of any wrongdoing and put the blame firmly on Turkey (which sponsored the terrorists on board who attacked the Israelis) the world either took no notice or, if they did, called it a whitewash. The usual Israel haters demanded a UN enquiry since they know that anything sponsored by the UN has a built-in anti-Israel bias. Well, the UN's own Palmer enquiry has reached almost the same conclusions as Turkel. The Palmer report also backed Israel's legal right to impose a naval blockade on Gaza.  Yet the main-stream media has managed to ignore all of that and has chosen to focus on the one, relatively small, part of the Palmer report which is critical of Israel (it said Israeli commandos used "excessive and unacceptable force"). For example, Sky News which did not spend one second covering the recent barrage of rocket attacks against Israel or the terrorist attack last week in Tel Aviv, suddenly found room on Friday evening to focus as a main item every hour exclusively on this one negative aspect of the Palmer report.  Elder of Ziyon has highlighted that this is also exactly the stance of Amnesty International.

But, by far the worst example of this is the Times on 3 September. Ignoring completely the ongoing massacres in Syria and the current massacres of Kurds being carried out by both Turkey and Iran (which in a sane world would be the focus of international anger) the Times has chosen to dedicate the entire front page of its World News section to an article by James Hider - in Turkey of course - which castigates Israel and casts Turkey as the honourable country for expelling the Israel ambassador. But it is the last paragraph of the report which is the piece de resistance and prompted me to write the following self-explanatory letter to the Times:

Dear Sirs

James Hider's full page article "Israel isolation grows as ambassador thrown out over blockade ship raid" is one of the most ignorant and biased reports ever written in the Times.

The main findings of the Palmer report, which the article is supposed to be about, were that Israel's naval blockade of Gaza was legal and that Turkey had colluded with a terrorist organisation - the IHH - to breach this legal blockade. Yet the article focuses on the one, relatively small, part of the Palmer report which is critical of Israel (it said Israeli commandos used "excessive and unacceptable force"). Having failed to either present the Israeli case or quote a single Israeli source anywhere else in the article, Hider ends with the following:
The report's finding that the blockade is legitimate was rejected by Hanin Zoabi of the Israeli parliament, who called for "those who sent the army to stop the flotilla [to] be brought before international tribunals"
What Hider fails to inform his readers is that Zoabi is an Arab member of Parliament who is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and who was actually on the Mavi Mamura with the Turkish IHH terrorists - an act which rightly got her suspended from Parliament.

Such malicious and deliberately misleading reporting is unbecoming of the Times. In fact, the article seems to be nothing more than a propaganda piece for the Turkish government.  Hider would be advised to inform readers about what is really going on in Turkey at the moment. I strongly recommend he looks at the writing of a real expert such as Barry Rubin here.

Yours Edgar Davidson
It is also interesting to note that the same edition of the Times has a lead article (page 2) about the disruption of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. The article is promisingly tagged "Disruption of a concert by Israeli musicians was not legitimate protest but bigotry". However, the main argument of the article is that the concert should not have been disrupted because the IPO is not representative of the Israeli Government - it even makes the irrelevant point that it 'was founded in 1936' , i.e. before the State of Israel was born (so we can only assume that Times would support the disruptors if, for example, the members of the IPO declared themselves to be happy with the State of Israel). Moreover, the article ploughs in with the usual caveats like "The Times has criticised Israeli policies on security and the settlements" and it bizarrely reminds readers that the Times "exposed the use of white phosphorus by the Israel Defence Force despite official denials in Gaza in 2009".  Using the white phosphorus issue to demonize Israel with is something that should have been nailed long ago. For a start white phosphorus is not an illegal weapon - it is used to create smoke or illuminate a target and has been used by American and other NATO forces; Israel did not deny its use in Gaza. So the Times is, as usual talking rubbish. But it turns out that only today the claims that had been made by Hamas (and believed by the West) that white phosphorus had caused injuries in Gaza have been proved false in the latest wikileaks material.


Matt said...

Good post Edgar! I subscribe to the Times online and missed this terrible reporting - thanks for the heads up.


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