Thursday, July 17, 2014

Britain's top selling newspaper the Sun is stirring up the anti-Israel frenzy (updated)

See 26 July update to this story.

The UK has now become the kind of place where Jews walking in the centre of London are accosted by mobs of Muslim antisemites - protected by the police - raging against Israel. It is the place where the average person knows absolutely nothing about foreign affairs but is certain that "Israel is an apartheid state that murders Palestinians for fun". And the average person who is toally unaware of the hundreds of thousands of civilians murdered by Islamists in dozens of countries in the last two years, somehow knows the names of individual Palestinian children 'murdered by Israel'.

To understand how Britain got this way in a such a short time you need to know the role of the Sun newspaper and not just the BBC. Plenty of people know about - and even complain - of the anti-Israel bias at the Guardian and the Independent. But those 'high-brow' newspapers have minuscule readership compared to the populist Sun - by far Britain's largest circulation newspaper. Ever since James Murdoch (known to have none of his father Rupert's sympathies with Israel) took over the reins of News Corp Europe and Asia, and the Saudis (in the form of Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal) and other Arabs bought a significant share of the company the supposedly 'conservative' Sun has done far more to deligitimize Israel than all the others newspapers combined.
First of all you have to understand that the Sun is a newspaper that - like the average Brit -  'does not do foreign affairs'. Now, if it really stuck to that philosophy I would not be writing this article. Unfortunately, the exception to its no foreign affairs rule is when Israel responds to terrorist attacks and rockets. Whereas the BBC and Guardian will follow the rules here and present a biased ant-Israel slant, if you read far enough into their reports you will at least find some context for what they are reporting.  As these articles from the last 4 days show (and the previous week was no different)  the Sun gives only the Palestinian narrative. The articles are not long. But what they write is all that the average Brit will ever know about the conflict. The Sun has never once given any indication of the rocket attacks and their scale against Israel or when the firing started.

Daniel Greenfield has written a great article about how the Western media and diplomats saved Hamas and Caroline Glick has written superbly about how the more genocidal the Palestinians become the more the Western media and elites sympathise with them and demonize Israel. The Sun has never been part of the narrative they describe, but the damage it is doing through its lies and omissions is immense.

See posts here, here, and here for examples of previous anti-Israel bias in the Sun.

Update: I have submitted the following formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission:

The article today (17 July) is simply the culmination of two weeks of articles covering the Gaza crisis in which each day the Sun has published a short article with anti-israel bias and gross inaccuracy. Effectively the Sun has become the UK spokesman for Hamas and its coverage has played a role in whipping up an anti-israel anti-semitic frenzy which has led to violence and attacks on Jews in London. Never once has the Sun explained the context of the conflict which was started when Hamas fired hundreds of rockets into Israel. Never once has the Sun described the unbelievable suffering of 5 million Israelis living in bombshelters (80% of the population) while every one of their cities is attacked. Never once has the Sun informed its readers of the simple fact that there would be no attacks on Gaza if the Hamas government there stopped firing rockets at Israeli cities. The Sun has simply taken the word of Hamas spokesmen in Gaza on casualties, without ever stating Israel's policy of never targeting civilians and without ever stating Hamas policy of using civilians as human shields.
I cite the most recent 4 articles (see web link for scans of all the articles):
  • The article on 14 July ("Troops in as Gaza death toll hits 168") has a staged photo to whip up emotions and not a single mention of any of the 400 rockets against all major Israeli cities the previous day. Also unquestioning acceptance of Palestinian casualty  figures provided by Hamas (in fact the vast majority of deaths were NOT civilian and most civilian deaths have been caused by Hamas rockets landing short) or by civilians used as human shields.
  • The article on 15 July 2014 ("27 Brits saved from Gaza hell") contains another staged emotional photo provided by Hamas. Not a mention of the hundreds of rockets against Israel that fell on that day a complete lie at the end saying that neither side agreed to the ceasefire. Israel agreed to it several hours before the Sun went to print and stopped all attacks. It was Hamas who refused the ceasefire.
  • The article on 16 July 2014 ("Gaza truce fails") contains just 18 totally misleading words to describe a day on which only Israel observed the ceasefire and Hamas fired 300 rockets including one which killed an Israeli aid worker.
  • The article on 17 July which begins “Four young boys were killed by an Israeli gunboat yesterday as they played football on a beach in Gaza” is essentially a blood libel. In fact Israel denies any such gunboat attack. The only thing certain – and the Sun fails to mention it – is that the children were playing in an area directly where Hamas were firing rockets. Why were children there? Their death is a tragedy but only Hamas is to blame. Israeli children across the whole of Israel are not allowed to go to the beach because of the Palestinian rockets directed at them.
The Sun has not acknowledged my complaints to the editor.

26 August 2014 Update:Press Complaints Commission response


Daphne Anson said...

Very interesting and insightful post, Edgar. I'm surprised, because Murdoch himself is of course perceived as a great friend of Israel( his newspapers generally reflect this.
I can just imagine the chips-with-everything beer and baccy crowd soaking up that propaganda as they turn from Page Three to the sports page.
I wonder whether it is a mere coincidence that the top photo that you reproduce is vaguely reminiscent of Madonna and Child...
From Page Three hussies to that: the mind boggles.

Adam said...

It is indeed interesting, as Murdoch's Sky News seems to have taken a turn for the worse as well - it used to be more balanced, but now seems to follow the standard anti-Israel invective of the BBC and the other sheep.

Confronting antisemitism and Israel hatred said...


It's not 'the standard anti-Israel invective of the BBC and the other sheep". The Sun's coverage has actually been much worse. It is designed to incite hatred of Israel.

MCin Sderot said...

As an escapee from UK now living in Sderot I am now in the 3rd or 4th week of missile bombardment (I cannot remember when it started, it seems forever.

We give up with the UK, the march of Anti-Semitism, disguised as 'anti zionism' or various 'peace' initiatives where Israel only must make 'peace' is all pervasive. People are not interested in truth, just a quitr life. The Sun is selling lies, and the media watchdogs are letting them. Tell me what is different to 1930's Germany?

Anonymous said...

Edgar, This is an insightful post. There is an important typo: you wrote "Caroline Gluck," her name is "Caroline Glick."

faiza white said...

then it is time for revenge to the whole world no? we all just want peace, if Israel want to be the imperial power that is her right after all all this what is happens and happening Empire after empire wouldn't happened if Israel no the brain in all of it , what ever make Israel should be, you people when you forget your root that what you get. sorry just peace in the world it is enough, my thought. mrs f white