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Ben Chu: Ignoring the issue on Israel lobbying

Posted by Eagle Eye
  • Wednesday, 18 November 2009 at 01:23 pm
Denis MacShane seems to argue on this blog that because Israel "has the worst press of any UN member state in the British media" the notion that Britain has a powerful and successful Israel lobby is somehow wrong. My esteemed colleague John Rentoul backs him up here.

But leave aside the question of whether Israel really does get such a bad press (my impression was that the Telegraph and News International titles are all strongly sympathetic to the Israeli government), this ignores one of the central charges of the Channel 4 Dispatches programme, namely that the Israeli lobby has considerable - and quite often non-transparent - influence over British government and political parties. If you're going to pour scorn on the Dispatches programme, surely you need to address one of its main points.

A fine, impartial journalist

I'd also take issue strongly with John's remark that Jeremy Bowen, the BBC's Middle East Editor was "rightly" reprimanded for anti-Israel bias. To my mind, the BBC Trust's ruling was a travesty; a betrayal of a fine, impartial journalist.

photo: BBC


Two cities - Al Quds and Jerusalem.
ron_broxted wrote:
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 at 04:07 pm (UTC)
Firstly, the Torygraph under Black was pro-Israel (he was, after all Amiels husband). Now with Les freres Barclay it is decidedly less favourable. Secondly, "disproportionate influnce" of "The Jews" in the meejah. Yes, like black track and field olympic gold medallists.
Pro-Israel lobby influence over British Government Policies
bob_idle wrote:
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 at 07:03 pm (UTC)
I agree with you Ben Chu. The pro-Israeli lobby and their apologists don't address the issue of pro-Israeli lobby influence on British foreign policy.

Instead, to deflect attention from this serious issue they put up a smokescreen by alleging antisemitism. Debates and discussions then are deflected onto arguing over who is and who is not anti-semitic (and even being Jewish doesn't by any means save you from being labelled anti-semitic by the lobby).

Imagine if Nigeria was attracting criticism for it's policies and attempts to influence the British government in it's favour by donating large sums. Imagine if the pro-Nigeria lobby then labelled anyone, whether black or white, who criticised Nigeria in any way, as a racist hater of blacks and a white supremacist. This is the equivalent situation we face at the moment with the pro-Israeli lobby described on Dispatches.



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