Thursday, May 6, 2010

Indonesian Rambamming

Not content with romancing Australian media hacks in Israel, a process of co-optation I have called rambamming*, Australia's Israel lobby has also been busy romancing their Indonesian counterparts. [*See in particular my 30/3/09 post I've been to Israel too]

Organised jointly by the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Indonesia's first (?) rambamming took place in 2007. AIJAC's executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein was uncharacteristically blunt, voicing the lobby's rationale as follows: "[The 7 Indonesians] were a group of very senior journalists with great political contacts and influence on public opinion." (Indonesians make historic visit to Israel, The Australian Jewish News, 2/11/07)

While in Israel, the Indonesians met then foreign minister Tzipi Livni (who reportedly told them "it was important for Indonesia to be a force for moderation in the Middle East") and president Shimon Peres (who said, "Our enemies are not the Muslim or Arab world. Our enemies are hatred and terror"). (ibid)

The 2007 rambammed were Bambang Harymurti, editor-in-chief of Tempo; Uni Lubis, vice-chief editor of Star AN TV; Tofan Mahdi, managing editor of The Java Post; Ray Wijaya, news division head of PT Cipta TPI; Meuta Hafid, news anchor of Metro TV; Artine Ution, chief editor of TPI TV; and Endy Bayuni, editor-in-chieh of The Jakarta Post.

This February, 9 more Indonesian hacks took the plunge: Arief Suditomo, programming and production director of the SUNTV Network and editor-in-chief of RCTI television; Maria Hartiningsih, senior journalist at Kompas Daily; Heru Hendratmoku, production director at Radio News Agency; Dwi Kristanto, front-page editor, Rakyat Merdeka; Eva Mazrieva, news producer at ANTV Jakarta; Retno Shanti Ruwyastuti, deputy chief editor, Metro TV in Jakarta; Purwanto Setiadi, managing editor, Tempo; Meidyatama Suryodiningrat, deputy chief editor, The Jakarta Post; and Avian Tumengkol, editor-in-chief, Waspada Online and editor-at-large, The Waspada Daily in Medan. (Source: Selamat Israel, AJN, 30/4/10)

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