Friday, July 22, 2011

First Mubarak, Now Murdoch?

Following the collapse of one of the main pillars of Israeli hegemony in the Middle East, could we now perhaps be witnessing the beginnings of the collapse of the central pillar of Israel's propaganda apparatus in the West?

It seems there's movement at the station:

"Pro-Israel leaders in the United States, Britain and Australia are warily watching the unfolding of the phone-hacking scandal that is threatening to engulf the media empire of Rupert Murdoch, founder of News Corp. Murdoch's sudden massive reversal of fortune - with 10 top former staffers and executives under arrest in Britain for hacking into the phones of public figures and a murdered school girl, and paying off the police and journalists - has supporters of Israel worried that a diminished Murdoch presence may mute the strongly pro-Israel voice of many of the publications he owns." (Supporters worry about muting of pro-Israel media voice, Ron Kampeas, The Jerusalem Post, 20/7/11)

Oh dear!

"His publications and media have proven to be fairer on the issue of Israel than the rest of the media', said Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations. 'I hope that won't be impacted'." (ibid)

Fairer? Hello? Isn't this a bit like saying that Juliet was fairer on the issue of Romeo than her sister?

"Murdoch's huge stable encompasses broadsheets such as The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London and The Australian, as well as tabloids, most notably The Sun in Britain and the New York Post. It also includes the influential Fox News Channel in the United States and a 39% stake in British Sky Broadcasting, or BSkyB, a satellite broadcaster. Murdoch founded the neoconservative flagship The Weekly Standard in 1995, and sold it last year.* Jewish leaders said that Murdoch's view of Israel's dealings with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors seemed both knowledgeable and sensitive to the Jewish state's self-perception as beleaguered and isolated." (ibid)

And this view was arrived at independently of those Jewish leaders, and only after an exhaustive and impartial study of the issue by Rupert!

"'My own perspective is simple: We live in a world where there is an ongoing war against the Jews', Murdoch said last October at an Anti-Defamation League dinner in his honor. 'When Americans think of anti-Semitism, we tend to think of the vulgar caricatures and attacks of the first part of the 20th century. Now it seems that the most virulent strains come from the left. Often this new anti-Semitism dresses itself up as legitimate disagreement with Israel'." (ibid)

And he wrote every word himself!

"Murdoch, 80, has visited Israel multiple times and met with many of its leaders. In 2009 he was honored by the American Jewish Committee. 'In the West, we are used to thinking that Israel cannot survive without the help of Europe and the United States', he said at the AJC event. 'Tonight I say to you, maybe we should start wondering whether we in Europe and the United States can survive if we allow the terrorists to succeed in Israel'." (ibid)

Apres Israel, le deluge!

And in case you were wondering what happens to those who go astray:

"When some Jewish organizational leaders complained that Fox talk show host Glenn Beck** was relying on anti-Semitic tropes in peddling discredited theories about liberal billionaire financier George Soros, Murdoch nudged Fox chief Roger Ailes into meetings with Jewish leaders. Beck left Fox last month." (ibid)

Will you listen to this tripe:

"Murdoch's affection for Israel arose less out of his conservative sensibility than from his native Australian sympathy for the underdog fending off elites seized by conventional wisdoms, according to Isi Liebler, a longtime Australian Jewish community leader who now lives in Israel. 'From my personal communications with him, it's something that built up', Liebler told JTA. 'He's met Israelis, he's been to Israel, he's seen Israel as the plucky underdog when the rest of the world saw Israel as an occupier'. Australian Jews noted the pro-Israel cast of Murdoch's papers as early as the 1970s, before he had established ties with the Jewish community. The word from inside his company was that Israel was an issue that he cared about, which helped shape its coverage in his media properties." (ibid)

Murdoch, champion of the underdog! The mind boggles.

[* "The steady beating of war drums by neoconservatives like William Kristol was, in the eyes of many, the most influential factor in the US decision to go to war against Iraq. Referring to Kristol's numerous articles and media appearances in support of the war, Washington Post syndicated columnist Richard Cohen even dubbed it 'Kristol's War'. One reason Kristol was able to help create this war was the fact that he had a ready-made platform, courtesy of the Australian press lord Rupert Murdoch, who underwrites Kristol's magazine, The Weekly Standard." (William Kristol: Using The Weekly Standard to push for war on Iraq, Richard H. Curtiss,, 6/03); ** Apparently Beck's also been deviating from the script in the Middle East's Only Democracy: "Right-wing US television host Glenn Beck yesterday endured an experience that must have been a new one for him: it was made clear to him he was not right-wing enough. On a visit to Jerusalem to express his support for Israel, the Fox presenter addressed a committee of the Knesset, where he said: 'I'm not against a Palestinian state'. But as The Jerusalem Post reported, 'some seemed to think he was not right-wing enough when it came to Israel'. It said several committee members challenged Beck, including National Union member Arye Eldad, who said, 'I believe in a two-state solution, because I remember there is already a Palestinian state in Jordan'. Beck also upset Mr Eldad when he said Arabs and Israelis were all 'people who want to live their lives and raise their kids'. Mr Eldad told him of an Arab suicide bomber he had known of." (Beck's Right too Left for Knesset, John Lyons, The Australian, 13/7/11) There really is no pleasing some people.]

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