Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fleet Street Folderol

Forget Fairfax. Forget Murdoch. Was there ever a Golden Age of corporate reporting on Palestine?

Sadly, no.

Testimony from a Palestine-based observer, who calls himself simply British Resident, writing in The Labour Monthly (1921-1962) of July, 1936 on the early stages of the great Palestinian Intifada of 1936-1939:

"In most of the accounts of the Palestine disturbances which I have read in the English press, even in those sections of the press which do not normally blatantly champion imperial interests, the picture drawn has been one of Arab hooligans and bandits, hired with Italian gold (or German or Russian, according to the particular political point of view), instigated by self-interested Arab politicians ('effendis'), attacking the lives and property of peace-loving Jews, whose only object is to develop the country economically in the interests of the Arabs, while the British Government, anxious only to do the decent thing by both Arab and Jew, tries with a gentle hand (too gentle, that friend of oppressed races, The Times*, thinks) to restore order. This picture, if it were true, would be unintelligible; which is a good a priori reason for believing that the picture is untrue." (The events in Palestine)

[How appropriate that The Times should now be in Murdoch's hands.]

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