Monday, July 24, 2017

The Dead Weight of Israel Lobby Censorship

From the Australian's former Middle East Correspondent, John Lyons:

"Through my six years in the Middle East I'd come under constant pressure from Israel lobby groups to pull my punches. I realised from many discussions with other foreign journalists that this pressure was applied in many countries. Of the many hours of discussion I had with my colleagues in the foreign media, one comment shocked me. It was when I asked Phillipe Agret, the bureau of Agence France Press, a question. AFP is one of the most powerful news agencies in the world. It is highly regarded as credible and independent. It is famous for resisting pressure in whichever country it operates. Agret and I were discussing how some media groups censored their reporting out of Israel in a way that they did in no other country. I asked him who he thought was self-censoring out of Israel. Without hesitation, he replied: 'Everybody'." (From Man in the middle: For a Jerusalem correspondent, the truth is always hard won, The Weekend Australian Magazine, 22/7/17)

Errr... any of you guys ever heard of resistance?

"Why do the supporters of Israel want to prevent stories like this [Four Corners: Stone Cold Justice (2014)] from spreading overseas? When we arrived we did not realise the prize that many political factions in the country coveted: formalising the occupation of the West Bank into official annexation and achieving Greater Israel... In order to continue pursuing its endgame of annexing the West Bank, [the Israeli right] can't allow the international community to form the view that the occupation is unacceptable. So reports of brutality in the West Bank are minimised so that international opinion does not turn against it." (ibid)

NB: The TWA's piece, Man in the middle, is an edited extract from Balcony Over Jerusalem, by John Lyons and Sylvie Le Clezio, released today.)

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