WATCH: Max Blumenthal Discusses Role Of US Media In Normalizing Israel’s Occupation
Sternchen Productions recently recorded a must-watch series of interviews with Max Blumenthal, where he discusses a wide gamut of Israel/Palestine-related topics.
In the video entitled “The role of the media in the Israel/Palestine conflict” (the video follows) Blumenthal describes instances of the US media insidiously crafting pro-Israel narratives to overshadow if not to flat-out whitewash Israel’s brutal policies:
On Fox News:
I had a friend who was working in Fox News, and she got a memo from management during the Israeli assault on Gaza — Operation Cast Lead in late 2008 — that told them to essentially not report what was happening, and gave them a list of talking points to highlight about Hamas being a terror organization.
I was on a Fox News program at that time and that all came out. They actually brought in a special guest to talk about the terrorist roots of Hamas. And they cut me off when I attempted to question any of the prevailing narrative that was coming out on Fox News and they told me that I wasn’t being collegial.
On The New York Times:
It’s more revealing to look at what’s happening at the New York Times — which is the newspaper of record in the US. […]
There was better reporting when Steven Erlanger was the Middle East Bureau Chief, and even when John Burns was covering the second intifada, although his reporting was incredibly flawed.
Now, the Middle East Bureau Chief is Ethan Bronner, who appears to be a committed Zionist; whose son served in the Israeli army; who lives and works out of a home in Jerusalem that was confiscated from the [Palestinian] Karmi family, which now lives here in London — Ghada Karmi. It was bought by Thomas Friedman when he was the Middle East Bureau Chief, without a second thought.
I would be deeply uncomfortable working in that building.
And if you look at who [Bronner] quotes — these are his friends — and how he quotes them: “the head of the Jewish National Fund was walking through Sderot yesterday when a rocket fell.” What does the Jewish National Fund have to with that, and who are they anyway? It’s just, he’s quoting his friends.
He referred to the Israeli assault on Gaza as “Israel’s anti-rocket invasion”, and he uses this kind of language constantly. You don’t even see that from Mark Regev. It’s much more dangerous than Mark Regev, because it’s insidious.
And Bronner recently did a story about a — what he claimed — was a bold, new, grassroots initiative of Israelis and Palestinians communicating online on Facebook and reaching out to one another. You know, because he’s constantly trying to normalize occupation. He didn’t mention that this initiative was AstroTurffed by the Peres Center For Peace, run by Shimon Peres — the architect of the Qana massacre in Lebanon. It didn’t have very many members at all, and that the Israelis who were writing in on the Facebook page — to say how great it was to talk to their Palestinian brothers — were employees of the Peres Center For Peace and the Palestinian administrators were as well. So, it’s completely insidious. And I think it plays a role — not turning people anti-Arab or anti-Palestinian — but really in normalizing occupation.
In the interview, Blumenthal goes on to describe the western press corps who often do their reporting from within the confines of Israel-proper, and the Israel Lobby’s bullying tactics back in America, where they relentlessly work to intimidate individuals in both the media and academia.
You can watch the rest of Sternchen’s Max Blumenthal interviews, by following the links below:
1. Israel’s ‘response’ to the Eilat bus shootings >> watch HERE
2. His experiences as a facts-based citizen journalist, including: online Hasbara trolls, the main stream media (when covering right-wing politics versus Israel/Palestine), Israel’s racial-profiling screening process when entering the country >> watch HERE
3. The power and the impact of the Christian Zionist lobby in the US >> watch HERE
Julian Assange: Western Newspapers Hesitant To Publish Israel-Related Leaks
In a new, largely unreported Al Jazeera interview (with Julian Assange’s responses overdubbed in Arabic), the WikiLeaks founder reveals that he intends to release 3,700 documents pertaining to Israel.
2,700 of these documents, he said, originate from within Israel, and include “Sensitive and classified documents” on the 2006 military excursion into Lebanon (which resulted in the deaths of over 1,200 Lebanese — mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis — mostly soldiers).
The documents also contain information on Mossad assassinations, including the murder of Hamas militant Mahmud al-Mabhuh in Dubai, as well as “a Lebanese military leader in Damascus by sniper bullets.”
The Peninsula , a Qatari newspaper, translated a small portion of the interview into English. When the interviewer confronted Assange about an accusation (apparently lodged by a former colleague of his) of having cut a secret deal with Israel not to publish their secret files, Assange responded:
This is not true. We have been accused as being agents of Iran and CIA by this former colleague who was working for Germany in the past and was dismissed from his job after we published American military documents related to Germany.
We were the biggest institution receiving official funding from the US but after we released a video tape about killing people in cold blood in Iraq in 2007, the funding stopped and we had to depend on individuals for finance.
The Jerusalem Post published the following on Assange’s revelation as to why we haven’t seen more Israel-related leaks:
Assange said only a small number of documents related to Israel have been published so far because newspapers in the West that had exclusive rights to publish the material were hesitant to publish sensitive information about Israel …
“The Guardian, El-Pais and Le Monde have published only two percent of the files related to Israel due to the sensitive relations between Germany, France and Israel. Even New York Times could not publish more due to the sensitivities related to the Jewish community in the US,” [Assange] added.
It’s rather astonishing to think that the New York Times would publish sensitive information on its own country, the United States of America, but would refrain from publishing sensitive information on a foreign country, Israel. What are we to make of that?
This unfortunately will continue to be a huge problem for WikiLeaks, OpenLeaks, and other whistleblower groups. By giving the main stream media exclusive rights to the leak information — essentially the power to serve as middlemen between the documents and the discerning public — they are effectively allowing the corporate-owned media establishment to serve as ideological gatekeepers.
And as we learned from the run-up to the Iraq war, and a long string of other failures over the last decade, the establishment media most often chooses complicity over serving as a check on government power.
In the spirit of promoting true transparency, whistleblower groups should never again entrust just a few major publications in the main stream media to play such a vital role.
WATCH: Cenk Uygur Interviews WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange On Dylan Ratigan Show
The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur conducted a terrific interview today with Julian Assange on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show.
They covered a wide range of topics including: Assange’s role as a publisher/member of the press, 1st Amendment Rights, the main stream media’s gradual shift from demonizing WikiLeaks to now somewhat defending the whistleblower group; and political personalities who continue to demagogue Assange as a ‘high-tech terrorist’, and call for his murder.
They also discussed alleged leaker, Private Bradley Manning, and his inhumane mistreatment over six months of solitary confinement.
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