Alan Rickman, Rachel Corrie, David Irving, and Robert Fisk

December 07, 2004


1. The Independent. A thoroughly unpleasant newspaper
2. Neo-Nazi award for the Independent's Robert Fisk
3. The Independent: Jewish gang are terrorists, but not Al Qaeda and Hamas
4. The Independent: New Alan Rickman play to open in London: "My Name is Rachel Corrie"

[This dispatch was prepared on December 7 but due to a computer problem some people are receiving it only on December 8.]

[Note by Tom Gross]


The British "quality" daily newspaper, the Independent, contains some of the most misleading coverage towards Israel and America of any newspaper in the world including those of state controlled publications in the Arab world.

Yet, perhaps not surprisingly, the Independent continues to be respected by opinion formers, including politicians and BBC staff.

Among other things, the Independent led the way in creating the myth of "the Jenin massacre" in April 2002 with its highly distorted coverage for which it has never properly apologized.

It is the only one of Britain's dozen daily newspapers to be edited by a Jew (Simon Kelner) and on separate occasions (once in Jerusalem, once in London) both the Independent's foreign editor and its former Jerusalem correspondent have been sure to emphasize this to me ("Our editor is Jewish you know") before launching into an anti-Israel tirade when I have met them.



It is difficult to know what Kelner and some of his anti-Israeli journalists (some of whom are Jewish) make of the fact that on his website, David Irving, one of the world's leading Holocaust revisionists, last week nominated Robert Fisk as "Bravest Journalist of the Year" and reproduced some of Fisk's pieces (writes Nigel Farndale in the Sunday Telegraph).

Other extremists, such as Osama Bin Laden, are also among Fisk's admirers. (See the dispatch of November 4, 2004 titled Osama Bin Laden praises Robert Fisk, (& other items)), as are various European journalists, who have given Fisk reporting awards before.

Fisk's articles are regularly reproduced on extremist Moslem websites as well as those of admirers of Hitler. Fisk and Kelner are "best of friends, and beer-drinking buddies," I am told.



The Independent almost never uses the word "terrorist" and certainly not when Jews are victims, such as in Munich, Kenya, Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires and Istanbul. People who blow up Jews in buses or pizzeria or Bat Mitzvah parties are "militants" or "activists."

But today (December 7, 2004) the Independent not only uses the word terror, but does so in its headline:

* "Israeli jailed for role in terror group that attacked Arab schools."

The Independent is referring to the miniscule Jewish "Bat Ayin" group, a member of whom was convicted by an Israeli court.

It may be accurate to refer to Bat Ayin, a small-time gang, as a terror group but any activities by this group pale in comparison with those of sophisticated, organized and deadly groups such as Hamas, (the Arafat-created, Barghouti-led) al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Islamic Jihad, Hizbollah and al Qaeda all of which, for the Independent, are not terror groups.

For example, in its coverage today of al Qaeda's attack on the U.S. consulate in Jeddah yesterday, the Independent uses the terms "militants," "assailants," and "attackers."

-- Tom Gross


[This is the full article.]

Rickman stages show of anger at Israel's strong-arm tactics
By Guy Adams
The Independent
December 7, 2004

Alan Rickman is about to become the latest Hollywood star to light the blue touchpaper on the powderkeg that is Arab-Israeli politics.

He is working on a play about Rachel Corrie, pictured right, the American "human shield" who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer as she tried to prevent it destroying a Palestinian house in Rafah last March.

The play, My Name is Rachel Corrie, will open at the Royal Court next year, and is based on detailed diaries and letters written by Corrie before her death. It has been fully authorised by her family.

Rickman, above, is collaborating with the journalist Katherine Viner on the script, and has also agreed to direct the finished article. A former Labour Party donor, he is thought to be sympathetic towards the Palestinian cause.

"I haven't directed theatre since 1995, but I don't feel nervous; it's something I've wanted to do for a long time," Rickman told me at the recent Women in Film and Television Awards.

"We're working on the script at the moment. Craig and Cindy, Rachel's parents, have been very generous with her written material, handing over the journals that she has written since she was eight."

The theatre said yesterday that the show would open in April: "We're very proud that her family has allowed us to put this together. It's got their full support and they'll almost certainly be flying over to see it."

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.