[Note by Tom Gross]
On February 16, 2004, the New York Times ran a story about Al Jazeera, titled "For Al Jazeera, Balanced Coverage Frequently Leaves No Side Happy." The same article ran in the NY Times-owned International Herald Tribune under the headline "Al Jazeera sees itself ad an East-West 'bridge'" (nytimes.com/2004/02/16/business/media/16arabtv.html)
NY TIMES FORGETS TO MENTION THE HOLOCAUST DENIAL
The New York Times story is an example of how the paper subtly misleads its readers in regard to Middle East issues on an almost daily basis.
The Times piece (attached in full below) contains gushing quotes about how "comprehensive and accurate" Al Jazeera strives to be, how it does not have any "ideological aim," how it is trying to "bridge the gap between the two ways of understanding the news in the East and the West."
It quotes Al Jazeera's managing director, Mr. Khanfar, saying: "We do not carry slogans or propaganda, not at all. We are just ordinary people with a love for journalism."
AND WHAT THE NY TIMES LEFT OUT
Just three days earlier, Feb 13, 2004, Al Jazeera's English-language website ran an article titled "A Look at The 'Powerful Jewish Lobby'" by Mark Weber, one of the world's leading Holocaust distorters and director of the misnamed Institute for Historical Review. Weber's article - much like Al Jazeera's content - is a subtle mix of genuine fact and outrageous slurs "about the danger of Jewish power."
Weber uses for his defense such Holocaust distorters as "Jewish scholar" Norman Finkelstein, citing the fact that Finkelstein has among other things accused "organized Jewry" of "extorting billions of dollars" from Germany and others. Because of this, Finkelstein predicts, "The Holocaust may yet turn out to be the 'greatest robbery in the history of mankind'."
LETTERS TO INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE
In recent days the IHT has run readers' letters explaining that the Leftist (and in some cases Left-wing Fascist) bias at European news organizations like the BBC is "subtle, covert and shielded by the myth of objectivity." But perhaps the phrase "myth of objectivity" is a description that would best fit the IHT's own parent newspaper, the New York Times. (Those new to this email list who wish to read my own writings on the New York Times, can do so at www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-gross031403.asp.)
AL JAZEERA EXPANDS
After the introduction of an English-language Web site, Al Jazeera is planning to start an English-language satellite channel next year. In London, Chris Cramer, managing director at CNN International, said he was pleased by Al Jazeera's plans. "It's good for viewer choice," he said.
At the end of Weber's article, Al Jazeera's web site suggests that readers "E-mail to: email@example.com for a packet of literature and full listing of books."
-- Tom Gross
[Note: For those not expert in the duplicitous field of Holocaust revisionism this article should be read with care]
A LOOK AT THE 'POWERFUL JEWISH LOBBY'
A Look at The 'Powerful Jewish Lobby'
By Mark Weber
Feb 13, 2004
For decades Israel has violated well established precepts of international law and defied numerous United Nations resolutions in its occupation of conquered lands, in extra-judicial killings, and in its repeated acts of military aggression.
Most of the world regards Israel's policies, and especially its oppression of Palestinians, as outrageous and criminal. This international consensus is reflected, for example, in numerous UN resolutions condemning Israel, which have been approved with overwhelming majorities.
"The whole world," United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan recently said, "is demanding that Israel withdraw [from occupied Palestinian territories]. I don't think the whole world ... can be wrong."[note 1]
Only in the United States do politicians and the media still fervently support Israel and its policies. For decades the US has provided Israel with crucial military, diplomatic and financial backing, including more than $3 billion each year in aid.
Why is the U.S. the only remaining bastion of support for Israel?
Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who was awarded the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, has candidly identified the reason: "The Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the US], and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic," he said. "People are scared in this country, to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful -- very powerful."[note 2]
Bishop Tutu spoke the truth. Although Jews make up only about three percent of the US population, they wield immense power and influence -- vastly more than any other ethnic or religious group.
As Jewish author and political science professor Benjamin Ginsberg has pointed out:[note 3]
Since the 1960s, Jews have come to wield considerable influence in American economic, cultural, intellectual and political life. Jews played a central role in American finance during the 1980s, and they were among the chief beneficiaries of that decade's corporate mergers and reorganizations. Today, though barely two percent of the nation's population is Jewish, close to half its billionaires are Jews. The chief executive officers of the three major television networks and the four largest film studios are Jews, as are the owners of the nation's largest newspaper chain and the most influential single newspaper, the New York Times ... The role and influence of Jews in American politics is equally marked...
Jews are only three percent of the nation's population and comprise eleven percent of what this study defines as the nation's elite. However, Jews constitute more than 25 percent of the elite journalists and publishers, more than 17 percent of the leaders of important voluntary and public interest organiza tions, and more than 15 percent of the top ranking civil servants.
Stephen Steinlight, former Director of National Affairs of the American Jewish Committee, similarly notes the "disproportionate political power" of Jews, which is "pound for pound the greatest of any ethnic/cultural group in America." He goes on to explain that "Jewish economic influence and power are disproportionately concentrated in Hollywood, television, and in the news industry." [note 4]
Two well-known Jewish writers, Seymour Lipset and Earl Raab, pointed out in their 1995 book, Jews and the New American Scene:[note 5]
During the last three decades Jews [in the United States] have made up 50 percent of the top two hundred intellectuals... 20 percent of professors at the leading universities... 40 percent of partners in the leading law firms in New York and Washington... 59 percent of the directors, writers, and producers of the 50 top-grossing motion pictures from 1965 to 1982, and 58 percent of directors, writers, and producers in two or more primetime television series.
The influence of American Jewry in Washington, notes the Israeli daily Jerusalem Post, is "far disproportionate to the size of the community, Jewish leaders and U.S. official acknowledge. But so is the amount of money they contribute to [election] campaigns." One member of the influential Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations "estimated Jews alone had contributed 50 percent of the funds for [President Bill] Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign."[note 6]
"It makes no sense at all to try to deny the reality of Jewish power and prominence in popular culture," acknowledges Michael Medved, a well-known Jewish author and film critic. "Any list of the most influential production executives at each of the major movie studios will produce a heavy majority of recognizably Jewish names."[note 7]
One person who has carefully studied this subject is Jonathan J. Goldberg, now editor of the influential Jewish community weekly Forward. In his 1996 book, Jewish Power, he wrote:[note 8]
In a few key sectors of the media, notably among Hollywood studio executives, Jews are so numerically dominant that calling these businesses Jewish-controlled is little more than a statistical observation...
Hollywood at the end of the twentieth century is still an industry with a pronounced ethnic tinge. Virtually all the senior executives at the major studios are Jews. Writers, producers, and to a lesser degree directors are disproportionately Jewish -- one recent study showed the figure as high as 59 percent among top-grossing films.
The combined weight of so many Jews in one of America's most lucrative and important industries gives the Jews of Hollywood a great deal of political power. They are a major source of money for Democratic candidates.
Reflecting their role in the American media, Jews are routinely portrayed as high-minded, altruistic, trustworthy, compassionate, and deserving of sympathy and support. While millions of Americans readily accept such stereotyped imagery, not everyone is impressed. "I am very angry with some of the Jews," complained actor Marlon Brando during a 1996 interview. "They know perfectly well what their responsibilities are... Hollywood is run by Jews. It's owned by Jews, and they should have a greater sensitivity about the issue of people who are suffering."[note 9]
A Well-Entrenched Factor
The intimidating power of the "Jewish lobby" is not a new phenomenon, but has long been an important factor in American life.
In 1941 Charles Lindbergh spoke about the danger of Jewish power in the media and government. The shy 39-year-old -- known around the world for his epic 1927 New York to Paris flight, the first solo trans-Atlantic crossing -- was addressing 7,000 people in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 11, 1941, about the dangers of US involvement in the war then raging in Europe. The three most important groups pressing America into war, he explained, were the British, the Jews, and the Roosevelt administration.
Of the Jews, he said: "Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government." Lindbergh went on:
...For reasons which are understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not American, [they] wish to involve us in the war. We cannot blame them for looking out for what they believe to be their own interests, but we must also look out for ours. We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction. In 1978, Jewish American scholar Alfred M. Lilienthal wrote in his detailed study, The Zionist Connection:[note 10]
How has the Zionist will been imposed on the American people?... It is the Jewish connection, the tribal solidarity among themselves and the amazing pull on non-Jews, that has molded this unprecedented power... In the larger metropolitan areas, the Jewish-Zionist connection thoroughly pervades affluent financial, commercial, social, entertainment, and art circles.
As a result of the Jewish grip on the media, wrote Lilienthal, news coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict in American television, newspapers and magazines is relentlessly sympathetic to Israel. This is manifest, for example, in the misleading portrayal of Palestinian "terrorism." As Lilienthal put it: "One-sided reportage on terrorism, in which cause is never related to effect, was assured because the most effective component of the Jewish connection is probably that of media control."
One-Sided 'Holocaust' History
The Jewish hold on cultural and academic life has had a profound impact on how Americans look at the past. Nowhere is the well entrenched Judeocentric view of history more obvious than in the "Holocaust" media campaign, which focuses on the fate of Jews in Europe during World War II.
Israeli Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer, a professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has remarked:[note 11]
Whether presented authentically or inauthentically, in accordance with the historical facts or in contradiction to them, with empathy and understanding or as monumental kitsch, the Holocaust has become a ruling symbol of our culture... Hardly a month goes by without a new TV production, a new film, a new drama, new books, prose or poetry, dealing with the subject, and the flood is increasing rather than abating.
Non-Jewish suffering simply does not merit comparable attention. Overshadowed in the focus on Jewish victimization are, for example, the tens of millions of victims of America's World War II ally, Stalinist Russia, along with the tens of millions of victims of China's Maoist regime, as well as the 12 to 14 million Germans, victims of the flight and expulsion of 1944-1949, of whom some two million lost their lives.
The well-financed Holocaust media and "educational" campaign is crucially important to the interests of Israel. Paula Hyman, a professor of modern Jewish history at Yale University, has observed: "With regard to Israel, the Holocaust may be used to forestall political criticism and suppress debate; it reinforces the sense of Jews as an eternally beleaguered people who can rely for their defense only upon themselves. The invocation of the suffering endured by the Jews under the Nazis often takes the place of rational argument, and is expected to convince doubters of the legitimacy of current Israeli government policy."[note 12]
Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish scholar who has taught political science at City University of New York (Hunter College), says in his book, The Holocaust Industry, that "invoking The Holocaust" is "a ploy to delegitimize all criticism of Jews."[note 13] "By conferring total blamelessness on Jews, the Holocaust dogma immunizes Israel and American Jewry from legitimate censure... Organized Jewry has exploited the Nazi holocaust to deflect criticism of Israel's and its own morally indefensible policies." He writes of the brazen "shakedown" of Germany, Switzerland and other countries by Israel and organized Jewry "to extort billions of dollars." "The Holocaust," Finkelstein predicts, "may yet turn out to be the 'greatest robbery in the history of mankind'."
Jews in Israel feel free to act brutally against Arabs, writes Israeli journalist Ari Shavit, "believing with absolute certitude that now, with the White House, the Senate and much of the American media in our hands, the lives of others do not count as much as our own."[note 14]
Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has spoken with blunt exasperation about the Jewish-Israeli hold on the United States:[note 15]
I've never seen a President -- I don't care who he is -- stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens certainly don't have any idea what goes on.
Today the danger is greater than ever. Israel and Jewish organizations, in collaboration with this country's pro-Zionist "amen corner," are prodding the United States -- the world's foremost military and economic power -- into new wars against Israel's enemies. As the French ambassador in London recently acknowledged, Israel -- which he called "that shitty little country" -- is a threat to world peace. "Why should the world be in danger of World War III because of those people?," he said.[note 16]
To sum up: Jews wield immense power and influence in the United States. The "Jewish lobby" is a decisive factor in US support for Israel. Jewish-Zionist interests are not identical to American interests. In fact, they often conflict.
As long as the "very powerful" Jewish lobby remains entrenched, there will be no end to the systematic Jewish distortion of current affairs and history, the Jewish-Zionist domination of the U.S. political system, Zionist oppression of Palestinians, the bloody conflict between Jews and non-Jews in the Middle East, and the Israeli threat to peace.
[1.] Quoted in Forward (New York City), April 19, 2002, p. 11.
[2.] D. Tutu, "Apartheid in the Holy Land," The Guardian (Britain), April 29, 2002.
[3.] Benjamin Ginsberg, The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State (University of Chicago, 1993), pp. 1, 103.
[4.] S. Steinlight, "The Jewish Stake in America's Changing Demography: Reconsidering a Misguided Immigration Policy," Center for Immigration Studies, Nov. 2001.
[5.] Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, Jews and the New American Scene (Harvard Univ. Press, 1995), pp. 26-27.
[6.] Janine Zacharia, "The Unofficial Ambassadors of the Jewish State," The Jerusalem Post (Israel), April 2, 2000. Reprinted in "Other Voices," June 2000, p. OV-4, a supplement to The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.
[7.] M. Medved, "Is Hollywood Too Jewish?," Moment, Vol. 21, No. 4 (1996), p. 37.
[8.] Jonathan Jeremy Goldberg, Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment (Addison-Wesley, 1996), pp. 280, 287-288. See also pp. 39-40, 290-291.
[9.] Interview with Larry King, CNN network, April 5, 1996. "Brando Remarks," Los Angeles Times, April 8, 1996, p. F4 (OC). A short time later, Brando was obliged to apologize for his remarks.
[10.] A. Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1978), pp. 206, 218, 219, 229.
[11.] From a 1992 lecture, published in: David Cesarani, ed., The Final Solution: Origins and Implementation (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), pp. 305, 306.
[12.] Paula E. Hyman, "New Debate on the Holocaust," The New York Times Magazine , Sept. 14, 1980, p. 79.
[13.] Norman G. Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry (London, New York: Verso, 2000), pp. 130, 138, 139, 149.
[14.] The New York Times, May 27, 1996. Shavit is identified as a columnist for Ha'aretz, a Hebrew-language Israeli daily newspaper, "from which this article is adapted."
[15.] Interview with Moorer, Aug. 24, 1983. Quoted in: Paul Findley, They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby (Lawrence Hill, 1984 and 1985), p. 161.
[16.] D. Davis, "French Envoy to UK: Israel Threatens World Peace," Jerusalem Post, Dec. 20, 2001. The French ambassador is Daniel Bernard.6/02
(About the author: Mark Weber is director of the Institute for Historical Review. He studied history at the University of Illinois (Chicago), the University of Munich, Portland State University and Indiana University (M.A., 1977). For nine years he served as editor of the IHR's Journal of Historical Review.)
E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org for a packet of literature and full listing of books.
FOR AL JAZEERA, BALANCED COVERAGE FREQUENTLY LEAVES NO SIDE HAPPY
For Al Jazeera, Balanced Coverage Frequently Leaves No Side Happy
By Samuel Abt
International Herald Tribune / New York Times
February 16, 2004
A poster on a wall at the headquarters here of Al Jazeera, the Arabic-language television network, shows a giant eye and a superimposed question: "Everybody watches CNN. What does CNN watch?" Underneath is an answer: "Al Jazeera Channel."
As boasts go, it does not seem far-fetched.
Defended by its newsroom managers as newsworthy and balanced, Al Jazeera's broadcasts of taped statements by Osama bin Laden are widely watched and analyzed. The channel, which often draws the wrath of the Pentagon, is in the midst of a one-month ban in Iraq, and it was denounced as well in Saddam Hussein's time. It is also the target of an advertising boycott in some Arab countries, Al Jazeera executives say.
This diversity is a mark of strength, executives said in a series of interviews here. As Wadah Khanfar, the managing director and a Jordanian, put it, "We have been accused from the beginning that we were created by international agencies like the Mossad, the C.I.A., and that the Americans are behind us, that this regime or that regime is behind us, that Osama bin Laden is behind us. This kind of nonsense is for us a sign that what we are doing is right."
Another sign is that, in its eighth year of broadcasting, the channel says that it has 35 million viewers daily around the world, most in the Arab world but some as far afield as China and Japan.
Now, Al Jazeera says it is planning to expand into the English-speaking world. After the introduction of an English-language Web site last fall, it expects to start a satellite channel in English "hopefully next year," Mr. Khanfar said. That would follow the introduction of an all-sports channel in November and plans for an "Al Jazeera for kids."
Haidar Haq, a Lebanese who is head of the channel's sports section, remarked: "America, Italy, France, they bring what they want to bring to us - their ideas, their images, their officials. Now, we bring our idea to the Arab world. Maybe next year there will be an Al Jazeera in English to bring an Arabic idea to foreigners."
And Mr. Khanfar said, "Already we are recruiting journalists and constructing a building" for the English-language channel. "Most of the people we will hire," he continued, "might have English as a mother language, and they might not necessarily be Arabs. The main qualification is their experience and professionalism."
In London, Chris Cramer, managing director at CNN International, said he was pleased by Al Jazeera's plans. "It's good for viewer choice," he said.
Editors say that professionalism is a priority at Al Jazeera, whose name literally means "the island" and by extension "the peninsula," alluding to the Saudi land mass from which all Arabs are said to have spread.
"We are trying our best to be comprehensive and accurate," said Ibrahim Helal, an Egyptian who is the newsroom chief editor. "To be accurate, not to achieve an ideological aim.''
Mr. Helal added: "We are working in a very sensitive time in the Arab world. The Arab region is in the focus of the world's news. What we are trying to do is bridge the gap between the two ways of understanding the news in the East and the West."
Al Jazeera's managing director, Mr. Khanfar, explained: "We don't see ourselves as a political party that has an agenda. We see ourselves as a TV station that reports. That's it. We do not carry slogans or propaganda, not at all. We are just ordinary people with a love for journalism."
Nevertheless, suspicion persists. A magazine article posted on a bulletin board quoted Mr. Helal as complaining about the frequent Western news agency description of "a report by Al Jazeera that could not be confirmed by an independent source." Why, he wanted to know, was confirmation necessary? Is his channel not independent itself?
Nor is Al Jazeera without doubters in the Arab world, where it can be critical of governments and interviews opposition figures.
This kind of journalism is not without business risks. "Making money?" Mr. Khanfar said in response to a question. "Not really. We're losing it. Agencies are boycotting us. A lot of companies are not putting adverts in our organization because most of them are owned or at least hosted in certain countries that are not happy with us, like Saudi Arabia."
Profit and loss may not be an overriding concern for the people who put up the money to start Al Jazeera and keep it going. Channel officials identified the backers as Qatari businessmen, while The Economist magazine has said the money comes from the government of Qatar "because it regards Al Jazeera as a part of its plans for political liberalization."
The channel reports that it has 750 employees in Doha, Qatar's capital, and 23 bureaus worldwide with about 70 correspondents. In all, Mr. Khanfar said, there are 1,300 to 1,400 employees, 450 of them journalists and the rest support staff members, technicians and computer specialists. He said there were many female employees.
He and the others were talking in the newsroom, a sleek place with 10 pods of 3 desks, each with a computer and television set. Clocks show the hour in Washington and Tokyo as well as Greenwich Mean Time, and a wall is dominated by 16 television monitors showing channels including CNN, BBC World News, Reuters and national television stations from Iraq, Abu Dhabi, Egypt and Qatar. Studios, production rooms and archives line the room, and an electronic chart displays satellite booking times.
The news is broadcast every hour and changed often. "We don't have an exclusive Middle Eastern agenda," Mr. Helal said. "Sometimes we lead with a worldwide story - the chicken flu story, for example."
"When we started in 1996," he said, "we didn't really imagine that the Arab audience would be interested in 24-hour news, but gradually it happened. We pushed competitors to do the same. We enforced an Arab agenda on other TV's; we made them extend their Arab coverage."
Prominent in this coverage are the periodic tapes from Al Qaeda leaders. Calling Mr. bin Laden "a news- maker," Mr. Khanfar analyzed his choice of Al Jazeera as an outlet to the world.
"If you want to pass a message to the biggest audience, you go to the most acknowledged TV station," he said, "and Al Jazeera, in the Arab world, is the biggest. That is not to say we have become the voice of Osama bin Laden, the voice of terrorism. We look at it from a news point of view.
"If you give me a tape and I just play it 100 or 15 or a few times, then I am propagating a message. But if you give me a tape and I take certain elements, certain paragraphs, which I think are newsworthy and put that into my own context and host people who are analysts from different points of view to discuss the discourse, then I am putting it in a context.
"And this is exactly what we do with all his tapes. The people who come to refute that particular tape make the discourse very vulnerable. Very vulnerable."