Month: August 2013

Martin Luther King: “anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism”

The USA is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the watershed civil rights rally in Washington DC at which Martin Luther King Jr made his famous “I have a dream” speech.

Famous for his utopian vision of a fair society where “children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” King was also a strong supporter of Jewish self-determination in the Land of Israel.

On March 25, 1968, King stated that “peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”

In an open letter, written in either 1967 or 1968, King declares that anti-Zionism “is inherently anti-Semitic.” The letter was probably inspired by a conversation King had with an African-American student who was critical of Zionism. King replied: “Don’t talk like that. When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”

Below is the text of “Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend”:

… You declare, my friend; that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely ‘anti-Zionist’.  And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God’s green earth:  When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews — this is God’s own truth.

Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement.  So know also this:  anti-Zionist is inherently anti-Semitic, and ever will be so.

“Why is this?  You know that Zionism is nothing less than the dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land.  The Jewish people, the Scriptures tell us, once enjoyed a flourishing Commonwealth in the Holy Land.  From this they were expelled by the Roman tyrant  the same Romans who cruelly murdered our Lord.  Driven from their homeland, their nation in ashes, forced to wander the globe, the Jewish people time and again suffered the lash of whichever tyrant happened to rule over them.

“The Negro people, my friend, know what it is to suffer the torment of tyranny under rulers not of our choosing.  Our brothers in Africa have begged, pleaded, requested — DEMANDED — the recognition and realization of our inborn right to live in peace under our own sovereignty in our own country.

“How easy it should be, for anyone who holds dear this inalienable right of all mankind, to understand and support the right of the Jewish People to live in their ancient Land of Israel.  All men of good will exult in the fulfillment of God’s promise, that His people should return in joy to rebuild their plundered land.  This is Zionism, nothing more, nothing less.

“And what is anti-Zionist?  It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the globe.  It is discrimination against Jews, my friend, because they are Jews.  In short, it is anti-Semitism.

“The anti-Semite rejoices at any opportunity to vent his malice.  The times have made it unpopular, in the West, to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews.  This being the case, the anti-Semite must constantly seek new forms and forums for his poison.  How he must revel in the new masquerade!  He does not hate the Jews, he is just ‘anti-Zionist’!

My friend, I do not accuse you of deliberate anti-Semitism.  I know you feel, as I do, a deep love of truth and justice and revulsion for racism, prejudice, and discrimination.  But I know you have been misled — as others have been — into thinking you can be ‘anti-Zionist’ and yet remain true to those heartfelt principles that you and I share.  Let my words echo in the depths of your soul:  When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews — make no mistake about it.



UK: Boycotters play politics with water

In a world where millions of people face chronic water shortages, you think some people would be grateful that at least one country is a pioneer in the art of water purification. Israel is a world leader in desalinization and irrigation technologies and has improved the lives of millions of people around the world. Take, for example, Israel’s most-exported environmental technology: the refined drip irrigation system. This allows farmers to produce greater crop yields while using less water. This technology is used in Africa, Australia and the Americas.

In Britain, however, there are a handful of philistines who reject Israel’s water expertise because of their support for the Palestinianist cause. A branch of the Palestinian solidarity movement in England is protesting against the installation of eco-friendly water meters in thousands of homes for the simple reason that the technology comes from Israel. Three years ago, Israeli company Arad signed a contract with British water provider Southern Water. The latter faces the challenge of providing water to the driest part of the UK while at the same time reducing the cost of water consumption. Around 300,000 homes in north London now boast a state-of-the-art water meter, with a further 200,000 expected by 2015.

But as usual the Palestinian issue has got in the way of progress. In July, an anti-Israel activist publicly protested against the installation of an Arad meter in their home. Why? Because Arad supplies equipment to Jews in Judea and Samaria! Arad also employs Arabs in Israel but that’s irrelevant to Israel’s critics, who are willing to decimate the Palestinian job market if its suits their anti-Zionist agenda.

Not surprisingly, the protest was reported in the national newspapers, thus raising the profile of the otherwise unknown Brighton Palestine Campaign. Activists, buoyed by the coverage in the media, are now leafleting homes in the south-east of England in an attempt to deter consumers from accepting Arad-made meters. The cause is being led by Caroline Lucas, who is an MP and the leader of the Green Party. Her concern for “Palestinian human rights” has trumped her green credentials and she continues to pressure Southern Water into rescinding its deal with Arad.

But there is evidence that the malicious boycott of Israeli water technology is a damp squib for the simple reason that people want clean water that doesn’t cost the earth. Luckily, this has always been the case. Even as early as 1937, a British report observed that the Jewish National Home’s improvement of water supply and sanitation had resulted in a Palestinian Arab population explosion during the 1930s – partly because Arabs were living longer and partly because Arabs wanted to live among Jews.

The campaign against Southern Water and Arad will probably result in a few letters of complaint from the odd anti-Semite and/or politically correct fellow traveler. But on the whole, I doubt that Southern Water is going to be engulfed by letters of complaints from outraged Brits, many of whom are probably sick of being bullied by the Palestinian lobby and are more concerned about how to pay for efficient and environmentally-friendly water and sanitation. As philosopher Roger Scruton says, “Activist campaigns, which tend to be conducted in the name of the people as a whole, neither consult the people nor show much interest in noticing them.”

Whether you agree with it or not, water is now a commodity like everything else, which is why the UK government and individual companies are defying the boycotters and turning to Israel. For several years, British trade ministers have been forging links with Israeli companies in the areas of innovation, hi-tech and science. Very recently, UK environment minister Richard Benyon welcomed more than a dozen Israeli water company delegates to a trade meeting, which was also attended by investors from India, Europe and the US. This (and the fact that Israeli exports to Britain were up 55 per cent in the first quarter of 2013) must really irritate boycotters whose anti-Semitic campaign to damage Israel’s economy and reputation is floundering.

Indeed, a number of commercial enterprises in the UK have resisted the boycotters by investing in – or selling – Israeli water technology. Virgin, owned by the immensely successful British entrepreneur Richard Branson, has formed a partnership with Israeli corporation Strauss Group. The collaboration has resulted in a water purifying machine called Virgin Pure, which is now on sale to the British consumer for £300.

Haifa-based Mapal Green Energy has just launched an innovative waste water treatment system in north London. The system, which harnesses the power of bubbles to separate waste particles from water, saves a fortune in energy and has reduced maintenance costs by 80 per cent. Mapal has received over £3 million of investment from a London-based private equity firm and is in talks with various water companies in the hope that the system will be rolled out across the rest of London and the UK. (The company has also been aided by the UK-Israel Tech Hub program, which is sponsored by the British Embassy in Israel.)

Meanwhile, EcoStream, an Israeli-owned shop in the English seaside town of Brighton, has reported a 38 per cent increase in trade, despite weekly pickets by anti-Israel activists. The company, which sells SodaStream recyclable bottles made in Maaleh Adumim in Judea and Samaria, opened for trade last August and has already expanded its range and launched a website. In contrast, the BDS people are behaving appallingly. Despite the fact that many of these SodaStream bottles are made by Arabs living under Palestinian rule, the boycotters continue to cause trouble for the employees of EcoStream, who are denounced as “Nazis.” In February, one female protestor was arrested and charged with “racially or religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.”  This is illustrative of the boycott mentality.

It is highly likely that water will continue to play an important role in British commerce and UK trade agreements for the foreseeable future. Boycotters will try to sabotage these efforts but I suspect they will fail in their objectives. Too many people need clean water and effective sanitation. And at a time when people are concerned about drought and climate change, the excellence of Israeli water technology is likely to become more attractive. Basically, Britain must choose between eco-friendly water technology and the crude ideology of the Palestinianists, who favor a regressive boycott that echoes the anti-Jewish policies promulgated by the Nazi and Soviet regimes.







Euro imperialism threatens Israel’s integrity

Since the announcement of the John Kerry peace talks, a number of left-wing pundits in Israel and abroad are promulgating the view that the existence of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria poses an existential threat to the State of Israel. In the same vein, other left-wing commentators say the building of homes and business beyond the Green Line is a severe blow to Israeli-EU relations.

All of this is nonsense and it feeds the tired narrative that the Jewish settlements are the main obstacle to peace with the Arab world. But there is something to be said about the way the Jewish settlements are perceived by the international community. In other words, it is perception and not reality that is the real existential threat to Israel.

Despite a major petition bearing the signatures of more than 1,000 lawyers, scholars, jurists and diplomats from around the world – all of whom agree the Jewish settlements are legal and that the concept of “1967 lines” does not exist in international law – the European Union remains stubbornly committed to the delegitimization of Israeli communities beyond the Green Line. A spokesperson for EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton (who was the recipient of the petition) has proclaimed that EU policy towards Israel remains unaltered.

This misperception of Israel’s legal position in the so-called occupied territories is the reason why Catherine Ashton is lobbying EU commissioners with the express aim of issuing guidelines on the labeling of Jewish settlement products that would apply to 28 European countries. The EU has also issued guidelines advising member states not to give grants, awards or loans to Israeli entities operating over the Green Line.

One of the byproducts of this European embargo is Palestinian job losses. The economic destruction of Israeli businesses could result in thousands of Palestinians losing their livelihoods. Needless to say, these Palestinians are not happy with the prospect of an embargo. Apart from the unfairness, there is a real security issue. Unemployed men with families to feed are likely to become restless and resentful. Resentment breeds violence – and violence in the “West Bank” usually results in Israeli casualties.

The EU’s position vis-à-vis grants and loans also damages Israel’s higher education and research sectors. As things stand, Ariel University (where five per cent of students are Palestinians) is ineligible to participate in the lucrative Horizon 2020 research and development program. But worst of all is the fact that the EU –in tandem with Obama administration – is using the threat of boycotts to force Israel into making painful and potentially lethal concessions, such as the release of 104 Palestinian terrorists.

Why is the EU so hung up about Jews living and working beyond the Green Line? After all, the existence of the Jewish settlements in the so-called West Bank is not particularly contentious. A two-state solution (should it ever happen) would allow for land swaps, thereby “legitimizing” many of these Jewish communities. It is the final status of Jerusalem and the Palestinian myth of the “right to return” which are the issues most likely to derail John Kerry’s peace talks.

Perhaps Europe’s obsession with the location of Jewish homes and businesses is a hangover from those dark days (or centuries) when a litany of princes, popes and priests (and ultimately the Nazis) all decreed where Jews were allowed to live and work. Fast forward to the 21st century and we have a situation where Jews are being ostracized because they dare to build houses, schools and yeshivas – not in central or eastern Europe but in Israel’s biblical heartland.

How is it that Europe, which is responsible for extermination of one-third of world Jewry, has the audacity to dictate policy to a tiny country that is home to the descendants of Holocaust survivors? I cannot be the only person in Europe who is repulsed by this hypocrisy. Or has Europe fallen so low that nobody even notices the EU’s selfish duplicity?

Antipathy towards Jewish self-determination may be one explanation for the EU’s attitude towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But perhaps Europe’s unquestioned support for the Palestinians is also motivated by a desire to resurrect European influence in the Middle East. By coalescing into a single powerful unit, the once-great imperial powers of Britain, France and Germany are now in a position to flex their diplomatic muscles under the guise of pan-European unity.

The first project of this new Euro-imperialism is to build yet another Arab state and shrink the borders of the world’s only Jewish state. This seems like an unfortunate rerun of events that took place nearly a century ago. In 1921, Britain divided the Jewish national home into Palestine and Transjordan. And in 1937 the Peel Commission Partition Plan (another British initiative) recommended the division of the Jewish homeland in order to make way for another Arab state. This was rejected by the Arab Higher Committee on the grounds that Palestine belongs to the “whole Arab and Muslim worlds,” a belief that is shared by Hamas and some elements of the Palestinian Authority.

Whenever Europe is involved in the affairs of the Middle East, the Arabs get more territory and the Jews get less.  On the surface, this seems like a crude equation but it is nonetheless true. And if EU policymakers and their friends in the White House have their way, Israel will be driven from east Jerusalem, Hebron and the Jordan Valley, thereby robbing the Jewish people of their heritage and depriving them of their security. But then again, Europe has always rather enjoyed robbing the Jews of their rights.

Israel should not let itself be bullied by the bullies in Brussels and Washington. And on no account should Israel’s Foreign Ministry agree to Europe’s demand to surrender Israeli rights over east Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the so-called West Bank. If this means relinquishing a research partnership worth hundreds of millions of dollars, then so be it. Israel needs to show Europe that it is no longer prepared to be pushed around by Catherine Ashton and her EU cronies.


Top 20 Israel facts

  1. The name “Israel” first appears on an Egyptian obelisk from 1209 BCE. The twelve Israelite tribes, having escaped slavery in Egypt, settled in the land of Canaan between 1200 and 1000 BCE.
  2. Jews have had a continuous presence in the land (including the modern-day West Bank) for the past 3,300 years.
  3. Jerusalem has always been considered the focus of Judaism and Jewish identity. Jerusalem is mentioned at least 700 times in the Jewish scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Quran.
  4. In 70 CE, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, ravaged the land of Judea and killed hundreds of thousands of Jews.  In an effort to de-Judaize the land, the Romans renamed Judea as “Palestine.” Many Jews fled, although a remnant remained, especially in Galilee.
  5. The word “Palestine” has always been a vague term denoting a mutable territory that is to the south of Syria, to the north of Egypt and to the west of the River Jordan.
  6. There has never been a country or a state called Palestine. But there have been several Jewish commonwealths in the land of Israel.
  7.  The word “Palestinian” does not denote ethnicity. Palestinian Arabs are ethnically and culturally identical to Arabs living in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
  8. Before the State of Israel, the word “Palestinian” usually referred to the Jewish inhabitants of Palestine. It wasn’t until the 1960s that a distinct non-Jewish Palestinian identity came into being.
  9. The Palestinian Arab leadership actively collaborated with Hitler before and during the Second World War and there was talk of bringing the Holocaust to the Middle East in order to eradicate the Jewish population.
  10. In the 1948-49 war, local Arabs were encouraged to leave by their leaders who promised to purge the land of Jews.  Two-thirds of the Arab population evacuated (around 600,000 people). The remaining third were afforded Israeli citizenship rights.
  11. Israel is a multi-ethnic, multi-racial democratic state.  Jews from Europe, Ethiopia, Russia, America and the Middle East live in Israel. A fifth of Israelis are Muslim and Christian Arabs, with full voting and citizenship rights. Minorities such as the Druze, the Samaritans and the Circassians enjoy full rights in Israel.
  12. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. It is the only country in the region where freedom of religion is observed and minority rights (e.g. gay rights) are observed.
  13. Following the creation of the State of Israel, nearly a million Jews who had lived in Arab lands for centuries were forced to flee due to anti-Semitic persecution and pogroms. Many came to Israel and are keen supporters of Likud, Israel’s best-known right-of-center political party.
  14. Many of the Palestinian Arabs who fled in 1948 and 1949 were recent economic migrants to the Holy Land. The United Nations has acknowledged that many had only lived in Israel/Palestine for two years prior to Jewish independence.
  15. The surrounding Arab nations have consistently refused to integrate the Palestinians, preferring to keep them in camps. The UN has perpetuated this problem by creating a unique agency for the Palestinians.  Since 1971 and for nearly ten years, the UN General Assembly condemned Israel every year for trying to rehabilitate the refugees.  This condemnation always had one requirement: “Send the refuges to the camps.”
  16. UN Security Council Resolution 242 does not call on Israel to withdraw from the West Bank but instead calls for a negotiated solution which would leave Israel with secure borders.
  17. Following the 1993 Oslo accords, the Palestinians were given full control over 55% of the West Bank population and administrative control over a further 41% of the population.
  18. Contrary to popular opinion, the Jewish settlements in the West Bank (or Judea and Samaria) are legal under international law. The League of Nations’ Mandate for Palestine (1922) encouraged the Jews to settle the entire Land of Israel (including the modern-day West Bank). This legal instrument has never been superseded.
  19. Since 2000, the Palestinian leadership had three major opportunities to establish an independent state. Yasser Arafat walked away from the Camp David talks in 2000 despite being promised 92% of the West Bank, 100% of Gaza and east Jerusalem. A resolution was also put forward by the Israelis in 2008, in which the Palestinians would receive Gaza, the majority of the West Bank, parts of east Jerusalem, safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza, and the dismantling of settlements in the Jordan Valley and eastern Samaria. Unfortunately, Mahmoud Abbas did not give a final response on the matter and negotiations ended.
  20. Israel is not the only country to impose a blockade on Gaza. Egypt, too, has imposed a blockade because of Hamas. Despite the blockades, Gaza’s real GDP grew by more than 25% during the first three quarters of 2011. Gaza also boasts a five-star hotel, restaurants, a luxury shopping mall, vibrant markets and a thriving beach community.

Greenbelt festival: A Christian (and Jewish) betrayal of the Israeli people

What could possibly be harmful about a group of socially-engaged Christians gathering for a summer festival in Cheltenham, England? On the surface, it seems innocent enough. So what if I told you that this glorified summer camp – known as Greenbelt – is simply an excuse for self-righteous Christians to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel under the umbrella of human rights? Would you be shocked? No, probably not – but you might be more surprised to learn that one of the main attractions at the festival is a prominent Israel-hating American Jew.

The Greenbelt festival – “where faith, arts and justice meet” – is an annual gathering of Christians, many of whom are young people enticed by the prospect of worshipping Jesus, having fun in the sun and engaging in social activism. Greenbelt has been doing this for four decades. But critics of the organization point out that the festival is now a staunch critic of Israel and a purveyor of pro-Palestinian propaganda.

Christians who attend the festival in the third week of August will be bombarded with anti-Israel messages. On offer will be the opportunity to sign up to a trip to “Palestine” in order to “rebuild a demolished home” in Bethlehem. (Sorry, there are no offers of help to rebuild demolished homes in Sderot.) Apparently, rebuilding a Palestinian house is a “practical way to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people” and “experience first-hand life under occupation.” Solidarity with the Israeli people is obviously out of the question.

Such trips to the fictional country of Palestine are (according to the colorful Greenbelt website) acts of “creative resistance.” This is the kind of left-wing nonsense that really excites self-righteous liberal Christians who can’t think of anything better to do than to rally to the side of Jew-hating terrorists. What is “creative resistance” anyway? It sounds like they intend to paint a scary picture on Israel’s security barrier.

You won’t be surprised to learn that Greenbelt is a boycotter of Israeli goods from the so-called occupied territories (which according to the Bible is the land promised to the Jews, but never mind). Christians are called “to make a stand” by boycotting produce from the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. To drive the point home, Greenbelt director Paul Northup compares Israel to South Africa:  “In the 1980s, Greenbelt joined people all over the world in championing the boycott of goods from South Africa as a form of protest against the unjust apartheid regime there.”

Of course, there is not a single word about the murder and maiming of Jews by Palestinians. Nothing about how Arabs regularly vandalize Jewish property and damage holy sites in Jerusalem and Hebron. Also omitted is any mention of Palestinian-sponsored anti-Semitism in PA-authorized textbooks or the fact that the Arabs have repeatedly rejected a negotiated peace with Israel. As usual, it’s all Israel’s fault. And it’s such a boring cliché.

All of which is bad enough. But what really irritates me is the fact that the main attraction at this year’s Greenbelt festival is a Jewish American called Mark Braverman who was “transformed by witnessing the occupation of Palestine” (his words) on a trip to Israel in 2006. He now condemns Zionism as racism.

Braverman may be “reared in the Jewish tradition” (his words again) but he is no friend of the Jews. Braverman has thrown his weight behind a number of morally dubious Christian organizations, most notably the Friends of Sabeel North America and the Presbyterian Church, both of which promote a nasty ideology called Christian Palestinianism, which involves recasting Jesus the Galilean Jew as a Palestinian martyr and stripping the Bible of any Zionist overtones, thus neutralizing the prophetic significance of the Land of Israel.

Braverman hates Israel so much that he regularly endorses the anti-Semitic Kairos Palestine organization, which claims to speak on behalf of Christian and Muslim Arabs who share a “deeply rooted” history and a “natural right” to the land of “Palestine.” Some years ago Kairos Palestine produced a major document which branded Israel as evil and sinful. The text (which can be found on the World Council of Churches website) audaciously claims that the presence of a Jewish community in Judea and Samaria “distorts the image of God.” It is a depressing fact that Braverman was present at the unveiling of the Kairos Palestine document in Bethlehem in 2009. He also gave a speech celebrating its launch.

Despite his authorial ambitions (he has written books castigating Israel), Braverman is too stupid to realize that he is a pawn in somebody else’s game. In love with his own image as a human rights activist, he fails to see that he is a marketing tool in the hands of anti-Semites. Anti-Israel organizations like Greenbelt and Kairos Palestine are able to deflect accusations of anti-Semitism by obtaining the approval of a small handful of Jews, who are mainly from the Far Left.

So as far as Greenbelt is concerned, the presence of just one Jew is enough to legitimize its program of Israel demonization and delegitimization. This is the depths to which political discourse has sunk.

Luckily, a number of Christians are not convinced by Greenbelt’s Israelophobic agenda. Indeed, some are furious that Greenbelt has been hijacked by an anti-Israel contingent. Pastor Mike Fryer, the founder of a group called Christians for Zion, has expressed deep concern about the political trajectory of Greenbelt. And he is very worried that Christian children who attend the festival will be negatively influenced by Braverman and other anti-Israel speakers.

In an interview with The Jewish Telegraph, Pastor Fryer said that “one of the biggest problems with the [Greenbelt] camp is that there are a lot of kids in attendance.” He added: “We cannot allow them to grow up thinking Israel is evil.” It is a sobering thought that a new generation of Christians could grow up hating the Jewish state. It would also be an unfortunate throwback to a bygone age when Christian children were taught that Jews were Christ-killers. According to Greenbelt and co, Jews are now Palestinian killers.

Pastor Fryer (who visits Israel two or three times a year) aims to set the record straight. He is outraged by the lies perpetrated by Israel’s enemies. And he is particularly concerned that the people of Sderot and other victims of Palestinian terrorism are being ignored by the international Christian community. “The people living there are traumatized as a result of the constant rocket fire,” he told the newspaper.

The pastor plans to use his knowledge of Israel to oppose Braverman’s harmful message. He is arranging for a group of around 50 pro-Israel Christians to attend the Greenbelt festival in order to spread a pro-Israel message and to “pray for Israel.” I wish him luck.

Pastor Fryer’s persistent and generous support for Israel and the Jewish people is to be applauded. He stands in direct contrast to the cowardly Mark Braverman who has betrayed the Jews in order to sell a few badly-written books about the plight of the Palestinians and to ingratiate himself with anti-Semitic gentiles who care nothing for the security or human rights of the Israeli people.



Zanzibar acid attack: UK media whitewash?

Two British Jewish girls have been attacked in Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania in east Africa. The two teens, who were volunteer teachers on the predominantly Muslim island, had acid thrown in their faces by men driving by on a moped.

The way this story is being reported is significant. In Britain, the media has so far declined to raise the possibility that is an anti-Semitic attack. The BBC’s News at Ten, for example, failed to mention that the girls were Jewish. The broadcaster kept repeating the police mantra that a motive has not been established – but surely it is worth asking whether it could have been motivated by anti-Semitism.

Why is the BBC and Channel 4 News etc afraid to raise the possibility that the acid attack is an example of Islamic violence against Jews? Is it because the British media would have us believe that Muslims are not capable of hurting Jews? Has the Israeli-Palestinian narrative distorted editorial decision-making to such an extent that Jews are no longer considered victims?


Press TV tops worst news poll

In a private poll of around 100 freelance journalists, Iran’s Press TV has been cited as the most unreliable and biased international news organization.

Other news organizations named and shamed were Saudi Arabia’s Al Jazeera, Britain’s Morning Star and Russia’s Russia Today.

79 out of 103 freelance journalists – from Britain, Canada, the US, France, Germany, Australia, Netherlands and Italy – said Press TV was “very guilty” of biased media coverage, hysterical headlines and anti-Semitic content.

press tv

Press TV’s obsessions with Israel, Zionism, conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial were cited as reasons why the Iranian news outlet cannot be trusted or taken seriously. The fact that it is a division of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and is funded by the Iranian state does not lend Press TV any credibility, either.

One freelance journalist in the Netherlands described Press TV as “unremittingly awful” and she questioned why any self-respecting journalist would want to work for an organization that “demonizes Jews.”

With its headquarters in Tehran, Press TV was launched in 2007 and has correspondents around the world. It is closely linked with far-right/white supremacist media organizations in the USA, including the American Free Press and Veterans Today.