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November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Enemies List’

More Reaction To Enemies List

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2001

The letters just keep coming in response to the Enemies List column and its follow-up. The responses by and large have been friendly in tone, with the majority of respondents agreeing on all or most of the names submitted by their fellow readers. And then there was this, from an e-mail submitted by some mammal identified as Rashid Monsour:

“You filthy Zionist liar! The names on the so-called Enemies List are not your enemies at all! They’re agents of Israel, paid off to cover up the crimes of Sharon, that murdering beast! The media all sing the praises of Israel and keep the truth from coming out to the American people!

“Why do you think everybody always hates the Jews, from ancient times to the present? Because you’re all full of lies and tricks, and you pay stupid gentiles to help you in your very dirty work! You lie about your holocaust that never happened! What about the real holocaust, which Israel is doing every day to the poor Palestinian people? Sharon is Hitler and Barak was Goebbels!

“Jews get your stinking hands off other people’s land! Leave Palestine now! When I see how the media here whitewash Israel’s genocidal war crimes, I want to scream! Jewish money pays millions to Peter Jennings! He is not your enemy! His Jewish masters have made him a very rich man!

“Same is true for all the others on your list. If they were really your enemies, they would show all the unspeakable atrocities the Israelis do to their Arab neighbors! They would wake up sleeping Americans and make them hate Israel! One day that will happen!

“History shows that Jews get their way for a while, but then the other people – the goyim that you hate so much – finally catch on and make you pay for all your evil! If the names on your list were really your enemies, they would tell Americans every single day that Jews took the land from the Palestinian people and are killing them all the time!

“The American media are controlled by Zionist Jews – how can they be your enemies? Tell the truth! The media are completely in the pockets of rich Zionists!”

O.K., enough zoo time for now. Among the humans who contacted the Monitor was Rev. Vern Laswell, whom Monsour the mammal would no doubt number among the “stupid gentiles” he referred to above.

The pastor of a church near Birmingham, Alabama, Rev. Laswell prefaced his note with the observation that most of the names on the Enemies List belonged to Jews. (Much to the Monitor’s surprise, few respondents seem to have picked up on that fact – only two, Rev. Laswell and Millie Streicher of Miami, bothered to mention it.)

Declaring himself  “flabbergasted by the self-destructive tendencies exhibited by the Jews in the news media,” Rev. Laswell related that when he first learned that Mike Wallace of “60 Minutes” was Jewish, his “mouth remained open in shock for a good five minutes. This man who took such joy in knocking down Israel was a Jew? Obviously, I was quite naive back then.”

According to Rev. Laswell, the reason for the media “being so biased against Israel is that they’re spiritually blind. The secular media have come to stand for an anti- G-d agenda, aligning themselves with the anti-family forces, ridiculing traditional gender roles and coming out full throttle in support of abortion and gay rights.”

The major media, continued Rev. Laswell, have a “real problem with Israel precisely because it is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Most journalists don’t realize it, of course, but their animosity to Israel is directly related to their animosity to the Bible; their animosity to the commandments and moral absolutes found in the Bible; and their animosity to the G-d of Israel Who authored the Bible.”

For Harold Westerman of Tucson, Arizona, the real culprit in all of this is Israel itself. “Israelis,” he wrote, “have no concept of public relations, of getting their message out on their terms. Worse, they seem not to care. Good press doesn’t come without effort, especially when the reporters covering that region come in with their own set of preconceived ideas.”

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com  

Enemies List 2001 (Part II)

Wednesday, July 11th, 2001
Last week’s listing of Israel’s worst media enemies, as determined by readers of the Monitor, generated the kind of pro-and-con response such lists usually do. This week we’re featuring some of the nominations that failed to garner enough mentions to make the list, but which are interesting (and in most cases valid) in their own right.R. Feinstein of Brooklyn nominates, along with several names that appeared on last week’s championship-tier list, the longtime leftist pro-Palestinian columnist Alexander Cockburn; the David Susskind wannabe Charlie Rose (“when he interviews Edward Said or Hosni Mubarak he’s deferential…when he interviews Israelis he’s contentious”); and Prof. Noam Chomsky, who, though not a journalist, is something of a media creation – and one who certainly belongs on any list of anti-Israel personalities.

J.P. Badarau of Fair Lawn, N.J., condemns Time magazine “for general biased reporting” and the (Hackensack) Record for its running theme of “poor Palestinians and bad Israelis.”

Sylvia Black’s e-mailed list of villains includes Don Hewitt (“as the creator and driving force of ’60 Minutes,’ he’s ultimately responsible for that program’s thirty-plus years of Israel-bashing”); and syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer (“who writes of Arabs as though they were dashing figures on horseback while reserving an icy tone for anything Israeli”).

ABC News anchor Peter Jennings may have topped last week’s list, but several readers also nominated NBC’s Tom Brokaw and CBS’s Dan Rather. Frankly, the Monitor doesn’t see it. Other than a documentary he narrated many years ago that some viewers perceived as anti-Israel, nothing in Brokaw’s record suggests an anti-Israel bias, and Rather (with whom the Monitor has problems on other issues) actually comes across as sympathetic to Israel.

A few readers found fault with the columnist Richard Cohen, but here again the Monitor has to come to the defense of someone generally not worth defending. Certainly Cohen is terribly wishy-washy when it comes to Israel, but to classify him as anti-Israel – or worse, to contemplate putting him on a list with the likes of Deborah Sontag, Peter Jennings and Taki – is a stretch well beyond the Monitor’s usual dexterity.Reader Joel Arlen of Manhattan wonders whether Israeli journalists were fair game for the Enemies List. Great question, since some of the most outrageously anti-Israel reporting and commentary emanates from Israeli media outlets, most notably Ha’aretz (a newspaper one could easily mistake for Egyptian or Palestinian if one were to read its articles sans bylines).

Only a few readers took note of the British press, which, if anything, is considerably more hostile to Israel than what we have on this side of the Atlantic. Dr. L.B. Sokolic, a reader who describes himself as “an American long resident in London,” writes that “virtually every journalist operating in the UK is anti-Israel, if not worse.”

Dr. Sokolic, who informs us that in the 1980′s he “monitor[ed] the press for the Board of Deputies, and the situation is by far worse now than at that time,” says that “it is easier to say who is not anti – mainly the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday and Daily Mail.”

“Virtually everyone connected with BBC TV news is anti,” he writes, “with John Simpson (who also writes for the Sunday Telegraph) the worst.” Among newspapers, “the Guardian has always been anti-Israel. According toHugo Young, who writes for it and sits on its board, they used to take a vote as to how anti-Israel to be.”

Dr. Sokolic notes that the Guardian has a history of employing journalists steeped in anti-Israel bias, including the notoriously vicious David Hirst, whose book “The Gun and the Olive Branch” is a classic piece of distorted history. He describes the Guardian’s current Israel correspondent, Suzanne Goldberg, as “bad but mostly stupid.”

As for the Mideast writers on The Independent, Phil Reeves and Robert Fisk, they “should be on anyone’s list of enemies,” says Dr. Sokolic, who notes that one of the original moneymen behind the paper was the ardently Zionist Lord Sieff, of Marks and Spencer fame.

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Enemies List 2001 (Part I)

Wednesday, July 4th, 2001
Two years ago the Monitor, inspired by the political humorist P.J. O’Rourke, published an “Enemies List” of anti-Israel journalists. The column struck such a responsive chord, with readers nominating dozens of their own media enemies, that a couple of follow-ups to the original list soon appeared.Given the renewed controversy over media coverage of Israel during the past nine months, the time seemed right to offer readers a chance to send in suggestions for a revised Enemies List. A brief announcement was made in this space several weeks ago, and letters, faxes and e-
mails began pouring in.

There were few real surprises. The list reflects the fact that responses came primarily from the U.S.; for example, no British journalists were submitted (the Monitor will rectify that in next week’s column). The following were the top vote-getters, their names arranged in order of negative mentions received.

Peter Jennings: ABC anchorman is still the champion after all these years.

Deborah Sontag: New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief sets the standard for biased reporting.

Anthony Lewis: A relic of Liberalism Past, this Times columnist insists on viewing the world from a Palestinian perspective.

William A. Orme: Deborah Sontag’s husband and partner in propaganda for the Times.

Mike Wallace: Hasn’t been particularly active on the Mideast front recently, but past performance makes the former Myron Wallace a prime exhibit in the anti-Israel hall of shame.Robert Novak: Long-time partner Rowland Evans left us for his eternal just desserts, but Jewish-born Novak keeps going as one of the nation’s most relentlessly anti-
Israel pundits.

Joel Greenberg: Junior varsity version of his New York Times Jerusalem Bureau colleagues Sontag and Orme.

Leonard Fein: Despite half-hearted mea culpa for having trusted too much in Arafat, Forward columnist remains a devotee of Israeli concessions and creation of a Palestinian state.

Joshua Hammer: Newsweek correspondent’s Middle East dispatches read as though they were initialed by the Palestinian Authority.

Thomas Friedman: Better in recent months – seems genuinely shocked and disillusioned by the Palestinian intifada and apparently dreads being seen as a sucker – but, based on his track record, don’t expect this to be a permanent change of heart.

Taki: Veteran political and lifestyles writer whose Israel bashing often crosses the line into outright Jew- baiting. Made news earlier this year when British publisher Conrad Black attacked him in print after he’d penned a particularly nasty piece on Jews and Israel.

Joseph Sobran: Got himself fired from National Review 10 years ago because of his anti-Israel, anti-Jewish invective; he’s still very much at it as an on-line columnist.

Michael Lerner: Not a media person in the usual sense, but this so-called “New Age Rabbi” does publish the radical magazine Tikkun, and his pro-Palestinian views are quoted often by sympathetic journalists.

Charley Reese: There was a time when the Orlando Sentinel columnist was as pro-Israel as they come. But several years ago, for reasons that remain unclear, he did a sudden about-face.

Bob Simon: Veteran CBS newsman now seen regularly on “60 Minutes” and “60 Minutes II.” Never met an Israeli government official he trusted.

Victor Navasky: Publisher of The Nation, the left-wing opinion journal that regularly portrays Israel as a nation of war criminals and the Palestinians as persecuted saints.

Gillian Findley: ABC’s Israel-based correspondent is a perfect fit for anchor Jennings.

Alisa Solomon: Village Voice writer whose articles drip with sympathy for the Palestinians and contempt for Israel and its American Jewish supporters.

Next week: Reader comments and more names.

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Reading The Mail

Friday, June 1st, 2001
The Monitor usually answers letters and e-mails privately, but sometimes a public response seems more appropriate, as the following three queries illustrate.
Jack Weissman of Miami is curious about a case of possible plagiarism he ‘heard something about’ involving the hopelessly biased New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Deborah Sontag and ‘a British journalist with a Jewish-sounding name.’
‘Have you heard anything about this,’ Mr. Weissman asks, ‘and can it possibly be the nail in Sontag’s coffin we’ve all been waiting for?’
Yes, the Monitor is familiar with the incident to which Mr. Weissman refers, and no, unfortunately, it appears we can’t blame Sontag for this one – though the story does tell us something about the lockstep mentality of those who cover the Middle East for major Western news outlets.
As the website Honestreporting.com reported several weeks back, ‘Two notorious anti-Israel reporters gang[ed] up to cover the same piece of propaganda - and use[ed] nearly identical language in the process…. Deborah Sontag of The New York Times and Suzanne Goldenberg of the [London] Guardian both reported on the opening of a new exhibit in the West Bank town of Ramallah dedicated to the memories of 100 Palestinian ‘martyrs.’ Both reporters described the personal ‘totems’ exhibited – a sling-shot, a pair of jeans, a running shoe and other items - next to a photograph of the deceased.’
While the website notes that the use of the word ‘totem’ by both correspondents might have been nothing more than mere coincidence, the same can’t be said for the following nearly identical lines that appeared in their reports:
Sontag: ‘Israeli critics would say that the exhibit, ’100 Martyrs-100 Lives,’ glorifies death and encourages the cult of the shaheed, or martyr.’
Goldenberg: ‘Israeli critics would argue that the exhibit glorifies violent death and promotes a cult of martyrdom.’
Sontag’s article was published two days before Goldenberg’s, so any cribbing that occurred most likely came from Goldenberg. (‘Although,’ Honestreporting cautions, ‘we do not know when the reporters actually submitted the articles to their editors.’)
Goldenberg, whose stories rival Sontag’s for their consistently pro-Palestinian spin, has been drawing a fair amount of flak in recent months. A Jewish Telegraphic Agency report by Richard Allen Greene quoted a veteran British foreign correspondent who described Goldenberg as ‘extremely inexperienced, young, leftist, Jewish and overcompensating because she’s Jewish.’
On another subject, two letters received by the Monitor in the past few weeks concern the multi-part ‘Enemies List’ of anti-Israel journalists featured here quite some time ago. Linda Cole of Philadelphia wonders whether we might update the list in the near future, while Adam Fishman in Queens asks why someone like Deborah Sontag was never mentioned on the list.
The answer to Ms. Cole’s question is that the Monitor indeed intends to issue a revised Enemies List, probably by the end of June. Readers are invited to send in their nominations over the next few weeks.
The reason, Mr. Fishman, for Deborah Sontag’s absence from the original list was that she hadn’t yet achieved anywhere near the level of her current notoriety. Sontag’s been based in Jerusalem for just a few years, and at the time of the first ‘Enemies List’ her biases were not as out in the open.
In any event, even if Sontag had already emerged as the Israel-basher we’ve all come to know so well, there’s no guarantee she would have been included. The original list was heavily weighted to the broadcast side of journalism, and as a result many deserving newspaper reporters were left off.The revised version of the list will be more inclusive, and Sontag will most definitely be on it.
Sorry to ruin the suspense.
Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

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