The Lobby strikes back

The American Jewish Committee has found an interesting way to describe the Freedom Flotilla. It calls it the the ‘Terror Flotilla‘. AJC is the foreign policy arm of the Israel lobby. At present it is busy establishing a proliferating network of front organizations in Brussels and Geneva to lobby the EU and UN. Among them is Coalition Against Terrorist Media, founded by its Israel lobby affiliated Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, which has been seeking to ban all Middle Eastern channels deemed hostile to Israel. In the US, the lobby (led by AIPAC and MEMRI) has rammed through HR 2278 to put legislative muscle behind this effort to narrow the parameters of acceptable opinion. It had successflly pressured the EU to ban Hizbullah’s al-Manar TV a few years back. Now it has pressured France to ban Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV, too. (Remember, this is the lobby that Noam Chomsky and his cohort tell you is a distraction). As you’ll see in the Al Jazeera report below, the dubious Reporters Without Borders has refused to condemn this suppression of free speech. The French claim the channel was banned because of its ‘incitement to violence and racial hatred’. They give as examples only some 3D stimulation which glorifies Palestinian resistance against Israel. RWB apparently concurs. Now the incitement to violence and racial hatred is of course a staple of Fox News, but to the best of my knowledge it has never been banned. So of course this is political move. I hope activists recognize that it isn’t enough to participate in symbolic action. The space for dissent is being increasingly stifled (take for example the calls by various US politicians to ban flotilla activists entering the US). It is time to think and act strategically. It is time to challenge the lobby.

Here is our friend Safa reporting from Gaza, followed by a rather lackluster report from Al Jazeera.


Author: Idrees Ahmad

I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling and a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). I write for The Observer, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, Dissent, The National, VICE News, Huffington Post, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Medium, Political Insight, The Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

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