Some Unvarnished Truths About the US and Israel

by M. Shahid Alam

Was there ever a time when a leading organ of the US media could speak the unvarnished truth about the links between the United States and Israel?

Consider this quote from Time magazine of January 1952, embedded in an article that explained its choice of Mohammed Mossadegh as its Person of the Year for 1951. It had no compliments for Mossadegh, the man who was spearheading his country’s bid to take back its oil resources from the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. No surprise there.

Surprising, however, is Time’s candor on Israel. It minces no words. US support for the creation of Israel had alienated the Middle East: it had been a costly error, motivated not by national interest but petty considerations of presidential politics. Truman had supported the creation of Israel in order to court American Jewish votes. This was the plain truth: a US President had placed his electoral chances ahead of a vital national interest. Apparently, in those days, Time could write the plain truth without worrying about the tide of flak from the American Jewish community.

Continue reading “Some Unvarnished Truths About the US and Israel”

Amira Hass Eqbal Ahmad Memorial Lecture

The brave and gifted Israeli journalist Amira Hass, daughter of Nazi Holocaust survivors and a past resident of Gaza (she authored a book about Gaza in 2000), was a featured lecturer at this year’s Eqbal Ahmad Memorial hosted by Hampshire College.

Continue reading “Amira Hass Eqbal Ahmad Memorial Lecture”

Manufacturing Consent and Violence: Azadi, Arundhati, Hindutva Terror, and Indian Media

by Huma Dar

At a groundbreaking seminar, ‘Azadi: The Only Way,’ organized by the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) in New Delhi, India, on October 21st, 2010, the minutes record that Arundhati Roy, the prize-winning author of The God of Small Things, asserted that

[Kashmir] has never been an integral part of India and the Indian government recognised it as a disputed territory and took it to the UN on its own accord. In 1947 we were told that India became a sovereign democracy. But it became a country as per the imagination of its colonizer, and continued to be a colonizer even after the British left the country. Indian state forcibly or deceitfully annexed the North-East, Goa, Junagarh, Telangana, etc… the Indian state has waged a protracted war against the people which it calls its own. Who are the people it has waged war against? The people of North-East, Kashmir, Punjab, etc. This is an upper caste Hindu state waging a continuing struggle against the people. Continue reading “Manufacturing Consent and Violence: Azadi, Arundhati, Hindutva Terror, and Indian Media”

The collapse of American journalism

Media scholar Robert W. McChesney lectures on the collapse of American journalism at the University of Illinois YMCA on October 24th, 2010. Listen as Bob discusses the political implications and his solutions to the crisis. Sunday, 1pm central on Media Matters with Bob McChesney.

The lecture begins at 6:00.

Download mp3.

Rocking the Boat: A Brief History of Anti-Migrant Hysteria in Canada

In November, 76 Tamil refugees escaped Sri Lanka on a rusty freighter. They arrived in Victoria, where they were met by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials, who promptly jailed them for three months on allegations of terrorism. It would be fully half a year before the CBSA would admit that it had never had any evidence… In 2008, the federal and provincial governments were forced to issue apologies for the Komagata Maru. Now, two years later, if those words are to mean anything, we cannot afford to repeat history: let them stay.

by Fathima Cader

"MV Sun Sea" Uncredited Photo at:
"MV Sun Sea" Uncredited Photo at:

They’re at it again.

In November, 76 Tamil refugees escaped Sri Lanka on a rusty freighter. They arrived in Victoria, where they were met by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials, who promptly jailed them for three months on allegations of terrorism. It would be fully half a year before the CBSA would admit that it had never had any evidence.

By then, however, it was too late: anti-Tamil and anti-refugee hysteria had spread like wildfire. Now, mere weeks after that most tepid of mea culpas from the CBSA, the hysteria greeting the Tamil MV Sun Sea passengers is worse. As with the Ocean Lady, these migrants will be detained in Maple Ridge jails before their refugee claims are considered. The Conservatives have begun to create new rules to treat refugees who arrive by boat differently from others. Meanwhile, Paul Fromm, the infamous neo-Nazi, has been receiving uncritical coverage in mainstream media with his demands that the migrants be sent back.

As the paranoia grows ever more heightened, it becomes increasingly important that we resist it. The universal rights of safety and mobility must be upheld, not only for the Sun Sea migrants, but for all people fleeing violence.

Continue reading “Rocking the Boat: A Brief History of Anti-Migrant Hysteria in Canada”

Sebastião Salgado: The Photographer as Activist

This is from a few years back. The great Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado in conversation with Ken Light and Fred Ritchin at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Also, don’t miss the ringing prose of Eduardo Galeano’s ‘Salgado, 17 Times‘, an essay inspired by Salgado’s work.

The Images Israel Doesn’t Want You To See

Cultures of Resistance filmmaker Iara Lee, who was on board the Mavi Marmara, has just released previously unseen footage of the massacre that took place on the ship. This is a 15-minute clip of an hour long tape she managed to smuggle out. (At about 05:10 you see the target list being carried by the Israeli soldiers)

Warning: video contains very disturbing images

Continue reading “The Images Israel Doesn’t Want You To See”

How to complain to the BBC

By Naomi Foyle

I am currently at the fourth stage of a complaint to the BBC about the outrageously imbalanced Jan Newsnight report by Col Tim Collins, described as the ‘Celebrated Iraq war veteran’s view of the Gaza conflict’. I have so far been met with only doublespeak and the most stunning manipulation of both my own language and Collins’. I will post separately about the progress of this complaint, but for now I would like to give this advice to any one complaining to the BBC.

1) Numbers count. Apparently if more than 20 people complain about a programme, they have to take it seriously. I know several other people who complained about the Collins’ report, and that has undoubtedly helped me. In cases of Offense, numbers in particular count, so joint-signatories to a complaint of being offended by a programme would be useful.

2) Don’t give up. It was only after contacting the BBC twice – one phone call and one letter – that I was invited to complain directly to the Editorial Complaints Unit. I won’t post the address, as the BBC has a clear three stage complaints process, but if you persist they will invite you to complain to the ECU as well.

Continue reading “How to complain to the BBC”

Al Jazeera’s Jamal ElShayyal Recounts Attack on the Mavi Marmara

An interview with Al Jazeera‘s Jamal Elshayyal, who was on board the Mavi Marmara and filed his last report as IDF commandos were descending onto to the deck of the ship, launching their murderous attack. Elshayyal debunks some of the falsehoods of the Israeli propaganda machine and recounts his (mis)treatment by IDF forces.

See also Mel Frykberg’s article about the censorship imposed by the IDF on journalists covering this story, who were systematically denied access to the passangers of the flotilla. Furthermore, many journalists who were on board the ships were subjected to inhumane treatment and denied consular access and legal representation, in clear violation of international law.

It is interesting to note that viewers are regularly informed about restrictions on media freedoms whenever the BBC and other western outlets report from countries such as Zimbabwe, Iran and other official enemies. Not so in the case of Israel, ‘the only democracy in the Middle East‘.

Can Journalism Be Saved?

Download program audio (mp3, 48.84 Mbytes)

Reporters by the thousands are being let go; newspapers and foreign bureaus are disappearing. Why is this happening, and what impact does journalism’s crisis have on democracy? At a recent event, Robert McChesney and John Nichols addressed these questions and cited early US governmental support for journalism.

Also see by the authors:

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