December 04, 2012

The "A" word slips through the Murdoch net

By "A" word I had meant apartheid but whilst looking back on the remarkable reporting of Sam Kiley I notice there's another "A" word that zionists don't like in reports on Palestine and it's assassination.

I don't think I knew that Sam Kiley is now Sky's middle east correspondent.  I think I only found out today.  Way back when, erm, 2001 he wrote a piece condemning mainstream media for buckling to Israel lobby pressure.

See how he starts his piece:
It all seems a bit silly, at first—two foreign-reporting grandees locking horns over just one word. Last week The Independent’s Robert Fisk accused the BBC of buckling to Israeli pressure to drop the use of assassination when referring to Israel’s policy of knocking off alleged terrorists.
Not true, blustered John Simpson, auntie’s world affairs editor in The Sunday Telegraph. The corporation, he insisted, had simply reaffirmed its house rules that only prominent political figures could be assassinated—though he didn’t offer an alternative term for the killing of ordinary folk.
He bitterly resented Fisk’s allegation that the Beeb had been got at. It is certainly true that the pro-Israel lobby has forced the BBC and CNN in particular to agonise over the use of loaded terms.
In war, words are a weapon, we all know that. And few belligerents have been so good at hijacking language to its own cause than Israel. The Jewish State has deliberately set out to bend English to serve its own ends. It is entirely natural that it should.
He sets out some examples:
More than two score Palestinians have been bumped off over the past year on suspicion that they have, or might be, planning to kill Israelis. These operations have been described by the European Union and Britain as assassinations and extra judicial killings. Human rights groups call them murders by death squads.
The Israelis call them targeted killings. Palestinian towns and villages have been subjected to various forms of what we call siege. According to the Israelis, a breathing closure allows some movement in and out; a suffocating closure speaks for itself. Children shot dead by Israeli snipers and ordinary soldiers at riots are killed in crossfire.
And then comes to Israel's aid:
Both sides manipulate the use and meaning of language, of course. As we have seen at the United Nations racism conference in Durban, Israel’s enemies have tried to rob the words genocide,racism and apartheid of their real meanings by insisting that Israel is guilty of all three.
Fortunately the USA has walked out of the conference in protest at these grotesque libels of the Jewish State
But he gets back into what he ultimately found unacceptable about media support for Israel:
But in the war of words, no newspaper has been so happy to hand the keys of the armoury over to one side than The Times, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International. Murdoch is a close friend of Ariel Sharon, Israel’s prime minister.
Knowing these details, and that Murdoch has invested heavily in Israel, The Times’ foreign editor and other middle managers flew into hysterical terror every time a pro-Israel lobbying group wrote in with a quibble or complaint, and then usually took their side against their own correspondent—deleting words and phrases from the lexicon to rob its reporters of the ability to make sense of what was going on.
So, I was told, I should not refer to assassinations of Israel’s opponents, nor to extrajudicial killings or executions. The professional Israeli hits in which at least four entirely innocent civilians have been killed were, if I had to write about them at all, just killings, or best of all—targeted killings. The fact that the Jewish colonies on the West Bank in Gaza were illegal under international law because they violated the Geneva Convention was not disputed by my editors - but any reference to this fact was gratuitous.
The leader writers, meanwhile, were happy to repeat the canard that Palestinian gunmen were using children as human shields.
One story which referred to Sharon’s hard-line government and to a Palestinian village which was hemmed in on three sides by settlements was ripped out of the paper altogether after the first edition. These terms were deemed unacceptable, even though Sharon would have sued had I called him a softie; even though the settlements have all been built as military camps, and that the thesis of the piece, on the eve of the Arab League summit in Jordan, was that support for Yasser Arafat and participation in the Al Aqsa Intifada (another phrase The Times hated, since they thought it romanticised the uprising) was dwindling.
No pro-Israel lobbyist ever dreamed of having such power over a great national newspaper. They didn’t need to. Murdoch’s executives were so scared of irritating him that, when I pulled off a little scoop by tracking, interviewing and photographing the unit in the Israeli army which killed Mohammed al-Durrah, the 12-year-old boy whose death was captured on film and became the iconic image of the conflict, I was asked to file the piece without mentioning the dead kid.
After that conversation, I was left wordless, so I quit.
I next heard of Sam Kiley on Channel 4 in March 2008 and I'd say on balance that he was mostly pro-Israel.  And then again a month later he had a report in The Observer which was so pro-Israel looked like it belonged in The Times he had complained of all those years before.

Well now Kiley is back in the Murdoch stable, as I said, as middle east correspondent for Sky and he's using another "A" word.

See this, the title alone should have the emails hurtling Skyward from lobby laptops:
Israel Settlement Row 'Risks Apartheid State'
And the article doesn't pull any punches either:

Maale Adumim, a Jewish settlement which cascades down the hillsides of the Judean Desert towards the Dead Sea, is illegal under international law.
That detail has not stopped Israel from building homes for some 500,000 Jews in settlements on Palestinian land captured in 1967.
The accelerating pace of settlement construction grew into an international controversy over the weekend following revelations that Israel planned to build a new town in an area known as E1.
The area, currently a forest park on the eastern edge of Jerusalem behind the Mount of Olives, would seal the Holy City off from the rest of the Palestinian areas of the West Bank.
Joined with Maale Adumim, it would also cut the West Bank in half.
In the words of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the construction of a settlement at E1 would be "fatal" to peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

If there is no two-state solution, does this mean that there can be a single-state solution? In a Jewish state, what place would there be for the Palestinians?
Few, outside the Israeli left, will say the word but the implication is there: a single state could usher in an apartheid state.
There, he said it, APARTHEID, and in a Murdoch medium too.  Things seem to be moving quickly now.  Israel lost a war in Gaza and a vote at the UN.  Now this.  As it happens, I could quibble over the idea of Israel only becoming apartheid if Jews form a dominant minority in Palestine.  The word apartheid says nothing as to numbers or proportions.  It is a quality thing, not a quantity thing.  Also, the one state ruled by Jews is the situation now, not if Israel expands or makes new Jewish only settlements.

But it is interesting to follow the twists and turns of Sam Kiley's reporting on Palestine and his unabashed use of two "A" words.

No comments:

Post a comment