Israeli interference in UK politics and the mainstream media: two peddlers of myths
Mainstream media in the UK has always displayed a shocking disregard for it’s own integrity. From celebrated miscarriages of justice like the Birmingham Six, through mis-reporting of industrial disputes such as the police riot at Orgreave during the 1984–1985 miners’ strike to manufacturing problems with the personal character of former Labour Party leader Ed Milliband the pattern has always been the same; both participants in and subsequent investigators of the cloaking of truth.
It’s tempting to explain this as simple self-interest. Often it can seem as if a story is deliberately fanned and those involved childishly goaded in order to generate better headlines, to better compete in the market; disreputable gutter-feeders feathering their own nest.
No doubt there is an element of this. The media is a business and like every business the primary goal is to make a profit, not provide what people need. If the two coincide, all well and good but when they don’t, profit comes first.
It might be, possibly, that individual journalists simply don’t have the intellectual capacity to see the big picture. Some might actually, naively believe that all they are doing is reporting what they see today and have no concept of how yesterday influenced today, still less of how their own actions yesterday influenced today. Possibly.
However, the conduct of mainstream British media over the last year has reached such grotesque levels of bias, hypocrisy and Stalinist double-speak that it is impossible to deny their collective role, not as mere observers but as political players.
In the last few days the UK media has been greatly exercised by the story of the Moscow hotel allegations against Donald Trump. Everybody agrees that these allegations have not been and cannot be verified so it’s a story about media integrity from which the British media, in characteristic style, have cast themselves as independent, credible observers, aloof from the messy details. Observers who aren’t just objectively reporting what they see but reporting on the nature of their own business; how much more integrity could they possibly have ?
They have widened their scope and asked their questions in the context of the fake news phenomena, pointing the finger of hypocrisy at Trump for both condemning and benefitting from unsubstantiated allegations. They have questioned the safety of US democracy and referred back to allegations of state-sponsored Russian interference in the US election. They have referred with disdain to a post-truth society. It sounds like wonderful journalism and it’s designed to sound like wonderful journalism.
During the same last few days the same media has been almost silent on the matter of Israeli state-sponsored interference in British domestic politics.
Doing their best to ignore an actual, verified and acknowledged campaign to subvert democracy in the UK cannot be dismissed as a co-incidence, an accident or gross incompetence.
The British media spent the last year enthusiastically witch-hunting labour movement activists and elected officials with bogus accusations of anti-semitism. We now know, thanks to some rare, objective investigative journalism, that there has been in existence a co-ordinated, covert, state-sponsored campaign to discredit and neutralize UK opponents of the Israeli Apartheid regime. Central to this campaign has been the attempt to conflate Zionism, the state of Israel and all Jewish people and consequently to conflate criticism of any of these. It’s not complicated, it’s brutally simple. Those who have crimes to cover up have always attempted to manipulate opinion by simply lying to people.
During a year when the Israeli military killed 28 children, over 1200 Palestinians had their homes demolished and illegal settlements continued to undermine prospects for peace in Palestine it is not surprising that Zionists attempted to deflect attention away from these crimes by inventing a problem of anti-semitism in the British Labour Party.
Had the media simply been duped they would be falling over themselves to clear their name by disseminating the truth. Instead they are virtually silent.
Given the history of anti-semitic lies based on the concept of Jewish conspiracies, lies still churned out by the genuine anti-semites of the far right, we might expect advocates of Israel to carefully avoid providing the seed for a new set of lies. Zionists never act to counter anti-semitism. Zionism feeds on fears of persecution and actively promotes the idea that all non-Jewish people are inherently, inevitably, eternally anti-semitic. It offers no hope of a solution. It is concerned solely with promoting fortress Israel as the only safe place for a Jewish person to live and attempting to prove it by perpetual persecution of Palestinians; come to Israel and we guarantee that it is not you who will be discriminated against ! If that sounds familiar it’s probably because it’s been copied by ISIS. The reality, of course, is rather different. Most Jewish people are not Zionists, choose not to live in Israel and are nearly always safer where they are.
So are the media conspiring with Zionists ? I don’t believe so, I believe there was simply a coincidence of interest. When Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour Party the media were taken by surprise. They habitually tell people what to think and even tell them what they are going to do. Phrases such as people don’t want anything too radical, you can only get elected on the middle ground, most people just want to get on with their lives, he/she will find they won’t get much support for that pepper what are supposed to be objective, impartial reports. These instructions are so automatic, so numerous, so universal that even journalists themselves believe them. As far as the media were concerned the experiment of people actually believing in competing political ideas was gone with the turn of the 21st century. The free-market was the only game in town, alternatives didn’t exist and the world was back in the hands of people like them, a liberal, progressive, well-meaning establishment that would make things better for everyone else.
This establishment of well-educated, well paid professionals can be progressive. They revere Mandella, Pankhurst, Ghandi and anyone else who can embody progressive politics safely because they are dead. They rush to condemn racism, sexism, homophobia and deplorable conditions for the disabled. They investigate excesses of exploitation in the workplace and deplore the need for foodbanks in a rich country like the UK. One day, probably, they will elbow each other aside to condemn Islamophobia and the wars it drives in the same way that they now condemn anti-semitism with such a zeal that they invent it in order to do so. Of course they didn’t do that in the 1930s when anti-semitism was the driver of wars; then they referred to the problem of Jewish people.
The media are not in love with the values they promote today, or on any day. They are in love with the idea that people like them are and should be in charge. Corbyn’s election rattled them because it threatened their intellectual dominance. They spewed out biased reports. They forgot about their Feminism and their anti-racism and when, to their dismay, Corbyn was still there weeks later they grabbed the phoney anti-semitism charges and did their best to deploy them to destroy the Labour Party. Cynical, un-principled, thuggish and above all self-conscious action in defence of their class.
The media hate the left more than they love demonstrating how progressive they are because we offer collective action and decision-making in place of their cult of the individual. Zionists hate the left because we undermine their core reason to exist by demonstrating that anti-semitism can be defeated and achieving unity amongst workers; black, white, Muslim, Jewish, atheist, gay, straight, female, male, immigrant and native.
It is the left who went to Spain in the 1930s to fight Fascism. It was not the Zionists and it was not the world’s media. The left has continued to fight Fascism ever since and it is the left who understand that whenever a Nazi shows their face there must be 100 anti-Nazis to stamp it back into the gutter. For the left Never Again is not trendy rhetoric, it is a political promise that we have honoured on the streets and in the workplace. Every anti-racist campaign and every victory against racism in the UK has been driven by the left and we have had to fight the right every inch of the way. Today it is the left who say refugees welcome whilst the right, both in the Labour and Tory parties urge ever more racist policies.
Of course not every individual working in the media is guilty but the ensemble effect is virulently anti-labour movement and undermines the very force in society that has both the interest and capacity to defeat racism of all kinds. The negative impact of the recent smear campaign on the fight against the racist policies of the Israeli state is illustrated by the dearth of reasoned debate on the subject within the British labour movement. The best place to find such high quality discourse is on the Jewish anti-Zionist web sites such as freespeechonisrael, jfjfp and the excellent Jews sans frontieres.