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"Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land"

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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:59 AM
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"Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land"
Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land: Documentary Examines US Media Coverage of the Israeli Palestinian Conflict

PROF. ROBERT JENSEN: Israel is really fighting a war on two fronts. The first is a military campaign being waged in the Occupied Territories against the Palestinian people. And the second is a PR campaign being waged here in the U.S. through the American media to ensure continued support for Israel's occupation. Alon Pinkas, Consul General for Israel in New York and the coordinator of Israels PR efforts, was recently quoted as saying, We are currently in a conflict with the Palestinians, and engaging in a successful PR campaign is part of winning the conflict. So you could say that in addition to the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel is also involved in an attempt to ideologically occupy the American media.

NARRATOR: The roots of Israel's public relations campaign go back to the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon that earned it worldwide criticism, in particular the massacre of Palestinian civilians at the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila. To the Israeli government, the problem was not the deaths of thousands of civilians. Rather, it was the damage to Israel's public image, a public relations disaster in need of damage control.

ROBERT FISK: They surrounded Beirut. In three months, 17,500 people, almost all of them civilians, were killed. I saw many thousands of their bodies. Then came the massacre of Sabra and Chatila by Israel's own allies, as the camp was surrounded by Israeli troops. And they desperately said, What went wrong? It was concluded that the problem was, it wasn't good enough public relations.

PROF. ROBERT JENSEN: After the public relations disaster of Lebanon, Israel decided to set up permanent institutional structures to control how Americans would think about the Middle East. In 1983, Israel launched the Hasbara Project, the aim of which was to ensure good press in the U.S. media. The goal was to train Israeli diplomats in communications and public relations. For example, they trained press officers in Israeli consulates in the U.S. to ensure that American journalists would write stories favorable to Israel. As one of these press officers said in the 1980s, he had breakfast, lunch and dinner with journalists and that a typical day would involve conversations with producers at leading news and TV talk shows about the content of the program. He described it as, in fact, quote, a joint formulation of ideas. This targeting of the American media goes on in the present day.

<much more>

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/03/135...
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:33 PM
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1. Another segment from today: "Is America Watching a Different War?"
"...We continue our coverage of the situation in the Middle East by examining how the U.S. press has been reporting on Lebanon, Israel and Gaza. Some have suggested that America is watching a different war than much of the world. The British journalist Julian Borger came to that conclusion after watching the news in Washington and London.

The British press, he said, overwhelmingly emphasized the civilian casualties in Lebanon. Meanwhile the U.S. media has focused on the situation in Israeli cities like Haifa. Meanwhile some journalists from the Middle East are now refusing to work with American news outlets.

Earlier this week, two producers working for Fox News in Amman Jordan resigned in protest. In their resignation letter, Serene Sabbagh and Jomana Karadsheh wrote "We can no longer work with a news organization that claims to be fair and balanced when you are so far from that."

They went on to write Not only are you an instrument of the Bush White House, and Israeli propaganda, you are war mongers with no sense of decency, nor professionalism.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/03/135...
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