Guardian

‘Dispatches’ journalists ramp up their stitchup


In today’s CIF, Peter Oborne and James Jones ramp up their UK Channel 4 documentary to be shown tonight, “Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby

As Robin Shepherd points out, the fact that Oborne and James say “It is important to say what we did not find – there is no conspiracy, and nothing resembling a conspiracy” indicates beyond question that a conspiracy theory is precisely what they ARE peddling. Here is an excerpt from Robin’s article, please go to his blog to read the rest and to comment.

You know the old line about the racist who prefaces a torrent of racially charged abuse with the words: “I’m not a racist, but…”? Something similar about conspiracy theories could be said about the makers of a landmark documentary due to be aired this evening on Britain’s Channel 4 Television alleging that a secretive group of Zionists (just “Zionists”, not Jews you understand) has got hold of Britain’s main political parties and is manipulating them to spew pro-Israeli propaganda.

Writing about their documentary in the Guardian (where else?), Peter Oborne, a columnist for the Daily Mail, and television journalist James Jones are, of course, anxious that they should not actually be labelled as conspiracy theorists and seek to pre-empt such charges thus: “It is important to say what we did not find,” they tell us nervously. “There is no conspiracy, and nothing resembling a conspiracy.”

Except that their entire piece makes it quite clear that a conspiracy is precisely what is being alleged.

It is asserted, for example, that Conservative Party leader David Cameron this year gave a keynote address at the Conservative Friends of Israel’s annual dinner in the wake of the Gaza operation. The authors say:

The dominant event of the previous 12 months had been the Israeli invasion of Gaza. We were shocked Cameron made no reference in his speech to the massive destruction it caused, or the 1,370 deaths that resulted, or for that matter the invasion itself. Indeed, our likely future prime minister went out of his way to praise Israel because it “strives to protect innocent life”. This remark was not intended satirically.

Since it is obvious that no sane and rational person could possibly praise Israel in such terms, the authors conclude that darker forces must be at work.

“…what are the rules of British political behaviour that cause the Tory leader, his mass of MPs and parliamentary candidates to flock to the Friends of Israel lunch in the year of the Gaza invasion?” they ask incredulously. What could it be?

“During an investigation lasting several months,” they tell us, “we have been able to reach several important conclusions. We maintain there is indeed a pro-Israel lobby in Britain. It is extremely well-connected and well-funded, and works through all the main political parties.”

We later learn that “those in many sensitive foreign affairs, defence and intelligence posts in the Commons are often Labour or Conservative Friends of Israel.”

But there’s more.…..

Read the rest on Robin’s blog ….

52 replies »

  1. So it is okay for us to claim that Islam is taking over europe despite evidence to the contrary but when influential pro-Israeli groups actually influence foreign policy through their donations to certain politicians we cry conspiracy!

    Always loved the quote by Ariel Sharon who once told an American audience, ” ‘when people ask me how they can help Israel, I tell them: “Help AIPAC.”‘”

    Lets not fool ourselves. We have great influence.

  2. So who’s the ‘we’ “Anthony?”

    You think “we” have great influence?

    Five things I guarantee you won’t hear tonight about this “lobby” “with great influence”:

    – It failed to persuade the UK to veto Goldstone in the UN
    – It failed to persuade the UK not to start an arms embargo on Israel
    – It failed to persuade the UK Foreign Minister not to call Cast Lead ‘disproportionate’
    – It failed to stop the UK financing Breaking The Silence
    – It failed to persuade most Labour MPs in ‘Labour Friends of Israel’ not to keep stumm when it comes to asserting Israel’s right to defend its citizens….

    Some ‘Lobby’!

    Some “great influence”!

  3. Cesspit is Free is doing its tricks again. Focusing on Israel using antisemitic ideas and Israel power when it means Jewish power.

    And it doesn’t mention of the Islamists in power in the UK government, or maybe even in the Guardian.

    Matt Seaton thinks that because he says that the article is not about Jews then we will believe him. Its like he said “don’t think of pink elephants” isn’t it?

  4. The reports from Jewish groups about the conduct of Oborne’s crew suggests a very unprofessional approach. Of course I hope the finished product will prove my fears wrong.

  5. Anthony I would like to see your evidence that Islam is not taking over Europe. How come in my town that the ructions when a Muslim was not elected in the local elections resulted in a very well-respected councillor having to resign because the council was accused of vote rigging by the Muslim candidate. He was arguing that because there are many Muslims in my town he should have got in but the fact is he did not and more people didnt want him in any sort of power than did want him.

    We already tread carefully around Muslims because they threaten violence if we do not (dont you remember Lord Ahmed’s speech about Geert Wilders and what would happen if he was allowed to speak to the UK parliament?) and demand lots of things as their right which many people think should be earned.

    Also tell me please about the collections and donations to Islamc charities which are not accounted for and probably end up in the coffers of Hamas.

    Andrew is right. Israel supporters are not as powerful as you say. If they were then Jews would feel safe here and the Goldstone Report would have been binned rather than sent before the UN.

  6. Chas, which reports? Can you give us links to them?

    Yes, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating, but I have enough experience of such things as not to feel inclined to trust the “impartiality” of any media outlet here which reports about Israel.

  7. Antony of course we have great influence. Just read The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Just read the nasty hate sites on the internet that tell us how evil we are and how we own all the large companies and run the media (like Comment is Free,for instance). Notice how every position of power in the world is occupied by Jews.

    Notice how you yourself are influenced to testify here for us.

  8. To read the shoddy pamphlet associated with the documentary click here:

    http://www.channel4.com/culture/microsites/D/dispatches/israel/proisraellobbypamphlet.pdf

    There is a schoolboy howler on page 35 that betrays their ignorance:

    “For a long time Britain was not afraid to criticise Israeli foreign policy. For example … Sir Alec Douglas Home called .. in October 1970 for the implementation of Resolution 242″

    Wrong – that is not an example of “criticism of Israel policy”: 242 is two-sided: it calls for withdrawal but only with “termination of belligerency” and recognition of Israel.

    http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/240/94/IMG/NR024094.pdf?OpenElement

    This is a basic error and shows a complete lack of understanding of the dynamics of the Middle East.

  9. Maybe Chas means the Jerusalem Post Report today – the Chanenl 4 team stormed uninvited in to Honest Reporting’s office in Jerusalem:

    British TV program to examine UK’s “powerful Israel lobby”

    JONNY PAUL, THE JERUSALEM POST

    The UK Jewish community is bracing itself for the screening of a television documentary that questions the work of community organizations and individuals, implying they are part of a “powerful” and “influential” pro-Israel lobby.

    Set to be screened during prime time on Monday evening, Channel 4’s Dispatches program will investigate “one of the most powerful and influential political lobbies in Britain, which is working in support of the interests of the State of Israel.” “Despite wielding great influence among the highest realms of British politics and media, little is known about the individuals and groups which collectively are known as the pro-Israel lobby,” the program notes.

    Labor MP Denis MacShane, who chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism and is the author of Globalizing Hatred: the New Anti-Semitism, questioned the existence of such a lobby.

    “If there is a Jewish/Israel lobby here, it is not very effective, as Israel is almost treated as a pariah state in the media and has few friends in politics,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “I assume that Dispatches, having done some tough stuff on Muslim hate preachers, wants to do a UK equivalent of the Walt and Mearsheimer book and prove there is a powerful Israel ‘lobby’ here. If they can find it, I hope they let me know.”
    The show’s creators – an independent production company called Hardcash – have been accused by Jewish organizations of having a sinister agenda after they aggressively pursued certain community organizations, charities and individuals, including bursting through their doors.
    What’s more, Hardcash has been working on the program for over four months, but approached Jewish organizations only last week to respond to the allegations leveled against them.

    One of the organizations targeted in the show is the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that works closely with the government and police to monitor anti-Semitism. The organization also provides security at Jewish events, but has no Israel remit.

    “The program-makers waited until two weeks before transmission to contact the targets of their investigation,” said Mark Gardner, CST’s director of communications.

    “Perhaps they believed their own publicity and feared that the incredibly powerful UK ‘Israel Lobby’ would get the program canceled. “Alternatively, they were never interested in our opinions and have behaved as if they are investigating a criminal gang rather than various Jewish community-linked organizations,” Gardner continued. “The latter explanation is far likelier, but it does not bode well for a fair and balanced program.”

    CST has also accused the producers of using the standard tropes of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in their promotional material, with phrases such as “one of the most powerful and influential political lobbies,” “wielding great influence” and “the tactics it employs behind the scenes.”

    The promotional material continues, “Political commentator Peter Oborne sets out to establish who they are, how they are funded, how they work and what influence they have, from the key groups to the wealthy individuals who help bankroll the lobbying. Oborne examines how the lobby operates from within parliament and the tactics it employs behind the scenes when engaging with print and broadcast media.”

    “Sadly, the program seems to have a predetermined agenda,” said Poju Zabludowicz, chairman of the Britain Israel Communications Research Center (BICOM). “Some people have suggested that the production team felt compelled to ‘balance out’ their two recent programs exposing the footprint of radical Islamism in the UK. I come to this conclusion with a heavy heart, having been led [through] a not-so-merry dance over the past 10 days by the program-makers,” he added.

    Zabludowicz also said that when BICOM had agreed to help, the program-makers had become “obstructive and uncooperative.”
    “BICOM is an advocacy organization; we work with journalists every day. It is in our DNA to put our side of the story forward and to be transparent,” he said.

    “We were willing to offer a spokesperson for interview on the program and to talk candidly to the producers about all aspects of our work,” he said. “Last week, every time we attempted to engage with the production company, they proved to be obstructive, uncooperative and opaque.”
    The show producers also sent an e-mail to Simon Plosker, managing editor of media monitoring organization Honest Reporting, asking him to justify his work.

    “We would like to ask you in an interview about your role as managing editor of Honest Reporting and its part in ‘the battle for public opinion.’ We would like to ask you about its targeting of the British media, in particular e-mail campaigns against the Guardian and BBC. We would also like to ask you about your previous roles at BICOM, NGO Monitor and your work for the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit,” the letter read. “We will be in Jerusalem on Monday and hope you will welcome the opportunity to explain your role as managing editor of Honest Reporting,” it concluded.

    The e-mail was sent over Shabbat. The following Monday, the producers stormed into Honest Reporting’s Jerusalem offices with cameras rolling, demanding to know where Plosker was.

    “It was as if in an attempt to catch some sort of criminal activity. They demanded to know where I was, claimed that I was a ‘major player in the UK’ and asked whether I had something to hide,” Plosker, who is currently in London, told the Post. “Channel 4 has still failed to make clear why my professional background is of such interest to them,” he went on. “I have nothing to hide, and aggressive actions such as bursting into my office with cameras rolling, pursuing me, can do nothing to dispel the suspicion that this documentary is nothing more than a cynical hatchet job aimed at the Anglo-Jewish community and supporters of Israel.”

    The letter was sent by the program’s producer Ed Harriman, who also writes for the London Review of Books and was the first to review Walt and Mearsheimer’s book The Israel Lobby in March 2006.
    “The entire premise of the program is extremely disturbing, playing as it does on classic anti-Jewish prejudice. If a well-oiled and effective lobby existed, then I’d be out of a job and Israel’s image in the UK would not be in the shocking state it is in today,” Plosker said.

  10. That Matt Seaton feels obliged to write on the Oborne thread:

    “…Because this is such a sensitive and potentially inflammatory topic, I would like to take this early opportunity to remind users to abide by our talk policy. In this context, that requires people to make the distinctions Oborne and James do in their article ? for example:

    “It is important to say what we did not find. There is no conspiracy, and nothing resembling a conspiracy.

    “Thus commenters who use this thread as an opportunity to apply antisemitic tropes to an otherwise legitimate discussion of influence and transparency are liable to find their posts deleted by moderators.
    I, for one, will be following this thread with interest. But I won’t hesitate to r’eport abuse’ if I see it…

    means

    *that CiF knows that it attracts antisemites, but

    * that it doesn’t care that it attracts antisemites (otherwise this blog would also be also premoderated – perhaps it is?)

    * or this is CiF’s attempt to get more hits using an equivalent of “Don’t think of green elephants”

    I wonder how many comments will be totally disappeared, or deleted?

  11. Conspiracy: An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.

    So the makers of this programme do not think there is anything “illegal, wrongful, or subversive” in the actions of the Britain’s Israeli lobby? If not, then why make this programme at all?

    Surely by implying that a gang of Jews is influencing Britain’s foreign policy (which by definition is a subversive act) implies conspiracy!

    Are the authors playing us for fools?

  12. Thanks Louise. This seems very damning.

    GaryO, yes they are, and unfortunately the audience may well contain many fools.

  13. GaryO Are the authors playing us for fools?
    ————-
    They’re trying.

    I’ve just read a very down to earth posting in the Friends in high places thread:
    north
    16 Nov 2009, 5:33PM

    My old Politics prof, Sammy Finer literally wrote the book on pressure group politics (Anonymous Empire). I suggest that most of those commenting on this thread should read it. It’s a bit old hat, I suppose, but it clearly points out that pressure groups are not just a legitimate part of the democratic system but a necessary one.
    If the ‘Israel Lobby’ is successful that simply means that it is good at it’s job. There is nothing to stop the ‘Arab’ lobby campaigning in Britain. For a fair number of years in the past and probably still, in the present day, the FO, with it’s ‘Arabist’ bias was little other than one very large publicly funded pro Arab lobby. It would probably be more to the point if Mr. Oborne asked why there was such an institutional bias in the FO.“‘

  14. The pamphlet is full of innuendo and “argument by assertion” for example on page 10: “The Conservative Friends of Israel is beyond doubt the best connected, and probably the best funded., of all Westminster lobbying groups.”

    “We say it …. so it must be true”

    “We say there is no conspiracy .. so it must be true … even though we go on to carefully put in place all the lies, innuendoes, smears and lack of context to make a conspiracy.”

    “We say that the BBC Trust was ‘pusillanimous’ to find that Jeremy Bowen broke the rules on accuracy and impartiality … so it must be true.

    Utterly risible and pathetic.

  15. Just for the record, I posted this response to a Papalagi post (contained therein), and it was deleted. I posted it again. What do you think was so objectionable?

    Take two:

    “Wrong, the occupation is alway wrong. Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians has been always wrong and inhuman. ”

    I disagree. Given P.L.O. dedication to Israel’s extinction, I don’t see what other bargaining chips could have acquired over land and resources.

    “How do you want to justify that?”

    See above.

    “Or is this done under a Pavlovian assumption that Israel must always have some justification even when we don’t know what it is or it’s not understandable?”

    That’s a loaded question based on a circular premise.

    “With such kind of attitudes you can justify absolutey anything at all.”

    Such as that Israel has as much of a case as Palestinians? Sure.

    “So if we leave this aside, why has Isreal any “fundamental legitimacy” beyond respect for the law and for the rights of the people who lived in the region?”

    None, except to the extent that Palestinian Muslims do or do not reciprocate.

    “If this legitimacy is fundamental, than you possibly want to justify everything that Israel might possibly do.”

    Possibly I might. What’s possibly to do with it?

    “And and you talking of any British sympathies for the occupation? I doubt this exists.”

    They by and large support Israeli non-occupation of Gaza and WB population centres. I’m sure they’d support more in return for Hamas’ or the PA’s offering more.

    “I don’t see any case for the occupation.”

    Well, for my case, see above.

    “I don’t think that it’s the task of British MP to calm down Anglo-Jews in what concerns Israeli matters,”

    Well, an anti-Zionist wouldn’t, would they?

    “specially not if this involves justifying wars and violence and if this implies supporting Israel’s rejection of peace with the Palestinians.”

    Well, that is another loaded assertion. It assumes Israeli military actions are never justified and Israel is guilty of rejectionism more than Palestinians

  16. It seems to me that the editors of CiF and most of the intellectually-challenged who regularly post there (as opposed to those who make meaningful points whether I agree with them or not) are stuck at the magical thinking stage of development which is more appropriate in pre-school children – where (to them) if they say something – however outlandish and however much it beggars belief – it is true simply because they have said it.

    We see it all the time in the reiterative burblings of posters like Papalagi and Mo(e)ron, and most tellingly lately from Matt Seaton who thinks that, because he and the authors of the piece insist that it isn’t about a Jewish conspiracy then it really isn’t.

    To Matt Seaton:

    Of course it’s a “potentially inflammatory topic!” because you and the rest of your cronies, since CiF began, have set out to link Israel’s wrongdoings (real or imagined – more often than not imagined) to Jews and to Jewish support, to the extent that the knee-jerk reactors below the line who have poor impulse control and still less intelligence, are sensitised to the sort of lies you allow to be put out and know that CiF is the place that their hatred can be spewed out.

    Did you honestly expect your statement to be believed?

    If so, then you should rename yourself after the poor Hamas fool interviewed during Cast Lead who insisted to the media that Hamas was writing its victory speeches as its actions over the eight years brought down Israeli retribution like none it had ever expected. Like Comical Ali he believed every word he said and was daft enough to assume that we would too!

  17. The idea of the secretive Jewish conspiracy that controls British foreign policy is the type of absurd slop that only a third rate journalist like Oborne could peddle. In October, 1973, the government of Prime Minister Edward Heath refused to allow American airplanes resupplying Israel in the 1973 war to land or refuel in the UK. If there was a secret conspiracy of Jews that controlled the UK, how is it that at Israel’s most endangered moment in its history, the government of the United Kingdom refused to even allow a third party to land airplanes on British soil for refueling? I suppose Oborne will say that the Jewish conspiracy was not hatched yet. During the Thatcher years, her Conservative Party was not the home of most Jews in the UK. Yet Mrs. Thatcher was steadfastly supportive of Israel. So I wonder how Oborne will account for that. Mrs. Thatcher’s support for Israel was something that she had carried with her from her childhood. It had nothing to do with being bought off by a secret coterie of Jews. One of her predecessors as PM, Harold Wilson, wrote a book AFTER his political career ended explaining his own lifelong interest and affection for the State of Israel. Wilson had nothing to gain politically from writing a book about Israel. But dimwits like Oborne will never accept the idea that a political leader could actually make an independent choice to support Israel. To Oborne, who is relentlessly proArab, it is not possible.
    One mitigating factor about Oborne’s program on 4. Obrorne is such a boring person, and such a boring speaker that few people will watch it. His monotone will put his audience to sleep quicker than a big dose of Ambien.

  18. Having just read the pamphlet produced to accompany tonight’s show I have to agree with Jonathan. This whole screed is full of innuendo and nothing more.

    Reading the section on Punishing Jeremy Bowen the authors try to negate the fact that Bowen had been found to have breached the accuracy and impartiality guidelines of the BBC by claiming that all Bowen had done.

    “In fact” they claim, “he was condemned for what were at best matters of opinion.”

    Actually no, he was condemned for breaching accuracy guidelines, the simple fact that these people can’t see the difference between reporting fact and opinion does not bode well for the programme itself.

    What amazes throughout though is their ability to attack the pro-Israel lobby whilst maintaining that “The pro-Israel lobby does nothing wrong, or illegal” .

    You gotta admire the chutzpha of these so-called journalist.

  19. My, if this is what our powerful Lobby (capital L!!!) accomplishes in the UK, I dread to think what would happen if we didn’t have this enormous, disproportionate influence??? Eh, and when will they have the program on the Arab Lobby, and in particular, on the Saudi Lobby???

  20. Well that’s 60 minutes of my life I won’t get back.

    The image portrayed by Oborne of the BBC failing in its impartiality over the DEC appeal this year seems to contradict the real evidence of its failings. It’s noted that Oborne never mentioned the Balen report in the show, a report that the Al-beeb is so desperate to keep secret.

  21. I just want to congratulate you all for making the cut. I thought it was going to be damaging but it was just a bunch of liberals throwing a wobbler because we oppose them so effectively. It was a great morale booster to see that we ARE making a difference!

    Summary of conclusion: “There are supporters of Israel in the UK. And we hate that.”

    Observations:
    1) The BBC, as suspected, is full of left-wingers.
    2) Without the pro-Israel lobby, the BBC would be free to espouse anti-Israel propaganda with impunity, on taxpayers tab!
    3) The aforementioned left-wingers are more than happy to exploit their control of the media to make documentaries whining about the effectiveness of the pro-Israel lobby.

    Keep up the good work!

  22. SUMMARY
    Part 1

    Observations: There are rich jews who support Israel. There are rich jews who support political parties. There is some overlap between the rich jews who support Israel and the rich jews who support British political parties.

    Ignored observations: People are entitled to give and withdraw money from political parties as they choose. Many people give one year and not the next if the y disagree with the party line. This is neither backhanded, nor immoral.

    Programmes unspoken conclusions: Jews cannot be trusted with money, because most of them have dual loyalties and are trying (extremely successfully, apparently) to make britain go against it’s own interests and with the interests of a foreign power.

    Part 2

    Observations: There are rich jews who are friends with people in the media. There are rich jews who support Israel. Some of these 2 groups overlap (i.e. there are rich jews who support israel and have friends in the media). Most of the media are too scared to speak out against the nefarious Israel lobby. Despite the guardian’s CiF comments being grossly anti-semitic, the guardian editor completely dodges the question and decided to answer his own question instead.

    Unspoken conclusions: Jews have too much power. It’s bad for the country.

    Part 3

    Observation: The BBC are meant to be an impartial news source. Both pro-Israeli and pro-palestinians don’t think this is the case. the BBC decided on its own accord not to air the DEC appeal.

    Unspoken conclusions: The Israel lobby have made sure that the BBC has been completely discredited.

    Overall conclusions of the programme:

    We’re going to say that there’s no conspiracy because all we found was that rich jews support israel and also happen to support political parties. YET, every time we read out quotes from jews we use really harsh, cutting voices with a backdrop of a lavish cocktail/canape party….obviously we’re not insinuating that all jews are rich/backhanded/manipulative. PS We ❤ Tony Lerman – he's such a dude! PPS Did you like the juxtaposition of the Gaza hospital followed by the lavish CFI dinner?

  23. Rusbridger still looks pale and faint at the memory of Ronson using the word ‘arsehole’ to his face. The virgin.

  24. Thanks, Daniel S, for your summary.

    I can well believe that it’s a fair representation:

    I couldn’t watch the programme after I heard Oborne’s stunning example of the worst of shlock journalism when he said in the voice over, “We have it on good authority that…..”

  25. Rusbridger certainly has a nerve –
    “I stay away from the subject. I stay away from stirring it up.”
    Like hell he does. If the bilge on CiF is what he manages to produce when he’s not ‘stirring it up’, goodness knows what would appear there otherwise.

    I did like the description of Hawkeye as “the mystery man” though!

  26. Israelinurse, Rusbridger may well be telling the truth.

    Like all shady characters he would never get his own hands dirty – rather he pays people to do his dirty work for him (although not for long if the Guardian is on the skids).

    After all, why keep a dog and bark yourself?

  27. Ah yes Mitnaged – quite possibly you are right. Responsibility and accountability are SO old hat, aren’t they?:)

  28. Actually, I note that Rusbridger didn’t declare that he always tried to do everything in his power to put a stop to it either….

    Hits to threads! That’s what it’s about.

    What a reprehensible attitude Rusbridger has.

  29. “rather he pays people to do his dirty work for him”

    Yes, while we’re on the subject of transparency, what about daddy’s little girl?

  30. zkharya, very true in regard to Bella Mackie. I wonder what he’s done about her?

    Rusbridger is about as transparent as the Thames at low tide.

  31. What a programme! Haven’t seen anything so blatantly engineered to create intrigue for years.

    Interesting how Oborne has specifically used a number of ‘as Jews’ to back up his claim – Rabbi Goldberg of some Liberal synagogue, Tony Lerman and Avi Shlaim – he certainly chose well with them – surprising not to see Gerald Kaufman while he was at it.

    His barging in to Media Central in Jerusalem was instructive – Media Central is part of Honest Reporting and they provide open and transparent facilities to foreign media who come to Israel on assignment. So Oborne abused their hospitality by presumably getting through the front door claiming to be just another foreign correspondent when in fact he was ‘investigating’ them.

    On reflection, Oborne is trying to get back at the pro Israel organisations that have made life difficult for his left wing friends. Honest Reporting, CiFWatch (kol hakavod Hawkeye), and then onto the mainstream, political organisations.

    Initially, I thought that what the film would actually achieve would be to cast the Conservative party as a tool of ‘the Joos’ and so frighten people off at the forthcoming election in 2010, but as the film ran on, it was clear that ‘the Joos’ had got at Nu Labour too, mentioning Blair in particular, but strangely not Gordon Brown – perhaps my first thoughts were right – it was a swipe at the Tories/Conservatives just as much as at ‘the Joos’.

    As a member of Conservative Friends, a supporter of Honest Reporting and an enthusiastic regular on CiFWatch, I sat amazed at the amount of power and influence I learned that we exert over the UK. As if! I can’t even get posts up on CiF, much less dictate UK government policy with regard to Israel.

    Do I think Oborn is anti-Semitic? Probably he’s not even given it a thought. He’s just an opportunist, a chancer who saw a way to make money and to hell with the damage it might cause to a certain sector of society. And that sums up a number of ‘journalists’ today.

  32. Yohoho
    Could well be. It would certainly fit.

    Hawkeye
    The programme is on for a week on Channel 4 – maybe someone can record it and get it to you.

  33. Cityca – I’m sure you’ll have noted that the production company is called Hardcash Productions.

  34. @ dov

    An interesting blog indeed. It also points out how Oborne put the “Zionism is pervasive in New Labour” quote from Jon Mendelsohn in a completely different context than the original one.
    I’ll be bringing this up on the CiF thread when it reopens.

  35. Hawkeye
    The programme is on for a week on Channel 4 – maybe someone can record it and get it to you.

    Hawkeye, I’m grabbing a copy of the show now. If you don’t find a copy I’ll up it to my server in the morning for you.

  36. IsraeliNurse
    Absolutely. You don’t make a programme like this and couch it in the type of language he did, if you want to present an impartial, objective and truly honest film. You do it for the money (and the reputation).

    Everything about this film, from the people he interviewed, to the emphasis on statements, to the selective quotes and partial editing was intended to convey a particular messsage which he knew he could sell to Channel 4, which is part of the BBC empire.

    He wanted a film that would cause controversy and anger and perhaps have a few nutters out there lobbing bricks at synagogues, after which he could claim with complete innocence that how people react to what they see is their business and responsibility, not his.

    Now this will get talked about and Oborne has won himself a reputation as an edgy film maker who is not afraid to take on ‘the most powerful lobby in the UK’. And people out there will believe this bollocks.

  37. Oborne is desperate for attention. The only way he can get it is to turn to the bigot’s oldest friend, anti-Semitism. His program will be filled with sinister hints of conspiracy and to cover his tracks he will find some formerly Jewish academic who will agree with him. Oborne’s ratings are rock bottom and he is desperate.

  38. The wonderful thing about working in the media is that you can broadcast or publish any old nonsense if it has the makings of a controversy and the author will be hailed by some as a hero and by others as a charlatan.

    The actual truth of what was produced is almost irrelevant, so Mearsheimer & Walt and their UK little Sir Echo, Oborne can make unfounded or proven assumptions and take on the mantle of left wing hero overnight, with future commissions beckoning, and no doubt numerous speaking engagements and opportunities for advancement.

    Its actually all a game and Oborne has just learned with this particular Dispatches, how to play it.

    And if anyone gets hurt, its nothing to do with him but the nutters who choose to chuck bricks, start fires or physically assault members of the group he has put in the spotlight, even if they have absolutely nothing to do with any of his accusations.

    So then he can make another programme in a few months time about why there’s an increase in race hate in the UK, having himself done a splendid job of stirring it up with his previous programme.

    He must feel as if Christmas has come early this year.

    N.B. I attempted to post this on CiF this morning with the message
    ‘As this will almost certainly be deleted/moderated, a copy will be posted up on CiFWatch’.