Philo-Palestinian essay at CiF on the powerful and dangerous public relations machine of the Jewish state

Greg Philo, the research director of Glasgow University Media Unit – recently seen at a clearly fair and balanced event titled “Complicity in Oppression: Does the media aid Israel“, sponsored by the openly Islamist group, MEMO – published a piece at CiF (Israel’s PR machine shames newscasters, May 31) warning that the UK media is being manipulated in their coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by the dark forces of Israeli hasbara.

For those wishing to read well-documented reports demonstrating that the opposite is indeed the case, and that the BBC has an institutional bias against the Jewish state, I’d direct you to a recent quantitative analysis by Just Journalism, or one of several qualitative analyses by Trevor Asserson of BBC Watch, or an admission by BBC’s Director General Mark Thompson in 2010 that BBC was massively biased to the Left, but Philo’s broad assertion about bias is less interesting than the malevolence he imputes to Israel and her supporters.

Philo cites a report by his organization which focuses on the period of the 2nd Intifada (2000 and 2004) and not only asserts that the BBC was pro-Israel in its reporting, but goes further by citing unnamed sources who complain of  “the intense pressures they are under that limit criticism of Israel.”  These same unnamed sources, we are told, “asked us to raise the issue in public because they can’t.”  Philo informs us that they speak of “waiting in fear for the phone call from the Israelis”. [emphasis mine]

Philo’s conspiracy of Zionist intimidation doesn’t end there, however, as  he noted darkly that Israel engages in “PR” and even created a National Information Directorate – which links to a piece by Rachel Shabi which reports, as something ominous, that Israel’s hasbara department coordinates its “core messages with bodies such as friendship leagues, Jewish communities, bloggers and backers using online networks.”

Philo proceeds to characterize as chilling work done by The Israel Project to assist the Israeli government hone their talking points – using effective language to refute anti-Israel allegations.  Says Philo:

“In the US, messages were exhaustively analysed by The Israel Project, a US-based group that, according to Shimon Peres, “has given Israel new tools in the battle to win the hearts and minds of the world”. In a document of more than 100 pages (labelled “not for publication or distribution”) an enormous range of possible statements about Israel was sorted into categories of “words that work” and “words that will turn listeners off”. 

Philo, who evidently is more disturbed by the organized efforts of The Israel Project than by the anti-Semitism of his Hamas friendly friends at MEMO, concludes by adding his observation that “there is a remarkable likeness between these and the content of TV news headlines. “Many journalists bought the message”, he says, evidently not considering that some  journalists may have simply determined that Israel’s message was more credible.  

But, for Philo, even the straight forward characterization of Cast Lead as an Israeli war against Hamas, and not a war against the Palestinian people – He cites two reports: “The bombardment continues on Hamas targets” (BBC1, 31 December 2008); “The offensive against Hamas enters its second week” (BBC1, 3 January 2009) – is evidence that these institutions were intimidated into swallowing the narrative advanced by the Israeli propaganda machine.

To demonstrate the degree of Philo’s bias against Israel, he notes in dismay near the concluding paragraph that some within an audience group polled didn’t share his view that, in the context of the events leading to the start of Cast Lead “Hamas was reported to have said it would have stopped the rockets if Israel had agreed to lift its economic siege,” never once considering that the degree to which some of the public are far more skeptical of Hamas propaganda than he is may indicate his own profound gullibility, bias and animosity towards Israel.

Philo joins a long list of far left elitists who simply cannot fathom that many of the unwashed masses in the West (for instance, non-Jews in the U.S.) are solidly pro-Israel and so must impute either ignorance or conjure a conspiracy of Zionist propaganda.  

The simply fantastical notion, advanced by Philo, that the UK media is biased in favor of Israel again proves the adage that there are some ideas so bizarre only members of the British “intelligentsia” can believe them.

34 replies »

    • See and hang your head in shame at the activities of your army of Purity of Arms in the Occupied Territories
      Before you scream ant-semite think that these are not my words but the irrefutable testimonies of Israeli soldiers who admit to tying a Palesinian to the bonnet of their jeep and using him as a human shield
      What has happened to a people/nation which has contributed so much to our civilisation and now produces closed minds and inhuman acts
      Don’t tell me so do Hamas. I know
      But we humanists expect more from Israelis not only because of your history but because you keep telling the world how democratic you are. Read if you dare to lift the veil of ignorance

      • riccardini, You want to know what is inhuman?

        – islamofascists hijacking 4 planes on 9/11/01
        – islamofascists bombing London buses and the underground on 7/7/05
        – islamofascist sadaaam hussein killing 5,000 Kurds in Halabja with WMD poison gas
        – islamofascists placing a bomb on Pan Am 103
        – islamofascists hiding behind the skirts of women while attacking
        – islamofascists brainwashing their own children to murder Infidels
        – islamofascists placing weapons caches beneath hosptials and mosques
        – islamofascists engaging in slavery in Sudan and Mauritania
        – islamofascists in europe threatening europe with massacres
        – islamofascists threatening artists with death for drawing cartoons

        Happy Nakba riccardini!

        May you continue to experience an ETERNITY of dispair and Nakba/Naksa!

        • Infidel
          Once again a correspondent displays a vicious anti-gentile face and refuses to engage with my arguments or points or obviously to read the testimonies of his brave soldiers
          What exactly are you frightened of Infidel ?
          The truth will make you free
          What a pathetic diatribe and a clear evidence of a closed mind and a one off approach to Islamists. They are all islamofascists yes?
          What poverty of mind, a great gaping hole where your intellect should be
          Go throw stones in the streets at Gentiles and Muslims, it will make you feel better and keep your racist muscles in trim

          • retardini, Are you still eating your heart out that the Israelis are NOT the unarmed JOOOZ of national Socialist nazi filth infested europe?


            Just to add to your “agida” I’ve provided a link to the IDF website.


            What a Nakba that 300,000,000 islamofascists can not defeat 6,000,000 JOOOZ.

            What would “the prophet” say?

            • Oh dear Infidel. You are stupid and illiterate to boot
              I don’t know how to break this to you Infidel
              I can deal with looneys, double looneys but monster raving looneys ?
              Leave me out
              If you can’t read properly or argue rationally or restrain your vile racism
              then there is no point of someone with my knowledge and intellect stooping to your level, I have better and more noble things to do.
              Rational, no silly man not to do with food but RATIONAL means the ability to use your brain . Yours unfortunately appears to be in the nether regions(that means lower) So I am going to leave you with all the other goons to play with yourselves
              I will break some other news to you. My wife’s great aunt who survived until 102 was in Belsen. Her mother got out of Czechoslovakia just before the Nazis arrived
              Over fifty others of the family didn’t
              What’s the point ?
              You are too far gone for me to try and save you from your self hatred and incoherent thought
              Good bye Bigot and racist Infidel

                • sencrap, If “sane” means supporting people who hijack planes, hijack countries, hijack the UN, rape and gouge the entire world with overpriced oil, you and retardini can goosestep, hand in hand, to Nakba.

                • Dear Sencar
                  Bless you my son or daughter !
                  I live in hope of the human race and was only saying good bye to the poor benighted Infidel, long may he wallow in ordure.
                  Diogenes was asked why he was talking to a statue in the market place of Athens
                  “I’m practising disappointment” was his reply. That’s my reaction to poor Infidel
                  See advert for my blog in The New Statesman and LRB and I am on Press tv tomorrow

                  Peace and hope

              • retardini, If you chose to run away with your tail between your legs, I will understand.

                I will miss seeing your public thrashing.

                Your bleating of “racist” when anyone challenges islamofascism, when anyone recounts the litany of atrocities committed by islamofascists all over the world.

                Isn’t it odd that virtually every atrocity, almost every failed terrorist plot (post 9/11 attempted plane bombings, failed Times Square bombing) is committed by islamists?

                retardini, your fellow activist, vittorio arrogantini, an earnest pro-palestinian activist, executed by the very people he supported.

                Happy Nakba retardini and may you continue to have many, many more Nakbas!

  1. Mum’s the word on the many anti-Israeli PR bodies, funded by Arab investment groups from Persian gulf states and others, which have growing control in the UK on everything from public companies and heavy industries, to football teams, to various academies and “think tanks”.

    Glasgow University Media Unit’s will not be publishing anything about Libyan oil exports to Scotland any time soon.

  2. Among those helping launch the book resulting from Philo’s “resarch” was a certain Tim Llewellyn.

    Apparently his comments at the event including the following:

    “The Israelis appear in studios wearing suits. They’ve learned all sorts of tricks. They are wizards at communication; they speak 10 different sorts of English”

    And they can even turn on their own mikes when interviewed! Wild!

    Mr Llewellyn said: “What a lovely Anglo-Saxon name! But Denis Ross is not just a Jew, he is a Zionist, a long-time Zionist… He is a Zionist propagandist.”

    • I have never seen Abbas out of a suit.

      Ross is not a Zionist propagandist, but a career diplomat who has worked for almost every US president since Jimmy Carty, with the exception of Bush 2, who had the hardest line towards the Palestinians, and would not tolerate a Democrat in his administration (or, to give Ross some credit, perhaps vice versa).

      Llewellyn is, in fact, a lying propagandist.

  3. Some renowned academics have taken issue with Philo’s methodology, and his blatant anti-Israel bias is evident in almost every word he writes.

    pretzelberg, thanks, but this is not new. Llewellyn, from your quote above, is an archetypal example of an antisemitic anti-Zionist, and yet more proof that many of these half-wits don’t know, and care even less, when one shades into the other.

    • Llewellyn has been known to send the odd letter to the Guardian, coyly covering up his affiliations. Of course, being the propagandist he is, it is not surprising. I think we outed him once here.

  4. Posted elsewhere on this blog, but no apologies for repeating here because it is entirely relevant:

    (talking about the reviews of Philo’s “academic” opus on Amazon):

    ….. The second review exhibits the sort of paranoid projection and perceptual inversion (are you with me sencar?) typical of the biased anti-Israel reader;

    The third refers disturbingly to the “British nation” being deceived and rants on:

    “…The justice of the Palestinian cause has been denied a proper explanation; the war-crimes of the Israeli occupiers have been concealed and the sufferings of the poor and the oppressed have not been reported accurately, if at all.

    “I urge all those interested in learning the truth about Palestine and in confronting the bias of the media to read this book.”

    …. It also seems that Philo should be careful of the company he keeps if he is to convey an unbiased image. Here he is at SOAS (where he’d have been flayed alive had he dared to be open-minded about Israel rather than pro-Palestinian):

    which means he’s either very pro-Palestinian or is utterly morally bankrupt, (or even both) and he’s talking here to an audience of the inveterate Israel haters about the cunning Jews’ use of language to prosecute their case. He, like sencar, doesn’t believe that Israel/Jews have the right to defend themselves, even in the media. I imagine there were dozens of sencar-types in the audience.

    And lookee here – we have “unbiased” academic Philo sharing a platform with John Pilger, who lied about the “massacre” at Jenin. Again, Philo should be very careful of the company he keeps if he wants to come across as an unbiased academic.

    And to cap it all, we get Philo speaking at the BDS conference (sencar was probably there, too) still banging on his favourite drum, see

  5. True, Serendipity. Here’s what I posted on another thread on this blog:


    “Hairshirt, you are right to be suspicious. Strange that sencar didn’t tell us that his hero’s scribblings were not so universally acclaimed as he would have us believe (not surprising, given that sencar has an agenda to drive here) but Mike Brennan’s book review at argues that from a scholarly point of view, the focus of the book and its methodology are faulty, viz

    ” The problems are two-fold. First, Philo and Berry’s book invests in an ultra-leftist discourse in which Arab nationalism is valorised as a righteous and heroic struggle against Western/Zionist imperialism, whilst Zionism – itself a (former) vehicle of national liberation – is demonised. [4] Second, and more serious from a scholarly, rather than purely political, perspective, the research methodology is faulty…”

    I go on to refer to p55 of the article under “Flawed methodology” and the conclusion of the writer:


    “As I have attempted to illustrate here, there is much that is flawed about Bad News from Israel. Ultimately this is a rather tendentious and agenda-driven book in which the researchers set out to prove their own politically-inflected views. Its claims are based upon data generated by the selective use of historical material and flawed research methods. The net effect of the book will be to reinforce perceptions of Israel as monolithic, and will give succour to those who claim that the western media are controlled by ‘Zionists.’ …..”

  6. ““Hamas was reported to have said it would have stopped the rockets if Israel had agreed to lift its economic siege”, never once considering that the degree to which some of the public are far more skeptical of Hamas propaganda than he is may indicate his own profound gullibility, bias and animosity towards Israel.”.

    You mislead your readers here by implying that only Philo and similarly biased lefties would be taken in by such Hamas propaganda. Philo follows the words “economic siege” with “The source was Ephraim Halevy, former head of the Mossad intelligence service.” Are you suggesting that Ephraim Halevy is guilty of “profound gullibility”?


    • @sencar Perhaps he was – it’s not unheard of in Israeli government, particularly to the extent to which they believed Yasser Arafat’s double-tongued treachery, perhaps because they so wanted peace. Arafat, you may remember was an accomplished liar (and Abbas is cast in his mould) who could spout about peace at his front door in English, then run to his back door and scream for jihad in Arabic.

      As a result of Arafat’s double dealing thousands of Israelis and Palestinians were killed and maimed in the second intifada which he orchestrated, but which resulted in worse conditions for his people. Hamas and Abbas look set to perpetuate the same thing, cheered on from the sidelines and in safety by useful idiots like yourself and Greg Philo.

      Are you denying Philo’s profound animosity towards Israel? How do you think a good researcher can hold such bias and still perform even adequate and informative research?

      It’s amazing to me that allegedly acclaimed academics like him can fall for the guff they write! He can hardly be taken seriously, can he, simply by virtue of the company he keeps .

      Perhaps you can tell us whether Glasgow University’s Media Group receives funding from Islamic sources? That would seem to be the parsimonious explanation for Philo’s abandonment of reason and inversion of reality and morality.

      • It is quite clear that by omitting the second part of the quotation Adam Levick was trying to mislead.

        • I fail to see how we are being misled.

          So, the source was an ex intelligence officer in mossad. So what? How does that make him gullible? Where is the evidence he has swallowed the Hamas line?

          You appear to be implying, as does Philo, that because the source was an israeli, the substance of what was reported had real credibility i.e. if a mossad agent reported that hamas said they wanted peace – then it must be true – Hamas wants peace!

          And you imagine that if we are not told the source was an israeli, then that is evidence of some kind of cover up.

          Just how incredibly stupid/ gullible/ you name your own brand of witlessness, are you sencar? And why are you squandering your talents here?

          • If Hamas say “it would have stopped the rockets if Israel had agreed to lift its economic siege” and you think they are lying bastards you are entitled to dismiss the suggestion as “Hamas propaganda”, as Adam Levick does. If Ephraim Halevy says “the government in Jerusalem could have stopped the rocket attacks long ago by lifting its siege of Gaza”, as he did, that puts a very different significance on the idea. Dismissing it as “Hamas propaganda” then becomes seriously misleading. You play down Halevy’s significance by referring to him as “an ex intelligence officer in mossad” and “an Israeli”. However, apart from being a former head of Mossad, Halevy was head of the National Security Council, a senior adviser to Shamir and Sharon amongst other prime ministers and Head of the Shasha Center for Strategic Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (an unlikely Hamas patsy then).

  7. Philo was parroting the views of whoever was paying for his supper. He is a moral bankrupt who has sold out his profession.

    I find the inversion of his perception of reality as well as his lack of moral spine particularly disturbing.

    However, although Glasgow University is not listed among the list of Islamically funded institutions in the UK at the report was dated 2009.

    I find it difficult to imagine that a so-called “renowned academic” would prostitute his professional good name unless he was getting some sort of reward for it, financial or otherwise.

    Or maybe he’s an Israel-hater pure and simple?

      • sencar, disagreeing with Philo’s stance or your agreement with it is not mindless abuse. It is my right. Philo is biased and does biased research. He has been caught out in print and in terms of the hate-filled company he keeps.

        To argue with irrational bias based on inverted reality, which is deluded enough to persist in the face of contradictory evidence is a waste of valuable time. Philo’s stance of “I’ve made up my mind so don’t confuse me with facts” is mutually exclusive with the rigorous academic enquiry he and his mates in the Glasgow Media Group claim to engage in. They have been under fire for it before as you well know and outspokenness should not be mistaken for intelligent and fact based argument and research.

        Can you tell us whether the Glasgow Media Group is getting funding from Islamic sources? Don’t you know, or don’t you want to admit it?

        • Would you like to know about funding for the “independent” organisation Just Journalism which published an article in The Guardian this week on bias in the media against Israel and mentioned your favourite target on this site Greg Philo
          Recently this “independent organisation” specialising in reporting the Middle East hosted an event titled
          “Squaring The Circle? the delegitimisation of Israel”
          It was sponsored by Bank Hapolaim and The Jewish Chronicle whose editor chaired the discussion and attended, to give it perfect balance by the Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosser.
          I have not read they claim to conduct ” Rigorous academic inquiry” like Greg Philo but it is not very honest to publish such an article without telling us who they really are. I blame the Guardian too for this omission
          How about that ?
          The Guardian displaying positive bias towards Israel ?
          You might also want to delve into Geoffrey Alderman’s rejoicing in the Jewish Chronicle at the death of Vittorio Arrigoni. My admonishment to him for a lack of common humanity at anyone’s death led to a copious exchange of emails from all over the world and led the poor benighted Professor into claiming that Palestine was already a State, a foolish mistake and duly demolished by all including leadind academics
          You can follow the exchange if you have an open mind on my blog
          see also Presstv tomorrow

          • retardini, It is ironic that your vittorio arrogantini was executed by the very people he championed.

            Something about his alternate lifestyle that got him in deep jihad with his progressively islamofascist pals?

  8. Its nice to know that people like this Philo think we are doing so well.

    Unfortunately, Philo’s entire article is a farrago of lies from beginning to end, so its a little hard to celebrate quite yet. There is much more to do.

    The unbelievable lunacy of posting something like that article on the Guardian, whose anti-Israeli bias is so well documented and visible day after day is yet another indication of what Israeli is up against – a world where fictitious data or no data trumps reality every day. For example, his claims that there was no mention of the Palestinians killed before Cast Lead in a paper which devotes an entire area of its blog to constantly regurgitating every possible story about the Gazans (except when they go to the mall, or restaurant, etc) is incredible.

  9. AKUS, surely the unbelievable lunacy is on the part of the Guardian for agreeing to publish it? Greg Philo’s own anti-Israel lunacy (and what else can we call someone whose grasp on reality is so tenuous?) is a given and can be got from by the lies he writes elsewhere and the company he keeps. The Guardian, having invited him to publish his latest mound of ordure, is merely behaving according to type (and hype).

    Mitnaged’s question about sources of funding of the Glasgow Media Group is a fair one. When Islamic funding is poured into a university the end result is usually one of distortion if not abandonment of academic values for the Islamic pipers call the tune.

  10. Hasn’t the university a moral obligation to divorce itself and its resources from those who propagate a modern-day Protocols?