July 27, 2011 by IJV
Uri Avnery examines how the media’s staunchest supporter of the State of Israel has come to question, even undermine Israel’s claim to be “The Only Democracy in the Middle East” – and not a moment too soon. The power wielded by international press and news agencies – and in particular of those still willing to uphold the integrity of journalism and editorial voice (as starkly demonstrated by the phone hacking scandal in the UK) is not to be underestimated. In his latest piece, this pillar of the Israeli left charts the events leading up to NYT’s unprecedented editorial on the “Boycott Law” – and the reaction this has elicited in Israel.
The Charge of the New York Times or: Baksheesh for the Doorkeeper
“The NYT is, perhaps, the most “pro-Israel” paper in the whole world, including Israel itself. Many of its editorial writers are ardent Zionists. A news story critical of Israeli policies has almost no chance of appearing there. No mention of the Israeli peace movement. No mention of the dozens of demonstrations in Israel against Lebanon War II and the Cast Lead operation. Self-censorship is supreme.
But this week, the NYT published a blistering editorial criticizing Israel. The reason: the “Boycott Law”, passed by the right-wing Knesset majority, which forbids Israelis to call for a boycott of the settlements. The editorial practically repeats what I said in last week’s article: that the law is blatantly anti-democratic and violates basic human rights. The more so, since it comes on top of a whole series of anti-democratic laws that were enacted in the last few months. Israel is in danger of losing its title as the “Only Democracy in the Middle East”.
– By Uri Avneri in Dissident Voice. To read the full article click here.