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Media Analyses

Thumbs Down to Robert Fisk

THUMBS DOWN to Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for London’s Independent newspaper and veteran Israel-basher, for anti-American and anti-Israel comments in his Nov, 19, 2002 appearances on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” and WBUR’s “On Point” (WBUR is a Boston NPR affiliate).

Fisk is an old hand at making preposterous accusations against Israel; for example, back in June 19, 1987, writing in the Times of London, as its Middle East correspondent, Fisk accused Israel of “propping up juntas in South America.”

Fisk’s C-SPAN appearance is aptly summarized by Purdue professor, George Horwich, writing in the Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN) of November 26, 2002 :

Fisk argued that U.S. policy is driven by support of Israel’s expansive territorial ambitions and a U.S. desire to safeguard the Persian Gulf supply of oil. These motives are cited frequently by critics of U.S. foreign policy, many of whom, like Fisk, see the terrorist attacks of 9-11 as an understandable, though morally reprehensible, response to that policy.

Among Fisk’s observations in the “On Point” program:

“The coverage here [in America] is so gutless, so biased, the language so de-contextualized. Over and over again now, for example, we find that the ‘occupied territories’ are referred to as ‘disputed territories.’” Of course, Fisk is wrong here; the term “occupied” is regularly used by the same media in place of the more accurate term “disputed.”

Fisk’s obsessive anti-Israel bias is such that, no matter what the incident or event, he is sure to blame Israel. Thus, he even blamed the 1994 bombing of Israel’s London embassy on a mysterious “Israeli agent,” thereby exonerating the Palestinians who were tried and convicted by British courts.

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