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Thumbs Down to Robert Fisk

THUMBS DOWN to the London Independent’s Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk for possessing such an overactive imagination and obsessive anti-Israel bias that, no matter what the incident or event, he is sure to blame Israel. Thus Fisk attributed the August 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa to “Washington’s blind support for Israel.” He even blamed the 1994 bombing of Israel’s London embassy on a mysterious “Israeli agent,” exonerating the Palestinians who were tried and convicted by British courts.

Some of Fisk’s inventions are so bizarre as to be humorous. Consider his April 17, 1996 report on Israel’s Grapes of Wrath campaign against Hizbullah. Visiting a power station supposedly left a “smouldering wreckage” by an Israeli air strike, Fisk reported that Lebanon’s power supply had been “cut by up to a third for the next 18 months.” Israel’s targeting was so devastatingly accurate, Fisk claimed, because in 1982 prescient Israeli soldiers stole “all the plans and maps of the transformer lines and switching systems … .”

Another reporter, however, no less unfriendly to Israel than Fisk, revealed that the power outage “was actually a result of a deliberate switch-off by the government. This tricked the Israelis into calling off further attacks …. Power was switched back on in full as soon as the cease-fire ‘understanding’ was reached ….” (Godfrey Jansen, MEI, May 10, 1996) And so another Fisk invention is exposed.

Perhaps Fisk’s most outlandish invention is his claim that “American media coverage of the Middle East has been largely pro-Israeli … the State Department line … always skewed toward Israel, has been followed obsequiously by most American reporters.” Such fantastic claims only underscore Mr. Fisk’s deep animus towards Israel.

One must wonder about the alleged profession of journalism, which tolerates and even rewards the bias, distortions and outright lies of a Robert Fisk.

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