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34 thoughts on “The 4.45pm Link

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  • kingfelix

    As an aside, The Guardian and Independent both had next to zero open threads for comments on the Israeli attack.

    Finally, the Guardian posted a CiF piece arguing that Israel had ‘no choice’ and then permitted those denouncing the dead as terrorists to spew their hatred unmoderated.

    Today, the moment people started dying in Cumbria, the Guardian immediately added a comment thread! that they then reconsidered and closed.

    The Independent has simply given the masses no chance to comment and no explanation.

  • Ian M

    Interesting that it is now coming out that the nutjobs in the IDF started firing before boarding the ship. Which would of course explain the hostile reception they received. It is a pity that none of the interlocutors on the news shows realised that the widely circulated video the Israelis were so keen on was carefully edited to support their version. The crucial information is, naturally, missing: what happened before the storming of the ship, which might of course reveal the truth of the claims made. Also absurdly, did others notice the constant referencing to ‘lynching’ by the israeli propaganda machine, as if they only possible way they could justify killing protestors in cold blood was by implying they were a lynch mob – despite no evidence of such a lurid claim whatsoever. Still, it suits the gangster-like story the Israelis want to construct. The only problem is the utter ridicule their stupidity attracts and the realisation that it is them who are the gangsters. The much touted ‘iron bars’ were of course merely whatever bits of the ship – probably wooden poles etc – the protestors could lay their hands on, not surprising if you life is in danger and you want to defend yourself. The contempt Israel has for the public with these stupid lies is only reflected in the contempt they have garnered for themselves. Good on Turkey for telling like it is = unprovoked massacre, for which they must be held to account.

  • kingfelix

    @Ian M

    Interesting points, but what do you make of the way the Israeli PR machine appears able to control journalists, too.

    “Israel had no choice over Gaza flotilla

    Flotilla activists had ample opportunity to defuse the situation before the IDF arrived ?” instead they decided on violence”


    A prolonged annihilation of all rational thought then follows.

    “The immediate response of hundreds of civilians in Turkey ?” attacking consulates, fighting with local police ?” is another example of the resorting-to-violence mob’s myopic behaviour that so impedes efforts to resolve the Israel-Palestine imbroglio using peaceful and diplomatic means.” – See? Some violence is good, Israeli violence, and some violence is bad…

    Let’s not forget the Fleet Street love-in over how much we all love Mossad after their illegal assassinations that also endangered the lives of UK nationals whose identities were stolen.

    It’s so strange that The Guardian has gone down this line, perhaps it’s going to get worse as Fleet Street falls into further financial difficulties and find themselves, like the US political parties, propped up by Jewish monies.

    The Independent’s shamelessness has reached a new low, meanwhile, with an opinion piece entitled “It’s up to us to lift the Gaza blockade” that then permits none of ‘us’ to comment.

  • Ian M

    Well, if I remember right that piece in The Guardian is by Seth Freedman who is a blogger, not a journalist (and it shows). He is an Israeli, ex-IDF, and also supported Cast Lead. He was pretty much lashed in the comments section as well. You can’t judge the Guardian by one idiotic blogger, or think he is talking for the Guardin. They had other pieces, less stupid than that. Mark Steel in The Independent was excellent about the gullibility of the media and Israeli spokesmen:


    Gideon Levy is also excellent in Haaretz (a mini Cast Lead, he called it), as is Robert Fisk in the Indy. so you can’t always make blanket judgements about newspapers.

  • kingfelix

    “You can’t judge the Guardian by one idiotic blogger, or think he is talking for the Guardin.”

    Straw man, as I did not suggest that. I’ve read The Guardian for 20 years, thanks.

    What I pointed out was that the only thread available for comment was a propaganda piece by an, as you say, Israeli ex-IDF member. Somebody decided that that was the way to go.

  • Anonymous

    No, there have been quite a few threads open for comment in the last few days. The live blog on the first day attracted nearly 2000 comments. They are not kept open overnight generally, I would guess because of the hasbara machine.But there have been plenty, i know because I have contributed to several of them.

  • writerman

    The problem with the newspapers in the UK is that, in reality, there’s only ‘one’ newspaper, with a lot of supplements. It’s actually striking how narrow the range of views allowed really is.

    Obviously there’s a massive conservative, establishment bias evident in most of them; but even the socalled ‘liberal’ press, the Guardian and the Independent, aren’t really all that different from the rest. There’s a somewhat different style and tone, and occasionally ‘dissident’ views are aired, but on the major issues there is remarkable uniformity.

    For example, the above mentioned ‘liberal’ newspapers, which many seem to think are decidedly ‘leftwing’, never stray into defining the attack and invasion of Iraq as a crime, it’s defined as a mistake, or blunder. Blair is flawed, but not a war criminal, because once one begins to use that kind of language a lot starts to follow from it.

    For example can a democratic western leader really be a war criminal? Aren’t these contradictions in terms? If Iraq was an international crime, why hasn’t something been done about it? If a country can be led by a war criminal, and he gets off free and easy, is that country really a democracy? A whole avalanche begins to roll and who knows where ideas like that might lead?

    So, if the socalled quality, liberal, press is that bad, and the rest are even worse for the most part, where the hell are we?

    One can argue that the Mirror did try to question the basis of the war led by the verteran John Pilger, who was for a period allowed to be an alternative voice, but look what happened to the Mirror, it was the victim of a security service sting operation that destroyed its credibility, and Pilger has become a non-person in the UK press.

    In general journalists do not question the motives of our politicians. The UK press reflects the attitudes and world-view of the establishment, on all important issues, especially if there is a consensus, which there usually is, to an extraordinary degree. The middle class are then allowed to chatter about the general line taken, which is what they do best; whilst the rest of the population are allowed to watch the show. Sport and celebrity gossip is deemed to be their area of expertise.

    Millions of people have no voice at all, no forum to express their views and no political representation in our system, as the social background of the new parliament shows with such clarity.

    Increasingly we are a democracy in name only.

  • Monty

    @kingfelix – you’ve got to be quick to make a comment on Gaza CIFs. Due to the overwhelming number of loonies they attract if left open too long, the comments are closed after a reasonable time, 12 to 24 hours mostly.

    But you are I think wrong to complain about the lack of threads available for comment. There have been 12 threads on Gaza CIF on 1st and 2nd June.

    Plus numerous other Guardian threads on the flotilla attack were open for comment such as Adam Gabbatt’s live news blog over the last 3 days which attracted nearly 3000 comments in total.

  • writerman

    The newspapers are owned by a handful of multinational corporations. Contrary to what most people think, newspapers ‘sell’ readers to advertizers, only about 20% of the revenues come from the purchasing price of the newspaper, the rest of the money comes from advertizing. This has a profound effect on what stories are allowed through the net.

    There are notable exceptions, a hadnful of super-star journalists who, more or less write what they want. But they are not allowed to write leaders and are really carefully controlled by the editors. They are mostly employed as expensive jewelry to show how ‘free’ and ‘liberal’ the press is, though for the most part this is the direct opposite of the truth.

    Most journalists are employed and trained, groomed, to produce news and articles which support the basic values and structure of our socio-economic model, not to question it or subject it to real scrutiny or qualified criticism.

    In a word, their job is to produce propaganda, rather like in a totalitarian state, only ours is a ‘liberal’ totalitarian state, for now that is.

    On most issues relating to the world outside, and often inside, there is a distinct line draw between official friends and official enemies. The language allowed to describe the two sets is quite distinct. One can say almost anything one likes about official enemies, but one takes one’s lead from the political class and the establishment, or the US, or Israel.

    Official friends are something else. Here one needs to be very careful how one expresses oneself indeed. This often leads to confusion about who is or isn’t an official friend or enemy, but this is quickly sorted out as journalists learn which way the wind is blowing very early in their careers, or they don’t have one.

  • Monty

    That’s hilarious, whoever posted that link about the Israeli meta-data.

    That the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs uses Flickr to post so-called weapons found aboard the Mavi Marmara then leaving themselves open to abuse and ridicule from other Flickr users about the long passed time-stamps in the comments is so spectacularly amateurish, it’s pathetic.

    Of course, the time-stamp in the meta-data is a red herring as it depends on the camera being correctly set with the date and time before the picture was taken.

    Obviously the snapper was so busy rushing to defend his victimhood he did not bother to set the date correctly before firing away. (Something he was quite used to).

  • Clark

    I really don’t like the look of all this Israeli “incompetence”. Israel is not incompetent; there is a plan. I’m worried that Turkey, and then Iran, could come out of this very badly.

  • arsalan

    Clark Israel has only got one plan, and that is to do what it wants and cry antisemitism when anyone complains.

    How many were killed?


    How many days does it take for Israel to kill that many Palestinians?

    I don’t mean in operations and attacks.

    I mean day to day killings that no one notices, and news papers don’t bother reporting.

    I am talking about bored soldiers taking pot shots at Palestinian children to pass the time, or get over the stress of conscription.

    Or I mean settlers shoting or beating to death palestinians when they get up set about something?

    2 days? 3 days?

    Who cares, no one is counting?

    They are only Palestians, so westerners don’t need to be concerned about them the way people get upset about seals being killed in Canada, or Dalphines getting killed in Japan.

    They are vermin, ants to be steped on. That is the way Israel views them, so they don’t expect dog lovers like the British and Americans will notice their deaths the way Korean menus get noticed.

    And this is what the Israelis thought would be the reaction to turks being killed, because they are almost as dark skinned as Palestinians, and just as Muslim.

    But the issue is, not all the people on the boat were Turks, not all were Muslims.

    That is why the world noticed, and may be not all the killed were Turkish.

    But the Israel has nothing to fear, they will just shout enough semitism a few times, and the world will move on.

    They will make up a story, and if anyone disagrees they will shout blood libel.

    It works every time, so they have calcualted all this will blow over.

    And do you know something,, they are right.

    They are above the law, just take a look at everything else they have done, things much worse than this. Take a look, what did Israel have to do to make those things disapear?

    Change? money? compensation?


    all they had to say is one word, just one word, one really very magic word that makes everything and anything disapear..


  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, I’m afraid we’ve seen ‘international outrage’ (meaning ham-acted Western outrage) at Israel so many times now – probably ever since Sabra and Shatila in 1982 – that I fully anticipate that in due course the Great Powers and their well-paid, well-rewarded commentators and courtiers will swing in behind their diamond satellite.

    But I do think that there is a plan here, as Clark suggests, and that it involves a move against Iran. I am almost certain that the USA is involved. I think it highly likely that Israel cleared it with the (only) the USA before attacking Turkish shipping. But we shall see. Whatever it is, a power-game is being played-out in the eastern Mediterranean and as yet we’ve seen only a tip of the (to quote Craig from his excellent book, ‘The Catholic Orangemen of Togo…’, ‘blood diamond’.

  • amk


    “And this is what the Israelis thought would be the reaction to turks being killed, because they are almost as dark skinned as Palestinians, and just as Muslim.”

    Turkey is a NATO member, pursuing EU membership, secular and relatively prosperous without oil money. Turks are far more likely to be in the in-group of Europeans than are Palestinians.

    Otherwise I agree. The Israeli government does seem to have gone mad with hubris.

  • amk

    I’m quite happy to dismiss Israel as incompetent. They’ve massively harmed their public image and by undermining the core mission of NATO have given the EU states less reason to be wary of offending the US, which potentially could result in the EU imposing sanctions on Israel.

    However, depending on how things play out, this may have the effect of driving a wedge between Turkey and “the West”, and thus drive a wedge between the Muslim and “Western” worlds, making “Westerners” less likely to sympathise with Muslims. But I don’t really credit Israel with the skill to make sure that goes the “right” way: it could backfire easily. What if the MV Rachel Corrie, an Irish ship, suffers the same fate? We’d all be Turks then.

  • Ian M


    sounds like the Media Lens analysis, which I am familiar with. However, I don’t buy it. It’s not that straightforward or monolithic (luckily). It’s messier, more mixed and contradictory than that. Fortunately we have access to multiple sources of information now, newspapers are nearly all losing money, which further undermines that analysis. Of course we also have access to all manner of conspiracy theories and sites.

  • wendy

    “I really don’t like the look of all this Israeli “incompetence”. Israel is not incompetent; there is a plan. I’m worried that Turkey, and then Iran, could come out of this very badly.”

    their incompetence has been evident for some time .. including the war in lebanon and the disgraceful efforts in gaza.

    as for a plan .. to be viewed as a rogue nation .. and to attack iran .. maybe

  • tony_opmoc

    I don’t mind if you don’t like what I have to say.

    It is O.K. if you completely hate me for saying it.

    But I mean you no harm.

    I am just using WORDS

    Can’t we discuss this thing rather than fighting each other?



  • CheebaCow

    I also read juancole.com daily. In fact I usually read it before craigmurray.org.uk, however that is because I usually expect to spend less time at juancole, and I always leave the best for last. However Cole unfortunately seems to subscribe to American exceptionalism more than he realises. His views on middle eastern history are very insightful but his commentary about contemporary US politics can be a little naive. For example his blog posting


    Is much more positive about the role the US is playing at the UNSC, exactly the opposite of Craig’s post ‘My Speech in Whitehall Yesterday’.

  • CheebaCow

    I didn’t mean to come off being quite so negative about Mr Cole. I remember when I first discovered his blog, he was very critical of the Bush admin, and this was well before it was acceptable to criticise Bush and the US was still in full 9-11 mode. I also praise his courage in criticising Israel, he has risked his job and career advancement in doing so.

  • writerman

    Obviously I’ve been simplifying in my description of how the mainstream media works and the role of journalism.

    I do think there’s a lot of truth and accuracy in both the work provided by Medialens and Chomsky, especially the propaganda model. Though I don’t subscribe to everything they present.

    It’s complex. How do journalists, in a nominally ‘free’ society, without obvious censorship and direct, everyday, hands-on, governemnet interference, managed to produce so much propaganda? Why are UK newspapers so unrepresentative of the views of the people on a whole range of issues?

    Actually, the financial position of the press, makes them more, not less, dependent on revenue from advertizers.

    I’m not sure who “we’ are exactly in this context.

    There seems to be a tendancy for many people to subscibe to the idea that if one doens’t accept the idea that our media is ‘free’ then one automatically believes in ‘conspiracies’ whatever that really means. In contrast the idea that everything is a merely ‘messy’ and a ‘cock-up’ is a comforting alternative which underplays the idea that Power is unfairly distributed in our closed media world, and that this power is used to promote and protect the interests of the powerful disproportionally.

  • Anonymous

    @ Monty

    Written on June 2, 2010 at 12:45 pm by Sol Stance

    IDF Video Footage of Flotilla Attack is Fake!

    Filed under Expose! 8 comments

    Worth Deeper Analysis arguing IDF Video Footage of Flotilla Attack is Fake

    The Israelis took the Freedom flotilla into port and kept the peace advocates from any contact with reporters.

    Meanwhile the Israeli spin machine went into action to fabricate a justification for their having murdered 2O innocent people.

    The result is worthy of Dubya Bush and his various Bin Ladin not-so-lookalike videos.

    12 hours after the assault Israel released a video that they claim shows the IDF being violently attacked by the peace advocates. (unlikely as that sounds, it’s the IDF’s story)

    Why the video is a fake.

    1. There is no genuine violence shown in the video just a lot of motion. It doesn’t show a single case of anyone actually being hit by anything at all. We’re supposed to assume that it’s happening outside of our vision (like in stage magic). And they even tell us what we are supposed to imagine seeing with notes on the screen.

    2. It’s not even the right ship.

    The peace ship has a metal framework support for a shade awning that covers nearly the entire outside deck.

    There is no sign of that awning in the IDF video.

    The framework can be seen in this video from 1:08 to 1:15.


    3. Fake wave motion.

    Although they tried to fake wave motion by moving the camera around and rolling it from side to side, there is zero variation of relative vertical position between the ship being filmed and the ship from which the film was supposedly made. When the photographer stops moving the camera the two boats don’t have any relative motion to each other.

    That’s impossible at sea.

    4. Fake infrared

    The hijacking occurred at night but the video was clearly made in broad daylight.

    They have photoshopped in a lot of brightness and contrast trying to fake Infrared night photography. But the result isn’t even close. Genuine infrared photography has almost zero halftones. Every pixel is either black or white. The IDF video is full of halftones.

    5. The passengers fully knew they would be arrested and that was their stated intention.

    Why in the world would they attack armed assault troops when they wanted to be arrested as a means of protesting Israel’s inhumanity. Why would they court death and destroy the very reason for their coming in the first place?

    Compare for yourself

    analysis continues/..


  • Steelback

    Chomsky made prolific use of Walter Lippman’s Manufacture of Consent media model.

    What Chomsky failed to point out was that Lipman’s model was unabashedly elitist.For Lipman the masses were utterly incapable of the rational thought and personal intellectual cultivation needed to make democracy work.Democracy could only function if organized resourceful elites used the media to direct mass opinion from the top.

    Whether Lippman intended that the media manipulators would be 97% Zionist is not clear.


    Read quickly before the gatekeeper censor deletes the link!

  • Freeborn

    I’m currently reading Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism.

    I’m still not convinced that I’m going to find these origins in her account.

    Firstly Lippman’s media model is as important element of totalitarianism as is possible to find.Lippman is not mentioned in Arendt.

    There are also many troubling facets of Arendt’s argument.

    The portrayal of Disraeli as some sort of Victorian conspiracy theorist is quite laughable.His novels were warnings about what he perceived as a clear and imminent danger.

    The drift towards totalitarianism is more easily detectable in books like the Pity Of It All by Amos Elon,a history of the Jews in Germany,1743-1933.Reading between the lines, as Elon meant we should, it becomes clear how Reform Judaism and Zionism were both hijacked by the same elite Disraeli had tried to warn us about in his novels and public pronouncements.

    It comes as no surprise to learn that Elon grew deeply disenchanted with Israel as he grew older.The state’s totalitarian drift had become wholly oppressive to him.He moved and died in Italy last year.

    Like Disraeli,Elon had seen the way the world was going.Hence his book’s subtitle:The Pity Of It All.

    P.S.I have tried,like Elon did,to keep my references necessarily oblique so as not to fall foul of the censor!

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