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Thursday, November 25, 2010

How the The London Review of Books has functioned as an anti-Israel propaganda organ for the last 10 years

“A good dissection of the articles on the conflict that appeared in the LRB over the past decade. Many contributions are no more than pro-Arab propaganda. On the face of things, it would appear that sending taxpayers’ pounds their way is misguided if not downright hostile toward Israel – which is not British government policy.”

Benny Morris, professor of history in the Middle East Studies Department

at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel


JUST JOURNALISM has conducted an in-depth study of The London Review of Books


The London Review of Books (the LRB) has long been known as a publication virulently hostile to the State of Israel and Zionism. This report covers the ten years from 1 June 2000 to 31 May 2010, examining the fortnightly magazine’s reviews and essays on Israel-Palestine and exposing an entirely one-sided, fringe narrative, paid for by British taxpayers’ money via Arts Council funding. Despite Britain’s alliance with Israel, public money has been used to pay extreme opponents of Israel to pen articles demonising the Jewish state.


•A Freedom of Information request revealed that since its inception the LRB has received over £767,000 from Arts Council England, funded by the public purse

•Between 2000 and 2010, over £188,000 was received by the LRB specifically for the purpose of paying contributing writers. In this period 92 articles on Israel-Palestine were produced by contributors

•More than one third (36%) of articles were written by Jewish Israelis and more than half (53%) of all articles were written by people known to be Jewish. On only one occasion was a mainstream Jewish and Israeli perspective on the conflict showcased by this (or any) contingent

•The LRB consistently portrayed Israel as a bloodthirsty and genocidal regime out of all proportion to reality, while sympathetic portraits abounded of groups designated as terrorist organisations by the British government such as Hamas and Hezbollah

•While the Palestinian narrative was fully represented, Israel’s narrative on its legitimate security concerns, Arab rejectionism and terrorism was near absent

Read the entire report at Just Journalism here.


Melanie Phillips adds: 
"It is important because the LRB plays a key role in defining the terms of debate for the British intelligentsia, influencing beyond them the so-called thinking classes in the rest of the English-speaking world. For many years under its current editor Mary-Kay Wilmers – herself surely a prime example of Howard Jacobson’s ‘Ashamed Jews’ -- it has been helping turn that debate into a verbal pogrom against Israel through an unbroken stream of hate-fuelled articles."

h/t American Power and Blazing Cat Fur

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