18 November 09
On November 16, the UK Channel 4's flagship documentary program, Dispatches, broadcast an investigation of "one of the most powerful and influential political lobbies in Britain, which is working in support of the interests of the State of Israel", directly attacking and smearing HonestReporting in the process.
"Despite wielding great influence among the highest realms of British politics and media, little is known about the individuals and groups which collectively are known as the pro-Israel lobby," the program noted.
Aside from inventing a non-existent "lobby" that conjures up images of some of the worst forms of anti-Jewish prejudice, the documentary attempts to discredit and delegitimize HonestReporting and the thousands of its subscribers who care about accurate reporting of Israel in the media.
The documentary is available to view in full on YouTube or by clicking on the video below to see the specific segment concerning HonestReporting.)
While the program had been in the making for several months, it was only in the few weeks prior to the transmission when those UK Jewish communal and pro-Israel organizations targeted by C4 were contacted by Hardcash Productions and political commentator Peter Oborne.
We at HonestReporting found the premise of the entire program to be highly offensive and prejudiced. For, as commentator Tom Gross notes:
Whereas there is a pro-Israel lobby with some influence in the U.S. (though not the kind of influence ascribed to it by anti-Semites), contrary to what Channel 4 and others think, there is no effective pro-Israel lobby in Britain.
The complete lack of any effective pro-Israel lobby in Britain (as opposed to well organized anti-Israel groups) goes a long way to explaining why some of the coverage of Israel in the British media is among the worst in the world, and sometimes rivals the Iranian and Egyptian media for its sheer nastiness.
Others, including individuals and organisations targeted by C4 have already commented on the nature of the program, which we do not intend to dissect in its whole.
We do, however, wish to respond to the content aimed directly at HonestReporting that appears in the program from 35-42 mins.