The Israeli lobby

Conrad Black, the disgraced former proprieter of the London Telegraph, made no bones about his Zionist sympathies. After all, he was a staunch Canadian Jew who, at the earliest possible opportunity, snapped up the Jerusalem Post, a pretty zealous supporter of the Israeli (i.e., Jewish) state.

Now that he has had to give up his media empire, has this nauseating anti-Palestinian sentiment given way to something more constructive?

These questions were very much in my mind this morning, on a visit to the Sudanese Embassy in London.

Recently, fellow journalist Andrew Heavens commented in his blog that the press room in the embassy seemed to contain an astonishing amount of literature on Israel.

I didn’t get the opportunity to check out such literature, but I did get the chance to meet Dr Khalid Al-Mubarak, press attache, who was pleasingly enthusiastic about our guidebook. When I said that I had done some work for the Telegraph, he rolled his eyes dispairingly. I pointed out that I hadn’t really liked what they’d done with my article, and that seemed okay.

He was quite adament that the negative press Darfur was getting was all down to the powerful Israeli lobby, and was just about to launch a pamphlet entitled “The Media War on Darfur” (well, that explains the casketloads of literature on Israel, I guess). He was particularly scathing of the Save Darfur organisation, who he said had a budget of $150 million – none of which was actually used to help the destitute people of Sudan, but rather channelled into winning the media war. He criticised them for recently spending $75,000 on a half-page ad in the New York Times.

Of course, all of this has to be taken with a large pinch of salt, since he is the press attache and his very job is to promote a good picture of Sudan (and presumably a less good one of Israel). But I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, educated people that you are.

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