The television pundits criticising israel — and their ‘expert’ analyses

The TV news channels have been regularly turning to the same supposedly ‘objective’ commentators . But far from being objective, they have very clear agendas


January 15, 2009
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Abdel Bari Atwan

Regularly invited on to BBC and Sky as a Middle East expert, Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of London-based Arab daily al-Quds al-Arabi (or Arab Jerusalem), is a seasoned propagandist. Born in the Gaza Strip, he was a journalist in Libya and Saudi Arabia before joining al-Quds. According to Mr Bari Atwan, al-Quds is “known for its strident Arab nationalism and defence of the Palestinian cause”.

In his own words: “Our position is very clear; we believe that the Israelis are occupying Arab territories. We support the Palestinian struggle to set up an independent, viable Palestinian state…I believe that the western media and western governments are scared of accusation of antisemitism… .”

Dr richard Falk

When Dr Richard Falk, the United Nations Rapporteur in Gaza, was appointed to the UN Human Rights Council, former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, said: “He was picked for a reason, and the reason is not to have an objective assessment, the objective is to find more ammunition to go after Israel.”

Dr Falk has taken part in a UN fact-finding mission which determined that suicide bombings were “a valid method of struggle” and has charged Israel with “genocidal tendencies”.

An American Jew, Dr Falk has been outspoken in his criticism of Israel’s security barrier and of operations in Gaza. In his own words: “For 18 months the entire 1.5 million people of Gaza experienced a punishing blockade imposed by Israel” while “homemade” Hamas rockets “fell harmlessly on nearby Israeli territory and… caused anxiety in the border town of Sderot.”

Dr Mads Gilbert

Working at Gaza’s Shifra Hospital, Dr Mads Gilbert tells news organisations of the “horrors” inflicted by Israel. A report in The Times quoted him: “We are wading in death, blood, and amputees… I have never experienced anything so terrible…”.

Norwegian-born Dr Gilbert, 61, has been involved in solidarity work with Palestinians since the 1970s and was a member of the hard-left Norwegian communist party Rød Valgallianse, which disbanded in 2007. He has received several honours for his work in the Occupied Territories and Lebanon, including the Palestinian Red Crescent’s Power of Humanitarity Award in 2000. He has criticized international aid organization Doctors Without Borders for refusing to take sides in conflicts. Dr Gilbert is employed by NORWAC, whose partner organisations include Hizbollah’s Martyr Foundation.

Asked by the Norwegian daily, Dagbladet, if he supported the 9/11 attacks, he said: “Terror is a bad weapon but the answer is yes.”

A video in which he was seen attempting to save the life of a 12-year-old Gazan was pulled by CNN after allegations that the scene had been faked.

    Last updated: 10:25am, January 15 2009