Rightwing ‘Israel Project’ finds welcome mat at NYT and ‘Daily Show’

Israel/Palestine
on 15 Comments
Laszlo Mizrahi
Laszlo Mizrahi

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi of the Israel Project, which is essentially a propaganda outfit for the Israeli government, promoting everything Netanyahu says, sent out an email blast the other day seeking to raise money by boasting that she and others at the group met with Isabel Kershner of the New York Times to “facilitate” an article featuring an Israeli settler’s claims about Palestinian attitudes:

December 20, 2011 Dear —–,

I want to wish you a deLIGHTful Hanukkah!

There has been a lot of coverage lately about The New York Times and its problematic reporting/editorials on Israel. Thus, I thought you might want to see a piece that we helped facilitate in today’s NYTimes by making sure the reporters have the facts. I personally met with the reporter on this topic, as have others from our team. As key facts were not in the piece, I just sent a letter to the New York Times. I hope they publish it as it’s important to point out that the majority of Palestinians self report in polls that they admire terrorists. It’s not just a fringe issue. Still, overall I was pleased that there was attention paid to this critical topic. A

ll the best, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi

P.S. Our supporters helped make this possible. To continue to help us support and secure Israel by getting reporters and leaders facts, please

The piece Laszlo Mizrahi cited is by Isabel Kershner, and ran in the NYT three days ago: “Finding Fault in the Palestinian Messages that Aren’t So Public.”

JERUSALEM — A new book by an Israeli watchdog group catalogs dozens of examples of messages broadcast by the Palestinian Authority for its domestic audience that would seem at odds with the pursuit of peace and a two-state solution….

Another constant theme is the Palestinian denial of any Jewish historic or religious connection to Jerusalem.

Now below, this is from the Israel Project regarding the Jon Stewart show. It’s a year old, but does that matter? Why is Jon Stewart’s Daily Show giving access to a rightwing Israel lobby organization? Here is a column from Laura Kam published in November 2010 that says TIP “media fellows” have been visiting Daily Show tapings and meeting with their producers for the past 5 or 6 years:

‘The Israel Project (TIP) long has understood the importance of Stewart’s “fake” news program. Quite often it deals with Israel and the Middle East conflict, mimicking how the American media inordinately and sometimes perplexingly focuses on Israel. TIP sends the show’s producers the same news releases and background information we send to tens of thousands of “real” journalists across the globe. And each year for the past five years, our summer media fellows go to a taping of the show live in New York City and meet with some of the writers and producers.’

FYI, another page of the TIP website states that reporters such as Wolf Blitzer, Eleanor Clift of Newsweek, and Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune have all addressed past TIP media fellows

15 Responses

  1. Avi_G.
    December 23, 2011, 12:54 pm

    The day will come when Netanyahu and the hacks at the Israel Project will be the mat and the world will wipe its feet on them. Perhaps Jon Stewart is already the mud that which has stained the doormat.

  2. justicewillprevail
    December 23, 2011, 2:04 pm

    ‘self-report in polls’ – another (meaningless, mendacious) tortured linguistic coinage to further the racist claims of Israel against Palestinians. So she ghost-wrote a piece of propaganda in the NYT? Well, what serious newspaper would accept that, or not institute an inquiry into the reporter’s lack of independence, and willingness to print a lobbyist’s unsourced, prejudicial claims?

  3. Elliot
    December 23, 2011, 2:05 pm

    There seems to be a Hasbara plan to rehabilitate the settlers. Netanyahu has long drawn a distinction between so-called “legal settlements” and the “hilltop youth”. This has become Israeli doctrine, even among Israeli liberals and activists. A recent Rabbis for Human Rights trip to the West Bank met with a “reasonable settler” (in the words of a participant). He lives in the Etzion Bloc south of Jerusalem.
    Now, the international Hasbara effort is citing a settler as a credible source on Palestinian attitudes. After all, settlers should know better than anybody else what Palestinians think: they are on the front lines and proximity = knowledge.
    Kinda like the superior knowledge Alaskans have about Russians.

    • Philip Weiss
      December 23, 2011, 2:07 pm

      thanks elliot, this may explain itamar marcus’s incredible access recently. need to do a post citing your analysis, and get the links up

    • James North
      December 23, 2011, 3:31 pm

      Elliot, as always, adds a valuable comment. For years, Hasbara treated just about all the settlers as outliers, who did not represent the real Israel. Now, there are so many settlers that no one really believes all 550,000 of them will return to Israel. So, as Elliot points out so well, Hasbara creates the category of “hilltop youth” — a handful of wild-eyed fanatics, not like the thousands of Israelis who now live illegally in Har Homa, a complex the size of Co-op City in the Bronx.

      • Avi_G.
        December 23, 2011, 7:15 pm

        James North,

        I’m curious, have you ever been in a leadership position where you were responsible for the lives of others, had to give pep talks from time to time or acted as a shoulder for another to cry on? Or, what about a leadership position that naturally required charisma, self-reliance and an ability to motivate entire groups?

  4. Dex
    December 23, 2011, 2:05 pm

    I’ve always said Jon Stewart is a wannabe progressive, so afraid to even touch the Palestine question in a substantive, honest way.

    Funny how Americans think guys like Stewart or Bill Maher — a racist scumbag who blindly supports everything Israel — are symbols of liberalism or progressivism.

    • Kathleen
      December 30, 2011, 10:23 am

      Stewart and his writers have dipped their toes in just a bit criticizing the I lobby. But have not yet heard them criticize Israel or Israeli leaders. Never a focus on the persistent expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank and illegal housing in E Jerusalem. Have you ever seen a clip of an Israeli bulldozer rolling over Palestinian homes and Stewart saying something like “hmmm wonder why Palestinians are so pissed” Nah..Stewart is all about Israel no matter what they do.

      Rips on Iran constantly. Part of the go get Iran team. Maher too. One telling clip about Maher is when he had former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit Micheal Scheuer on to discuss the middle east. Go google worth the watch and listen. Maher got faint when Scheuer said “Israel is not worth sacrificing one American soldiers life for” Scheuer went onto say that US national security is more important than Israel’s national security

      • Dex
        December 31, 2011, 1:54 pm

        Thanks Kathleen. I have actually seen the Scheuer/Maher clip, and watching Maher’s Zionist colors seep through was very interesting indeed.

  5. Annie Robbins
    December 23, 2011, 2:41 pm

    shorter Jennifer Mizrahi: “while we make sure to continually slam the nyt as demonizing israel we funnel tons hasbara their way, and look how successful we are in getting it placed in the articles! not in a letter to the editor mind you, but front and center by one of our lapdog reporters, in this instance lil issie kershner!”

  6. justicewillprevail
    December 23, 2011, 2:55 pm

    It’s a standard Israeli PR technique. You place stories in your echo chamber professing shock and horror at a media source reporting some basic facts about Palestine. Then follow up with an offer of a ‘friendly’ prominent piece, which the source gladly accepts as a ‘balance’ to their ‘mistakes’ of not checking with the Israeli PR machine first. Rough ‘em up, then offer a sycophantic piece of trash journalism, watch ‘em eat it up in penance. And that keeps them in line until the next piece of fact-free PR statement needs publishing.

  7. kapok
    December 23, 2011, 3:05 pm

    TIP, huh? The very first letter of their acronym, the big “T” stands for “the”. This is so many different kinds of lame.

    • Bumblebye
      December 23, 2011, 8:12 pm

      Bit dodgy if the T gets taken away. Perhaps they should have gone for the”Zionist Israel Project” and become “ZIP”?

  8. Jeffrey Blankfort
    December 23, 2011, 3:31 pm

    It should be noted that 15 US senators, nine Repubs, four Demos and Indyzio Joe Lieberman, plus 22, members of the House, 11 from each party, are members of TIP’s Advisory Board all of whom should be outed and made targets of a national campaign alongside of BDS.

    See them in living color here: link to theisraelproject.org and while it claims it “is not affiliated with any government,” one that would not likely hold up in court, it’s staff in Israel is even larger than the one in Washington. link to theisraelproject.org

    The Times “correspondent,” Isabel Kershner, as has been reported here in the past, is a native of England and has been married for almost 20 years to Hirsch Goodman, longtime editor of the Jerusalem Report. By now, I am sure, she is also an Israeli citizen. I am sure that she and J Lazlo Mizrahi got on famously, as they say.

    • Kathleen
      December 30, 2011, 10:17 am

      Another thank you