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Israel Project brags on planting story in CNN and taking 38 journalists on helicopter trips in Israel

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Israel Project “Intellicopter” with top-tier foreign journalists

Today I got the fundraising letter below from the Israel Project where it claims credit for this February story in CNN on “Israeli hospital treats wounded from Syria.” If you read the article, there is no mention of the rightwing lobby group in the story.

The fundraising appeal also states that the Israel Project took 38 journalists and 38 diplomats on helicopter trips in Israel, presumably to show them how vulnerable Israel is to its tough neighborhood (which includes a lot of refugees in Syria Israel won’t allow to return).

The appeal is signed by Josh Block. As Nathan Gutmann at the Forward recently reported, this excellent gentleman is relaunching the lobby group with an aim at American journalists, lest they be influenced by a “well-…financed, albeit fringe echo chamber” of anti-Zionist conspiracy theorists and apologists for Iran. The Israel Project is sorely in need of funds because Block lately gathered a bunch of journalists and policy wonks at a “fancy hotel in Washington,” according to the Forward, where he stood in front of an ice sculpture carved in the shape of the group’s logo and described a new TIP publication as Vanity Fair crossed with Foreign Affairs. Ice sculptures and helicopter trips can get pricey.

The Israel Project’s Intellicopter is above. You’ll see at the link that it flies over Palestine, not just Israel.

From Block to me today [excerpted]:


Tuesday marked the 65th anniversary of Israel’s independence.

It was an important time of reflection, but it was also an important time for looking ahead: We have to keep doing all we can to secure Israel’s future.

That’s what drives us at The Israel Project (TIP). We are the go-to source for credible, factual information on Israel and the threats it faces in the Middle East. We are the indispensible resource for educating the media and leaders about Israel’s history and ongoing struggle for peace.

The best way we know to celebrate Israel’s independence is by recommitting our efforts to protecting it. The critical work we do to educate journalists and policy makers depends on your support. Will you donate now to ensure we can keep up all our work?…

Our impact on Israel is tangible and meaningful. Here are some highlights of the work we’ve done recently:

  • Throughout the Israeli elections, TIP helped journalists see the robust nature of Israel’s democracy and countered a well-publicized campaign to depict Israel as an extreme, right-leaning country.
  • As the conflict in Syria threatened to spill over its borders, TIP drew attention to the care Israel provided for Syrian refugees, culminating in CNN publishing a story headlined, “Israeli hospital treats wounded from Syria.”
  • Not a week has gone by that TIP’s communications team in Israel has not placed a story or expert in U.S. and international media.
  • We organize helicopter tours for journalists and diplomats to accelerate their understanding of Israel and the complex issues affecting its security. In 2012, we took 38 journalists and 38 diplomats on helicopter tours.

All of these things are important for keeping Israel secure. But we can’t continue to carry out all of these important efforts without the help of committed individuals like you. Right now, as we reflect on Israel’s past and dream of its future, we need you. Can I count on your support today?


[signed Josh Block]

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22 Responses

  1. K Renner
    K Renner
    April 18, 2013, 11:06 am

    ◾As the conflict in Syria threatened to spill over its borders, TIP drew attention to the care Israel provided for Syrian refugees, culminating in CNN publishing a story headlined, “Israeli hospital treats wounded from Syria.”


    I “love” the audacity of the flag wavers for Israel and Zionism.

    “We even treated some of those evil, dirty, MUSLIM Arabs who were wounded and came over our border! We truly are the “Light of the World” for doing such a saintly thing!”

    In the rational world, you’re expected to help people who are hurt, if you have the means to. It’s not some proof of how great you are, it’s what’s expected.

    • ThorsteinVeblen2012
      April 18, 2013, 6:23 pm

      Reminds me of the two weeks or so the Israeli government sent a medical team to Haiti for earthquake relief. It made the American media, heartwarming tales of humanity staged on billionaire Gilbert Bigio’s property.

      Then they went home.

  2. justicewillprevail
    April 18, 2013, 11:52 am

    This will be the same people who throw a tantrum when the power of the Israeli lobby is discussed, and their blatant manufacture and manipulation of the media. lol

  3. Bumblebye
    April 18, 2013, 1:07 pm

    “We are the go-to source for credible, factual information on Israel”
    Uh huh. A handful of wounded Syrians in an Israeli hospital. Ignoring that Israel denied the request from Palestine to let in 10,000 refugees from Syria, TO Palestine (not Israel, mind). So lets reword that:
    “We are the go-to source for up-to-date Israeli propaganda”
    So what if it doesn’t sound as good? It’s a lot more credible.

  4. Amar
    April 18, 2013, 1:26 pm

    Quite different to treat people out of a genuine care for them than for a media opportunity.

  5. seafoid
    April 18, 2013, 1:48 pm

    Why would the future of israel not be secure? Is it doing something bad?

  6. Citizen
    April 18, 2013, 2:14 pm

    “The Israel Project (TIP) is a non-profit educational organization that provides information and facts about Israel and the Middle East to the media, public officials, and the public. TIP is not affiliated with any government. The Israel Project is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization under the laws of the United States of America and contributions made to TIP are fully tax deductible.”

    Come on Phil, get with the education program–it’s tax deductible! This means Dick and Jane pay for it, not you! Ignore “Israel” in this organization’s name–it doesn’t refer to the foreign government and state of Israel! Don’t believe your lying eyes!

  7. hophmi
    April 18, 2013, 2:51 pm

    Gee, ya mean they “planted” a true story about Israel helping Syrian refugees? Ya mean to tell me it’s unheard of for an NGO to call press contacts to have stories done?

    Yes, I know, the only stories journalists cover are stories they investigated all by themselves with no help or tips from anyone, ever.


    • annie
      April 18, 2013, 3:05 pm

      oh please. from the cnn link:

      An Israeli military spokeswoman told CNN the Israel Defense Forces “provided medical care to seven injured Syrians adjacent to the security fence between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights, and the wounded were transferred to an Israeli hospital for further treatment.”

      Embon said one of the seven patients is in severe condition in an intensive care unit. He was to undergo surgery Sunday.

      The other six have moderate injuries and had surgery Saturday night. Five have bone fractures in extremities; the sixth has a vascular injury.

      7 patients. well worth the pr effort. let me know when they’re treating thousands or even hundreds and not plastering it all over the press. then i’ll be impressed. it cost hella more to fly in 38 journos than treat 7 patients. this has pr written all over it hops.

      • a blah chick
        a blah chick
        April 18, 2013, 7:13 pm

        When they start allowing in Gay Syrians then I’ll take notice.

      • K Renner
        K Renner
        April 19, 2013, 8:39 am

        Do gay Syrians matter more than regular Syrians?

    • justicewillprevail
      April 18, 2013, 4:06 pm

      Do let us know when they apply the same amazing humanity (6 minor injuries! Hold the front page!) to the thousands of Palestinian refugees who have slightly more than a couple of small fractures.

    • Cliff
      April 18, 2013, 5:33 pm

      Yes, hoppy, it was planted. 7 Syrians. Big ****ing deal.

      Israel couldn’t care less about the well-being of Syrians in a life and death scenario except within this context.

      Near the ‘security’ fence and in small numbers.

  8. Les
    April 18, 2013, 3:59 pm

    Why pretend to “plant” a story on CNN when its owners and managers are part of the Israel Lobby?

  9. DICKERSON3870
    April 18, 2013, 4:11 pm

    RE: “Israel Project brags on planting story in CNN and taking 38 journalists on helicopter trips in Israel”

    MY COMMENT: This is yet another reason I fear that Revisionist Zionism and Likudnik Israel (specifically by virtue of their inordinate sway over the U.S.) might very well be an “existential threat” to the values of The Enlightenment [like the right to “due process” and “the right of free speech”] ! ! !
    “Down, down, down we [the U.S.] go into the deep, dark abyss; hand in hand with Israel.”

    “How We Became Israel”, By Andrew J. Bacevich, The American Conservative, 9/10/12
    LINK –
    “America Adopts the Israel Paradigm”, by Philip Ghiraldi,, 7/05/12
    LINK –
    “Report: Israeli model underlies militarization of U.S. police”, By Muriel Kane, Raw Story, 12/04/11
    LINK –
    “From Occupation to ‘Occupy’: The Israelification of American Domestic Security”, By Max Blumenthal, Al-akhbar, 12/02/11
    LINK – OR
    “In bill discriminating against Arab- and Muslim-Americans, Boxer and 17 other senators serve Israeli gov’t over their own — Greenwald”, By Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 4/13/13
    LINK –
    “The Second Battle of Gaza: Israel’s Undermining Of International Law”, by Jeff Halper,, 02/26/10
    LINK –
    “The Trial of Israel’s Campus Critics”, by David Theo Goldberg & Saree Makdisi, Tikkun Magazine, September/October 2009
    LINK –
    “Brooklyn College’s academic freedom increasingly threatened over Israel event”, by Glenn Greenwald,, 2/02/13
    LINK –
    “Peter ‘Powder Keg’ Beinart is disinvited from gig at Atlanta Jewish book festival”, by Annie Robbins, Mondoweiss, 11/05/12
    LINK –
    ‘Israelis are helping write US laws, fund US campaigns, craft US war policy’, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 6/30/12
    LINK –
    “David Yerushalmi, Islam-Hating White Supremacist Inspires Anti-Sharia Bills Sweeping Tea Party Nation”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 3/02/11
    LINK –
    “Boston airport security program rife with racial profiling has Israeli links”, by Alex Kane, Mondoweiss, 8/14/12
    LINK –
    “Obama’s kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza”, By Glenn Greenwald,, 11/15/12
    LINK –

    “US Religious Right Propelling Homophobia in African Countries”
    , by Common Dreams, 7/24/12
    LINK –

  10. amigo
    April 18, 2013, 5:00 pm

    “Throughout the Israeli elections, TIP helped journalists see the robust nature of Israel’s democracy and countered a well-publicized campaign to depict Israel as an extreme, right-leaning country.”

    Blind leading the blind.Can,t wait until they crash into the wall of reality.
    They wont know what hit them or should I say , what they hit.Should be fun and I love a little slapstick and Cabaret.

    Another thought,should TIP mean “Team Israeli Propaganda”.

  11. lysias
    April 18, 2013, 5:52 pm

    How many people still watch CNN?

  12. lysias
    April 18, 2013, 6:40 pm

    CNN Exposed, Emmy Winning Former CNN Journalist, Amber Lyon Blows The Whistle, Let me repeat that.CNN is paid by the US government for reporting on some events, and not reporting on others. The Obama Administration pays for CNN content:

    Amber Lyon is an award-winning journalist who worked for CNN.

    She says she was ordered to report fake stories, delete unfriendly stories adverse to the Obama administration (like the Nick Robertson report), and construct stories in specific manners while working for the left-wing network.

    CNN is paid by foreign and domestic Government agencies for specific content.

    CNN is paid by the US government for reporting on some events, and not reporting on others. The Obama Administration pays for CNN content.

    Additionally CNN and CNN International are also paid by foreign governments to avoid stories that are damaging, and construct narratives that show them in a better, albeit false, light.

    Ex-CNN Reporter, Amber Lyon: I Received Orders to Manipulate News to Demonize Syria and Iran :

    PRAGUE, (SANA)- Ex-CNN reporter Amber Lyon revealed that during her work for the channel she received orders to send false news and exclude some others which the US administration did not favor with the aim to create a public opinion in favor of launching an aggression on Iran and Syria.

    Lyon was quoted by the Slovak main news website as saying that the mainstream US media outlets intentionally work to create a propaganda against Iran to garner public opinion’s support for a military invasion against it.

    She revealed that the scenario used before launching the war on Iraq is being prepared to be repeated where Iran and Syria are now being subject to constant ‘demonization’.

  13. RoHa
    April 18, 2013, 10:28 pm

    Israel brags about planting story…

  14. Cliff
    April 21, 2013, 7:39 am

    Israel supported genocidal Latin American dictatorships during the Cold War.

    And of course, this was under-reported on or ignored entirely.

    But if a handful of Syrians near the Israeli-Syrian Apartheid Wall/Annexation Wall are opportunistically picked up for a photo-op, then our MSM will gobble it up.

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