UPDATES

Media Week – Ship of fools

Mar 20, 2014 | Allon Lee

Media Week - Ship of fools
news_item/spin640_________________________________________________.jpg

Media coverage of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s press conference in Eilat publicising a hefty array of missiles, mortars and 400,000 rounds of ammunition found on the merchant ship Klos C allegedly shipped from Iran and headed for Gaza ran the gamut from indifference to downright contempt.

ABC Middle East correspondent Hayden Cooper introduced his video report (March 11) on the seizure with the line: “this is the deadly arsenal that Israel wants the world to see. Forty missiles, over two hundred mortar shells and one culprit in the eyes of Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Maybe an independent expert might have been useful to clarify the claims that Iran was the source of the weapons and Gaza the destination? No – apparently only Netanyahu believes this in the ABC’s view.

And just in case you missed the hint that the whole thing might well be nothing more than a contrivance, Cooper explained that “the timing is convenient for the Israeli leader. The ship was dragged into port just as Europe’s Foreign Policy chief was making a momentous visit to Teheran, progressing talks to halt Iran’s nuclear program.”

Cooper stated that “Israel’s prime minister is determined to wring every ounce of publicity he can from this weapons seizure” and concluded by saying “Israel is holding out as the West warms to the new Iranian regime.”

I must have missed those gestures of peace Iran has made towards Israel buried in amongst the steady stream of denunciations and threats since the P5+1 signed the flawed interim nuclear deal with Teheran last November.

An earlier report on the seizure from Cooper on ABC Radio “AM” patronisingly described Netanyahu as “the proud Israeli Prime Minister…there to show them off, and prove a point” before adding that the timing was “auspicious”.

Also sceptical but nowhere near as snarky was New York Times correspondent Isabel Kershner’s (Australian Financial Review, March 12) description of the weapons on show as “a public relations spectacle” and their capture as “opportune”.

But Kershner at least provided more detail of the weaponry, their concealment and the paperwork revealing the journey they took before being intercepted.

Elsewhere, John Lyons (Australian, March 12) quoted IDF spokesperson Peter Lerner dispelling any deliberate effort to time the interception with Netanyahu’s recent visit to the US. Lerner explained the capture was “‘based on operational considerations. We wanted to intercept it…before it reached Port Sudan'”.

Lyons also noted that if the shipment had reached Gaza, “five million people, or 63 per cent of Israel’s population” would have been potentially “within range” of the 40 surface-to-surface M-302 missiles.

SBS TV “World News” (March 11) ran a brief straight report, but Fairfax‘s three dailies, the Sydney Morning Herald, Age and Canberra Times, only reported the initial weapons seizure on March 7, ignoring Netanyahu’s subsequent press conference.

Regrettably, what all the reports critically failed to note was the public acknowledgment from US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki that US defence officials not only knew of the ship’s existence, but were intimately involved in formulating plans with Israel and other countries to capture the vessel.

– Allon Lee

Tags:

RELATED ARTICLES


Hezbollah does not hide its open affiliation with Iran - as these Hezbollah youth demonstrate - but the Middle Easterners are tired of the poverty, war and chaos that Iranian proxies bring to the countries they operate in. (Photo: nsf2019, Shutterstock)

Election setback for Hezbollah

May 21, 2022 | Update
Shireen Abu Akleh, the well-known Al Jazeera journalist who was killed during a firefight between Palestinians and the IDF in Jenin under unclear circumstances on Wednesday, May 11 (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Controversy follows tragic death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

May 13, 2022 | Update
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Italian TV: "Hitler also had Jewish blood. It means absolutely nothing…the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews." (Photo: YouTube screenshot)

The implications of Israel’s recent spat with Russia

May 7, 2022 | Update
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosts Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in January: A new Iran nuclear deal would be a boon to Russia and allied anti-democratic forces (Photo: ITAR-TASS News Agency / Alamy Stock Photo)

Are the Iran nuclear talks deadlocked?

Apr 29, 2022 | Update
Supporters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad gather in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on April 8 to celebrate the attack on a Tel Aviv bar by Raad Hazem (Photo: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo)

Incitement and the latest terror wave in Israel

Apr 14, 2022 | Update
A flyer for Naftali's Bennett's Yamina party in last year's election - in the end, it was his own party, whose candidates were handpicked by Bennett, that has been the Israeli PM's Achilles heel (Photo: Shutterstock, Roman Yanushevsky)

Israel’s diverse coalition government loses its majority

Apr 9, 2022 | Update

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

(Source: Pixabay)

AIJAC welcomes Victorian swastika ban, and introduction of similar NSW legislation

Naftali Bennett (R), Yair Lapid (L) and former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (credit:Haim Tzach / GPO)

AIJAC’s Ahron Shapiro and Ran Porat interviewed on Israeli political developments on ABC NewsRadio

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (R); Alternative PM and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (C) and Defence Minister Benny Gantz  (L) (Photo: Noam Moscowitz / Knesset spokesperson)

Some key points to understand about the dissolution of Israel’s Government

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (Image: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)

Israel and the UN: How the world’s only Jewish state has been scapegoated

Image: Shutterstock

Unhealthy obsessions return to the annual World Health Organisation assembly – yet there are signs of positive change

(Source: Pixabay)

AIJAC welcomes Victorian swastika ban, and introduction of similar NSW legislation

Naftali Bennett (R), Yair Lapid (L) and former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (credit:Haim Tzach / GPO)

AIJAC’s Ahron Shapiro and Ran Porat interviewed on Israeli political developments on ABC NewsRadio

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (R); Alternative PM and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (C) and Defence Minister Benny Gantz  (L) (Photo: Noam Moscowitz / Knesset spokesperson)

Some key points to understand about the dissolution of Israel’s Government

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (Image: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)

Israel and the UN: How the world’s only Jewish state has been scapegoated

Image: Shutterstock

Unhealthy obsessions return to the annual World Health Organisation assembly – yet there are signs of positive change

SORT BY TOPICS