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Open letter to Dr Iqbal Survé



Allan Wolman, Johannesburg

Writing in The Star (July 31, 2017) you claim: “We are a media company that presents news accurately, without bias and gives everyone a fair voice” That is a very bold statement. In the same article, you are quoted as saying: “Using their surrogate, their untruths were spread and shared until they appeared to be the truth.” “Their fake news attacks became increasingly vicious and spurious…” This in reference to a dispute with another media company.

Hardly a day goes by without one or other paper from the Independent Group publishing a derogatory piece on Israel, some of them extremely insignificant. Allow me to remind you of the following reports which have appeared in The Star as well as other Independent newspapers over the past two weeks:

The Star (November 14) reported on the arrest of a senior member of Islamic Jihad as tensions were rising as a result of Israel blowing up a terrorist tunnel. This was certainly not fake news but was this really worthwhile news? Was the arrest of one person, even a terrorist, really hot news? Indeed, this was superfluous news and it is highly unlikely that any reputable newspaper other than one with an agenda, would report on it.

Again (November 15) The Star reported on the closing off of the entrance to a Palestinian village. Really hot news again? No – again superfluous news but anything Israel does which is seen to be harmful to the Palestinians, even when deserved, becomes hot news for some publications, notwithstanding how irrelevant that report is, providing it serves the publication’s Israel-Palestinian agenda.

Last week this same newspaper reported on a “selfie” taken by an Israeli soldier of some prisoners. Was that real news? Again, they were the Uber victims, and anything to do with the Palestinians becomes hot news when agendas are at play. In fact, that report was found to be false, but your journalists didn’t bother to research and verify it – it was too tempting merely to insert it into the paper as was.

And then finally all most of your newspapers printed a photograph and report dating back to 2014 describing rocket fire into Gaza from Israel. The retraction? Nothing more than a mealie-mouthed, pathetic apology blaming junior staff (of course) and refusing to take responsibility – and appearing on page 8 and page 11 in some papers, where to all intents it would not be seen by readers. So, here we have the Independent Group publishing both false news AND superfluous news together.  This was a real coup for its sales.

Israel is a strong democracy and a regional economic and military power. It boasts a free and independent press where even Al Jazeera, a news channel that the rest of the Arab world has refuted, operates without constrictions. Given the constant vilification of Israel almost daily, your readers are encouraged to believe that Israel is the rogue state.

To quote you again: “Using their surrogate, their untruths were spread and shared until they appeared to be the truth.” “Their fake news attacks became increasingly vicious and spurious…”

Published almost daily, the lies and distortions that this news group perpetuates about Israel become the truth and sow the seeds of hatred.



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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. nat cheiman

    Nov 30, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    ‘narcissistic idioto’

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