Posts Tagged ‘TT’

Israel does not exist

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Not according to Swedish news agency TT.

The Swedish Nobel Prize committee today announced the winners of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The three joint winners are Mr Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, from the UK, Mr Thomas A. Steitz from the USA, and Ms Ada E. Yonath from Israel.

Swedish news monopoly TT (Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå), however, refused to report on the nationality of Ms Yonath, stating merely that she was born in Jerusalem. TT meticulously stated the nationalities of the other two Nobel Prize winners.

Sweden’s TT is in the vanguard of a nationwide campaign to demonise and delegitimise the State of Israel and is highly successful in indoctrinating the entire nation in anti-Israel sentiment. TT pursues a strict policy of anti-Israel news slant in the media and its reporting on the Middle East is often perceived as barely disguised anti-Semitism.

One of the main shareholders of TT with a 40 percent stake in the company is Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet. Aftonbladet recently rose to prominence when it published what was widely regarded as an anti-Semitic diatribe in the form of a highly controversial and totally unsubstantiated article on organ trafficking.

To put TT’s activities into a wider perspective, watch the following film entitled “Icon of Hatred”, obtained from The Second Draft.

It shows just how powerful the media can be in first manufacturing and then methodically spreading a lie, with disastrous – and entirely intentional – results for innocent civilians.

There is general consensus that organisations such as Hizbollah and Hamas are terror organisations. TT’s reporting on the Middle East is part of the media onslaught of these organisations and TT’s operations should be viewed as such.

Articles on TT and the Swedish media from this website, in English:
Freedom of the Press in Sweden
How Sweden became anti-Israel
Totalitarian control of the media in Sweden
The art of terror, Swedish style
The truth only the media could miss
Instructions to Swedish journalists

Articles on TT and the Swedish media from this website, in Swedish:
Allt som behövs för att ondskan ska segra
Bortgången hederlig journalism
TT bestämmer i Sverige
Svensk demokrati hotad av femte kolonn
TT – ett politiskt verktyg
Vem behöver ljuga? Att undvika sanninen är lika bra
TT – svenska mästare i snedvriden rapportering
En terrorist blir en gärningsman

Freedom of the press in Sweden

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

A month ago a controversial newspaper article in left-wing Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet alleged systematic Jewish and Israeli organ harvesting involving body parts from Palestinian Arabs.

With the initial shock of those sinister –and unsubstantiated – claims now dying down, this is a good time to examine what that article signified and how it plays out in the wider Swedish media discourse.

Much of the controversy hinged on “freedom of the press”, with the newspaper and its supporters claiming that in a democracy like Sweden the press is free from the fetters of outside control.

And so indeed it is.

Or is it? On Friday September 11, rockets were fired from the Lebanon into civilian Israeli territory in an unprovoked surprise attack by militants under the control of Hizbollah. Hizbollah maintains de facto control of southern Lebanon and, as a major parliamentary faction, is in negotiations to play a sizeable role in the next Lebanese government.

Newspapers in countries with a free press all ran headlines along the lines of “Rocket fire from Lebanon” or “Rockets from Lebanon provoke Israeli artillery response”.

Not so the Swedish press. To a man, virtually every newspaper in Sweden carried headlines such as “Rockets rain across Lebanon-Israel border”, “Exchange of fire between Lebanon and Israel”, “Cross-border rocket fire between Lebanon-Israel”.

No mention of who initiated the unprovoked attack. The headlines and the articles were skewed to show that Israel was engaged in military action. One newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, wrote “At least eight rockets struck Lebanese territory” and only much later in the body of the article mentioned that the attack was initiated from the Lebanon.

So was the Aftonbladet article last month an aberration, or was it symptomatic of how Israel is treated in Sweden?

Most foreign news coverage in Sweden is provided by Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå (TT), a Soviet-era Pravdaesque nest of left-wing and ultra-left-wing journalists obsessed with only one subject: Israel.

TT has a virtual monopoly on foreign news dissemination since for budgetary reasons most media outlets here subscribe to its services. This therefore means that a radical left-wing entity, an unelected political power broker with a highly specific political agenda, is in competition with the Swedish government to determine how Swedes perceive one aspect of Stockholm’s foreign policy: Israel. TT’s news is distributed in the printed media, the electronic media and over the airwaves on both radio and TV.

Since Swedes are avid news consumers, this puts TT in a critical position of power. And it exercises that power 365 days a year.

The question therefore has to be asked: was the Aftonbladet article a one-off piece of poor judgement, woefully inadequate research, immature language, sinister innuendo, offensive racism and subjective pursuit of one particular newspaper’s policies?

Or was it yet another example of the daily battering that Israel takes in the wider Swedish press? A crude, vicious, calculated, blatantly anti-Israel and barely concealed anti-Semitic attack on the world’s sole Jewish nation?

The answer depends entirely on the ethical integrity of anyone who reads, watches and listens to the Swedish press. In other words, it depends on the honesty with which one views the question and objectivity with which one analyses the facts.

What is beyond doubt, however, is that Swedes as a nation are not anti-Semitic. The government are not anti-Semitic. The politburo of the Church of Sweden is anti-Semitic in its obsession with Israel. The general membership of the Church of Sweden is not. Not for nothing are increasingly large numbers of Swedes leaving the Church of Sweden and opting not to pay Church dues.

Large swathes of the Swedish press are totally consumed by hatred of Israel. They produce unsubstantiated stories, regurgitate hearsay without corroboration, deliberately rewrite facts, deliberately mistranslate articles from the foreign press, deliberately omit the truth, deliberately disseminate lies – all in the cause of an anti-Israel policy pursued by a shadowy non-governmental agency with very real power, the power to shape citizens’ minds.

Targeting Israel has developed into a religion in Sweden. It is a religion practised by a majority of the Swedish media. The foremost victims of this religion are Sweden’s own Jewish minority: it is no longer safe for Jews to wear a skullcap or Star of David in the country in which they have been living as a recognized minority for 250 years.

It is against this background that the Aftonbladet article should be seen. In Sweden freedom of the press is unassailable. Unfortunately it is abused to give the press total freedom to vilify Israel and, increasingly, Jews.

Considerable foreign media focus was trained on what the Swedish government did or did not say in the aftermath of the Aftonbladet debacle.

The spotlight needs instead to be trained on the agency that really runs the country: the Swedish media and its shock-troops in a propaganda machine with far-reaching tentacles and very real power – news agency TT.

Ynet, JPost, Haaretz, Haaretz2, JIW, Global Arab Network, Daily Telegraph, Washington Post, SBS Australia, Australian Herald, Euronews, WN, Tiscali, Gloria Center, Israel i Sverige (in Swedish),

How Sweden became anti-Israel

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

1. Sociological background
Before WW2, Sweden was one of the poorest, most backward countries in W. Europe. The moneyed elite told the population what to think and do.
After WW2, things changed dramatically in terms of national welfare, but the moneyed elite were replaced by a series of dogmatic left-leaning Social Democratic governments. The concept of looking after an entire nation “from the cradle to the grave” was minted specifically for Sweden.
Result: with the autocratic moneyed elite now replaced by autocratic father-figures in the PM’s office, the populace was conditioned never to worry, never to think. The man in the street was looked after in every respect – kindergarten, health-care, education, job, social welfare, housing, pension, political views. This worked fine as long as the nation’s politics favoured Israel, which it did.

2. Political evolution
Olof Palme changed the attitude to Israel. Reason: Swedish criticism of the USA because of Vietnam. In the mindset of Swedes used to following a strong leader and conditioned for generations never to question leadership figures, the equation was simple: we hate the USA – the USA supports Israel = we hate Israel. At the time that Sweden was supporting Vietnam, it was also supporting regimes in Cuba, the Soviet Union and elsewhere – all anathema to the USA. Anyone linked to the USA – like Israel – was conversely also anathema to Sweden.

3. Lebanon
At the end of the 1970s, Israel was riding on a crest of popularity in Sweden. The Lebanon war didn’t change anything in the minds of the Swedes in itself, but it opened the door to highly vocal input from a minority who over the previous 10-15 years had been quietly taking over one key area in Sweden – the media.

4. National penchant for sad tales – love of the underdog
At the time of the Lebanon war, Sweden was also opening its doors to asylum-seekers from many countries. Most had nothing to do with the Middle East, but the Swedish psyche was now being constantly assaulted with images of political travesties in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Tibet, Assam, China, the Soviet Union and its satellite states. The Swedish mindset was by now a fertile ground for anyone with a sad tale. The slickly related Palestinian narrative fitted right in. By now, Swedes were no longer reasoning – anyone who was perceived as an underdog received automatic and enthusiastic support. The Palestinian cause was embraced by a population conditioned by the media and the governing elite to do what it had always done – see things in black & white.

5. Pro-Israeli self-delusion
Pro-Israel activity had almost totally collapsed by 1981. Simply because the pro-Israel camp had grown smug, lazy, convinced of its invincibility, convinced nothing could shake the support it enjoyed. It rarely bothered to put its case in the media.

6. The rise of the left-wing media
When the Palestinian narrative of Sabra and Shatila broke, the pro-Israel camp had already disbanded, its champions had already been out of the debate for some time, and the field was left open to a coalition of pro-Palestinians and left-wing Swedes. By now, the media was firmly a left-wing breeding ground. With the automatic blockade on neutral or pro-Israeli articles from about 1984 onwards, Swedes rarely had an opportunity to hear the other side. Swedish pro-Israel action was in disarray. Some of its fiercest proponents had moved abroad – many to Israel – and many had simply become disillusioned with what was seen as a hopeless fight against impossible odds.

7. Rising anti-Semitism powered the modern pro-Israel effort
The situation didn’t improve until halfway through the second intifada, when Swedish anti-Israel sentiment became increasingly expressed as open anti-Semitism. This gave new impetus to pro-Jewish and pro-Israel individuals and organisations to take up the fight once again, stimulating and supporting a strongly pro-active effort on the part of Swedes who supported Israel as a democracy and Sweden’s Jews as a natural part of the demographic scene.

8. TT – the monopoly on news
There is one very tangible reason why Sweden continues to be anti-Israel today: TT. The majority of its shares are in the hands of left-wing newspapers, and its reporters have a virtual monopoly on all ME-related news published in Sweden. What TT doesn’t want to say simply doesn’t get said, end of story.

9. Lesson for the future
The anti-Israel lobby is learning quickly from its mistakes. We will probably never see another media onslaught against Israel being tainted with anti-Semitism. Not because this isn’t a major driving force behind much of the Swedish anti-Israel sentiment – it largely is – but because they have learned that this (1) galvanised the pro-Israel effort against them, and (2) it galvanised a strong and public stance against anti-Semitism by the Swedish government and the country’s citizens. The anti-Israel lobby had made the mistake of using the two weapons together, and the result was that in response, the fight against anti-Semitism also focused attention on the fight against anti-Israel propaganda. The pro-Palestinian lobby will not repeat this mistake again.
So if you’re in the Israel advocacy business, don’t wait for the anti-Semitic card to be played again. It won’t. Instead there will be a massive, very slick, very cohesive drive focusing solely on the “illegitimacy” of Israel. It will be mounted within the next 2 to 3 years.

10. Gaza
At the time of writing (December 2005) the withdrawal from Gaza has created a real, lasting problem for the anti-Israel lobby. They are recovering, however, and the thrust of the new campaign which is in its infancy is the illegitimacy of Israel in the first place.