John Pilger

John Pilger is an Australian journalist and documentary maker. A darling of the extreme Left, John Pilger is perhaps one of the most vociferous demonizers of the Jewish state in the mainstream media. In his writings on “Palestine”, he regularly equates Israel to Nazi Germany, propagates the “Israel lobby” and Jewish conspiracy lie, accuses Israel of practising racism and ethnic cleansing  and regards Israel as the most dangerous country in the world (after the United States).

In fact according to Pilger “the Zionist state remains the cause of more regional grievance and sheer terror than all the Muslim states combined.” So deep-seated is Pilger’s hatred of the Jewish state that he participated in a cross-border raid by members of the terrorist group, Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which resulted in the death of one of its participants.

According to Philip Mendes

“John Pilger’s view of Israel/Palestine is based on the binary opposites of good and bad nations. The Israelis – except for a small number of token good Jews – are universally depicted as evil and immoral oppressors engaged in human rights abuses and war crimes. In contrast, the Palestinians are portrayed as defenceless and innocent victims. Pilger’s caricatures deftly avoid the complexity of the conflict, and the existence of moderates and extremists on both sides of the fence. His aim is not to support compromise or reconciliation, but rather to impose pariah status on one particular nation.”

Continuing, Mendes observes that

“Pilger adopted what I have termed an anti-Zionist fundamentalist perspective. This perspective regards Israel as a racist and colonialist state which has no right to exist, and should instead by replaced by an Arab State of Greater Palestine (Pilger 2007c). It is akin to religious fundamentalism because adherents hold to a viewpoint opposing Israel’s existence specifically and Jewish national rights more broadly which is beyond rational debate, and unconnected to contemporary or historical reality (Mendes 2006:142-143). Hence Pilger has often used the term “Occupied Palestine” or even just “Palestine” to categorise what he considers the illegitimacy of Israel even within the pre-1967 borders (Pilger 1986:365; 2004b; 2006a:9). He also endorses calls for an academic boycott of Israel (Pilger 2002c; 2007c) which is based on the racial or ethnic stereotyping of all Israeli Jews as an oppressor people.”

In 2002, Pilger’s documentary, Palestine is Still the Issue, was shown on Britain’s ITV Channel. It included a sequence purporting to show excrement smeared by Israeli soldiers in a room of children’s paintings. Its ‘historical adviser’ was none other than arch anti-Zionist, Ilan Pappé . When people protested at the programme’s inaccuracies, Pilger made the standard charge of the antisemites that Jews try to stifle criticism of Israel by accusing critics of being antisemitic (a device that has become known as the ‘Livingstone Formulation’ which is itself antisemitic as it seeks to mock Jewish protests against antisemitism).

Here was what Stephen Pollard (now editor of the London Jewish Chronicle) said about Palestine is Still the Issue:

“The Yiddish word, chutzpah, is sometimes defined as the boy who kills his parents and then pleads for mercy on the grounds that he is an orphan. John Pilger has now offered us a new definition; his piece on this page yesterday was 850 words of chutzpah. He defends his film, Palestine is Still the Issue, by talking of his duty to the “basic truth”; yet rarely has there been broadcast a more distorted piece of anti-Israel propaganda.”

In October 2003, Pilger used the well-known antisemites’ gambit of suggesting that because Arabs are Semites too, the word ‘antisemitism’ cannot refer to hatred of Jews. Pilger had a letter in (where else!) The Guardian that stated:

“According to [Jonathan] Freedland, the present Israeli regime is merely “a clumsy prizefighter driven to fury by a fly buzzing around its ears”. His description of the entire Palestinian resistance as buzzing flies would be shocking if it did not accurately reflect Israeli racism, itself a virulent form of anti-semitism.”

According to Oliver Kamm,

“I’m no fan of Pilger’s, but I think this calumny is the most egregious remark I’ve come across even from that source. What’s wrong with it is that it reduces the suffering of the Jewish people – most obviously the attempt in the last century to kill every Jew in Europe, but a Judaeophobia that has lasted literally millennia – by means of semantic trickery.”

In July 2005, Pilger published an article in the London ‘New Statesman’ where he asserted among other things that there had been no suicide bombings in Israel before Ariel Sharon became prime minister. The next week the New Statesman published this letter:

My 20-year-old daughter Alisa was murdered in a suicide bombing in April 1995, years before Sharon came to power. Islamic Jihad carried out that attack and proudly took credit for the martyrdom of the bomber. What other facts does John Pilger have wrong?

Stephen M Flatow
Jersey City, US

On 2 July 2008, Pilger published an article in The Guardian about Mohammed Omer, a Palestinian journalist who travelled to London to receive a prize. Pilger said he was tortured by the Israelis on the way home. However a photo was published showing the man’s face unmarked. And Ha’aretz carried a story as follows:

“At the end of the search, he lost his balance and fell, for some reason unknown to us. A team of medics, an ambulance and a paramedic were summoned and he was transferred for treatment to Jericho,” the official said. While in hospital in Jericho, in the West Bank, he contacted Dutch diplomats who had facilitated his trip to Europe, and they drove him to an Israeli border crossing with the Gaza Strip. Back in the Hamas-controlled territory, he was admitted to hospital where doctors said he had suffered a nervous breakdown and that several of his ribs had been broken.”

In the same article, Pilger wrote that “Israel is high in an international league table for its murder of journalists …” The statement was untrue,  but the Guardian refused to publish a proper correction and the Press Complaints Commission backed them up.

It is unclear whether Pilger has ever written anything of substance about Israel which even approximates to the truth…For more Pilger lies, see here.

Below is a selection of statements made by John Pilger “in his own words”:

“These are extraordinary times. Vicious colonial wars and political, economic and environmental corruption cry out for a place on the big screen. Yet try to name one recent film that has dealt with these, honestly and powerfully, let alone satirically. Censorship by omission is virulent. We need another Wall Street, another Last Hurrah, another Dr Strangelove. The partisans who tunnel out of their prison in Gaza, bringing in food, clothes and medicines, and weapons with which to defend themselves, are no less heroic than the celluloid-honoured POWs and partisans of the 1940s. They and the rest of us deserve the respect of the greatest popular medium.” Sticking to the script New Statesman February 19, 2009

“This is not to say that presidents and members of Congress fail to recognise the Israel “lobbyists” in their midst as thugs and political blackmailers, though they never say so in public, because they fear them. For their part, the Israelis’ current, phoney “unilateral ceasefire” in Gaza is designed not to embarrass, not yet, its new man in the White House. Obama’s single acknowledgement of the “suffering” of the Palestinians has been long eclipsed by his loyalty oaths to Tel Aviv (even promising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which not even Bush did) and his appointment of probably the most pro-Zionist administration for a generation.” A criminal’s medal New Statesman January 22, 2009

“What the childish fawning over Obama obscures is the dark power assembled under cover of America’s first “post-racial president”. Apart from the US, the world’s most dangerous state is demonstrably Israel, having recently killed and maimed some 4,000 people in Gaza with impunity. On 10 February, a bellicose Israeli electorate is likely to put Binyamin Netanyahu into power. Netanyahu is a fanatic’s fanatic who has made clear his intention of attacking Iran. In the Wall Street Journal of 24 January, he described Iran as the “terrorist mother base” and justified the murder of civilians in Gaza because “Israel cannot accept an Iranian terror base [Gaza] next to its major cities”. On 31 January, unaware he was being filmed, Tel Aviv’s ambassador to Australia described the massacres in Gaza as a “pre-introduction” – a dress rehearsal – for an attack on Iran. The politics of bollocks New Statesman February 5, 2009

“Every subsequent “war” Israel has waged has had the same objective: the expulsion of the native people and the theft of more and more land. The lie of David and Goliath, of perennial victim, reached its apogee in 1967 when the propaganda became a righteous fury that claimed the Arab states had struck first against Israel. Since then, mostly Jewish truth-tellers such as Avi Shlaim, Noam Chomsky, Tanya Reinhart, Neve Gordon, Tom Segev, Uri Avnery, Ilan Pappé and Norman Finkelstein have undermined this and other myths and revealed a state shorn of the humane traditions of Judaism, whose unrelenting militarism is the sum of an expansionist, lawless and racist ideology called Zionism. “It seems,” wrote the Israeli historian Pappé on 2 January, “that even the most horrendous crimes, such as the genocide in Gaza, are treated as discrete events, unconnected to anything that happened in the past and not associated with any ideology or system . . . Very much as the apartheid ideology explained the oppressive policies of the South African government, this ideology – in its most consensual and simplistic variety – allowed all the Israeli governments in the past and the present to dehumanise the Palestinians wherever they are and strive to destroy them. The means altered from period to period, from location to location, as did the narrative covering up these atrocities. But there is a clear pattern [of genocide].”

….

In describing a “holocaust-in-the making”, Falk was alluding to the Nazis’ establishment of Jewish ghettos in Poland. For one month in 1943, the captive Polish Jews, led by Mordechaj Anielewicz, fought off the German army and the SS, but their resistance was finally crushed and the Nazis exacted their final revenge. Falk is also a Jew. Today’s holocaust-in-the-making, which began with Ben-Gurion’s Plan D, is in its final stages. The difference today is that it is a joint US-Israeli project. The F-16 jet fighters, the 250lb “smart” GBU-39 bombs supplied on the eve of the attack on Gaza, having been approved by a Congress dominated by the Democratic Party, plus the annual $2.4bn in warmaking “aid”, give Washington de facto control. It beggars belief that President-elect Obama was not informed. Outspoken about Russia’s war in Georgia and the terrorism in Mumbai, Obama has maintained a silence on Palestine that marks his approval, which is to be expected, given his obsequiousness to the Tel Aviv regime and its lobbyists during the presidential campaign and his appointment of Zionists as his secretary of state and principal Middle East advisers. When Aretha Franklin sings “Think”, her wonderful 1960s anthem to freedom, at Obama’s inauguration on 20 January, I trust someone with the brave heart of Muntader al-Zaidi, the shoe-thrower, will shout: “Gaza!”” Gaza under fire New Statesman January 8, 2009

“And yet, what Nelson Mandela has called “the greatest moral issue of the age” refuses to be buried in the dust. For every BBC voice that strains to equate occupier with occupied, thief with victim, for every swarm of emails from the fanatics of Zion to those who invert the lies and describe the Israeli state’s commitment to the destruction of Palestine, the truth is more powerful now than ever. Documentation of the violent expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 is voluminous. Re-examination of the historical record has put paid to the fable of heroic David in the Six Day War, when Ahmed Hamzeh and his family were driven from their home. The alleged threat of Arab leaders to “throw the Jews into the sea”, used to justify the 1967 Israeli onslaught and since repeated relentlessly, is highly questionable. In 2005, the spectacle of wailing Old Testament zealots leaving Gaza was a fraud. The building of their “settlements” has accelerated on the West Bank, along with the illegal Berlin-style wall dividing farmers from their crops, children from their schools, families from each other. We now know that Israel’s destruction of much of Lebanon last year was pre-planned. As the former CIA analyst Kathleen Christison has written, the recent “civil war” in Gaza was actually a coup against the elected Hamas-led government, engineered by Elliott Abrams, the Zionist who runs US policy on Israel and a convicted felon from the Iran-Contra era.

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine is as much America’s crusade as Israel’s. On 16 August, the Bush administration announced an unprecedented $30bn military “aid package” for Israel, the world’s fourth biggest military power, an air power greater than Britain, a nuclear power greater than France. No other country on earth enjoys such immunity, allowing it to act without sanction, as Israel. No other country has such a record of lawlessness: not one of the world’s tyrannies comes close. International treaties, such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, ratified by Iran, are ignored by Israel. There is nothing like it in UN history.” An important marker has been passed New Statesman August 23, 2007

“A censorship by omission runs deep in western journalism on Israel, especially in the US. Hamas is dismissed as a “terrorist group sworn to Israel’s destruction” and one that “refuses to recognise Israel and wants to fight not talk”. This theme suppresses the truth: that Israel is bent on Palestine’s destruction. Moreover, Hamas’s long-standing proposals for a ten-year ceasefire are ignored, along with a recent, hopeful ideological shift within Hamas itself that amounts to a historic acceptance of the sovereignty of Israel. “The [Hamas] charter is not the Quran,” said a senior Hamas official, Mohammed Ghazal. “Historically, we believe all Palestine belongs to Palestinians, but we’re talking now about reality, about political solutions . . . If Israel reached a stage where it was able to talk to Hamas, I don’t think there would be a problem of negotiating with the Israelis [for a solution].”” Children of the dust New Statesman May 28, 2007

“”Looking from the side” is what those of us do who are cowed into silence by the threat of being called anti-Semitic. Looking from the side is what too many western Jews do, while those Jews who honour the humane traditions of Judaism and say, “Not in our name!” are abused as “self-despising”. Looking from the side is what almost the entire US Congress does, in thrall to or intimidated by a vicious Zionist “lobby”. Looking from the side is what “even-handed” journalists do as they excuse the lawlessness that is the source of Israeli atrocities and suppress the historic shifts in the Palestinian resistance, such as the implicit recognition of Israel by Hamas. The people of Gaza cry out for better.” Terror and starvation in Gaza New Statesman January 22, 2007

“Blair is a major prima facie war criminal. The charges against him grow. The latest is his collusion with the Israeli state in its deliberate, criminal attacks on civilians. While Lebanese children were being buried beneath Israeli bombs, he refused to condemn their killers or even to call on them to desist. That a ceasefire was negotiated owed nothing to him, except its disgraceful delay. Not only is it clear that Blair knew about Israel’s plans but he alluded approvingly to the ultimate goal: an attack on Iran. Read his neurotic speech in Los Angeles, in which he described an “arc of extremism”, stretching from Hezbollah to Iran. He gave not a hint of the arc of injustice and lawlessness of Israel’s occupation of Palestine and its devastation of Lebanon. Neither did he attempt to counter the bigotry now directed at all Arabs by the west and by the racist regime in Tel Aviv.” The real threat we face in Britain is Blair August 17, 2006

“”I want nobody to sleep at night in Gaza,” declared the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, as children went out of their minds. In their defence, the Palestinians fired a cluster of Qassam missiles and killed eight Israelis: enough to ensure Israel’s victimhood on the BBC; even Jeremy Bowen struck a shameful “balance”, referring to “two narratives”. The historical equivalent is not far from that of the Nazi bombardment and starvation of the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto. Try to imagine that described as “two narratives”.” Empire and Israel July 27, 2006

“Such collective punishment, identified as a crime against humanity in the Geneva Conventions, evokes the Nazis’ strangulation of the Warsaw ghetto and the American economic siege of Iraq in the 1990s. If the perpetrators have lost their minds, as Miller suggested, they appear to understand their barbarism and display their cynicism. “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet,” joked Dov Weisglass, an adviser to the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert.

“This is the price Palestinians must pay for their democratic elections in January. The majority voted for the “wrong” party, Hamas, which the US and Israel, with their inimitable penchant for pot-calling-the-kettle-black, describe as terrorist. However, terrorism is not the reason for starving the Palestinians, whose prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, had reaffirmed Hamas’s commitment to recognise the Jewish state, proposing only that Israel obey international law and respect the borders of 1967. Israel has refused because, with its apartheid wall under construction, its intention is clear: to take over more and more of Palestine, encircling whole villages and eventually Jerusalem.” The war on children New Statesman June 19, 2006

“The gravity of the bombing of London, said a BBC commentator, “can be measured by the fact that it marks Britain’s first suicide bombing”. What about Iraq? There were no suicide bombers in Iraq until Blair and Bush invaded. What about Palestine? There were no suicide bombers in Palestine until Ariel Sharon, an accredited war criminal sponsored by Bush and Blair, came to power. In the 1991 Gulf “war”, American and British forces left more than 200,000 Iraqis dead and injured, and the infrastructure of their country in “an apocalyptic state”, according to the United Nations. The subsequent embargo, designed and promoted by zealots in Washington and Whitehall, was not unlike a medieval siege. Denis Halliday, the United Nations official assigned to administer the near-starvation food allowance, called it “genocidal”.” Blair’s bombs New Statesman July 25, 2005

“The current threat of attacks in countries whose governments have close alliances with Washington is the latest stage in a long struggle against the empires of the west, their rapacious crusades and domination. The motivation of those who plant bombs in railway carriages derives directly from this truth. What is different today is that the weak have learned how to attack the strong, and the western crusaders’ most recent colonial terrorism (as many as 55,000 Iraqis killed) exposes “us” to retaliation.

The source of much of this danger is Israel. A creation, then guardian of the west’s empire in the Middle East, the Zionist state remains the cause of more regional grievance and sheer terror than all the Muslim states combined. Read the melancholy Palestinian Monitor on the internet; it chronicles the equivalent of Madrid’s horror week after week, month after month, in occupied Palestine. No front pages in the west acknowledge this enduring bloodbath, let alone mourn its victims. Moreover, the Israeli army, a terrorist organisation by any reasonable measure, is protected and rewarded in the west.

 Israel is the guard dog of America’s plans for the Middle East. The former CIA analysts Kathleen and Bill Christison have described how “two strains of Jewish and Christian fundamentalism have dovetailed into an agenda for a vast imperial project to restructure the Middle East, all further reinforced by the happy coincidence of great oil resources up for grabs and a president and vice-president heavily invested in oil”.

The “neoconservatives” who run the Bush regime all have close ties with the Likud government in Tel Aviv and the Zionist lobby groups in Washington. In 1997, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa) declared: “Jinsa has been working closely with Iraqi National Council leader Dr Ahmad Chalabi to promote Saddam Hussein’s removal from office . . .” Chalabi is the CIA-backed stooge and convicted embezzler at present organising the next “democratic” government in Baghdad.

Until recently, a group of Zionists ran their own intelligence service inside the Pentagon. This was known as the Office of Special Plans, and was overseen by Douglas Feith, an under-secretary of defence, extreme Zionist and opponent of any negotiated peace with the Palestinians. It was the Office of Special Plans that supplied Downing Street with much of its scuttlebutt about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction; more often than not, the original source was Israel.

Israel can also claim responsibility for the law passed by Congress that imposes sanctions on Syria and in effect threatens it with the same fate as Iraq unless it agrees to the demands of Tel Aviv. Israel is the guiding hand behind Bush’s bellicose campaign against the “nuclear threat” posed by Iran. Today, in occupied Iraq, Israeli special forces are teaching the Americans how to “wall in” a hostile population, in the same way that Israel has walled in the Palestinians in pursuit of the Zionist dream of an apartheid state. The author David Hirst describes the “Israelisation of US foreign policy” as being “now operational as well as ideological”.” John Pilger on terror in Palestine New Statesman March 22, 2004

“According to [Jonathan] Freedland, the present Israeli regime is merely “a clumsy prizefighter driven to fury by a fly buzzing around its ears”. His description of the entire Palestinian resistance as buzzing flies would be shocking if it did not accurately reflect Israeli racism, itself a virulent form of anti-semitism.” Letter to Guardian October 10, 2003

“For years, journalists have complained about Zionist hate mail and the pressure of the “regular call from the Israeli embassy” to current affairs editors. This can take a subtle form: pressure is applied to correspondents in Jerusalem, who then shape their reports accordingly in the interests of what they tell themselves is “balance”, but is, in effect, censorship by omission. The system gets the Israelis off their backs and “makes life bearable”.

If Michael Green and his vociferous friends succeed in intimidating ITV and the Independent Television Commission, the freedom of broadcasters to be more than mere channellers of “official truth” and to offer viewers suppressed facts and a true diversity of perspective, will be destroyed. No matter how big and powerful the corporate media, journalists and broadcasters have a duty to resist on behalf of the public we are meant to serve.” Why my film is under fire The Guardian September 23, 2002

“Last May, the Glasgow University Media Group, famous for its pioneering media analysis, published a study that found TV viewers in particular were rarely told that Palestinians were the victims of an illegal and brutal military occupation. Only nine per cent of those interviewed were aware that the Israelis were the occupiers. For years, representing the Israelis as oppressors has been a taboo with always the threat of slurs of anti-Semitism (a bleak irony, as Palestinians are Semites, too).” September 16, 2002

“In challenging the Zionist version of Israel’s past, Ilan Pappe is one of Israel’s “new historians”, a distinguished and courageous critic. He has likened the Israeli state to apartheid South Africa, with its Palestinian “bantustans” and plethora of humiliating controls which now restrict the movement of people within their own communities. He says that Sharon’s goal is to begin the mass expulsion of Palestinians across the Jordan; only a pretext is required. According to one poll, 44 per cent of Israelis support this latest “cleansing”, known as “transfer”, another euphemism from the past. In 1948, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding prime minister, wrote, “We have accomplished our settlement by transfer of the [Palestinian] population.”

….

Others in Israel, as courageous as Ilan Pappe, are also under pressure, both crude and insidious. In Ha’eretz, Israel’s equivalent of the Guardian, two outstanding journalists, Amira Hass and Gideon Levy, have consistently reported the unpopular truth about Israel’s occupation of the remaining 22 per cent of the Palestine it conquered in 1967. They live daily with threats and hate mail. Upholding the bravest traditions of Jewish humanity, they need international solidarity. You can support Ilan Pappe, and the cause of justice in both Israel and Palestine, by e-mailing pappe@poli.haifa.ac.il” John Pilger sees Israel denying its past June 3, 2002

“The meeting with Arafat was no more than a public relations exercise designed to placate the Arab world. It served to disguise Blair’s support for the Zionist project and his role as Ariel Sharon’s closest ally in Europe. Little of this has been reported in the mainstream media.

Shortly after his election in 1997, Blair shamelessly appointed a friend, Michael Levy, a wealthy Jewish businessman who had fundraised for new Labour, as his “special envoy” in the Middle East, having first made him Lord Levy. This former chairman of the Jewish Appeal Board and former board member of the Jewish Agency, who has both a business and a house in Israel and had a son working for the Israeli justice minister, was the man assigned by Britain’s prime minister to negotiate impartially with Palestinians and Israelis.” Blair’s meeting with Arafat served to disguise his support for Sharon and the Zionist project New Statesman 14 January 2002

“As she points out, Hamas, representing the kind of fanaticism that may have caused the carnage in America, did not exist until Israel’s outright rejection of a Palestinian state. She devotes a page to a map of Palestinian communities destroyed by the Zionists, given Israeli names and occupants. To study it sends a chill; it could be Poland or Sudetenland 62 years ago. Hass does not spare Yasser Arafat and his acceptance of the fakery of the American-designed Oslo Accords: his failure to stop Jewish settlements, to negotiate the release of Palestinian prisoners and ease the Palestinians’ chronic economic reliance on their colonial oppressor, while ensuring freedom of movement and business opportunities for his own elite. “By creating such divisions and dependency, Israel has ensured Palestinian complicity with separation, an extremely sophisticated method of restraint reminiscent of apartheid.”

Amira Hass’s mother, Hannah, was marched from a cattle train to Bergen-Belsen on a summer’s day in 1944. “She saw these German women looking at the prisoners, just looking.” Her daughter regards “looking from the side” as despicable. Those Europeans and Americans who have looked at the suffering of the Palestinians “from the side” and have accepted the equality of oppressor and oppressed while allowing the lessons of the Holocaust to serve only the oppressor, should heed her words, now that the daily horror has come home.” Far from being the terrorists of the world, the Islamic peoples have been its victims New Statesman September 17, 2001

“Israel used this blackmail during the 1973 war with Egypt, forcing Richard Nixon to resupply its badly shaken military. The Israeli nuclear threat is seldom raised in this country, in parliament and the media, and is a non-issue in the United States. This is in line with a news agenda on Palestine that is still set by Israel. However, since the election of Sharon, who has presided over massacres of Palestinian civilians since 1953, this may be changing. Television pictures from Gaza and the West Bank ought to leave little doubt that Israel is a terrorist state, with a policy of state murder.

One of the most impressive critics of his own government I met in Israel more than 25 years ago is Israel Shahak, then professor of organic chemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Bergen-Belsen death camp. As Israeli society becomes more and more polarised, Shahak’s courage and wisdom endure. Three years ago, he said: “The wish for peace, so often assumed as the Israeli aim, is not in my view a principle of Israeli policy, while the wish to extend Israeli domination and influence is.” He added this prophecy, of which all but one element has so far proved correct: “Israel is preparing for war, nuclear if need be, for the sake of averting domestic change not to its liking [and is] clearly prepared to use, for the purpose, all means available, including nuclear ones.”” The big threat in the Middle East is Israel, not Iraq: it could play the nuclear card to blackmail the Americans New Statesman May 14, 2001

Below is a selection of statements made by John Pilger in ‘Comment is Free’ “in his own words”:

“The role of western journalism in erecting this straw man is critical. That America’s Defence Intelligence Estimate says “with high confidence” that Iran gave up its nuclear weapons programme in 2003 has been consigned to the memory hole. That Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never threatened to “wipe Israel off the map” is of no interest. But such has been the mantra of this media “fact” that in his recent, obsequious performance before the Israeli parliament, Gordon Brown alluded to it as he threatened Iran, yet again.” The lies of Hiroshima live on, props in the war crimes of the 20th century August 6, 2008

“Israeli human rights groups have documented the routine torture of Palestinians by Shin Bet agents with “beatings, painful binding, back bending, body stretching and prolonged sleep deprivation”. Amnesty has long reported the widespread use of torture by Israel, whose victims emerge as mere shadows of their former selves. Some never return. Israel is high in an international league table for its murder of journalists, especially Palestinian journalists, who receive barely a fraction of the kind of coverage given to the BBC’s Alan Johnston.” From triumph to torture July 2, 2008