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Murdoch Press and the Fictional Jewish Chocolatier


BDS poses a great danger for Israel. (BDS campaign graphic)
By Samah Sabawi | Palestine Chronicle | August 27, 2011

The Murdoch press in its zeal to attack the Palestinian Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign has misrepresented facts and even ran an entire article quoting a fictional character that simply does not exist. The invention of Max Brenner the Jewish chocolatier demonstrated the lack of integrity and journalistic ethics employed within the Murdoch press’s campaign against the pro-Palestinian advocacy groups who have called for a boycott of the Israeli owned Max Brenner chocolate franchise.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, senior reporter Cameron Stewart (The Australian:  August 20, 2011) still referred to the protests against the Max Brenner franchise as “marching on a Jewish-owned chocolate shop” and repeated the claim that BDS aim to “harm a legal Jewish business”. This deliberate misrepresentation of the corporate Israeli franchise directly linked to the military, and of the BDS protests, is part of a larger campaign by The Australian that is carefully orchestrated to play on Jewish stereotypes and to shamelessly manipulate the emotions of the Jewish community creating an atmosphere of fear, mistrust and hostility.

Most astounding was the article’s reference to Max Brenner as “the man whose real name is Oded Brenner”. This is very revealing of the journalistic spin used to distract and misinform readers about these legitimate protests.  Putting the spotlight on the man behind the name behind the corporation is a cheap tactic, a diversion meant to humanize a corporate entity for the purposes of adding to the demonization of the protestors. But wait, there is more!

The Australian pursuit of the Max Brenner story has indeed gone too far. The same reporter Cameron Stewart (August 13, 2011) tried to further humanize the franchise by running an article entitled “Targeted chocolatier Max Brenner ‘a man of peace’”. In this article Stewart wrote “it seems Max Brenner, the company’s founder, is perplexed and dismayed at finding himself as an unwitting symbol of the Palestinian-Israel conflict.”  But, the missing truth from this heart wrenching story of a Jewish chocolatier trying to survive in the big anti-Semitic world is that the man doesn’t exist.

Max Brenner, the corporate entity, was founded in 1996 in Ra’anana Israel, by Max Fichtman and Oded Brenner, using a conjunction of their names. Max Fichtmann is no longer associated with the Max Brenner entity.  Oded Brenner remains.  Since 2001, the company has become a part of Strauss Group which supports Israel’s military.  There was never a Jewish chocolatier named Max Brenner yet the Australian senior reporter Cameron Stewart dedicated an entire article about this non-existent ‘man of peace’.

It seems The Australian will do what it can to paint the BDS advocates as “radical”  “anti-Semitic” and  “anti-Israeli bullies” while ignoring the reasons behind the boycott call – Israel’s atrocious treatment of the Palestinian people, its land and water theft, its violence and terror against the population it occupies and its system of discrimination which has been likened by leading human rights organizations and advocates to the apartheid system which once plagued South Africa.

The campaign for BDS is not “radical” unless in the view of The Australian calling for international law to be respected is a radical notion, but it is effective and perhaps this is the greater danger and the reason why the right leaning newspaper The Australian is leading the fight against it.

In demanding equality for Palestinians and Jews, BDS poses a great danger for Israel, a state that defines itself along ethnocentric lines and considers all non-Jews, including citizens of the Israeli state, a demographic threat.

It is worth mentioning that I had a lovely cup of coffee just yesterday in St. Kilda in an area surrounded by Jewish owned businesses where I enjoyed an environment that was peaceful and pleasant.  The good news is that there is no call to march on Jewish-owned businesses by any group of people. But also worth knowing is that if indeed Jewish businesses were ever targeted by any group I would not be surprised to find the same human rights advocates who are marching against Israel today standing to defend the Jewish community’s right to live free of racism and intolerance.  These are the values held by the BDS movement:  non- violence, equality, justice for all and zero tolerance for all forms of racism and discrimination. But you would never know that, if your primary source of information is The Australian newspaper.

– Samah Sabawi is a Palestinian writer and is Public Advocate for Australians for Palestine.

August 27, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Solidarity and Activism | 8 Comments

Hamas members ‘arrested in Jenin’

Ma’an – 27/08/2011
Israeli soldiers deploy during an arrest raid near Jenin [MaanImages, File]

JENIN – Israeli forces arrested two Hamas members in Jenin late Friday, local residents and security sources said.

Muhammad Ahmad Sokiyeh, 38, and Mahdi Hasan Hifawiyah, 34, were driving with their wives when “undercover” forces stopped their cars and took them to an undisclosed location, Palestinian security sources said.

The sources said Israel’s operatives opened fire in order to stop their cars. There were no reports of injury.

Sokiyeh has been wanted since 2005 and Hifawiyah has spent time in Israeli custody.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said there were no arrests in Jenin overnight.

August 27, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on Hamas members ‘arrested in Jenin’

Israeli occupation detains lawmaker Anwar Zaboun

Palestine Information Center – 26/08/2011

BETHLEHEM — Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) detained, Friday at dawn, Anwar Zaboun (45 years), member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, after raiding his home in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Local sources in the Bethlehem district said that a number of IOF troops aboard a number of military vehicles entered Bethlehem, they encircled the home of Anwar Zaboun, raided it and took the lawmaker away.

Zaboun was detained along with other Hamas PLC members in 2006 after occupation soldier Gilad Shalit was captured by Palestinian resistance. He was released about 18 months ago after serving a 49-month term.

With the arrest of Zaboun, the number of Hamas lawmakers detained by the Israeli occupation rises to 19, including lawmaker Muhammad Abu Juhaisha who was arrested a few days ago in al-Khalil.

The Israeli occupation has escalated its arrests of Hamas supporters in the southern West Bank districts of al-Khalil and Bethlehem after the Elat attack.

August 27, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on Israeli occupation detains lawmaker Anwar Zaboun

CIA censors ex-FBI agent’s 9/11 book

Press TV – August 27, 2011

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has expurgated extensive parts of a book by a former FBI agent on September 11, 2001 events in a bid to rewrite the history of post-9/11 America, a report says.

The CIA will not allow the full publication of a memoir by Ali H. Soufan, the former FBI agent that spent years near the center of the battle against al-Qaeda, The New York Times reported on August 25.

Soufan argues in the book that the CIA missed a chance to derail the 2001 incident by withholding from the FBI information about two 9/11 hijackers living in San Diego, the report says.

He also gives a detailed, firsthand account of the US spy agency’s move toward brutal treatment of detainees in its interrogations, saying the harsh methods were unnecessary and counterproductive.

Soufan, a counterterrorism agent that played a central role in many major terrorism investigations between 1997 and 2005, has told colleagues he believes the censored portions of his book are intended not to protect national security, but to prevent him from recounting episodes that reflect badly on the CIA.

In a letter sent on August 19 to the FBI’s general counsel, Valerie E. Caproni, a lawyer for Soufan, David N. Kelley, wrote that “credible sources have told Mr. Soufan that the agency has made a decision that this book should not be published because it will prove embarrassing to the agency.”

Soufan has called the CIA’s cuts to and editing of his book “ridiculous,” but said he thought he would prevail in getting them restored for a later edition.

He said he believed that counterterrorism officers have an obligation to face squarely “where we made mistakes and let the American people down.”

The book, entitled The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al Qaeda has been written with the assistance of Daniel Freedman, a colleague at Soufan’s New York security company, and is scheduled to go on sale on September 12.

US government employees who hold security clearances are required to have their books vetted for classified information before publication. However, since decisions on what should be classified can be highly subjective, the prepublication review process often becomes a battle.

Several former US spies have gone to court to fight redactions to their books, and the Defense Department spent nearly $50,000 last year to buy and destroy the entire first printing of an intelligence officer’s book, which it said contained secrets, the report adds.

August 27, 2011 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | 1 Comment