Aletho News


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


  1. I don’t and never have read the Australian, exactly because it is one of Murdoch’s rags,
    and only staff who share the disgusting pro Zionist views of Murdoch will be allowed to work there.


    Comment by John Robertson | August 27, 2011

  2. Get Real, your attack on everyone and every group that stands against the BDS, show how one sided this movement is. People are the ones againt the BDS, not newspapers. The last protest in Newtown Sydney showed just how pissed off local people are getting with so called Palestine support groups Max Brenner is a local shop selling to local people and employing local young people of all Races!
    The BDS movement is just going to build walls between people not help people.
    The BDS movement has nothing to do with South Africa.
    The BDS movement will make people dislike the Palestinian flag being pushed in there faces in Australia.
    On a personal note; I was at the last Parramatta BDS protest, the protest lost all support when they stared chanting “death to Israel” and then “death to Jews”, if you call this peacfull you are mad.


    Comment by sergio | August 27, 2011

    • I’m sure you have posted that chant on youtube, right?


      Comment by aletho | August 27, 2011

    • Walls between people? You mean like this one?

      BDS and South Africa – like this, maybe?

      Many of us Australians fully support BDS but unfortunately there is no mainstream medium in Australia, including the ABC, that will report it honestly. As to your reporting, I’ll echo Aletho in asking for evidence. We’re not doubting you, it’s just that Zionists a great record of being a little that sparing with the truth. They are also pretty good at false flag operations, going back a long way.


      Comment by Deviant | June 30, 2012

      • “We’re not doubting you, it’s just that Zionists a great record of being a little that sparing with the truth. They are also pretty good at false flag operations, going back a long way.”

        Speak for yerself ;-) – personally I’d say ‘sergio’ is lying through his teeth.
        Having been to many Anti-Zionist protests, I have yet to hear anyone, anyone at all, EVER say anything like what ‘sergio’ claims has been said.
        Zionists lie ALL the time about this sort of stuff


        Comment by Hu Bris | July 1, 2012

  3. Somebody takes over your ancestral home claiming some filthy “promise”, murders, imprisons, rapes, etc you and your kin, and to cap it all conducts smear campaigns against the rightfull owners (Palestinians) via his media emprie. Wake up folks. It is not only Palestine that is occupied!!!!


    Comment by Global Intifadah | July 1, 2012

  4. Australian publications have only themselves to blame for their demise, unfortunately there are good journalists but the editors and owners are corrupt and beholden to the zionists so good riddance to the current media and their misinformation and reluctance to publish facts, we have the web as our new news sources and the public knows what is going on, Murdoch thinks we are all fools, may a cancer take the old retard soon.


    Comment by Jack splatt | July 1, 2012

  5. I went along to a couple of Max Brenner protests at Newtown in Sydney, at the last one I had some Jewish guy constantly in,my face, ridiculing, insulting me, trying to provoke me anyway possible, then police showed up and moved me along. The Jewish guy tried to set me up telling police I had assaulted him, but they just ignored him
    I was also interviewed by radio personality Ben Fordham, they put a pic of me on the 2GB website like I was behind bars and saying “do you know this man” – full character assassination because I exercise my free speech. They also rung me up to organize a live on air interview about the BDS, but they chickened out and didn’t ring me when they did the BDS story


    Comment by Brian Concannon | July 1, 2012

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