Saturday, July 23, 2011

Keeping their faith in Prince Rupert

Go to fullsize image MURDOCH and minder. Third wife Wendy Deng responded fiercely to shaving-foam pie wielder.

AS Rupert Murdoch and his minions stand pilloried, and custard pied, from all sides, one faithful band of friends of the multi-media emperor remains loyal. "Put not your faith in princes", advises the Good Book, but the Zionists who claim it as a title to real estate have disregarded this, among other counsels, or at least not considered it applied to press barons.

Here is a comment from the Jewish Chronicle, lamenting Murdoch's fall from grace:
"Anyone following the way Israel is portrayed here in Britain will be concerned. Murdoch's publications (from time to time, at least) provide rare counter blasts against the prevailing winds of anti-Israeli hostility. His commitment to Israel is resolute. In a speech last year to the Anti-Defamation League he spoke of "the disturbing new home that antisemitism has found in polite society - especially in Europe", and of "an ongoing war against the Jews".As long as Rupert is at the helm, The Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun are safe from the anti-Zionist consensus".

If like me you thought the media was overwhelmingly pro-Zionist in bias, you have to realise that this all depends where you are standing. If you sense a lot of people around you were not happy with, say, the Israeli bombing of Gaza, you have to blame it on the media. That the BBC refused to broadcast a charity appeal for the victims was an overdue acknowledgement that news coverage had been biased.

That the Sun carried a front-page story claiming (on the basis of a hoax) that Muslims were planning a campaign of attacks on prominent UK Jews, was irresponsible, you might say, but these things can be forgiven among friends. (Though not by Sir Alan Sugar,,2013,allan-sugar-sues-the-sun,75090?WTmc_id=rss).
A bit of tension keeps the troops in line.

The Zionist fears for the future of Murdoch's empire have been noted by my fellow blogger Mark Elf.

Among those he mentions are Issi Leibler, a former fellow-countryman of Murdoch now domiciled in Israel, from where he denounces allegedly less fervent defenders of the Zionist state, such as our Board of Deputies of British Jews, accusing them of succumbing to a growing anti-Israel, indeed anti-Jewish atmosphere in Britain.

In his own blog, Leibler says:

"For Israel, a major erosion of the Murdoch media would have highly adverse repercussions. In an era in which the liberal global media has increasingly turned against Israel, most of the Murdoch outlets maintain a fair and evenhanded approach.

"Murdoch, whom I met personally on a number of occasions, is himself unquestionably a genuine friend of Israel. In fact, he has frequently been falsely described as Jewish by hostile Muslims and other extremists.

"While always sympathetic to Israel as the plucky underdog, the turning point in his relationship was 1982, when Ariel Sharon hosted him with a group of editors on a helicopter tour where he witnessed 'the vulnerability of the country' in terms of defensible borders".

(That was of course the same year when vulnerable little Israel, the 'plucky underdog' bombed Beirut and invaded Lebanon, and unleashed the Christian Falangist massacre of Palestinians at Sabra and Chatila, for which an Israeli inquiry held Ariel Sharon morally culpable).

"His friendship towards Israel was publicly displayed when he was honored in 2009 by the American Jewish Committee and more recently in 2010 by the ADL. At the AJC meeting he stated: 'In the West, we are used to thinking that Israel cannot survive without the help of Europe and the United States. I say to you: maybe we should start wondering whether we in Europe and the United States can survive if we allow the terrorists to succeed in Israel… In the end, the Israeli people are fighting the same enemy we are: cold-blooded killers who reject peace… who reject freedom… and who rule by the suicide vest, the car bomb and the human shield'.

"If Murdoch is found to have been aware of the transgressions, his reputation will be destroyed and he will face major punitive sanctions. But as of now, while his enemies continue baying for his blood, most Israelis will be hoping that despite the criminal nature of the News of the World scandal, Rupert Murdoch and his senior management will be exonerated of direct malfeasance and his media holdings will remain substantially intact.

This column was originally published in Yisrael Hayom


Leibler has recently been in Britain observing how intimidated we Jewish people are by the anti-Israel mood, but he was heartened to meet a group of militant young Zionists hoping to emulate the right-wing US "Stand by Israel" outfit waging its brave war on the West Coast, and by such heroic figures as Jonathan Hoffman, of the Zionist Federation, and Daily Mail columnist Melanie Philips, author of Londonistan.

"She represents a beacon of light, fearlessly exposing the cant and hypocrisy of the viciously anti-Israeli media".

Like Mad Mel, Issi Leibler is concerned about Islamic and Saudi influence, indeed he has accused the World Jewish Congress of "grovelling" to the Saudi rulers by attending a UN-approved Interfaith conference in Saudi Arabia from which overtly pro-Zionist bodies like the ADL and Conference of Presidents were excluded as "too political". Mind you, he also accuses Shimon Peres of a "servile" approach to the Saudi monarch.

So I thought we might note this piece of news information:

Saudi Prince to retain shares even as News Corp's shame grows

The UK phone hacking scandal rocking Rupert Murdoch’s media world will not result in any change to News Corporation’s second largest shareholder’s “strategic investment”, according to Prince Alaweed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The Saudi billionaire told Reuters yesterday (10 July) that the commitment in News Corp by Kingdom Holding, which controls 7% of News Corp votes, is not in jeopardy - despite the decision by Mr Murdoch to close the most widely read newspaper in the UK after sickening accusations its journalists hacked the phones of a murdered teenager and victims of terrorist acts.

"The crisis does not make Kingdom Holding blink at all. It makes our partnership stronger," Prince Alaweed bin Talal is quoted as saying by Reuters.

The investments between the Saudi billionaire and News Corp are reciprocal. The Saudi conglomerate Rotana Media, which is owned by Kingdom Holding, has recently had a US$35 million cash injection from News Corp, which raised its shareholding by 50% to 14.53%.

News Corp took a 9.09 stake in Rotana Media for $70 million at the start of 2010. The deal forged then provided Rupert Murdoch’s group with an option to double its holding within 18 months – a facility it drew upon in May 2011.

"Since the crisis erupted I have been in touch with them [News Corp] to contain this problem," Prince Alaweed bin Talal told Reuters. "Their decision to shut down this tabloid [News of the World] in England is supported by me because we have to put this issue behind us."


For the EMEA region, News Corp plans to launch Sky News Arabia - an Arabic language version of BSkyB’s 24 hour rolling news channel – free-to-air in spring 2012. News Corp already broadcasts 12 channels in the Middle East and North Africa through its Fox International Channels arm, in addition to its Sky News channel which is available locally on pay-TV platforms.

Analysts had predicted the increased shareholding in Rotana Media would help News Corp to further expand its televisual presence in the Arab world, given the potential offered by a youthful audience sharing a common language.

Incidentally, so far as Rupert's own religion goes, notwithstanding the superstition among some backward Muslims and old-fashioned conspiracy theories, I know of no evidence that he is even remotely "Jewish". In America, where born-again Christian fundamentalists can be much more fanatical than any mere Jewish Zionists, he is known as a church-goer and admirer of evangelist Billy Graham. He was also ennobled as a Papal knight by John Paul II, one assumes for his generous donations to Catholic institutions and causes, rather than his newspaper's contribution to faith and chastity. Perhaps at his age this is like taking out double insurance,

Here the Church of England, which might have tolerated the titillation offered in the News of the World, must consider whether the passing of that other Sunday institution in the path of the 'phone hacking scandal is good or bad news for its £4 million holding in Murdoch's News Corporation.

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