Israel’s doomed new international TV channel

Israeli i24News

By Nureddin Sabir
Editor, Redress Information & Analysis 

In a desperate attempt to salvage what remains of its tarnished and rapidly deteriorating international reputation, Israel, together with its Zionist allies in Europe, has launched an international television channel broadcasting simultaneously in Arabic, English and French.

Israel can fool some people sometime but it can’t fool all the people all the time. The world has changed and it won’t buy Israel’s lies anymore, no matter how packaged they are.

The Italian news agency ANSAmed reports that the new channel, called i24News, is the brainchild of former French diplomat Frank Melloul. According to Al-Arabiya website, it employs 250 staff, including 150 journalists drawn mainly from the United States and Europe, and is headquartered in Luxembourg with studios in Jaffa in occupied Palestine. It is funded by private investors, with the bulk of the money coming from French-Israeli media mogul Patrick Drahi, the Washington Post reports.

ANSAmed quoted Melloul as saying: ”We want to add a new regional voice besides Al-Jazeera, France24, the BBC and CNN” with the aim of debunking anti-Israeli prejudice.

There is more than a hint of desperation in all this. As Stuart Littlewood remarked sometime ago,

…Israel is among the worst brand-names on the planet. That’s understandable considering the regime was founded on terror, is massively armed and subsidized by the US, thrives on lands seized from its neighbours at gun-point, and is bent on making its illegal occupation permanent. As a brand it never had a chance to flourish in any nice way.

And it won’t flourish, international news channel or not. That’s because whatever it has to say to the world could never hope to pass the “decent, honest and truthful” test, as Littlewood says.

Israel can fool some people sometime but it can’t fool all the people all the time. The world has changed and it won’t buy Israel’s lies anymore, no matter how well packaged they are.

According to a global opinion survey sponsored by the BBC and published in May this year, Israel is not only one of the world’s most negatively viewed countries, but its reputation is deteriorating. You can read the full results of the survey here and a summary on Electronic Intifada, which says, among other things:

The US is now the only Western country that holds favourable views of Israel and in some European countries, including Germany, positive views of Israel are in the single digits.

The 2013 Country Ratings Poll, conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA for the BBC among 26,299 people around the world between December 2012 and April 2013 found that:

Iran is once again the most negatively viewed country, with negative ratings climbing four points to 59 per cent. Most people also give negative ratings to Pakistan (56 per cent, up five points), North Korea (55 per cent, up three points) and Israel (52 per cent, up one point).

The persistent association of Israel with the world’s most negatively viewed countries will come as a disappointment to Israeli government and other hasbara officials who have invested millions of dollars in recent years to greenwash and pinkwash Israel as an enlightened, democratic and technological “Western” country.

Bad luck, then, for Patrick Drahi and his co-investors. It will take more than a television channel to salvage Israel’s plummeting reputation – and their ill-conceived investment.

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