New Statesman censors Palestine articles

The New Statesman has deleted two articles about Palestine after complaints from pro-Israel groups. Both of the censored articles can be read in full below.

On Tuesday, UK Media Watch, a group that combs the press searching for content critical of Israel, claimed credit for having one of the articles censored by the London-based magazine.

The article had been sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and published on the New Statesman’s website on 18 November.

It had urged governments to pressure Israel “into meeting its obligations under international law.” It also advocated that the trade in goods from Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank should be halted.

A spokesperson for the New Statesman told The Electronic Intifada that they “removed the advertorial in question because it conflicts with the New Statesman’s editorial independence. As a publication we are committed to producing analytical and skeptical journalism.”

The magazine did not respond when asked if the article contained any factual inaccuracies.

No correction has been issued, and the article links now display blank pages with error messages.

Censorship

A PSC spokesperson told The Electronic Intifada on Wednesday that neither they nor the articles’ authors had been contacted before deletion.

On Wednesday evening PSC called for its supporters to contact the magazine’s editors, demanding that the article be restored.

The PSC spokesperson said they noticed that the article – written by Salah Ajarma, director of the Lajee Cultural Center in Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp – had been removed on 23 November.

Two days earlier, UK Media Watch had published a blog post, alleging that the PSC was “compromised by links to extremism.”

The post tried to justify Israel’s frequent military raids on Aida – one of the topics addressed in Ajarma’s article – by describing them as “anti-terror operations.” Furthermore, it tried to provide excuses for the killing of a 13-year-old boy by Israel’s forces of occupation.

UK Media Watch is an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, which monitors the US media in a similar manner.

A number of tweets about Ajarma’s article had been issued by UK Media Watch. Some of these were directed at the New Statesman, including its deputy editor Helen Lewis.

UK Media Watch is led by Adam Levick, an American with Israeli citizenship. Levick wrote the blog post complaining about Ajarma’s article.

He lives in Modiin, which abuts the occupied West Bank.

The day after UK Media Watch, a similar blog post was published by HonestReporting, a pro-Israel group whose managing editor once worked in the Israeli army spokesperson’s unit.

As second Palestine-related article was deleted by the New Statesman on Wednesday. Originally published on 15 September, it too was sponsored by the PSC.

Again, the PSC was given no warning before the deletion occurred, a spokesperson for the campaign group stated.

“Israel is building Palestine out of existence, using settlements as a weapon,” the article stated. It was written by Hugh Lanning, the PSC’s chair.

Lanning called for the UK government to “use the levers at its disposal to stop the building of any more illegal settlements.”

As of this writing, three other PSC-sponsored articles from 2015 remain online.

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Comments

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Intimidation and threats do work for these pro Israeli agencies. The media shivers in their boots when Israel's devoted shakes their fists and threaten consequences for "daring" to do what they are basically expected to do. We have seen this far too many time in the world's greatest democracy.

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I have put up a blog post on this http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2... which gives some background to the New Statesman, a right-wing Labour supporting magazine.

I've also put up a petition calling for a Boycott of the New Statesman which I'd ask people to share and circulate
https://www.change.org/p/its-r...

This media censorship is becoming all too common and we shouldn't let them get away with it, especially media which, like the New Statesman and The Guardian, pretends to be supportive of the Palestinians

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As disturbing as the idea of censorship is, made even more disturbing by the fact that it is made at the behest of a couple of racist troglodytes, the actions of the New Statesman is its problem. Though of course it cheats its readers, sadly, in the process.

Lets be frank, Global Research Canada has almost twice the online traffic that the New Statesman has. Also it authors, articles and readership appear to be a good deal more informed, savvy and intelligent than the New Statesman's. The Webbs (who died in the 1940's) have only so much cache.

If the PSC has not already done so, why don't they submit the pieces to Global Research Canada instead-- not overlooking the fact that the New Statesman practices the timeless act of the oppressor, tyrant and silencer of truth, censorship.

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Nonetheless we need to put pressure in the immediate present on the New Statesman. Global Research may have a wider audience than the NS but the latter has a particular audience which is very influential in terms of the British labour movement. It must be made to pay the price for what they have done. The first thing people can do is sign and share the petition
https://www.change.org/p/its-r...

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UK Media Watch's suggestion that the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in GB. is 'compromised by extremism' takes up and runs with a myth that that has recently been promoted by a ragbag of Conservative Parliamentarians, Labour Friends of Israel, and assorted Zionists on the basis that if you repeat a lie often enough it sticks.
Far from being extremist PSC is a broad alliance including Methodists, Quakers, Labourites, liberals and non-aligned campaigners united in the pursuit of justice for Palestinians.

What upsets Zionist media watch fanatics is that Salah Ajamah's article dares to remind the world that the Occupation of Palestine did not begin in 1967 and is not solely about the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. He states quite rightly that his family and many others in Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem have been there since 1948 when they were forcibly expelled from their villages by Zionist militias- so much for the nonsense that past generations were fed in the West about 'a land without a people ...'

The Settler/Colonialist mentality will of course do all that it can to keep the spotlight away from any mention of what it inflicted on Palestinians in 1948, but with centenary of the Balfour Declaration coming over the hill next year it will be impossible for them to keep the lid on history.

The Electronic Intifada, Asa Winstanley, and the Bristol (UK) based alternative newsite 'The Canary' are to be thanked for bringing this sordid little incident to light.

Mike French.

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Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with The Electronic Intifada. He lives in London. Biography here.