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March 23, 2017 7:43 am

How Could UK’s Independent Quote Antisemitic Liar as ‘Expert’ on Israel?

avatar by Adam Levick

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Bethan McKernan. Photo: Twitter.

Earlier this month, UK Media Watch posted about a piece in the Independent, which contextualized an article on Donald Trump’s White House invitation to Mahmoud Abbas. The Independent‘s article, which was written by Middle East correspondent Bethan McKernan, highlighted the “analysis” of someone named Ralph Schoenman.

In the piece, McKernan characterized Schoenman as a “leading academic,” and the author of a “highly influential” book about Zionism.

As we revealed in our post, however, Schoenman is a fringe extremist, 9/11 conspiracy theorist and fraudulent scholar, who has erroneously claimed that Jews dominated the slave trade. In his “influential” book (Hidden History of Zionism), he alleges that pre-state Zionists collaborated with the Nazis to murder millions of Jews — and then, when the state was born, “emulated the Nazis” in planning and carrying out a genocide against the Palestinians.

As we argued at the time, of all the experts that were available to her, it’s remarkable that McKernan chose an extremist who’s engaged in smears so vile and ahistorical that they’d likely make Ken Livingstone blush.

We contacted Indy editors to complain, asking how they could justify legitimizing such an extremist. In their reply, they acknowledged the validity of our concerns and agreed to completely remove the article from their site.  (Now, when you click on the original link, it redirects you to the home page.)

Whilst we commend Indy editors for removing the article, the fact that one of their Middle East correspondents respects — and was willing to amplify — the views of such an anti-Zionist extremist serves as a troubling reminder of the institutional anti-Israel bias that informs so much of the media’s coverage of the region.

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