James J. Marlow
James J. Marlow

It’s all about the narrative

If you thought the anti-Netanyahu rhetoric would cease once the Left-Centre-Right-Arab coalition all joined together to oust Netanyahu from Balfour Street, you would be mistaken.

The black flag movement continues to scream outside the Prime Minister’s residence in Rehavia, Jerusalem where the Netanyahu’s remain until 10 July. The demonstrators with their loud hailers, dreadful choice of music and cardboard boxes, in a sarcastic gesture to offer the Netanyahu’s help with packing their possessions, are still there.

The Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post and practically every news affiliate continue with their anti-Netanyahu stance, even when the prosecution have requested another delay in the trial of the former Prime Minister, as they gather evidence.

But writing in the UK’s Jewish News newspaper last week and on the Times of Israel blog, Jenni Frazer appeared to praise right-winger Yitzhak Shamir in another feeble attempt to attack Netanyahu. I have to say, it is quite something when a former hard left Jerusalem correspondent, decides to write something positive about Shamir, who in 1988 led the most right-wing government Israel has ever seen.

But that’s OK, because Frazer is quite happy to even pull out notorious former world leaders, if it fits with her narrative of demonising Netanyahu or anyone associated with Netanyahu.

Earlier in the year, she picked on Jonathan Pollard and his wife, writing the most outrageous lies when they landed together for the first time in Israel.

This time Frazer points out that Shamir vacated the Prime Minister’s residence for Rabin in 1992 after 4 years. Peres moved into the house with no problems in November 1995. But of course Rabin had been murdered and his wife Leah wanted to leave the residence as soon as possible. Netanyahu moved in 1996 (after Peres) and moved out in 1999 when he lost to Ehud Barak.

Without going through the whole list up until today, Frazer erroneously accused Netanyahu of “squatting” and called it “shameful”.

The only “shameful” thing is Frazer’s shabby misinformation and inability to once again, check some basic facts.

First, it wasn’t “three weeks ago” (which would now be four) that Naftali Bennett “assumed the office as Prime Minister. Up until Sunday 13 June, no one knew whether the new government was going to be voted in, as that morning two Knesset Members from coalition parties were hinting they were going to vote against. In the end, one abstained which is why the new government only reached 60 seats.

Second, the three properties Frazer claimed Netanyahu has, with two being in Jerusalem are not secure for a former Prime Minister of 15 years. Security made it very clear that even without the several death threats against Netanyahu, the homes had to be made safe and that would take time. Sadly we live in a very different era to that of the twentieth century.

Third, Bennett was immediately informed of the security concerns from the Shin Bet and accepted that the Netanyahu’s needed to stay another two to three weeks.

This information is not “top secret”. It is widely available and if Jenni Frazer was a credible journalist with the ability to research or make the right telephone calls, instead of relying on her own personal and highly emotional feelings, she would know this.

Bennett didn’t even give Netanyahu a cut-off date of 10 July as Frazer wrote. It was a date that the Netanyahu’s gave, because the security adjustments to the house in Caesarea would be completed by that time.

Jenni Frazer then then quoted some social media suggestions such as “cutting the water and electricity to the house” or “play loud music at unpleasant hours.”

Wow, Frazer has no idea that the loud music has been playing outside the house and pretty much through the night for more than a year, by the so called black flag movement.

The demonstrators have destroyed the lives of thousands of local residents all in the name of “democratic rights”. Not to mention the massive spread of Covid and the violence demonstrators brought with them including stone throwing, setting fires, causes damage and attacks against the police.

Elements within the media will tell you this only happens outside the homes of right-wing government ministers. But they won’t tell you that it continues in Rehavia outside the Prime Minister’s residence.

The general public repeatedly say they don’t trust the media or journalists today, because they cannot write or describe a news story, without bringing in their own personal and political bias.

My argument is simply that one has to be consistent. If you are going to target one side, you have to be equal with the truth to the other side.

About the Author
James J. Marlow is a broadcast journalist and public relations media consultant. He has previously worked for ITN, EuroNews, Reuters, Daily Mail, Daily Express, LBC Radio and Sky News. In addition he has trained and prepared hundreds of business and entertainment people, politicians and Rabbis, for the media, including television, radio and audiences.
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