LETTER: Honest reporting, or propaganda machine?

Dear editor,

There are a few things readers of this newspaper should know at the start of the year.

• There is an organization that has offices throughout the world that calls itself “Honest Reporting.” The one in Canada is called “Honest Reporting Canada” with an office in Toronto – run by Mike Flegelman.

• These offices have personnel that monitor every newspaper, every radio station and every TV outlet.

• Whenever a comment in newspapers or on public media is made that references anything pertaining to Israel or Jews that opposes them, those offices immediately set in motion a propaganda machine to denounce whatever was written or said.

• Most of the time the terminology they use attempts to suggest that whatever was written or said is anti-Semitic, to gain the sympathy of other readers or listeners.

• In relatively few cases this might be true, but generally, writers of letters or TV and radio personnel are careful to refrain from anti-Semitism.

• These organizations also declare themselves as NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and therefore are tax free and contributions made to them are also tax exempt.

• There are very few newspapers in North America that have factual news from Palestine/Israel, so if people want to know what is going on there, they must peruse the internet and books.

A recent letter to this paper (Not everyone shares letter writer’s take on Trump’s Israel declaration Dec. 19) brought an immediate rebuttal from Honest Reporting Canada (Letter writer has skewed interpretation of Middle East history, Dec. 21). This letter contained no anti-Semitism, although HRC suggested as much and said as much on its website.

I know of no other country in the world that appears to be so hypersensitive that it needs such a widespread organization to protect itself from what others think of it.

There is an old saying, “The Truth Hurts,” that might be applied here. I urge people who want to know what exactly is going on in the Middle East to make use of the internet and libraries. You will be amazed at what you learn there that you can’t get from public media here.

Frank Martens

Summerland

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