Subject: Re: Anti-Israel propaganda in November issue of Queen Mary student union magazine CUB
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2006 03:03:36 +0200
To: "Norman Fenton"

Hello again
As you can see this issue disrupt my rest as well
We contact Alex officially as a society yesterday , so we will wait until the Thursday before we will tale further steps 
I attached another respond from one on our Israeli students
They respond to this article as you can see below

Dear Itamar,

Thank you very much for your letter. I've spoken to Alex and we would really

like to have comments in some form.
The idea of the interview was ro provoke thought. It wasn't the intention
that the article represented the political stance of cub, but to spark the
debate which you have now raised. I'm sorry if that it offended you but we
do want to air your opinion and when we've decided if that will be as an
article or letter to the editor, I'd like to think that you wouldn't mind
writing that for us?
I'll be in contact with you soon once I've discussed with Alex and if you
agree. I'll pass your comments on to the writer.

Thanks again and I'll be in touch,
Best Wishes,

Sophie Kimber
Features Editor

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>From: "Itamar Kastner" <>
>To: <>
>CC: <>
>Subject: What happens when the Cubs go off? About bias in Cub Magazine
>Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2006 09:36:03 -0000
>Dear Alex,
>My name is Itamar Kastner. I am a first year student at Queen Mary,
>Linguistics, Computer Science and German.
>I have been reading Cub regularly since arriving at the university, and I
>writing you since the cover story of this month's issue of Cub, "What
>Happens When The Bombs Go Off", has both astonished me and offended me on a
>personal level.
>I am an Israeli, having lived in Israel for 23 years before coming to
>London. I am in no way claiming this is relevant because I feel some
>need to defend the actions of my country; rather, it is my first-hand
>experiences that have
>caused me to be deeply disappointed and hurt by the aforementioned article.
>I would like to present three important issues, regarding which I would
>appreciate your comments.
>1. Politics.
>I assume it is not your intention to transform Cub into a political
>magazine, and politics are not my point either. I will keep this short:
>If handled, politics should be done correctly. Observations such as
>" showed Israel as a tyrant and a murderer" are nothing more than
>slander. Is this the "attempt to tackle questions on the more serious
>topic of Lebanon", as your Letter from The Editor claims?
>I could go on: Malika Barakat's comparisons to the 2000 withdrawal make no
>sense to those familiar with the region. There is interesting commentary to
>be derived from this if one wishes, but somehow I doubt one does. And
>Muslims are being treated unfairly across the Western world, but sometimes
>extremists do fire rockets at Israeli hospitals. The world is a complicated
>That is actually not the most important part, as I ask you to bear with me
>for the remainder of this letter.
>I do not expect Barakat to know everything, and this is not an attempt to
>justify the Israeli government (an outspoken critic of which I have been
>over the years).
>Rather, checking such "facts" and providing commentary is the journalist's
>job, and this is my second point.
>2. Journalistic Standards.
>I can point out factual errors and incorrect observations in
>practically every other sentence of the interview. The list one can
>assemble is quite vast for such a short piece: From Sultanie's distance
>from the border, through the photography routines of the
>Israeli Air Force, to the "heavier" points pertaining to the issue
>in the previous paragraph.
>Have any of the alleged facts been checked, or was the intent to simply
>on the impressions of a frightened young woman?
>This account of events was biased and one-sided, with absolutely no room or
>opportunity for rebuttal by the accused side. Is this just, only because
>piece was printed in the form of a subjective interview?
>I must apologise for this stream of rhetorical questions, but what was the
>journalistic value of the piece in its current state? What journalistic
>standards did this piece even adhere to?
>This leads me to my final point, which I frankly find just as disturbing.
>3. Official Stand of the Students' Union
>This article was an interview and not an editorial. Fair enough.
>Nevertheless, it was the cover story. It was advertised in advance. It
>was even accompanied by an well-constructed photo collage. All this
>turns it into the official view of Cub, even if that had never been
>your intention; especially if one considers the wildly manipulative
>sentence, "imagine if this was all that was left of your family".
>Such an inaccurate, under-researched and biased article should not possibly
>be presented on the cover of the official magazine of the Students' Union.
>I appreciate your having read this far. I really do - I know this is
>most gratifying topic to be caught up in, and I can elaborate even more on
>these issues if need be.
>I hope you review the points I have made and take them into consideration.
>would be grateful if they could also be passed along to Ms. Connelly, who
>penned the interview.
>Naturally, I do not wish to merely complain, as I feel a serious
>injustice has been done here; one that may wrongly affect the views of
>many people in a crucial stage of their lives. I do intend to set the
>record straight, as co-students of different denominations and
>religions have shared their disapproval of the article with me.
>Ideally, I could imagine the cover of next month's Cub calling notice
>to an essay or interview giving the other side's account, in order to
>balance the views. I can honestly see no reason why this should not be
>done, although you yourself may have other plans for next month's
>cover. I would like (at the very least) for a response of mine to be
>printed in next month's issue, but would of course be interested in
>your view before submitting such a composition. I would be more than
>happy to discuss any of the issues I have raised (with you or with Ms.
>Connelly), by e-mail or in person. (OK, the e-mail's almost over now.
>One last push.)
>I do thoroughly enjoy reading Cub and look forward to it every month,
>it pains me to see articles of such weak journalistic integrity.
>I should say that your staff's ongoing attempts to tackle political and
>social issues are to be commended; I wish more students at the university
>took heart over issues such as these. I can only hope the subjects of your
>other articles (well, other than Ken Livingstone and TfL perhaps) are
>treated more fairly.
>If you want to bash Israel - or anyone else, for that matter - let
>someone with the appropriate knowledge and standards do it. Hell, I
>really wouldn't mind writing such a piece myself, as long as it is done
>fairly. No one is afraid of dialog - on the contrary, problems arise
>when dialog is prevented.
>Waiting to hear from you,
>All the best,
>Itamar Kastner