Lebanon article (anti-Israel propaganda piece) in QM Student Union Magazine CUB
In November 2006 the Queen Mary
Student Union Magazine CUB devoted much of its space to
a viciously anti-Israel presentation of the 2006 Lebanon
war without any attempt to check the facts, or provide balance or
right of reply. Pride of place was given to an interview with
a Lebanese student who was clearly totally ignorant of recent
history and the events leading up to the war. In addition to being
inflammatory and fundamentally incorrect in many aspects, the article
(which was essentially Hezbollah puff-piece) even contained
threats against the so-called 'Western' givernment of Lebanon such as
"The government of Lebanon ... like an overgrown tree it's going
to be chopped down".
The magazine caused considerable distress, especially to Jewish and
Israeli students and many complained to the editor Alex Hudson.
It later transpired that the 'journalist' (Kate Connelly) who did the 'interview' was a member of the Respect Party
(and was actually at the time on the Party's National Student Committee).
Since Respect officially supports the terrorist organisations Hezbollah
and Hamas and is committed to the destruction of the State of Israel,
the magazine's failure to point this out is deeply concerning.
Following the complaints Alex Hudson did meet with members of the
Jewish Society and eventually published a response (see below).
The original article is here and in purely text form here. To give a feel for how big a 'story' it was, the front cover is here, inside cover is here and page next to the main article is here. Note the especially ridiculous words at the bottom of the inside cover.
My initial response
My additional comment (in the light of events just after sending response)
Jewish Society correspondence plus letter by Itimar Kastner and response to it
Response to my letter from Alex Hudson
My response to Alex Hudson
Letters from other QM students
The December 2006 issue of the magazine contains the response to the
article based on the interview that the Editor (Alex Hudson) did
with myself and two students - Itamar
Kastner and Jacqueline Halperin on 24 November. The response article is
here (it is a large pdf file with the
2-page article plus the page with the
CUB statement/apology and a letter). Notwithstanding some errors
in transcription, some wrongly attributed quotes, and some awful
grammar, the article is a reasonable summary of the interviews. Note
that the CUB statement includes an
apology regarding the original article. It does not include all the
points I had asked to include, but it does include the main points of
failing to declare the RESPECT party affiliation and the offense caused
to Israeli students. The one complaint I have about the article is that
under the heading "What happened in Israel" the Editor has decided to
use a photograph of Israelis relaxing on a beach, as if this was how
most Israelis experienced the war. This is in extremely bad taste and
in contrast to the use of photographs in the original article. It is
also especially annoying as Jaqueline Halperin went to great lengths to
send the Editor these pictures which clearly would have been more appropriate.