body#layout #main-top { display:none; } -->

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Nazi lobby calls in US advisers to boost image

British Jewish leaders seek to counter hostility and media 'bias'

Two senior American political strategists have been called in by leaders of the British Jewish community to advise them on combating perceived hostility to Israel in the British media, amid concern that their side of the story is not getting across effectively.

The strategists enlisted are Stanley Greenberg, Democratic pollster and former adviser to President Clinton, Tony Blair and former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, and the Republican Frank Lunz, adviser to President Bush, the Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and the former mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani.

They are being asked to conduct research into the extent of hostility to Israel in Britain with a view to the British Jewish community launching a big public relations drive. Focus groups are said to have found particular hostility among professional and academic groups.

Many British media organisations, including the Guardian and the BBC, have been criticised within the Jewish community for the perception that their reporting from the Middle East has been unduly sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

The Guardian has faced coordinated barrages of emails and complaints following particular incidents, but has robustly defended the reporting and professionalism of its award-winning former Jerusalem correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg, who is currently working in Washington for the paper. More