There is growing concern in the Jewish world of possible effects that the scandal surrounding press mogul Rupert Murdoch’s employees will have on Israel. The reason for this is that Murdoch is very pro-Israel in his views, and his press empire has generally treated Israel fairly, unlike other press groups.
“My own perspective is simple: We live in a world where there is an ongoing war against the Jews,” Murdoch at an Anti-Defamation League dinner held in his honor in 2010. “When Americans think of anti-Semitism, we tend to think of the vulgar caricatures and attacks of the first part of the 20th century. Now it seems that the most virulent strains come from the left. Often this new anti-Semitism dresses itself up as legitimate disagreement with Israel.”
A phone hacking scandal in Britain has resulted in high level resignations in Murdoch’s News Corp and ten arrests so far. The future of Murdoch’s empire is now uncertain.
There is also concern that Fox News
will fall into the hands of a Saudi prince
JTA quoted Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, as saying of Murdoch: “His publications and media have proven to be fairer on the issue of Israel than the rest of the media. I hope that won’t be impacted.”
Murdoch’s News Corp owns, among other news outlets, The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London and The Australian, as well as The Sun in Britain and the New York Post, Fox News Channel and a 39 percent stake in British Sky Broadcasting.
“Consider for a moment what would remain of media objectivity regarding Israel related matters with News Corporation's assets weakened or sold off,” wrote David Efune of the Algemeiner. “Likely it will be reduced to incessant clubbing from such enlightened Middle East 'experts' as Thomas Friedman, Karl Vick, Peter Beinart and others.”
Efune’s views the current troubles as a challenge to Jewish creativity.
“The Jewish people have rebuilt their homeland, they have drafted a defense force, they have contributed significantly to technology, medicine, science and spirituality, but in the arena of public opinion, in the battleground of ideas, they have yet to make their mark.” He called out to “fair-minded entrepreneurs” to “explore this market gap in Jewish communication guided by the legacy of an industry giant.”