United States Zionist lobby groups seek to limit the activities of Press TV in America over fears of losing the propaganda war, a human rights activist tells Press TV.
This is while the US House of Representatives has recently approved a ‘defense bill’ that includes new anti-Iran sanctions on broadcasting, another almost USD500 million for the Israeli regime’s missile systems and approximately USD89 billion for its war in Afghanistan.
Press TV has conducted an interview with William Spring, a human rights activist from London, to further discuss the issue. Spring is joined by Danny Schechter, editor with the mediachannel.org, from New York, and Omar Nashabi, Al-Akhbar Newspaper, from Beirut. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Perhaps you can tell us about your experiences regarding what Press TV went through regarding Ofcom who took it off its Sky platform based on your repeated requests from Ofcom to give us explanations. Tell us what occurred through your different ventures with Ofcom.
Spring: Initially, I wrote to Ofcom when I knew they were planning this. I said to them that if they went ahead and took Press TV off the Sky platform, I would actually bring a high-court application - which I did.
Initially, my application was based on the fact that it was invasive of my own personal rights. Article 10 allows Europeans to receive information, and this was a high-handed attempt to stop information.
But as I did more research, I was able to tell the high-court a week or so ago, that in fact the entire proceeding is unlawful. Under the European Union directive, they have no right whatsoever to take any channel off the air simply on account of its corporate governance because that was the ostensible reason Ofcom proffered for taking Press TV off the air.
This is all covered by the EU directive. It’s an entirely unlawful act. Ofcom are responsible for an unlawful act as are Eutelsat and these other satellite providers.
I think it’s very important that Press TV target the individuals who are behind this decision because the EU, Catherine Ashton, has said apparently that this isn’t anything to do with the EU.
I’m very dubious about it, anyway; but if that’s so, let’s target the actual directors of these companies.
Press TV: Who do you think is behind it?
Spring: It all fits in with the concept of full-spectrum dominance which was put forward by the neo-cons in the United States back in the late 1990s. They want US domination of the air, land, space and the media.
What we have effectively is a domination which is the US plus the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plus Israel plus Qatar, and this particular bunch of unlikely allies think they can determine broadcasting policy in the West for the rest of us.
It’s outrageous and something has to be done, and I really welcome Press TV’s initiative to take legal action.
Press TV: Which they are going to do...
Let’s pick up on something that [previous guest speaker] Danny Schechter talked about in this context. One of the quickest reactions based on this ban came from the American Jewish Committee (AJC) who has been very quick on the response. They’ve actually applauded the ban by Hispasat, and the executive director of the AJC has come out and said “it’s an important step,” and I’m quoting him, “in Westerner attempts to limit Iran’s influence around the world.”
I’m trying to understand what ‘limiting Iranian influence’ means. Does it mean that Press TV has made such a difference in terms of the impact that it has had? Do you think that’s what he means? Or is it because that revealing the truth based on some of the areas that Press TV places a focus on, that they don’t want? For example, the way that Israel violates itself on Palestinians in the occupied territories?
Spring: Yes, well, actually years ago I used to know a journalist who said to me that George Orwell had said to him that the Ministry of Truth in his book “1984” was based on the BBC, not on the Kremlin.
Unfortunately, we get thoroughly unreliable news from these other channels. What I do find is, and I incur what Danny said, I do find that there is reliable news from Press TV and also to some degree from RT.
Why is it then that the Jewish lobby, or the Zionist lobby, I’d rather say, in America, is so anxious to limit the activities of Press TV? It seems to me though there’s a real fear among the Zionist lobby in America that they are losing the propaganda law.
I was reading a magazine yesterday which was written by Christian Zionists in England and apparently the Israelis are in total disarray because many Christians now can see through the hocus pocus of the pseudo-theology that the Christian Zionists promulgate. I think that the exegesis of scripture is entirely wrong.
We can only pray that the American friends will not allow their foreign policy to continue to be determined not by Americans as it were the WASPS - the white, Anglo-Saxon protestants as it used to be - but now by a sectarian group who’ve come over from years ago.
I mean, the Zionists have a right to influence American opinion but they have no right to hijack American policy which is what has happened. Policies are now being determined by the United States of America in favor of Israel, not in favor of what are the best interests of the United States of America.
There is no interest gained by shutting down Press TV because it does offer an opportunity for people to discuss things.
As Winston Churchill said, jaw-jaw is always better than war-war.
If I can just make one last point, sorry. What they want to do is close down the debate on Syria. It’s very important what’s happening in Syria that we get a proper perspective which is not given by the BBC or Sky.
Press TV: “To seek, receive and impart information and ideas to any media regardless of frontiers,” that’s Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, William Spring.
When you want to put things into context, quickly, I’d like to get your idea on this. Let’s look at this group, the American Freedom and Defense Initiative, that’s sponsored the hate, anti-Islam ads in four Washington area metro stations, that doesn’t get censored. That doesn’t make sense especially if you put it into the context of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Spring: Well, I’m not so familiar with Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, but I am familiar with Article 10 of the ACHR, the European Convention of Human Rights, which actually says the same thing, that we are allowed to receive information.
This is a very basic right which is being censored arbitrarily by this unknown group. Well, when we say unknown, we don’t know the actual individuals involved but it’s important that we do the research so that we can target these individuals and actually put writs on them, put legal actions on them.
I think they will back down if they are given a concerted attack in the courts because they have no legal basis for what they’re doing.
Press TV: Before I let you go, are you going to continue your case for Press TV against Ofcom?
Spring: Of course. What I’m seeking to do at the moment is obtain counsels’ opinion because there was a large number of legal points I raised with the judge, but unfortunately the judge seemed singularly obtuse.