Officials: Right-Wing Groups Help IDF Monitor Media

By Haaretz

Published January 31, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The government and military have unofficially outsourced some of their intelligence work to private organizations that monitor anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian media and are associated with right-wing politics, according to several high-ranking government and military sources.

The situation — which the sources said stemmed from a lack of resources, shifting priorities and years of neglect — has prompted some government officials to ask Military Intelligence chief Aviv Kochavi in the last few weeks to take action. Staff members in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bureau were among the officials who complained to Kochavi.

A Military Intelligence decision to more closely monitor social media, blogs and other online sources after the events of the Arab Spring has meant dramatically reduced monitoring of the mainstream Arab-language media, the IDF sources said. They said Military Intelligence has almost totally stopped monitoring major television stations in real time, like Al Jazeera, Al-Manar and Palestinian television.

For instance, they said, MI soldiers listen to the Friday sermons broadcast on Palestinian television and radio stations a few days later.

The Israel Defense Forces issued a statement denying the allegations.

The Military Intelligence unit assigned to monitor the Arab-language media does so in real time, “24 hours a day, every day of the week, in a wide variety of fields, including the Palestinian field,” the IDF said. The army has been expanding its monitoring of open-source information - which can include newspapers, television and social media - to include “various platforms,” said the IDF, adding that “any other claim is unfounded.”

The government, meanwhile, is getting most of its information on anti-Israel incitement from two private organizations, the sources said: the Middle East Media Research Institute, which is based in Washington, D.C., and the Israel-based Palestinian Media Watch.

Palestinian Media Watch provides mostly professional material on Palestinian incitement in the media and textbooks, but is associated with the right wing. It is directed by Itamar Marcus, who until recently served as the vice president of the Central Fund of Israel, a New York-based right-wing nonprofit association that donates to Israeli right-wing groups like Im Tirtzu and helps fund various activities in West Bank settlements.

For more, go to haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.