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Israel-Hate: France's National Sport By: Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Philippe Karsenty, the founder and president of Media-Ratings, the first media-ratings agency in the world that closely monitors French media outlets and, among other things, their anti-American and anti-Israeli bias.

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FP: Philippe Karsenty, tell us a bit about your background, what Media-Ratings is and what motivated you to create it.

Karsenty: Media-Ratings was created in 2004 in reaction to all the mistakes, and sometimes lies, that the French media outlets were publishing on every subject. I have a financial background and I thought that the tools we used on the financial markets, ratings agencies, could be applied to the media sphere. I gathered a group of intellectuals, teachers and journalists and we created a strict method of analysis: the PHILTRE, which stands for Precision, Homogeneity, Independence, Liberty, Transparency, Responsibility and Exhaustivity.


We treat all sorts of subjects, from French politics to international politics, economy or even celebrities.


This has allowed us to gain credibility on every subject, including anti-Americanism, anti-capitalism and anti-Semitism.


FP: So tell us about the eye you keep on the French media’s bias on these themes.


Karsenty: Anti-Americanism, anti-capitalism and anti-Semitism are very present in the French media outlets, but not only there; they are everywhere in French society, from the bottom to the top. For example, Jacques Chirac recently said that liberalism will be destroyed as communism was in the 20th century. He never said what will replace liberalism but he just predicted the end of it.


Anti-Americanism is also very present in the French political and intellectual life. Never forget how our actual prime minister, Villepin, travelled all over the world to fight American diplomacy before the Iraqi war. Another thing interesting to think about: not one French newspaper or magazine supported the US in the war in Iraq. Not even one. And when you asked French diplomats or intellectuals why America was going at war against Saddam, they answered that it was because Bush was receiving marching orders from Ariel Sharon.


Anti-Semitism is more complex in the French media. In France, you can’t say “I hate the Jews” but it’s very positive for your career, as an intellectual, a journalist or a diplomat, to say that Israel is an evil state and that you want it to disappear. For example, Villepin said in 2001 that Israel was a “parenthesis of the history” that will not last very long. He became foreign affair minister a year after, then interior minister, and he’s now prime minister.


FP: Why do you think Jew-Hate and anti-Americanism are so strong in France?


Karsenty: In the French political and intellectual sphere, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are very present. Even if almost everybody knows this was a forgery, almost everybody thinks with these Protocols in the back of their mind.


As I said, the Iraqi war was launched, according to most of the French people, in the name of Israel. And if you look at the nuclear bomb in preparation in Iran, you see that the French media only focus on the Israeli supposed interest. They just forget that if Iran provides terrorists with dirty radioactive material, it’s Europe that could be affected very soon. They also forget to recall that Europe has no missile anti-missile as Israel has with the Hetz. This means that, objectively, Israel is less endangered by a nuclear Iran than Europe. But, if you hear French media, the only country is danger is Israel and French people don’t want to fight a billion of Muslims to defend 6 million Israelis.


Concerning anti-Americanism, France will never forgive America to have saved it twice during the 20th century. Never.


FP: True, true. So what are the forces against you? Can you talk about the tactics your opponents have used to try to stop you from your efforts?


Karsenty: The whole French elites are against Media-Ratings. We disturb them because we oppose them when they lie. French media outlets hate us because we are criticizing them all the time. The French government dislikes us because we are not accepting their lies, especially concerning foreign affairs. We revealed that they lied on Iraq, on French so-called hostages in Iraq, on the behaviour of the French army in Ivory Coast and on many other issues where French diplomats were wrong.


French media outlets and politicians found many ways to stop us. First, we’ve been served with many lawsuits. They sue us for defamation. They know that we’re right and that we’ll win our cases. But they know it takes most of our energy to defend ourselves, and also most of our resources. While we’re defending, we’re not criticizing them.


FP: So what is going on with the state of Muslims in France? There are areas in your country now where women have to veil themselves in fear of being attacked?


Karsenty: I would say that the problem in France is not with the Muslims but with few extremists Muslims who want to impose their ideology. There is also a problem with French politicians, diplomats, intellectuals and journalists who are willing to “collaborate” with those extremists. They think they’ll have peace through this pattern. They are just appeasing and delaying the confrontation.


FP: Well I think the problem is larger than there being "a few extremists" but perhaps we'll have this out in another forum. What happened in the Al Dura controversy? Why is it so difficult to make it right and correct it?


Karsenty: The Al Dura controversy is the biggest media scandal in the world. It occurred more than 5 years ago and it twisted the brains of hundreds of millions of people, thinking that the Jews, or the Israelis, which is the same for many people in Europe, kill Arab kids on purpose. This image is now in everyone brain. It’s a forgery that developed anti-Semitism, but not only, also anti-Americanism and I’d say, anti-Western values all over the world. Never forget it occurred a year before 9/11.


Now, we are very few who try to have this story corrected. The problem to have this right is that the French elites are very happy with it because it confirms their hate feelings against Israel and the Jews. Israel-bashing is a national sport in France.

On the other side, the Israeli government is not willing to fight. First because they don’t realize how strong was the impact of this image on western brains. The second reason is, unfortunately, that they have other “deals” (Iran Syria, Lebanon…) with France and that, now, they don’t want to endanger their relationship with Chirac.


But, I’m confident. At the end of the story, people will be forced to admit that we are right. There will be a lawsuit in 4 months because the French TV who broadcasted the Al Dura forgery, France 2, sued us for defamation. We’ll expose our case and their lies and incoherence. They’ll respond but, as we’ve seen their evidences, I’m really confident on the result of the lawsuit.


FP: Is there any future for the Jews in France?


Karsenty: I am not sure. It really depends on the next few years. Either the next French government will go on collaborating with some rogue states and terrorist groups as they have been doing now for the last past 10 years. In this case, the Jews will be not be welcome in France anymore, except if they spit on Israel and America. I’m not really concerned by the large number of Muslims in France. I’m more concerned by the French habit to collaborate with any dictator or group who will intimidate them, especially if they propose to get rid of the Jews. Look at how Chirac, and most of the French diplomats, always protected the Hezbollah and now, how he’s trying to help the Hamas. Never forget they’ve been the best allies of Saddam Hussein and other Jew killers and haters like Arafat, Hafez el Assad or Ghadafi.


FP: When the students went on “strike” to protest the new legislation about employers have the right to fire young people, many of us here were very confused. What is this all about? Employers should have the right to hire and fire who they want to, no?


Karsenty: As a Frenchman, I would say no. (laughs) 


The French economic culture is based on the fact that employers are ugly capitalists who try to exploit their employees and that their only goal is to fire them to make huge profits. You have to understand that France has an official unemployment rate of 10% but that the real figures are much higher. Being fired in France is a big trauma and many people stay unemployed many years before finding another job. There is no flexibility in France. Whereas an American employee can move from New York to Miami to find a new job, a regular French employee wouldn’t accept a new job which will force him to move a hundred miles. And the French legislation is on his side, he has the right to refuse.


FP: Next year, France will have elections. What are the possibilities?


Karsenty: The worst case scenario would be that Chirac will be re-elected. It seems now impossible but never forget that the day Chirac leaves the Elysee, some judges will try to put him in jail for corruption and other wrongdoings. So, he’ll do whatever he could to keep on being president.


If Chirac doesn’t run for office again, Sarkozy (the right) will probably oppose Segolene Royal (the left), who is our “Hillary”. There is also Le Pen, the far-rightist, who will probably be very strong at this election again.


My anticipation is that Royal the leftist will win because Sarkozy has a weak team and that the credibility of right is very low now.


Concerning anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism, I would say that any new French president will be better than Jacques Chirac who is really the worst we’ve never had.


FP: Philippe Karsenty, thank you for joining us today.


Karsenty: Thank you Jamie.


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Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Russian, U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He is the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union and is the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. His new book is United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at jglazov@rogers.com.

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