London Jewish Paper Uses EU Spokesperson as Israel Columnist--Without Telling Readers Who He Works For. by Judy Lash Balint
January 19, 2005
David Kriss gets paid by the London Jewish News to provide his perspectives on Israel for the weekly British newspaper and its parent website, www.totallyjewish.com.
What readers of his columns don't know, however, is that Kriss also picks up a paycheck from the European Union where he holds down a full time position as press and information officer for the European Commission based in Tel Aviv.
Kriss's by line on the Israel Diary section of totallyjewish.com reads: "Journalist and political analyst David Kriss made aliya in 1972. He works for a multinational organization and lives in Tel Aviv."
"A multinational organization?" I guess that's one way of describing the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, one of the members of the Quartet charged with implementing the Middle East Road Map.
"Journalist?" A thorough search turns up no record of articles written by Kriss in any other newspapers, magazines or websites other than those owned by totallyjewish.com. A number of years ago Kriss did co-author a coffee table picture book of aerial photos of Israel, and translated one work from Hebrew, but that hardly qualifies as "journalism." Most Israeli journalists I know don't make their living explaining the policies of one of the governmental bodies involved in the Peace Process.
When Kriss writes, as he did in his January 5, 2005 totallyjewish.com column of "the zealot minority," "messianic extremists," and a" religious settlement movement [that] has spawned an ideology that rejects secular western democracy in favor of a fundamentalist mutation of Judaism," wouldn't it be helpful to know that these words are coming from the same person who as an official EU spokesman insists that products exported from Israeli settlements and industrial zones in the territories, which were labeled "made in Israel," violated Israel's tariff-free agreement?
The question is just who is obfuscating here. Did Mr. Kriss neglect to inform his London Jewish News editor of his day job, or did totallyjewish.com editor, David Garfinkel choose not to provide his readers with that piece of information? Written enquiries to both gentlemen have so far gone unanswered.