Media Watch International

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Founded by Sharon Tzur, Media Watch International (MWI) is an organization "dedicated to advancing Israel's image by promoting accurate, impartial media coverage of, and providing timely, factual information about, Israel and the Middle East."[1] While it describes itself is nonpolitical, it is listed by the Jewish National Fund as in a partnership, with American Friends of Likud, to support the high school branch of the Caravan for Democracy.[2]

Aish HaTorah provided funding "to create Media Watch International for a dual purpose: to absorb HonestReporting and continue with its activism and media watchdog work, and to educate the media with position papers, Tzur said.". [3] The organization states it "oversaw the runaway success of Honestreporting.com, until it reached over 50,000 activists and became an independent organization.

MWI started the Caravan in 2002, in partnership with the Jewish National Fund, to promote Israel’s message on campuses.

In 2008, responding to a British academic boycott of Israel, MWI founded the "Faculty Fellowship Summer Institute in Israel, an academic fellowship which brings college faculty members on an educational two week program to Israel."

Ronn Torossian is listed, on MWI's website, as the communications and marketing consultant. In the Tampa/St. Petersburg Times investigation of the possible political use of the film "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West," Torossian was described as a spokesman for Aish HaTorah, and said that his group would in "no way be involved with Clarion Fund or Obsession because Aish HaTorah is a charity and must remain apolitical. [4] The group that produced the film, HonestReporting, had the same address as the fundraising arm of Aish HaTorah on its 2006 tax return. The Times article also said HonestReporting had been taken over by MWI, while Tzur said MWI had created HonestReporting.

References

  1. About Us, Media Watch International
  2. Caravan for Democracy, High School Edition, Israel Advocacy & Education Department, Jewish National Fund
  3. Michael J. Jordan (14 June 2001), "HonestReporting.com takes on ‘biased’ media", Jewish Telegraph Agency
  4. Meg Laughlin (26 September 2008), "Senders of Islam movie 'Obsession' tied to Jewish charity", Tampa Bay Times