Widely reported news about an Israeli firm manipulating elections in numerous countries fail to ask some critical questions relating to its connections to official Israeli institutions.
As reported by the Guardian “consortium of journalists that investigated Team Jorge includes reporters from 30 outlets including Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El País. The project, part of a wider investigation into the disinformation industry, has been coordinated by Forbidden Stories, a French non-profit whose mission is to pursue the work of assassinated, threatened or jailed reporters.”
Reports about Team Jorge, run by Tal Hanan, who is said to be a former Israeli Special Forces operative, paints a detailed picture of the Israeli firm’s disruptive activities.
The reports, however, touch only briefly on the organization’s close links with official Israeli institutions.
The Guardian report states that “Hanan appears to have run at least some of his disinformation operations through an Israeli company, Demoman International, which is registered on a website run by the Israeli Ministry of Defense to promote defence exports. The Israeli MoD did not respond to requests for comment.”
This should immediately have raised a red flag, but it didn’t.
In comparison, when western media reported on similar actions by Russian companies, the narrative of state-backing is quite unambiguous.
For several years western media outlets have reported about Russian troll farms pushing pro-Moscow propaganda online.
In most western media reports on Russian internet propaganda, the companies who ran such operations were not presented as independent entities detached from Russian state institutions.
Recent reports about Team Jorge fail to ask deeper questions which would implicate Israeli state institutions in its meddling activities in other countries’ internal affairs.
Zionist Israel is a virulently militarist entity with a siege mentality.
The regime’s institutions are unlikely to allow a private company to run operations of a political nature without their knowledge or even supervision.
International media coverage of Team Jorge’s activities without investigating its connections with official Israeli institutions presents an incomplete picture.
Although the report on Team Jorge was published in several international media outlets, the real question which should be on readers minds is whether there will be any legal investigation into Team Jorge’s disruptive activities.
If Team Jorge were based in a country not allied with western regimes, the reporting narrative would not only link them to state institutions but most likely look a lot deeper into its connections with such institutions.
Some spice would also be added, based on the fertile imagination of the reporter.
By letting Team Jorge get away with illegal activities simply because it is an Israeli-based operation, western regimes are creating a leeway for their adversaries to do the same.
When Israeli firms meddle in other countries’ elections with no serious consequences, it will simply incentivize others to indulge in similar practices.