While Israel has been foolishly neglectful of connecting with a global audience by exploiting satellite television broadcasting to its advantage, the Islamic Republic of Iran has grasped with fervour the chance to showcase the image that it wants the world to see - both of itself and of the Zionist entity. The state-funded Press TV, Iran's propagandistic news channel, was set up in 2007, and has bureaus in Teheran, Beirut, Damascus, Seoul, Washington - and, inevitably, Londonistan. Its broadcasts reach most parts of the world, and for most viewers it is free-to-air; it also has a website.
And it has not been short of western abettors. Its regular presenters include such "feminists" as journalists Lauren Booth, Tony Blair's embarrassing sister-in-law, and Yvonne Ridley, kidnapped by the Taliban in 2001, who in 2003 converted to Islam. Both women, who also broadcast on London's Islam Channel, are heavily active in the Free Gaza Movement and other anti-Israel initiatives.
Ms Booth recently addressed an outdoor demo in London, in which to wild cheers she shrilly condemned Mark Regev as "an Israeli killer Zionist" and, in an apparent rallying cry for jihad, exhorted the green, red, black and white-bannered throng to take up arms against Israel, while Ms Ridley has been active in the Respect Party, that curious mixture of radical Muslims and radical Socialists united in their loathing of "Zionists".
On screen, Ms Booth (pictured in a Gaza souvenir shop) appears with a veil not quite covering all of her blonde hair; Ms Ridley's blonde locks are totally concealed beneath a particularly forbidding version of the hijab. I've always found it intriguing how avowed feminists - who would no doubt rant and rave and scoff and sneer at fundamentalist Christian explanations (you can find them on the web, from strict old Calvinists and others) that wives must cover their heads as a symbol of their subjection to their husbands - meekly don the veil when required to by Islam.
But it is positively obscene that such people - who are quick to accuse Israel of human rights violations - continue to pimp brand Iran despite the odious Ahmadinejad regime's horrendous oppression of its people. It has now come to light, courtesy of one of its own, that to oblige the Iranian government members of the ruthless Basij militia forcibly marry - and rape - virgin prisoners the night before those women's scheduled executions. This enables the death sentence, forbidden in the case of virgins, to be carried out. Will this shocking revelation (you won't find it in the leftist press) of a particularly repellent crime against women finally wean these Israel-hating pro-Iran female broadcasters away from their role as handmaidens of Hamas's sponsor? I wouldn't bank on it.