Tom Gross is a British-born journalist, international affairs commentator,[1] and human rights campaigner specializing in the Middle East[2]. Gross was formerly a foreign correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and New York Daily News. He now works as an opinion journalist and has written for both Arab[3][4] and Israeli[5] newspapers as well as European and American ones, both liberal[6] and conservative.[7]

Tom Gross
BornLondon, England, United Kingdom
OccupationJournalist and commentator
LanguageEnglish
Alma materWadham College, Oxford
ParentsJohn Gross, Miriam Gross
RelativesKurt May (grandfather), Susanna Gross (sister), Sonia Orwell (godmother)
Tom Gross (right) interviews Egyptian dissident and former political prisoner Maikel Nabil at the 2012 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy

His politics are mixed. The German newspaper Die Welt described Gross as “A leftist in the fight against left-wing hypocrisy”.[8]

Education and familyEdit

Gross was educated at Wadham College at Oxford University,[9] where he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). His father, John Gross, was a distinguished author and critic,[10][11] and his mother, Miriam Gross, and sister, Susanna Gross, are literary editors. His step-father Sir Geoffrey Owen was editor of the Financial Times. His uncle was Tony Gross, a pioneering fashion optician.[12][13][14]

Gross’s maternal grandfather, Kurt May, was a German-Jewish lawyer who fled Nazi persecution to Jerusalem, where Gross's mother was born.[15] May later led the legal battle of The United Restitution Organization, which fought to attain restitution from German companies for persecuted Jews, Roma and others, after World War II. May was also a senior advisor to the U.S. chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crime trials.[16] Gross’s maternal grandmother, Vera Feinberg, also escaped Nazi Germany for pre-state Israel, but her parents were deported to Theresienstadt (Terezin) concentration camp and later to Treblinka where they were gassed to death upon arrival.[17][18][19]

Gross has also cited the strong influence during his childhood of his godmother,[20] Sonia Orwell, widow of the writer George Orwell and the model[21] for Orwell's heroine Julia in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Gross wrote in The Spectator magazine that Sonia had no children of her own, and “she became almost like a second mother to me”.[22]

Journalistic careerEdit

Gross was formerly the Jerusalem correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and for the New York Daily News. He has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal,[23] Weekly Standard,[24] National Review[25] and Huffington Post in the United States, to The National Post[26] in Canada, to The Australian[27] in Australia, for the Saudi paper Asharq Al-Awsat[28][29] and to The Times of India.

In Britain, he has written for The Guardian,[30] Daily Telegraph,[31] Daily Mail,[32] Spectator,[33] Standpoint and Evening Standard, and other publications; in Israel, for Ha’aretz, Ma’ariv and The Jerusalem Post; in Germany for Die Welt;[34] and in Iran, for a number of opposition websites.[35]

Human rights activismEdit

He has criticized the UN for not doing more to promote freedom in countries such as North Korea[36] and Mauritania.[37]. He has also conducted various on stage interviews, including with a French hostage kidnapped by Islamic State[38] in Syria, a Nigerian schoolgirl kidnapped by Boko Haram[39] in Nigeria, and with the wife of the imprisoned Saudi liberal blogger and political prisoner Raif Badawi.[40]

Gross has advocated for the rights of the Roma[41][42] , Domari, Kurdish,[43] Yazidi[44] and Rohingya [45] minorities, and disabled people.[46] In 2014, former Pentagon official Michael Rubin wrote that “Tom Gross is probably Europe’s leading observer of the Middle East.” [47] Gross was similarly described in Toronto’s National Post in April 2019. [48]

Media CriticismEdit

Much of his work has concerned the way the international media covers the Middle East. He has been cited on the subject in papers such as The New York Times[49] and interviewed in Haaretz[50] and on television[51] about this. He has been sharply critical of the BBC, arguing that their Middle East coverage is slanted against Israel,[52][53] and has subjected the coverage of Reuters,[54] The Guardian[55] and CNN[56] and what he termed the “cult of Rachel Corrie[57] to scrutiny.

He has also been critical of The New York Times, both for their general foreign coverage,[58] and historically for what he terms their “lamentable record of not covering the Holocaust.”[59]The New York Times,” wrote Gross, “possibly because they feared people might -- wrongly -- think of it as a ‘Jewish’ paper, made sure reports were brief and buried inside the paper. During World War II, no article about the Jews’ plight under the Nazis ever qualified as the Times’ leading story of the day.”

Israel-PalestineEdit

Gross has consistently supported the creation of an independent Palestinian Arab state alongside Israel – and suggested that it is possible one may even be created under the Trump presidency.[60][61][62] But he has said that “to be viable and successful it is not only a question of what Israel will give the Palestinians, but of the Palestinians themselves engaging in good governance,” and warned that “there is no point in creating a new Palestinian state if it will primarily be used as a launching ground for armed attacks on Israel, which would be likely to in turn only lead to a much bloodier war between Israelis and Palestinians than anything we have witnessed in the past.”[63] He has also written about the Jews of the Arab world.[64]

PragueEdit

Gross has also lived and worked in Prague, where he served as correspondent (covering the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Albania) for the (London) Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph. He helped launch the Czech edition of Elle magazine, the first international glossy magazine in post-communist central and eastern Europe.[65] In addition, he wrote a regular op-ed column for The Prague Post and op-eds for the Czech daily Lidové Noviny. He has acted as a consultant to the Prague Jewish museum,[66] and wrote the museum's guide for visitors. In The Guardian Gross has been critical of the fact that Prague still has no central state-funded Holocaust memorial, unlike most other European capital cities from which Jews were deported.[67]

Work on RomaEdit

Tom Gross has also campaigned on behalf of the Roma (Gypsies). “This is one of the most painful and disturbing problems in Europe today, though it is often neglected or misreported by the mainstream media,” he wrote.[68][69][70]

For two years, based in Prague, he served as a special advisor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the plight of Czech Roma, mainly relating to citizenship issues arising as a result of the breakup of Czechoslovakia. He criticized the internationally renowned liberal icon and playwright Václav Havel, in columns in The Spectator and The Prague Post[71], for not doing enough to help Roma while he served as Czech president.

Television and radioEdit

Tom Gross has worked on a number of television programs and documentary films, including BBC TV specials on Czech Roma, and on Sudeten Germans. On the Middle East, he has appeared as a commentator on BBC World news,[72] CNN, Fox News, and NPR. He has been interviewed on international politics on Sky News Arabia,[73] i24 News,[74] Russia Today,[75] TRT World Turkey,[76] Israel Channel 13 [77] and BBC Arabic.[78]

BooksEdit

Gross is co-author of Out of Tune: David Helfgott and the Myth of Shine (Warner Books, New York, 1998) and of The Time Out Guide to Prague (Penguin Books, London, 1995). Out of Tune was named the most important biography of a troubled genius by The Huffington Post in April 2011.[79]

Gross has contributed essays to a number of books, including Those Who Forget The Past (edited by Ron Rosenbaum, Random House, New York, 2004), and worked as a consultant on Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and their Journey (by Isabel Fonseca), and as an editor on Germany and its Gypsies: A post-Auschwitz ordeal (by Gilad Margalit).

Public serviceEdit

Gross is a voluntary director of the Raif Badawi Foundation[80] and a member of the International Advisory Board of NGO Monitor,[81] of Mideast Dig[82] and of Keren Malki, a charity helping special needs children in Israel.[83] He is a founding signatory to The Henry Jackson Society's Statement of Principles in London.[84] He served as Chairman of The International Advisory Board of the Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Palestine's Missing Critics". The Wall Street Journal. 2 November 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Ein Linker im Kampf gegen linke Lebenslügen, By Alan Posener". Die Welt. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  3. ^ Tom Gross (4 September 2019). "Brexit and its Effect on the Middle East". Asharq Al-Awsat (English). Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  4. ^ Tom Gross (4 September 2019). "جنون "بريكست" وأثره على الشرق الأوسط". Asharq Al-Awsat (Arabic). Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  5. ^ "The 'shy little bird' who survived Hitler and Stalin". Jerusalem Post. 22 December 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  6. ^ Tom Gross (30 November 2014). "A modest proposal: Qatar could win by letting Gaza host the World Cup". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  7. ^ Tom Gross (2 December 2008). "If this Isn't Terrorism, What Is?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Ein Linker im Kampf gegen linke Lebenslügen, By Alan Posener". Die Welt. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Ein Linker im Kampf gegen linke Lebenslügen, By Alan Posener". Die Welt. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Obituary of John Gross". The Economist. 27 January 2011.
  11. ^ "My Hero: John Gross". The Guardian. 15 January 2011.
  12. ^ "Tony Gross: British optician and designer who made sunglasses a celebrity necessity and constructed outlandish spectacles for Elton John". The Times. 14 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Tony Gross, Tony Gross, optician who introduced glamour into eyewear and attracted a host of celebrity clients". The Guardian. 28 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Tony Gross, designer of fashionable glasses – obituary". Daily Telegraph. 11 March 2018.
  15. ^ "A Jerusalem Childhood - Standpoint". www.standpointmag.co.uk.
  16. ^ Ferencz, Benjamin B. Less than Slaves. 2002, page 40-1
  17. ^ Tait, Robert (11 October 2016). "Fate of former Schindler's list factory is met with Czech ambivalence". the Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  18. ^ (www.nux.cz), Nux s.r.o. "Adolf Feinberg | Databáze obětí | Holocaust". www.holocaust.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  19. ^ (www.nux.cz), Nux s.r.o. "Pauline Feinberg | Databáze obětí | Holocaust". www.holocaust.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  20. ^ The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell: Volume 1: An Age Like This, 1920-1940 Edited by Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus (reissued June 2019)
  21. ^ "Dedicated follower of passions". The Guardian. 19 May 2002.
  22. ^ Spurling, Hilary. The Girl from the Fiction Department: A Portrait of Sonia Orwell. p131. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 9780241141656|2002|
  23. ^ Tom Gross (2 December 2008). "If this Isn't Terrorism, What Is?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  24. ^ "Tom Gross Archive". Weekly Standard. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  25. ^ "Tom Gross Archive". National Review Online. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  26. ^ "Tom Gross". National Post. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  27. ^ Tom Gross (8 April 2011). "West needs reality check on Syria". The Australian. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  28. ^ Tom Gross (4 September 2019). "Brexit and its Effect on the Middle East". Asharq Al-Awsat (English). Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  29. ^ Tom Gross (4 September 2019). "جنون "بريكست" وأثره على الشرق الأوسط". Asharq Al-Awsat (Arabic). Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  30. ^ Tom Gross (7 December 2009). "Building peace without Obama's interference". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  31. ^ Tom Gross (16 January 2018). "When a French ambassador described Israel as a 'sh---y little country' – and polite society defended him". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  32. ^ Tom Gross (27 February 2015). "Exclusive: Hostage held by Jihadi John's brutal terror gang reveals how they made secret chess set from milk cartons – and says UK and US should have done more to save their citizens". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  33. ^ "Tom Gross archive". The Spectator. 16 February 2018.
  34. ^ Tom Gross (1 August 2019). "Ich will Deutscher werden, aber es ist so verdammt schwer". Die Welt. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  35. ^ "تام گراس: جنبش سبز در به کارگیری اینترنت الهام‌بخش بوده است". رادیو فردا.
  36. ^ “The true face of human rights at the UN,” March 16, 2012, The National Post
  37. ^ “The UN Promotes a Slave-Owning Nation,” Feb. 25, 2013, The Huffington Post
  38. ^ "I was held captive by ISIS" - Pierre Torres interviewed by Tom Gross". 25 February 2015.
  39. ^ ""I escaped Boko Haram" – A Nigerian girl who was kidnapped with 270 others ("Bring Back Our Girls")". 25 February 2015.
  40. ^ "Imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi's wife speaks out (interviewed by Tom Gross)". 2016 Geneva Summit for human rights. 26 February 2016.
  41. ^ "The Truth about Roma, a nation with no homeland". (London) Evening Standard. 20 October 1999. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  42. ^ “Obituary of Milena Hubschmannova, Czech champion of the Roma,” The Guardian, 19 Sep 2005 [1]
  43. ^ "The West should support an independent Kurdish state". 15 October 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  44. ^ "Threats against Yazidis were predictable and predicted". Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  45. ^ "The Rohingya: Mass murder under the gaze of a Nobel peace laureate". Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  46. ^ “Is New Zealand really such a tolerant country?,” March 19, 2019, The Spectator
  47. ^ "Why Is the State Department Supporting a Jewish Conspiracy Book Fair?". Commentary. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  48. ^ [Why the Arabs are ready for peace with Israel "Why the Arabs are ready for peace with Israel, By Robert Fulford"] Check |url= value (help). The National Post. 18 April 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  49. ^ Flanigan, Jake (22 July 2014). "War and Media in the Gaza Strip". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  50. ^ Maor, Dafna (14 September 2014). "Why journalists say Israeli-Arab reporting is 'rigged'". The Marker. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  51. ^ "The Breakfast Show". 28 July 2014.
  52. ^ "Tom Gross on the BBC". www.tomgrossmedia.com.
  53. ^ “The BBC discovers ‘terrorism,’ briefly: Suicide bombing seems different when closer to home,” The Jerusalem Post, 12 July 2005 [2]
  54. ^ “The Case of Reuters,” The National Review
  55. ^ “The Guardian acknowledges a degree of anti-Semitism,” Nov. 10, 2011, The Commentator
  56. ^ “This is CNN,” March 20, 2009, The National Review
  57. ^ Tom Gross (22 October 2005). "The Forgotten Rachels". The Spectator. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  58. ^ “All The News That’s Fit To Print?” The National Review, 14 March 2003 [3]
  59. ^ “Reporting Auschwitz, Then & Now: The lamentable record of The New York Times,” The Jerusalem Post, 2 Feb 2005 [4]
  60. ^ “ Could Donald Trump unexpectedly triumph in his bid for peace in the Middle East?,” The Spectator, April 4, 2019 [5]
  61. ^ Tom Gross (9 February 2018). "After Jerusalem decision, might Trump & Netanyahu yet help create a Palestinian state?". The Spectator. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  62. ^ "The good news about Gaza you won't hear on the BBC". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  63. ^ “A nice new shopping mall opened today in Gaza: Will the media report on it?” [6]
  64. ^ "The Jews driven out of homes in Arab lands". Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  65. ^ Alison Veness (18 February 1994). "'Elle' breaks ground with edition in Czech". The Independent. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  66. ^ Levy, Gideon (20 April 2014). "Echoes from a lost world". Haaretz. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  67. ^ Tait, Robert (11 October 2016). "Fate of former Schindler's list factory is met with Czech ambivalence". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  68. ^ “A Forgotten People, a Terrible Ordeal, ” The Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2000 [7]
  69. ^ “Obituary of Milena Hubschmannova, Czech champion of the Roma,” The Guardian, 19 Sep 2005 [8]
  70. ^ "The Truth about Roma, a nation with no homeland". (London) Evening Standard. 20 October 1999. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  71. ^ "On Czech citizenship law, the President has no clothes". Prague post. 7 December 1994. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  72. ^ "Israel & Arab states bypass Palestinians to make peace: BBC Lyse Doucet interviews Tom Gross, 8 April 2019". 8 April 2019.
  73. ^ "Tom Gross on Sky News Arabia on Britain's Brexit vote, London, 23.6.16". 23 June 2016.
  74. ^ "The UK votes in its closest election in decades 07/05/2015". 5 May 2015.
  75. ^ "Tom Gross interview with RT International, 8 May 2015". 8 May 2015.
  76. ^ "Tom Gross on Boris Johnson, on the day he becomes British PM". 24 July 2019.
  77. ^ "Tom Gross on international views of Israeli election results". 19 September 2019.
  78. ^ "Tom Gross: Will Benny Gantz form an Israeli government?". 23 October 2019.
  79. ^ "Troubled Genius: 7 Biographies Of Tortured, Game Changing Souls (PHOTOS) | HuffPost". Huffingtonpost.com. 11 June 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  80. ^ "The Board and Advisors - The Raif Badawi Foundation".
  81. ^ "Boards".
  82. ^ "Masthead - mideast dig".
  83. ^ "Keren Malki - Advisory Board". www.kerenmalki.org.
  84. ^ Henry Jackson Society signatories

External linksEdit