Media Bias And The Effort To Discredit Israel
by Debbie Smith
In the wake of the deaths of four Rabbis in a Synagogue in Jerusalem at the hands of Palestinian terrorists last week, new allegations of media bias against Israel are surfacing. This bias is an ongoing trend by mainstream Western reporters who charge most of the violence committed in Israel against the Jews and seek to spin the facts to promote their political agenda.
CNN senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman, reporting on the synagogue attacks, initially penned the headline, “4 Israelis and 2 Palestinians, killed in a synagogue attack,” failing to note that the Palestinians killed were the terrorists who murdered the Rabbis and were ultimately shot by Israeli Security Forces.
In similar fashion, Italy’s La Repubblica reported that the attack came after weeks of tension, noting that 12 Palestinians were killed in the violence, including six who were killed by Israeli Security Forces (while murdering Israelis), seeming to equate the perpetrator and the victim as morally equal.
Focusing on the deaths of the perpetrators rather than the victim’s, Canada’s CBC News ran the headline: “Jerusalem police fatally shoot 2 after apparent synagogue attack”
Perhaps one of the most conspicuous blunders came on the” CBS This Morning” news program when anchorwoman Nora O’Donnell reported that “two Palestinian attackers died in a shootout with police. It happened at a contested religious site in Jerusalem.”
However, the shootings occurred in the uncontested Har Nof synagogue located in the Jewish orthodox neighborhood of Har Nof in West Jerusalem.
Some of these news outlets did update their reports as time went on but some were forced to retract their reporting due to the outcry over these types of misleading reports.
Certainly, this sort of bias is nothing new. Previously, this past summer’s Gazan conflict was plagued by instances of partiality on the part of members of the liberal press. So pronounced was this bias that 20 year veteran AP reporter Matti Friedman wrote an essay exposing the “institutional bias” he witnessed during his five years as a correspondent in Jerusalem.
Published in the Tablet, August 26, 2014, and titled “An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth”, the essay exposes the “grossly disproportionate reporting” against Israel during Operation Protective Edge and before it. Consider some of the points Freidman makes in the story:
- During Friedman’s time in Jerusalem, he states that the AP assigned 40 reporters to cover Israel, a number greater than the total of those covering China, the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and of those reporting from the Middle East during the Arab spring!
- The number of lives lost to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict during the year 2013 was 42 which is the roughly the same amount of violent deaths in Chicago Illinois in one month during 2013.
- The content of reporting is strictly scripted by management to paint a picture of Israel as the aggressor and the Palestinians as passive victims. No analysis of the Palestinian culture, society, or ideology is pursued, and no investigations of the Palestinian government are performed by the main stream news outlets
- Friedman even tells of an attempt by him and a colleague to investigate corruption in the Palestinian Authority that was thwarted by the AP Bureau Chief who told them that PA corruption was not “the story.”
The essay goes on to tell of intimidation of reporters on the part of the PA and an overall concerted effort to tell only one side of the conflict and place blame on Israel as the aggressor and occupier.
But why is it that this sort of biased reporting possible? An Algemeiner piece from November 2012, list 10 reasons for this biased reporting. These are a few of the reasons given:
- Israel has freedom of the press and does not censor what journalists report.
- Reporters can live the good life; report the conflict by day and dine in metropolitan cities by night.
- The worldwide liberal media is opposed to Israel and sees her as a regional power who oppressors her neighbors.
- Culturally, Israelis are not concerned or effective with public relations, and neither is the Israeli government.
- People do not realize that Israel is the size of New Jersey, and yet dominates the news.
- Many people still hate the Jews and this does not appear to be changing, a fact that the writer calls the “elephant” in the room.
The article ends by stating that media bias hurts Israel and that we should all “hope, pray, and work” to end this bias and improve the reputation of Israel.
Unfortunately, a simple internet search yields many such stories of suppression of the facts and some outright manipulation by the media to discredit Israelis and the government of Israel while failing to call out the atrocities committed by Palestinian Arabs against Jews, often portraying Arab terrorists murdering innocent citizens as morally equivalent with Jews peacefully worshipping in a synagogue or dining in a restaurant.
This irrational bias and disproportionate reporting of a nation the size of New Jersey and with a population of less than 9 million, reeks of something more lurking under the surface; of both a supernatural hatred and a divine destiny for Israel and her people.
Truly, as predicted thousands of years ago by the prophet Zechariah, God has promised” in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be torn in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:2, 3) Media bias against Israel represents a part of the “gathering” of people against Israel.