Honest Reporting: How Accurately Does the Media Cover Israel?
I think that everyone who cares about Israel believes strongly that the mainstream media does not cover Israel accurately. We accept it as a given that almost all coverage represents an anti-Israel media bias that stems from either anti-Semitism, a liberal world view that sees the country in a negative light, or simply journalists who are ignorant of the complicated nuances of events here.
But Israel’s critics claim the media is biased in favor of Israel. Review some of the writing on sites like Electronic Intifada, and you would get a very different view.
Who’s right? Are we just taking our emotional attachment to Israel and making assumptions that anyone who does not see the country the same way must be biased? Is the truth somewhere in between the opinions of those who are pro and those who are critical of Israel?
I believe there are specific, objective criteria that can be used to show clearly that much of the mainstream media not only reflects an anti-Israel media bias, but is factually inaccurate.
But to effectively evaluate media coverage of Israel, we need to put our emotions, politics, and backgrounds aside. Otherwise it becomes just one of many political debates that journalists can effectively ignore.
The political platform recently published by the Movement for Black Lives repeats the demonizing rhetoric of the infamous antisemitic NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Conference, which launched the BDS movement. The platform labels Israel as an “apartheid state”, accuses the country of committing “genocide” against Palestinians, calls for an end to military aid, and endorses the anti-Israel BDS movement, including opposition to the “expanding number of Anti-BDS bills being passed in states around the country.” In response, a number of mainstream Jewish organizations issued condemnations, including the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center.
In the initial text, the Black Lives platform listed Nadia Ben-Youssef, who represents the Israel-based Adalah organization in the US, as an “author and contributor.” The BLM platform also included a reference to Israeli laws that allegedly “sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people,” based on the tendentious “database of discriminatory laws” published by Adalah. This publication refers to Zionism in a pejorative manner, and makes no distinction between laws that were actually passed by the Israeli Knesset and legislative proposals that went nowhere. Furthermore, laws promoting Zionism and the historic Jewish connection to Israel are labeled as discriminatory, including the use of Jewish symbols and the Hebrew calendar.
Adalah’s participation in the BLM project was not particularly surprising, as the NGO has often been involved in political campaigns that promote the Palestinian narrative and seek to isolate Israel through the use of labels such as “racist”, “apartheid” and “anti-democratic”. The reference to Adalah in the BLM platform was reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) and other media frameworks, and noted by NGO Monitor.
A world-renowned Israeli Holocaust historian admitted this weekend that were he a British Jew, he’d “be worried,” The Times reported.
Yehuda Bauer was responding to reports of rising antisemitism in the UK, particularly in the country’s Labour Party, whose leader, Jeremy Corbyn, he said, “has a problem” when it comes to Jews.
The 90-year-old academic adviser to Israel’s national Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, also branded former London Mayor Ken Livingstone a “violent antisemite.” He was referring Livingstone’s long history of antisemitic rhetoric, such as his controversial comment this May that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler “was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”
Bauer’s comments follow the release earlier this month of a Community Security Trust antisemitism audit, which found an 11 percent rise in antisemitic incidents across Britain in the first six months of this year, as compared to the same time period in 2015.
The biggest increases, the group said, were recorded in April, May and June, months during which the Labour Party faced intense media scrutiny over claims of antisemitism in its ranks.
David Collier: A journey beyond Zionism – part one – Haaretz.
Truth is I had placed myself on a month long self-imposed exile from all my research into the anti-Zionist camp. I reasoned I needed a holiday, a break from the venom, the hatred and the antisemitism.
The theory had been that if I replace Electronic Intifada with the Israel press and Counterpunch with Jewish media in the US or UK, I would be able to switch off and relax. In hindsight it was a mistake to think it would be a detoxifying experience. After just two weeks I basically end up asking the question. With friends like these – who actually needs enemies?
Let me begin with a point of clarification. I do not as a rule, attack the politics of the Israeli left. It isn’t that I agree with them – I don’t. In part I understand their anxiety, their moral conflict, but my response to all those who simply wish to ‘end the occupation’, is always to ask a simple question – “how?”
Opposition politics is always easy, it’s just naysaying and grandstanding. It is difficult to think of a better example of this than the position of the far left in Israel. The naïve belief that all that is wrong is embedded in the ‘occupation’, the flimflam argument put forward by those who think that somehow, the conflict would end (or be less harmful) if Israel would just ‘play nice’. So if you ever want to see true confusion, take a supporter of Meretz (Israel), Yachad (UK), J-Street (US) and ask them how exactly they intend to ‘end the occupation’. What does it all look like a day after?
Kasim Hafeez explains how he came to be a Muslim Zionist after years of being a hater.
Notice in particular what he said about the haters with which he associated – they truly hate Jews, not just Israel.
Mayor Bill de Blasio called for liberals to reject the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, making his strongest comments on the subject in years.
“There are plenty of people who support BDS who have advanced degrees and who call themselves progressives. I look forward to challenging them, because it’s ahistorical,” de Blasio said, in remarks Saturday at the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach.
“I think it’s one of the most ahistorical things I’ve ever seen,” he added.
“Defending Israel is a matter — from my point of view as a progressive — is a matter of being consistent with progressive values,” de Blasio said, describing the BDS movement as one that “seeks to undermine the economy of the State of Israel and makes it harder for Israel to exist, therefore renouncing the very notion that the Jewish people need a homeland in a still dangerous and unsettled world.”
He said that he believed people could disagree with a government’s policies but still support Israel’s right to exist.
“We in the United States, or in any nation, you can disagree with a particular government’s policy at that moment in time, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t believe in that nation, or its right to exist, or its founding ideals,” de Blasio said. “Israel, in good times and bad, tough times and easier times, has been a beacon.”
De Blasio on Saturday voiced strong opposition to the BDS movement, which calls for waging economic warfare against Israel through boycotts, divestment and sanctions.
Many BDS believers have signed onto the movement in protest of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. Some see Israel as oppressing Palestinians by virtue of a security wall that has prevented terror attacks. Some see Israel as occupying Palestinian land through its presence in the West Bank and so-called illegal settlements.
Leaving aside the merits of such positions, what many BDS supporters fail to understand is that the movement’s architects see Israel’s very existence as illegitimate. Ultimately, they aim to end Israel’s character as a Jewish state and homeland.
Helpfully, de Blasio focused squarely on the movement’s too-often-unspoken goal.
“We in the United States, or in any nation, you can disagree with a particular government’s policy at that moment in time, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t believe in that nation, or its right to exist, or its founding ideals,” the mayor said at the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach.
De Blasio also described BDS as “ahistorical,” meaning that it writes off critical facts in the histories of Israel and the surrounding region, including that Israel has been a Jewish homeland for several thousand years.
“There are plenty of people who support BDS who have advanced degrees and who call themselves progressives. I look forward to challenging them, because it’s ahistorical,” de Blasio said, assuming for himself a valiant mission.
IsraellyCool: Old BDS-Holes Behaving Badly
Meet the BDS-holes who, unlike a fine wine, do not seem to have gotten better with age.
I particularly like it when the old codger gets startled by her own group’s shouting (with 1:22 left on the video).
Looking at this mob, I’d guess they won’t be boycotting TEVA any time soon – not if they want to stay alive.
Note also the banners they are holding at the end, in support of Bilal Kayed – a PFLP terrorist who served a 14-year sentence for terror activities. These are oldies on the wrong side of history.
The heads of major campus groups told The Algemeiner on Monday that they are outraged by the mild response of the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to the violent behavior of an anti-Israel student organization on its campus.
Referring to a letter sent late last week by UCI’s vice chancellor of student affairs criticizing Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) for “disrupting” a pro-Israel event, Ilan Sinelnikov, founder and president of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) — whose UCI chapter was the target of SJP’s violent protest in May — said, “UCI has turned its back on the Jewish and pro-Israel campus community.”
He continued, “On the one hand, the school writes that SJP broke the student code of conduct. On the other hand, the punishment is no more than a written warning and that SJP needs to host an ‘educational event.’ SSI and many other pro-Israel groups that worked with the university during its investigation believed the school would come up with just and fair results.”
Roz Rothstein, CEO and co-founder of Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, expressed “disappointment that SJP is not facing more serious consequences” from the university.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) recently and overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on the US government to end all aid to Israel and “enable an independent Palestinian state.” In addition, the ELCA adopted a resolution calling for divestment from Israel, so as not to “profit from human rights abuses.”
ELCA has some 4 million members spread over 10,000 congregations. Many members have German, Danish and Norwegian roots, which is where Luther’s teachings took hold.
Martin Luther, who founded what became the Lutheran Church, is considered to be one of Germany’s greatest icons and, of course, is famous for the Protestant Reformation. He had disagreed with various teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which resulted in his excommunication in 1521. He taught that salvation is not obtained through good deeds but through belief in Jesus Christ, who had the sole power to redeem sin. This message, together with Evangelicalism — whereby “the good news” was to be taught to others through activism and conversion — became the creed in large parts of Europe.
As an Augustinian monk, Luther greatly admired Augustine, who inter alia promoted the pariah status of Jews who were to be loathed, rendered unwelcome and impoverished. During his time, his writings acquired Scripture status, and political concessions to Jews were consequently revoked. Augustinian policies, reinforced by Luther, thus became part of European culture, even extending beyond the Enlightenment.
A vast “Islamophobia network” is busy marginalizing Muslim Americans. At least that’s what the Council on American Islamic Relations wants you to believe.
In reality, without reference to the Muslim American community in general:
• Last year the FBI pursued more than 900 active cases, some in each of the 50 states, into suspected Islamic State sympathizers or other potential terrorists.
• Also in 2015, 56 individuals across America were arrested on suspicion of plotting on behalf of or otherwise supporting the Islamic State, as noted by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism.
• The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which chronically decries “Islamophobia,” is less a civil rights group than unindicted co-conspirator in the country’s largest terrorism funding trial to date. CAIR was so listed in the 2009 Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development retrial.
Nevertheless, or maybe just so, the council has issued a “report” charging the organization I work for as well as others with being part of an imaginary cabal spreading “Islamophobia.”
The video below – translated by MEMRI – shows Khaled speaking at an event in Germany earlier this year. In addition to glorifying terrorism, she (not for the first time) rejects negotiations with Israel in favour of violence, stating:
“…negotiations will be held only with knives and weapons.”
One of course wonders if the BBC has ever asked itself whether its repeated romanticisation of a person who openly advocates violence and terrorism meets the expectations of its funding public.
We have previously noted on these pages the BBC’s periodic promotion of PFLP terrorist Leila Khaled as an ‘icon’.
THE ABC has corrected two errors it made in a report on Palestinians crossing from Gaza into Egypt and Israel, following a complaint by the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC).
Two complaints were lodged by AIJAC executive director Colin Rubenstein on June 28 in relation to the June 15 7.30 Sophie McNeill report, “Rafah border crossing opens to sick Gazans seeking medical treatment in Egypt”, and a PM radio companion piece.
ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs spokesperson Kieran Doyle conceded the broadcaster was wrong to refer to Gaza as part of the “occupied territories” and that 7.30’s introduction was inaccurate.
“7.30 has agreed with your concern about the inaccurate reference to the ‘occupied territories’ in the online subheading of the report’s transcript, which has been removed,” Doyle said.
“The program also accepts the presenter’s claim in her introduction, that it is ‘almost impossible’ for anybody to get out of Gaza for ‘urgent medical treatment’, is inaccurate. ABC News management has explained that reference in the report’s introduction was written in Sydney, and was not written by the reporter Sophie McNeill.
In 1956, a group of former Nazis working as West German intelligence agents coined terminology that arguably became the most viral — and longest lasting — propaganda born out of the former Hitler regime: “Polish death camps.”
Agency 114, filled with German former members of the Gestapo, SS and SD, was headed by former Nazis Secret Field Police (GFP) sergeant Alfred Benzinger, who is credited with the phrase.
Benzinger’s goal? To change public discourse and shift the blame for the Holocaust from Germans and Germany to Poland, where most of the Nazi regime’s mass extermination camps were located. And by the time of Benzinger’s propaganda attack, Poland was in the throes of such domestic turmoil that the wordage was hardly a priority.
Poland, invaded by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia in 1939, was annexed by the Nazis in 1941. After its “liberation” by the Soviets in 1945, a series of puppet governments had left it unstable and poor.
Today, circumstances have clearly changed. This week Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo’s Cabinet approved a bill which would criminalize the use of the phrase “Polish death camps” in reference to Nazi-run extermination camps in occupied Poland. Use of the banned expression could lead to a three-year jail term if considered intentional, or a hefty fine.
Decent, democratic Hungarians are stunned. The hate-filled, racist, anti-Semitic journalistic hack, Zsolt Bayer, on the recommendation of Zoltán Balog, received the third highest decoration the government can bestow on people of great achievement. János Lázár presented Bayer with the “Hungarian Middle Cross.”
The independent media could scarcely find words to display its disgust with the government, but some headline writers rose to the occasion. One headline read “By mistake Zsolt Bayer received the cross of the knight [lovagkereszt] instead of the Swastika.” Swastika in Hungarian is “horogkereszt.” A blog writer at Népszabadság titled his piece “The knight of the Godfather” since Viktor Orbán and Bayer are old friends and fellow founders of Fidesz.
Instead of trying to describe Bayer’s “literary output,” I think it’s best to let Bayer speak for himself. I will be only his English voice. In the past, every time I wrote about Bayer I always said how difficult it is to translate his prose. For starters, Hungarian obscenity beats American obscenity by a mile. Moreover, I hate to repeat this smut.
The first time I discussed Bayer at some length was in January 2011 shortly after András Schiff, the world-renowned pianist, wrote a letter to the editor of The Washington Post. Bayer retorted with an article titled “The same stench.” Here are a few lines from that piece.
A US District Court has ruled in favor of a southern California museum over the ownership of two masterpieces taken by the Nazis in World War II.
Marei von Saher claims that the two art works were seized from her father-in-law, Dutch Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, by Nazis when his family fled Holland.
The two paintings have been held by the Norton Simon museum in Pasadena, California, for over 30 years.
US District Court Judge, John F. Walter ruled in favor of the museum retaining ownership of the two masterpieces.
According to the judge, the family abandoned their claim to the paintings after the Dutch art dealership did not seek restitution for the pieces immediately following the war.
A Hungarian state honour given to a prominent journalist close to Prime Minister Viktor Orban but seen by his critics as “racist” has prompted several dozen recipients of the same award to return theirs in protest.
The journalist Zsolt Bayer was one of several Hungarian citizens handed an Order of Merit of the Knight’s Cross by President Janos Ader in a ceremony in Budapest on Saturday, one of Hungary’s national days.
By late Monday, 40 previous recipients of the decoration including scientists, artists, and academics had posted messages on social media saying they were returning their own awards in protest.
Bayer, who is often photographed in Orban’s company, is a founder of a civil group that organises massive pro-government street demonstrations. He also writes an occasional column in the right-wing Magyar Hirlap daily.
He has in the past compared the Roma people, Hungary’s 600,000- to 700,000-strong largest minority group, to “animals”, and written remarks seen as anti-Semitic in a country with a Jewish community estimated at over 100,000.
The head of Hungary’s largest Jewish organisation Maszihisz, Andras Heisler, said he was also handing back his award given him in 2011 as he did not want to belong to the same “group of people” as Bayer.
For many Jerusalemites, 28 will soon become a lucky number. At least luckier than 75, which is the average number of minutes it presently takes to travel from the capital to Tel Aviv by bus.
Moreover, the country’s first electric high-speed rail line connecting the two cities – scheduled to be fully functional by March 2018 – will revolutionize transportation in the capital, considerably buttress economic growth and reduce pollutants, a Transportation Ministry official said on Monday.
Batsheva Segev, a ministry spokeswoman, said the NIS 6.8 billion project – which features five tunnels, eight bridges and 57 kilometers of tracks – will reduce travel times between the cities to 28 minutes.
It will also have a stop at Ben-Gurion Airport, long a costly and troublesome destination for travelers who must use private taxis or a sherut (communal minivans) to get there.
“This is beyond a transportation revolution,” said Segez. “It will improve the economy, the environment, and it’s fast. It will allow people to live in Jerusalem and work in Tel Aviv, and help bring government workers and entrepreneurs to the capital with ease to improve the economy.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with African leaders in New York in September, as part of the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting.
Netanyahu visited Africa in July for a four-day trip that included meeting with the leaders of Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
The meetings scheduled for September will take place as part of a special exhibition organized by Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon. The event will showcase Israeli technological developments meant to benefit African countries in the fields of science, agriculture, and medicine.
“We continue to promote Israel-Africa relations and we want to present the beautiful aspects of Israel to the world,” Danon said.
The exhibition will feature 10 Israeli companies that will present their innovations to senior African officials, as well as to ambassadors from all over the world.
In a limestone cave halfway between Nazareth and the biblical town of Cana, archaeologists recently unearthed a first century CE workshop that produced stone vessels similar to those that held the water Jesus turned into wine.
Several stone bowls and cups in various stages of completion were found in the bowels of the cave, suggesting the cave may have been been home to an active stone goods manufactory. The site, known today as Einot Amitai, is the first stoneware manufacturing site of its kind to be found in the Galilee from the Second Temple Era, researchers said.
While evidence of chalkstone vessel production has been found at other sites in the Galilee, only at Einot Amitai have archaeologists found a quarry and workshop where they were made.
The cave was found in 2001 when residents of the nearby town were bulldozing a plot of land and breached the cavern. A limited survey of the site indicated it may have been involved in the production of limestone goods, but archaeologists only launched a more comprehensive dig this August.
Do your cooking thanks to gas made from your own food waste: that’s the eco-friendly solution proposed by Homebiogas, an Israeli company that has developed a “digester” that converts organic matter into biogas. Though this biological process has already been known for several years, Homebiogas has produced one of the first home-scale systems, one that can be installed in just a few hours.
Each year, 1.3 billion tonnes of food go to waste around the world, representing a full third of the food intended for human consumption. In Europe and in the United States, consumers are the primary culprits. According to a European Commission study from 2010, individuals and families are responsible for 42 percent of food waste, ahead of agribusiness (39 percent).
But with the Homebiogas system, there’s no more throwing out your leftovers. From one kilogram of trash (leftover food or animal faeces), the digester produces 200 litres of gas, which allows you to cook for one hour at high heat, the company says.
Ten years ago, I went to India for a study on water pollution. I was housed in a village way up on a mountain, in a completely isolated area. But in their home, the family with whom I was staying had…cooking gas. They showed me their makeshift digester: cow manure was placed in a hole in the ground and then pumped into the kitchen as cooking gas. It also produced a liquid that they used as fertilizer.
Today, more than half the fish consumed around the world is farm-grown. Most farms overcrowd the fish, feed them massive amounts of antibiotics, and treat them with hormones and pesticides.
Yet despite concerns for human health and the environment, the aquaculture industry is growing an average of 6 percent annually to accommodate ever-rising demand.
To help assure higher quality production, the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program and its Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises are investing millions of euros in a revolutionary open-sea aquaculture technology from Israel’s Gili Ocean Technology.
Gili Ocean’s Subflex (a contraction of “submerged flexible”) system, originally developed in cooperation with professors at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, features flexible cages that can be submerged underwater when there are strong currents and waves at sea.
“Growing fish in the open water greatly reduces the ecological impact,” CEO Yossi Melchner told ISRAEL21c. “The water quality is superb and you don’t need to add any external resources or energy because it is the ultimate habitat. But we need to deal with storms. This is why we started developing the Subflex technology in 2003.”
Israeli and European researchers say their collaborative research has unraveled the metastatic mechanism of melanoma, the most aggressive of all skin cancers.
According to a paper published August 22 in the journal Nature Cell Biology, the scientists discovered that before spreading to other organs, a melanoma tumor sends out tiny vesicles containing molecules of microRNA. These cause morphological (structural) changes in the skin’s dermis layer in preparation for receiving and transporting the cancer cells.
The researchers also found chemical substances that can stop the process and are therefore promising drug candidates.
“The threat of melanoma is not in the initial tumor that appears on the skin, but rather in its metastasis — in the tumor cells sent off to colonize in vital organs like the brain, lungs, liver and bones,” said research leader Dr. Carmit Levy of the department of human molecular genetics and biochemistry at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine.
“We have discovered how the cancer spreads to distant organs and found ways to stop the process before the metastatic stage.”
Wearing a white dress, white shoes, and a little silver crown, “B” was the guest of honor at a farewell party celebrating her discharge seven months after she first arrived at the Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital in Rambam Health Care Campus.
B had arrived in early February 2016 at the Haifa medical center, after suffering injuries in her country’s civil war. While at the hospital, Israeli doctors found that she also had a hematological disease.
With help from the Israeli government, B’s medical team managed to reach the little girl’s relatives in Syria and bring back blood samples from several family members. Her brother was a perfect match.
“I’ll never forget when they first brought in those test tubes, discreetly wrapped in dish towels,” says Iris Porat, one of the nurses who cared for “B” throughout her hospitalization.
The son of ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush led a group of Texas businessmen on a three-day visit to Israel, then wrote that “America has no better ally and no truer friend in the world.”
George P. Bush, the land commissioner in Texas, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his trip last week to discuss Texas-Israel partnerships on issues including technology and desalinization, according to The Associated Press.
Bush “expressed his strong support for Israel” and thanked the prime minister “for all he is doing to fight terrorism,” his spokesman J.R. Hernandez told the AP.
It was the first overseas trip for Bush — the grandson of President George H.W. Bush and nephew of President George W. Bush –since being elected land commissioner last year. The trip was not announced prior to his departure.
Along with his lauding the Israel-U.S. alliance, Bush wrote on the Texas General Land Office website: “After spending several days meeting with political and business leaders in Israel, this much is clear to me: the most important thing we can do for Israel is do business with Israel. And I am committed to helping foster a climate of trade, investment, and sharing of best practices. What I saw in Israel was a great spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, like that of Texas. And I think that Texas is the perfect partner for Israeli business.
Olympic bronze medalist in judo Yarden Gerbi has put her name tag up for auction on eBay, saying she will use the money to buy medical equipment for a Tel Aviv hospital.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the top bid stood at $13,000 or NIS 49,089, and was rising rapidly throughout the day.The online auction is scheduled to last one week, until Monday night Israel time.
Gerbi — whose bronze during the Rio Games made her the second Israeli woman to win a medal at the Olympics — said donating the proceeds from the identification tag to the pediatric cancer treatment facility at Ichilov Hospital will make it “more special for society.”
After a recent visit with the children, Gerbi said in a Facebook post she was honored to meet the “real heroes who are fighting every single day to maintain their joy of life.”
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