Tag: anti-Israel media bias

WHILE SYRIA BURNS, AND RUSSIA & ASSAD BOMB ALEPPO, O. INSISTS THERE’S “NO MILITARY SOLUTION” TO CONFLICT

Putin Tightens His Grip on Syria: Editorial, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 4, 2016 — The Obama Administration on Monday suspended the latest round of talks with Moscow over the Syrian civil war.

Barack Obama's Options: Lee Smith, Weekly Standard, Oct. 3, 2016— Barack Obama wants options on Syria.

Dion vs. Putin Ends Predictably: John Robson, National Post, Sept. 29, 2016 — Have you ever seen a man shoot down modern jet fighters with his tongue?

Double Standards for Aleppo and Gaza: Simon Plosker, Algemeiner, Sept. 29, 2016 — Make no mistake, the carnage taking place in Aleppo right now is a disgrace to the international community.

 

On Topic Links

 

Research on the Islamic State, Syria, and Iraq: Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, Middle East Forum, Aug., 2016

Does Assad Really Have Time on His Side?: Ari Heistein, National Interest, Sept. 30, 2016

The Syrian Horror That Obama Let Happen: Richard Cohen, Realclearpolitics, Oct. 4, 2016

Obama’s Syria Policy Striptease: Tony Badran, Tablet, Sept. 21, 2016

 

 

PUTIN TIGHTENS HIS GRIP ON SYRIA

Editorial

                                                Wall Street Journal, Oct. 4, 2016

 

The Obama Administration on Monday suspended the latest round of talks with Moscow over the Syrian civil war. Russian strongman Vladimir Putin has responded by suspending a plutonium-control agreement and dispatching a sophisticated anti-air system to Syria.

 

News of the new military shipment comes from three U.S. officials who spoke with Fox News, which reports that the SA-23 Gladiator arrived in the region over the weekend at Russia’s naval base at Tartus, on the Mediterranean. This is the first time Moscow has deployed the SA-23 to Syria.

 

The SA-23 system could impose significant restrictions on U.S. military action in Syria, since it can target cruise and ballistic missiles as well as aircraft. U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has proposed creating no-fly zones in Syria to deter the Bashar Assad regime’s murderous bombing runs, and her opponent, Donald Trump, has vowed to escalate the war on Islamic State. Mr. Putin has now dialed up the risk quotient associated with either course of action.

 

The bigger concern may be Russia’s growing military clout in the Middle East. The SA-23 deployment follows Russia’s transfer of a similar system to its clients in Tehran, its firing of cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea and its use of an Iranian air base earlier this year to launch sorties against Syrian opposition targets.

 

The Obama Administration and its media allies dismiss these developments as swaggering by a second-rate power, or as signs that Mr. Putin is being trapped in an Arab quagmire of his own making. But the Russian understands that he is creating military facts on the ground that increase the leverage of his allies in any future talks. The leaders in Israel, Turkey and the Gulf States will no doubt appreciate the shifting balance of power the deployment reflects. There is a war on. Russia’s side is winning, and the allies of America and the rest of Europe are losing.                                          

                                                           

 

Contents                                                                                                                       

                                                                         

BARACK OBAMA'S OPTIONS                                                                                                     

Lee Smith                                                                                                               

Weekly Standard, Oct. 3, 2016

 

Barack Obama wants options on Syria. "The president has asked all of the agencies to put forward options—some familiar, some new—that we are very actively reviewing," said Anthony Blinken, deputy secretary of state. But force is not an option, since according to the White House there is no military solution for Syria.

 

"We're trying to pursue the diplomacy," John Kerry told a group of Syrian opposition activists in a meeting whose proceedings were leaked last week. To that end, Kerry wants some credible threat of military force—not, of course, to force the Russians to bend to American power. After all, as Kerry has insisted, "We remain absolutely convinced there is no such thing as a military solution." No, all they want is to make the Russians a bit more agreeable to American pleas for mercy. In any case, Obama rejected Kerry's proposal. Force is not an option, even if it's just meant to get Moscow to the table.

 

Options are urgent since the suffering in Aleppo is getting worse. The assault on what was once Syria's largest city, comprising forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad, with Russian, and Iranian support, may be the worst in more than five years of fighting. The president wants options. The White House even tried to hand Syria over to Russia but that didn't work.

 

"With the Sept. 12 U.S.-Russia cease-fire agreement," former Obama staffer Philip Gordon wrote last week in the Washington Post, “the Obama administration offered Putin a way forward that from a Russian perspective could only have been described as a clean win. If fully implemented, the agreement would have prevented regime change in Damascus — a major Putin redline — for the foreseeable future; boosted Russia's position as a major power in the Middle East; facilitated military and intelligence cooperation with the United States against terrorist groups; diminished a costly conflict; and secured Russia's Mediterranean base.”

 

And still Russia said no. The White House pressured Democratic leadership to delay a Syria sanctions bill because it might have annoyed Moscow, but Putin refused to accept Obama's surrender. Instead, the Russians are hammering away at Aleppo. And why not? The Obama administration cannot stop them no matter how many rostrums it employs—in Europe, the United Nations, or Washington itself—to denounce Moscow's barbarism. Putin doesn't care how much suffering he's inflicting on innocents. His plan is to protect his client Assad, and thereby advance Russian interests by turning himself into the key player in Syria, to whom everyone, allies and adversaries alike, will have to speak. The Russians believe that there is a military solution to the Syrian conflict. And thus it is hardly a coincidental benefit that Putin gets to teach Barack Obama a lesson about the nature of the world a she understands it.

 

Over the course of several years of Syrian and then Russian aerial campaigns targeting Aleppo, hundreds of thousands of people have fled a city of what was once three million for refugee camps, or Turkey, or Europe. "The United Nations," reports the Washington Post, "estimates that 250,000 remain surrounded in eastern Aleppo, many of them the poorest of the poor, the families who couldn't afford the cost of transportation out of the city."

 

Witnesses to the carnage, and victims of it, detail the means by which Putin rains death from the sky: Bunker busters, says Haisham Halap, a journalist trapped in Aleppo, "cause extreme harm and turn the buildings that are hit into rubble and dust…After we see and hear the Russian jet, it takes about 20 seconds until the bomb hits the ground or a building. It then takes another 20 to 30 seconds for the bomb to explode, for instance in a cellar, and the whole house collapses." "Cluster munitions, continues the journalist, "are big bombs that carry many small bomb balls. Each of the small bombs contains metal balls that kill and hurt everyone at a distance of 200 metres." Incendiary bombs, he says, "are so hot that they can even penetrate concrete walls… Everything that is in contact with these bombs will burn."

 

The administration warns Russia that it may break off talks. That is an unlikely option, since it would leave the White House with no political cover for its irrelevance. As long as Kerry continues to try to engage the Russians there is at least the empty talk of diplomacy, rather than an empty white noise that is periodically filled by the sound of bombs falling on civilians. Obama is tired of critics claiming that his Syria policy is a manifestation of American weakness. "Seeking peace is not a concession," says a White House spokesman. "Seeking peace is our goal."

 

Obama wants peace, and options. "There hasn't been probably a week that's gone by in which I haven't reexamined some of the underlying premises around how we're dealing with the situation in Syria," Obama said last week. The war in Syria haunts him. "It haunts me constantly," he told Vanity Fair.

 

Of course, there are problems in the world that can't be solved. "There are going to be some bad things that happen around the world," said Obama, "and we have to be judicious." And that's why the president is asking for options. "The conventional arguments about what could have been done are wrong," Obama said. A no-fly—wrong. Buffer zone—wrong. Arming rebels to topple Assad—wrong. Strikes against Assad regime targets—wrong.

 

Over the last five plus years, Obama dismissed all the "conventional arguments" made by his staff, from which he is now asking for different options. "But I do ask myself," says the president, "'Was there something that we hadn't thought of? Was there some move that is beyond what was being presented to me that maybe a Churchill could have seen, or an Eisenhower might have figured out?'"

 

Churchill kept together a country at wartime, its capital under constant siege from an enemy in the air. He held on long enough for the United States to enter the war, a campaign led by Eisenhower. The difficult coalition that Eisenhower managed as Supreme Allied Commander saved Western civilization from an unspeakable darkness. Churchill and Eisenhower were exemplary figures under extreme circumstances, but their extraordinary actions were premised on a basic understanding of statecraft, and therefore the darker colors of human nature: There are times when the only option is force.

 

Obama knows what Churchill and Eisenhower would have done since he prides himself on doing precisely the opposite. "There's a playbook in Washington that presidents are supposed to follow," he told the Atlantic in April. "It's a playbook that comes out of the foreign-policy establishment. And the playbook prescribes responses to different events, and these responses tend to be militarized responses." It was when Obama changed his mind about ordering strikes against Assad for crossing his own red line regarding the use of chemical weapons that he freed himself from the playbook. "I'm very proud of this moment," he said.

 

The paradox is that the playbook was composed for figures like Obama. Statesmen like Churchill and Eisenhower would understand as a matter of experience and instinct what was required to secure interests, protect allies, and maintain national prestige. In liberating himself from the wisdom and guidance handed down by history, Obama has left himself with no option—except the White House's hollow protests against the barbarism now encircling Aleppo.                                                

 

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                        

DION VS. PUTIN ENDS PREDICTABLY                                                                                    

John Robson                                                                                                       

National Post, Sept. 29, 2016

 

Have you ever seen a man shoot down modern jet fighters with his tongue? Or his ego? I ask because of the bizarre spectacle of our foreign affairs minister calling for the grounding of Syria’s air force in the apparent conviction that he had just done something useful rather than pathetic and fatuous.

 

It happened at a meeting of the International Syria Support Group, speaking of pathetic and fatuous. After Vladimir Putin humiliated Barack Obama by granting him a Syrian ceasefire, then having Syrian and Russian planes unleash even greater carnage, Stéphane Dion and other masters of rhetorical futility like John Kerry gathered in New York to insist that, instead of flying around killing people, we are supporting with emptily resonant words, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s air force should stand down so we could help his enemies and enforce “future ceasefires.”

 

It is one of those occasions when I wish I could convince myself a man was being stupid on purpose. If so, he might stop on purpose, or be saying one thing in public and doing or at least thinking another in private. But I see no evidence that it is so.

In theory, the United States, even now, could bring significant force to bear. But its president is unwilling or even unable to grasp the concept. And Canadian politicians have proved unwilling, over three decades and both major parties, to acquire armed forces capable of independent action or even significant support for our allies in a deeply troubled world. The only rational explanation is that they genuinely don’t grasp that force is the trump suit in geopolitics, or get Hilaire Belloc’s couplet, “Pale Ebenezer thought it wrong to fight, But Roaring Bill (who killed him) thought it right.”

 

Frederick the Great said diplomacy without force is like music without instruments. Yet politicians such as Dion and Kerry consider themselves Mozarts of multilateralism, whose enchanting melodies can bend foreign despots to our will and reform their souls so they stop wanting to kill people with weapons they deliberately acquired for that purpose while we deliberately didn’t because we were convinced weapons are obsolete and icky.

 

If I have to explain what’s wrong with that self image , the effort is probably futile. But here goes. Bashar Assad is a bad man. With me so far? He’s not misunderstood, he doesn’t have a different truth, and if he was warped by a miserable childhood we can give him therapy and hugs once he is deposed, but not before.  

 

He lives in a bad neighbourhood where he inherited his father’s murderous tyranny and made it worse. Plenty of people in Syria would kill him in a heartbeat, from genuinely decent ones to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant maniacs against whom our government has the same weirdly nesh attitude regarding military action. Assad won’t stop killing his enemies, real or imagined, and any civilians who happen to be in the way, until he is killed or deposed. So if we want his aircraft to stop slaughtering civilians, we have to kill or depose him.

 

There are many reasons for not undertaking such a thing, including the failure of nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not that nation-building is a necessary adjunct to killing or deposing a tyrant, though we seem persuaded that for domestic PR purposes it is. But the fact that killing or deposing Assad might be impossible, or more trouble than it’s worth, has absolutely no bearing on whether anything less will stop him killing his own people. He has already killed hundreds of thousands, many of them non-combatant civilians, with Russian help. And he and Putin won’t stop just because Dion says it’s not nice.

 

They won’t be surprised that he thinks it’s not nice, or impressed. They think people like Dion are weak fatuous nits. They actively enjoy humiliating them. Dutch investigators showing beyond reasonable doubt that the missile launcher that brought down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine came from Russia and went back afterward doesn’t bother Assad’s ally, Putin. Instead, it increases the sweet humiliation he inflicts on Western statesmen who cannot pretend they don’t know or do anything to punish him.

 

Now I do want to say that if every country in the world were run by people as averse to force and as baffled by it as Dion, Kerry, Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau it would be a good thing. But it would not be a good thing if much of the world was run by people as viciously willing to use force as Assad and Putin and as brutally cunning about its short-term utility, while the major democracies were run by weak fatuous nits, standing tall in New York, firing rhetorical salvoes at Syrian warplanes from their silver tongues and waiting smugly for them to fall from the sky over Aleppo.

 

Contents           

DOUBLE STANDARDS FOR ALEPPO AND GAZA

Simon Plosker

Algemeiner, Sept. 29, 2016

 

Make no mistake, the carnage taking place in Aleppo right now is a disgrace to the international community.

The Syrian government and Russian-backed forces are reportedly using chemical weapons, barrel bombs and increasingly powerful explosives to target innocent men, women and children. While rebel fighters have undoubtedly embedded themselves in the city in fortified positions, it appears that the civilian population is bearing the brunt of the conflict.

 

While there has been some condemnation from the UN, where are the protests on the streets of European capitals and where is the media frenzy about this disgrace? Had Israel been involved, or had the IDF aimed one solitary munition at Aleppo, I think the response would be much different.

 

The international community’s condemnation of the Assad regime and Putin’s Russia is nothing compared to the vitriol leveled against Israel for its far more restrained (and completely justified) 2014 operation against Hamas in Gaza.

 

Unfortunately for the 250,000 residents of Aleppo, the city is not being attacked by the IDF. There are no leaflets being dropped warning civilians to evacuate areas in the line of fire. There is no “roof knocking” — where non-explosive devices are dropped on the roofs of targeted buildings to give civilians time to flee. And judging by the number of civilian casualties and the extent of the destruction in Syria, there is very little to no concern for the well-being of innocent civilians.

 

Aleppo is a testament to the double standards at play when it comes to the treatment of Israel’s military operations. There is, however, a caveat. The IDF should be held to higher standards than the militaries of both Syria and Russia. And that is why The Sunday Times of London caught my eye recently. One story was headlined “Putin’s gigantic firebombs torch Aleppo.” Next to it was an article entitled, “RAF drone crew divert missile to save ‘civilian’ seconds from death.”

 

The dissonance between the two stories is striking. On one side, we have the alleged deployment by Russia of a weapon “capable of blasting a massive ball of flame across wide areas of Aleppo.” On the other, the release of a video by Britain’s Royal Air Force showing a drone missile aimed at ISIS terrorists being diverted at the last minute to avoid killing a civilian. One side was indiscriminately firebombing, while the other was deliberately acting to prevent civilian casualties.

 

The RAF evidently felt that its tale was a positive story, which showed that its drone squadrons act both ethically and in accordance with international law. Why is this news? Israel released many videos from incidents where missiles targeting Hamas terrorists were diverted due to the presence of Palestinian civilians. So why then were Israel’s identical efforts not deemed newsworthy? Granted, the Sunday Times is a British newspaper covering the British military, but the UK press has never been shy about devoting many column inches to Israel and the Palestinians.

 

Israeli efforts to minimize civilian casualties go unreported or even ignored by the press, and Israel instead finds itself regularly judged in the court of public opinion, which is led by a lazy or hostile media. So Israel is subjected not only to a different standard than the deplorable militaries of Syria and Russia, but even to a different standard than other Western militaries.

 

If and when the Syrian conflict comes to an end, will anyone be held to account for what certainly appear, at face value, to be genuine war crimes? Will there be a UN investigation and a Goldstone-style report? Will the International Criminal Court issue indictments? Given Russian involvement and the lack of American global power projection, it is unlikely that anyone will be held to account.

 

The next time open conflict between Israel and Hamas breaks out, will the parameters of judgment have changed as a result of the carnage in Aleppo and other parts of Syria? Or will Israel continue to be held to a standard of behavior unlike any other military in the world? The likelihood is that nothing will have changed when it comes to how Israel is treated, and we will be left to conclude that, ultimately, the world will be outraged by Israel defending itself and its citizens irrespective of how ethically it behaves.

 

Contents                       

           

On Topic Links

 

Research on the Islamic State, Syria, and Iraq: Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, Middle East Forum, Aug., 2016

Does Assad Really Have Time on His Side?: Ari Heistein, National Interest, Sept. 30, 2016—That President Bashar al-Assad sees time as working in his favor in the Syrian Civil War is evidenced by his disregard for internationally brokered ceasefires. And it is true that in the international arena, his relative situation appears to be steadily improving, as the discussion of a viable moderate rebel fighting force has all but died out.

The Syrian Horror That Obama Let Happen: Richard Cohen, Realclearpolitics, Oct. 4, 2016—The New York Times' David Sanger had an interesting observation in a recent article on Vladimir Putin's bizarre foreign policy. Russia, Sanger wrote, is a "declining economy with the gross domestic product of Italy."

Obama’s Syria Policy Striptease: Tony Badran, Tablet, Sept. 21, 2016—America’s settled policy of standing by while half a million Syrians have been killed, millions have become refugees, and large swaths of their country have been reduced to rubble is not a simple “mistake,” as critics like Nicholas D. Kristof and Roger Cohen have lately claimed. Nor is it the product of any deeper-seated American impotence or of Vladimir Putin’s more recent aggressions.

 

 

 

 

POST-ZIONIST MEDIA & BDS DEMONIZE ISRAEL BY PROMOTING “LETHAL” PALESTINIAN NARRATIVES

The Failures of Journalism in the 21st Century: Richard Landes, Augean Stables, May 15, 2016 — Towards the end of 2000, a professional failure of epic proportions took place among Western journalists.

The Accelerating Erosion of the Post-Zionist Hebrew Media: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Aug. 31, 2016 Haaretz, Israel’s oldest Hebrew daily newspaper, was established in 1918 by a group of left-leaning businessmen.

Greens Should Follow Germany's Lead And Reject Israel Boycotts: Benjamin Weinthal, Huffington Post, Sept. 20, 2016 — While Iran's regime continues to expand its nuclear facilities and Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's war has caused a half million deaths, the Green parties in North America are bizarrely preoccupied with boycotting the Jewish state.

Attention Norway: Stick to Polar Bears, Disregard BDS: Judith Bergman, Israel Hayom, Sept. 2, 2016  — One of the world’s northernmost inhabited places is Longyearbyen, a small town of about 2,000 people in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

 

On Topic Links

 

Lethal, Own-Goal Journalism Creates Caliphater BDS: Definitions: Richard Landes, Augean Stables, Sept. 23, 2016

Newsweek Middle East Editor Goes on Anti-Semitic Twitter Rant: Tower, Sept. 14, 2016

California Governor Signs Anti-BDS Bill into Law: Jerusalem Post, Sept. 25, 2016

Telling Our Positive Story Against BDS: Jon Haber, Algemeiner, Sept. 25, 2016

 

THE FAILURES OF JOURNALISM IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Richard Landes                                                              

Augean Stables, May 15, 2016

 

Towards the end of 2000, a professional failure of epic proportions took place among Western journalists. This failure began among Middle East correspondents reporting on the conflict, which broke out anew in late September 2000, between Israel and her Arab (triumphalist) neighbors. In this phase of “lethal journalism” Western reporters, almost as a pack, systematically reported Palestinian accusations against Israel – lethal narratives – as if they were eminently credible, indeed as if they actually happened, in other words as news. These reports had their desired effect in the conflict, supporting the “underdog” and “leveling the playing field,” prolonging the war, protecting the Palestinians from Israeli efforts to prevent their terror attacks, and severely damaging Israel’s global image.

 

The impact, however, went far beyond what these reporters imagined. They had an electric effect on Muslims the world over, including the West. Given overwhelming proof – the Western media reported it – of the victimization of Muslims in Palestine, many a triumphalist Muslim awoke to the siren call of Jihad. Demonstrations in the West made ample room for a newly aggressive Muslim Street, and recruiting for Jihad made great headway in the heart of the enemy. In particular, Europe’s largely unassimilated Muslim population radicalized significantly.

 

Indeed, lethal journalists, in their cognitive disorientation, didn’t realize that, in purveying Palestinian propaganda as news, they greatly amplified not Palestinian “nationalist” efforts to get their “self-determination,” but instead they mainstreamed Jihadi war propaganda that targeted their own societies as much as Israeli – all kufar to be either converted, dhimmified, or eliminated. In so acting, they engaged in an unprecedented form of war journalism, not the traditional patriotic version of lying for your own side, but own-goal war journalism, where the journalists lied for their side’s enemies.

 

Why did they do this? A close look at the lethal journalism at work against Israel reveals a striking underlying pattern: not only did it report often false accusations against Israel that incited outrage and hatred, but it did not report (or played down) often true stories about the Palestinians – their terrorism, their mistreatment of their own people, and their genocidal incitement to hatred of the Jews.

 

Here was pattern of compliance with Palestinian “Media Protocols” that essentially demanded that journalists report the conflict as a black and white morality tale: Israelis were always the aggressors and Palestinians always the victims, resisting the occupation. This obedience to the demands of Palestinian Jihadis in fact replicated itself in the broader journalistic coverage of global Jihadi efforts. In this sense, both the lethal, own-goal war journalism of the journalists reporting from the Middle East, and the disastrous misreporting on triumphalist Islam in the West, constitute what can best be described as Dhimmi journalism, that is, journalism that follows the rules of the dhimma: do not offend Muslims and attack those who do offend Muslims. Of all the things that help us understand why the West has fared so badly in countering Jihadi cogwar in the 21st century, this across the boards failure of the Western MSNM, stands at the head of the list.                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Prof. Landes, a CIJR Academic Fellow, delivered the keynote address                                   

at CIJR’s Dateline Middle East Student Magazine launch, Sept. 26, 2016

           

 

Contents                                                                                                                                   

                                                                         

THE ACCELERATING EROSION OF                                                                      

THE POST-ZIONIST HEBREW MEDIA                                                                                                        

Isi Leibler                                                                                                                       

Candidly Speaking, Aug. 31, 2016

 

Haaretz, Israel’s oldest Hebrew daily newspaper, was established in 1918 by a group of left-leaning businessmen. In 1937, Salman Schocken bought the newspaper and it was edited by his son Gershom until his death in 1990.  Although its circulation was never high when compared to the tabloids Maariv and Yedioth Ahronoth, it has for many years been regarded as the most influential intellectual newspaper in Israel with its readership including leading political and economic elites. It was considered a liberal newspaper although its economic section was conservative, and it published many outstanding feature articles.

 

After Gershom died, his son Amos assumed the role of chairman, CEO and publisher. In August 2006, 25% of the shares of Haaretz were sold to the German publisher M. DuMont Schauberg, whose father was a Nazi party member and whose publishing enterprises promoted Nazi ideology. Although he passionately denies being post-Zionist, Amos imposed his radical left-wing ideology onto the newspaper which has now been transformed into a vehicle that provides much of the anti-Israeli sentiment and even anti-Semitic lies and distortions that are a boon to our adversaries.

 

It is difficult to comprehend the depths to which this once highly regarded newspaper has descended. There are still a number of level-headed commentators, such as Ari Shavit and Shlomo Avineri, and occasional “fig leaf” conservative columns contributed by Moshe Arens and Israel Harel. But the opinion section is overwhelmingly dominated by delusional anti-Zionists such as Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, who promote the idea that Israel was born in sin. Levy repeatedly reiterates that Israel is one of the world’s most brutal and tyrannical regimes in existence today and repeatedly accuses the Jewish state of being an apartheid state. Even publisher Schocken wrote a column titled “Only international pressure will end Israel apartheid.”

 

These demonic views of their own country would be more appropriate for publication in the Palestinian media than in an Israeli newspaper. Furthermore, even the reporting became as opinionated as op-ed articles, frequently totally distorting news events and placing Israel in the worst possible light. The reporting has also become selective in its news coverage, a prime example being the suppressed coverage of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s alleged corruption, in order not to create problems for the Gaza disengagement.

 

If Haaretz was restricted to an Israeli audience, its impact would be minimal as it has a small circulation and few Israelis are influenced by what it publishes. The real problem is the English language edition and its internet site, which is monitored by diplomats and reproduced by the global media. It serves to demonize and delegitimize Israel to countless internet readers throughout the world who are under the illusion that they are reading a reputable liberal Israeli newspaper. Pro-Israel Diaspora activists who would normally have protested the bias and even the anti-Semitic slant of anti-Israeli media outlets, have been confronted by editors who defended their approach on the grounds that it reflected the editorial policies of a respected daily Israeli newspaper.

 

The damage is incalculable. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that in recent years, the newspaper has caused more harm to the image of Israel than the combined efforts of our adversaries. Nothing demonstrates this more than the front-page headlines in 2009 based upon unsubstantiated evidence from the discredited Breaking the Silence group which first promoted the lie that Israeli soldiers were committing war crimes. After successive days in which Haaretz highlighted this blood libel, the IDF chief military advocate general released a report describing the accusations as “categorically false.” Instead of apologizing and expressing remorse, Haaretz responded sarcastically, suggesting that while the report showed the IDF to be “pure as snow,” implying that the accusers —fighters and commanders from some of its best combat units — were a bunch of liars and exaggerators.

 

Despite the unequivocal repudiation of these false allegations, the damage was done. The global media enthusiastically highlighted the news from the “influential” Israeli newspaper. This paved the way for subsequent allegations of Israeli war crimes, culminating in the now discredited Goldstone report, which remains a central feature of the defamation leveled against us by our adversaries. In this context, it should be mentioned that the recently appointed editor of the English edition, Noa Landau, is the life partner of Avner Gvaryahu, one of the most vocal and vicious activist leaders of Breaking the Silence.

 

Another notable example was the 2014 Haaretz Conference held in New York, where in deference to Palestinian Authority spokesman Saeb Erekat, who addressed the conference, the Israeli flag was removed from the podium. The situation has continued to deteriorate, with more readers canceling subscriptions, even including many prominent left-wing supporters who can no longer tolerate the ever increasing anti-Israel hysteria that fills the pages of the paper. Irit Linur, a liberal columnist for the weekend edition, wrote to Schocken, “I feel that the State of Israel fundamentally revolts you. … I don’t want to subscribe to a newspaper that tries in every way to make me ashamed of my Zionism, my patriotism and my intelligence — three qualities that are most precious to me.”…

 

The harshest blow came from liberal American journalist icon Jeffrey Goldberg, who is regarded as the principal media source used by U.S. President Barack Obama in relation to Israel and Jewish affairs. Goldberg erupted after two American Jewish historians published an article in Haaretz accusing the U.N. of establishing a Jewish racist state that is today an extension of Western colonialism. They proudly announced that they would never set foot in any synagogue that supported Israel. Goldberg also responded to a recent Levy op-ed titled “Yes, Israel is an evil state” – which described Israel as an entity based on “pure evil. Sadistic evil. Evil for its own sake”. He announced that he was canceling his subscription, tweeting that “when neo-Nazis are emailing me links to Haaretz op-eds declaring Israel to be evil, I’m going to take a break.” He also noted that “I can read anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli things like this on other websites. There really no need for an Israeli website like this.”…                                                                                               

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                                                   

Contents                                                                       

                                                              

GREENS SHOULD FOLLOW GERMANY'S                                                                     

LEAD AND REJECT ISRAEL BOYCOTTS                                                                    

Benjamin Weinthal                                                                                                      

Huffington Post, Sept. 20, 2016

 

While Iran's regime continues to expand its nuclear facilities and Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's war has caused a half million deaths, the Green parties in North America are bizarrely preoccupied with boycotting the Jewish state. The parties' counterpart in Germany is, however, a vehement opponent of the anti-Semitic boycott movement. The German Greens should serve as a model for Canadian and U.S. Greens to revise their anti-Israel positions.

 

Last month, the Green Party of Canada became the country's first party to endorse the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS) targeting Israel. BDS claims to seek concessions from Israel to advance the cause of Palestinian statehood. The movement is actually against peace because it seeks to dismantle Israel and to impose a one-state solution, rather than two states for two peoples. While Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May personally rejects BDS as polarizing, she was overridden on the issue by voting delegates at her party's annual convention.

 

It is a topsy-turvy world when a political group devoted to protecting the environment prioritizes BDS over opposing Iran's nuclear aims — which have the potential to devastate humanity and the environment — and the Assad regime — which, along with its sponsors Iran, Russia and Hezbollah — has engaged in a scorched-earth policy in Syria. Iran's Lake Urmia is drying up, Tehran is beset by major air pollution and one of its nuclear facilities — Bushehr — lies on an earthquake-prone area.

 

Yet the Canadian Greens debated only two foreign policy resolutions at their convention, and both pertained to Israel. In addition to BDS, the other unsuccessfully called on the Canada Revenue Agency to remove the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund, an organization at the forefront of protecting the natural environment in Israel for the benefit of all residents.

Across the border in the United States, Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, defended her support for BDS during an August CNN town hall discussion. Stein mirrors her Canadian counterparts in their apparent lack of concern regarding, for example, the Islamic State's genocidal acts toward Middle East Christians and Yazidis.

 

Fortunately, BDS remains controversial to many on the left in both the United States and Canada. Polling done within Canada's Green Party following the convention revealed that 44 per cent of the respondents believe that the party's anti-Israel boycott policy should be repealed entirely, while 28.1 per cent believe that it should "not [be] tied to one actor or one movement" — such as Israel. More broadly, in a statement largely ignored by the print media, the former democratic socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders linked BDS to modern anti-Semitism. When asked if he agreed with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that BDS can be equated with anti-Semitism, Sanders told MSNBC: "I think there is some of that, absolutely."

 

The most powerful and influential Green Party is in Germany. The German Greens served as a coalition partner to the Social Democrats in the federal government from 1998 to 2005. The party is represented in state governments across the Federal Republic. In Baden-Württemberg, where a Green Party politician is the governor, party spokeswoman Eva Muszar said in June: "We Greens reject a boycott of Israel, as well as BDS. The BDS campaign aggressively calls for a boycott of Israeli goods and organizations, and is collectively directed against Jewish Israelis and uses anti-Semitic prejudices."

 

Just this month, the national teachers' union in Germany, with its nearly 281,000 members, termed BDS anti-Semitic. Moreover, the BDS campaign deceptively listed Greenpeace Germany on a petition as a supporter, prompting the NGO to demand that the BDS campaign immediately remove its name from the document. All of this may reflect the fact that Germans have a greater than usual consciousness about where boycotts of Jews lead. After all, the first phase of the Hitler movement was a nation-wide boycott of Jewish businesses. But aside from any historical sensitivities, the opposition of the Green Party — and of other left-of-centre parties in the Federal Republic — to BDS is premised on the notion that the boycott movement is discriminatory, harmful to many Palestinians employed by Israeli companies, and destructive to hopes for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

 

Another reason to be suspicious of the BDS movement is for its links to terrorism, which has been a recurring theme in the media and in policy debates. One of Austria's largest banks, BAWAG, pulled the plug on the account of the pro-BDS Austrian-Arab Culture Center (OKAZ) in June. OKAZ had sponsored a lecture with Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which has been designated by Canada and the EU as a terrorist organization. Khaled helped hijack TWA Flight 840 in 1969. A year later, she participated in the hijacking of EL AL Flight 219.

 

Bret Stephens recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal of a disturbing finding: In the case of several American organizations that were designated, shut down or held civilly liable for providing material support to the terrorist organization Hamas, a significant contingent of their former leadership appears to have pivoted to leadership positions within the American BDS campaign. French and German banks have closed BDS accounts in their countries. France has the most robust anti-BDS law in Europe. France's 2003 Lellouche law has been applied to punish Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions activists for singling out Israel based on national origin…If Green parties wish to enter the mainstream, they should replicate the forward-thinking policies of the German Greens and their rejection of BDS. BDS is a dead-end street filled with potholes of terrorism and discrimination.

 

Contents           

ATTENTION NORWAY: STICK TO POLAR BEARS, DISREGARD BDS

Judith Bergman

Israel Hayom, Sept. 2, 2016  

 

One of the world’s northernmost inhabited places is Longyearbyen, a small town of about 2,000 people in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Svalbard is a place of indescribable beauty, filled with an untouched arctic wilderness that will leave you in constant awe, simply grateful to be alive to witness such staggering wonders: untouched arctic landscapes, blueish glaciers and frozen tundra, which is home to an arctic wildlife that includes polar bears. Indeed, the most dangerous neighbors a human being can come across in Svalbard are polar bears, which is why it is prohibited to venture outside Longyearbyen without a weapon. Longyearbyen’s residents come from all over the world and the place feels as far removed from any kind of international politics as you could possibly imagine.

 

Ever since my husband and I visited this place, we have spoken about going back, and my husband has even taken to reading Svalbardposten — the world’s northernmost newspaper. It was during the perusal of this usually apolitical source of news — it is not uncommon for nine out of 10 headlines to include polar bears in some form or other — that my husband jumped from his chair, pointing to the computer screen in horror. I looked at the headline, which said, “Boycott Israel!”

 

So there it was: the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement had made its way to the northernmost inhabited place on earth. The text was a letter to the editor, written last summer by a local priest, Leif Magne Helgesen, in which he was peddling the most outlandish claims, including that Israel is “a military regime” and encouraging his fellow Longyearbyen residents to boycott Israel. The priest had spent his summer vacation in a Palestinian-Arab village and had returned a full-fledged BDS warrior, ready to go against Israel, which he continued throughout his lengthy diatribe to describe as a “regime.”

 

There is something deeply ironic, tragicomically so, about a priest who does his business in the northernmost spot on earth, surrounded only by the Creator’s beauty and the occasional scare from a polar bear, isolated from the rest of the world and certainly from the issues of the Middle East, venting his antisemitic fury and rage at a country that could not possibly be further removed from him than Israel. It is also telling that this man is, of all things, a priest.

 

Unfortunately, it should not surprise us. Svalbard belongs to Norway, which according to a recent report by watchdog group NGO Monitor, has recently joined Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands in contributing funds to an organization funding NGOs that promote a boycott of Israel. According to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry’s website, 5 million Norwegian kroner (over $600,000) was allocated to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (HR/IHL) Secretariat in the second half of 2016. According to the NGO Monitor report, the “HR/IHL Secretariat is an intermediary that distributes funds to nongovernmental organizations … active in BDS … campaigns and other forms of demonization against Israel. It is managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and the NIRAS consulting firm, based in Sweden.”

 

Also according to the report, “80% of the HR/IHL Secretariat’s distributions are allocated to core NGO funding. NGO Monitor research shows that out of 24 core recipients, 13 support BDS, receiving $5.78 million (more than half) out of an operating budget of $10.38 million over the course of four years. Some grantees have also promoted antisemitic rhetoric and have apparent links to the PFLP terrorist organization. Core group members receiving funding include BADIL, Al-Haq, Addameer and MIFTAH, all vehemently anti-Israel NGOs at the forefront of BDS campaigns.”

 

How surprising is it, then, that a Norwegian citizen, even in such a remote and apolitical place such as Longyearbyen, joins the BDS bandwagon? It is not surprising at all. Official Norway, naturally, denies all wrongdoing. This was the response of the Norwegian Embassy in Israel to the findings of NGO Monitor: “We do not find their characterizations to be representative of the work that these organizations are doing. Norway does not tolerate hate speech, efforts to delegitimize Israel, or anti-Semitism and have close dialogue with all our partners to make sure this is understood. … Norway does not provide financial support to organizations whose main goal is to promote the BDS campaign.” How lovely it would be if Norwegians could just stick to looking out for polar bears instead of pathetically attempting to meddle in Israel’s business and then not even having the backbone to admit it.

 

 

 

Contents                       

           

On Topic Links

 

Lethal, Own-Goal Journalism Creates Caliphater BDS: Definitions: Richard Landes, Augean Stables, Sept. 23, 2016—The following is a set of definitions I will be using in a talk I’m giving on Sunday. They are, I think, critical terms in understanding what has happened in the 21st century, and why we’re losing a war of the minds with triumphalist imperialist zealots. I will post the talk after I deliver it.

Newsweek Middle East Editor Goes on Anti-Semitic Twitter Rant: Tower, Sept. 14, 2016—An editor of Newsweek Middle East launched into a Twitter tirade invoking several anti-Semitic tropes late last week, including that Jews are greedy and are not descended from biblical Hebrews, and therefore have no historical connection to Israel.

California Governor Signs Anti-BDS Bill into Law: Jerusalem Post, Sept. 25, 2016—California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a measure that prevents companies that boycott or discriminate against any sovereign state, including Israel, from doing business with the state.

Telling Our Positive Story Against BDS: Jon Haber, Algemeiner, Sept. 25, 2016—Anyone involved with organized pro-Israel politics has likely gotten caught up in heated discussions over how to set a narrative and get activists to stick with it during the course of a campaign. Themes, messaging calendars and lists of talking points are several of the devices that have been proposed, and sometimes implemented, to get our side to settle on and consistently tell the same story.

 

 

 

 

 

ISRAEL’S DEMOCRACY THRIVES, DESPITE BIBI-BENNETT ROW; MEANWHILE, NYT UNFAIRLY CRITICAL OF ISRAELI PRESS

Stop Bickering, Boys: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Aug. 5, 2016— It's good the Knesset went into summer recess this week, and it would be great if the cabinet did so too.

Sorry, ‘New York Times,’ But Israel’s Press Is Doing Just Fine: Liel Leibovitz, Tabler, Aug. 1, 2016— Did you hear the one about the Middle Eastern country that really cracked down on its freedom of the press?

Israel Emerges As A Player On The World Stage: Jonathan Adelman, Huffington Post, Aug. 8, 2016— The emergence of Israel as a small but significant player on the world stage is one of the remarkable developments at the end of the post-Cold War era.

Tisha b’Av: A Guide for the Perplexed: Yoram Ettinger, United With Israel, Aug. 11, 2016— Tisha b’Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, is the most calamitous day in Jewish history, first mentioned in the Book of Zechariah 7:3.

 

On Topic Links

 

Can Open Primaries Heal Israeli Politics?: Mazal Mualem, Al-Monitor, Aug. 10, 2016

Israel’s Economy – an Island of Stability: Yoram Ettinger, Ettinger Report, July 28, 2016

Kahlon’s Budget: Jerusalem Post, Aug. 9, 2016

Tisha B’Av and the Nature of Evil: Pini Dunner, Algemeiner, Aug. 12, 2016

 

STOP BICKERING, BOYS

David M. Weinberg

Israel Hayom, Aug. 5, 2016

 

It's good the Knesset went into summer recess this week, and it would be great if the cabinet did so too. That might be the only way to prevent the coalition partners, especially Prime Minister and Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister and Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett, from gouging out each other's eyes. The pair have been at each other's throats for years, but it seems their squabbling is becoming nastier and more personal every month. It has gone way beyond the bounds of expected political rivalry, especially between two leaders who supposedly belong to the same nationalist camp.

 

You would think that there were no bigger issues for them to worry about together, such as keeping U.S. President Barack Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at bay, or thwarting the radical liberal cultural coup that is being attempted in this country. It's not that the two leaders don't have serious issues to disagree about. They do, including the (re)deployment of the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank, (the lack of) settlement construction and the legalization of outposts, the continuing religious-national disgrace on the Temple Mount, IDF readiness for war with Hamas and the government's (insufficient?) attention to the tunnel threat, real-time and comprehensive intelligence briefings for security cabinet members, the regulation of public broadcasting and prosecution of the soldier who shot a wounded terrorist in Hebron.

 

Netanyahu and Bennett have legitimate, differing opinions on these issues, and these differences will likely find political expression the next time Israelis go to the polls. But in the meantime, there is a government to run, and a nationalist camp to keep in power. Does the vicious name-calling and mutual demonization really help? In recent months, Bennett has wildly and wrongly accused the government (that is, Netanyahu) of "dancing to the tune of" left-wing human rights group B'Tselem and of "ethical befuddlement."

 

He infuriated Netanyahu last month by harshly and unfairly indicting the prime minister of "voting for the Gaza disengagement and destruction of Gush Katif, releasing more terrorists than anyone in the history of the state, freezing construction in Judea and Samaria, surrendering to Hamas and declaring a Palestinian state at Bar-Ilan University." Bennett consistently accuses Netanyahu of hiding relevant intelligence from the cabinet and information about diplomacy from the public. And he has voted against Netanyahu in several critical cabinet decisions.

 

For his part, Netanyahu has nonsensically called Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (also of Habayit Hayehudi) "darlings of the Left," while he begs Opposition Leader MK Isaac Herzog to bring his hard-left Zionist Union party into the government to replace Bennett. Netanyahu has spuriously accused Bennett of "teaching the poems of [controversial] Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish" to Israeli schoolchildren. Netanyahu slams Bennett whenever the Habayit Hayehudi leader tries to raise a serious matter in the cabinet. He lords it over Bennett in public with the refrain "I have led more soldiers into battle than you. You will not preach to me." And he has threatened to fire Bennett half a dozen times, calling him "cheeky" and "irresponsible."

 

Alas, both leaders are guilty of "firing inside the armored personnel carrier" by undermining the nationalist camp with unrestrained acrimony from within. This is unwise and intolerable, and must end. If not, the government will collapse. Would Netanyahu and Bennett and their voters prefer that Herzog, his fellow party member MK Tzipi Livni and former Justice Minister Haim Ramon lead Israel toward an Oslo III agreement or a unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and a division of Jerusalem? Would they prefer to see MK Amir Peretz (Zionist Union) return absurdly as defense minister, or Shelly Yachimovich (Zionist Union) disastrously lead a socialist revolution as finance minister? The answer, obviously, is of course not. So stop squabbling, boys, and get on with the business of efficiently running the government with a minimum of mutual respect.

 

In the past, ardent political rivals have worked civilly together at the helm of the country despite inherent tensions. This was the case with Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Sharett, or Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, or Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres, or even Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu. Not smooth, and without much love. But in each case, their governments racked up real achievements. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman clawed at each other mercilessly over the past two years, while Lieberman was a member of the opposition. But now that they're in the government together, a certain decorum exists.

 

In the end, Netanyahu and Bennett have a lot in common. They are gifted, intelligent, outspoken, well-rooted in security discourse, conversant about the U.S., and ideologically committed to conservatism. Bennett needs to be patient and earn more political experience. Netanyahu must learn to groom successors. The Talmud (Shabbat 63a) comments that even the most vociferous and bitter disagreements can lead to good results if the dueling scholars actually listen to each other attentively. If they do so, says Rabbi Shimon Ben-Lakish, the heavens will listen to the Jewish people, too, and vanquish enemies. Is it too much to ask Netanyahu and Bennett to make a similar scholarly effort? It might even help us win some important diplomatic battles.

                                                           

 

Contents                                                                                                                       

                                           

                 SORRY, ‘NEW YORK TIMES,’ BUT ISRAEL’S

PRESS IS DOING JUST FINE               

                                      Liel Leibovitz                                    

Tablet, Aug. 1, 2016

 

Did you hear the one about the Middle Eastern country that really cracked down on its freedom of the press? Not Turkey, where 42 journalists were arrested last week in the latest assault on the tenets of democracy; I’m talking, of course, about Israel, the subject of yet another grim opinion piece this weekend in The New York Times. In case you’re the sort who doesn’t read much past the headline, the Times made sure you would not walk away confused: The lengthy dirge, written by New York-based Israeli reporter Ruth Margalit, was titled “How Benjamin Netanyahu is Crushing Israel’s Free Press.”

 

How indeed? You would hardly believe the depraved things Jerusalem’s demonic despot would do to solidify his grasp on power. Bibi, Margalit solemnly informs us, appoints people who agree with him politically to key positions in government. Shocked yet? Get this: He also has his office call newspapers and websites and try to spin the news in his favor. If such benighted moves fail to shake you to the core, if you still don’t feel the chill of fascism’s shadow, Margalit has one last bit of damning evidence for you. Take a deep breath: To crush the precious freedom flower that is Israel’s press, Bibi, that monster, is opening up the media market to more competition.

 

“All three of Israel’s main television news channels—Channel 2, Channel 10, and the Israel Broadcasting Authority—are now in danger of being fragmented, shut down, or overhauled, respectively,” Margalit wrote. “The government’s official reason behind these moves is to open up the communications industry to more competition. But there seems to be a double standard: On other issues, like natural gas, the prime minister has been loath to take a stand against monopolies. As Ilana Dayan, a leading investigative journalist for Channel 2, told me: ‘Sometimes competition is the refuge of the antidemocrat.’”

 

Because I know Margalit a little bit and respect her more than that, I’ll say little about the glaring inanity of comparing a scarce and finite natural resource like gas to the media market, which, in the age of the internet, is a superabundant field. I’ll similarly resist the urge to inquire just what sort of worldview one ought to have to see the proliferation of diverse voices as somehow antithetical to democracy. Nor will I ask why, if indeed the tyrant is unleashing his own version of Game of Thrones, coming at his competitors with swords and bloodlust, do so many senior Israeli journalists feel so giddy to share their jeremiads with Margalit; you infrequently see Erdogan’s foes so loose-tongued, which, to all but the reporters and editors of the Times, should have served as yet another indication that headlines warning of the free press being crushed are perhaps a tad immature.

 

Instead of raising these obvious objections, I’ll do something Margalit and her editors didn’t bother doing and offer both facts and analysis. Rather than dignify the assertion that Israel’s press is under assault—an uproarious proposition to anyone who actually consumes the Israeli press and knows it to be largely dedicated to fierce criticism of the prime minister, his cabinet, his worldview, and anything associated therewith—I’ll try and consider why so many of Israel’s reporters, enjoying robust liberties as they do, still nonetheless imagine themselves under attack.

 

First, the figures: In a seminal study released in 2010, Israeli communications scholar Avi Gur researched the publicly expressed opinions of 38,887 people over 124,879 minutes of broadcast and in 8,324 opinion pieces in the print media during the years 1996 to 1999—then, as now, Netanyahu was prime minister—in order to ascertain whether or not the Israeli press was indeed ideologically left-leaning. His conclusion is stark: Yediot Aharonot, for example, the nation’s most widely read and influential media organ, favored left-wing positions an overwhelming 83.5 percent of the time, and others weren’t too far behind. Not that any senior of the media was contesting Gur’s findings: Raviv Drucker, for example, one of Israel’s leading investigative reporters and a man who has made a fine career dogging Netanyahu with the tenacity of a blue tick coonhound smelling a critter stirring in the distance, wrote a piece some years ago and admitted that 80 percent or more of his colleagues across the board were committed lefties.

 

This, in part, helps explain why blatant ideological impositions on the free press are just dandy when they come from the left, like when Amos Schocken, the publisher of the radically liberal Haaretz admitted to strongly and enthusiastically supporting the Obama administration’s position on the Iran deal against the stated policy of the Israeli government. When the smart and sensible folks take a stand, it’s time to applaud their courage; when the primates on the right attempt to express their views, it’s time to alert the Times that democracy is dying.

 

This myopic and morally corrupt approach would be maddening if it weren’t so comical, and if it didn’t cost the Israeli left more or less everything, electorally speaking. Out of ideas, out of time, and out of touch with reality, the small cabal that huddles in Tel Aviv’s newsrooms can hardly believe that the unwashed masses could be so impudent as to demand media that faithfully reflect reality, or that at least offer more the singular and approved and rigid point of view. With no one left to listen in Israel, they turn to the Times, which, to paraphrase Margalit’s piece, is quickly becoming the refuge of the blame-Israel-only crowd. It’s sad to see a reporter who should’ve known better abandon any attempt at insight or nuance and turn instead to the Times for the most banal sort of affirmation, and it’s sad to see the Times continue to publish such drivel without attempting any real depth or understanding. Nevermind, and godspeed: Keep your opinion pages, which, like your opinions, are but sound and fury, signifying absolutely nothing.         

 

Contents                                                           

             

ISRAEL EMERGES AS A PLAYER ON THE WORLD STAGE       

Jonathan Adelman                                   

Huffington Post, Aug. 8, 2016

 

The emergence of Israel as a small but significant player on the world stage is one of the remarkable developments at the end of the post-Cold War era. The slow economic growth of the United States and Europe has shown the weakness of the status quo powers. The American semi-withdrawal from the Middle East and the British withdrawal from the European Union have opened the door to new powers. The chaos in the Middle East and the rise of revisionist authoritarian states such as Russia, China and Iran and democratic states like India raise the possibility of a new world order. This would be partly dominated by hardline conservative nationalism, charismatic leadership, slow economic growth, and hostility to the old globalist order.

 

With eight million people Israel can only play on the fringes of a new global order. But, it has a flourishing economy of $300 billion and nearly $40,000 GDP/capita. Its democratic, liberal politics and growing economy make it able to play both sides of the street. Its military was rated by the Institute for the Study of War as “pilot to pilot and airframe to airframe” having “the best air force in the world“ and the best army in the Middle East. Israel’s extensive work on air defenses (Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow 2 and soon Arrow 3), carried out with the United States, makes it a serious military power. Its 80-100 atomic bombs put it in a rarified club of nine states in the world. Its intelligence capabilities (Shin Beth and Mossad) are formidable.

 

With over 250 foreign companies creating research facilities in Israel, its strong high-tech capability has been rated by the University of Lausanne as one of the top five world powers in this key area. While foreigners in 2015 invested $4 billion in Israel, Apple alone has invested over a billion dollars in creating a hardware development center with 800 Israeli employees. The Israelis, who created drip agriculture, are exporting $2 billion a year in water technology and recently hosted the leading international water conference

 

Three of the world’s most powerful countries have invited Israeli companies to work with them in high-tech. The Americans have paired Technion with Cornell University in the new high-tech university in Roosevelt Island in Manhattan. The Russians have asked Israeli high-tech to help develop their new Silicon Valley in Skolkovo in the suburbs of Moscow. The Chinese have asked Technion to work with them to create a Shantou-Technion School of Technology in Guangdong Province.

 

Israel has, despite its poor past relationship, developed excellent relations with Russia. There are over one million Russian immigrants in Israel and all seven of Israel’s early long serving Prime Ministers before 2005 were either from Russia or spoke Russian. Israel’s kibbutzim, moshavim and Histadrut owe their creation to Russian socialist ideas. Bibi Netanyahu has visited Moscow four times in the last year; Putin has visited Israel twice. While the two countries differ over Moscow’s support for Iran and selling them the S-300 anti-missile defense system, Israel has sold $1 billion of drones to Russia over the years. It has $3 billion in trade and shares a desire for peace in the region.

 

The Israelis, who also did not have diplomatic relations with China until 1992, have seen their relationship expand strongly. Today their trade is expanding to $10 billion a year. Chinese investors have been looking to invest billions of dollars in Israel. Israel is looking to export their water technology to a country with 400 million people living in arid regions. Israel is also developing a strong relationship with India. It has $5 billion in trade with India which could multiply to $15 billion if the two sides decide to create a free trade zone. Israel is the second greatest exporter of arms to India, preceded only by Russia. India’s Foreign Ministry visited Israel in January and proclaimed that there was a “very high importance” to their new relationship. Prime Minister Narenda Modi is also scheduled to visit Israel.

 

For the tiny and poor 1948 Israel to be able less than 70 years later to play a role among the great powers of the world seems amazing. And, yet, in the twenty-first century, everything is possible.

 

 

Contents          

                                                     

                        TISHA B’AV: A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED

Yoram Ettinger                       

          United With Israel, Aug. 11, 2016

 

Tisha b’Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, is the most calamitous day in Jewish history, first mentioned in the Book of Zechariah 7:3. It is a day of fasting (one of four fast days connected to the destruction of Jerusalem), commemorating dramatic national catastrophes, in an attempt to benefit from history by learning from – rather than repeating – critical moral and strategic missteps. Forgetfulness feeds oblivion; remembrance breeds deliverance.

 

Major Jewish calamities are commemorated on the ninth day of Av: The failed “Ten Spies/tribal presidents” – contrary to Joshua & Caleb – slandered the Land of Israel, preferring immediate convenience and conventional “wisdom” over faith and long term vision, thus prolonging the wandering in the desert for 40 years, before settling the Promised Land; The destruction of the First Temple and Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (586 BCE) resulted in the massacre of 100,000 Jews and a massive national exile; The destruction of the Second Temple and Jerusalem by Titus of Rome (70 CE) triggered the massacre of 1 million Jews and another massive national exile, aiming to annihilate Judaism and the Jewish people; The execution of the Ten Martyrs – ten leading rabbis – by the Roman Empire;

 

The Bar Kokhba Revolt was crushed with the killing of Bar Kokhbah, the fall of his headquarters in Beitar (135 CE), south of Jerusalem in Judea and Samaria, the plowing of Jerusalem, and the killing of 600,000 Jews by the Roman Empire; The pogroms of the First Crusade (1096-1099) massacred tens of thousands of Jews in Germany, France, Italy and Britain; The Jewish expulsion from Britain (1290); The Jewish Expulsion from Spain (1492); The eruption of the First World War (1914); The beginning of the 1942 deportation of Warsaw Ghetto Jews to Treblinka extermination camp.

 

Napoleon was walking one night in the streets of Paris, hearing lamentations emanating from a synagogue.  When told that the wailing commemorated the 586 BCE destruction of the First Jewish Temple in Jerusalem he stated: “People who solemnize ancient history are destined for a glorious future!” A key message of the Ninth Day of Av, personally and collectively/nationally: Sustain faith and hope, and refrain from forgetfulness, despair, fatalism and pessimism, irrespective of the odds, which may seem – through conventional, short-term lenses – insurmountable, but could be a transition toward deliverance.  From Auschwitz to Jerusalem, from exile (estrangement, dispersal and enslavement) to the ingathering in the Land of Israel (spiritual and physical liberty).

 

The centrality of Jerusalem in Jewish history is commemorated on the ninth day of Av.  It is highlighted by Psalm 137:5 – “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” According to the Babylonian Talmud, Ta’anit 30: “He who laments the destruction of Jerusalem will be privileged to witness its renewal.” The Book of the five Lamentations (The Scroll of Eikhah which was composed by Jeremiah the Prophet, who prophesized destruction, exile and deliverance) is read during the first nine days of Av. The numerical value of the Hebrew letters of Eikhah (איכה) is 36, which is equal to the traditional number of righteous Jewish persons. The Hebrew meaning of Eikhah (איכה) could be interpreted as a reproaching “How Come?!”, as well as “Where are you?” or “Why have you strayed away?”  The term איכה features in the first chapter of Deuteronomy and the first chapter of Isaiah, which are studied annually in conjunction with the book of Lamentations on the 9th day of Av. Thus the 9thday of Av binds together the values of Moses, Jeremiah and Isaiah and three critical periods in the history of the Jewish People: destruction, deliverance, renewal.

 

The ninth day of Av concludes a three-week-lamentation of Jewish calamities, emphasizing two reproaches by the Prophet Jeremiah and one by the Prophet Isaiah, launching a seven-week period of consolation, renewal and the ingathering, highlighted by Isaiah prophecies. The commemoration of the ninth day of Av constitutes a critical feature of Judaism. It enhances faith, roots, identity, moral clarity, cohesion and optimism by learning from past errors, and immunizing oneself against the lethal disease of forgetfulness. The verb “to remember” (זכור) appears almost 200 times in the Bible, including the Ten Commandments. Judaism obligates parents to transfer tradition to the younger generation, thus enhancing realism, while avoiding euphoric or fatalistic mood. The custom of house-cleaning on the ninth day of Av aims at welcoming deliverance. Fasting expresses the recognition of one’s limitations and fallibility and the constant pursuit of moral enhancement and humility.

 

The four Jewish days of fasting, commemorating the destruction of the Two Temples: the 10th day of Tevet (the onset of the Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem), the 17th day of Tamuz (the day the walls of Jerusalem were breached), the 9th day of Av (the destruction of both Temples) and the 3rd day of Tishrei (The murder of Governor Gedalyah, who maintained a level of post-destruction Jewish autonomy, which led to a murderous rampage by the Babylonians and to exile). The ninth day of Av culminates the 21 days of predicament (ימי בין המצרים), which began on the 17thday of the month of Tamuz, when the walls of Jerusalem were breached by Nebuchadnezzar (1st Temple) and by Titus (2nd Temple)…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

 

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                           

           

On Topic Links

 

Can Open Primaries Heal Israeli Politics?: Mazal Mualem, Al-Monitor, Aug. 10, 2016—The Likud faced the greatest crisis in its history on the eve of the 2006 elections. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's establishment of a new party, Kadima, had left Likud in shreds. Little remained of what had once been a large ruling party. After replacing Sharon as Likud chairman, Benjamin Netanyahu convinced the party’s Central Committee to relinquish the authority to choose the party’s Knesset list and to transfer that power to the entire party membership.

Israel’s Economy – an Island of Stability: Yoram Ettinger, Ettinger Report, July 28, 2016— 1. According to a study conducted by the University of Lausanne, Israel is one of the top five world high-tech powers, as indicated by a 2015 $1bn investment, in Israel, by Apple, creating a hardware development center. The USA, China, Russia and India are, actively, soliciting high-tech cooperation with Israel. India and Israel negotiate a free trade zone, which would increase their current $5bn trade balance. Israel is second only to Russia in the exportation of military systems to India (Jerusalem Post, July 24, 2016).

Kahlon’s Budget: Jerusalem Post, Aug. 9, 2016—In many respects, Kulanu is a political party born of the socioeconomic unrest of the summer of 2011. Moshe Kahlon, who stands at the head of the party, made a name for himself when he was still with the Likud as communication minister under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It was Kahlon who finally helped facilitate free market competition among cellphone operators that ended an era of price-gouging and exorbitantly high cellphone bills.

Tisha B’Av and the Nature of Evil: Pini Dunner, Algemeiner, Aug. 12, 2016—The period of mourning for the destruction of our two Jerusalem temples does not seem to fit with the idea that Judaism is underpinned by optimism and a backdrop of joy and positivity.

 

 

 

 

 

THE WEEK THAT WAS: WORLD REMEMBERS HOLOCAUST VICTIMS, BUT MEDIA BIAS AGAINST ISRAEL CONTINUES

The Fading Lessons of the Holocaust: Reflections on International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016: Dr. Charles Asher Small, ISGAP, Jan. 27, 2016 — (Wednesday, Jan. 27 was) International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 71st anniversary of the date in 1945 when the Russians liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in Poland. 

Palestinians are Knowingly Bringing Knives to a Gun Fight. These are Suicide Attacks: David Sacks, National Post, Jan. 28, 2016— Since mid-September, more than three out of every four people killed in Israeli-Palestinian conflicts have been Palestinian.

Special Report: Globe and Mail Bias Against Israel Continues Unabated: Mike Fegelman, Honest Reporting, Jan. 21, 2016 — “One day India may discover that her one-sided orientation in the Middle East is neither moral nor expedient.”

Associated Press Semantics – a Simple Tactic for Bias: Manfred Gerstenfeld, CIJR, Jan. 13, 2016— Ability to manipulate language is crucial if a journalist is to transmit a biased message. 

 

On Topic Links

 

How Much Do Young People Know About the Holocaust?: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 28, 2016

UN Condemns Israel as the World Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day: IPT, Jan. 29, 2016

Italy Has Special Responsibility to Remember Holocaust, Envoy Says: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 28, 2016

Here’s a Holocaust Story with a Happy Ending: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 28, 2016

 

                  

                 THE FADING LESSONS OF THE HOLOCAUST:

REFLECTIONS ON INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY 2016

Dr. Charles Asher Small

                                                ISGAP, Jan. 27, 2016

 

(Wednesday, Jan. 27 was) International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 71st anniversary of the date in 1945 when the Russians liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in Poland.  In 2005, 60 years after that liberation, the UN finally established a day of commemoration for the six million Jews, plus five million non-Jews, whom the Nazis murdered.

 

Nations throughout the world are commemorating the day in distinctive ways.  French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is addressing a memorial event. German Government officials are gathering in the Bundestag to focus on the legacy of forced labor.  The Polish Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum is streaming an event live on YouTube.

 

And in Iran, the Regime has just announced another Holocaust Denial Cartoons Contest. The announcement is not an aberration. This is, after all, a regime whose president once tried to organize a research mission to Poland to determine whether it was really possible for millions to have died at Auschwitz. (The Polish Government denied his request.) Ten years ago, after a Danish newspaper ran cartoons of Mohammed, an official Iranian newspaper offered prizes for cartoons about the Holocaust.  Some entries were based on Holocaust denial; others merely drew a parallel between the Nazism and Zionism. In 2015, when the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon of Mohammed after the terrorist massacre at its headquarters, the Iranians announced the Second International Holocaust Cartoons Contest.

 

This year the Iranian Holocaust Denial cartoon contest will attract participants from more than 50 countries. Emphasis will also be placed on caricatures dehumanizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Even more disturbing on this Holocaust Memorial Day, representatives of the Iranian Regime are in Europe meeting heads of state and captains of industry to sign major economic agreements. This year marks the normalization of relations with a regime that denies the Holocaust while it openly prepares for another, a fundamental element of the Regime's ideology. 

 

On this Holocaust Memorial Day, nations of Europe, where the Holocaust was actually planned and perpetrated, and other leading nations, like the United States, are not only engaged in economic relations with this human-rights-abusing nation but are now accepting it as a stablizing force in the blood-drenched Middle East. The fact that on Holocaust Memorial Day, European Governments are hosting a representative of a regime that is dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish state, and a regime with a dismal human rights record which subjugates women and religious minorities, is a tragedy. It is a tragedy for Europe. It represents the selling of fundamental principles of democracy and human rights for two pieces of silver. Profit and short-term gain have replaced notions of democratic principles, the rights of Iranian citizens, and the memory of the victims of the Shoah.

 

The last time Europe set aside values of human decency for short term gain, not only did the Holocaust occur, but Europe was essentially destroyed.  It is inevitable that setting aside democratic principles will have a cost. Antisemitism begins with Jews but never ends with Jews. The deadly virus of hate affects the very fabric of society.  The question is what the cost will be and when will the chickens come home to roost. 

 

Dr. Charles Asher Small is a CIJR Academic Fellow

 

Contents

                                       

PALESTINIANS ARE KNOWINGLY BRINGING KNIVES

TO A GUN FIGHT. THESE ARE SUICIDE ATTACKS                                                   

                               David Sachs

National Post, Jan. 28, 2016

 

Since mid-September, more than three out of every four people killed in Israeli-Palestinian conflicts have been Palestinian. Sounds like Israel is the aggressor, doesn’t it? In fact, for the last four months, Palestinians have waged a terror campaign of random civilian attacks, often using cars and knives as weapons. This wave has been called the “Stabbing Intifada.”

 

Among these random attacks on Israelis, which are supported by the Palestinian leadership, a pregnant mother was stabbed, a mother of six was killed in front of her children, a 15-month-old baby and her mother were rammed by a car and a 13-year-old girl and an 80-year-old woman were also stabbed. In all, 30 victims have died in over 100 attacks in the last four months — thank God, it’s hard to kill with a knife, particularly in a country with so much security — and close to 300 Israelis have been wounded. Sixty Palestinian attackers have been arrested and over 90 have been shot and killed while carrying out their attacks.

 

Israel is often been accused of using “disproportionate force” because of such death toll ratios. That accusation is absurd. After all, if Palestinians continue to stab, and get killed for it at a high rate, should they be allowed to kill a few Jews to catch up? No society on Earth would attempt to protect murderers and purposely leave victims more vulnerable.

 

When someone is trying to stab a child, you shoot them, if you can. The attackers are counting on this, in fact. These are suicide attacks. They are knowingly bringing a knife to a gun fight. Martyrdom, or dying for the cause, is seen as an honour for many Palestinians. Their families are rewarded by the Palestinian government and West Bank streets are often named after them. The Palestinian leadership uses the statistics on the “disproportionate” death toll to fuel their people’s rage, to encourage copycat attacks against Jews in France and to arm the Western anti-Israel movement with more “proof” of the evilness of the Jewish state.

 

The broader picture of the conflict between Israel and Palestinian forces is similar. More Palestinians are killed than Israelis, and Israel is condemned for using “disproportionate force.” But should Israel ignore Hamas rocket attacks until some magically sufficient number of Israelis have been killed? If Israel does retaliate, with better bombs delivered by jets, but their attackers still don’t stop, regardless of their losses, should Israel just give up and accept the attacks?

 

In 2008, bragging of the war crime of using human shields, Hamas MP Fathi Hammad said, “The Palestinian people has developed its (methods) of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry.” Former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh echoed this when he said, “We love death like our enemies love life.”

 

When a society worships death, honours suicide attackers and forces civilians to serve as human shields, they are going to have a high death count. As I mentioned above, this is their stated goal. In 1957, the future prime minister of Israel, Golda Meir, captured the horror of the situation in a way that still rings true: “We can forgive (them) for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with (them) when they love their children more than they hate us.”

 

“Disproportionate force” is a code word for Jews winning. Only Israel — the one Jewish state in the world — has this concept used against it. When Russia kills hundreds of Syrian civilians, none of whom are threatening Russia, we hear no talk of a proportionate response. When Saudi Arabia bombs civilians and hospitals in Yemen, there is hardly any attention paid to it in Western media. That is what is disproportionate.

 

So when Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion stated this week that Canada is concerned over the violence that has taken place in Israel and the West Bank over the past 100 days and called “for all efforts to be made to reduce violence,” one has to wonder: why is the context of the violence not mentioned? And what exactly is Israel to do? Let them stab?    

                                                                       

 

Contents                       

SPECIAL REPORT:

GLOBE AND MAIL BIAS AGAINST ISRAEL CONTINUES UNABATED

Mike Fegelman

Honest Reporting, Jan. 21, 2016 

 

What our media report today, often times becomes foreign policy tomorrow. In Canada, the Globe and Mail, our country’s “paper of record” prides itself as being a broadsheet of influence whose reporting and commentary platforms are observed by our nation’s thought leaders and policy makers. Though duty bound at being impartial, fair, accurate and balanced, in the past couple months, the Globe has produced problematic content with an overt anti-Israel slant and has failed to remedy its journalist shortcomings.

 

Here are just five recent examples of Globe and Mail media bias against Israel:

 

1) Globe gives platform to incendiary Michael Bell commentary: Writing in the Globe and Mail on December 14, Michael Bell, former Canadian ambassador to Israel and co-director of the Jerusalem Old City Initiative, excused Palestinian terrorism while baselessly charging that a “Judaization” of Jerusalem exists. In truth, Bell’s op-ed was just another example of Palestinian incitement. Without substantiation, Bell claimed Israeli “zealots” are attempting to change the Temple Mount’s status quo while seeking the destruction of the Al Aqsa Mosque, efforts which Bell claimed are prompting Palestinians to commit terrorism.

 

Bell claimed: “The spate of frequent and growing knife attacks has been provoked by the perhaps unsurprising misperception that Mr. Netanyahu plans to change the “status quo” step by step, given the pressures he is subject to.” As commentator Richard Levy observed: “Mr. Bell is determined to put a halo around the violent and often murderous knifings by those whose passions are inflamed by such incendiary charges. He says that “frequent knifings by Palestinians” are “in reaction to these perceived encroachments”. Note the passive voice which makes the sequence of events look like a physical phenomenon. Perception of an undesired outcome inexorably leads to knifings. In the same way that a very strong wind leads to branches breaking. Bell outdoes himself in making it clear that persons stabbing other persons on the street with intent to maim and kill merit a free pass, when he sums up his whitewashing analysis by writing: “The spate of frequent and growing knife attacks has been provoked by the perhaps unsurprising misperception that Mr. Netanyahu plans to change the “status quo” step by step, given the pressures he is subject to.” The misperception (of change to the status quo) is “unsurprising” in Mr. Bell’s words (even though Mr. Netanyahu strongly denied it). So naturally ” knife attacks” were provoked. It is as if, in Bell’s mind, the knives took action on their own without human control instead of being wielded by persons who stab randomly choosing pedestrians to death because of a misperception.”

 

In truth, as Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, recently put it: “Israel stringently maintains the status quo on the Temple Mount. Last year, some 3.5 million Muslims visited the Temple Mount alongside some 200,000 Christians and 12,000 Jews. Only Muslims are allowed to pray on the Mount, and non-Muslims may visit only at specified times, which have not changed. Though the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site—where Solomon built his Temple some 3,000 years ago—Israel will not allow a change in the status quo. The ones trying to change the status quo are Palestinians, who are violently trying to prevent Jews and Christians from even visiting a site holy to all three faiths.”

 

Since Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967, Dermer observed, “Israel has vigorously protected the holy sites of all faiths, including al-Aqsa. In the Middle East, where militant Islamists desecrate and destroy churches, synagogues, world heritage sites, as well as each other’s mosques, Israel is the only guarantor of Jerusalem’s holy places. Palestinians have been propagating the “al-Aqsa is in danger” myth since at least 1929, when the Palestinian icon, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, used it to inspire the massacre of Jews in Hebron and elsewhere. Nearly a century later, the mosque remains unharmed, but the lie persists.”

 

Those who protest the “Judaization” of Jerusalem are themselves guilty of trying to deny and destroy Jewish history in Jerusalem. Rather than “Judaization,” the facts point to a systematic de-Judaizing of Jerusalem by the Palestinian leadership evident in illegal Arab building in Jerusalem and the wanton destruction of ancient Jewish artifacts by the Waqf. Furthermore, Interior Ministry statistics show Jerusalem’s Arab population has increased faster than the Jewish population, from 27% to 37.3% of total Jerusalemites, with a projected Arab majority by 2040. This speaks arguably to an “Arabization” of Jerusalem.

 

2) Globe whitewashes Palestinian terror: On December 15, HRC called on the Globe and Mail to amend a headline to the following article it published the day prior on its website which whitewashed Palestinian terror and which was recirculated via the Globe’s Twitter account: As a result of this misleading headline, readers may have wrongly concluded that this was a simple traffic accident, whereas Israeli police claimed that the Palestinian man intentionally rammed his car into a bus stop and wounded 14 Israelis in what they referred to as a terror attack. One baby in fact, had to undergo extensive surgery to save his foot. Importantly, the Hamas terror group claimed that the Jerusalem car-rammer was a member of theirs and within this terrorist’s car, was an axe that the Israelis believe shows he was prepared to inflict further carnage post attack.

 

In the interests of fairness, accuracy and best informing Globe and Mail readers, we submitted to the Globe that this headline should be amended to reference Israeli claims that an attack took place, or that the Palestinian was an “assailant”. Or, instead of placing emphasis on the death of this Palestinian, perhaps an appropriate headline would state “Fourteen Israelis wounded in Palestinian car ramming attack in Jerusalem: police”. This was no simple traffic accident and the Globe should be familiar with how readers are more inclined to read a headline exclusively and not the article itself. Accuracy, fairness, and balance is of paramount concern in headlines, and it’s compounded by the fact that these headlines become the message of Twitter blasts. Though the Globe circulated our complaint to their editors, to our dismay, the Globe did not feel a correction was needed.

 

3) Mark Mackinnon’s Report About Palestinian Refugees was Misleading and Inaccurate: Also on December 15, HRC called on the Globe to publish a correction and to take remedial action in regards to a misleading and inaccurate front page report by Mark Mackinnon entitled “Impoverished war-weary Palestinians remain the forgotten refugees”. Mackinnon wrote the following: “Like millions of Palestinians scattered around the Middle East, the 46-year-old Mr. al-Laham was born a refugee. He grew up in the Yarmouk camp, on the edge of Damascus, where his parents lived after fleeing their home in Jaffa during the 1948 war that created the state of Israel.“

 

The concept that a war – rather than the United Nations vote to partition Palestine – created the State of Israel,  is not just an error, but is tantamount to historical revisionism. In reality, the Partition Plan set out to create two states (a Jewish and an Arab state) and while the Jews accepted partition, the Arabs rejected it and combined Arab armies launched a war to wipe the Jewish presence from the region. This error was deserving of a corrective notice.

 

Mr. Mackinnon also stated: “He was a toddler when his family moved from Yarmouk to Lebanon’s Shatila refugee camp to escape a Syrian crackdown on Palestinian groups, and just 13 when they fled back to Yarmouk after Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, which included a bloody massacre of Palestinians living in Shatila that was carried out by Israel’s Lebanese Christian allies.”

 

In this sentence, readers likely concluded that Mr. Mackinnon was implying that Israel backed and perhaps even ordered the Christian Phalangist’s massacring of these Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila. This is misleading. In fact, as Jewish Virtual Library notes: “The Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia was responsible for the massacres that occurred at the two Beirut-area refugee camps on September 16-17, 1982. Israeli troops allowed the Phalangists to enter Sabra and Shatila to root out terrorist cells believed located there. It had been estimated that there may have been up to 200 armed men in the camps working out of the countless bunkers built by the PLO over the years, and stocked with generous reserves of ammunition…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents                       

ASSOCIATED PRESS SEMANTICS – A SIMPLE TACTIC FOR BIAS

Manfred Gerstenfeld

CIJR, Jan. 13, 2013

 

Ability to manipulate language is crucial if a journalist is to transmit a biased message.  Apparently Associated Press journalists have both the ability to manipulate language and the guidelines driving them to do so. AP apparently believes that Palestinians can never be terrorists, however many Israeli soldiers and civilians they kill or attempt to kill, whether with bullets, knives, stones or scissors.

 

One wonders whether journalists new to AP’s Israel office get an introductory session where they are told that they must not — when it is on behalf of AP — make use of the words “Palestinian terrorists.” It seems however AP-approved to quote an Israeli official saying that a perpetrator of a terror attack is a terrorist, as long as the journalist does not use such incendiary terminology himself. The same goes for terms such as “Palestinian attackers” and “assailants.”

 

Perhaps newcomers are also offered a convenient list of AP-approved synonyms for use in describing murderous activities by Palestinians which sidestep what the terrorists actually do:  murder others, particularly civilians, out of ideological motives.

 

Thus the Palestinian killer of Israelis becomes, in the agency’s jargon, a Palestinian extremist, militant, gunman, lone wolf, or a Palestinian rebel. The United States considers Hamas and Hezbollah to be terrorist groups. They are on the list of foreign terror organizations prepared by the US Department of State, France,  Canada, and Australia. The EU considers both to be terrorist organizations as well. Despite this official categorization, the AP commonly refers to Hamas and Hezbollah as “militant” organizations.

 

One might wrongly assume that the AP believes it impossible for Muslims to be terrorists. However when spouses Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik shot fourteen civilians dead in San Bernardino, California on December 2, 2015, apparently without the support of any organization, the AP showed no such restraint.  It described them as terrorists, without quotation marks. It did not term them “gunmen” or “lone wolves.” AP reporting on members of the Pakistan-based Muslim terror group that carried out the 2006 Mumbai attacks, killing more than 160 people, also described them unequivocally as terrorists, again without quotation marks. The AP also used this term for the ISIS-backed terrorists who perpetrated a series of attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 that killed 130 people. Even Richard Reid, the Muslim “Shoe Bomber” who was caught before he managed to commit an intended act of terror on a 2001 flight was described as a “terrorist plotter,” without quotation marks, by the AP.

 

The large international news agencies are a major source of information abroad concerning Israel. Their bulletins are used by many media channels worldwide, and when this information is disproportionally and incorrectly negative about Israel, the impact of that negativity has far reaching consequences on a global level. It is therefore hugely important to expose double standards in their reporting of what may falsely appear to be ‘facts on the ground.’ There is much more to say about the special set of semantics the AP uses in anything to do with Israel. In 2001, 16 year old Shoshana Ben-Yishai was murdered in a random Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem. With complete irrelevance to the attack, the AP described the victim as a “settler,” because she lived in Beitar Illit, roughly one mile away from the Green Line…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Manfred Gerstenfeld is a CIJR Academic Fellow

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

 

On Topic

 

How Much Do Young People Know About the Holocaust?: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 28, 2016—One author interviewed multiple random university students to find out what they knew about World War II. The answer: Almost nothing.

UN Condemns Israel as the World Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day: IPT, Jan. 29, 2016— As the world commemorated the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the United Nations (U.N.) compared Palestinians to the Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide, according to an opinion piece by Anne Bayefsky posted on FoxNews.

Italy Has Special Responsibility to Remember Holocaust, Envoy Says: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 28, 2016—Former Nazi ally Italy “was in the middle of the war [and] has a special responsibility” to commemorate the genocide of the Jews, Ambassador Francesco Maria Talo told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, as the world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Here’s a Holocaust Story with a Happy Ending: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 28, 2016—Most of the major figures or sites of modern European history play at least a minor role in this book. Not only do we see Germany’s Jewish laws play out, the obstinance of German Jewry in refusing to believe Germany would turn on them, the flight of often newly-impoverished Jews to Palestine (the real one), the German railroad system, Auschwitz, and German Communists, but the Berlin Wall, and Checkpoint Charlie also have cameos.

 

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

Manfred Gerstenfeld: ASSOCIATED PRESS SEMANTICS – A SIMPLE TACTIC FOR BIAS

 

 

Ability to manipulate language is crucial if a journalist is to transmit a biased message.  Apparently Associated Press journalists have both the ability to manipulate language and the guidelines driving them to do so. AP apparently believes that Palestinians can never be terrorists, however many Israeli soldiers and civilians they kill or attempt to kill, whether with bullets, knives, stones or scissors.

 

One wonders whether journalists new to AP’s Israel office get an introductory session where they are told that they must not — when it is on behalf of AP — make use of the words “Palestinian terrorists.” It seems however AP-approved to quote an Israeli official saying that a perpetrator of a terror attack is a terrorist, as long as the journalist does not use such incendiary terminology himself.[1] [2]  The same goes for terms such as “Palestinian attackers” and “assailants.”[3]

 

Perhaps newcomers are also offered a convenient list of AP-approved synonyms for use in describing murderous activities by Palestinians which sidestep what the terrorists actually do:  murder others, particularly civilians, out of ideological motives.

 

Thus the Palestinian killer of Israelis becomes, in the agency’s jargon, a Palestinian extremist,[4] militant,[5] gunman,[6] lone wolf,[7] or a Palestinian rebel.[8] The United States considers Hamas and Hezbollah to be terrorist groups.[9] They are on the list of foreign terror organizations prepared by the US Department of State, France, [10] Canada,[11] and Australia.[12] The EU considers both to be terrorist organizations as well.[13] Despite this official categorization, the AP commonly refers to Hamas[14] [15] and Hezbollah[16] [17] as “militant” organizations.

 

One might wrongly assume that the AP believes it impossible for Muslims to be terrorists. However when spouses Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik shot fourteen civilians dead in San Bernardino, California on December 2, 2015, apparently without the support of any organization, the AP showed no such restraint.  It described them as terrorists, without quotation marks.[18] It did not term them “gunmen” or “lone wolves.” AP reporting on members of the Pakistan-based Muslim terror group that carried out the 2006 Mumbai attacks, killing more than 160 people, also described them unequivocally as terrorists, again without quotation marks.[19] The AP also used this term for the ISIS-backed terrorists who perpetrated a series of attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 that killed 130 people.[20] Even Richard Reid, the Muslim “Shoe Bomber” who was caught before he managed to commit an intended act of terror on a 2001 flight was described as a “terrorist plotter,” without quotation marks, by the AP.[21]

 

The large international news agencies are a major source of information abroad concerning Israel. Their bulletins are used by many media channels worldwide, and when this information is disproportionally and incorrectly negative about Israel, the impact of that negativity has far reaching consequences on a global level. It is therefore hugely important to expose double standards in their reporting of what may falsely appear to be ‘facts on the ground.’

 

There is much more to say about the special set of semantics the AP uses in anything to do with Israel. In 2001, 16 year old Shoshana Ben-Yishai was murdered in a random Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem. With complete irrelevance to the attack, the AP described the victim as a “settler,” because she lived in Beitar Illit, roughly one mile away from the Green Line.

Furthermore, the AP went on to describe the Israeli civilian who shot and killed Ben-Yishai’s terrorist murderer as a “West Bank settler,” again information totally irrelevant to the attack itself which took place in Israel’s capital. HonestReporting rightly noted that “labeling Israelis as anything less than “civilians” suggests that they are combatants, and helps legitimize Palestinian attacks against them.”[22]

 

Manipulating headlines is another well-known technique used to distort news reporting. At the height of the Second Intifada in 2002, the AP reported on two incidents involving Palestinian terrorists on the same day. In one incident, a Palestinian terrorist opened fire at random in downtown Jerusalem, wounding eight Israelis. That same day Israel uncovered a Hamas bomb factory in the West Bank and killed the four terrorists who operated it. The AP headline for that day was “Israel Kills 4, Palestinian Wounds 8.”[23] In another incident several days later a Palestinian terrorist used a stolen car to run over police, soldiers and pedestrians before being shot. The AP headline for this incident: “Palestinian shot dead in Tel Aviv.”[24]

 

In view of the many bulletins the AP puts out about events concerning Israel and the way it influences worldwide perception of Israel’s actions, a detailed study is needed to investigate the AP’s editorial policies in far more depth than has been done to date. Former AP journalist Matti Freedman published inside information which indicated a structural prejudice against Israel in the agency.[25] A major media with bias against Israel should be analyzed by the Israeli authorities like any other hostile force.

 

One can only wonder what would happen if exposure of AP was moved up to the government level.  How would the AP react if the Government spokesperson would open every press conference with a list the biased semantics and headlines used by AP since the previous press conference? The agency’s many omissions of relevant context should be added, as well as its fabrications and, mischaracterizations, rounding off with its disrespect for civilian deaths. How many times would such public and detailed exposure be needed before the AP headquarters realize that their manipulations are now transparent and should be discontinued if they want to maintain any journalistic credibility?



[1] Daniella Cheslow, “2 Palestinian attackers killed, 2 Israelis die in Jerusalem,” Associated Press, Las Vegas Sun, 23 December 2015.

[2] Tia Goldenberg, “Palestinian attacks in Tel Aviv, West Bank leave 5 dead,” Associated Press, 19 November 2016.

[3] Daniella Cheslow, “Israel: Palestinian assailant killed, 2 protesters dead,” AP, The Big Story, 11 December 2015.

[4] Zeina Karam, “Palestinian extremist dies in Lebanon,” Associated Press, Fox News, 20 July 2008.

[5] Bassem Mroue and Josef Federman, “Notorious Lebanese militant killed in Syria airstrike,” Associated Press, 20 December 2015.

[6] Nebi Qena, “Palestinian kills 2 Israelis; 2 Palestinians die in clashes,” Associated Press, 13 November 2015.

[7] Mohammed Daraghmeh and Karin Laub, “Fueled by rage, Palestinian lone wolf attacks in 3rd month, Associated Press, 9 December 2015.

[8] Ibrahim Barzak, “Palestinian Rebels Attack Gaza Base, Killing 4 Israelis,” Associated Press, The Ledger, 14 January 2005.

[9] “Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” Bureau of Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State.

[10] “Liste Unique de Gels,” Ministére des finances et des comptes publics, République Française, 21 December 2015.

[11] “Currently listed entities,” Public Safety Canada, Government of Canada, 2 December 2015.

[12] “Listed terrorist organizations,” Australian National Security, Australian Government.

[13] “Council Decision (CFSP),” 2015/1334,” The Council of the European Union, 31 July 2015.

[14] Josef Federman, “Amid detente with Hamas, Israel says 2 citizens held in Gaza,” Associated Press, 9 July 2015.

[15] Fares Akram, “UN envoy says Gaza reconstruction speeding up,” Associated Press, 17 September 2015.

[16] “Israel wraps up missile defence testing amid tensions with Hezbollah,” Associated Press, Toronto Star, 21 December 2015.

[17] “Bulgaria links Hezbollah to bombing of Israelis,” Associated Press, CBS News, 5 February 2013.

[18] Brian Melley, “Family ties can help shield terrorists from detection,” Associated Press, 19 December 2015.

[19] Eileen Sullivan and Sofia Tareen, “US Terrorist Links Pakistani ISI to Mumbai Attacks,” Associated Press, Homeland Security Committee, 24 May 2011.

[20] “The diabolical terrorist plotting behind the Paris attacks,” Associated Press, New York Post, 10 December 2015.

[21] Erica Werner, “House set to tighten restrictions on visa-free travel to US,” Associated Press, 7 December 2015.

[22] “Teen Settler,” HonestReporting, 5 November 2001.

[23] Jason Keyser, “Israel Kills 4; Palestinian Wounds 8,” Associated Press, AP News Archive, 22 January 2002.

[24] “Dishonest Reporting ‘Award’ for 2002,” HonestReporting, 30 December 2002.

[25] Matti Friedman, “An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth,” Tablet, 26 August 2014.

 

 

JEWISH-ISRAELI VICTIMS OF TERRORISM ARE OF LITTLE CONSEQUENCE FOR NYT & BBC

When Will Obama and the West Listen to Hamas?: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 10, 2015 — On Tuesday night, Channel 10 broadcast an interview with PLO chief and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which Abbas admitted publicly for the first time that he rejected the peace plan then prime minister Ehud Olmert offered him in 2008.

Gaza Theme Parties and Weddings Now Feature Celebrations of Knife Attacks: Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, Nov., 2015 — Gaza-based Felesteen reports that Gazans are now creating knife- and dagger-based theme parties and weddings in order to celebrate the wave of terror attacks that have taken place across Israel over the past six weeks.

Bankruptcy and Mud: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 14, 2015 — Palestinian bloggers were amazed when Israelis protested the cruel slaughter of chickens in poultry-packing plants, and during epidemics.

What Do Palestinians Want?: Daniel Polisar, Mosaic, Nov. 2, 2015— The most recent wave of Palestinian terror attacks, now entering its second month, has been mainly the work of “lone wolf” operators running over Israeli civilians, soldiers, and policemen with cars or stabbing them with knives.

 

 

On Topic Links

 

Abbas Accuses Israel of Carrying Out 'Extrajudicial Killings' of Palestinians: Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 23, 2015

Amnesia on Settlements Afflicts Martin Indyk: Benyamin Korn, Algemeiner, Nov. 20, 2015  

Luxury Alongside Poverty in the Palestinian Authority: JCPA, Nov. 5, 2015

Fighting Facebook, Terror Victim’s Son Enlists Knesset in Anti-Incitement War: Renee Ghert-Zand, Times of Israel, Nov. 26, 2015                                                                        

 

 

WHEN WILL OBAMA AND THE WEST LISTEN TO HAMAS?                                                     

Khaled Abu Toameh

           Gatestone Institute, Nov. 10, 2015

 

As President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were talking about the two-state solution during their meeting in the White House…the Palestinian Hamas movement reiterated its intention to destroy Israel. Hamas's announcement shows that the two-state solution is not a recipe for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The announcement also shows that all those who have been talking about a change in Hamas's position towards Israel continue to live in an illusion.

 

As the Obama-Netanyahu meeting was underway, senior Hamas figure Musa Abu Marzouk issued a statement in which he declared: "We will never negotiate with the Zionist entity and we will never recognize its right to exist. We will continue to resist the Zionist entity until it vanishes, whether they like it or not. The soldiers of the Qassam [Hamas's armed wing] were founded to liberate Palestine, even if some have recognized Israel. We want a state from the (Jordan) river to the [Mediterranean] sea."

 

Abu Marzouk's remarks came in response to statements made by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas during a meeting with Egyptian journalists in Cairo on Sunday night. Abbas was quoted as telling the Egyptian journalists that Hamas and Israel were conducting "direct negotiations" to establish a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and parts of the Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Abbas claimed that ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi had offered to annex 1000 square kilometers of Sinai to the Gaza Strip – an offer he (Abbas) had categorically rejected.

 

Abu Marzouk's latest threats to eliminate Israel are not only directed against Abbas, but also towards President Obama and those in the international community who continue to support the idea of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel. What he and other Hamas leaders are saying is very clear: Even if a Palestinian state is established in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, Hamas and other Palestinians will continue to fight until Israel is completely destroyed.

 

In other words, Hamas is openly stating that it will use any future Palestinian state as a launching pad to attack and eliminate Israel. But Hamas's message has obviously not reached the White House and other Western governments, where decision-makers continue to bury their heads in the sand, refusing to see or hear what some Palestinians are saying. Hamas and many other Palestinians are completely opposed to a two-state solution: they believe that Israel has no right to exist — period — in this part of the world. The only solution they are prepared to accept is one that sees Israel wiped off the face of the earth.

 

Hamas is not a small opposition party in the Palestinian territories that could be dismissed as a minor player. Hamas is a large Islamist movement, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood that controls the entire Gaza Strip with its population of 1.8 million Palestinians. Hamas has its own security forces, militias, weapons and government institutions. Since its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Hamas and its political allies have turned the coastal area into a semi-independent Islamist emirate.

 

Since then, Hamas has used the Gaza Strip as a launching pad to attack Israel with tens of thousands of rockets and missiles. And Hamas leaders have repeatedly stated that their chief goal is to "liberate" not only the West Bank and east Jerusalem, but "all of Palestine." In short, Hamas wants to replace Israel with an Islamist empire where non-Muslims would be permitted to live as a minority.

 

Hamas considers all Jews as "settlers" and "colonialists" who live in "settlements" such as Beersheba, Rishon Lezion, Ashdod and Bat Yam. Hamas does not differentiate between a Jew living in Ma'aleh Adumim or Gush Etzion (on the West Bank) and Tel Aviv, Haifa and Ramat Gan. That is why the Hamas media and leaders refer to Beersheba and Ra'anana, well within the "pre-1967 borders," as "occupied" cities.

 

The Obama Administration and Western governments can talk as much as they like about the two-state solution. But so long as they refuse to listen to what Hamas and other Palestinians are saying, they will continue to engage in self-deception and hallucination. Even if President Abbas agrees to a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, he will never be able to persuade Hamas, Islamic Jihad and many other Palestinians to recognize Israel's right to exist. Under the current circumstances, where Hamas and other Palestinians continue to dream about the destruction of Israel, any talk about a two-state solution is nothing but a joke.

 

The Obama Administration and the rest of the international community also need to understand that that the two-state solution has already been realized. In the end, the Palestinians got two states of their own: one in the Gaza Strip and another in the West Bank. The one in the Gaza Strip is run by folks are not much different from Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, while that in the West Bank is controlled by a president who has entered the 11th year of his four-year-term in office and as such is not even seen by his people as a "rightful" leader. This is a reality that the world, including Israel, will have to live with for many years to come. It is time for the world to stop listening only to President Abbas and Saeb Erekat, and start paying attention to what many other Palestinians such as Hamas are saying, day and night, regarding their commitment to destroy Israel.                       

                                                  

                                                                       

Contents

                       

   

 

GAZA THEME PARTIES AND WEDDINGS NOW

FEATURE CELEBRATIONS OF KNIFE ATTACKS                                                                         

Elder of Ziyon

                                Algemeiner, Nov. 20, 2015  

 

Gaza-based Felesteen reports that Gazans are now creating knife- and dagger-based theme parties and weddings in order to celebrate the wave of terror attacks that have taken place across Israel over the past six weeks. At weddings and other parties, children are now wearing military uniforms — and young men are displaying daggers and knives. Singers are rhapsodizing about the “heroes” who stab Jews, and calling for more attacks.

 

Fadi Abu Jabb, 27, wore military trousers on the eve of his wedding and placed a dagger on his waist during a bachelor party. Fadi’s friends and relatives shared his joy by dancing with their own knives, to show their support for terror attacks in Jerusalem.

 

Fadi said that the military uniform was his fiancee’s idea, and that his party was meant to show that all Palestinian people support “armed resistance,” and car-rammings, stabbings, and shootings in the West Bank and Jerusalem. He prayed for God to bless him and give him the ability to set up a jihadist family to be part of the Palestine Liberation Army, Allah willing.

In a similar scene, at the wedding party of Murad Hussein there were songs associated with the stabbings. Twelve children in keffiyehs performed. They put on a comic play showing Palestinians attacking a group of Jews causing them to flee — even though they had sub-machine guns — to the amusement of the audience.

 

Majed Nofal, a tailor in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in northern Gaza City, said, “There is a big demand for the purchase of military clothing by citizens, who wear them during special events such as parties and weddings.” He also said he provides military clothing for women who wear them at their own parties as well.    

                                                       

Contents

                       

   

BANKRUPTCY AND MUD                                      

                                Bassam Tawil

          Gatestone Institute, Nov. 14, 2015

                                   

Palestinian bloggers were amazed when Israelis protested the cruel slaughter of chickens in poultry-packing plants, and during epidemics. "If only we Arabs," they wrote, "who kill people cruelly and wholesale, cared as much about people as the Jews care about animals."

 

Civilian cameras often record events of startling cruelty carried out in Arab countries, in areas of conflict. We often hear Arabs privately saying, "The Zionists have never done to us what we do to ourselves." This is usually said by Syrians, who have hated the Jews for generations, when they give their thanks for the medical treatment they receive in Israel. Despite the hatred fostered by Hamas, after the most recent military operation, many Gazans admitted that the IDF did in fact warn civilians before attacking terrorist targets protected by "human shields."

 

The pictures of an armed Israeli soldier who did not strike back when he was viciously attacked by Palestinian women and children in Nebi Saleh, amazed many regional bloggers. "If such a thing had happened to us," they wrote on Twitter accounts, "the soldier would have killed his attackers without hesitation."

 

As a Palestinian, I know that such situations are produced by Palestinians whose ability to stage them is professional and I know the source of their income. They cynically exploit the Israeli political "left," and enlist photographers to document the events for European-funded "Pallywood" media manipulation.

 

Every Palestinian youth knows that the weekly riots at the "traditional friction points" serve as social events, later used by Palestinians operatives for propaganda. Often, in the finest Hollywood tradition, parties are held after the "conflict action scenes." The festivities sometimes include sex and drugs with the blond, blue-eyed volunteers from abroad, to celebrate another successful encounter with the Israeli security forces.

 

The escalating Palestinian riot routine takes into consideration that risks are few, because of IDF restraint in dealing with "civilians," as we saw in Nebi Saleh when the Israeli soldier who was attacked and bitten did not respond with gunfire to defend himself. Israel's restraint only makes the slaughter, rape and expulsion of Muslims at the hands of Muslims seem all the more vicious.

 

Many of the bankrupt European countries hostile to Israel now find themselves faced with a massive influx of Middle Eastern and African refugees. They are the brothers and sisters of the hundreds of thousands of murdered Muslims and the millions of refugees in tents, with only Allah (s.w.a.t) to pity and protect them. Many die in leaky boats, in a desperate attempt to reach the safe shores of Europe. Those who do make it safely, join the Muslims in the Islamic enclaves where they have been plotting against their hosts for years.

 

The West has waited far too long to wake up to the realization that the Palestinian problem is not the cause of regional events. Therefore, The West's obsession with forcing a "solution" on Israel and the Palestinians will change nothing for the better, it will only expand the catastrophe to the doorstep of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the only islands of security and stability for Arabs, Christians and Jews in the Middle East.

 

In the shadow of the calamity of the refugees, we are slowly understanding that the issue of the return of the Palestinians to "Palestine," which we hang on to so frantically, is an anachronistic, politically manipulated mirage. There is nothing to be done but settle the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees as part of the overall settlement of all the Middle Eastern refugees — if, that is, our Arab brothers ever succeed in extricating themselves from the swamp of the "Arab Spring."

 

What is strange is that the Gulf States, particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which fund Islamic terrorism and pay the salaries of the radical clerics who incite murder and destruction, are silent when it comes to accepting refugees into their countries. Saudi Arabia has hundreds of thousands of empty, air-conditioned tents at its disposal, used only during the hajj pilgrimage. They could help shelter the millions of Sunni Muslim Syrian and Iraqi refugees. But Saudi Arabia does not open its gates to them, not even to a small number.

 

Now, by accusing each other for our refusal, hesitation and rejection of every proposal that might bring the Israelis to the negotiating table, we have finally managed to put an end to the "problem of Palestine." As our elders have said for years: "Falastin ['Palestine' in Arabic] begins with falas [bankruptcy] and ends with teen [mud]."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Contents

                       

WHAT DO PALESTINIANS WANT?                                                                         

Daniel Polisar                                                                                               

Mosaic, Nov. 2, 2015

 

The most recent wave of Palestinian terror attacks, now entering its second month, has been mainly the work of “lone wolf” operators running over Israeli civilians, soldiers, and policemen with cars or stabbing them with knives. The perpetrators, many in or just beyond their teenage years, are not, for the most part, activists in the leading militant organizations. They have been setting forth to find targets with the expectation, generally fulfilled, that after scoring a casualty or two they will be killed or badly wounded. What drives these young Palestinians, experts say, is a viral social-media campaign centered on claims that the Jews are endangering the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and that Israel is executing Palestinian children.

 

Pundits and analysts in Israel and the West, struck by the elements that make this round of violence different from its predecessors over the past decade-and-a-half—which typically featured well-orchestrated shootings, suicide bombings, or rocket fire—have focused on the motivations of individual attackers, on how and why the Palestinian political and religious leadership has been engaging in incitement, and on what Israeli officials or American mediators might do to quell the violence.

 

Absent almost entirely from this discussion has been any attempt to understand the perspective of everyday Palestinians. Yet it is precisely the climate of public opinion that shapes and in turn is shaped by the declarations of Palestinian leaders, and that creates the atmosphere in which young people choose whether to wake up in the morning, pull a knife from the family kitchen, and go out in search of martyrdom. Whether commentators are ignoring the views of mainstream Palestinians out of a mistaken belief that public opinion does not matter in dictatorships, or out of a dismissive sense that they are powerless pawns whose fate is decided by their leaders, Israel, or regional and world powers, the omission is both patronizing and likely to lead to significant misunderstandings of what is happening. In this essay I aim to fill the lacuna by addressing what Palestinians think both about violence against Israelis and about the core issues that supply its context and justification.

 

My interest in Arab public opinion in the West Bank and Gaza is longstanding, dating back to the time regular surveying began there shortly before the 1993 Oslo accords between Israel and the PLO. In 1996, I appeared on a panel with Khalil Shikaki, the pioneering director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR); since then, I have been increasingly impressed with his insights and his institute’s professionalism. I therefore took particular notice of a PSR survey that appeared after the August 2014 ceasefire ending the latest war between Israel and Hamas. It reported, among other findings, that fully 79 percent of Palestinians believed Hamas had won the war and only 3 percent saw Israel as the victor. So convinced were respondents of their side’s strength that nine in ten favored continued rocket fire at Israel’s cities unless the blockade of Gaza were lifted, 64 percent declared their support for “armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel” (meaning, among other things, suicide bombings in Israeli population centers), and 54 percent applauded the event that in large measure had precipitated the 50-day war: the abduction and murder by Hamas operatives of three Israeli teenage boys hitchhiking home from school.

 

In the ensuing months, I read further polls from PSR and other research institutes to see whether support for violence would drop appreciably once the emotions fired by war had cooled. Yet despite a modest decline over time in most indicators, a majority continued to support virtually every kind of attack against Israelis about which they were asked—including rocket fire, suicide bombings, and stabbings. These and other findings led me back to the polls conducted in earlier years, and eventually to embarking on a comprehensive analysis of all reliable and publicly available surveys in the West Bank and Gaza over the past two decades.

 

For this project, I examined over 330 surveys carried out by the four major Palestinian research institutes, each of which has been conducting regular polls for a decade or more: the PSR headed by Shikaki and its predecessor, CPRS; the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC); the Birzeit Center for Development Studies (CDS), whose work was later continued under the same director by the Arab World for Research & Development (AWRAD); and the Opinion Polls and Survey Research Unit of An-Najah National University. Each of the four has conducted between 50 and 120 polls and has made the results available online in English (and generally in Arabic)…

 

Tellingly, poll respondents in the West Bank regularly voice strong criticism of President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) government that rules there, while those in Gaza often speak negatively about the Hamas leadership, so it appears that Palestinians are not cowed from giving their honest opinions. The consensus among informed scholars is therefore that the surveys are reliable, valid, and genuinely reflective of what Arab residents of the West Bank and Gaza think…

 

Since the establishment of the PA in 1994, the Palestinians have been beset by problems. The government has increasingly been viewed as corrupt, undemocratic, and unable to enforce law and order or to reform itself. The economy has generally been weak, infrastructure sub-par, and the PA unable at times to pay salaries. Since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, the Palestinian state-in-the-making has been divided, with Fatah continuing to rule the West Bank and all efforts at reconciliation a failure. The peace process with Israel has been stalled much of the time, in part because of periodic outbreaks of violence, and the handover of territory and authority to the PA has been far slower than envisioned in the Oslo accords.

 

Who is responsible for the problems plaguing the Palestinians? During the last two decades, the four institutes whose surveys I examined have asked numerous questions on this subject, and on 53 occasions have offered Israel as one of the possible answers. In all but one case, Israel was the answer most widely chosen, usually by a statistically significant margin—including when it came to problems that at least at first glance seemed largely internal. Among these were clashes between PA police and Hamas that left thirteen dead (1994), Palestinian economic problems (2000), the hindering of political reform in the PA (2001), Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to resign as prime minister (2003), lack of law and order in PA-held territories (2004), the blocking of reform in the PA (2004), the Hamas coup that wrested control of Gaza from Fatah (2007), a water crisis in the West Bank and Gaza (2010), a fuel shortage in Gaza (2012), the inability of the PA to pay its employees (2013), and the ongoing inability of Hamas and Fatah to reconcile (2015). A large majority of Palestinians were convinced that Israel sought deliberately to target civilians, and held Hamas blameless for positioning its leadership, fighters, and weapons in populated areas.

 

In matters that necessarily involved both Israel and the Palestinians, massive majorities blamed Israel and denied any responsibility on their side. Cases in point include the suspension of negotiations between Israel and the PLO (1997), the failure of talks at Camp David (2000), the breakdown of a ceasefire during the second intifada (2003), the collapse of the peace process (2004), the outbreak of the first Gaza war (2008), the non-implementation of the Oslo accords (2012), the outbreak of the second Gaza war (2012), and the breakdown of negotiations between the sides and the third Gaza war (2014).

 

So convinced were Palestinians that Israel was responsible for the Gaza wars, for example, that after each conflict, when asked by JMCC pollsters whether they believed it was “possible for the Palestinian side to avoid it, or was Israel planning to launch the war in all cases,” overwhelming majorities averred that Israel was intending to go to war regardless of Palestinian actions. Likewise, a large majority of Palestinians were convinced that Israel sought deliberately to target civilians, and held Hamas blameless for positioning its leadership, fighters, and weapons in populated areas…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    

                                        

On Topic

 

Abbas Accuses Israel of Carrying Out 'Extrajudicial Killings' of Palestinians: Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 23, 2015—Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas repeated his charge on Monday that Israel is seeking to change the status quo at the Temple Mount and carrying out “extrajudicial killings” of Palestinians.

Amnesia on Settlements Afflicts Martin Indyk: Benyamin Korn, Algemeiner, Nov. 20, 2015 —A form of amnesia must be affecting the Obama administration’s former chief Mideast negotiator, Martin Indyk. It is, however, a very selective kind of amnesia–he only forgets concessions that Israel has made.

Luxury Alongside Poverty in the Palestinian Authority: JCPA, Nov. 5, 2015—In communities throughout the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, a surprising degree of luxury exists alongside the poverty. This study includes “A Photo Album of Palestinian Luxury in the West Bank,” offering a more complete picture of living standards there. The truth is that alongside the slums of the old refugee camps, which the Palestinian government has done little to rehabilitate, a parallel Palestinian society is emerging.

Fighting Facebook, Terror Victim’s Son Enlists Knesset in Anti-Incitement War: Renee Ghert-Zand, Times of Israel, Nov. 26, 2015—Micah Avni marked four weeks since the burial of his father killed in a Jerusalem terror attack by visiting the Knesset Wednesday, where he urged lawmakers to do more to quash social media incitement in hopes of heading off another tragedy like the one that left his father dead.

 

                  

 

 

 

Manfred Gerstenfeld: DECADES OF EUROPEAN MEDIA BIAS AGAINST ISRAEL

 

 

 

 

The strong bias that many European media hold against Israel has been documented for decades by a great variety of analysts. One of the first to do so was The Jerusalem Post editor David Bar-Illan. He gave many examples of media prejudice in his book, Eye on the Media,[1] published in 1983 and based on his columns in the daily.

 

In a 1985 book, Israeli diplomat Sergio Minerbi analyzed six documentaries of the French-language Belgian TV station RTBF. These focused on the Middle East and were heavily biased against Israel.[2] Henry Weinberg devoted an entire chapter of his 1987 book, The Myth of the Jew in France, to the widespread prejudice of the French left-wing “quality” daily, Le Monde.[3]

 

During an interview some ten years after the publication of his book, Bar-Illan told me that the BBC was “by far the worst offender when it comes to Israel.” He said that there were hundreds of examples of BBC malevolence within the political sphere. Bar-Illan took the example of an incident in which a coffeehouse in Arab East Jerusalem collapsed due to structural problems. Jews and Arabs worked together to save lives. The BBC did not say a word about this collaboration; all they reported was that Arabs had suffered while repeating the libel that a bomb had been placed in the coffeehouse.[4]
 

The huge outburst of European anti-Semitism that has emerged over the past fifteen years has been most violent in France. The French media prejudice against Israel was covered in 2002 in a collection of ten essays by the anti-Semitism watchdog organization, Observatoire du Monde Juif, headed by Shmuel Trigano.[5]  Two essays were devoted to the bias of Le Monde, and an essay by Clément Weill Raynal analyzed the anti-Israel bias of the French press agency, Agence France Presse.[6]

 

In an interview in 2004 Trigano told me that the extreme power of the media represents a major danger to Western democracy. “Their attitude toward Israel and the Jews over the last few years has shown that they can pervert analysis, debate and criticism. We are dependent on a class of journalists with consensus political views. They read and co-opt each other’s opinions, without accountability to anyone. Freedom and democracy however, cannot coexist if truth and facts are obscured.”[7]

 

In 2005 I published a collection of interviews on European-Israeli relations in a book titled Europe and Israel an Expanding Abyss.  One of the interviewees, German Christian-Democrat parliamentarian Hildegard Müller, affirmed that the media is partly responsible for Israel’s problematic image. She mentioned that they often relay news items without confirming their veracity. Müller drew attention to the repeated use of particular images which she called “news preserves.” She also remarked that many newspapers obtain their news items from press agencies, such as Agence France Press, which then leads to similar reporting in many media.[8]

 

Another interviewee, Robert Wistrich, the leading academic scholar on anti-Semitism, stated that the media, together with politicians and society in general, “castigate, reproach, heavily criticize, and even demonize Israel. They paint a negative and stereotypical picture of the Jewish state, especially on television and in the press.”[9]

 

Former Israeli ambassador to the UK, Tzvi Shtauber, recounted during his interview that he was once visited by five members of a board of a British association of journalists. A prominent journalist made a demand of Shtauber which reflected how much Israel had been demonized: “We want your assurance, Mr. Ambassador, that it is not the official policy of the State of Israel to shoot journalists.”

 

Shtauber called the BBC a problem in itself: “Over the years I had endless conversations with them. Any viewer who for a consistent period looks at the BBC’s information gets a distorted picture…it derives from the BBC’s method of Broadcasting.”[10]   

 

A quantitative analysis of the BBC’s prejudice against Israel was undertaken by Trevor Asserson, a British litigation lawyer who has since immigrated to Israel. Between 2001 and 2004, he conducted four well-documented studies detailing the BBC’s systematic bias against Israel. Asserson mentioned that the BBC enjoys a monopoly derived from a legally binding contract with the British government. 

 

Asserson analyzed the BBC’s legal obligations as delineated in its charter, and identified fifteen guidelines. These included the obligation of the BBC to ensure that opposing views are well represented and the obligation of not allowing the audience to gauge reporters’ personal views. Asserson identified many cases in which the BBC breached several of these guidelines, and added that on some occasions, it broke most of them.

 

In order to determine the extent of its bias, Asserson conducted a forensic analysis of the BBC. He concluded that the “BBC’s news reports concerning Israel are distorted by omission, by inclusion, by only giving partial facts, by who is interviewed, and by the background information provided or lack of it.”

 

Since then, a variety of European media have been analyzed for bias against Israel. A recent study by Joël Kotek, for instance, shows how Israel was portrayed in a severely distorted manner in the French-speaking Belgian media during the 2014 Protective Edge campaign against Hamas.[11]

 

I also interviewed Johannes Gerster for my 2005 book. This former German parliamentarian was the head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Israel. Gerster mentioned that he had tried in vain to convince top Israeli officials that propaganda was an essential element of war. He noted that they did not want to listen.[12]

 

We are now ten years down the road, but the situation has not changed. The problem of media bias against Israel has been documented repeatedly over the past decades, and the analytical methodology needed to assess this prejudice has been in place for years. This raises a fundamental question about Israeli policy:  what has the Israeli government done to stem the tide of incitement against Israel resulting from such prejudiced reporting?

 

Why would the Israel government not follow and analyze – if necessary, by an outside contractor — the bias against Israel of a number of media over the years? Would it have been difficult to design a mode of action against those media who are, to a large extent, direct or indirect propagandists for Israel’s enemies?

 

The answer can only be that the Israeli government has done next to nothing regarding the matter. One can only wonder why there are no politicians or political parties which feel it is worthwhile to raise the issue and keep it in the public eye.

 



[1] David Bar-Illan, Eye on the Media (Jerusalem: Gefen, 1993).

[2] Sergio I. Minerbi, Mentir Avec Les Images (Brussels: Louis Musin, 1985). (French)

[3] Henry H. Weinberg, The Myth of the Jew in France 1967-1982 (Oakville, ON: Mosaic Press, 1987).

[4] Manfred Gerstenfeld, interview with David Bar-Illan, “The Loaded Dice of the Foreign Media Are There to Stay,” in Israel’s New Future: Interviews (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Rubin Mass, 1994), 109-119.

[5] “Le conflit israélo-palestinian:  Les médias français sont-il objectifs?,” Observatoire du monde juif, June 2002.

[6] Clément Weill Raynal, “L’Agence France Presse:  le récit contre les faits,” in “Le conflit israélo-palestinian:  Les médias français sont-il objectifs?,” Observatoire du monde juif, June 2002, pp. 51-68.

[7] Manfred Gerstenfeld, interview with Shmuel Trigano, “French Anti-Semitism: A Barometer for Gauging Society’s Perverseness,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, 26, 1 November 2004.

 

[8] Manfred Gerstenfeld, interview with Hildegard Müller, “Israel and Europe: The Positive and the Negative,” in Israel and Europe: An Expanding Abyss? (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Adenauer Foundation, 2005),  pp. 40-48.

[9] Manfred Gerstenfeld, interview with Robert Wistrich, “Something is Rotten in the State of Europe:  Anti-Semitism as a Civilizational Pathology,” in Israel and Europe: An Expanding Abyss?, pp. 95-109.

[10] Manfred Gerstenfeld, interview with Zvi Shtauber, “British Attitudes toward Israel and the Jews,” in Israel and Europe: An Expanding Abyss?, pp. 183-192

[11] Joël Kotek, “Israël et les médias belges francophones,” Comité de Coordination des Organisations Juives de Belgique (CCOJB,) Brussels, March 2015.

[12] Manfred Gerstenfeld, interview with Johannes Gerster, “Confronting European-Israeli Misunderstandings,” in Israel and Europe: An Expanding Abyss?, pp. 67-79.

 

 

NYT, G & M’S ONGOING ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS QUESTIONED, AS LAMPEDUSA’S JEWISH CONNECTION IS REMEMBERED

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication.

 

The Rage Of The New York Times: Andrea Levin, Andrea Levin, Apr. 8, 2015 — A three-story billboard opposite the newsroom of The New York Times sponsored by CAMERA currently reads “The New York Times Against Israel: All Rant, All Slant, All the Time. Stop the Bias!”

J’Accuse: Globe and Mail Delegitimizes Israel’s Claim to Jerusalem: Mike Fegelman, Times of Israel, Apr. 24, 2015— Despite the Jewish people’s continuous and unbroken physical presence in the land of Israel for over 3 millennia, Jews are routinely presented as foreign occupiers of their own ancestral and biblical homeland.

The Jewish Connection to Lampedusa: Josephine Bacon, Algemeiner, May 11, 2015 — Lampedusa, a tiny island off the coast of Sicily, has been in the news in Europe lately. This is where the boats land that are packed with illegal immigrants from Africa, who often board in Libya.

Love is What Links Us to God: Jonathan Sacks, Algemeiner, May 21, 2015— One of the most amusing scenes in Anglo-Jewish history occurred on 14 October 1663.

 

On Topic Links

 

The Latest "Breaking the Silence" Report Isn't Journalism. It's Propaganda.: Matti Friedman, Mosaic, May 14, 2015

CBC Provides New Definition for Balanced Reporting: Diane Weber Bederman, Canada Free Press, May 18, 2015

BBC Conveniently Fails to Report on Rocket Attack From Gaza Strip: Hadar Sela, Algemeiner, Apr. 27, 2015

In Idiotic Editorial, New York Times Prioritizes Iranian Pride and Jobs Over Israeli Concerns: Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, Apr. 8, 2015

 

                            

THE RAGE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES                                                                                    

Andrea Levin                                                        

Jewish Press, Apr. 8, 2015

 

A three-story billboard opposite the newsroom of The New York Times sponsored by CAMERA currently reads “The New York Times Against Israel: All Rant, All Slant, All the Time. Stop the Bias!” The same message and others dot billboards on expressways in and out of the city as well as avenues in Manhattan, including approaches to tunnels traversed daily by tens of thousands of commuters. Across the metropolitan area, millions of people are reading the messages of the billboards.

 

The messages are not an overstatement. The unhinged fury of The New York Times over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his reelection by the people of Israel is only the latest event that points powerfully to underlying attitudes that permeate the publication’s acrimonious obsession with the Jewish state. The editorial tirade against Netanyahu on the occasion of his victory – calling him “craven” and “racist,” a builder of expansive settlements and a duplicitous obstacle to peace – underscores the extreme and factually distorted sentiment about not only the Israeli prime minister but the nation of Israel, sentiment that pervades all too much of the news coverage as well as the opinion pages.

 

The Times presents Israel continuously as the cause of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the only real actor on the stage. Palestinians and their leadership are foils and backdrop, victims with little or no political or moral responsibility for their own actions. Their own culture, faults, corruption, and human rights issues are almost entirely invisible. They are primarily rung in to denounce Israel in one guise or another. A sampling of reports before and after the vote gives a taste of the bias.

 

The Times’s indictment of Israel often centers on settlements as the greatest impediment to ending the conflict – despite Palestinian rejection of peace offers entailing Israeli concessions on the issue and despite Israel’s unilateral removal of all settlements from Gaza, a move that, of course, did not reduce tensions there. Thus, among the news stories prior to the election that seemingly aimed to tar the incumbent prime minister was a striking 3,000-plus word, front-page, above-the-fold article on Jewish settlements that appeared on March 13, four days before the election. The piece, by Jodi Rudoren and Jeremy Ashkenas, included an entire two-page spread on inside pages with an enormous photo and aerial images of individual settlements expanding – it was implied – cancer-like over decades. The online version was titled: “Netanyahu and the Settlements.”…

 

Three times in the first three paragraphs readers were told settlements would impede a “future state” for Palestinians, “threaten prospects of a two-state solution” and complicate “creation of a viable Palestine.” Repeatedly the story came back to this – that Netanyahu’s settlement policies “deepened the dilemma for peacemakers.” Martin Indyk was quoted harshly charging that in the failed 2014 peace negotiations, “Mr. Netanyahu’s ‘rampant settlement activity’ had a ‘dramatically damaging impact.’” (Unmentioned was the fact that Indyk was outed six months ago in the Times itself as a recipient of $14.8 million in Qatari funding to the Brookings Institute where he’s executive vice president. Qatar supports Hamas and al Jazeera and is the largest funder of Brookings.)

 

There was not a word in the story to convey that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and before him Yasir Arafat, rejected Israeli peace offers that would have curtailed settlement expansion and removed some outlying settlements. Other basic counterpoints to the story line were also simply omitted. For example, no hint was given that there might not be any impediment to a future Palestinian state if the Palestinians did not insist that their state be Judenrein but rather were open to including Jews and their communities the way Israel includes one and a half million Arabs – over 20 percent of its population.

 

Pro forma references to international “ire” regarding Jewish settlements were cited but there was no exploration of the contending positions. In 3,000 words there was no mention of any of the core legal issues. There are obviously differing views about the political advisability and future of settlement development, but there are also basic facts that can aid in understanding the merit of each side. For example, as literally hundreds of international jurists have attested, the right of Jews to live in these areas was clearly established by the original League of Nations Mandate for Palestine (1922), which called for “close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands” of the Mandate. This Jewish right was reaffirmed by Article 80 of the United Nations charter, which preserved the application of the League of Nations Mandate’s stipulations.

 

The contending argument is that Israeli settlements violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relating to the transfer of populations. Israel disputes the relevance here, arguing the Convention is not applicable because there is no forcible transfer; Jews have moved voluntarily to the disputed areas to establish communities. In a few sentences, the Times could have added to reader awareness about the differing views on this contentious subject. But the thrust of this story was to tar Netanyahu as a settlement zealot, an effort that’s actually made difficult when even the Times’s own charts show the prime minister doing about the same – or sometimes less – than previous Israeli leaders in housing starts in settlements.

 

In a nod to the obvious reality that statistics regarding settlement building don’t set Netanyahu notably apart from his fellow prime ministers, especially during his second administration, the reporters inject other negative innuendo, charging: “He has taken more heat over settlements than his predecessors, analysts said, in part because of his broader intransigence on the Palestinian issue and the use of construction as a retaliatory tool.” Which “analysts” are leveling these charges? What is their expertise on the topic? What exactly was the “broader intransigence on the Palestinian issue”? What and when was the “use of construction as a retaliatory tool?”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]               

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

   

J’ACCUSE: GLOBE AND MAIL DELEGITIMIZES

ISRAEL’S CLAIM TO JERUSALEM                                                                                                    

Mike Fegelman                                                                                                   

Times of Israel, Apr. 24, 2015

 

Despite the Jewish people’s continuous and unbroken physical presence in the land of Israel for over 3 millennia, Jews are routinely presented as foreign occupiers of their own ancestral and biblical homeland.

The Jewish people’s un-renounced legal and religious claims to their historic and national homeland – a claim recognized by the international community and enshrined in legal instruments by the pre-UN League of Nations and Article 80 of the UN Charter – is routinely met with antipathy by Canada’s journalists and Israel’s detractors.

 

All too often, Canadian news outlets delegitimize the Jewish people’s historical connection to Jerusalem, Israel’s proclaimed capital. A land Jews have lived in for 3,000 years and the site of ancient Jewish temples. It was only during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948 (an unprovoked pan-Arab attack to destroy the nascent State of Israel) that Jordan captured and occupied the city until 1967, when Israel reunified and retook the eastern portion of Jerusalem. In the 19 years of forced exile, Jewish holy sites and homes were burned and destroyed, and Jews themselves were ethnically cleansed from Jerusalem. Upon liberation, the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem was rebuilt and Jewish life and reverence in Jerusalem resumed and continues to present day.

 

Israel’s Basic Law of July 30, 1980, declares “Jerusalem, complete and unified, is the capital of Israel. Jerusalem is the seat of the President of the State, the Knesset, the Government, and the Supreme Court.” On December 5, 1949, the Israeli government declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Even though some countries, including Canada, don’t recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, and insist on the “corpus separatum” status of Jerusalem, most accept the validity of Israeli law. Considering the importance of the status of Jerusalem, our media must report accurately and with necessary context. Regrettably, the Globe and Mail, a national newspaper regarded as Canada’s “paper of record”, produced coverage that maligns Israel’s claim to Jerusalem.

 

In a commentary published by the Globe on March 7, international affairs columnist Doug Saunders erroneously stated the following: “In 1993, the Palestinians recognized Israel as a legitimate state for the first time. In turn, Israel was to recognize the Palestinians’ national ambitions and negotiate a border based on the 1967 lines, beyond which Israeli populations would not extend. Both parties would share Jerusalem and renounce violence. It was a solution based on mutual compromise, ratified in the Oslo accords of 1993 and 1995.” In making this statement, Saunders erroneously claimed there was agreement via Oslo that Israelis and Palestinians would “share Jerusalem”. Instead, the final status of Jerusalem is to be determined by negotiations between the parties. Oslo didn’t prejudice the outcome of Jerusalem and Israel never agreed to this.

 

Having communicated these concerns to Globe and Mail Public Editor Sylvia Stead on March 13, I received the following reply from Ms. Stead: In the 1993 Oslo agreement, Jerusalem was included in the ‘Final Status Items,’ which is to say that its division between Israel and Palestine, as mandated in the United Nations resolution which created Israel (181(II)). The understanding, during the negotiation and ratification of the Oslo agreements, was that this would lead Jerusalem to be divided between Israeli and Palestinian authorities. In fact, this was guaranteed in a letter sent in 1993 by Foreign Minister Shimon Perez, acting on the prime minister’s authorization, in which the Palestinians were informed that ‘all the Palestinian institutions of East Jerusalem, including the economic, social, educational and cultural, and the holy Christian and Muslim places, are performing an essential task for the Palestinian population… the fulfillment of this important mission is to be encouraged.’ In sum, Oslo ratified an agreement which included the division of Jerusalem as part of its mission.

 

Contrary to Ms. Stead’s contentions, the 1993 Declaration of Principles (the term “Oslo agreement” is a misnomer), Jerusalem was included in the “Final Status Items.” At the time, Prime Minister Rabin stated that “Jerusalem is the ancient and eternal capital of the Jewish people.” An undivided Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty, with religious freedom for all, is and remains a fundamental Israeli position. The Declaration did not contain any reference to UNGA 181, and the side letter from FM Shimon Peres means precisely what is written and nothing more. The claim that the DOP in any way committed Israel to shared sovereignty in Jerusalem is entirely and demonstrably false.

 

In consultation with Dr. Jacques Gauthier, a Canadian international human rights lawyer who is considered to be the foremost expert on the legal status on Jerusalem, Dr. Gauthier confirmed there’s no validity to the Globe’s argument that there was an agreement via Oslo that Israelis and Palestinians would “share Jerusalem”. In Dr. Gauthier’s 2007 thesis entitled “Sovereignty Over the Old City of Jerusalem: A Study of the Historical, Religious, Political and Legal Aspects of the Question of the Old City,” he states the following about the Oslo Accords:

 

    For a period of eight months in 1993 secret negotiations were pursued by a group of specially appointed Israeli and Palestinian representatives. The Oslo Peace Accords were the products of these secret negotiations.  The Oslo Accords postponed the discussion of the difficult Jerusalem issue until the completion of permanent-status negotiations. The question of Jerusalem was therefore for the first time included on the list of matters for negotiations between the parties. However, the underlying principles of the Oslo Accords comprised the concept of ‘land for peace’ based on the U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338 and the discontinuance of the occupation of Palestinian territories which was interpreted by the Palestinians as including all of East Jerusalem and the Old City. On September 13, 1993, the ‘Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements’ was signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on behalf of the Palestinian People. These Agreements are often referred to as the ‘Oslo I Accords.’ The Declaration of Principles makes reference to Jerusalem but only in the context of the rights of the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem to participate in municipal elections and of confirmation that the parties accepted the principle that, although the self-governing authority did not have jurisdiction in Jerusalem and the Old City during the interim self-governing phase, the Jerusalem issue would be included in the permanent-status negotiations.

 

Despite our protestations, the Globe refused to correct its material errors and altogether failed to provide sources (despite repeated requests) to back up its claims…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]   

                                                                       

 

Contents                                                                                      

   

THE JEWISH CONNECTION TO LAMPEDUSA                                                                       

Josephine Bacon                                                                                                           

Algemeiner, May 11, 2015

 

Lampedusa, a tiny island off the coast of Sicily, has been in the news in Europe lately. This is where the boats land that are packed with illegal immigrants from Africa, who often board in Libya. Lampedusa is a tiny rocky outcrop, so small that it does not even show up on some maps, but it is now packed tightly with refugee camps. It is so crowded that the cemetery is full, and there is no room to bury the bodies of the many escaping Africans who drowned at sea.

 

Yet the island of Lampedusa has a Jewish connection. It is an extraordinary story. In June, 1941, Flight-Sergeant Sydney Cohen, a Royal Air Force pilot, was trying to fly back to his base in Malta in his Swordfish bi-plane. He veered off course and was forced to make an emergency landing on Lampedusa. He and his crew decided to surrender to the large Italian garrison, but before they could do so, the garrison of 4,300 Italian troops stationed there rushed out waving white flags! They made Syd the commander of the island! In his own words, “A crowd of Italians came out to meet us and we put our hands up to surrender, but then we saw they were all waving white sheets and shouting, ‘No, no – We surrender!’” And that’s how Sydney Cohen became King of Lampedusa!

 

Sydney Cohen, a tailor’s cutter from Clapton, a Jewish suburb of London, accepted the Italian surrender (confirmed on a scrap of paper) from the Commandant. Afterward, he flew back to Malta where he delivered the “document of surrender.” The positive propaganda created by the incident was soon relayed back to Britain, where it was widely circulated. In 1941, British morale was at its very lowest, a Nazi invasion being feared daily. One English newspaper, the News Chronicle, carried the headline “London Tailor’s Cutter is now King of Lampedusa.”

 

This inspired a Yiddish playwright, S.J. Charendorf, to turn the story into a Yiddish musical. “The King of Lampedusa” was staged in 1943, first at the New Yiddish Theatre on Adler Street, and later at the Grand Palais in the Mile End Road. It starred the doyen of London’s Yiddish Theatre, Meier Tzelniker, and his daughter Anna. It had the longest run of any production in Yiddish and was even staged in Palestine. The BBC broadcast an English translation, the hero being played by the famous English-Jewish actor, Sidney Tafler. News of the play reached Germany and attracted the attention of Nazi sympathiser “Lord Haw-Haw” (the Nazi equivalent of Tokyo Rose), who mentioned it in his propaganda broadcasts and even threatened the theatre with a visit from the Luftwaffe (It never happened, but the theatre eventually closed due to lack of support and is now part of Queen Mary College of London University).

 

The story of the King of Lampedusa ended sadly. After the war was over, Flight-Sergeant Cohen and his plane were flying back home to England but were lost without a trace over the English Channel on August 26, 1946. His body was never recovered. Happily, he had seen the play before he died while on leave in Haifa, Palestine, in 1944. In 2001, rumors circulated that Hollywood had decided to turn the play into a movie, but with a different ending: the survival of Flight Sergeant Cohen and the realization of his dream to emigrate to Australia and become a sheep-farmer. Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened yet.

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

                                                              

LOVE IS WHAT LINKS US TO GOD                                                                                          

Jonathan Sacks                               

Algemeiner, May 21, 2015

 

One of the most amusing scenes in Anglo-Jewish history occurred on 14 October 1663. A mere seven years had passed since Oliver Cromwell had found no legal bar to Jews living in England (hence the so-called “return” of 1656). A small synagogue was opened in Creechurch Lane in the City of London, forerunner of Bevis Marks (1701), the oldest still-extant place of Jewish worship in Britain. The famous diarist Samuel Pepys decided to pay a visit to this new curiosity, to see how Jews conducted themselves at prayer. What he saw amazed and scandalised him. As chance or Providence had it, the day of his visit turned out to be Simchat Torah. This is how he described what he saw:

 

    And anon their Laws that they take out of the press [i.e. the Ark] are carried by several men, four or five several burthens in all, and they do relieve one another; and whether it is that every one desires to have the carrying of it, I cannot tell, thus they carried it round about the room while such a service is singing … But, Lord! to see the disorder, laughing, sporting, and no attention, but confusion in all their service, more like brutes than people knowing the true God, would make a man forswear ever seeing them more and indeed I never did see so much, or could have imagined there had been any religion in the whole world so absurdly performed as this.

 

This was not the kind of behavior he was used to in a house of worship. There is something unique about the relationship of Jews to the Torah, the way we stand in its presence as if it were a king, dance with it as if it were a bride, listen to it telling our story and study it, as we say in our prayers, as “our life and the length of our days.” There are few more poignant lines of prayer than the one contained in a poem said at Neilah, at the end of Yom Kippur: Ein shiyur rak ha-Torah ha-zot: “Nothing remains,” after the destruction of the Temple and the loss of the land, “but this Torah.” A book, a scroll, was all that stood between Jews and despair. What non-Jews (and sometimes Jews) fail to appreciate is how, in Judaism, Torah represents law as love, and love as law. Torah is not just “revealed legislation” as Moses Mendelssohn described it in the eighteenth century. It represents God’s faith in our ancestors that He entrusted them with the creation of a society that would become a home for His presence and an example to the world.

 

One of the keys as to how this worked is contained in the parsha of Bemidbar, always read before Shavuot, the commemoration of the giving of the Torah. This reminds us how central is the idea of wilderness – the desert, no man’s land – is to Judaism. It is midbar, wilderness, that gives our parsha and the book as a whole its name. It was in the desert that the Israelites made a covenant with God and received the Torah, their constitution as a nation under the sovereignty of God. It is the desert that provides the setting for four of the five books of the Torah, and it was there that the Israelites experienced their most intimate contact with God, who sent them water from a rock, manna from heaven and surrounded them with clouds of glory.

 

What story is being told here? The Torah is telling us three things fundamental to Jewish identity. First is the unique phenomenon that in Judaism the law preceded the land. For every other nation in history the reverse was the case. First came the land, then human settlements, first in small groups, then in villages, towns and cities. Then came forms of order and governance and a legal system: first the land, then the law.

 

The fact that in Judaism the Torah was given bemidbar, in the desert, before they had even entered the land, meant that uniquely Jews and Judaism were able to survive, their identity intact, even in exile. Because the law came before the land, even when Jews lost the land they still had the law. This meant that even in exile, Jews were still a nation. God remained their sovereign. The covenant was still in place. Even without a geography, they had an ongoing history. Even before they entered the land, Jews had been given the ability to survive outside the land.

 

Second, there is a tantalising connection between midbar, ‘wilderness,’ and davar, ‘word.’ Where other nations found the gods in nature – the rain, the earth, fertility and the seasons of the agricultural year – Jews discovered God in transcendence, beyond nature, a God who could not be seen but rather heard. In the desert, there is no nature. Instead there is emptiness and silence, a silence in which one can hear the unearthly voice of the One-beyond-the-world. As Edmond Jabès put it: “The word cannot dwell except in the silence of other words. To speak is, accordingly, to lean on a metaphor of the desert.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]               

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom and Happy Shavuot Holiday!

 

Contents

                                                                                      

 

On Topic

 

The Latest "Breaking the Silence" Report Isn't Journalism. It's Propaganda.: Matti Friedman, Mosaic, May 14, 2015—Last week, a report by an Israeli group called Breaking the Silence made headlines in the U.S., Britain, and most of Europe, becoming one of the week’s biggest international stories.

CBC Provides New Definition for Balanced Reporting: Diane Weber Bederman, Canada Free Press, May 18, 2015—Last March I once again contacted the CBC regarding their bias-this time against the Harper Government’s response to the Supreme Court ruling allowing the right to wear the niqab during the citizenship ceremony.

BBC Conveniently Fails to Report on Rocket Attack From Gaza Strip: Hadar Sela, Algemeiner, Apr. 27, 2015—With the BBC having sent at least two of its Jerusalem Bureau staff to cover the story of migrants and refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean (Quentin Sommerville has been reporting from Libya and Yolande Knell from Sicily), coverage of events in Israel has been decidedly sparse over the past two weeks.

In Idiotic Editorial, New York Times Prioritizes Iranian Pride and Jobs Over Israeli Concerns: Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, Apr. 8, 2015 —While many, many newspapers, from both the left and the right, are publishing strong reservations about the Iranian nuclear deal, the New York Times is firmly in line with the Obama administration – and even more in line against Binyamin Netanyahu.

 

              

              

ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS PARTIALLY FUELLED BY BBC, NYT & OTHER “BIG-MEDIA”

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

How About Giving Israel’s Views A Chance?: Alex Margolin, Jewish Week, Feb. 3, 2015— In one of the most outrageous interviews broadcast in recent memory, a UK reporter covering the Paris anti-terror rally interrupted his guest, an Israeli woman living in Paris, to claim that Palestinians have suffered greatly at the hands of the Jews.

The New York Times and its Israel Bias: Richard A. Block, Jewish Daily Forward, Jan. 22, 2015 — The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not confined to the battlefield.

How Israel Can Fight Media-Based Delegitimization: Manfred Gerstenfeld, CIJR, Jan. 27, 2015— Media play a major role in the delegitimization and demonization of Israel. 

Can Charlie Hebdo’s Spirit Include Israel?: Noah Beck, Algemeiner, Jan. 9, 2015 — While most of us would agree that religious fundamentalists, foreign and domestic, sometimes do serious harm to our society, there are other kinds of fundamentalists who are also dangerous: I refer to legal fundamentalists.

 

On Topic Links

 

The Conflict and the Coverage: Margaret Sullivan, New York Times, Nov. 22, 2014

The Ideological Roots of Media Bias Against Israel: Matti Friedman, Fathom Journal, Autumn, 2014

British News Networks' Shameful Treatment of the Holocaust: Alina D. Sharon, JNS, Jan. 29, 2014

The New York Times Rescues the Palestinians Again: Moshe Phillips & Benyamin Korn, Algemeiner, Jan. 12, 2014

                                                                     

                            

HOW ABOUT GIVING ISRAEL’S VIEWS A CHANCE?                                                                     

Alex Margolin                                                                                                     

The Jewish Week, Feb. 3, 2015  

 

In one of the most outrageous interviews broadcast in recent memory, a UK reporter covering the Paris anti-terror rally interrupted his guest, an Israeli woman living in Paris, to claim that Palestinians have suffered greatly at the hands of the Jews. When the woman protested the conflation of the terror in Paris with the plight of the Palestinians, the reporter, Tim Willcox of the BBC, offered the condescending reply, “You understand, everything is seen in different perspectives.” It’s shocking to hear a seemingly credible reporter infer that the terrorist acts in Paris are somehow rooted in Israel, and that saying so is a legitimate “perspective.” What’s even more shocking is that it’s not limited to one reporter.

 

“Willcox is not some isolated and aberrant racist; his views are the standard opinions of the European left middle class,” Nick Cohen wrote in The Spectator in the aftermath of the interview. “I meet them every day in my political neighborhood.” Like Willcox, members of the media in Europe and the U.S. place a great deal of rhetorical value on the need for “different perspectives” in their coverage. But when it comes to applying the principle, one perspective is greatly under-represented — that of the government of Israel. Take The New York Times, for example. According to a study carried out by HonestReporting covering the first three months of 2014, some 67 percent of Times articles during that period expressed criticism of Israel or depicted Israel’s actions in a negative light, and 55 percent of the paper’s articles lacked important context that could shed light on Israel’s actions. During the Gaza war, when the Foreign Press Association condemned Hamas’ intimidation of reporters in Gaza, the Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, issued a tweet calling the statement “Israeli narrative” and dismissing it as “nonsense.” So if a BBC reporter at an anti-terror rally in Paris decides to randomly criticize Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians, it’s a case of “seeing different perspectives.” But if the Foreign Press Association and the Israeli government say Hamas is abusing journalists, the Times bureau chief disagrees and dismisses it. Of course, Rudoren has managed to see other perspectives when they involve Palestinians. While most people would see Palestinian rock throwing as an act of violence, Rudoren made sure her readers understood that for some Palestinians, “rock throwing is a rite of passage and an honored act of defiance.”

 

The solution to the problem starts with holding the media accountable for upholding its principles of balance and objectivity. Any story that is critical of Israel must provide Israel’s perspective on the issue so that a reader can understand Israel’s rationale. But that, by itself, is not enough. There must also be proactive action to make sure Israel’s perspective reaches the public. Israel’s story cannot be left in the hands of the media. It must be told as often as possible in ways that reach the largest number of people. HonestReporting took a step in that direction recently by running a full-page ad in the Times featuring the text of a speech by Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor. The speech was uncompromising in making Israel’s case to the world. It covered Israel’s efforts to reach peace with the Palestinians, the need to protect its citizens, and even the plight of the 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands. In other words, it covered the points that rarely appear in print in the mainstream media.

 

Israel’s supporters cannot afford to wait until media coverage of Israel improves and journalists recognize that different perspectives apply to Israel as much as to the Palestinians and their supporters. It’s up to everyone who cares about Israel to help make Israel’s case to the world, one social network at a time. Israel has a compelling and inspiring story. Ambassador Prosor’s speech provides a positive template for promoting Israel’s perspective. In a time of unprecedented access to communications tools capable of reaching enormous numbers of people, no one should feel exempt from joining the battle.

                                                           

Contents                                                                                               

                                         

THE NEW YORK TIMES AND ITS ISRAEL BIAS                                                                               

Richard A. Block                                                                                                  

Jewish Daily Forward, Jan. 22, 2015

 

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not confined to the battlefield. It is also waged in the media, nowhere more prominently than in The New York Times. In “The Conflict and the Coverage,” a November column she “never wanted to write,” Margaret Sullivan, Times Public Editor, addressed “hundreds of emails from readers on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, complaining about Times coverage.” Her verdict: a “strong impression” “that The Times does everything it can to be fair in its coverage and generally succeeds.” She was wrong.

 

A prime reason is the limited evidence Sullivan considered. “This column,” she wrote, “is restricted to news coverage and does not consider the opinion side offerings.” This ill-advised, self-imposed constraint doomed her effort from the outset. The Times’ “worldview” of the conflict is also revealed in its editorial page, headlines and storylines, and the Op-Ed columns it chooses to run. During last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas, Times Op-Eds, with rare exceptions, supported the Palestinian narrative: ““Israel’s Puppy, Tony Blair;” “Israel’s Bloody Status Quo;” “How the West Chose War in Gaza;” “Darkness Falls on Gaza;” “Israeli Self-Defense Does Not Permit Killing Civilians;” “Israel Has Overreacted to the Threats it Provoked;” “Zionism and Its Discontents;” “U.S. Should Stop Funding Israel, or Let Others Broker Peace;”… Times headlines were likewise revealing. When Hamas broke yet another ceasefire and resumed firing missiles at Israeli civilians, Israel defended itself. The Times declared obtusely, “Hamas Rockets and Israeli Response Break Ceasefire.” Others: “As Israel Hits Mosque and Clinic, Air Campaign’s Risks Come Home;” “Israelis Watch Bombs Drop on Gaza From Front-Row Seats;” “Questions About Tactics and Targets as Civilian Toll Climbs in Israeli Strikes;” “Foreign Correspondents in Israel Complain of Intimidation;” “Israeli Shells are Said to Hit UN School;” “Military Censorship in Israel;” “A Boy at Play in Gaza, a Renewal of War, A Family in Mourning;”… In failing to account for these and ignoring their cumulative effect, Sullivan’s assessment is hopelessly flawed.

 

Sullivan defers meekly to senior editor, Joseph Kahn, on the charge of unbalanced coverage. “I hear that claim a lot” he said, from “people who are very well informed and primed to deconstruct our stories based on their knowledge…The Times does not hear this complaint from readers who are merely trying to understand the situation.” In other words, the lack of complaints of bias by people unequipped to perceive it invalidates criticism by readers who are informed! Sullivan’s statement, “Even something as seemingly objective as death tolls can become contentious” is naive. Most journalists credulously accepted Hamas’ claims as factual, reporting them without substantiation. Others, fearing reprisal, followed Hamas’ dictate: that all Palestinian casualties be described as “civilians,” teenage combatants as “children,” and every death as Israel’s fault. Again, Sullivan is silent.

 

She misses the main point of Matti Friedman’s critiques in Tablet and The Atlantic, that “Most reporters in Gaza believe their job is to document violence directed by Israel at Palestinian civilians…The story mandates that they exist as passive victims…The international media’s Israel story is a narrative construct that is largely fiction.” Nonetheless, Sullivan implicitly confirms this by urging The Times to “Strengthen the coverage of the Palestinians.” Perhaps she had in mind an exchange between Times Opinion Page staff editor, Matt Seaton, and a pro-Israel media critic. After Tweeting out a link to a Times Op-Ed by an Arab citizen of Israel accusing it of institutionalized discrimination, Seaton was asked when the paper would report racism among Palestinians. He replied, “soon as they have sovereign state to discriminate with.” Thus, it comes as no surprise that, as Sullivan laments, many readers mistrust the motives and efforts of Times editors and reporters. But by ignoring editorial misjudgments in framing headlines and stories, Op-Ed publication decisions, and evidence of endemic bias against Israel in the media in general and The Times in particular, her suggestions are modestly helpful at best. Her assertion that The Times needs to do a better job of providing historical and geopolitical context is laudable, as is her suggestion that it should “find ways to be transparent and direct with readers about [its] mission in covering this area.”

 

The ultimate question is whether The Times will transform its culture, given systemic problems that Sullivan, and senior editors she takes at face value, fail to acknowledge. Her most problematic recommendation is that The Times stop trying to show both sides of each story, creating the impression of “running scared“ or exhibiting “an excess of sensitivity.” Rather, its reporting should reflect “the core value of news judgment.” However, in covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict poor news judgment is The Times’ essential deficiency. In her widely praised book, “Buried By The Times,” Northeastern University Professor Laurel Leff excoriated “America’s most important newspaper” for its scandalously negligent coverage of the Holocaust. Max Frankel, Times Executive Editor from 1986 to 1994, called it “the century’s most bitter journalistic failure.” Someday, historians will render a similar judgment on its coverage of the Jewish State and will discern a clear connection between the two colossal miscarriages of justice.

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

                      

HOW ISRAEL CAN FIGHT MEDIA-BASED DELEGITIMIZATION                                                                

Manfred Gerstenfeld                                                                                                              

CIJR, Jan. 27, 2015

 

Media play a major role in the delegitimization and demonization of Israel.  Their share in this process cannot be assessed scientifically. Yet over 40% of citizens of the European Union — aged 16 years or older – believe that Israel is a Nazi state, or alternatively, think that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians. There is no doubt that this demonic image of Israel has been partly caused by many media.   

 

Several studies show these statistics. The largest study on this subject was conducted and published in 2011 by the University of Bielefeld, Germany. It covered seven EU countries in which more than half of the European population lives:  the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, UK, Germany, Portugal, and Poland. Studies in Switzerland and in Norway gave similar results. Evidently, there are many other factors besides the media which have led to these abysmal beliefs. Politicians, trade unions, NGOs, various — mostly liberal — church leaders, academics, the Palestinian lobby, as well as others, play a major role in the demonization process. Contributors include the United Nations, and some of its associated bodies, such as the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

 

Over the past decades, anti-Israeli media have made the most of a unique situation. The freedom of the press includes the freedom to cheat, lie, incite, often to extremes, and the liberty to ignore essential facts at will. Media have the power to criticize others, relentlessly and sometimes brutally, and yet there are few ways to take them to task. There are hardly any checks and balances. The work of their staff is only subject to that particular media's rules of self-regulation. Except in extreme cases, journalists are not accountable to anyone outside their profession. Reporters are free to choose which facts they will mention and which they will omit, even if such tactics lead to major distortions of their readers' perceptions. Their means of slanting information, if they wish to do so, are almost unlimited. In addition, media rarely criticize each other, even though it would create much greater accountability among journalists.

 

The battle against big media’s delegitimization of Israel is being fought by a few media watch organizations. Media watching can be defined as critically examining one or more media on a regular or recurrent basis. It usually results from a conviction that certain media are biased against a cause that the monitoring body or individual supports. Media-watching activities include collecting, analyzing, and publishing data. Media watchers are fulfilling an important role in exposing the bias of anti-Israeli media. Yet even the best known among them, such as CAMERA and HonestReporting, only reach a limited number of addressees if one compares it to the audience of the media themselves. 

 

In the current reality, Israel is being attacked on many fronts. The main one is the military battlefield, and to counteract this, Israel has developed an advanced structure – the Israeli army, the IDF.  Another front concerns intelligence, and Israel has three intelligence services which have undertaken remarkable feats over the decades: the Mossad, the domestic intelligence service, Shabak, and the military intelligence service, Aman.  The growing number of cyberattacks on Israel has led to heavy investment in cybersecurity. Israel hopes to become a world leader in this field.

 

In the area of propaganda, however, which has led to the demonization and partial delegitimization of Israel, there is no such opposing force. One might say that at present, many delegitimizers and demonizers have “a free anti-Semitic lunch.” The situation can only improve in a substantial manner if the Israeli government sets up a properly funded anti-propaganda structure.  Such an agency would lay the groundwork for action concerning biased media and others who demonize and delegitimize Israel or the Israeli government. The anti-propaganda agency’s research department would have to establish a database which would contain both historical and behavioral information on specific enemies of Israel, whether their anti-Semitism is partial or full-blown. A newspaper, for example, can be an enemy of Israel even if it occasionally publishes a positive item about the country, in between publishing mainstream negative information on Israel. Post-modern times have greatly strengthened and expanded the phenomenon of the “part-time anti-Semite.” These are people who commit anti-Semitic acts intermittently, and on a few occasions may even make positive gestures toward Jews and Israel. Several contemporary left-wing and other political leaders regularly commit anti-Semitic acts, including applying double standards against Israel. Similarly, media can be part-time enemies of Israel. 

 

A second activity of the Israeli anti-propaganda structure would be to monitor ongoing issues. On some media, the major pro-Israeli media watchers are already doing an excellent job and have done so for many years. Their work would be an extremely valuable asset for the monitoring division of a future anti-propaganda agency. The third division of the anti-propaganda agency would deal with activism. This is a delicate subject for a state-controlled body. Yet the intelligence services of many countries are activist bodies under the aegis of the government. The operational branch of the new Israeli structure would have to develop increasingly effective methods to fight the anti-Israeli propaganda, as well as anti-Semitism. It would have to assess which activities it would undertake itself, and which would be delegated to and implemented by others, such as other government services, non-governmental bodies in Israel and abroad, or even some individuals. As far as the battle against hostile media is concerned, the reality of free speech within democracies dictates that this fight has to be conducted in a more sophisticated matter.  

 

In today’s media market, much of the international news is provided by big news agencies. The most important ones by far are Reuters and The Associated Press, both of which are biased against Israel. A former AP journalist managed to publicly expose the distorted methods of AP’s Israel office. In August 2014, after he had left AP, Matti Friedman wrote about his experiences working at the agency’s Israel office. In his words: Israeli actions are analyzed and criticized, and every flaw in Israeli society is aggressively reported. In one seven-week period, from Nov. 8 to Dec. 16, 2011, I decided to count the stories coming out of our bureau on the various moral failings of Israeli society – proposed legislation meant to suppress the media, the rising influence of Orthodox Jews, unauthorized settlement outposts, gender segregation, and so forth. I counted 27 separate articles, an average of a story every two days. In a very conservative estimate, this seven-week tally was higher than the total number of significantly critical stories about Palestinian government and society, including the totalitarian Islamists of Hamas that our bureau had published in the preceding three years.

 

Friedman later wrote an article in The Atlantic entitled, “What the Media Gets Wrong about Israel.” The article further exposed how the AP intentionally reported stories that cast Israel in a negative light and chose not to report on Palestinians behaving badly. The reaction of Friedman’s former boss at AP, Steven Gutkin bordered on the ridiculous. It consisted mainly of an ad hominem attack on Friedman. Strangely enough, his former boss chose to publicize his response using the local Indian website Goa Streets, his new place of employment after leaving AP

 

Friedman’s publications may serve as an excellent example for the potential activities of the anti-propaganda structure. Friedman made his disclosures at his own initiative. There are a few other journalists who have done the same.  For instance, Hans Mol, a retired journalist of the Dutch liberal daily, NRC-Handelsblad, has published a book about the paper’s anti-Israeli positions. He writes, “In its reporting about Moroccans, about Muslims and about Islam, about Israel and the Middle-East conflict, the paper has increasingly chosen its side: in favor of Hamas and against Israel, in favor of multiculturalists against critics of Islam; for covering up, and against disclosure.” The anti-propaganda agency, in collaboration with media watchers, could start to systematically search for journalists who have worked for major media and then either left or retired. Among these journalists, they could look for those who are either pro-Israel or have grievances against their former employer and who are willing to relate information about how the anti-Israel bias functions. Such a tactic is a low-cost activity which can yield much information. The classic form of media analysis can also be very useful. It is not difficult to get an idea of the pronounced bias AP maintains against Israel, beyond what Friedman has already written. Part of it is easy accessible online, and much can be obtained from media watchers such as CAMERA and HonestReporting

[To Read the Full Article, Will Footnotes, Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Manfred Gerstenfeld is a CIJR Academic Fellow

 

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

                                                   

CAN CHARLIE HEBDO’S SPIRIT INCLUDE ISRAEL?                                                                      

Noah Beck                                                                                                                                 

Algemeiner, Jan. 9, 2015

 

The Islamist massacre at Charlie Hebdo has understandably captured global attention because it was a barbaric attack on France and freedom of expression. In a moment of defiant moral clarity, “je suis Charlie” emerged as a popular phrase of solidarity with the victims. Hopefully such clarity persists and extends to those facing similar challenges every day in the Middle East. Christians and other religious minorities have been beheaded by Islamists for years, but it wasn’t until US journalist James Foley was beheaded that the West cared. The Islamic State raped and slaughtered thousands of Yazidis — leaving the surviving refugees stranded on Mount Sinjar — before the West took notice. But one Islamist besieging a cafe in Sydney, killing two, dominated global coverage for the entire 16-hour incident.

 

Western leaders and media must realize that religious minorities in the Middle East are the canary in the coalmine for the West when it comes to Islamist threats. And Israel provides the clearest early warning of all, precisely because — despite Israel’s location in a region of Islamists and dictatorships — the Jewish state has free elections, freedom of speech, a vigorous political opposition and independent press, equal rights and protections for minorities and women (who are represented in all parts of civil, legal, political, artistic, and economic life), and a prosperous free market economy. But had Palestinian gunmen similarly attacked Israel’s most important daily newspaper and then escaped, would the event inspire such constant coverage or international sympathy? Israel has suffered countless massacres followed by a suspenseful manhunt for the Islamist terrorists; in each of these incidents, the world hardly noticed until Israel forcefully responded and Palestinians died (prompting global condemnation of Israel).

 

However, when there is an attack in Europe, North America, or Australia, there is widespread grief, solidarity, and an acceptance of whatever policy reaction is chosen. But when Israel is targeted, there is almost always a call for “restraint,” as happened last November after fatal stabbings by Palestinian terrorists in Tel Aviv and the West Bank. If two Palestinians entered a European or North American church and attacked worshipers with meat cleavers, killing five people, including priests, the outrage would be palpable in every politician and journalist’s voice. But when Israelis were victims of such an attack, Obama’s reaction was spineless and tone deaf. Did Obama condemn the Charlie Hebdo massacre by noting how many Muslims have died at the hands of French military forces operating in Africa and the Middle East? Of course not. Such moral equivocation would be unthinkable with any ally or Western country except Israel. Similarly, would Secretary of State John Kerry ever suggest that the Islamic State is somehow motivated by French policies (whether banning Muslim headscarves at public schools or fighting Islamists in Mali)? Obviously not. Yet Kerry did just that sort of thing with Israel when he suggested that the Islamic State is driven by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

And the media’s anti-Israel bias is well known but became even more obvious when they couldn’t get a simple story about vehicular terrorism against Israelis correct. Compare how The Guardian writes accurate headlines when France or Canada suffers an Islamist car attack but not when Israel does. Consider all of the justifiable news coverage and outrage over the 2013 Boston bombings, and imagine if one of those happened every week. Would anyone dare suggest that the US make peace with any Islamists demanding changes to US policy? And yet Israel had such bomb attacks almost every week of 2002 and was invariably asked to restrain itself and make concessions to the very people bombing them (as happened again last summer, when Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel). As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has ruefully observed, “There is a standard for dictatorships, there is a standard for democracies, and there is still a third standard for the democracy called Israel.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

 

Contents                                                                                    

 

On Topic

 

The Conflict and the Coverage: Margaret Sullivan, New York Times, Nov. 22, 2014—This is the column I never wanted to write.

The Ideological Roots of Media Bias Against Israel: Matti Friedman, Fathom Journal, Autumn, 2014 —One night several years ago, I came out of Bethlehem after a reporting assignment and crossed through the Israeli military checkpoint between that city and its neighbour, Jerusalem, where I live.

British News Networks' Shameful Treatment of the Holocaust: Alina D. Sharon, JNS, Jan. 29, 2014—In case anyone still has any doubts with regard to the opinion of British news networks such as the BBC on Jews and Jewish issues, two videos that emerged this week with regard to Tuesday's International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz paint a grim picture.

The New York Times Rescues the Palestinians Again: Moshe Phillips & Benyamin Korn, Algemeiner, Jan. 12, 2014—Lest anyone think, even for a moment, that there is even the slightest link between Islamic terror against Jews in Paris and Islamic terror against Jews in Jerusalem, the New York Times has rushed in to disabuse us of that notion.

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

Manfred Gerstenfeld: HOW ISRAEL CAN FIGHT MEDIA-BASED DELEGITIMIZATION

 

 

 

 

 

Media play a major role in the delegitimization and demonization of Israel.  Their share in this process cannot be assessed scientifically. Yet over 40% of citizens of the European Union — aged 16 years or older – believe that Israel is a Nazi state, or alternatively, think that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians. There is no doubt that this demonic image of Israel has been partly caused by many media. 

 

Several studies show these statistics. The largest study on this subject was conducted and published in 2011 by the University of Bielefeld, Germany. It covered seven EU countries in which more than half of the European population lives:  the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, UK, Germany, Portugal, and Poland.[1]  Studies in Switzerland[2] and in Norway[3] gave similar results. 

 

Evidently, there are many other factors besides the media which have led to these abysmal beliefs. Politicians, trade unions, NGOs, various — mostly liberal — church leaders, academics, the Palestinian lobby, as well as others, play a major role in the demonization process. Contributors include the United Nations, and some of its associated bodies, such as the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

 

Media and Media Watchers

 

Over the past decades, anti-Israeli media have made the most of a unique situation. The freedom of the press includes the freedom to cheat, lie, incite, often to extremes, and the liberty to ignore essential facts at will. Media have the power to criticize others, relentlessly and sometimes brutally, and yet there are few ways to take them to task. There are hardly any checks and balances. The work of their staff is only subject to that particular media's rules of self-regulation. Except in extreme cases, journalists are not accountable to anyone outside their profession.

 

Reporters are free to choose which facts they will mention and which they will omit, even if such tactics lead to major distortions of their readers' perceptions. Their means of slanting information, if they wish to do so, are almost unlimited. In addition, media rarely criticize each other, even though it would create much greater accountability among journalists.

 

The battle against big media’s delegitimization of Israel is being fought by a few media watch organizations. Media watching can be defined as critically examining one or more media on a regular or recurrent basis. It usually results from a conviction that certain media are biased against a cause that the monitoring body or individual supports. Media-watching activities include collecting, analyzing, and publishing data.[4]

 

Media watchers are fulfilling an important role in exposing the bias of anti-Israeli media. Yet even the best known among them, such as CAMERA[5] and HonestReporting[6], only reach a limited number of addressees if one compares it to the audience of the media themselves.  

 

The Absence of an Israeli Anti-Propaganda Agency

 

In the current reality, Israel is being attacked on many fronts. The main one is the military battlefield, and to counteract this, Israel has developed an advanced structure – the Israeli army, the IDF.  Another front concerns intelligence, and Israel has three intelligence services which have undertaken remarkable feats over the decades: the Mossad, the domestic intelligence service, Shabak, and the military intelligence service, Aman.  The growing number of cyberattacks on Israel has led to heavy investment in cybersecurity.[7] Israel hopes to become a world leader in this field. 

 

In the area of propaganda, however, which has led to the demonization and partial delegitimization of Israel, there is no such opposing force. One might say that at present, many delegitimizers and demonizers have “a free anti-Semitic lunch.” The situation can only improve in a substantial manner if the Israeli government sets up a properly funded anti-propaganda structure.  Such an agency would lay the groundwork for action concerning biased media and others who demonize and delegitimize Israel or the Israeli government.

 

The anti-propaganda agency’s research department would have to establish a database which would contain both historical and behavioral information on specific enemies of Israel, whether their anti-Semitism is partial or full-blown. A newspaper, for example, can be an enemy of Israel even if it occasionally publishes a positive item about the country, in between publishing mainstream negative information on Israel. Post-modern times have greatly strengthened and expanded the phenomenon of the “part-time anti-Semite.” These are people who commit anti-Semitic acts intermittently, and on a few occasions may even make positive gestures toward Jews and Israel. Several contemporary left-wing and other political leaders regularly commit anti-Semitic acts, including applying double standards against Israel. Similarly, media can be part-time enemies of Israel. 

 

A second activity of the Israeli anti-propaganda structure would be to monitor ongoing issues. On some media, the major pro-Israeli media watchers are already doing an excellent job and have done so for many years. Their work would be an extremely valuable asset for the monitoring division of a future anti-propaganda agency.

 

The third division of the anti-propaganda agency would deal with activism. This is a delicate subject for a state-controlled body. Yet the intelligence services of many countries are activist bodies under the aegis of the government. The operational branch of the new Israeli structure would have to develop increasingly effective methods to fight the anti-Israeli propaganda, as well as anti-Semitism. It would have to assess which activities it would undertake itself, and which would be delegated to and implemented by others, such as other government services, non-governmental bodies in Israel and abroad, or even some individuals.[8] As far as the battle against hostile media is concerned, the reality of free speech within democracies dictates that this fight has to be conducted in a more sophisticated matter.   
 

The News Agencies

 

In today’s media market, much of the international news is provided by big news agencies. The most important ones by far are Reuters and The Associated Press, both of which are biased against Israel. A former AP journalist managed to publicly expose the distorted methods of AP’s Israel office. In August 2014, after he had left AP, Matti Friedman wrote about his experiences working at the agency’s Israel office. In his words:

 

Israeli actions are analyzed and criticized, and every flaw in Israeli society is aggressively reported. In one seven-week period, from Nov. 8 to Dec. 16, 2011, I decided to count the stories coming out of our bureau on the various moral failings of Israeli society – proposed legislation meant to suppress the media, the rising influence of Orthodox Jews, unauthorized settlement outposts, gender segregation, and so forth. I counted 27 separate articles, an average of a story every two days. In a very conservative estimate, this seven-week tally was higher than the total number of significantly critical stories about Palestinian government and society, including the totalitarian Islamists of Hamas that our bureau had published in the preceding three years.[9]

 

Friedman later wrote an article in The Atlantic entitled, “What the Media Gets Wrong about Israel.” The article further exposed how the AP intentionally reported stories that cast Israel in a negative light and chose not to report on Palestinians behaving badly.[10]

 

The reaction of Friedman’s former boss at AP, Steven Gutkin bordered on the ridiculous. It consisted mainly of an ad hominem attack on Friedman. Strangely enough, his former boss chose to publicize his response using the local Indian website Goa Streets, his new place of employment after leaving AP.[11]

 

Searching for those who will tell

 

Friedman’s publications may serve as an excellent example for the potential activities of the anti-propaganda structure. Friedman made his disclosures at his own initiative. There are a few other journalists who have done the same.  For instance, Hans Mol, a retired journalist of the Dutch liberal daily, NRC-Handelsblad, has published a book about the paper’s anti-Israeli positions. He writes, “In its reporting about Moroccans, about Muslims and about Islam, about Israel and the Middle-East conflict, the paper has increasingly chosen its side: in favor of Hamas and against Israel, in favor of multiculturalists against critics of Islam; for covering up, and against disclosure.”[12]

 

The anti-propaganda agency, in collaboration with media watchers, could start to systematically search for journalists who have worked for major media and then either left or retired. Among these journalists, they could look for those who are either pro-Israel or have grievances against their former employer and who are willing to relate information about how the anti-Israel bias functions. Such a tactic is a low-cost activity which can yield much information.  

 

The classic form of media analysis can also be very useful. It is not difficult to get an idea of the pronounced bias AP maintains against Israel, beyond what Friedman has already written. Part of it is easy accessible online, and much can be obtained from media watchers such as CAMERA and HonestReporting. 

 

A Few Examples

 

The anti-Israel bias can be illustrated by some examples. In 2001, Associated Press was one of several organizations who received HonestReporting’s Dishonest Reporting Award. HonestReporting mentioned, for example, that when a Palestinian sniper murdered a 10-month-old Jewish baby in Hebron, the AP published an article titled, “Jewish toddler dies in West Bank.” They made no mention of who perpetrated the murder, and readers could easily get the impression that the baby had died from natural causes or from an unfortunate accident. Several other such examples were given by HonestReporting.[13]

 

Later in 2001, American journalist Jeff Helmreich analyzed in a detailed article how AP had covered Yasser Arafat’s Al-Naqba Speech that May. He wrote, “By the time it reached the newspapers, entire sentences and clauses had been excluded; moderating words had been added; fiery attacks — like a slur about the United States — had been cleaned out; statements had been condensed, enhanced, or otherwise altered. In short, AP's purported ‘excerpts’ of Arafat's remarks were at best edited, at worst fabricated. Moreover, they served to distort — and significantly soften — the message that passed through Arafat's lips.”[14]

 

As previously indicated, one only has to go through CAMERA and HonestReporting’s material about AP in order to start building up a sizable database of its bias and errors. On March 3, 2003, AP published an obituary for a former Israeli diplomat, Shlomo Argov. CAMERA points out that the article mentioned that his attempted assassination in London in 1982 by Palestinian terrorists had triggered Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. Yet the obituary conveniently neglected to mention the seminal factors which prompted the Lebanon invasion – the constant shelling, illegal arms buildup, and terrorism. AP thus seriously misrepresented history.[15]

 

Later in 2003, HonestReporting pointed out that on November 8th, AP had released a list of recent terror attacks that had occurred worldwide. The list noted incidents Islamic terrorism that had taken place since 1998 around the globe, but completely ignored all Palestinian attacks that occurred in Israel. The next day, Reuters released a similar list of “worst guerrilla attacks since September 11th”.  It omitted all terror attacks in Israel.[16]

 

A more recent example of AP bias occurred in October 2014. A terrorist from East Jerusalem rammed his car into a crowd, killing two people, one of them an infant, and injuring several more. The terrorist was shot by the police. AP reported on this incident in an article headlined, “Israeli Police Shoot Man in East Jerusalem.” The article also began with the words, “Israeli police say they have shot a man whose car slammed into a crowded train stop in east Jerusalem, in what they suspect was an intentional attack.” Only after a public outcry was the article edited to reflect what had really happened. An analysis of this case by Israeli journalist Ariel Cahana also describes how other big media also distorted this incident by presenting it as a road accident and not as an intentional terror attack on civilians.[17]

 

All of these examples are but a small selection of the bias concerning AP, a single, albeit important source for many media. It could easily be expanded to dozens, if not hundreds, of other media. 

 

A similar analysis could be made of Reuters’ reporting. CAMERA has also devoted much attention to The New York Times, which is among the world’s most important media.[18] CAMERA currently monitors its activities and has publications on the paper’s bias, systematically covering articles of this daily on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during certain periods.

 

Media watchers can publicize errors and bias, and they can attempt to discuss such bias with media editors. Sometimes they even come up with innovative solutions. In January 2014, CAMERA put up a three-story billboard advertisement on a building facing the Times’ headquarters. The initial text read, “Would a great newspaper slant the news against Israel? The New York Times does.” The text went on to say: “Misrepresenting facts, omitting key information, skewing headlines and photos.” Under this it said, “Stop the bias. CAMERA.”[19]
 

 

The Israeli Government Must Step In

 

There is a limit to what voluntary, grass-roots organizations can do. They can expose media, but they cannot punish their bias. The Israeli government must step in and develop the media strategy of a future anti-propaganda agency. 

 

This has to be done not by limiting freedom of speech, but on the basis of limiting the publications of lies. Israeli government officials can start exposing biased media. For example, at the start of press conferences, they can mention the most recent proven bias of one of the media present. Israel can refuse to provide press cards to biased reporters, indicating that these cards are not intended for non-reporters, i.e., frequent liars and anti-Israel inciters. 

 

All this could be but a very primitive beginning for an anti-propaganda agency. One has to realize that the Israeli army and the Israeli intelligence services today are far more sophisticated than when they began their activities. A similar process would occur with a governmental anti-propaganda agency, once it is established. Its methods would advance over time. 



[1] library.fes.de/pdf-files/do/07908-20110311.pdf.

[2] “Kritik an Israel nicht deckungsgleich mit antisemitischen Haltungen,” gfs.bern, 28 March 2007. (German)

[3] “Antisemittisme i Norge? Den norske befolkningens holdninger til jøder og andre minoriteter,” HL-senteret, 20 May 2012, http://www.hlsenteret.no/publikasjoner/antisemittisme-i-norge. (Norwegian)

 

[4] Manfred Gerstenfeld and Ben Green, “Watching the Pro-Israeli Media Watchers,” Jewish Political Studies Review 16, 3-4 (Fall 2004): 33-58.

[5] http://www.camera.org/

[6] http://honestreporting.com/

[7] “Netanyahu: We’re building a digital Iron Dome,” Jerusalem Post, 1 January 2013.

 

[8] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “How to efficiently fight anti-Israel propaganda?,” The Jerusalem Post, 25 November 2014.

[9] Matti Friedman, “An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth,” Tablet, 26 August 2014.

[10] Matti Friedman, “What the Media Gets Wrong About Israel,” The Atlantic, 30 November 2014.

[11] Steven Gutkin, “My Life As An AP Bureau Chief In Israel,” Goa Streets, 25 September 2014.

 

[12] Hans Mol, Hoe de nuance verdween uit een kwaliteitskrant; NRC Handelsblad neemt stelling tegen Israel, (Amsterdam: Bert Bakker, 2011) 10. [Dutch]

[13] “Dishonest Reporting ‘Award’ for 2001,” HonestReporting, 7 January 2002.

[14] Jeff Helmreich, “Journalistic License: Professional Standards in the Print Media’s Coverage of Israel,” The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 15 August 2001.

[15] “Thumbs Down to Steve Weizman, CAMERA, 3 March 2003.

[16] “AP, Reuters Omit Terror in Israel,” HonestReporting, 12 November 2003.

[17] Ariel Cahana, “How the Murder of a Jewish Baby is Reported Worldwide,” Israel National News, 24 October 2014.

[18] “Indicting Israel: New York Times Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,” CAMERA, 15 October 2013.

[19] Andrea Levin, “CAMERA Billboard Campaign Calls out New York Times Bias against Israel,” 27 January 2014, www.camera.org.