Media bias towards Israel is well established and deeply ingrained



This is a joke I told high school students many years ago — teenagers can be a tough crowd — showing how media bias can easily create and manipulate public empathy.

In Paris, a man sees a pitbull attacking a girl. He kills dogs and saves children’s lives. Reporters flocked him. “Tell me your name. Your fellow Parisian will be pleased with tomorrow’s headline:” The hero saves the girl from a vicious dog. “” But I’m not from Paris, “the man replies. increase. “Don’t worry,” says another reporter. “All France smiles when they see the headlines.“ Heroes save girls from malicious dogs. ”“ But I’m not from France, ”says the man. The third reporter responds. “Then the whole of Europe …” “But I’m not from Europe,” he interrupts. “Where are you from?” Ask the Associated Press stringer. “Israel,” he says. The next day’s AP headline says, “Israel kills a girl’s dog.”

The kids laughed, and I caught their attention. I followed up on a true story that shows that the joke was just a slight exaggeration of reality. Shortly before my story, a terrorist drove a car into a crowd at a light rail station in Jerusalem, killing a three-month-old baby and a woman before escaping. Police tracked him and eventually killed him. “Israeli police shot and killed a man in East Jerusalem,” AP reported. The heading was later changed to “A car hits East Jerusalem Station”. Responsible headlines emerged only after social media protests forced AP’s hands. “Palestinians kill babies at Jerusalem station.”

On August 15, the Toronto Star reissued its July AP report on the plight of children in Gazan. This is mainly a story that arose from the recent conflict between Hamas and Israel. Photos of scared children bleeding and bruising from the rubble of bombed buildings, other children traumatized by the deaths of family and friends, severe PTSD, sad children with ghostly expressions, etc. The tragic story has had a big impact.

However, as the media surveillance group Honest Reporting Canada pointed out in a published critique of the work, articles over 3,000 words have no nuances and are “related” to help educate Canadians about the complexity of Arab. There was no “context” either. -Israel conflict. The clear conclusion drawn from AP’s work was that Hamas was not responsible for these tragedy and Israel was ruthless and immoral.

No one has done as much as American and Israeli journalist Matti Friedman to uncover media bias towards Israel, focusing on the APs he worked for from 2006 to 2011. Following the 2014 conflict between Gaza and Israel, known as Operation Protective Edge, Friedman published an Atlantic feature article entitled “The Media Is Wrong About Israel” and a Tablet Magazine entitled “Insider’s Guide.” I wrote another long article on the same subject. To the most important story on earth. His basic treatise, whatever the actual story Israel is involved in, “most reporters in Gaza say that their job is to record the violence that Israel has directed against Palestinian civilians.” That is the essence of the Israeli story. “

Friedman’s personal observations from his tenure at AP have been revealed. Meanwhile, there were 40 staff members covering the territory of Israel and Palestine. It exceeds the combined number of China, Russia, India, the “Arab Spring” countries, and all 50 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Throughout 2013, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives (on Chicago’s monthly homicide rate, with fewer deaths from the 2013 Jerusalem violence than in Portland, Oregon). Exactly one stringer covered Syria before the Syrian Civil War began, but Syrian violence killed 190,000 people in the last three years, but from the Israeli-Arab conflict of the last century. Is also increasing.

According to Friedman, Israeli AP staff quickly learned the publishing rules. Corruption of the Palestinian Authority? The director told Friedman, “It’s not a story.” Nevertheless, Israeli corruption was thoroughly covered. From November 8th to December 16th, 2011, Friedman states that there are 27 articles on “moral failure of Israeli society,” with an average of one every two days. This seven-week tally was more than the total number of AP’s most important articles on Palestinian society, including Hamas, over the last three years.

As Friedman observed in 2015 Keynote speechAt the annual dinner of the British Israeli Communications Research Center in London, entitled “The Idealistic Roots of Media Bias for Israel,” “Jewish hatred for Arabs is a story. Arab hatred for Jews. That’s not the case …. The story is about 100 houses in a village on the west bank of the Jordan River. Not 100 rockets smuggled into Gaza. “The Israeli Prime Minister’s 2009 peace proposal to the Palestinian President Was not reported at all, he said.

Hamas censors what reporters in the field can write and take pictures of. If they ignore Hamas’s warning, they are justly afraid of retaliation and they obey. As the editor of the AP, Friedman personally erased important details that Hamas fighters were dressed as civilians and counted as civilians in terms of deaths, in order to threaten reporters. I admit. Indeed, Palestinians prefer information from Israel because the information from the Arab side is so unreliable, Friedman says. A reporter in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz once detailed Hamas’ planned coup against Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah, discovered by Israel’s internal security agency, Singh Bet, and handed over to Abbas. When Abbas was scolded by Hamas leader Khaled Meshal for accepting Israeli information, he replied, “I believe in Israeli reports.”

The jihadist Hamas charter, which demands the destruction of Israel and rejects the possibility of peaceful coexistence with the Jews, has never been mentioned in print while Friedman worked at the AP. I can understand why. The caliphate dream is no different from the Taliban dream.

The children of AP Story are innocent, but none of the adults in Hamas have caused these traumatic events. The Greek philosopher Aristotle established the essential principles of persuasion long ago: spirit, logo, and melancholy. Etos is to establish the authority to speak on the subject, the logo is the logical argument and evidence you add to assert, and Pathos is the human interest in your treatise intended to attract the emotions of the reader. Here is an example. All three elements appear in a trusted reportage.

The Toronto Star has re-released AP features that lack both spirit and logo. It is all melancholy, the ironic exploitation of children suffering from sympathy for Hamas as a repressed victim and hatred for Israel as a repressor from the heart and spirit of the reader. Such prejudices show Toronto Star accomplices in this brave reality manifestation of jokes about Israelis, pitbulls, and children.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Barbara Kay

Barbara Kay has been a National Post weekly columnist since 2003 and has contributed to other publications such as, Canadian Jewish News, Quillette, and The Dorchester Review. She is the author of three books.