Maybe the story that best captures the disconnect between the media portrayal of Israel, and the actual picture of Israel, is the fact that for a fifth year in a row, Israel was named by the UN the 11th happiest country in the world. The appraisal of Israel as a place of doom and gloom is not shared by Israelis themselves (and that includes Jews and Arabs).
By linking to Murray’s wild, completely unsubstantiated and incendiary charges, and uncritically citing it as grounds for readers to be skeptical of the government’s assessment, the Guardian has legitimised a full-out anti-Israel conspiracy theory – the kind of malign, obsessive and often delusional Israel root-cause explanations for international events which continues to fuel antisemitism in the UK.
Whilst it’s true that MOST of the more than 325,00 Arabs living in the city are permanent residents, thousands are full Israeli citizens. Roughly 7 percent of the city’s Arabs (more than 20,000 people) are Israeli citizens and have the same rights (including the right to vote in national elections) as all other citizens.
The suggestion that Tamimi, who was arrested for assaulting an Israeli soldier and for incitement, by endorsing (on video) armed “resistance”, is a “political prisoner” is beyond absurd. The term “political prisoner” is as codified as pertaining only to those detained in violation of “freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and information, freedom of assembly and association”.
Contrary to Robert Fisk’s claim, Yasser Arafat was offered was a contiguous state encompassing Gaza, east Jerusalem and considerably more than 90 percent of the West Bank. And, it’s not the “American media” making this “claim”. It’s three of the principle players during negotiations – Bill Clinton, his chief peace negotiator Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk, then the US Ambassador to Israel.
This conclusion that the flight of Arabs from Haifa was instigated by the Arab leadership, and not by the Hagana, isn’t just reached by Karsh, but by historian Benny Morris, and even radical anti-Israel historian Illan Pappe, who acknowledged that “Jewish troops had no clear intention of provoking an Arab exodus” and that “their military strategy was not calculated to produce such an outcome”.
Following communication with UK Media Watch, Guardian editors amended a photo caption which misleadingly suggested that a far-right Polish demonstration in Warsaw included a pro-Israel contingent.
This month, the New Statesman published an article by Sarah Helm entitled “How Donald Trump provoked a Palestinian refugee revolt” which is inaccurate on two levels – it makes false assertions and misleading statements about specific details, and presents a very selective version of the overall story.
Despite the fact that we’ve prompted corrections on this point continually over the years, UK media outlets continue to make errors regarding Israel’s capital – by claiming, explicitly or implicitly, that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital. We caught two such errors yesterday, one at the Daily Express and the other at the Daily Mail.
If foreign journalists covering the region held Palestinian leaders to the same level of critical scrutiny that they consistently hold Israeli leaders to, the ten seconds of Abbas addressing the UN would cause nothing less than a media storm – with reports, analyses and commentaries informing readers that Abbas’s claim that Palestinians “are committed to fostering a culture of peace and a rejection of violence” is simply the opposite of the truth.
In initial reports on Sunday and Monday, following hostilities on Saturday between Israel and Syria, the Iranian drone (which violated Israeli air space and caused the incident) wasn’t included in the headline and only appeared further in the article. However, a recent report in the Independent went a step further, omitting the drone altogether in both the headline and the text.
The Guardian simply has no credibility on the issue of anti-Jewish racism, and we seriously doubt that the editor responsible for the piece condemning attacks on Soros was motivated by a genuine anger towards antisemitic expressions. As Guardian journalist Michael White tweeted, on an unrelated controversy, “we all cherry pick our outrage sometimes”.
The decision by The Economist to leave the false impression that a leading Holocaust historian evoked such a comparison does not reflect well on the seriousness of editors in upholding their own editorial standards, which includes a pledge to “consider whether the context and presentation of the facts are fair”.
Foreign journalists covering the region are so careful not to amplify or accept at face value the “hasbara” disseminated by the Israeli government or pro-Israel groups, yet seem perfectly willing to report (as real news) such staged protests and other forms of political street theatre.
Economist falsely suggests Israeli historian compared African detention centers to “concentration camps”.
We contacted Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer by email, to ask him if, as The Economist claimed, he’s used the term “modern concentration camps”, to characterize the detention of African migrants. Bauer promptly replied to our email and flatly denied ever using any version of the term.
The suggestion in the EU report that the Jewish “narrative” is being promoted “at the expense of other religions” represents the opposite of the truth, as Israel continues to safeguard Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, whilst Palestinian leaders continually deny Jewish history in the holy city and incite their people to view any Jewish presence on Judaism’s holiest site as an intrusion onto an exclusively ‘Muslim’ site.
Despite the fact that Burke acknowledges that “the emergence of terrorism as we know it today” begun “in the second half of the 19th century”, his historical overview of modern terror somehow manages to avoid any mention of Palestinian attacks against Jews in Israeli cities, or Palestinian attacks on Jewish targets in Western cities.
“Despite being engaged in nearly perpetual conflict with Palestinians over the division of land, Israel has developed into an economic hub in the 69 years of its existence. The densely populated country has focused on growing its high-tech industry, a change from its agricultural roots. Israel has one of the fastest growing GDPs of the 25 richest countries, increasing 4% in 2016.”
Netanyahu’s trip to India reveals two sides of Israel that do not receive enough media attention – Israel as a partner in solving the major humanitarian issues of the day, and Israel as a country that is quite popular in many parts of the world – facts which contradict the simplistic, one-sided narrative often presented by foreign journalists covering the region.
Indy’s former Jerusalem reporter: Gaza tunnels are a testament to Palestinian “hard work and ingenuity”
Macintyre, the Indy’s former Jerusalem correspondent, said that Hamas were “a relatively pragmatic Islamist regime”, suggested Gazans are free to criticise the regime, and that the terror group’s building of tunnels was “testament to their hard work and ingenuity”.