February 25, 2005
Europeans Speak Out
Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe, and some Jewish groups are starting to speak out.
The Jerusalem Post quotes a spokesman for a Swiss group discussing the relationship between Swiss media coverage and the prevailing attitudes in that country:
Spokesman Thomas Lyssy said the Swiss Federation spoke out because it felt that an anti-Israel bias in Swiss society had become a danger to the Jewish community.
"There has been more anti-Israel media coverage here in recent years, and that kind of coverage has a negative impact on the Jewish community," he told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. "[The portrayal] that Israel is always wrong and the Palestinians are always right has created a tense atmosphere."
The federation's uncharacteristic decision to release its complaints to the media, rather than refer them privately to officials, "has put more pressure on the government" because of widespread attention paid to the issue by the national media, Lyssy added.
Posted by GI at 11:04 AM
February 22, 2005
Public Participation and Media Quality
Lee Green, Director of CAMERA's National Letter-Writing Group, notes:
A commentary ("Citizens should insist on a fair press") by Evelyn Gordon in the February 21 Jerusalem Post reminds us that the level of fairness and accountability of a nation's press is directly related to how involved the public and media watchdogs are on insisting upon fair and factual reporting. Please keep this in mind whenever you are pondering whether you should spend a half hour to promote fair reporting about Israel to your local editor or to a national commentator.
Posted by GI at 01:38 PM
February 15, 2005
A front page story in the San Francisco Chronicle by Matthew Kalman recalls that in the past, Palestinian security personnel trained by the CIA to combat anti-Israeli terrorism have in fact used that training to attack Israelis.
Kalman points out that "Such training courses, which were suspended with the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000, will be an integral part of Washington's aid package for the new government of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas."
Posted by GI at 05:14 PM
Incitement via Lies
IMRA (Independent Media Review Analysis) has brought to light another example of WAFA (the official Palestinian news agency) inventing news.
They link to a Saudi Press Agency story reporting that a Palestinian was shot while trying to stab an Israeli soldier.
This is juxtaposed with the WAFA version of the same story: "the unidentified child was walking with his friends when the Israeli soldier unjustifiably targeted him with several bullets."
Posted by GI at 04:44 PM
February 09, 2005
Checkpoints—"Terrible", Suicide Bombers—No Comment
On Monday night's NBC Nightly News, reporter Martin Fletcher commented on the atmosphere leading up to the Sharm El-Sheik summit between Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas.
He made some valid points... but his introductory remarks were noticeably unbalanced.
Fletcher described Israeli checkpoints as "those terrible security measures." He also added that the Palestinians see those security measures as "miserable."
What adjective does the reporter assign to Palestinian suicide bombings? None.
Well, it certainly looks promising. Both sides say they agree to a cease-fire tomorrow. The Palestinians say that they'll stop all of those suicide bombs and bomb attacks against the Israelis. And the Israelis say they'll stop all military operations against the Palestinians and also that they'll lift those terrible security measures that the Palestinians have found so miserable over the years, especially including the checkpoints. [emphasis added]
There is no doubt that Israeli security measures have been a nuisance to many Palestinians. But that Fletcher sees these Israeli attempts to prevent terror as more reprehensible than murderous suicide bombings is, to use one mild adjective, wrong.
Posted by GI at 03:25 PM
February 04, 2005
Study Addresses the Roots of Terror.
It is popular in some circles to blame Israeli policies for anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim world.
Two researchers at the Strategic Studies Institue of the U.S. Army War college disagree.
A detailed study by the researchers, experts on Islamic militancy, explains that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is in fact not the main cause of anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim world.
Posted by GI at 02:40 PM
February 01, 2005
A Shark in the Press Pool
'The Daily Brief' is a fun blog that offers this sharp nugget on the collapse of journalism's prestige and power. The autopsy is not pretty.
Any sort of list has to include CNN maintaining their bureau in Baghdad by quietly killing stories about Saddam Hussein’s atrocities. It has to include mention of how coverage of the Middle East is warped by major international news services reliance on local stringers who have every reason to tilt their dispatches very much to one side. Of how on-scene reportage on the West Bank and Gaza is controlled by the Palestinians, who control access of the place to film crews and reporters. Of photographers who are marvelously on the spot when car bombs, ambushes and executions are going down, and respected news professionals insist that it is their obligation to watch it all happen. Or of reporters like Sy Hersh, whose past performance guarantees a pulpit for dubious and improbable stories of war crimes committed by the American military. It has to include stories based on transparent frauds and forgeries, on political hit-pieces perpetrated by reporters insisting that, no; they really, really are totally unbiased. It has to include stories where interviewees are presented as being merely interview subjects, when they are actually deeply compromised, with a strong interest in the coverage of the story one way or the other.
Posted by JW at 05:23 PM
Dark thoughts from Mark Brown
Mark Brown, a Chicago Sun Times columnist engages in some needed introspection in today's paper.
[A]fter watching Sunday's election in Iraq and seeing the first clear sign that freedom really may mean something to the Iraqi people, you have to be asking yourself: What if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong?
It's hard to swallow, isn't it?
Well, the first step is admitting that you may have a problem. And a major part of the problem has been the refusal by the West's chattering classes to hold Arabs and Islamic societies to the standards they demand of Israel and America. Those standards include the ability to conduct a democratic election and to honor treaty obligations. It's not too much to ask, isn't it?
Posted by JW at 03:16 PM