« Washington Post: Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam a 'mellow folkie' | Main | "The France Two news report is a blood libel. It's a hoax. Fabrication. And that's it." »

November 09, 2010

Israeli Press Official Opens Up on His Experiences With Foreign Press

There is much of interest in outgoing Government Press Office director Danny Seaman's interview with the Jerusalem Post.

Among the noteworthy points is Seaman's view that skewed international reporting about Israel stems in large part from the Israeli media. When outspoken Israeli reporters vent their opinions to foreign correspondents who are unfamiliar with the region, he tells Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief David Horovitz, those views are transmitted without the context that Israelis are naturally familiar with.

Seaman:Unfortunately, the Israeli media is to a large degree responsible for a political indoctrination that represents only a small percentage of the Israeli public’s opinion.

Horovitz:The Israeli media is the original skewer of the conception of Israel, and the foreign media then plays into that?

Seaman: Absolutely. An example: During the war in Lebanon [in 2006], I was up North, among the journalists. In the evenings I saw the interaction between Israeli media and the foreign media. Some of the Israeli journalists were sitting there and making the most atrocious statements about the State of Israel. They had been p***ed off about a lot of things, unhappy with the way [the war was] being conducted. In some cases there was a political tone to what they were saying. That’s good and legitimate for the internal debate. But somebody from the outside doesn’t understand the basis for this or that argument. Yet [the Israeli journalists] are more than happy to convey their opinions to somebody from the outside, not understanding how somebody from outside perceives this. They’re legitimizing the delegitimization of the State of Israel.

This is perhaps the greatest threat that we have been facing over the past decade: It’s no longer a case of Israel versus the Palestinians. It’s a deliberate, concerted effort to delegitimize Israel’s existence. [Our enemies] tried to beat us on the battlefield. They tried defeating us on the low-intensity battlefield. When they lost on these two levels, they suddenly understood that the only way to fight us today is to delegitimize our right to exist...

Part of my problem with the foreign press – and I’ve been accused of being combative and feisty in fighting them – is that you have journalists coming in here not having the faintest idea of what is going on.

They live off what they get from their colleagues; they meet certain people who come from the same social-economic background; they live off of one newspaper, Haaretz. They don’t make an effort. When you have a conversation with them, you find that they have a complete lack of knowledge of the elementary issues.

Posted by GI at November 9, 2010 04:43 PM


Before consenting to interviews with Western journalists, Zionists should first spend five minutes assessing their grasp of the issues. For example, the Zionist could say, "Because the issues we will discuss relate to Arabs' long history of violence against Jews, I just want to make sure we're on the same page before we begin. Can you tell me, for example, anything about the events that occurred in 1956?"

If, during the interview, the journalist attempts to shut up any talk of history, the Zionist can then say, "Well, how do you know it's not relevant, if you don't know anything about it? I asked you about this before we began the interview, and you said you didn't know anything."

If these journalists know nothing about the history of Arab genocidal violence against Jews, how can we expect them to put any of this information in the proper context?

Posted by: Editor, Ezra Ben-Shalom at November 13, 2010 11:18 AM

But how can we get the message over to Ha'aretz and the self proclaimed Zionist Left?

Posted by: David Guy at November 30, 2010 04:20 AM

Guidelines for posting

This is a moderated blog. We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material.

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)