Serving Winnipeg's Jewish Community Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn Youtube

By MYRON LOVE
In an ideal world, the media’s reporting on newsworthy events would be evenhanded and neutral. But this is not an ideal world – and never has been – and, sad to say, the major western world media voices – media such as the New York Times, CNN, the BBC, the Guardian and others – display a clear bias against Israel – the world’s only Jewish state – a bias that has played a major role in fostering the growth of anti-Semitism in the West.


That same media, by whitewashing and/or ignoring Palestinian behavior and the discriminatory behavior of other Arabs towards Palestinians, is also partially responsible for encouraging the growth of anti-Western attitudes among many young Muslims and converts to Islam in the West.
Contrast, for example, Saudi Arabia’s bombing of Yemen with Israel’s war with Gaza last summer. The last report I saw was that the Saudi bombings had killed about 600 civilians, including a number of children. Remember how, despite strenuous efforts to avoid civilian casualties last summer, Israel was condemned for “war crimes”, violating “international law”, “murdering children” and so forth?
Have you noticed anyone criticizing the Saudis for the results of their indiscriminate bombing”? Any demonstrations or calls for boycotts? I thought not.
Or consider a report I saw a couple of weeks ago about Egypt tearing down three mosques bordering Gaza in addition to hundreds of homes and thoroughly blockading the Egyptian-Gaza border. See any reports about those moves in the mainstream media?
As former AP reporter Matti Friedman noted in a speech at the British Israel Communications and Research Centre on January 26, Israel receives more media attention than almost anywhere else in the world and almost all of it is negative. The mainstream media gobble up the most trivial details and faintest rumour if they can be used to vilify Israel.
In one example that Friedman cited, six years ago, his superiors at AP asked him to follow up on a report that some Israeli soldiers were wearing T-Shirts with offensive writing. Why should a major media outlook care about slogans on T-shirts in Israel? I am certain that they could find numerous examples of offensive t-shirts in their own countries.
“This was because,” Friedman explained, “we sought to hint or say outright that Israeli soldiers were war criminals, and every detail supporting that portrayal was to be seized upon. Much of the international press corps covered the T-shirt story.”
Now I am confident that the major media outlets aren’t trying to encourage anti-Semitism nor even see themselves as anti-Semitic. The problem is one of ideology based on sheer ignorance.
You see, for the modern progressives, which includes many, if not most writers in the major media, the worst thing in the world is to be a colonial power – and that, despite all the historical evidence to the contrary – is how they view Israel. They see Israelis as descendants of white Europeans who invaded the land 67 years ago and displaced the local people whom they now “occupy”.
Now, I am sure that most readers know that that is a pile of baloney. However, in the black and white worldview of progressives, Israel becomes the oppressive colonial state and the Palestinians become the “innocent” victims. Therefore, Israel has to be constantly vilified whereas the Palestinian crimes and misdemeanors are ignored because you don’t want to be seen picking on the underdog.
(The Palestinians have done a really effective job of presenting themselves as eternal victims.)
Now put yourself in the shoes of a young European or North American Muslim (by birth or conversion) who is reading and hearing constantly in leading Western media reports that those evil Israelis (i.e. Jews) stole the Palestinians’ land, are oppressing the Palestinians, denying them their rights, murdering Palestinian children, etc.
Might you not develop some hostile feelings about Jews?
At the same time, those same media ignore Arab (including Palestinian Authority and Hamas) mistreatment of Palestinians and the other misdeeds of the Arab world (discrimination against blacks, gays, women and all minorities, slavery, detention without trial and widespread torture).
So what do these young Western Muslims see their governments doing? Are they punishing the evil Israelis? No. They are invading Arab countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. And the Western “progressives” writing or reporting the news provide no context for, say, the American occupation of Iraq (that Saddam Hussein murdered and tortured hundreds of thousands of his own people, made war on his Muslim neighbours and used chemical weapons). The “progressives” only criticize the invading force.
So the young western Muslim thinks that his country is, therefore, siding with the evil Israelis in making war on Muslims.
Is it any wonder that with that kind of irresponsible widespread reporting that young many Muslims  in Europe are attacking Jews in the streets and many are flocking to the extremist ISIS?

Add comment


Security code
Refresh