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Archive for the ‘Media Bias’ Category

Jul
22

Do the people around the world who complain about “civilian casualties” in Gaza understand that it is a war crime to target civilians with missile attacks (which Hamas does) and also to hide behind civilian shields (which Hamas also does)?  Or to shoot rockets from “protected” locations like schools, hospitals and mosques (which Hamas also does)?

Do they understand that civilians and protected institutions lose their protected status according to the rules of war when they are unlawfully used for war activities?

Gazan

Gazan “Missile Defence”

Do they realize that they are “useful idiots” playing into Hamas’ hands and encouraging Hamas leaders to continue to try to get their own people killed so they will get more sympathy?  Do they realize they are therefore insuring there will be more civilian casualties on both sides in the future?

Finally, does this say something, anything at all, about a group of people that voted Hamas into power and continues to play along with the Human shield game?  Anything?

Hat tip: Boldt Andreas

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Jan
13

Apparently life is not all sorrow for the “refugees” in Gaza. If your country is one of the many that give aid to the Palestinian Arabs of Gaza, here are your tax dollars at work:

 

Looking for a luxury hotel, fine dining, high-end shopping or an amusement park for the kids? Here is the updated version for 2011:

 

[Just make sure “Israel” is not stamped anywhere on your passport if you want to come back alive from your visit.]

Apparently the IDF missed a few buildings in its recent forays into Gaza, and some goods are squeaking through the blockade on Gaza that all the “peace flotillas” are trying to break.

It would be absurd to suggest that these videos prove there is no squalor in Gaza. But then again, there is plenty of squalor in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and every other non-oil-rich Arab country. But in all these places, amongst the squalor there is plenty of money flowing around too. Keep that in mind the next time you see a special report on the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza.

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Jan
11

Melanie Phillips, a staunch British advocate for Israel had this to say about the sad state of affairs of Israeli hasbara (public relations) in England:



 

Perhaps it could be said that, in her frustration, Ms. Phillips exaggerates somewhat. However, the lack of an effective hasbara campaign by the Israeli government is both well-known and longstanding.

Of course combating anti-Israeli propaganda all over the world is a massive job, especially when an anti-Israel (read: anti-Jewish) message is so readily accepted in so many quarters. But the Israeli government and Foreign Ministry have proven quite incapable of doing a competent job, let alone showing the kind of ingenuity that Israelis are famous for in so many other fields.

It should be clear that a substantial portion of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, including the diplomatic core, are from the political Left and are highly invested in the ever-failing peace process — politically, professionally and personally. These people shy away from an active defense of Israel’s position since that is confrontational and would upset the Arabs. And they may be hesitant to work with Israel’s natural allies on the Right.

Due to the way the system in Israel works, these people can not and will not be purged from positions of importance any time soon. Don’t expect them to change or to go away. Therefore it is pointless to rely on the Israeli government to handle this job effectively.

The only options are 1) to bypass the “official” hasbara system and/or 2) to find an effective pro-Israel message that the Left in Israel can support.

Alas, it seems that #1 is much easier to accomplish than #2.

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Apr
23

The Jerusalem Post’s commentator Caroline Glick comments on Israel’s leftist-agendized media as epitomized by the Haaretz spy scandal:

When the gag order was revoked last Thursday, Israelis… learned that Anat Kamm, a reporter hired by the Walla Web portal when it was partly owned by Haaretz, had been under house arrest for four months. She is on trial for acts of espionage with the intent of harming national security that she committed not as a reporter, but during her service in the IDF… She continued reporting for Walla, while under house arrest until the end of March.

Haaretz staff reporter Uri Blau fled the country not to protect a source, but to evade punishment for possessing classified military documents in breach not only of the law but of a plea bargain agreement with the Shin Bet.

Kamm served in the IDF from 2005 to 2007 as a secretary in the office of the commander of Central Command. In the weeks before her release from service, she copied about 2,000 highly classified IDF documents onto two CDs and uploaded them to her home computer. After her release, she shopped the documents around to various military reporters and eventually gave them to Blau…. Such information in the hands of Israel’s enemies could cause the death of thousands of Israeli soldiers and civilians…

The Shin Bet launched its investigation of stolen IDF documents, which led it to Blau and then to Kamm after Blau published articles in November 2008 based on the documents he received from Kamm. At the time, the Shin Bet asked that Blau return all the classified documents in his possession. In return for his agreement to do so, the Shin Bet agreed not to prosecute him for illegally possessing classified materials. Blau returned 50 such documents and asserted that he had no more documents in his possession.

But then the Shin Bet found Kamm. And after confessing to stealing the 2,000 documents, she told them that she gave them all to Blau. When Blau found out that the Shin Bet knew he lied, and still illegally possesses thousands of classified documents, he decided not to return to Israel…

With the knowledge that their reporter lied to the Shin Bet and fled the country Haaretz chose to pay his living expenses in London and his legal expenses in Israel.

In her statements during her investigation published in court documents, Kamm revealed that she is a messianic leftist. She came to the army not to serve the country, but to transform it. It was only when she realized that she had failed to bend the IDF to her will that she decided to reveal its secrets.

Kamm’s treachery is a deeply disturbing comment on the mindset of the radical Left in Israel. But her crimes are even more alarming when we realize that Kamm is not a lone renegade. In her treasonous activities, she enjoys the support of a massive organization…

Haaretz has demonstrated that leftist traitors have a powerful sponsor capable of exacting painful revenge on the State of Israel for daring to prosecute them.

As for the State of Israel… the Haaretz spy scandal demonstrates is that the state is utterly unwilling to deal with this dangerous state of affairs. Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin stated that Israel will not change its screening process of candidates for military service. In the post-Kamm IDF, religious youths will continue to be grilled about their willingness to expel Jewish Israelis from their homes, and radical leftist youths will not be questioned about their loyalty to the state and willingness to keep the IDF’s secrets.

Ma’ariv and Globes both reported that thousands of Israelis canceled their subscriptions to Haaretz this week. Haaretz denied the reports. But really, it doesn’t care. Haaretz’s target audience is not Israeli. It is global. And there it remains the champion of those who seek an Israeli affirmation of their anti-Israel attitudes.

Once again, the real problem is not the bad apples in the barrel but the vast numbers of people that support them (and vote for them).

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Mar
14

Pinch me — now even the U.S. State Department has criticized the Goldstone Report as well as rhetoric by the Palestinian media:

The Goldstone report was widely criticized for methodological failings, legal and factual errors, falsehoods, and for devoting insufficient attention to the asymmetrical nature of the conflict and the fact that Hamas and other Palestinian militants were deliberately operating in heavily populated urban areas of Gaza. The government of Israel also sharply rejected the charge that it had a policy of deliberately targeting civilians.

In addition, the report said:

In both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank… Palestinian media frequently published and broadcast material that included anti-Israeli content. Rhetoric by Palestinian terrorist groups included expressions of anti-Semitism, as did sermons by some Muslim religious leaders. Some Palestinian religious leaders rejected the right of Israel to exist. Hamas’ al-Aqsa television station carried shows for preschoolers extolling hatred of Jews and suicide bombings.

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Mar
04

An Op-Ed column in The Jerusalem Post reports about Israeli soldiers who are speaking out against media slander of the IDF during a tour of North America:

Conspicuously missing in the narrative of Israel’s recent battles against terrorists is the story of those who actually fought in them; the everyday soldier, with no political agenda, just a conviction in the morality of his army and the personal experience to back that up. But that is no longer the case. Groups of Israeli soldiers, young combat reservists are currently touring North America as part of the “Israeli Soldiers Speak Out’” campaign.

Those who have recently served see that the picture the media presents is skewed from the reality they know. They feel a deep sense of injustice when this happens, given that they have risked their own lives and lost friends while doing their utmost to protect Palestinian civilians….

Their personal battlefield experience challenges members of the audience to put themselves in their shoes and to question what they would do in similar scenarios.

Audiences will meet Inon, an officer who was fighting Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War in 2006 when his unit came across an elderly Lebanese woman in an area where the IDF had warned citizens to leave while they carried out their operation. Seeing the lady was crying out, apparently in pain, they approached her with an army medic. As they got closer, they realized she was wired with explosives… a human bomb.

Also taking part in the tour is Avi, who cut his honeymoon short to rejoin his paratroopers brigade in the military operation against Hamas in Gaza last year. As he fought intense, pitched battles against Hamas gunmen, he saw the streets covered with leaflets. The terrorists had been warned by the IDF that they were coming, thus denying Avi and his colleagues the element of surprise. But a prerequisite for a moral army is wanting to give civilians a chance to flee the battle zone.

THESE STORIES are not documented in the many recent anti-Israel reports, which have ranged from the libelous to the ludicrous. Israel was being bombarded by rockets for the better part of a decade before acting against the Hamas rocket-launchers in Gaza. Yet, before the dust had cleared from the battlefield, the frenzied media – fuelled by politically motivated NGOs – was full of reports and allegations: of reckless bombardment by the IDF, misuse of weapons, organ harvesting.. the list goes on.

And these slanders have been re-reported as fact in much of the Arab (and Western) media…. Web-based technology gives hideous anti-Israel lies a platform that has no borders. Israel’s enemies know this, as Spanish politician Pilar Rahola recently commented… “they [Islamic terrorists] seek to kill us with cellphones connected to the Middle Ages”.

These reports mention Israel in the same breath as Hamas, who fight in civilian clothing, take their own people as human shields and have used every trick in the book to blur and subvert the rules of war. Radical sympathizers are quick to turn a blind eye to this and explain away their rockets as “crude”, when in reality these terrorist forces are better armed than the majority of the armies of… the UN.

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Mar
02

The IRIS blog has posted several reports recently concerning New Israel Fund, J Street and efforts to compel registration of foreign funded NGO’s. An investigative report in The Jerusalem Post adds further fuel to the necessity for laws which act against foreign funded NGO’s by begging the question, European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights: Funding Humanitarian Needs, or Europe’s Trojan Horse Lobby in Israel?:

Between 2002 and 2008, the European Parliament’s European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) granted a total of $14 million to various Israeli NGOs. $5.5 million was directed specifically to causes for Palestinians such as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel’s project “Building a Better Future: Empowering the Palestinian Residents of East Jerusalem to access their planning and house [sic] rights” which received $135,000. A further $7 million went specifically to programs that benefit Israeli Arabs such as the al-Awna fund’s “Master Plan for the Unrecognized Beduin Villages: Securing minority rights for housing and social services” which received $263,000. Even when the EIDHR funded programs for women it did so only for programs for Beduin or Israeli Arab women, except for a token $100,000 it gave to an organization called Isha le Isha (Woman to Woman) which helps fight women trafficking.

There was not one cent directed specifically towards any of the numerous and diverse Jewish communities in Israel: Ethiopians, Russians, Yemenites, Persians or Jews from the Caucasus. The only mention of Jewish citizens as potential recipients was in a grant to the Mossawa Center, the advocacy center for Arab citizens in Israel. It received $402,000 for a project that “aims to combat racism and transform inter-communal relations between target groups who include the Jewish majority, Arab minority and ethnic groups including the Russian, Ethiopian, Mizrahi and Reform Jewish communities.”

Around $73,000 was directed towards former IDF soldiers. It wasn’t to help them with trauma or reward them for a “shared citizenship.” It was to get them to “break the silence” about what they witnessed while in the army, to provide testimony that might lead to a process whereby European courts might put the soldiers or their officers on trial for war crimes. Of course that is not what Breaking the Silence stated for the public. They described their project as “personal encounters with former Israeli combat soldiers.”

THE EIDHR’s “instrument” to affect Israeli policy is merely the tip of the iceberg. In its November 2009 report “Trojan Horse: The impact of European government funding for Israeli NGOs” NGO Monitor illustrated that individual European embassies in Israel and other EU projects give lavishly to Israeli NGOs, sometimes even making up the majority of their budgets. In fact “foreign-funded local NGOs are responsible for a significant portion of the petitions brought before the Israeli High Court of Justice,” says the report.

The EU, realizing it could not get Israel to change its laws through diplomatic means, has resorted to creating an internal lobby within Israel to get Israel to bend to the will of Europe.

An important question not answered in this investigative report is to what extent the money trail covered in Im Tirzu’s report on New Israel Fund leads back to the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights. Presumably this is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Feb
26

It is well known that the Palestinian Authority has been a kleptocracy from the very beginning. And Hamas is no different; see, for example, Hamas Stealing Aid Supplies to Sell to Gazans. But still it helps to keep bringing to light the ongoing examples, as columnist and commentator Khaled Abu Toameh does when reporting that the PA is still stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid:

Donor countries have yet to respond to revelations by former Palestinian intelligence official Fahmi Shabaneh that some of Mahmoud Abbas’ close aides had siphoned off to private bank accounts hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for financial aid to the Palestinians.

Shabaneh expressed frustration over the way the international media has been handling his exposures: “Don’t the Americans, Europeans and Arabs care about their money that is being stolen?”

A former PA minister convinced Abbas and Arafat to give him about $5 million of international aid so that he could purchase land in Jerusalem “before Jews lay their hands on them.” Shabaneh’s investigations showed that the minister deposited most of the money in his private bank account and built a huge, luxurious villa on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Shabaneh also discovered that a former PA finance minister had deposited $8 million in his private bank account.

These are only a few… of the hundreds of cases Shabaneh dealt with when he was in his job, according to the former Palestinian intelligence official, who is now “wanted” by the Palestinian Authority on charges of “collaboration with the Israeli enemy.”

Shabaneh says that since Abbas appointed him as the chief corruption-buster in the Palestinian Authority six years ago, he has collected incriminating evidence against dozens of senior officials, in addition to the president’s two sons, Yasser and Tarek.

Abbas, meanwhile, has cut off Shabaneh’s salary to punish him for speaking out against corruption…

Actually, there is a bit of cosmic justice here. Many nations who helped foist the PA on Israel, all in the name of a very dubious peace. It therefore gives some pleasure to see those nations’ billions in financial aid to the PA being flushed down the drain.

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Feb
22

Spaniard Pilar Rahola writes, as a leftist journalist, that Israel’s struggle is ‘The Struggle of the World’:

Why don’t we see demonstrations in London, Paris, and Barcelona against Islamic dictatorships? Why has there been no leadership in support of the victims of Islamic dictatorship in Sudan? Why is there never any outrage against the acts of terrorism committed against Israel? Why confuse support of the Palestinian cause with the defense of Palestinian terrorism?

And finally, the million dollar question: Why is the left in Europe and around the world obsessed with the two most solid democracies, the United States and Israel, and not with the worst dictatorships on the planet? The two most solid democracies, who have suffered the bloodiest attacks of terrorism, and the left doesn’t care.

In every pro-Palestinian European forum…. they are never concerned with freedom for the people of Syria or Yemen or Iran or Sudan. They are never preoccupied when Hamas destroys freedom for the Palestinians. They are only concerned with using the concept of Palestinian freedom as a weapon against Israeli freedom.

In my native city of Barcelona, the city council decided to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel by having a week of solidarity with the Palestinian people. President Zapatero…. places the blame on Israel for the conflict in the Middle East.

Spain has suffered the worst terrorist attack in Europe and it is in the crosshairs of every Islamic terrorist organization…. They kill us with cell phones hooked to satellites connected to the Middle Ages. And yet the Spanish left is the most anti Israeli in the world.

I am not Jewish. Ideologically I am left and by profession a journalist. Why am I not anti-Israeli like my colleagues? Because as a non-Jew I have the historical responsibility to fight against Jewish hatred and currently against the hatred for their historic homeland, Israel. To fight against anti-Semitism is not the duty of the Jews, it is the duty of the non-Jews.

The struggle of Israel, even if the world doesn’t want to accept it, is the struggle of the world.

The writer is a Spanish journalist, writer, and former member of the Spanish parliament.

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Jan
08

Here’s the headline and lede of an AP top story being carried verbatim by the media across the country this morning:

Giuliani: Obama ‘Turned the Corner’ on Terrorism

WASHINGTON – Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Friday he believes President Barack Obama “turned the corner” on understanding the nature of terrorism when he publicly declared the U.S. at war.

Here’s the video of the full “Good Morning America” interview with Giuliani that the AP references, which ABC News titles, Rudy Giuliani Criticizes Terror Trial.
(Incidentally, there are accurate quotes of Giuliani in the remainder of the ABC News article quoted above.)
(Hat tip: Dan Friedman)

Jan
05

Since the time media magnate William Randolph Heart uttered the phrase “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war,” the best place to find media bias is in photos. And the best place to find biased media photos is the New York Times.

I broke the 87 photos in the 2009 “Year in Pictures” into three categories: US, US in the World, and the World. Within the latter category, seven cover Israelis/Palestinians and 21 pertain to the remainder of the globe. That’s a 1:3 ratio, an overstatement of 172,000% (using land mass).

Within those seven photos, four clearly portray Israelis as aggressors/Palestinians as victims; most of the rest are biased as well, although it’s not as obvious.

Here’s the most egregious:

breishit

I looked through the New York Times archives and it’s been the same story just about every year.

(Hat tip: Harry Glazer)

Jan
05

The Israeli media has adopted an abhorrent practice of the mainstream Western media: Jewish-on-Arab crimes are often hyped, while Arab-on-Jewish attacks tend to be covered up. Here is an example:

Taxi Driver Arrested on Suspicion of Raping Girl in his Cab in TA

A 64-year-old taxi driver from Kfar Kara was arrested on Friday on suspicion of raping a 17-year-old girl.

The girl told Tel Aviv police that the man picked her up on the city’s Dizengoff Street early Friday morning, drove to a car park and raped her in his taxi.

The Jerusalem Post fails to mention that Kfar Kara is an Arab village.