Thursday, October 27th | 25 Tishri 5777


Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

November 12, 2012 11:36 pm

Top 10 Reasons Why the Media Is Biased Against Israel

avatar by Ronn Torossian

Email a copy of "Top 10 Reasons Why the Media Is Biased Against Israel" to a friend

American newspapers.

As the owner of 5WPR, a top 25 American PR Agency my observations of the consistent media bias against Israel is an ongoing source of aggravation. I have discussed the issue extensively through the years with senior Israeli government officials, American Jewish leaders and media executives – and there appears to be little change in sight. Within Israel there are far more journalists, both foreign and domestic, than in many larger countries and there are more foreign journalists in Israel than any other country in the region.

No matter who the President or what is going on in the world, it seems Israel is always in the headlines. While there are many different reasons that the media is Anti-Israel, here is my list of the Top 10 Reasons Why the Media Is Biased against Israel:

  • There is freedom of the press in Israel, and journalists can cover it as they wish. Unlike anywhere else in the Middle East, there is true freedom of the press; journalists aren’t followed by the police, tortured, intimidated, etc. Israel exists in a tough neighborhood and while not covering the irony of their freedoms, the media disparages Israel. Anywhere else in the world people who throw rocks at police would be rightfully taken to task – In Israel, the authorities are painted as the bad guys for enforcing the law against rock-throwers.
  • Reporters enjoy the good life in Israel. Foreign reporters often report from the “war zone” with great visuals of “conflict”, yet are able to return to metropolitan life for a great sushi dinner, or evening out in beautiful Tel Aviv. As a result, what they report and how they live are inconsistent. In Israel, reporters lead a high quality of life; from education to culture, and they do not find themselves in danger as they are in many neighboring countries (you won’t see too many journalists in Libya, Iran or many of Israel’s other neighbors). They can do the “war” story and be back enjoying the good life an hour later. It’s much easier to report from Israel than a place of real danger.
  • Israel simply won’t fabricate information and lie as the Palestinian Arabs consistently do. A recent video from a protest in the “West Bank” provided amazing visuals – attractive Arab children seemingly captured in confrontations with soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces.  It is certainly captivating video – kids, guns, and the Middle East desert. This particular video wasn’t a Hollywood production – but it was a fabrication. One can see that the children are props trying to provoke the soldiers. As a senior Israeli Army source said, Palestinian children are being paid to confront the soldiers – “The soldiers are briefed on the fact that these protests are staged for the sake of provocation, so that they could be filmed acting violently and so that those videos could be distributed worldwide in an effort to harm the IDF’s image.” In instance after instance, such as the Muhammad Al-Dura incident, credibility is lacking, but the images are startling and powerful.
  • Worldwide mainstream media shows a liberal bias – and liberals are opposed to Israel, which they view as the power in the region. In a 2001 Kaiser Family Foundation study of media professionals, the ratio of self-identified liberals to conservatives was 4.2 to 1. A 2004 Pew Research Center study of journalists and media executives, found that the ratio of self-identified liberals to conservatives was 4.9 to 1. In a 2005 University of Connecticut study of 300 journalists, the liberal-to-conservative ratio was 2.8 to 1. In a 2005 Annenberg Public Policy Center poll of nearly 700 journalists, the liberal-to-conservative ratio was 3.4 to 1. And in a 2007 Pew Research Center study of journalists and news executives, the ratio was four liberals for each conservative.
  • Israel’s political system is not conducive to good public relations. There are a slew of agencies within the government supposedly dealing with PR, yet none of them are even remotely effective. To name a few, there is a directorate for PR in the National Security Council, and PR divisions in the Prime Minister’s Office, the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the Israel Defense Forces. Few coordinate with one another, and all have very limited foreign contacts. Yet, when the world’s media representatives come calling they comment quickly, in less than perfect English and with little non-insider context, local expertise, or media relationships. Ambassadors have gone to countries where they don’t speak the host nation’s language, and there is little coordination in key countries amongst government entities. It’s a shame and hurts Israel worldwide.
  • Culturally, Israelis don’t look at marketing & public relations as necessities. Take Israeli technology companies – Israelis have great products, but poor marketing. Israelis are tough, and believe since their cause is just and they can defeat the enemy they don’t need to spend time convincing the public. Working with oligarchs and business leaders of the former Soviet Union countries, I witness much the same behavior. As Israel has had to fight since day one of her existence, and continues to rely upon the military, they often do not see the need to focus on something as abstract as media.
  • Israelis are not flexible with the “business of PR”. Few spend time and money entertaining reporters. Unlike Arab PR representatives who spend nights at the American Colony Hotel, and aren’t burdened with expense reports, Israeli government officials aren’t permitted to turn in regular expenses for meals or entertaining reporters, and in nearly all instances pay their own cellular phone bills for calls to and from reporters. Another government of another embattled area (outside of the Mid-East) is a client. The main spokesperson met a friendly reporter from one of the largest weekly news-magazines; after a 45 minute interview, he ended up having a real heart to heart with the official. The journalist said: “You always come to our office even when there’s nothing going on, you speak the same language, our kids go to school together, and you guys invite us for parties and fun events. It’s harder to write negative about my friends,” he laughed, “irrespective of the issues.”
  • Israel doesn’t employ professionals. A nation which (rightly) employs Stanley Fischer to manage the economy should hire Public Relations professionals to assist with their many challenges – as the Arab Nations all retain high-powered public relations firms.
  • Israel is too much a part of the everyday lexicon worldwide and precious few realize the nation is the size of New Jersey. In the final American Presidential debate, we heard from Mitt Romney that President Obama went on an apology tour through the Middle East and did not visit Israel.  Obama noted as a candidate he visited Israel and the border town of Sderot, where he “saw families there who showed [him] where missiles had come down near their children’s bedrooms.” He said that it made him think of what he would do if it were his kids, which is why he says he funded the Iron Dome program “to stop those missiles.” Israel, and the tiny town of Sderot, was front and center at the American Presidential debate and it seems as if 1.5 hours of our time watching an American foreign policy discussion was actually a discussion on how many ways America helps poor Israel. Long term, Israel cannot benefit from that much attention.
  • Let’s not ignore the 800 pound elephant in the room: Many people hate Jews – and that may never change. There is a disgusting double standard of bias against Israel from reporters who constantly blast and attack Israel out of hate.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the Zionist prophet spoke about the importance of Public Relations: “Who were the first to teach us to always interfere in matters that are not ours, to judge people and nations, even though we were never chosen for the position of judge? The work of the publicist is a legacy from the Prophets of Israel…Our passion is to speak, to proclaim—”’Shouting” is what the same audience calls it, ‘we have no need for words, give us actions.’ One thing that audience forgets is that speech is also an action – Perhaps the most authentic of all actions. Cities have been destroyed, and more will fall, but what was shouted in the wilderness thousands of years ago is alive and still relevant. The world was created by the Word. The world will be mended by the Article.”

Related coverage

September 19, 2016 6:32 am

Israel Is High on Medical Marijuana - Google CEO Eric Schmidt believes Israeli entrepreneurs succeed because they challenge authority, question everything and don’t play by the rules. “The...

Media bias hurts Israel – and anyone with the ability to influence media to tell the truth should do all they can to help improve Israel’s image. We should all pray, hope, and work towards improving Israel’s reputation, and ending media bias.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a top 25 US PR Agency. He is author of PR book “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations” which the Deputy Speaker of the Israel Knesset, Likud MK Danny Danon called “the best book ever on Israel public relations.” Torossian is a passionate supporter of Israel and a philanthropist active in numerous Pro-Israel charities.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • Media accuracy and unbiased reporting must be enforced r3
    It seems the Media cannot regulate itself to present a true and honest reporting.
    Responsible and honest reporting has been replaced with ambiguous confusing and illusory news reports, with no regard to the consequences. Facts and sources are not properly verified and an inaccurate unsubstantiated news story gets released to the public, and that may cause substantial harm.
    Why is the Media not charged with incitement?
    Why is the Media not punished for staging a scene?
    They pay some individuals to throw stones at soldiers in order to film a reaction and sensationalize the episode with distorted fabricated reports. There are numerous staging of events by the Media that incite hatred and violence. Should the reporters and their management not be charged with incitement?
    Where is the professionalism, neutral and unbiased reporting?
    What has happened to ethics in Journalism?
    Has Social Media added a new dimension to honest reporting?
    Can we overcome distorted Social Media for accuracy?
    How can we verify instant Social Media images from being
    Can we impose responsible Social Media without affecting the freedom of speech?
    Whether we like it or not, the masses are influenced by the Media, could you imagine how children and young adults absorb the Media hype, regardless weather it is truth or illusion. The damage is long term and may not be reversible.
    Children are very impressionable, they think what they see on TV emulate real life, which we know is distorted and make believe, they carry these illusions as reality which affects their future adversely.
    The Media reporting must be neutral, unbiased, balanced, objective and impartial. Violators should be subject to fines and criminal charges if people suffer due to intentional distortion of reports or intentionally slanted news to deceive or promote favoritism that escalates into violence and or cause harm and or financial loss.
    When a Media outlet intentionally distorts and misinforms the news and events, it should forfeit the right to free speech and free press and face the music. It is a form of incitement.
    In the past decades Media outlets have expanded the creation of sensationalism to promote readership and revenues. These types of reports are many times intentionally distort the facts and true dimension of the report. Thus, it creates more unwarranted dissension and crisis that leads to violence and death.
    It seems that the Media today has no emotion, no compassion. Much of the news is choreographed for the sake of sensationalism and rating. Which comes down to increased revenues and financial gain? Society today is so hungry for money, power, instant gratification and glamour, that it crosses the line of honesty and integrity on a regular basis.
    Is there a chance of going back to honor, honesty, integrity and fighting for truth and justice the old American way?
    Can the Media Overcome false showmanship, artificial presentation and insincerity.
    Broadcasting truth and reality, thereby regaining public trust in the Media?
    This very same rebuke and standards must be applied to our elected government officials, who will promise you anything to get elected. Getting them to live up to their promises is another thing altogether.
    A change for the better must be initiated and it must start at the top.
    YJ Draiman
    P.S. “The biases the media has are much bigger than conservative or liberal. They’re about getting ratings not informing the public about the true facts; it’s about making money, about doing stories that are easy to cover and keeping us in an uproar.”

  • Israeli response to Media bias
    Even those who aren’t particularly sympathetic to Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, could get a good measure of satisfaction from this interview with British Television during the retaliation against Hamas’ shelling of Israel.
    The interviewer asked him: “How come so many more Arab-Palestinians have been killed in this conflict than Israelis?” (A nasty question if there ever was one!)
    Netanyahu: “Are you sure that you want to start asking in that direction?”
    Interviewer: (Falling into the trap) Why not?
    Netanyahu: “Because in World War II more Germans were killed than British and Americans combined, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the war was caused by Germany’s aggression.
    And in response to the German blitz on London, the British wiped out the entire city of Dresden, burning to death more German civilians than the number of people killed in Hiroshima.
    Moreover, I could remind you that in 1944, when the R.A.F. tried to bomb the Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen,some of the bombs missed their target and fell on a Danish children’s hospital, killing 83 little children. Perhaps you have another question?”
    Apparently, Benjamin Netanyahu gave an interview and was asked about Israel’s supposed occupation of Arab lands.
    His response was, “It’s our land”. The reporter (CNN or the like) was stunned – read below “It’s our land…” It’s important information since we don’t get fair and accurate reporting from the media and facts tend to get lost in the jumble of daily events.

    “Crash Course on the Arab Israeli Conflict.”
    Here are overlooked facts in the current & past Middle East situation.
    These were compiled by a Christian university professor:
    BRIEF FACTS ON THE ISRAELI CONFLICT TODAY…(It takes just 1.5 minutes to read!)
    It makes sense and it’s not slanted. Jew and non-Jew — it doesn’t matter.
    1. Nationhood and Jerusalem.
    Israel became a nation in 1312 BCE, Two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
    2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of an Arab-Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
    3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BCE, the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
    4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 CE lasted no more than 22 years.
    5. For over 3,400 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
    6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy scriptures.Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
    7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
    8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
    9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: in 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
    10 The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab
    brutality, persecution and pogroms.
    11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be
    around 600,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be over a million.
    12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own people’s lands.
    Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey …
    13. The Arab-Israeli Conflict: the Arabs are represented by eight separate
    nations with land mass in excess of 5 million sq. mi., not including the Arab-Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won, thus liberating its territories.
    14. The PLO’s Charter and Hamas still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Arab-Palestinians most of the West Bank aka Judea and Samaria land, autonomy under the Arab-Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them goods and services.
    15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.
    16. The UN (which is only an advisory body) Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
    17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.
    18. The UN was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues and cemetaries were destroyed by the Jordanians.
    19. The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
    20. The UN was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like a policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
    These are incredible times. We have to ask wh

  • Stuart Oppeneimer

    The basic reason for the conflict at every point in time is Muslim hatred of the Jews in Israel and all the world, not due to Israeli occupation. Ehud Barak at Oslo offered to return 98% of the West bank and all of east Jerusalem. The offer was turned down by the so called Palestinian governing authority.THEY TURNED DOWN AN OFFER OF EXACTLY WHAT THEY CLAIMED THEY WANTED. What they want is ALL OF iSRAEL. The chant in the Palestinian demonstrations throughout the world is Palestine will be free from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean. The aggression against Israel started before there ever was a “WEST BANK” before there was an Israel. The attacks against the Jews began in the 1800’s. In 1904,the majority ethnic group in Jerusalem was Jews. This changed due to violent “programs ” including a major violent attempt in 1929 at eradication and expulsion of Jews,and large movements of Arabs from the east into the area .It is also the religious duty of fundamental Muslims to kill Jews as presented in the second religious attachment to the Koran. The current explanations of the conflict is BS B–S-It is liberal dogma from those who have never even been to the area to see what the situation is in reality Almost every liberal,”anti-Israel Professor or other “intellectuals” have never been to Israel or the west bank but merely liberal line. the “liberal” line. In summary,the basis of conflict is that he Arabs want to eradicate Israel and the Jews want to stay alive.

    • Stuart Oppeneimer

      I want to add that what I wrote can be verified by reading the charter of the PLO, Which is now the Palestine Authority and by reading the charter of Hamas. I wold also refer you to the Koran. I don’t think the statements regarding Jews can be misinterpreted. They are clear

  • Steve Wenick

    Granted Israel’s PR is terrible but their cause is just. Israel spends its resources on making history, not rewriting it.
    On the other hand the Palestinians’ plight, a tragedy of their own making, has good PR because their lies, fabrications and distortions require creativity if they are to be believed.

  • Denver West

    LOL on the title

    • Hrant

      Israel was promised by God huh? I cannot believe how stupid you must be to include the ‘bible’ as a reference to modern Politics. There are hundreds of different cultures and religions on this Earth, can you imagine if we all start enforcing our borders based on what we read in our “holy book?” Either you are a child or a very ignorant adult. So sad

  • calum

    i have wet dreams about israel

  • What is particularly sickening, is the hypocrisy of reporters ‘on the war front’ reporting from a position of comfort and well being. Disturbing…

  • Jimbo Riots

    All about PR, nothing about an illegal occupation of Palestinian land. Doesn`t really get down to the base of the issues.

    • Rich Fallis

      Illegal occupation?

      Just awful. You know…I live in the US now. We occupied it, and weren’t very nice in the way we did things. I guess we should give it back.

      Mind you, before that, my family invaded Ireland from Scotland and kicked those Catholics out. I guess that means going back to Edinburgh. But there, cuz we were Norman French, we kicked the Scots out.

      And before that, we were in Falaise, France, where the Normans kicked the Vikings and Germanic tribes out.

      Give me a break. Israel was a pile of rubble, dust and dirt before the Jews came. It was promised to them by God, and the promises to Abraham have never ceased. Even to the point where God predicted the return of the Jews to Israel.

      And if you want a glimpse of the future, look to Ezekiel 38.
      When it comes to pass, will you believe then?

      Meanwhile, take a chill pill, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

      • One of the best comments I have ever seen.

      • Thor

        The Normans WERE the vikings. Norman I was the first king of the Duchy of Normandy. He was the chief of the vikings and his name was Rollo. Rollo made a treaty with Charles the Simple in France at the Epte’ River in the year 911. Get your history right before you state it!

      • Jack Skuatt

        Well said!!!

    • Gumbo Jimbalaya

      Get a history lesson Jimbo. You are believing too much distorted PR.

    • Tang

      There is no “illegal occupation of Palestinian land”. The fact that you think there is one is a result of the media bias that the article discusses.

    • That’s because there isn’t any “illegal occupation” of “Palestinian land” and because the real issue is Muslim/Arab bigotry and imperialism.

    • Ally

      What makes it illegal? It was British land before it was Israeli and the Brits gave it to the Jews.

    • Adam

      If it was illegal then the UN would not recognise Israel like they do. Get your facts straight, my friend.

  • James Davis

    Tsingis Kanna , sorry to rain on your parade , but the true answer to that question ” WHY ” although not “religious ” or “theological ” , it is however spiritual .Whatever metaphysical part of man that ignores reason , rejects all notions of humanity , overides the innate sense which seperates humans from the animal kingdom [or atleast most of it ]of compassion.
    Oddly enough , the closest description , atleast in corporeal terms ,to the hatred embraced and taught to muslims and arabs from childhood , comes from Castro of all people who called it Theological racism . Do not look for logic in the unreasoned and unmitigated hatred of islam towards the jew , you will not find any , no more than you’d find logic with a serial killer . This hatred is only more obvious in islam ,but jew hate goes beyond that , to the ‘ more civil and sophisticates of the world , but sufer the same spiritual disease .BTW” uncomfortable ” is a bit of an understatement , dont you think ?

  • E Pluribus Beagle

    To follow on the ‘war correspondent’ theme – most western news agencies rely on stringers rented to them BY Hamas and the PLO. They’re the people doing the actual work of ‘reporting’. I doubt if one out 50 people who are regular staffers of the BBC, NYT, Reuters, AP, CNN, the Guardian, al Jazeera etc speak Hebrew or Arabic

  • steve

    Accurate…intelligent..insightful and above all timely. Israelis are decades behind and sorely need a vast improvement in all levels and areas of media and PR.

  • Lorne Newman

    Great written piece! I just moved to Israel 5 months ago and have been struck at how ineffective Israelis are at explaining their cause.

  • RicHard A.

    Great article on media bias. Well thought out. Question remains what can be done to change this?

  • Tommy A.

    Great article by Ronn Torossian of 5WPR. The question remains: How can PR matter when the whole world hates the Jews?

  • TsingisKaana

    This article is very well written: and logical. Which is why it leads us to the fundamental question. Why do so many groups in the world feel uncomfortable with Jews as a group even when they are very comfortable with individuals? An answer must be found that is not based on religion and theology.

    • Chana

      to TsingisKanna: that’s because the “world” needs a scapegoat to blame for when things go wrong…