Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Mali Reveals the Media’s Gaza Bias

February 6, 2013 2:19 am 4 comments

French soldiers in Bamako, Mali. Photo: Wiki commons.

I support France’s military action in Mali. But the media’s reaction to it – when contrasted with coverage of Israel’s military actions in Gaza – reveals flagrant double standards. More on that after my reasons for supporting France’s Mali operation.

Islamists –  like those who overran Mali last March – reverse human progress and bring misery to those they subjugate: women, religious minorities, moderate Muslims, secularists, gays, and anyone else who doesn’t accept their primitive worldview. Islamists vitiate Islam, twisting its meaning and practice to advance their real aim: brute power. To that end, they break whatever Islamic and non-Islamic laws they please, engaging in drug smuggling, kidnapping, human trafficking, victimizing perceived opponents, and murdering innocents.

They viciously disregard life, property, and culture. AlQueda destroyed 3,000 American souls and the Twin Towers on 9/11. The Taliban pour acid on the faces of girls seeking an education. Ansar Dine, the Islamists in Mali, last summer ruined much of Timbuktu’s archeological treasures after deeming them “idolatrous.” They also imposed sharia “law,” flogging music listeners and women caught showing their hair, amputating hands of accused thieves, and stoning to death fornicators.

Islamists conquer and rule by terror, not virtue. They destroy ruthlessly but build nothing.

So any force with the moral clarity and courage to oppose such evil deserves plaudits. In the case of Mali, that force is the French.

Fortunately, these judgments are obvious to the world press. Maybe that explains the scant reports of civilian casualties and absent images of bloody devastation produced by French airstrikes in Operation Serval. The alternative explanation – that there are no civilian casualties for the media to report because French military intelligence and technology are perfectly precise – seems farfetched.

Yet when it comes to Islamists in Gaza, suddenly all moral clarity disappears in an avalanche of clichéd images and headlines ignoring the most basic truths. France can launch military attacks about 2,000 miles south of its border in response to an Islamist threat that endangers nobody in France, but Israel is vilified if it responds militarily to deadly rocket attacks targeting its civilians from two miles to its south.

Like their Islamist brethren in Afghanistan and Africa, the Hamas rulers of Gaza have no program for the future other than expanding their barbaric domain by force — first to the West Bank (which Islamists don’t yet control) and eventually to Israel. Consider how Hamas came to rule Gaza in 2007 (by a bloody putsch against Fatah), and what it has done with its power since then (repress Gazans and attack Israel).

Human rights groups have accused Hamas of abysmal judicial abuses, replete with arbitrary arrests, torture, and unfair trials. Hamas mistreats journalists, terrorizes political opponents, restricts press freedoms, outlaws homosexuality, persecutes Christians, and condones honor killings against women – all practices that would delight Ansar Dine.

Hamas apologists blame Israel for Gaza’s woes, even though Egypt controls Gaza’s southern border, and Israel, which completely left Gaza in 2005, would much rather be developing trade with Gaza than defense systems to intercept thousands of unprovoked rocket attacks from there. But Hamas’ charter seeks Israel’s destruction, so how can Hamas lead its people or neighborhood towards anything positive?

Incidentally, Palestinian extremists have as little respect for non-Muslim holy sites as the Taliban had for the Bamiyan Buddhas: in 2002, they used the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem for military cover despite the obvious risk this posed to the Christian site. Last week (and in 2000), Palestinians desecrated Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus – hateful vandalism overlooked by every major news organization. Again, the double standard.

From the attention and sympathy that the Palestinian cause attracts, one would think that millions have died, and that they must be paragons of innocent victimhood. Neither is true. The entire Arab-Israeli conflict – from the 1920 Arab riots until today, including all regional wars (1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, etc.) – has killed roughly 25,000 Jews and 95,000 Arabs. The maximum number of Palestinian Arabs killed during almost a century of conflict is probably about 20,000. Today’s Syrian regime kills that many people in under a year. But a Google search for “Palestine genocide” today produces about 10.7 million results while the term “Syria genocide” produces just 9.5 million results.

Such disproportionate attention and sympathy is unfair to the victims of far deadlier conflicts and effectively whitewashes terrorism. But Palestinians are far from Tibetans in their preferred tactics: they have employed violent terrorism for decades.

So why is Palestinian victimhood prioritized? And if Hamas is similar to Ansar Dine, why does it get a pass?

Some might argue that — unlike Ansar Dine — Hamas represents its subjects. But Hamas represents only the power of its guns and its Iranian patron. Another argument: Mali’s government and people wanted French help in ousting the Islamists. But Hamas would never seek assistance in dethroning itself and who knows what Gazans want when they’re brutalized for speaking against Hamas?

Unfortunately, the media’s double standard has a simple explanation: anti-Israel bias. Just ask the non-profits established to address the problem:,, and

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, a military thriller about the Iranian nuclear threat. The novel also briefly explores the issue of media bias against Israel.


  • I am by no means a wordsmith master. Yet I do want to take action and take a stand for what you so poignanty wrote. Therefoe, Mr Beck, my plan is to send a copy of your well written document,,and,and possibly to some other publications.
    If I don’t hear from you or a staff at Alegemeiner by Sunday the 10th if February2013, I will understand that I can send this article.

  • T.E. Barnes Jr.

    Apples and oranges…both fruit, but with many key differences.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Israel Sports In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    The manager of the Chelsea Football Club said on Monday that he is looking forward to playing in Israel this week against Maccabi Tel Aviv, in spite of the security situation, Israeli news site nrg reported. Jose Murinho, who is already in Israel with his team to compete against Maccabi in the Champions League soccer match, was  asked whether he was worried about the current wave of Palestinian violence sweeping the country. “I have no worries at all regarding the security situation, and neither do […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    Blaming the West has become the most pervasive method of teaching for many Middle East studies departments, which are becoming the heart of pop-culture academia. Efraim Karsh, a distinguished professor of Middle Eastern studies at Bar-Ilan University and professor emeritus at King’s College London, in his latest book The Tail Wags the Dog: International Politics and the Middle East, dispels this myth. “Britain’s ‘original sin,’ if such was indeed committed, lay not in the breaking up of Middle Eastern unity but […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About

    With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About – The Mensch on a Bench is so much happier now than he was a year ago. Look carefully and you will notice that, whereas the previous Mensch had a decidedly worried look, this latest version of the popular Hanukkah toy is flashing an exuberant grin. Is the erstwhile Mensch smiling because he expects to be in some 100,000 homes by year’s end? In truth, the change in visage was suggested last year by the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Actor Adam Sandler unveiled a new version of his famous “Chanukah Song” on Saturday, adding a slew of Jewish celebrities to the ditty’s updated lyrics. The comedian — who released the original song about being Jewish during Christmas in 1996 — performed the latest version of the comedic track during the New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and “the two guys who founded Google” are among the famous Jewish celebrities now in the line up. Sandler also included lyrics about Star Wars‘ Princess […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom – Famed Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman will be among the 17 recipients of America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom next week. He is the fourth Israeli to receive the highest civilian honor in the US. “A native of Israel, he came to the United States at a young age and was introduced to Americans broadly when he appeared on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1958. Mr. Perlman made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1963 when he was 18,” a White House […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots

    Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots – While Israel is a common destination for cultural and religious pilgrimages, travelers seeking the best hotels, fine dining, and upscale relaxation less often find themselves in the Holy Land. Yet in recent years, the country’s burgeoning tech scene has attracted a business crowd accustomed to ritzy accommodation. Besides, the permanent summer of Tel Aviv and Eilat makes them prime destinations for European vacationers. Israel’s populace managed to tame the swamps and irrigate the desert — so going luxury should […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Features Has Shia LaBeouf Reached the End of the Line?

    Has Shia LaBeouf Reached the End of the Line?

    Was Shia LaBeouf’s performance art piece at Manhattan’s Angelica Film Center (where he spent three days watching his own films) a sign of madness or genius? Judging from the lines and the fans, it was the latter. Shortly before 6 a.m. on Thursday, approximately 140 people were on line for the last day of the live-streamed event at Angelica Film Center. Fans who waited were happy to give their opinions. “I don’t think he’s crazy,” said Elliot Quartz, an 18-year-old student at the New School, who waited […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Jewish Artists From New York Release New Rap Album in English, Hebrew, Aramaic

    Jewish Artists From New York Release New Rap Album in English, Hebrew, Aramaic

    Eden Pearlstein freely admits that he has an addiction. But his brings people up instead of bringing them down. “I am a chronic collaborator,” says Pearlstein, a 35-year-old rapper who goes by the moniker of Eprhyme, and has released several solo albums. “Deeper and Higher” — his new album — is a collaboration with Shir Yakov Feit, who co-writes the songs and music. The friends and fellow artists both explore the relationship between man and God, and the benefit and emotional weight of introspection. With lyrics in English, Hebrew, and Aramaic, the artists stress […]

    Read more →