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August 3, 2012 7:13 pm

Media Coverage of Israel is Simply Insane

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Mass media in Israel. Photo: Ilan Sharif.

The so-called “mainstream media” consistently displays bias against Israel – holding the Jewish state to an unfair, punishing double standard. On a daily basis, rockets are fired at Israel, a fact that barely merits reporting in outlets that would rather condemn Israel for all manner of concocted crimes.  Observing this as the owner of a leading public relations firm, I believe there is no rational explanation for this bias. Below are some 2012 headlines from major outlets with relevant quotes that may provide some insight into this troubling phenomenon.

“Israeli air strike kills Gaza militant, breaks truce” (Reuters) – In truth, Hamas fired rockets first – wouldn’t that be the breaking of the truce .

“Even though credibility is all you have to sell, it’s not enough anymore. Credibility is not working as a business model. Credibility of journalism is at an all-time low, anyway.” – Kelly McBride, Poynter Institute

“Living Under The Cloud of Israel Apartheid” (Australian) – Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. The very use of the term “apartheid” is offensive and inappropriate.

“Our illusions are the house in which we live; they are our news, our heroes, our adventure, our forms of art, our very experience.” – Daniel Boorstin, “The Image”

“UN appalled by Israel treatment of hunger strikers” (BBC) – And the sun rises in the morning.  The UN is always “appalled” by something to do with the Jewish state, and that is because blocs of its members overwhelmingly peddle an anti-Zionist bigotry which knows no bounds. Worthy of a banner headline?

“Truth is like a lizard; it leaves its tail in your fingers and runs away knowing full well that it will grow a new one in a twinkling.” – Ivan Turgenev to Leo Tolstoy and Kasim Hafeez

“Israel & Gaza Militants Trade Attacks” (Financial Times) – There is no moral equivalence between Palestinian terrorism and the Israeli responses.

“The problem of Journalism is simple. Journalists are rarely in a position to establish the truth of an issue themselves, since they didn’t’ witness it personally. They are entirely dependent on self-interested sources to supply their facts. Every part of the news-making process is defined by this relationship; everything is colored by this reality.” – Jay Epstein in “Between Fact & Fiction”

“Israel charged with extorting African migrants in trafficking ring” – (Associated Press) – In reality it was an Israeli man – not the whole nation. Was this really an error, or a Freudian slip? (Interestingly, he was a Bedouin, not even a Jewish Israeli).

“Truths are more likely to have been discovered by one man than by a nation.” – Descartes

This media coverage that Israel is faced with cannot be perceived rationally, it is simply insane.  Perhaps the Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky had the answer when he wrote “Instead of Excessive Apology” in 1911: “We constantly and very loudly apologize…. Instead of turning our backs to the accusers, as there is nothing to apologize for, and nobody to apologize to, we swear again and again that it is not our fault… Isn’t it long overdue to respond to all these and all future accusations, reproaches, suspicions, slanders and denunciations by simply folding our arms and loudly, clearly and calmly answer with the only argument that is understandable and accessible to this public: ‘Go to Hell’?”  

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading US PR firm.  He is an active Jewish philanthropist and author of “For Immediate Release.

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