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MEDIA BIAS AND THE ARAB-ISRAELI WAR

In their reporting on the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, international media outlets increasingly demonstrate a strong and consistent bias against Israel. Sometimes subtle, sometimes overt, this bias has now become a matter of discussion and analysis. A case in point is the media coverage surrounding Operation Cast Lead, a military operation in which Israel attempted to degrade the war-making capacities of Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist groups that for years had been launching rocket and mortar attacks into southern Israel.

During Operation Cast Lead, many American and European media outlets accused Israel of committing “war crimes” in its “assault” on Gaza, and of targeting indiscriminately the region's civilian population and its schools, hospitals, ambulances, and mosques. But a deeper examination of the matter -- based on the eyewitness testimony of Gaza civilians who agreed to talk with journalists (anonymously or from behind pseudonyms, for fear of reprisals by Hamas) – suggests that Israel in fact took extraordinary measures to avoid harming Palestinian noncombatants, even when such measures increased the likelihood of casualties to its own troops.

For example, before the start of Israel's military assault against Hamas, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) made at least 250,000 phone calls (calling nearly every household in Gaza), sent countless text messages, dropped thousands of leaflets from the air, and broadcast a steady sream of television and radio messages to get civilians to leave the battle zone.

Hamas, on the other hand, dliberately tried -- for propaganda purposes -- to cause as many casualties as possible among the Gazan people. The organization used civilians as hostages and “human shields,” behind which the terrorists conducted their military maneuvers. Hamas regularly dispatched troops to occupy schools, hospitals, mosques, office buildings, and private Palestinian homes and businesses, and used these sites as bases from which to fire at Israeli soldiers and to launch rockets against Israeli civilians. As one Gaza resident later told reporters, Hamas "wanted the [Israelis] to shoot at [the civilians'] houses so they could accuse them of more war crimes.”


Adapted from "'War Crimes' Propaganda against Israel," by Rachel Neuwirth (February 16, 2009).

RESOURCES:

Dishonest Reporting: Media Bias Against Israel
By Aish.com
November 9, 2002

“War Crimes” Propaganda against Israel
By Rachel Neuwirth
February 16, 2009


BIAS BY PARTICULAR MEDIA OUTLETS:

No Time For Israel (Time Magazine: November 2009 - November 2010)
By HonestReporting.com
2010

The BBC During the Gaza War: Biased Coverage of the Conflict
By HonestReporting.com
March 22, 2009

One Year Analysis: The BBC in 2007
By HonestReporting.com
January 10, 2008

CNN: One Year Analysis
By HonestReporting.com
November 18, 2008

The New York Times: A Year-Long Analysis
By HonestReporting.com
July 16, 2008

New York Times 6-Month Study
By HonestReporting.com
November 21, 2007

Irish Times: “Leading and Shaping” Public Opinion against Israel
By Ricki Hollander
March 31, 2009


VIDEO:

Pallywood: Media Deceptions Regarding the Arab-Israeli War
By YouTube.com
2006


LINK:

Pallywood
By SecondDraft.org


SEE ALSO:

* Media Spinning the Iraq War

* Media Spinning the War on Terror

 

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