Re-evaluating media perspectives on Israel

TCS Reporter 15 January 2009

Israel is being attacked. There is no doubt about it: on Wednesday 14th, three more rockets were fired into residential areas from Lebanon. Currently in the process of defending itself, Israel has suffered even more of an onslaught from public opinion around the world.

Israel, a country not famous for its great PR, is struggling to make a clear case for its incursion into Gaza. Whilst horrific pictures and stories flow like blood from an open wound, most of the world media seem to have forgotten about the intention and goals of the war. A recent CNN report about Arab reporting of the war showed the extent to which ‘news’ reporting has digressed from being fair and balanced.

Like a school competition, Israeli dead is always compared to Palestinian; and Hamas’ so-called ‘militants’ are simply defending themselves from an Israeli ‘apartheid’ – their tunnels simply a means to bring ‘goods’ into the Gaza strip.

Israelis seem to be some of the very few not to have forgotten that Hamas, in its charter, says ‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it’ (a direct quote of the Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory). They state that “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

Yet still Israel is criticized for not wanting to talk to the resistance group, who not only think that Israel is a threat to Middle Eastern Islam but that “Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people. May the cowards never sleep,” they add.

The media often decry the ‘dispropotionality’ of Israel’s actions, yet ignore the fact that ‘militants’, no, terrorists hide in civilian houses to enhance this disgust and in the knowledge that Israel finds it more difficult. This is just as self-serving in its perpetuation of the anti-Israel world sentiment as the reports calling the Israeli attack ‘genocide’.

A ceasefire is needed, Hamas rockets must end and each must respect each others’ borders, whilst providing their citizens with a homeland that is free from fear and democratic. That said, the war will never end until the media has re-evaluated its commitment to fair and balanced journalism and until there is a global consensus that recognizes Israel’s right to exist and to defend its citizens, something that, unfortunately, seems lacking.

Alexander Glasner

TCS Reporter