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Media Literacy, Bias and Israel

  • July 31, 2014

The numbers don’t look good.  Comparing the civilian casualties in Gaza to the lack of civilian casualties in Israel helps fuel the media’s blatantly untrue depiction of Israel as the sole aggressor who totally disregards and devalues Palestinian life.  The media is also quick to question if Israeli rockets, launched exclusively in self-defense and as retaliation, are war crimes. 

Usually, no one even mentions the rockets Hamas, a terrorist organization, has been firing into Israel for years.  If they do, all parties agree that Hamas’s rockets each are war crimes because they target civilians exclusively, but that point is quickly passed over in favor of the familiar accusations towards Israel.  Of course Hamas is committing war crimes.  It is a terrorist organization, its charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and it cares only about building tunnels and missiles not schools or hospitals.  In fact, Hamas encourages its civilians to act as human shields and to ignore Israeli warnings about upcoming attacks.  Hamas, more than anyone, benefits from the tragic deaths of the innocent people in Gaza.  And the worst part is that Hamas is a government so filled with hate that it cares more about continuing a war it cannot win instead of protecting its citizens.  That is why Hamas has rejected or broken all the humanitarian ceasefires and negotiations to which Israel is quick to agree.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that when Hamas stops firing rockets there will be peace, however when Israel stops defending itself, there will be no more Israel.  I would add that for lasting peace, Hamas need to not only stop firing rockets, but to start caring about its civilians at least as much as the international community and the media does.  Only when this terrorist organization ceases to pursue genocide as its end goal, and instead attempts to create a society where taking care of children is more important than building tunnels, will we have a chance at lasting peace.

So if the media knows that Hamas, a terrorist organization, benefits from civilian casualties in Gaza and the press they generate, and they know that Israel is much more serious about peace negotiations than Hamas is, then why is the coverage so distorted, and more importantly, what can we do to stay informed?  Here is a link to the ADL’s Share the facts page: http://www.adl.org/sp/israel-under-attack/#.U9p_UPldU1I .  It provides statistics, articles, and videos compiled by researchers who understand the bias and overall inadequacy of coverage in the media.  The best thing people can do for Israel is to stay informed and make sure when information is spread, it is accurate.  Peace is possible, but dramatically less likely when people are content to rally behind misinformation.