Coverage Trends

US Corporate Media Misses Target in Israel’s Aerial Assault on Gaza

The Israeli military’s shelling of a Gaza beach on June 9 and killing of eight Palestinian civilians focused world attention on Israel’s intensive artillery campaign against Gaza. Since then, 14 more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli missiles. The US corporate media has highlighted dubious Israeli denials of responsibility for the Gaza beach killings, while providing much less space to Palestinian and third party assertions of Israeli responsibility. 

Letter from Ma'ariv Editor Justifies Lack of Gaza Beach Coverage

This is a translation of correspondence between Keshev, an Israeli organisation that monitors the Hebrew media, and Amnon Dankner, the editor of Israel’s second largest newspaper, Ma’ariv. Keshev wrote to Dankner after the paper failed to offer coverage on its front page of the shelling of a beach in Gaza on Friday 9 June that killed seven members of one family and caused dozens of injuries. All of the Palestinian dead were civilians. Maariv buried the details of the deaths inside the Sunday paper, the first to be published after the incident. 

Waiting to Exhale

On Tuesday, state mouthpiece Israel News Agency delivered the verdict the world was waiting for: Israel was not guilty of the shelling on Beit Lahiya’s beach that wiped out a family of eight last Friday. The trend is distinctly Orwellian yet familiar. The harder reality bites, the bigger Israel lies. But the story the media missed rests less in the allegations and disputed facts, and more in the space where the world waited to exhale. That is, while the media interrogated all the possibilities — or in the above examples, only one — it forgot to interrogate itself. 

Israel Spinning Out of Control

Israel’s Defense Minister Amir Peretz announced today that Israel is preparing a global “propaganda offensive” to counter the recent barrage of news reports and writings that condemned Israel for the recent killing of 10 civilians, including 5 children, on a Gaza beach. In political and media lingo this is called spin, to twist and turn an event so as to give an intended interpretation, and Israel excels at it. Sam Bahour writes from Ramallah/Al-Bireh, occupied Palestine. 

Israel's Arabic-language press coverage of the Israeli elections

24th March 2006 - The below is a summary of coverage of the Israeli general elections in the Arab press in Israel, compiled by the I’lam Media Center for Arab Palestinians in Israel. Kol il Arab conducted a survey which forecasts that all of the Arab parties will pass the 2% minimum required to get official representation in the Knesset, and 69% of eligible Arab voters will vote in the election next week. The Communist Party will get more than 3 seats, the NDA more than 3 seats, and the United Arab List 4 seats. 

UN refugee report: Most protracted and largest of all refugee problems in the world remains unresolved

As people return to former war zones, global numbers of refugees are falling. The most protracted and largest of all refugee problems in the world, however, remains unresolved, says UNHCR in a major report on refugees published on Wednesday. UNHCR’s report, “The State of the World’s Refugees: Human Displacement in the New Millennium,” examines the changing dynamics of displacement over the past half decade. In 2001, former UNHCR Commissioner Ruud Lubbers stated that it is neither morallly acceptable nor politically sustainable to ignore the plight of refugees who have been confined to small areas and a legacy of poverty for nearly four generations. 

The New York Times Whitewashes the Israeli Takeover of East Jerusalem

Despite a practiced guise of objectivity, the US corporate media’s reporting on Israel/Palestine is dominated by the Israeli narrative. An April 16, 2006 feature article by Steven Erlanger, The New York Times’ Jerusalem Bureau Chief, “Jerusalem, Now” in the Times’ Sunday Travel section exemplifies how seemingly professional journalistic standards can mask insidious biases and misinform readers. Erlanger, guided around Jerusalem by Israelis, omits Israeli violence, stereotypes Palestinians, whitewashes Israeli settlements and covers up Israeli efforts to take over East Jerusalem. 

The New York Times Covers Up Discrimination against Palestinian Citizens of Israel

March 28th’s Israeli elections saw the sudden rise of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party to become the fourth largest Israeli party, advocating transferring some Palestinian towns in Israel to PA control, thus revoking the Israeli citizenship of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.  The results of a poll released last week showed that 68% of Israeli Jews would refuse to live in the same apartment building as a Palestinian citizen of Israel, and 40% of Israeli Jews believe the state needs to support the emigration of Palestinian citizens. However, because of the way Israel is portrayed in the mainstream US media, such blatant discrimination would likely surprise the US public. 

Israeli and Palestinian voices on the US op-ed pages

In the US media, Palestinians generally aren’t allowed to speak for themselves or to articulate their historical narrative. Israelis, however, are permitted to speak, to explain the Israeli experience and even to explain about Palestinians. As a result, the Israeli story is known in the US while Palestinians are dehumanized. This report exhaustively details the extent to which Palestinian voices have been silenced in the op-ed pages of major US newspapers for the past five years. This report compares the number of opinion pieces published by Israeli writers with those published by Palestinian writers between September 29, 2000, and December 31, 2005, in the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post, the five US newspapers with the greatest circulation. 

Photostory: Israeli extremists' attack on Nazareth's most famous Christian church goes virtually unreported

Thousands of Nazarenes rushed to the Basilica of the Annunciation in the early evening of Friday March 3, as rumours swept the city that their church was under attack. For several minutes the congregation huddled together in fear of their lives before a priest and several churchgoers managed to overpower a grey-bearded man in jeans, 44-year-old Haim Habibi, an Israeli Jew accompanied by his wife, Violet, and the couple’s 20-year-old daughter Odelia. Almost from the outset the Israeli media downplayed the significance of the attack, saying only “firecrackers” had been set off by Habibi, who was described - without evidence - as being mentally disturbed. As a result, most of the world’s media ignored the event entirely.