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Media bias against Israel

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Media bias against Israel

By Barbara Kay, CIJR Symposium, Toronto, November 16, 2014


It’s a pleasure to be here today, and in such distinguished

company. I’d like to begin my talk today with a joke that I used to

find funny.


A man is walking down the street in Paris, when he sees a pit bull

attacking a little girl. He kills the dog and saves the child’s life.

Afterward, he is swarmed by reporters. They say, “Tell us your

name.” Your fellow Parisians will love you when they see

tomorrow’s headlines: “Hero saves girl from vicious dog.”

“But I’m not from Paris,” the man says.

“That’s okay,” says the journalist. All France will love you when

they see the headlines, “Hero saves girl from vicious dog.” “But

I’m not from France,” the man says.

“Oh well,” the reporter says, “All of Europe will love you when they

see the headline…” “But I’m not from Europe.”

“Well, where are you from?” they ask.

“I’m from Israel.”

The next day’s headlines read, “Israeli kills little girl’s dog.”


When it comes to Israel, reality makes life tough for satirists.

In October (2014), a terrorist drove his car into a crowd at a light-

rail station in Jerusalem, killing a three-month old baby, Chaya

Zisel Braun and a woman, Karen Yemima Muscara. The attacker

fled, the police in pursuit, and they killed him. The headline of an

Associated Press report? “Israeli police shoot man in East

Jerusalem.” Later the headline became: “Car slams into east

Jerusalem train station.” To appreciate the significance of this

editorial decision, consider the reaction if a New York Times

headline following last month’s terrorist attack on Canada’s

Parliament Hill had been, “Gun shoots bullets into monument.”

Only after social media protests forced AP’s hand did a

responsible headline emerge: “Palestinian kills baby at Jerusalem


Covering the same incident, Sky News ran a news ticker at the

bottom of the screen informing viewers that “Israeli police ‘say’ a

driver has rammed his car into pedestrians in East Jerusalem in

an ‘intentional’ attack causing several injuries.”2 The internal

quotes cast doubt on the reliability of the Israeli report. But

another bulletin (with no caveats) stated that “Israeli police have

clashed with Palestinians inside Jerusalem’s al-Aksa Mosque

compound after Jewish nationalists announced plans to visit the

site.”3 Causality is offered here, with no mention of the fact that

previously, rocks and Molotov cocktails had been thrown onto

Jews praying at the Wall. The real message: Jews are interlopers;

Jews disturb the peace.

That media bias against Israel exists is no longer a hypothesis to

be proved. No reasonable observer can fail to concede that the

media are disproportionately obsessed with Israel, or that Israel is

held to a higher moral standard than other nations in its behaviour

toward its avowed enemies.

There is a bias spectrum, but on the extreme end, the vitriol can

be astonishing, even in normally respectable publications.

A Sky News reporter compared the strikes on Gaza this summer

during Operation Protective Edge, in which the civilian dead

[1 May, Clifford D., “How the Jewish state is being demonized,” National Post, Oct 30, 2014.

2 http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Another-Tack-Not-telling-it-like-it-is-381774

3 Ibid]

numbered in the hundreds, to the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.

Time magazine claimed Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians to steal

their internal organs, a blood libel of the most vile and brazen


The New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief claimed that stories

of Hamas intimidation of journalists were “nonsense,” even

though other NYT reporters have documented several examples

of it.

Cartoonists routinely depict Israel as Nazis with imagery that

consciously resurrects a long history of Christian blood libels, the

obscenities of Nazi-era Der Sturmer graphics, and the more

recent Big Lie of Holocaust inversion, with Palestinians as the

new Anne Frank and Israel the Hitler.5

Israel has fought many wars. Some, against massed forces in

which Israel was clearly the underdog, like the Six Day War, have

been absolutely necessary and supported both by Israelis and the

world. Others have involved Israel in conflicts with the casus belli

less well defined and the Israeli government, clumsier in its

communications with the outside world than it should have been,

producing bias that can’t be waved away as reflexive hatred of

Israel or anti-Semitism.

Operation Protective Edge provides a good background for

analysis of media bias because its casus belli is so unambiguous.

This was a war of necessity.6 The unprovoked, indiscriminately

aimed and pan-Israel rocket attacks from Hamas, which terrorized

all Israelis for weeks on end, and even briefly threatened to bring

Israel’s economy to a standstill with a rocket so close to Ben

[5 Kotek, Joel, “Major Anti-Semitic Motifs in Arab Cartoons,” http://jcpa.org/article/major-anti-semitic-

6 See Alan Dershowitz’s just-published e-book: Terror Tunnels: The Case for Israel’s Just War]

Gurion airport that it produced panicky flight boycotts amongst

airline companies, absolutely demanded a muscular response.

The discovery of the vast Gaza tunnels complex, with its stark

implications for human tragedy and national cataclysm, sobered

even the most ardent Palestinian sympathizers, foreign and

domestic. Iconic Israeli writer, Amos Oz, normally sympathetic to

Palestinian grievances, summed up the general mood in Israel in

an interview with an anti-Israel Deutsche Welle journalist7, with Oz

quite aggressively pre-empting questions with his own

interrogation, asking the interviewer:

Question 1: What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the

balcony, puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your


Question 2: What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from

his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your

family?8 (He went on to describe Israel’s response “justified but excessive.)

Widespread anti-Israel media bias is a charge that anti-Zionists

tend to wave away as a conspiracy theory. But the accusation has

become untenable for any self-respecting observer. (Even Liberal

Jews are feeling the heat from their Facebook friends and they

are unhappy being on the defensive for a change.9)

The moral clarity around this war has also inspired several brilliant

and detailed proofs of media bias which, taken together, amount

to a damning indictment of the mainstream media.

Especially notable in this line is the meticulously detailed, long

analysis of New York Times bias against Israel by investigative

reporter Richard Behar in the August 21 issue of Forbes

Magazine.10 It’s very damning. The Times’ most important reporter

[7 http://www.dw.de/oz-lose-lose-situation-for-israel/a-17822511

8 http://www.vox.com/2014/8/2/5962103/amos-oz-to-israel-s-critics-what-would-you-do

9 Podhoretz, John, “When Liberals feel silenced,” Commentary magazine, September 2014]

in Gaza for the past few years has used Yasser Arafat as his

profile photo on Facebook. Abeer Ayoub, a Palestinian resident of

Gaza and former Times reporter (until 2013) was boycotting all

Israeli products and posting hostile comments to Facebook.

Behar’s report, printed, is 42 pages long: No honest skeptic can

read it and deny extreme bias pervades not just the NYT, but

almost the entire mainstream media (with the BBC the most

flagrant offenders of the pack*).

Behar does have words of praise for the media of other countries,

including Canada, citing the Globe and Mail’s Patrick Martin and

the CBC’s Derek Stoffel for candour regarding Hamas’s use of

human shields, as well as the firing of rockets from schools,

demonstrable facts ignored by many media.

He also cites the oft-quoted 2009 testimony before the UN,

regarding Operation Cast Lead, of British officer Colonel Richard

Kemp, a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq: “…the Israel Defence

Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in the combat

zones than any army in the history of warfare.”11

Matti Friedman, for another outstanding example, a journalist and

author, who worked as a reporter and editor in the Jerusalem

bureau of Associated Press (AP) between 2006-1, wrote an

article for a recent edition of Tabletmag.com. Entitled “An insider’s

guide to the most important story on earth.” The article, which has

been widely distributed, explains how and why so many media

covering the Middle East are essentially telling their audiences

that Jews are the “worst people on earth.”

10 Behar, Richard, “The Media Intifada: Bad math, ugly truths about New York Times in Israel-

* For a comparable analysis of the BBC see Tom Gross, former Jerusalem correspondent for London’s Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News on the 2006 war with Hezbollah: tomgrossmedia.com/MediaMissiles.html.

11 Behar, p. 14

All the themes Friedman adduces: double standards, failure to

acknowledge Hamas intimidation, reliance on uncorroborated

“facts” provided by Hamas, Hamas censorship versus Israeli

openness, are replicated in other critiques.

Friedman begins by noting, as representative, a recent New

Yorker article summing up world events over the summer. The

article assigned one sentence each to the horrors of Nigeria and

Ukraine, four sentences to the abominations of Islamic State, and

the rest – 30 sentences – to Israel and Gaza. But Friedman isn’t

interested in bashing the New Yorker or any other publication. He

has a bigger story to tell. And “story” is the key word, because the

central Israel narrative shows little variation in mainstream media.

To measure the importance of a story to a news organization,

Friedman writes, look at the staffing. During his tenure at AP (no

different from other large bureaus), there were 40 staffers

covering Israel and the Palestinian territories, more than in China,

Russia, India, “Arab Spring” countries and all 50 sub-Saharan

African countries combined.

Exactly one stringer covered Syria before the Syrian civil war,

even though more lives have been lost in Syrian violence in the

last three years than in Israel-Arab conflicts for the last century.

There were 1500 journalists in Israel this summer. How many

were covering Pakistan’s war against North Waziristan terrorists

in the same time period with equivalent civilian deaths and

displacement of 500,000 refugees?12 Probably fewer than five.

Friedman tells us that AP staffers quickly learned the rules

governing what got published. Corruption in the Palestinian

Authority, which Friedman wanted to cover? The bureau chief told

him that was “not the story.” But Israeli corruption was covered

thoroughly. During one seven-week period in November and

[12 Stephens, Bret, “Palestine and Double Standards,” Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2014]

December of 2011, Friedman tallied 27 articles about the various

moral political, cultural and social failings of Israeli society, more

than all the stories critical of Palestinian society published in the

previous three years.

The Hamas charter, which calls for Israel’s destruction, was never

mentioned in print in all the time Friedman worked for AP.

When Israel imposed censorship, staffers could say so, but not

when Hamas imposed censorship. That is because, Friedman

writes, AP feared Hamas intimidation and acted accordingly.

Friedman writes that as an editor on the AP news desk, because

of a threat to a reporter, “I personally erased a key detail – that

Hamas fighters were dressed as civilians and were being counted

as civilians in the death toll.” (Russia Today’s correspondent Harry

Fear was reportedly asked to leave Gaza after tweeting that Al-Waifa was

“the hospital with human shields”.13)

Most reporters in Gaza, he says, “believe their job is to document

violence directed by Israel at Palestinian civilians. That is the

essence of the Israel story.” The few journalists who documented

Hamas rocket launches this summer were not large bureau

staffers, but mostly “scrappy, peripheral and newly arrived players

– a Finn, an Indian crew, a few others. These poor souls didn’t get

the memo.

Friedman wants us to understand the more important story most

media shrink from covering. The narrative is usually framed as a

David and Goliath story in which the Palestinians are the little

David with his slingshot and Israel is the Goliath, which is the way

– reversed – Israel was once perceived vis à vis the entire Arab

world. The real conflict remains “Jewish-Arab” or even “Jewish-

Muslim”- six million versus a billion, with Israel the weaker party –

[13 http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/robert-phillips-despite-myths-my-childhood-gaza-made-me-love-israel-again-1472874]

and it began long before Israel was a state. Hamas, Hezbollah,

Islamic State, the Taliban: they’re all one.

In Friedman’s metaphor, Israel is just a small village on the slope

of a volcano, and the lava pouring down is radical Islam. Israel’s

sins are picayune compared to those of Islamists, but confronting

reality is hard; many in the West, Friedman says, prefer “the old

comfort of parsing the moral failures of Jews, and the feeling of

superiority this brings them.”

For the bigger picture on how we got to this pass, it is worth

revisiting American-Israeli press-war veteran Ze’ev Chafets 1985

book, Double Vision: How the Press Distorts America’s View of

the Middle East.

Chafets was the press officer for the Israeli government and

liaised between the government and the international press, so he

had a close-up and intimate view of what went on in a macro and

a micro way. He explains how media bias against Israel became

entrenched, and identifies the themes that keep cropping in all the

critiques we read today.

The first theme is that of media bans, news blackouts and

physical intimidation. The western press do not protest when they

are shut out by Arab states, even though they complained bitterly,

for example, when the U.S. imposed a ban on reportage in

Grenada during the first few days of its 1983 invasion.

Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq were dubbed “the arc of silence” by

Chafets in 1985, because they prohibited foreign correspondents

from living on their territories. They still forbid it, and who would

want to live there even if they didn’t? Even back then, the Assad

government was murdering Lebanese, American and German

journalists – killings, according to Chafets, that were covered up

in the American press. Ironically, the murderers of Islamic State

today aren’t allowing for any cover-ups; their gruesome public

beheadings ensure their murders are well covered.

While the Arab world is virtually closed to the media, Israel is

absurdly open. Hundreds of reporters camp out in comfortable

Israel. With its contentious society, a free press, much of which is

sharply critical of Israel and Zionism, intellectual elites who lean

heavily to the left and are well-connected internationally, these

foreign reporters think they are tapping into the heart of Israeli

opinion and character, when in fact they are getting a very

skewed version of both.

Language plays a huge part. Israeli political and intellectual elites

speak English and talk to media people with candour, but none of

these same media people speak any Middle-Eastern languages.

They are therefore heavily dependent on translators and “fixers”

to facilitate their information-gathering on the Arab side of the


Dealing with the Israeli army or government press officer is

frequently cumbersome and annoying. But fixers are informal and

personal. There are no rules and regulations. Friendships spring

up. The reporter may be taken to the fixer’s home, treated

graciously, meet friends who tell their sad stories. He doesn’t

meet Israelis who have suffered from terrorism in the same

informal way, though.14 If they did, they would hear some equally

sad stories to at least balance the emotive element.

Media people’s fixers often give jounalists a laundered version of

what is being said in Arabic, which they naively accept without

further interrogation – not that much further interrogation is

possible under the circumstances – and yet they do not make that

clear in their reportage. They often do not say in their reports what

[14 Halkin, Hillel, “When Israel gets spun,” National Post, February 17, 2006]

they are professionally bound to say, “This information could not

be corroborated by independent sources.”

Information given out on the Arab side is so unreliable that on

their own internal affairs, Palestinians prefer intel from Israel. In

one ludicrous story, which went entirely unreported, a Ha’Aretz

reporter detailed a planned coup by Hamas on Fatah leader

Mahmoud Abbas, which was discovered by Shin Bet in early

August, and passed on to Abbas. When scolded by Hamas leader

Khaled Meshal for accepting Israel information rather than his

own denials, Abbas replied, “I believe Israel’s reports.”15

Polls in Israel had 95% of Israelis supporting the war, in the US,

42%. Of the 42%, support was highest in older demographics.

Only 25% of those under 30 supported the war, though, and that

is extremely worrying. Amongst others, two factors help to

explain the disparity: left-wing, harshly anti-Zionist domination of

university discourse and politics; and the often intellectually

irresponsible blogosphere, to which younger people pay

disproportionate attention.

One sees a great deal more passion and unrestrained language

on blogs than one does in the mainstream press. As a result,

many young people are exposed to a double whammy of anti-

Israel rhetoric; and since, unlike our generation, they have grown

up in a world in which anti-Semitism is the norm in many parts of

the world, consider outrageous accusations against Israel –

Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is like the Nazis treatment of

Jews, Israel is an apartheid nation, Israel has no right to exist –

both valid and a reflection of historical norms. Many troubled pro-

Israel students on campus attest that it is “cool” to be anti-Israel.16

[15 Michaels, Paul, “Media coverage of internal Palestinian affairs inadequate,” Canadian Jewish News, September 18, 2014.

16 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlaO6pcn964&feature=share]

As Jerusalem’s Shalem College president Martin Kramer

writes, one finds in universities “habituation to a language of


Throw in a huge dollop of both latent and overt anti-Semitism in

Europe, fever-pitched anti-Semitism throughout the entire Muslim

world, and enhanced communication tools – the Internet,

dedicated Islamism-laundering TV stations, an increasingly Israel-

hostile United Nations – and we end up with entire western

countries in which it is difficult to find a single media outlet

governed by real objectivity on Israel, let alone sympathy.

When did media sympathy for Israel begin to turn to media bias

against Israel?

The turning point was 1973. The June, 1967 Six-Day war – a just

war par excellence – had dazzled the world, when tiny Israel

triumphed over the massed armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and

Iraq. The extraordinary achievement changed the world’s

perception of Israel, from a defensive, vulnerable nation to a

military world power.

The media glow was short-lived. There are many interlocking

reasons for the turn against Israel. But the precipitating cause

was the 1973 oil crisis. When the Egyptians and the Syrians

invaded Israel in 1973 – the Yom Kippur War – the Arabs

imposed an oil embargo on the West. It was a stunning economic

and psychological blow (many of us remember the blocks-long

queues at gas stations and the “sold out” signs that precipitated

panic in American commuters). This state of fear lasted a decade,

and fomented a watershed in media attention towards the Middle


[17 Kramer, Martin, “Gaza = Auschwitz,” mosaicmagazine.com, August, 2014]

Compounding the oil crisis was the fall of the Shah of the Iran

and the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. These events

were followed with breath drawn for their effects on the oil trade,

rather than for the clear indication they were of the growing global

Islamic jihad.

Here was a crisis in flagrant ascendancy that would soon dwarf

our concerns about Saudi oil. But we were quite blind to the

implications then, because we had no reportage boots on the

ground, and listened instead to the armchair academic “experts”

who had theories, with no special knowledge of what was actually

going on, but made the rounds of the talk shows, expounding as

though they did.

Since then, key players in the battle for hearts and minds –

politicians, academics and journalists – have for their own

reasons chosen to distort the Arab-Israeli conflict.

When Jimmy Carter came to power in 1977, he believed that

stability in the Middel East depended on a resolution of the West

Bank problem, and brought all his presidential weight to bear on

it. The media’s continuing obsession with the settlements and the

“peace process” as the cure-all for wider Muslim woes was partly

the trickledown effect of that conviction.

And the same misguided beat goes on. Leaping ahead a few

decades, Obama, with far more historical evidence to

demonstrate what it was a mistake fixation on settlements was,

doggedly stands by the same false belief.

Incredibly, as the entire Arab world is being consumed by jihadist

conflagration, Secretary of State John Kerry recently had the

temerity to blame Israel for the rise of Islamic State, remarking to

Muslim guests at a State Department dinner celebrating the Eid

al-Adha holiday that in his discussions with Arabs, “there wasn’t a

leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me

spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and

the Palestinians because it was a cause of recruitment and of

street anger and agitation that they felt.”

Well, they would, wouldn’t they. If he’d asked them their views of

9/11, they might also have opined that Mossad was behind that.

For a U.S. president (we must assume these are Obama’s views

as well) to publicly imply that an entire region is ablaze, and mass

slaughters of civilians, notably Christians, are colouring the Arab

world a lurid red because of the plight of the Palestinians speaks

either to a boundless naiveté that is unseemly in someone of such

high office, or a reflexive “blame the Jew” impulse, even more

unseemly, that neither Obama and Kerry can control.18

Returning to the story of oil and its fallout in other parts of the

world: Politicians, especially in European countries, simply made

a pact with the devil. They threw their support behind the Arab

countries, which meant abandoning Israel. They did it for oil, out

of former-empire guilt, and because their own growing Muslim

populations were beginning to exert pressures they could not

ignore. The details of Europe’s pusillanimous surrender can be

found in Bat Ye’or’s magisterial treatment of the subject in her

2005 book, Eurabia.19

As for intellectuals, Israel lost their sympathy the minute it

stopped being an underdog and became an occupier. The

universities took up the Palestinian refugee problem as a

righteous cause to fill the vacuum in righteous causes caused by

the end of the Vietnam war. A new, non-western underdog was

required and Palestinians filled the bill.

[18 http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2014/October/Sec-Kerry-Blames-Israel-for-Rise-of-ISIS/

19 http://www.meforum.org/1288/eurabia-the-euro-arab-axis]

Palestinian “self-determination” became the new shibboleth of

the Left. Just as the Left had turned a blind eye to the genocidal

depredations of the Communist Khmer Rouge, they quickly

accustomed themselves to the rampant terrorism against Israelis,

as well as Jews outside of Israel20 – by the Palestinian Liberation

Organization (PLO), whose evils they justified as a natural bloom

springing from the “root causes” of Israeli imperialism and racism.

Much of the impetus for their hostility sprang from the late

Columbia University professor, Edward Said, Egyptian born

member of the PLO’s National Council, whose 1978 book,

Orientalism, gave intellectual respectability to the objectively false

colonialist image of Israel. Said succeeded in redirecting leftist

focus away from Marxist class struggle analysis to a portrayal of

Arabs and Palestinians as the truly oppressed group.21

Said and other influential academics, with their direct access to

the vulnerable minds of untutored young idealists en masse, have

had a particularly pernicious effect in demonizing Israel, helping to

create two generations of opinion-makers so marinated in anti-

Israel discourse they are not even aware that there is another

side to the story.

And carrying the heavy water for that cause has from the

beginning, ironically enough, been the special task of left-wing

Jews. Intellectual leadership on the left was – is – heavily

dominated by Jews who have made progressivism their religion,

and opposition to Israel a proof of their political fidelity.

In Israel, progressivism shaped the “new historians” of the 1980s,

who promoted the theory that Israel and Zionism were born in sin.

Their books became weapons in the hands of western

[20 http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/10/21/metropolitan-opera-stifles-free-exchange-of-ideas-about-a-propaganda-opera/

21 Radosh, Ronald, “Turning against Israel: the downward trajectory of global prestige,” Weekly Standard, September 8, 2014.]

intellectuals and journalists to show that Israel was anti-

progressive, and they helped to turn many influential, once-

stalwartly pro-Israel Protestant denominations against Israel and

for the BDS movement.

What is the average person to think, when he listens to Jews who

specifically invoke their Jewishness to “explain” their hostility to

Israel? What is the average media person stationed in Israel to

think when many of the very people he mingles most frequently

with are hostile ideologues, if anything, more contemptuous of

Zionism than their European and American peers? Or when he is

exposed to a barrage of Netanyahu-bashing that makes Bush

Derangement Syndrome pale in comparison? (Ha’Aretz in

particular has made Netanyahu-bashing almost a full-time

occupation, offering pop-psychology analyses of the prime

minister, his wife and even his children)? 22He naturally takes their

opinion as authoritative.

On the other hand, Israel is not blameless in allowing so much

media bias to metastasize with so little strategic and systematic

rebuttal. Threads of arrogance, incompetence and downright self-

sabotage run through Israel’s communications history, and far too

little money and attention is lavished on what should be the most

sophisticated PR machinery in the world.

Meanwhile, Palestinian spokespeople throughout the decades —

usually articulate academics with long experience in urbane

media performance – have always remained on message.

While democratic Israelis confuse observers with open public

dissension in a clashing cacophony of extremist views from left

and right, media-savvy Palestinians speak softly and respectfully

in excellent English with one unified anti-Israel voice.

]22 “Weighing the Cost of Netanyahu-Bashing,” by Gerald Steinberg in Canadian Jewish News, October 8, 2014]

They sidestep unpleasant questions and often lie — “All we

want is peace!” — but they always appear reasonable. Ignoring

pointed, irrefutable evidence of their lies, they simply plow

brazenly ahead with their narrative, assuming that readers and

viewers will respond favorably to their aplomb and conviction and

forget the rational challenges to their facts. As Kevin Williamson

of the National Review tweeted on Oct 17, “If it weren’t for

rockets, sanctimony would be the No. 1 Palestinian export.”

They have been quite successful under this assumption. Their

narrative of a people that has always been there and has been

displaced is simplistic and easy to grasp. The Zionist narrative – a

long, convoluted account of wanderings and changing identities,

political negotiations and treaties, legal texts and ancient

documents, not so much. What do most reporters know of the

1948 war of Independence, the British Mandate and the Balfour

Declaration, or Dreyfus and Herzl? Reporters are not very good

on what came before or the larger meaning of events. The Zionist

narrative is associated with the sufferings of the dead and the

past; it can’t compete with the sufferings of the present and the


In his address to the 7th annual Herzliya conference in 2007,23

Richard Landes reminds us of the frailty of our western civilization

by recalling that “in the fifth century, a culturally superior Roman

civilization fell to a primitive tribal Germanic culture.” It can

happen again. The Global Jihad has escalated since 2007 and

will continue to get worse before it gets better. The Palestinian

narrative is fuel for the forest fire it resembles.

Concluding, I cannot improve on Landes’s advice to stakeholders.

[23 Landes, Richard, The Media and the Dysfunctions of the 21st century,” theaugeanstables.com/2007/01/23.]

To Israel: “Open a mouth. Go on the offensive…Challenge the

fakes, the pervasive staging. And demand that the media do their

own reviews before rushing, breathless, before their public with

the latest issue of Israeli sins. Remind them of how often and how

destructively they have been wrong. Hold journalists who work

here to their own professional standards. Feed information to the

blogosphere, not the MSM.” And spend more money. “Hizbullah

alone outspends you threefold in Hasbarah.”

To the diaspora: “Stop being embarrassed by the media-driven

image that you get of Israel.”

To Jewish leaders: “Stop the ego-battles…the hostility to new

voices. We cannot afford to play by the old rules.”

To Europeans: “Get over the politics of resentment…Rediscover

the Atlantic Alliance…Start addressing the problem of Islamic


To (especially younger) journalists: “Break out of the pack.

…And above all, blow the whistle. Break the shameful silence that

has made of your ‘fourth estate’ a rogue power…”

“The MSM are the eyes and ears of modern civil societies.” If our

eyes and ears are misinformed, we will not survive.

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