Israeli Raps U.S. Media

Azaria Rapoport, press attache at the Israel Consulate in New York, accused the American media last night of creating a distorted image of Israel through inaccurate and partial reporting on events in Israel.

Addressing the Overseas Press Club of America at the Biltmore Hotel here, Rapoport, who is returning to Israel after serving here since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, said that in his view the American media has not been conveying “the full picture” when reporting on Israel. He said that news items on Israel and the Mideast conflict often fail to provide the background that led to the particular event and the American reader, therefore, gets distorted information about Israel.

To illustrate this he recalled that major American newspapers showed front page pictures of Israeli soldiers pulling the hair of demonstrating Arab girls on the occupied West Bank. The U.S. papers did not mention that the Israeli soldiers were protecting themselves against violent demonstrators and that the soldiers did not want to use their weapons against the girls, Rapoport said.

Rapoport also charged that the American media ignores “positive” events in Israel, such as Israel’s economic achievements and the establishment of the “good fence” on the Israeli-Lebanese border during the civil war in Lebanon, while reporting extensively on “sensational” events. But Rapoport said he believes that this unbalanced reporting on Israel is not a result of a “bad will” on the part of the American media but rather a result of the media’s inclination to seek out the events that “make” headlines.

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