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Biased tone in AIPAC video

To the Editor:

I am writing to express concern about the JTA video on the AIPAC Policy Conference. (For the record, I will be attending the conference, support AIPAC and encourage members of our congregation to attend the conference.)

Ron Kampeas is a journalist whose job includes covering AIPAC, Israel and the Middle East. However, the video did not seem to merely be a reporter previewing a major event, but had a tone that appeared to encourage people to attend and support AIPAC’s positions. With the use of the AIPAC logo and the explanation of the lobbying points without reference to any other viewpoints, I initially thought it was an AIPAC paid advertisement. Only after I saw the Ben Harris byline was it clear to me that it was intended as a news item.

In today’s rapidly changing media world, the lines around what constitutes unbiased reporting are increasingly blurred. I would urge JTA to try to uphold the highest standards in this regard and caution against producing pieces like this that may lead to charges of bias against your fine organization.

Rabbi Marc D. Israel
Ohr Kodesh Congregation
Chevy Chase, Md.

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