Lack Of Balance On SodaStream Coverage


I was happy to see Jewish Week was covering the SodaStream/Oxfam story until I read the story itself (online Q&A, “ScarJo Stands Firm”). The story struck me not so much as journalism as propaganda for SodaStream with some free public relations damage control thrown in.

The article does not explain on what grounds Oxfam thought Johansson’s work with SodaStream was inconsistent with its humanitarian goals.

The article does not explain why many consider the industrial zone at Mishor Adumim to be, yes, absolutely illegal.

The article does not explain why a captive labor market will out of sheer necessity accept work from employers whose activities pose a long-range threat to the well-being of the occupied.

The lazy Q&A approach deprives the reader of commentary from individuals offering a credible contrasting perspective to Yonah Lloyd’s self-serving explanations.

What I continue to hope for in The Jewish Week is simply good journalism that relies on research, follow-through, fact checking, and the presentation of multiple perspectives. That way, your readers are challenged and informed, not merely affirmed in whatever biases they already have. You do a disservice to Israelis, Palestinians and your readers by failing to explore the ramifications of Israel’s ongoing absorption of Palestinian land and discriminatory treatment of the non-Jews who live east of the Green Line. Perhaps you are enthusiastic supporters of the Israeli settlement project in the occupied Palestinian territories. Your coverage leads me to believe this is the case. Even so, would not your readers benefit from hearing why Palestinians oppose them and how Palestinians are affected by the presence and expansion of the settlements?