Media To Blame


A major explanation for the significant misunderstanding between Americans and Israelis stares us in the face every day — The New York Times and the bulk of the mainstream media (“I Love Israel, But Does Israel Love Me?” Editor’s column, May 29).

We all know that they have been getting the story wrong on Israel for decades, ignoring context, holding Israelis to impossibly high standards, turning Israelis into the world’s whipping boys, while letting the Palestinians get away with demonization, anti-Semitism, making heroes of their terrorists and indiscriminately shelling Israeli civilians. And we have foolishly allowed the mainstream media to become our community’s textbooks on the Middle East.

The pernicious effect of the long-term daily drops of poison has been a widespread undermining of support for Israel, especially among the youth, but even subtly among communal leaders. The complaints hurled at Israel at the recent JPPI global think tank [conference] mirror what we read and view every day.

The Jewish Week needs to decide whether to follow their profession or their conscience in exposing distorted harmful journalism as AP journalist Matti Friedman has done. We need only remember how many Jewish lives could have been saved had the New York Times reported the Holocaust honestly.

The writer is founder of the New York chapter of CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America)