Media coverage of Mid-East is biased not balanced

By Beryl Wajsman on November 21, 2012

Too many in the media, in their rush for "balance" on reporting on Israel's response to Hamas' attacks, have forgotten that words matter, images can be contrived and facts must be checked. An anti-Israel bias has brushed all that aside far too often.

Even CNN has resorted to using phrases normally heard on local radio stations without a sophisticated news-gathering organization. Phrases like "Palestinian retaliation for Israeli bombing." They are either kidding themselves or purposely misleading the public.

How can any reasonable person seriously believe that journalists who fail to remind readers and viewers and listeners that Israel absorbed body blows of 1000 rocket attacks since January are omitting this fact out of error or balance? They do it out of bias.

Hamas attacks are not retaliation. They are the instigation. Israeli retaliation is clearly self-defense under any definition in international law.

To quote a noted observer, the media's "balance" is like a referee missing the first slash and calling a penalty when the victim punches back. Hamas is attacking- with intention- civilian Israeli urban targets. Israel, with its superior military strength, is actually showing remarkable restraint in targeting bomb attacks.  It is not decimating the entire Gaza Strip. Yet some in the media still use the term of Israeli "aggression."

The media makes much of the greater number of Gazan casualities. Well perhaps it should look at where Hamas is placing its rockets and launchers. On apartment building roofs, in schoolyards and beside Mosques. This is not conjecture. The pictures are out there. They've been available since 2008. But too few in the press use them preferring the sensationalism of broadcasting images of dead bodies.

And if the media is so concerned with Gazans, instead of attacking Israel for protecting itself, it should be attacking Iran for helping its client Hamas exploit Gazans as human shields for Iranian bombs. And imagine if Iran had nuclear capability. It is almost as if Hamas started this offensive to get world attention away from whatever Iran is doing, not to mention the Syrian regime's slaughter of its own people.

The one thing that is clear is that if Hamas stops the rockets, the Israelis will stop bombing. If Israel stops bombing however, Hamas will continue the rocket attacks and Israelis will continue to die.

The media should remember what every good referee knows. Its not the refs job to even the score. Its their job just to get the call right.

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Beryl P. Wajsman

Redacteur en chef et Editeur

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