Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Israel vs. the World..... thanks to the media

What is going on in Israel is a perfect example of how important it is to get all the facts. I'm going to be honest, I'm Jewish, so automatically I almost always side with Israel. However, I'm also an American, so I care and understand how important our reputation is regarding those we call our "allies."

So when I was on the treadmill Monday morning, watching FoxNews, I almost went into cardiac arrest when I saw the headline "Netenyahu cancels meeting with Obama due to Israel's recent attacks in Gaza."

Needless to say, the heart pains continued as I searched through the next couple of news stations and found the same type of headlines, basically saying: "Israel F**cked up."

On returning home, I walked into another war zone when my parents were arguing with the news stations, saying they were being biased and attacking Israel. At this, I knew I had to do some research to figure out what had just happened.

I went to all the usual suspects: Fox, The Wall Street Journal and CNN. What I learned from those three alone was that Israel felt threatened and did attack ships trying to get into the Gaza strip. It took a little longer to find out why Israel stormed the ships, but I read it was because they suspected there were weapons and terrorist on board (never a good combination).

If you side with Israel, you are going to agree that weapons being present on a ship headed for Gaza is a viable reason to think "attack!"

If you side with the Palestinians (and what seems like the rest of the world), you are going to think Israel overreacted in attacking the ships.

Now, I consider myself a rational person, and for a while agreed with both sides:
  • Israel did have cause to be paranoid and defensive; They are surrounded by countries wanting nothing more than to see them turned to ashes (and that's a fact).
  • However, I also agree with the other side, saying there could have been another way to deal with the situation.

But (and this is a big buttttt) what tipped me on the scale towards Israel's side is one key element that you could barely find in the newspapers and news coverage: "The humanitarian flotilla had been warned repeatedly not to try to run the blockade. It ignored warnings," The Wall Street Journal.

After reading this quote, there was no doubt in my mind that Israel was correct in feeling threatened. They were pushed to their limit. Why would the flotilla push through when they were specifically and repeatedly told not to. "No means no, right?"

But back to the point of this post....

Regardless of whether you agree with me or not, what bothered me the most about the entire situation was not the situation itself, but the terrible news coverage.

I honestly read through over a dozen articles on the situation and found that quote in less than half. More importantly, there was not one news station reporting anything in Israel's defense. You would only find that in small, local (and probably biased) newspapers.

Where's the fair and balanced in that?

For a while I felt really good about the news industry--with all the great coverage regarding the Oil Spill--but this ruined it.

Every station was replaying the videos and reporting the negative. Well, did anyone replay Netanyahu's address regarding why Israel did what she did? No. You maybe saw it a couple times in a short clip.

As a result, Israel is now "the bad guy."

Thanks to the media, Americans have completely forgotten why past Administrations have aligned themselves with Israel:

because the country values the same morals ours does, and maintains a democratic society in a part of the world where that doesn't exist.

So thank the media: the next time terrorist plan an attack, we will welcome them with open arms instead of preventing it.

Great, lesson learned.

The following are articles I think did a good job reporting the news and not speculating:

Israeli Attack Kills 10 Aboard Aid Ships Bound for Gaza, Politics Daily.

Israeli Raid Complicates U.S.'s Mideast Strategy, The Wall Street Journal.

Despite Flotilla Attack, Joint U.S.-Israeli Military Efforts Continue, Politics Daily.

And the following are editorials regarding the incident, favoring Israel:

Sarah Palin: Israeli Flotilla: Don’t Take Mainstream Media Coverage at Face Value

Why Gaza aid flotilla is a media success
, The Jewish Journal


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