Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; Psalm 69:4

Media Coverage - biased reporting

Palestinians attempt to provoke an Israeli soldier for the benefit of the waiting cameras, for world-wide consumption.

Coverage in the news media is often  heavily slanted against the Israelis, sometimes to a ludicrous extent.  It is not clear whether this is due to a political viewpoint, fear of incurring violent reprisal for critical reports or plain ignorance. The beliefs of the Western media, particularly the BBC, is a complex subject but it can be observed that the middle class left wing is heavily over represented in the BBC and the " "intelligentsia ". Disdain for Israel and Bible believers appears to be almost obligatory.

Some years ago, distinguished BBC war correspondent, Godfrey Talbot, wrote an article in London's Times pointing out the dangers of "instant news." The need to be the first, the desperate fight for "ratings" that leads to the distortion and trivialization of the news. This is what we now see. One lecturer on media studies referred to modern news coverage as, "a mile wide and an inch deep."

The BBC commissioned an investigation into bias in its Middle East coverage but has fought through the courts to keep the findings secret. The BBC's decision to spend an estimated £200,000 of licence fee payers' money to keep the Balen Report secret has been widely condemned. See BBC Bias and the Balen Report

This media bias may also be due to a willingness to pass on any story without sufficiently checking its accuracy.  Much  of our news material is obtained  in the safety of the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, from Palestinian journalists.  The Palestinian spokespeople are highly skilled in  the emotive use of words and in adjusting history .  

Speech by Matti Friedman former AP reporter

On 26 January 2015, Friedman spoke about how the media dissect and magnify Israel’s flaws while purposely erasing those of its enemies. He spoke about a fashionable and extravagant disgust for Israel among many in the West, and the rise of a ‘cult of the Occupation’ which positions Jewish arrogance and perfidy at the heart of all the problems of the Middle East.


See also Coverage of the  Hizballah - Israel conflict July 2006

Was the Dispatches programme "Inside Britain's Israel Lobby", broadcast by Channel 4 in November 2009, merely the product of Media hostility towards Israel? See what you think.

An amazing example occurred when this picture appeared around the world at the end of September 2000.  

An example of Media bias concerning Israel.  In the London Daily Telegraph the picture appeared with the Headline "Four Palestinians killed by police at Temple Mount.  The caption under the picture read "An Israeli border policeman confronts a wounded Palestinian as a car burns in the background during yesterday's clashes in Jerusalem"   



The truth of the picture was very different, as explained in two  letters to the Editor of the New York Times, which had carried this picture with a similar story.  

Both the father and the uncle of the young man in the picture pointed out that he is not a "Palestinian" but is actually  a Jewish student from Chicago.  He and two of his friends were pulled from their taxi while travelling in Jerusalem, by a mob of Palestinian Arabs and were severely beaten and stabbed.  The Israeli soldier was not "confronting" the injured man but saving him from the mob.   The picture clearly shows the soldier confronting not the victim but the group of people that included the photographer.     

Some newspapers printed small apologies when the truth was pointed out.  However, Associated Press withdrew the picture from their files rather than admit their fault and correct the caption.  Presumably the picture had no value in its true context.

The Palestinians' supporters even had the nerve to use this picture to promote a boycott of American companies because they support "Israeli brutality to Palestinians"!

When you watch the TV news, think; "would I try  photographing or filming an angry mob of Palestinians armed with rocks, slingshots and automatic weapons who suspected that I was not representing them favourably?"


Stock Photographs / Generic Images

Explanation from Honest Reporting

Sometimes, editors need an image for a story but don’t have anything useful or available right away. That’s when stock photos come in handy. But unless they’re clearly labelled as “file photos” used for “illustrative purposes,” these images can be very misleading.

Think of any image you have seen of Palestinians throwing stones - get it from the suppliers and caption it to suit your story. The picture being set up at the head of the page would be similarly treated.

Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers over (fill in the blank) on (fill in the date).

Robert Fisk raises an important point about “generic” news photos used to illustrate articles.

Some 20 years ago, I made a series of documentaries on the Middle East under the title From Beirut to Bosnia.  During the course of our filming, we shot footage of Palestinian youths throwing stones at Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip in protest at the destruction of dozens of homes by Israeli forces. Some hours later, I was watching a news report on CNN on the return of the Palestinian delegation from fruitless peace talks with the Israelis.  In this same report, the very same Palestinians – I recognized them individually – were seen throwing the same stones. But the report said they were ‘protesting’ at the peace talks. They were not, of course. But when I asked the CNN Bureau Chief in Jerusalem to explain the pictures, he said that Palestinians disapproved of the way the talks were going and that the pictures of the protestors were ‘generic’.


Jenin "Massacre"

Jenin   seen from Mt Gilboa after is was alleged to have been flattened

The media ran with hysterical stories of "The Jenin Massacre"  . The United Nations report found  the 500 dead that a senior PA official had claimed was,  "a figure that has not been substantiated."   This report received little media attention.

The final casualty figures were much less than a massacre,  most of the Palestinian dead were combatants and a comparable number of Israeli soldiers died in the fighting.

The deaths and destruction were largely due to booby-trapping of buildings and the civilian deaths were incurred due to PA terrorists working in civilian areas

The TV footage suggested that the whole town had been razed to the ground, but aerial photographs reveal that the destruction was very localized. 

The lower picture is a detail of the ringed area on the upper picture

Aerial photographs by the IDF used with permission of the Israel Ministry of Information.       

See also

Notice that Jenin is a town not a "refugee camp"

Did anybody else notice the BBC News on the evening the British Marines went off to Afghanistan to fight in "the war on terror" ?  The commentary was the traditional "our brave boys" stuff.  However,  this report directly followed the item on the Israeli army going into Jenin, which was reported in most hostile language.  The Israelis were in pursuit of the terrorists who attack their people - the British marines were, however justifiably,  in pursuit of people who had not attacked Britain.

The BBC has been found out flouting its own guidelines - report from CAMERA

Dishonest Photographs

See this Honest Reporting video about the staged picture from a Palestinian photographer that they have used dishonestly twice (so far)


See also Blogs strike back - (reference to 2006 Hizhullah war)

Remember this photograph next time you hear of a nasty IDF soldier assaulting a Palestinian or one of their supporters! This is what happens all the time to Israeli soldiers.

Notice how secure the provocateur feels because he knows that Tsahal (IDF) will not touch him. Surrounding the scene are journalists and left-wing activists eagerly waiting for the soldier to act, ready to capture any perceived misstep in order to use it to damn the IDF. Powerless but resolute, the soldier stands in the face of this provocation with restraint and dignity.

Moral Equivalence

It is apparent that the western media feels obliged to be "balanced" in its coverage of the conflict in Israel.  Why this should apply to this particular conflict more than any other is not clear.  Thus the conflict which follows the routine of terror attacks being followed by steps to prevent further attacks is presented as two equally evil acts.

Thus a "suicide" bomb attack aimed at Israeli civilians and causing around twenty deaths, including women and children, is equated with a targeted strike on the known terrorist responsible for these bombings.


Our leaders then make trite remarks about the "spiral of violence".


Notice also that the bus bomb picture which is an un-posed account of the carnage was not used in the UK, while the right hand picture which was used is of a demonstration of anger held around the burned out car of the terrorist. ( Just look carefully at how much news footage is of Palestinians performing for the cameras)


Perhaps, in an ideal world, the Israelis would not respond with violent measures, but the USA and UK do not appear to have found a better solution for use in their "war on terrorism".

There are terrorists would be alive today if they had remained locked up in the Palestinian jails where the world was assured they were.

See also Quotes

Media Collusion?

From an Honest Reporting item on a Lebanon Ambush in August 2010 that left one Israeli soldier dead along with 4 other fatalities on the Lebanese side.

Lebanese forces opened fire on IDF soldiers performing routine maintenance work by the security fence near the border. The IDF soldiers were clearing bushes to improve the line of sight over the border and to prevent Hezbollah terrorists from hiding in the undergrowth and carrying out an attack or kidnapping. The routine work had been cleared in advance with UNIFIL.

The incident raises questions concerning the integrity of the media that covered the events.

What were photographers and journalists doing at the scene of the incident before a deadly exchange of fire between Lebanese and Israeli forces? Was the event a planned ambush with media coverage?

Media intimidation by Terrorist organisations - ISIS and Hamas

ISIS Issues Rules for Journalists; Punishment for Violation is Crucifixion

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has issued a list of rules that journalists must abide by on penalty of death. The news website Syria Deeply, which first uncovered the rules, noted that independent journalists and other activists were threatened with crucifixion if they failed to abide by the rules. Even reporting on the existence of the rules themselves may be grounds for a death sentence.

This is not the first case in which a terrorist organization has attempted to control how the media reports on it. This summer, during Operation Protective Edge, Hamas released “guidelines” for how Palestinians should use social media, demanding that they not post photos of rockets being fired. The Foreign Press Association condemned Hamas for “blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza,”


Media - Disproportionate Focus on Israel - CNN in the spotlight

CNN discusses Media Bias Against Israel with Matti Freedman -

What he calls a disproportionate focus on Israel

Associated Press Accused of Bias Against Israel - AP denies charges by former reporter - Their prejudice, Friedman wrote, even impacts editorial decisions about who to talk to. In the AP’s case, “explicit orders” were given to reporters around 2008 “to never quote” the pro-Israel research organization NGO Monitor, or its founder, Gerald Steinberg. “In my time as an AP writer moving through the local conflict, with its myriad lunatics, bigots, and killers, the only person I ever saw subjected to an interview ban was this professor,” Friedman wrote.

CNN Executive Vice President of News Standards and Practices to Jewish student - "Are you brain dead?”

Jewish Student Hayley Nagelberg cornered Richard Davis and questioned him on the HarNof headlines again. She wanted to know why CNN, when releasing the headlines at issue, couldn’t call it a terrorist attack. Davis explained that they would never jump to a conclusion that anything is a terrorist attack. “Okay”, she said, fully understanding the weight that the word “terrorist” carries. “But by the time it was known that it was four Israelis and two Palestinians, it was known that there were meat cleavers and stabbings involved. Why couldn’t you call it an ‘attack’?” she continued.

His response? “You’ve got to be kidding me? One word? Are you brain dead?”

CNN Is Paid By Foreign And Domestic Government Agencies For Specific Content 

Story on several sources according to a Google search - Posted on 8/25/2013 by Eliyokim Cohen

CNN is paid by the US government for reporting on some events, and not reporting on others.  The Obama Administration pays CNN for content control.

Additionally CNN and CNN International are also paid by foreign governments to avoid stories that are damaging, and construct narratives that show them in a better, albeit false, light. Amber Lyon is a three-time Emmy winning investigative journalist and photographer. She accuses CNN of being “fake news.” 

In March 2011, CNN sent a four person team to Bahrain to cover the Arab Spring. Once there, the crew was the subject of extreme intimidation amongst other things, but they were able to record some fantastic footage. As Glenn Greenwald of the UK’s Guardian writes in his blockbuster article from September 4th 2012: “In the segment, Lyon interviewed activists as they explicitly described their torture at the hands of government forces, while family members recounted their relatives’ abrupt disappearances. She spoke with government officials justifying the imprisonment of activists. And the segment featured harrowing video footage of regime forces shooting unarmed demonstrators, along with the mass arrests of peaceful protesters. In sum, the early 2011 CNN segment on Bahrain presented one of the starkest reports to date of the brutal repression embraced by the US-backed regime. 

Despite these accolades, and despite the dangers their own journalists and their sources endured to produce it, CNN International (CNNi) never broadcast the documentary. Even in the face of numerous inquiries and complaints from their own employees inside CNN, it continued to refuse to broadcast the program or even provide any explanation for the decision. To date, this documentary has never aired on CNNi. Having just returned from Bahrain, Lyon says she “saw first-hand that these regime claims were lies, and I couldn’t believe CNN was making me put what I knew to be government lies into my reporting.” Here is a segment of the Bahrain report that Amber Lyon and her team put together. 

CNNi refused to allow it to air because the Bahrain Government had paid them not to show it. When Amber Lyon recognized the extent of the reasoning, she challenged CNN. CNN told her to be quiet, and began to view her as a risk.   She knew, and found out, too much. Amber is now trying to tell the story, the real story, of what is going on behind the closed doors of US Media entities. Amber has created her own website, and additionally as noted in the Guardian Article she is trying to share the truth of the deceptions. What Amber Lyon describes is exactly the reason why CNN never aired the Nick Robertson interview with Muhammed Al Zawahiri in Egypt. 


Media Distortion

See  the Honest Reporting website for guidance about the way the media distorts the truth and for advice on ways of combating the lies and misrepresentation being practiced on us.

HonestReporting produced a guide to Internet activism entitled, Learn How to Defend Israel With Your Computer. Sadly, this appears to be no longer available, but you really can make an impression! Think about it.


Those concerned about the appalling way in which the world's media have handled the conflict in Israel and desperate to see an authoritative challenge will be glad to see the Second Draft site.   In the particular case of the death of Mohammed al Dura,  this site presents all the video evidence so that  you will be able to prove to your satisfaction that  the coverage was a cynical terrorist/media fabrication.   The site carries articles to help you understand the dynamics of media coverage.

The world's media shows no sign of improving its reporting.

This Picture of a Palestinian woman weeping over the destruction of her family's olive trees by Jewish Settlers appeared around the world in the Autumn/Fall of 2005, including in the UK's Daily Telegraph.

Obviously nobody checked the photo-story they were offered.

Representatives from the KKL investigated the accusations and concluded that the trees had not been vandalised by the Settlers but pruned by their Palestinian owners.  These trees will be fruitful again within a couple of years, but someone wishing to destroy them would just have just cut them off at ground level.

Not only that, but the same stunt was attempted the previous year.  

Why do even "Quality" papers fall for such a blatant piece of photo-propaganda.   It is clearly too staged to be called photo-journalism.

What they don't say

From CiF Watch (monitor the Guardian's Comment is Free section)

One might expect a Left-leaning, liberal newspaper which purports to include an anti-racist stance among its credentials to take notice of a well-planned and well-advertised demonstration by supporters of a fascist, terror-supporting and enabling regime held practically under its own nose on the streets of the city in which its main offices are situated.

One could perhaps even expect some sort of discussion of the subject of how the unchecked dehumanization of an entire nation (on the streets of a supposedly civilised country) by means of the description of its members as a “disease” should be viewed in light of studies on the process of genocide. 

But the Guardian did not cover the Al Quds Day demonstration held in London anywhere on its UK news pages. The fact that the self-proclaimed leading Left-liberal voice in the UK media chooses to completely ignore such a naked display of racist hatred and incitement simply because of the specific affiliations of the offenders should also be a cause of concern to anyone who still assumes that the Guardian has any sort of legitimate claim to the terms ‘liberal’ and ‘Left’. 

Full article here - guardian-ignores-al-quds-day-in-london/

See also mention on Olympics


A view into Russian media on Israel

Pravda - 27/11/12
Obama's Soviet Mistake

By Ali Ashraf Khan

The Israeli air force for more than 60 hours was bombarding the Gaza strip with a short break only during the visit of Egyptian Prime Minister, who had come to defuse the situation from escalating on Friday to visit the victims of Israel's recent aggression in hospitals in Gaza. Muslims all over the world are enraged to see the complicity of Muslim rulers in this hour of Israeli genocide? Even Egyptian Prime Minister was shocked to see the wounds of the civilians hit by Israel bombs and calling it an outright aggression. He was promising that Egypt will not stand by. (continues in the same vein)


Hostage of the Holocaust Halo

By Jamie Wendland

Israeli bombs and rockets are once again wreaking destruction upon the innocent people of Gaza. To describe this as a "war" would be too polite; it is a wholesale merciless slaughter. But in the US, this clear act of terrorism is politely described by at least one highly respected media outlet as merely an "intensified conflict".

Such is the American view of the terrorist acts of Israel. In 2008, President Barack Obama had bragged repeatedly of the United States' "Special Relationship" with Israel while seeking his first term.  During the battle for re-election, however, there was Republican and Israeli official criticism that he had somehow "broken" this pact. Apparently, to the whining Netanyahu, "broken" is defined as US support of roughly 8 million dollars a day. A population of just over 7 million, Israel receives more American aid than any other country on earth. Obama's stern "distancing," adds up to a cost of $200,000 per family of five every ten years, according to The Council for American Interest.

Congressional records reveal that this terrorist nation receives 1/5 or 3 billion dollars of total annual US foreign aid. Through sheer ignorance even some of the most sophisticated Americans are completely unaware or ambivalent about the bloody history of modern Israel.

Founded upon the carpet bombing of 578 Palestinian communities and the imprisonment and displacement of twenty million people, it could be argued that modern Israel was a terrorist nation from its very inception in 1947. (continues in the same vein)


Improving Israel's perception by the Media

Aryeh Green has established Media Central in order to attempt to win back some of the media ground held by Israel's enemies.

He observed that Journalists visiting Israel rarely venture into the heart of conflict without a fixer. Foreign journalists hang out at the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem. Within ten minutes of arrival, the journalist will be met by Palestinians with offers of friendship, fixers, cameramen, transport to incidents etc. Israel has never been that friendly to journalists. At best, Israelis give journalists excellent but heavy books that they will never have time to read.

Media Central has been established to provide good information and facilities, in conducive surroundings, so that journalists can easily access Israel's side of any story. We would suggest you bring Media Central to the attention of journalists who are tackling Israel.

As the web site says,

You need a “fixer”, or you’ve got 2 free hours & want to see the ‘hot spots’ in Jerusalem….  You’re on deadline, and you need a quote, a photo, a quick interview or a little background – but lost that note with the guy’s number….  You need to get to Bethlehem or Sderot – but your car’s in the shop….  You just need a quiet place to log on and file the story – but your Internet connection's dead….  Media Central

Speaking as a media consumer, it appears that Israel has started to win some ground with the media when the Gaza conflict erupted in January 2009. Although many lurid Palestinian stories made it to the screen, Israel's representatives did get to deliver their point and Palestinian excesses were challenged. (The BBC explained about the Hamas charter calling for the destruction of the state of Israel and the Jewish people)

Media Bias - generally to the left


(primarily in terms of the USA, but applicable less specifically elsewhere)


Updated 15/03/15

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