The author is Executive Chairman, CanWest Global Communications
With a combination of sadness, fear, and anger, I must tell you that Israel and the honor of the news media are under grievous assault. And, even more painful for me, even though at first glance those two pillars should be separate, I regret to say, they are both threatened by the same cancer and have thus become inextricably linked. This is because dishonest reporting is destroying the trust in and credibility of the media and the journalists, and the same dishonest reporting is biased against Israel, thus destroying the world’s favorable disposition toward it.
I make the charge that much of the world media covering the Arab-Israeli conflict have abandoned the fundamental precepts of honest reporting. They have been taken captive by their own biases, or victimized by their own ignorance. They have adopted Palestinian propaganda as the context for their stories. Thus dishonest reporting has made truth a casualty of the war, causing grievous damage to both Israel and the integrity of the journalistic profession.
Dishonest reporting occurs in several forms. One is through the selection of terminology which promotes a presumed set of facts. Biased media describe the Palestinian perpetrators of clear acts of terror against Israel merely as ”militants,” ”resistance fighters,” ”gunmen,” ”extremists.”
The terms ”cycle of violence,” ”moderate Arab states,” ”peace process,” ”occupied territories,” and ”illegal settlements” have also become tools and weapons used by the journalistic propagandists. The war proves there is no peace process, there are no moderate Arab states, the term ”cycle of violence” is an insult to the truth, and under the Oslo agreements there is no prohibition against Israel establishing new settlements in the territory it captured from Jordan.
Some examples of profound media bias against Israel which results in this dishonest reporting are found in the world’s leading media. Some of the worst in Britain are the London Independent, the Guardian, BBC, Sky News, Reuters, Evening Standard, Britain’s television network ITV and the Daily Mirror.
In the U.S., the worst offenders are CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, and the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Associated Press.
In Canada, although not alone, the CBC provides the most slanted and biased information, and routinely practices dishonest reporting.
The first and worst lie is what this war is all about. Dishonest reporting tells you that it’s about territory, and Jerusalem, and Palestinian statehood, and alleged refugees.
Honest reporting would tell you that it is a war to destroy Israel and kill or expel or subjugate all the Jews. But the media have bought and reported dishonestly and relentlessly the big lie that this war could be ended by Israeli land concessions.
The second fundamental big lie is what gave rise to the current version of the Arab war of extermination of Israel and the Jewish people — the so-called al-Aqsa uprising or intifada.
The truth is that when Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat — one of the world’s most vicious and cruel terrorists for the past 30 years, that corrupt dictator and thief of billions of dollars of world-intended aid for his people — could not get the extravagant concessions he demanded from the Clinton Camp David meetings, he planned the uprising of terrorism as a means of intimidating the U.S. and Israel into giving into his maniacal demands.
But he needed an excuse, an appealing argument in which to clothe his new latest war.
In September 2000, when Parliamentary opposition leader Ariel Sharon told both Israeli and Palestinian officials he intended to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem — legally part of Israel which is co-sited with the Muslim al-Aqsa mosque — they agreed and both Palestinian and Israeli security detachments accompanied him on his brief tour.