web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

The Media’s 40-Year War Against Israel


Media-Monitor-logo

Hostility to Israel is generally not thought of as a job requirement for American journalists who cover the Middle East, but it might as well be. That this was not always the case simply confirms how drastically the media climate has changed over the past four decades.

To say that Israel, in the twenty years following its establishment, enjoyed the sympathy and support of the mainstream American media would be to actually understate the case; the new country was incessantly celebrated to an extent very nearly unimaginable from our present-day vantage point.

It was a time when lingering shock over the Holocaust tended to mute anti-Jewish sentiment, and when Israel’s decisive military victories contrasted so startlingly with the American experiences in Korea and Vietnam. The golden age reached its zenith with the Six-Day War as editors, reporters and columnists unabashedly rooted on the Israeli army and inspired everyone from mayors to movie stars to hop aboard the blue-and-white bandwagon.

Newspaper coverage was exuberantly pro-Israel; cover stories in Life, Look, and the newsmagazines were ecstatic; and most reporters dispensed with even the slightest pretense at objectivity. The opinion shapers of the day, from William F. Buckley on the right to Mary McGrory on the left, marched in lockstep on this one issue. There were, to be sure, some contrarian voices, though they were barely heard above the loud chorus of cheers.

To Israel’s detriment, however, America’s prestige media (at the time consisting principally of The New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek and the Big Three television networks), along with much of the rest of the country’s liberal establishment, began, in the months and years after the Six-Day War, to increasingly appropriate the language and political posturing of the countercultural New Left.

To a growing number of journalists in the late 1960’s, a victorious Israel was no longer looked upon as an underdog worthy of enlightened support, but rather as an imperialist military colossus threatening its poorer, weaker neighbors. The transformation was complete by the mid-70’s, when mention of Israel was rarely made in media circles without the obligatory epithets “intransigent” and “militaristic” firmly attached.

This was all occurring, it must be emphasized, while Israel was still firmly in the grip of the Labor party of Golda Meir and Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin – the very figures who now inspire such nostalgic revisionism among those inclined to blame recent Israeli governments and policies for the world’s enmity toward Israel.

Israel’s image problems only grew worse with Menachem Begin’s election as prime minister in 1977. The reaction of the American media to the ascension of Begin – for decades vilified as a fanatical right-winger by both fellow Israelis and prominent Jews abroad – was one of disbelief, followed by unremitting scorn.

Not even the peace treaty signed by Israel and Egypt in 1979 bought better press for Begin, who throughout the negotiations was portrayed as the unreasonable hard-liner impeding the noble quest for peace undertaken by Anwar Sadat and Jimmy Carter.

Media animus would peak with the invasion of Lebanon in the spring and summer of 1982, as journalists for the first time compared Israelis to Nazis and obligingly parroted PLO casualty figures and related propaganda.

With Lebanon the floodgates were opened, and they haven’t closed since. A partial list of media personalities – news anchors, correspondents, columnists and television talking-heads – who at one time or another over the past 25 years exhibited either a bias against Israel or one in favor of the Palestinians would include the following names:

Mike Wallace, Pat Buchanan, the late Peter Jennings, Steven Erlanger, Seymour Hersh, Hugh Downs, the late Rowland Evans, Robert Novak, Georgie Anne Geyer, Anthony Lewis, Nicholas von Hoffman, Andy Rooney, Deborah Sontag, Joshua Hammer, Scott McConnell, Thomas Friedman, Eleanor Clift, the late John Chancellor (who flew to Beirut during the Lebanon war to broadcast an on-the-scene condemnation of an “imperialist” Israel “solving its problems in someone else’s country”), Nick Thimmesch, John McGlaughlin, the late I.F. Stone, Christiane Amanpour, Tony Clifton (Newsweek’s man in Lebanon who defended pro-PLO media coverage by stating that “There is no other side to tell”), the late Robert Friedman, Charley Reese, Richard Ben Cramer, Roger Mudd, Joseph Sobran, the late Mike Royko, and Helen Thomas.

While the sheer scope of the media frenzy that attended the Lebanon war has never quite been equaled, the negative tone and combative stance toward Israel continue unabated a quarter-century later.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Media’s 40-Year War Against Israel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS seized control of Quneitra, at least temporarily, towards the end of August 2014.
Israel Watching Northern Border with Syria, Lebanon
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF lone soldier and  David Menachem Gordon (z"l).

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

Starck-091914

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Kohn-091914

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Miller-091914

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.

Sisi:”The religious nature of the Middle East creates challenges for the governing authorities.”

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Charles Krauthammer

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

Presidential-Seal-062014

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.

George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.

Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/the-medias-40-year-war-against-israel/2006/12/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: