web analytics
August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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 in Quneitra
Updates from Kuneitra, Syria [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz reviewing maps on the Golan Heights.

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

TorahScroll AoT17

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

Troodler-082914

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

Eisenstock-082914

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .

Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.

The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

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: