web analytics
March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


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. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


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.

Current Top Story
One-third of polled Republicans see President Obama as the biggest imminent threat to the USA.
One-Third of GOP Voters See Obama Worse for US than Assad and Putin
Latest Indepth Stories
jabotinsky with sword

Jabotinsky said “Go To Hell” was a good retort to opponents of the Jewish people; fitting for Obama.

Obama Racine

Obama pulled off one of US history’s greatest cons,twice fooling a gullible electorate and most Jews

Auschwitz Entrance

While in Auschwitz I felt a tangible intensity. I could sense that I was in a place of sheer evil.

Bibi and Obama: Head to Head

Obama needs to wake up. The real enemy is not Netanyahu but Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad,IS

My beliefs & actions have led to numerous death threats against me; my excommunication by my church

In November 2014, Islamic Relief Worldwide was classified as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

Too rarely appreciated for its symbolic weight; it can represent freedom and independence.

Erica Pelman is a spiritually-driven woman. She is founder and director of “In Shifra’s Arms” (ISA), an organization that offers aid to pregnant Jewish women of all religious backgrounds practically, financially and emotionally. Its arms are open to any pregnant woman in need whether single, divorced, separated, or from a financially-strapped family. “Presently, we are […]

Many so-called “humanitarian NGOs” frequently abuse Israel by applying false moral equivalencies

Israeli history now has its version of “Dewey Defeats Truman” with headlines from 2 anti-Bibi papers

In God’s plan why was it necessary that Moses be raised by Pharaoh, away from his own family&people?

In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.

In any event, Mr. Netanyahu after the election sought to soften his statement on Palestinian statehood and apologized for what he conceded were remarks that “offended some Israeli citizens and offended members of the Israeli Arab community.”

A worthy idea any way you look at it.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both outspokenly critical of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Congress, were wowed by him in 2011.

Note also the response to the speech by the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both of whom have been outspoken in their criticism of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.

Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

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

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.

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: