(Last year the BBC commissioned a review of its Israeli-Palestinian coverage and concluded that its reporting needed improvement because it was too soft on Israel.)
London’s Daily Mail reported last month that “attacks on Britain’s Jews have risen to the highest level since records began.” How many of these hate crimes were inspired to some degree by daily reporting that misinforms and incites?
The beliefs and attitudes that erupt into violence do not arise in a vacuum – even in “civilized” nations, many are being slowly, surely trained to associate Israel and Jews with the modern blood libels of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide” and “planned invasion of Lebanon.”
In a recent BBC World Service-commissioned poll, asking 28,000 people in 27 countries to rate 12 countries and the European Union as positive or negative influences, respondents ranked Israel as the most negative of the nations, beneath Iran and North Korea.
Perhaps the woman carrying the sign at last year’s London march proclaiming “We are all Hezbollah now” was not evil, but simply misinformed, accepting without question the upside-down, Orwellian version of reality she had been fed.
Israel risks going down in history as the Lizzie Borden of nations, demonized forever as the truth is drowned out by endless declarations of its guilt. In reality, Miss Borden was found not guilty on all counts, but who remembers or cares?