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Objectivity and the  Media: Critique #4 - The News From London

Objectivity and the Media: Critique #4 - The News From London

BBC and the London Times consistently distort the facts to portray Israel as the aggressor.

by Aish.com Staff

BBC - www.bbc.co.uk
29 October 29 2000
"Fatah Vows to Fight On"

1. "At least 140 people have been killed in the clashes, all but of eight them Arabs. The crisis was sparked off on 28 September by a controversial visit by Mr. Sharon to a holy site in Jerusalem, at a time of intense Palestinian frustration with poor progress in the peace process."

"At least 140 people have been killed...all but eight them Arabs..."

Violation of Objectivity: Using facts to draw false conclusions

The BBC has kept this sentence in virtually every article that it has written while simply changing the numbers every day to reflect the new fatalities. The BBC refuses to qualify these numbers by any additional information such as the Israeli Defense Forces use of extreme restraint in all situations. While it is true that these numbers are accurate, it paints the false picture that Israel is the tyrannical attacker while the Palestinians are just defending themselves. In reality the reverse is true. All the Palestinians need do to cut the number of fatalities down to zero tomorrow is to stop attacking Israeli soldiers.

"The crisis was sparked off on 28 September by a controversial visit by Mr. Sharon to a holy site in Jerusalem..."

Violation of Objectivity: Using facts to draw false conclusions

Again in virtually every BBC article this phrase is repeated. It seems that the media is set on portraying the image of Sharon starting this entire conflict single-handedly. The media fails to mention that in the days preceding Sharon's visit, an Israeli soldier was killed in a joint-patrol of Israeli and Palestinian soldiers, and that two other similar incidents of violence carried out by Palestinians against Israeli soldiers the same week.

Sharon's visit was only an excuse for the recent Palestinian violence and that should be clearer now than ever as the violence continues to escalate. Yet media such as the BBC continues to bring up Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount as if it was the cause for the violence. This is a false conclusion.

"... at a time of intense Palestinian frustration with poor progress in the peace process."

Violation of Objectivity: Selective omission

This phrase leads the reader to believe that the Palestinians had good reasons to be frustrated because of some Israeli actions or policies. The BBC omits alternative reasons for the Palestinian frustration, such as Yasser Arafat's refusal to negotiate a final settlement at Camp David which would have ostensibly ended his peoples' "frustration."

London Times - www.thetimes.co.uk
29 October 29 2000
"Death toll mounts in Middle East clashes"

1. "Chanting nationalist slogans, the procession wound its way through Gaza as men brandishing automatic weapons fired bursts of gunfire into the air. Stone-throwing Palestinians took to the streets and clashed with Israeli troops at two crossing point between Gaza and Israel and in Rafah near the Egyptian border."

Violation of Objectivity: Distortion on facts

We read in the above paragraph that Palestinians fired automatic weapons in the air at funerals of the recently killed in order to show their anger towards Israeli troops. Yet in the very next sentence the article describes the Palestinian violence against the Israeli troops as, "Stone-throwing Palestinians." So what are we to believe, that the Palestinians left their guns behind and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers?

This is a clear case of the media falsely portraying the Palestinians as underdogs who lack fire-power in order to show what they think is a one-sided battle. It may be true that Israel has more fire-power, but the London Times should acknowledge the fact that Palestinians are using automatic weapons in agitating Israeli troops.

Published: October 28, 2000


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Visitor Comments: 4

(4) Chaplain John Cameron, February 26, 2004 12:00 AM

Such Distortions Are Iressponsible And Confuse Not Clarify

They are not alone in this. As an author I am just begining to try to understand this sytemic policy of deception by most
global media interests. Thanks for the
educational experience.

(3) LARRY DAVIS, November 1, 2000 12:00 AM

A world wide constant

Why is anyone surprised at the distorted media view of Israel? It is merely an extension of the distorted view of Jews and Israel that has been propagated since there was print! There will never be a "fair shake" for Israel, the merciless "oppressor" of the poor downtrodden Palestinians.

(2) Anonymous, October 31, 2000 12:00 AM

Keeping Sanity

Your confirmation of the media bias and ridiculous contradictions helps me keep my sanity and encourages me that at least some of my fellow human beings are astute enough to see truth through all the smoke and mirrors. Thank you!

(1) Robert Cherry, October 30, 2000 12:00 AM

Aish's reaction to the BBC and The Times of London

For many years, many people in many countries have relied on the BBC for objective reports on events on all parts of the planet. I occasionally listen to the BBC on shortwave. I have found their reports to be objective most of the time. Are you suggesting that Sharon's "visit" (an inappropriate word because he was not invited) to the Temple Mount played absolutely no role in causing the violence? Also, I would suggest that the Palestinians have good reasons to be frustrated because of Israeli actions (occupation which includes controlling access to water and the airport, etc.) since 1967. What some Israelis and some Jews outside Israel don't understand is the simple reality that no matter how many adolescent Palestinian stone throwers the IDF kills or wounds, there will always be others to take their place.

I am a Jew who was brought up to believe that two wrongs do not make a right.

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