Monday, August 27, 2007

Tendentious reporting in Ha'aretz

OK, here is a good example:

This story reports on the near lynching of an Israeli soldier in Jenin and his rescue by Palestinian policeman.

1. The paper claims that there was a gunbattle between police and Islamic Jihad militants who were trying to kidnap him. No other media reported such an event, other than police firing into the air to keep the rioters away while they were escorting the soldier to headquarters.

2. By emphasizing Livni's comments about the PA strengthening, along with the supposed "shootout", the article gives the impression of a supposedly strong "good guy" police defeating "bad guy" militant organizations.

While the Pal police certainly deserve our thanks for saving the soldier, the Ha'aretz article distorts the true and fair grasp of the event: A hapless soldier stumbles into a Palestinian town, inhabited by residents with a bottomless well of hatred toward Israel, is almost lynched, and is rescued by Palestinian police doing their jobs. A close call. If anything, the main lesson of the story is not about the "good guys" getting stronger, but about the limitless hostility among the Palestinians, being promulgated by their media and education, which all but precludes a settlement anytime in the near future.

I assert that this article intentionally attempts to present a falsely optimistic picture to the Israeli public about the true state of affairs, while serving as a basis to pressure the Israeli government for more "gestures" to Abu Mazen.

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