“On The Media” screws up on Israel again on July 25, 2014

By | August 28, 2014

To: onthemedia@wync.org

I find it necessary to yet again write in protest of your sloppy coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

You were doing fine until the end of your interview with Sky News reporter Sherine Tadros. Alas, at the end of the interview she dropped two whoppers — outright falsehoods, which you let stand unchallenged.

“This is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Everything is next to a school or a mosque or a building.”

This is not true. Furthermore, there is oodles and oodles of space in Gaza where Hamas could put their rocket launchers without endangering civilians.

“You know, the idea of all they need to do is stop the rocket fire and then Israel will stop the bomb, and then where does that leave the Gazan people? Once again under an Israeli siege, once again having everything, from toothpaste and medicine trickling in, once again living in essentially an open-air prison!”

This claim entirely misrepresents the history of the last ten years, in two major ways:

  1. Tons of goods are shipped into Gaza through Israel every single day. These shipments continued even throughout the recent conflict, except when the border crossing had to be shut down because Hamas was firing rockets at it. The narrative that necessities of life are impossible to acquire in Gaza is a fiction invented by Hamas to garner world sympathy. (And then, of course, there’s the Gaza City Mall.)
  2. Any objective examination of recent history cannot help but conclude that the only reason why Gaza is under a military blockade right now, the only reason why commerce with Gaza is strictly controlled through checkpoints, is because of the violence perpetrated against Israel from Gaza since 2005. We know this to be true for two reasons:
    1. After the separation barrier was constructed and violence against Israel originating in the West decreased dramatically, restrictions place by Israel on the West Bank also decreased dramatically.
    2. The restrictions Israel currently places on Gaza were not in place between 2005 and 2007, when Israel finally got so fed up with the rockets that they felt they had no choice but to act. There is absolutely no evidence — none whatsoever — to support the claim that Israel wouldn’t ease up by Gaza if the violence decreased, and there is a great deal of evidence to support the opposite claim.

Ms. Tadros’s repetition of these canards as fact proves that she has bought into the anti-Israel Hamas narrative to the point that she is incapable of distinguishing Hamas propaganda from objective fact, and therefore calls into question the quality of her journalism.

Your allowing her to repeat these lies on the air without challenge calls into question your journalism and objectivity in the same way.


Jonathan Kamens

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