“Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am Hashem.” Leviticus 19:16 (The Israel Bible™)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump have a close relationship based on a love of Israel, but a recent video shows that they have something else in common: they both hate fake news. One expert agrees that Israel faces unique challenges regarding media bias, and a new initiative, led by Breaking Israel News, specifically addresses this challenge.
In a YouTube video published on Sunday, Netanyahu criticized several major media for claiming that “Hamas now accepts a Palestinian State along the 1967 borders”. This claim was based on a document Hamas released last week expressing their expanded set of principles.
Netanyahu cited a New York Times headline proclaiming the document to be proof of Hamas’ “moderation”, calling both the headline and the article “a complete distortion of the truth.”
“The new Hamas document says Israel has no right to exist,” the prime minister stated. “It says that every inch of our land belongs to the Palestinians. It says there is no other solution than to remove Israel.”
Tamar Sternthal, director of the Israel Office of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA), told Breaking Israel News that she has already contacted several media outlets about their biased and inaccurate reporting of the new document.
Sternthal, a soldier on the frontlines battling against anti-Israel bias in the media, explained why Netanyahu’s claim was justified.
“In their English edition, Haaretz referred to this as a new charter,” Sternthal said to Breaking Israel News. “This is absolutely fake news. To call it a charter gives the impression it obviates the previous charter, which it does not. This is an ancillary document and the previous Hamas charter remains unchanged.”
Sternthal emphasized that these details, especially regarding terminology, are essential and have enormous implications.
“We’ve fought hard to get the media to correct small things,” Sternthal said. She related how news outlets stated Israel “returned” territory to the Palestinians. “Saying the territory is being ‘returned’ is inaccurate and misleads readers into believing that it once belonged to the Palestinians.”
Sternthal claimed there is a strong anti-Israel media balance that is a direct threat to Israel.
“There is an obsessive and distorted focus on Israel and we have a lot more at stake than most other countries,” Sternthal said, suggesting several reasons for this.
“Stories in which the Palestinians suffer at the hands of the Jews gets more intensive coverage,” she said, noting how the reporting distorts the conflict. “It has become a simplistic narrative of David and Goliath, in which Jews, for once, are perceived as Goliath and the Palestinians are portrayed as the underdog. ”
Sternthal will be taking part in a conference hosted by Breaking Israel News on June 5, focusing on the topic of media bias. In addition to the disproportionate anti-Israel bias, media has grown exponentially with the internet. Journalists, politicians, Jewish and Christian supporters of Israel, Israeli activists, and scholars, all working to portray Israel in a positive light, will come together to discuss the special aspects of their work. The conference, titled Prophecy in the News, will address the unique issues Israel faces.
The conference will be streamed online for free. To register for the link, please click here.