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Missing the Big Picture By: HonestReporting.com
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, March 05, 2007

Often, much of the distorted coverage of the Mideast is a result of what the media does not report - be it important information or a lack of context that contributes to painting a different overall picture to the reality.

We highlighted how many media outlets were prepared to take the libels surrounding Israeli excavations at the Mugrabi Gate at face value. As Michael Freund writes in the Jerusalem Post:

It was just a few weeks ago that a shocking array of prominent media outlets, in their coverage of this non-event, went about spreading one irresponsible and malicious lie after another about the Mughrabi Gate dig, tarnishing Israel's image and inflaming public opinion against the Jewish state...

Perhaps the most egregious example was provided by Time magazine, whose editors could not resist taking a swipe at Israel by running the headline: "Raiders of the Temple Mount." It's hard to remember the last time so many falsehoods were spread so extensively in such a short period of time.

In the meantime, the media has taken its eye off the ball and has still not corrected its coverage. Compare this with another story taking place - the claims that Jesus's remains have been found in a tomb in Jerusalem. This also has deep religious implications. Yet, unlike the factually distorted coverage of the Mugrabi Gate, the mainstream media has rightly conducted this debate in a measured fashion, presenting the legitimate sides of the argument. Historical and religious facts have been presented in a thorough way and religious sensibilities have been accounted for.

Why has this not been the case with the Mugrabi Gate excavations? Please take the time to remind your local media to report the reality of the situation.


Reuters, meanwhile, snapped this photo which was presented with the caption:

Anti-Zionist Ultra-Orthodox Jews hold banners during a demonstration against the Israeli excavations near the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in Jerusalem February 27, 20007. The Arabic banner on the left reads 'Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians' the one on the right reads 'Jews are forbidden to insult Islamic religious sites'.

Failing to provide any context, this information was picked up by media outlets, including the Times of London, which printed it as a full news brief. As YNet reports, this "demonstration" consisted of only six Neturei Karta members. As HonestReporting has previously pointed out, the Neturei Karta, who participated in the Iranian Holocaust Denial conference, are considered to be an outcast group that has been publicly condemned not only by mainstream Jewry around the world but also by their own ultra-orthodox brethren.

Why has Reuters highlighted this unrepresentative group? Why has it decided to revisit this story some weeks later, justifying anti-Israel libels by focusing on Jews who have allied themselves with Muslim extremists? Please send your considered comments to Reuters through its website - http://today.reuters.com/HelpAndInfo/ContactUs.aspx


The mainstream media has reported claims by the Russian Foreign Minister that Hamas has pledged to end missile attacks and violence against Israel. While Hamas supreme leader Khaled Mashaal attempts to project a "moderate" image in order to persuade the Russians to help lift the international boycott of the Palestinian government, the media has virtually ignored the steady stream of Qassams that continues to fall on Israel, launched from the Gaza Strip. This, in addition to other Palestinian terror that includes the murder of Erez Levanon in the West Bank.

By selectively reporting events in Israel, the media contributes to creating a distorted picture of the reality. If the full story was known, perhaps Israeli actions such as anti-terror operations in Nablus would be better understood by media consumers around the world.

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