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Israel’s Media Problem

- Abstract

There was a time in Israel when I occasionally watched the news on BBC and CNN. Although they did a mediocre job of presenting it, they covered the globe more fully than did the Israeli television channels.

Eventually, though, I got so angry that I stopped. I can remember one of the last times before I did. A suicide bombing had killed several Israelis that morning and there had been a retaliatory air strike against a PLO installation in Gaza that the Israeli air force knew to be empty of people. While nobody was injured, one bomb fell on a wing of a building that was used by a Palestinian marching band. CNN took ample note of this. After mentioning the terrorist attack in a sentence, with no footage shown of its victims, it dwelled for long moments on the mangled trumpets and shredded drums of the marching band. Clearly, only a ruthless enemy would take revenge on innocent musical instruments.

About the Author

Hillel Halkin is a columnist for the New York Sun and a veteran contributor to COMMENTARY. Portions of the present essay were delivered at Northwestern University in March as the Klutznick Lecture in Jewish Civilization.