Thursday, August 22, 2013

How the Media Covers Israel vs. Egypt - Five Thoughts on the Egypt Crisis

Simon Plosker..
Honest Reporting..
21 August '13..

Compared to many parts of the Middle East, Israel is a veritable island of calm. With ongoing peace talks taking place in a media blackout, there has been relatively little to report for once.

Which is just as well because most journalists’ attentions are now trained on Cairo as the Egyptian army deals with the Muslim Brotherhood in a quite brutal manner.

This gives us an opportunity to make some observations concerning the media’s treatment of the issue, the reporting of Israel’s role in the crisis and the differences between this and the coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

1. A strange sense of proportion

Headlines such as this from the New York Times:

now find themselves co-existing in the same Middle East sections that are reporting on hundreds of deaths in Egypt. In addition, the death toll from Syria’s brutal civil war is said to have surpassed 100,000.

While we should not demean the loss of any individual human life, events taking place in Israel’s neighborhood perhaps give some perspective and proportion when we consider the enormous amount of coverage Israel receives in the mainstream media.

How many Egyptians, Syrians, Iraqis and others need to die violently before the media and others recognize that the Israel-Palestinian conflict and issues such as Jewish housing construction in Jerusalem are not the fulcrum around which all Middle East conflict revolves?

And while incidents such as the above are legitimately deemed newsworthy, it is noteworthy that individual Palestinian deaths command such coverage irrespective of whether or not the Palestinian involved could be considered a combatant or not. Indeed, the NY Times article refers to B’tselem’s figure of 10 Palestinians killed this year by the military without considering how many of those were terrorists.


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