Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The duty of journalists

Today the Dominion published an article about Gaza, taken from The Times, which reads like an straight Hamas media release. So there is no water and electricity in Gaza, nine children were killed in the al-Shati refugee camp. War is war. I, the reader didn't learn anything more than that reading the article. Were there rockets fired from the refugee camp, were there rockets fired from the power station? The article doesn't tell me that. The reason why it doesn't is because journalists have very limited access to sights and information. They see what Hamas lets them see. But if this is the case it is the duty of the journalist to say that I saw this, but Hamas did not let me see more. Previous similar articles showed injured children, women crying, all very sad, but did not say that Hamas used the hospital as its headquarters, stored rockets, and fired rockets from there. For this information I had to go to Tablet Magazine, published in New York. The BBC also shows whatever Hamas shows them to show. Why this bias in the respectable British media against Israel? Is it because genteel, educated, smart and well-mannered Brits can't stand bolshie Jews who stick up for themselves? They prefer the meek, quiet Jews who don't want to stand out, want to blend, assimilate, try to be like Brits, but not too like Brits. Antisemitism is a complex issue. I have a lot of time for the Israelis who think that antisemitism is a disease of Western liberal society, and stuff the antisemites, Jews have to look after themselves. I don't want to imply that Jews couldn't do better, that they should not put up a good fight against antisemitism and against people who judge Israel by their own comfortable liberal standards, not by the realities that Israeli politicians face daily. Nor do I think that Israeli politicians did the right thing by bending to extremist sectional interests. But I expect more from reputable journalists who work for The Times, The Telegraph and the BBC.