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Sunday, July 31, 2005 

Recent media conference on coverage in Israel

Here's a very interesting article I found on Israel National News (via Cosmic X) on how the media's been approaching the whole withdrawal/expulsion tommyrot over the past several months. Among the most interesting excerpts from the meeting include the following:
Among various candidates for the top headline at Tuesday's B'Sheva Conference, none topped Labor MK Yuli Tamir's admission that the press is protecting PM Sharon merely to ensure the expulsion plan.
So there's the first point of interest here. Next:

From Caroline Glick:
She criticized the media for not having sufficiently analyzed the disengagement plan: "Ever since Sharon revealed this plan in December 2003, the media accepted it as a done deal - without discussing its pros and cons, and concentrating only on superficial issues, such as, 'Will Uzi Landau be fired? What will Bibi do? Will roadblocks cause chaos? Who's against the plan? etc.' There was no long-range discussion of the issues... I have no expectations or desire to change the world; I simply feel that there must be more competition in the media, and that whoever has money for a radio station, for instance, must be allowed to open one."
Good points. That they should be worrying about whether or not, say, Landau would be fired from the cabinet (he was) is trivial, and was only pointing out how much they actually hoped that it would happen.

From Yaakov Achimeir:
Achimeir was most vocal about what he called Ariel Sharon's "inaccurate portrayal" of the Bush promises. "In his few speeches in the Knesset, the Prime Minister often mentions the importance of the promises made by President Bush. But in fact, this is incorrect; the public is being misled! Bush's letter of April 14, 2004 contains no unambiguous promise that there will not be a 'right of return' for Arab refugees... nor that the settlement blocs will be able to remain. Everyone can read it and see that this is true."
And as it so happens, there's little chance, if at all, that any of Dubya's promises are genuine. Both the US and Israeli public, in fact, are being misled.

From Amos Schocken:
Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken was asked by Israel Media Watch director Prof. Eli Pollack why Haaretz appears to have more sympathy for the Arabs of Judea and Samaria than for the Jews therein, as well as several other questions about the paper's coverage. Schocken said, first of all, that he views his presence at the seminar as something "very natural - for with all the disputes that we have in our society, there must be dialogue between the sides. Nothing will be solved if the sides do not go to each other's events."
As seen in the rest of the article, he caused quite a lot of anger with what else he said too. And the paper is worthless.

From Knesset member Tsvi Hendel:
MK Tzvi Hendel said that he had been "naive" in not recognizing, "throughout all the years in which I worked closely with him, that Sharon was corrupt. I saw that no matter which government position he held, he always made sure that the Lands Authority was under his jurisdiction - I thought it was because he was a man of action and that in this way he could make sure to get things done. It never dawned upon me that he would use it in such corrupt ways..."

Hendel asked the media not to "chicken out like the politicians, and to 'shake the foundations' by revealing the corrupt orders that come from the highest government echelons..." He said that one police commander told him that the strict orders on checking ID cards of Gush Katif residents and the resultant arrests were government-ordered policy to "drive the residents crazy."
So the very undemocratic way in which the police/army acted did have something to do with the government's own "policies". Dumb and embarrassing, IMHO.

From Emanual Shilo:
Shilo mentioned an 11-year-old girl who made a strong impression on national television when she was filmed giving an impromptu speech against the expulsion to policewomen at Kfar Maimon. "Would you also evict your own mothers?" she asked forcefully. "Would you?!" Shilo said that the girl's parents passed up many invitations to bring her to a television studio for an interview, "despite the obvious media points it would have gained us. And do you know why? Because they said it wouldn't help at all. This shows how deep is the mistrust of the media within the right-wing camp..."
Well, not just the right wing camp. Even the left wing camp could or is starting to become distrustful of the media.

From David Bedein:
Independent Journalist David Bedein, speaking from the audience, asked Dankner a biting question, which the latter did not answer. Bedein wanted to know whether tomorrow's edition of Maariv would feature a report on the conflict of interest of Eival Giladi, recently appointed by Sharon to a high-ranking disengagement post - despite the fact that he represents major investors in Palestinian Authority housing projects. Bedein noted that reporters from the right-wing papers covered this story, but that no one from the mainstream newspapers did.
I've got an even more biting question: what if the government did something that could be damaging to the left. Would the media, whether it be Maariv or any other "leftist" paper, ignore even that to ensure that the expulsion plan goes through? I'm interested in knowing if Giladi or anyone else of his presumed standing would try to ignore that!

So there you have it for now, everyone. Read the whole article for the whole story.

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