Veteran former Associated Press journalist Matti Friedman exposes the AP’s violations of every tenet of journalistic ethics in its Israel coverage. United with Israel presents the top seven most shocking and deceitful anti-Israel practices perpetuated by the world’s most influential newswire.
1. Disproportionate Coverage of Israel
At the AP, Friedman relates that a staff of 40 was dedicated to covering Israel and the “Palestinian” territories, far greater than the total number of writers covering Russia, China, India, and all 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa—combined. The AP had one reporter on Syria, which means that without just cause they considered covering Israel 40 times more important than the brutal, mass slaughter taking place in Syria. The AP’s obsession with one, single country not only appears inexplicable, but in actual fact is entirely baseless.
2. Demonization of Israel
In a truly ethical system of journalism focused on raising awareness about the world’s worst atrocities as indicated by numbers of casualties, Israel wouldn’t appear in the news at all. In 2013, the conflict in Israel cost a total of 42 lives—the same as the average number of deaths by homicide in Chicago every month. At the same time, the massacres in Syria have claimed over 200,000 victims since 2011—70,000 more casualties than those of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’s entire history. Nonetheless, Syria receives significantly less coverage than Israel, and the media often maliciously portrays Israel as an instigator of the most brutal practices in the world.
3. Blindness to True Human Rights Violations
Liberal media routinely ignores objectively vital stories, from the murder of 1,600 women in Pakistan last year (hundreds of whom were raped then burned alive) to the genocide of over 5 million in the Congo since 2012. These atrocities, alongside scores of other true, horrific examples of persecution taking place all over the globe, never make headlines because the media “believe[s] Israel to be the most important story on earth, or very close.”
4. The Only Story: “Israel is Wrong”
For decades, liberal media has written every story on Israel to further their fallacious Israel-as-aggressor narrative based on what Friedman calls the media’s theory of “Jewish moral failure.” Every time Friedman pitched, researched, or wrote integral, newsworthy stories on corruption in the Palestinian Authority, or pro-terrorist rallies at the Al-Quds University (an institution with ties to sister schools in America), the AP categorically shut him down. They were only interested in the Israel’s corruption.
5. Interviewing Exclusively Anti-Israel Sources
The Associated Press mandates that their reporters only interview pre-approved NGOs and sources, which are always anti-Israel. The AP frequently quotes, consults, and even shares staff with NGOs like Human Rights Watch and Oxfam, which consistently betray egregious anti-Israel bias. But in the same breath, Freidman reveals, they also instruct all their reporters not to interview pro-Israel sources, such as NGO-Monitor and its founder, Professor Gerald Steinberg.
6. Coordination with Hamas to Fabricate News
Hamas capitalizes on the naïveté of left-leaning journalists, who are unanimously committed to one, damning “story” of Israel. They effectively tell the press that their publicly threatening proclamations are only “rhetoric,” and that they are in fact pragmatists and moderates. The reporters accept the lie as fact, and paint a softer picture of Hamas, while castigating Israel. As opposed to providing a clear-eyed view of Hamas’ tactical use of human shields, most reporters cooperate with Hamas to promote the simplistic and inaccurate message: “These dead people were killed by Israel.”
7. Plain Old Antisemitism
In Friedman’s words,
“When the people responsible for explaining the world to the world, journalists, cover the Jews’ war as more worthy of attention than any other, when they portray the Jews of Israel as the party obviously in the wrong, when they omit all possible justifications for the Jews’ actions and obscure the true face of their enemies, what they are saying to their readers—whether they intend to or not—is that Jews are the worst people on earth. The Jews are a symbol of the evils that civilized people are taught from an early age to abhor. International press coverage has become a morality play starring a familiar villain.”
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