Journalist shills for Palestinians; slams Israel, omits basic facts

June 8, 2017 by Daniel Pomerantz - Honest Reporting
Read on for article

Sophie McNeill has a history of advocacy journalism…writes Daniel Pomerantz/Honest Reporting.


She has openly dedicated herself to:

…frame stories from the point of view of the people who are “really suffering.”

McNeill made it clear that when she said “people who are really suffering,” she meant Palestinians. And while there’s nothing wrong with presenting one, agenda-driven side to a complex story, it is not journalism. It is activism. In fact, HonestReporting previously published an in-depth review of Sophie McNeill’s unsuitability to report actual news.

Which is why it is so disturbing that Australia’s ABC News employs a self-proclaimed, and openly biased advocate to report from Israel and the Palestinian territories.

In fact, ABC News’s own ethical rules clearly require:

  • Impartiality
  • Balance that follows the weight of evidence;
  • Fair treatment;
  • Open-mindedness;
  • A diversity of perspectives so that…no significant strand of thought or belief within the community is knowingly excluded or disproportionately represented;
  • Not to unduly favour one perspective over another.

Is it really acceptable for McNeill to flagrantly violate the rules of her own employer?

Is it really acceptable for ABC News to publish the reports of someone who openly states that she intends to violate their ethical rules?

Slamming Israel

In her latest article, McNeill crafts a shameless piece of what is essentially Palestinian propaganda, disguised as news. She explores the difficulties of commuting from the West Bank into Israel, along with evocatively disturbing photos.

The commute involves passing through a checkpoint, which the article portrays as inconvenient, time-consuming, and (in the opinion of Palestinian interviewees) also humiliating. While checkpoints do have a reputation for being not only a hardship for Palestinians, they are, sadly, a necessary evil when it comes to protecting Israeli lives.

Yet in an example of her continuing mission to put anti-Israel advocacy above professional journalism, McNeill avoids mentioning even one of the many, ongoing, present-day terror attacks against Israel.

In a transparent attempt to avoid accusations of unfairness, McNeill gives readers a pro forma reference to the “deadly second intifada,” and a partial quote from an unnamed “Israeli spokesperson” stating in a general way that Palestinians are “ trying to destroy the state of Israel.” That’s a total of 113 words: only 3.2% of her 3,506 word diatribe, which is chock full of in-depth interviews with many Palestinians, as well as statements from anti-Israel organisations.

Does this sound like balance or fairness?

Instead, McNeill refers to checkpoints as “collective punishment,” rather than a necessary attempt to save lives. She includes statements from numerous Palestinian interviewees such as this one:

We feel like animals. But these days not even animals get treated like this.

Yet she includes absolutely no Israeli response to these many, colorful accusations, leaving the reader with the unfair impression that they must be true.

They are not.


Checkpoints save lives

Failing to include relevant context, here’s some of the data Sophie McNeill didn’t share with her readers:

During the so-called “Second Intifada,” Palestinian terrorists killed an average of 200 Israelis per year, and injured thousands.

However, when Israel built a security barrier and began performing security checks on Palestinians entering Israel, Israeli deaths and injuries decreased by roughly 90%.

In short: checkpoints save lives.

McNeill’s article completely neglects the direct connection between Palestinian terror coming out of the West Bank today and the life-saving checkpoints that this terror continues to create, the numerous potential attacks that are stopped at checkpoints on a regular basis, the tremendous risk Israel takes by admitting Palestinians at all, and the enormous cost Israel has paid in the lives of its citizens.

Is it really so unreasonable that Israel would want to carefully check for security risks under such circumstances?


Just plain wrong

It is certainly fair for a journalist to explore the subjective experience of a Palestinian interviewee. It is even fair to investigate the very real burden that some checkpoints create in Palestinian daily life.

Yet hiding context, covering up inconvenient facts, disguising opinions as news, and utterly neglecting to include any balancing statements, clearly violates the professional standards of ABC News, as well as basic common sense.

Even worse: absolving Palestinians of all responsibility for a genuinely complex and dangerous situation, while utterly vilifying Israelis, is beyond unprofessional: it is just plain wrong. 

According to Simon Plosker, Managing Editor of HonestReporting:

Sophie McNeill is a self-proclaimed political advocate, masquerading as a journalist, and ABC News Australia knowingly, and shamefully, has given her a platform in violation of their own ethical rules. McNeill openly states that her mission is to promote a Palestinian narrative at Israel’s expense, and this article is no exception: containing opinions disguised as news, lack of context and highly misleading commentary. The result is exactly the goal to which McNeill has dedicated her career: the utter vilification of Israel and of Israeli people, at the expense of actual journalism. In the end, it’s news readers who pay the price.


Please share your considered comments with Australia’s ABC News by contacting their Editor and filling in the form at THIS LINK.


6 Responses to “Journalist shills for Palestinians; slams Israel, omits basic facts”
  1. Marcus Phelan says:

    So on the rare occasion a journalist publishes an account depicting the never ending daily suffering and illegal collective punishment of the indigenous Palestinians that doesn’t fit the deceitful, racist propaganda spouted by apartheid Israel and its ubiquitous lobbyists, that journalist is a “shrill”? Says more about you than it does her. If you can dispute the factual basis of the article in question, then do so. You must realise you can’t keep spinning the truth of the occupation for another fifty years. The status quo cannot continue and you know that. You could learn something by listening to this guy:

  2. Morri Young says:

    If you want to complain about the article (and I strongly suggest you have a look at it, because it is certainly a single and histrionic point of view) you should make your feelings known to the ABC at this link
    rather than the ABV link suggested at the end of the article (which is more for typos, broken links, etc)

  3. Paul Winter says:

    Congratulations jwire for publishing this piece.

    Taking the ABC to task should be the task of our professional Jews, who very vigorously silence anyone who attempts to speak out against the anti-Israel (read anti-Jewish) brigade and their brilliant tactics of silence, the working behind the scenes excuse for well paid impotence.

    NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Victoria’s Jewish community, ECAJ, AIJAC, Zionist federation (state & national) WHERE ARE ALL OF YOU???

    • J-Wire says:

      AIJAC took it on

      • Rhys Stanley says:

        In my opinion and as a follower of all news items and articles from the ABC, Sophie McNeill is the single most honest reporter on your network. I have followed her articles and reporting since her appointment and have never seen bias is any form. She reports things as they are.
        The Jewish Lobby have tried to silence the truth from people like Sophie McNeill for years knowing that they are now into their 50th year of inhumane occupation and yet it continues, UN resolutions disregarded over all that time.
        Sophie should be awarded an honour in recognition of her fearless comments, her truthfulness and her continued efforts against all the influences that this Lobby can muster to silence anyone who tells the truth .
        She is a credit to the ABC and journalism itself.

  4. Adrian Jackson says:

    ABC journalist are great and Sophie McNeill is one of the best.

    Only experienced, and at time brave, journalist ask for posting to trouble spots and then get the posting. The BBC has great journalists too.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.