Media Frenzy Before the Results are Even Known…writes Michael Kuttner

January 22, 2013 by Michael Kuttner
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I am writing this on Election Day which has dawned sunny and mild, weather favourable for a good turnout at the polls.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

The test will be however whether this fine weather tempts the yuppies of Tel Aviv from the beach and bars into the polling booths. Will it be enough to induce those who are fantastic at making a loud noise about the dangers Israel faces from right wing fanatics to actually cast a ballot? The bottom line is whether all those who moan and groan about the current situation, be it the absence of peace or the economic hardships faced by many, will actually get off their backsides and vote. It is almost a certainty that the ideological sector of the population will turn out in vast numbers and in the main these tend to be on the right of the political spectrum. It is indicative of a weak or non existent ideological base that the electorate has been moving rightwards over the years. After all, if you have no idea of why you are living in Israel, if you do not see this country as something unique and special in the overall span of Jewish history and if you are just as comfortable living in Germany, Russia, Venezuela or any of the other paradises where Jews have never been and still are not exactly the flavour of the month, then why should you bother to vote?

The world media are here on the ground in droves. Their reports reflect the unchanging prejudiced, unbalanced and sensationalist attitudes which distort reality and help to further spread the canards of a country hell bent on self destruction and anti peace. The tragedy is that so many Jews, who should know better have been sucked into this way of thinking, seduced by a media which drip feeds this poisonous rubbish on almost a daily basis. Certain sectors of the Israeli media are no better and in fact it is their often vitriolic headline seeking reports which are lapped up by all those who can only see evil emanating from the Jewish State.

As I see citizens streaming to the polls to exercise their democratic duty I gasp in amazement at the reactions of the foreign media as reported online today. Not one of those I have read contrast the freedom of Israeli citizens, Jews, Moslems, Christians, secular & religious, representatives of every ethnic group and tradition, to choose their elected representatives, freely and without fear, to the situation of all our neighbours where the exact opposite situation prevails. Not one of the foreign media has commented that our Arab citizens are free to vote for whomever they so desire and that in actual fact in addition to them voting for Arab parties many also vote for established parties such as Likud Beitunu, Labour and yes even Bayit Yehudi. Instead of the media contrasting this with the genocide in Syria, the fact that elections in the Palestinian Authority is 5 years overdue and that so called free and fair elections in the Arab/Moslem countries around us are a sham, they instead pontificate in an entirely different direction altogether.

Today’s headlines scream, even before the polls opened at 7am this morning, that Israel is set to elect extremists, hard liners, fanatics and haters of peace.

This frenzy of disinformation and biased opinions masquerades as informative and intelligent news. We are witnessing on polling day a campaign which denigrates the Israeli electorate, casts aspersions on citizens’ right to choose in a secret and free manner, the next coalition which will need to grapple with major problems, ranging from social & economic to Iran’s desire to eliminate another 6 million Jews, from the absence of any genuine peace partner to the continuing daily outpouring of hate and delegitimisation in Arab schools and media. None of this features in the media. The only thing which exercises their closed and made up minds is the chutzpah of Israelis to decide who they consider the best suited to tackle all these challenges in the period ahead of us.

Of course the media can take their lead from the White House which has been reported as believing that Israelis do not know what is best for them. That belief, common to Washington, London and Europe, merely reinforces our suspicions that the only thing which would make these critics happy, is a neutered Israel cowering behind indefensible borders with Iranian armed and influenced terrorist States on the Golan and sitting in East Jerusalem as well as within spitting distance of Ben Gurion airport. After all, when the peace loving Jordanians illegally occupied Judea & Samaria, destroyed the Synagogues in East Jerusalem and forbade Jews access to the Western Wall, the international community couldn’t have cared less.

Israelis voting today (at least those with a basic knowledge of our history) will no doubt take all this into account when making their decision. If the media are already in a frenzy before the votes have been counted imagine what you are going to read & hear when the results are announced. I am now on my way to the voting station. More to follow shortly.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and works for The Israel Resource News Agency in Jerusalem.   


One Response to “Media Frenzy Before the Results are Even Known…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Andrew says:

    When Gaza “democratically” elected Hamas, the media tune was very different.

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