Reporting on Israel

October 11, 2015 by Asher Kozma
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In June 2014 I wrote an opinion piece calling for more equal and accurate reporting of the Middle-East in Australian mainstream media, it was following an embarrassing spate of articles demonising Israel in a time when three Israeli teenagers had been kidnapped…writes Asher Kozma.

Asher Kozma

Asher Kozma

Eyal, Gilad and Naftali’s dead bodies were found shortly afterwards, and again we saw no real coverage from our media outlets.

Today, I feel as though the over 100 terrorist attacks against Israelis in the past week, including shootings, stabbings, stone throwing and vehicle ramming, is for some reason classified information in Australia. When searching the word ‘Israel’ on The Age website, the two top headlines which came up read “President Mahmoud Abbas says Palestine no longer bound by agreements with Israel” and “Wallabies fullback Israel Folau may miss clash with Wales due to injury”. Searches on the ABC and Herald Sun websites yielded similar results.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate good sports coverage as much as the next Australian, but Israel Folau should not have more articles published about his injury than there are reporting the violent terror against Israeli civilians.

Last week Australia experienced its own tragic attack, the Parramatta shooting. Surely at such a sensitive time Australians will truly be able to sympathise with what Israelis are living through every day, surely now is the most appropriate time to begin to at least try to report more than one side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But no, after searching ‘Israel’, ‘terror’ and ‘stabbing’ on the websites of The Age, Herald Sun, the ABC and the Australian, I could not find one article or report about the violent attacks occurring in Israel at this moment.

Apparently the Australian public doesn’t need to know about an atrocity taking place which is supposedly over 100 times more severe than the tragedy which occurred in Parramatta last week; or perhaps Jewish lives are less newsworthy?

One of the greatest failures the mainstream media can fashion is the complete, and perhaps intentional, ignorance of an atrocity such as the one Israelis are facing currently. Well done Australian media, for managing to wipe these devastating attacks from off the radar, as if they never happened.

Asher Kozma is Mefaked of Betar Melbourne.


8 Responses to “Reporting on Israel”
  1. SamT says:

    Reading the above article and the subsequent Comments, an impression is immediate. That the Australian Jewish Community, or at least those who write for it, have little contact with, or knowledge of, through Haaretz, The Times of Israel, or JPost,(for example) with what is happening in Israel to-day – on 13 October 2015. What a pack of dumb clucks! Peace.

    • Naomi Robertson says:

      SamT, many of us in the Australian Jewish Community DO read The Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, and yes, occasionally, Haaretz. This is how we stay informed not only on events in Israel but also on stories of interest from around the world. What I and others are concerned about is the Australian media’s lack of balanced coverage on events in Israel. Very few non-Jewish Australians will read Times of Israel, etc. Instead they will get their news from the ABC, SBS, and commercial TV and radio, as well as from the Sydney Morning Herald and affiliates. If all of these media outlets are exhibiting an anti-Israel bias, then support for Israel among even the most educated Australians (i.e., those who read, watch or listen to the news) is undermined. I am hoping that as of today, 14 October, the tide is turning, as I heard a non-biased report from Sophie McNeal on ABC News Radio this morning. What I am suggesting is that we keep up the pressure on Australian media to report the news without bias.

  2. SamT says:

    Reading the above article, and the subsequent replies, it is obvious that the Australian Jewish community has little contact through, say Haaretz, Times of Israel, Or even JP, with what is happening in Israel on October 13, 2015. What a group of uninformed sods! Peace.

  3. Naomi Robertson says:

    Recent bias in the coverage of events in Israel has been so strong as to beggar belief! It is possible to complain directly to the ABC or SBS, and I have done so, getting no response from one and a snidely-worded response from the other. The next step is to take it up with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). For others who are offended by what they are hearing on their radios or seeing on their TV screens, here is their address:

  4. Mary Kery says:

    I hope you sent your article to the relevant media outlets & many more , not just J wire.

  5. David Wilson says:

    Yes it is disappointing sometimes when news which we,the Jewish Community consider important, is barely mentioned. Bibi’s speech at the UN was impressive to say the least. To my knowledge none of the TV stations reported it at all.
    Perhaps they are anxious not to upset other communities.

    David Wilson

  6. Raymond Phillips says:

    Shalom Asher,

    It is because the Australian media whether TV, Radio and or Print is so biased. Whatever is published is sanitised white washed and whatever is published is so far from the truth. Thanks to J-Wire and other information services in Israel we are able to be kept informed

  7. Geoff Seidner says:

    Indeed we need to create a system whereby those who are so heavily biased against Israel can be held to account.
    i requires the Federal government to set up what ammounts to a TRUTH IN JOURNALISM PERMANENT ROYAL COMMISSION.

    Briefly I made comments similar a few days ago on JWIRE.

    With a lot of thought -the Turnbull government could be persuaded that THEY COULD ALSO BENEFIT POLITICALLY: professional dissemblers could be forced to consider very carefully what they write.

    Furthermore: much very expensive litigatioin under 18C / DEFAMATIOIN / LIBEL could be obviated.

    Only lawyers would complain.

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