Headlines Reveal the Reality of Media Bias in Coverage of Israel
In addition to Israel absorbing scores of missiles fired from the Gaza Strip — proof if ever the UN needed it that the PA is ready for an elevation of its status in the august body — Syrian mortar shells have repeatedly hit (whether or not intentionally is not yet known) the Golan Heights during the past few days. The MSM’s coverage of Israel’s inevitable, albeit restrained, response, provide yet another window into the insidious way in which anti-Israel bias in the media plays out.
Compare, if you will, the following Associated Press headline currently appearing courtesy of Yahoo!:
Israel strikes Syria armor, hiking spillover fears
At first blush, the headline is not particularly outlandish. After all, given the time-honored tradition among despots in the Arab world of seeking to deflect their population’s anger by directing it at the Jewish State, the possibility of the civil war in Syria drawing in Israel is a real concern.
However, followers of how the media covers Israel will note the familiar ring by which “concerns” about “spillover” or “escalation” are only highlighted by the media when Israel responds, even if only in a limited fashion, to violent or military attacks on its territory or population.
For example, by contrast to the Associated Press’ “concern” over spillover following Israel’s response to Syrian shelling, here is how the very same wire service, only a few weeks ago, reported following several days of artillery fire by Turkey responding to similarly “errant” mortar shells from Syria:
Turkey strikes back against Syria shelling
Beirut — The Turkish military retaliated with artillery fire fora sixth straight day Monday after a Syrian shell hit its territory, and Turkey’s president warned that “the worst-case scenario we have all been dreading” is unfolding in Syria and along its borders.
Got that? Turkey, the government of which has been open and aggressive in opposing the al-Assad regime and assisting the groups seeking its overthrow, responds to a single shell with six days of shelling, and the headlines dispassionately report the fact that Turkey struck back against Syrian shelling. They do not scream with “concern” over the risk of spillover or escalation.
Likewise, here is Reuters’ reporting today (as carried in Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News) on what is potentially a more ominous harbinger of escalation and widening of the Syrian conflict:
NATO chief says alliance will defend Turkey over Syria
NATO will defend alliance member Turkey, which struck back after mortar rounds fired from Syria landed inside its border, the alliance’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a meeting in Prague today.
“NATO as an organisation will do what it takes to protect and defend Turkey, our ally. We have more plans in place to make sure that we can protect and defend Turkey and hopefully that way also deter so that attacks on Turkey will not take place,” he said.
As with the reporting of Turkey’s response to shelling from Syria a few weeks ago, the media’s coverage of this important statement by NATO’s Secretary General shows no concern about possible “spillover” or “escalation”.
That treatment is reserved for Israel, when, despite publicly and otherwise having given every indication of a desire to stay out of the strife in Syria, it responds to multiple shells over several days with a limited response directed at the battery from which the shells were fired. Suddenly now, the AP and its ilk are “concerned”.
Is it any wonder, then, that many of those who rely on the MSM for news coverage of the region, have a distorted view of Middle Eastern affairs?