Imagine you were at a shooting range.  You’ve got an M16 in hand and the wood target is 100 meters away.  Someone snaps a photo of you.  The picture is a tight shot—a close up of your face up against the gun.  You can’t decipher the background.  You can only see that your eyes are squinted with concentration and you’re in possession of a deadly weapon.  This picture could be a hostile soldier, but it’s not.  It’s you—your day at the shooting range.    

Just how that image of you could be misinterpreted because the entirety of the situation was not revealed, news outlets are leaving out details pertinent to the story. 

American media is failing to frame the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas with appropriate historical context, therefore distorting media coverage enough to publish inaccurate information.

The articles on the NY Times alone are brutal to the image of Israel and its army. 

Israel broadens its bombing in Gaza to include government sites
Israel Strikes Kill 11 in Gaza, Including Children
Israeli Airstrike Kills 3 Generations of a Palestinian Family

I won’t distort the truth.  Israel is in fact responsible for the deaths of approximately 96 Palestinians as of Sunday, of which 50 were civilians.  Was the shooting out of anger?  Was the intent to obliterate the entire Palestinian population in Gaza?

Without a doubt, no. 

These NY Times headlines suggest that Israel is on the offensive, which portrays an inaccurate representation of the Israel Defense Forces’ mission: Operation Pillar of Defense.

The mission has two objectives.  First, “to protect Israeli civilians.”  Second, “to cripple the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.”

All three NY Times articles avoid the biggest contextual detail.  The IDF warns Gaza civilians when it will attack.  Wednesday, Nov. 14, the IDF dropped thousands of notes above Gaza to caution innocent Palestinians to evacuate areas Hamas terrorists settle. 

Terrorists are the people the IDF is after.

Hamas is known for hiding among and behind its civilians, making it nearly impossible for the IDF to avoid hitting Palestinians.  The NY Times articles indicate that the death toll is rising, but they fail to mention that the high number is led by Hamas’ inhumane protection strategy.   

The word choice in “Israel Strikes Kill 11 in Gaza, Including Children” is incredibly disturbing when the following contradiction is apparent.

The article says, “Israel launched the offensive Wednesday in what it said was an effort to end months of intensifying rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.”

Tell me this.  How can Israel be on the “offensive” when it is responding to an eleven-year rocket attack?  When 750 rockets have hit the state in the last week alone, how can Israel afford not to eliminate the rocket fire to protect innocent lives?

Distorting the truth not only disables the credibility of the news outlet, but it also spreads misconceptions of the IDF. 

Israel launched its operation entitled Pillar of Defense.  Defense.  Israel is ensuring the rocket fire ceases by eliminating the terrorists that shoot them.  Again, defense. 

Media coverage, like this recent CNN interview with Israeli Prime Minister’s spokesperson Mark Regev, blatantly broadcasts anti-Israel bias in the way the questions are phrased.  This distorts the truth by broadcasting the anchor’s bias versus having the viewer come up with his/her own opinion. 

Regev states that Israel will keep its military “options open,” but Israel will also “act until [it] can achieve peace and quiet.”

Immediately, the anchor sassily asks, “how do these airstrikes, Mark, bring peace and quiet?” 

This anchor neglects to address that Hamas has been firing rockets at Israel daily for more than a decade now. The IDF’s main concern, according to the second goal of Operation Pillar of Defense, is to rid the region of terrorists.  After doing so, Regev hopes that peace and quiet will come. 

President Obama said it perfectly the other day, “There is no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.”

Ms. CNN Anchor fails to contextualize the situation.  In 2005 when Hamas broke a cease fire with Israel, the terrorist organization made it clear their objective is to wipe Israel and its people off the map.  It’s part of Hamas’ charter. 

So Israel is supposed to respond peacefully.  Israel presented the opportunity for another cease fire and Hamas deliberately rejected it.  Where is that information in the interview?

Just how the phrasing in the articles needs to precise, so do the interview questions. 

“You’re talking about targeted operations here.  Among the casualties you’ve got two children, a pregnant woman, a baby, 15 children are wounded.  These aren’t targeted operations,” the anchor says. 

Not only is this question accusatory, but it does not acknowledge (like the articles did not acknowledge) that Hamas strategically places its terrorists among civilians because they know the IDF soldiers are commanded to do everything in their power to avoid targeting Palestinian civilian.

When news outlets fail to contextualize such a complicated and historic matter, media consumers collect inaccurate information.  They absorb only a portion of the information, rather than seeing the broader scope.

Granted, there is limited time in a newscast and only so much of an article people are willing to read.  Nevertheless, it is a journalistic duty to present the facts and refrain from distorting the truth by over-simplifying a subject.
 


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