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Monday, November 24, 2003

Joseph Farah: Media's Israel double-standard

Do you think the world's news media gives Israel a fair shake?

I'll prove to you it does not.

The largest, most powerful and influential news-gathering organization in the world is the Associated Press. It is a cooperative of the newspaper industry and has become even more pervasive in the last 20 years as private, full-service news services like United Press International have shrunk in size and scope.

Earlier this month, AP, as it is called, put together a list of "recent terror attacks around the world." Here is that list in its entirety.

Do you notice anything strange about this list? It notes Islamic terrorism all over the world since 1998, but completely disregards all such terrorism directed at the citizens of one country and one country only – Israel.

Worse yet, AP's worldview generally reflects the thinking – if you want to call it that – of the mainstream, establishment Western media. That's why hundreds of newspapers actually published this list without blinking an eye, registering a protest or asking any questions.

This is not the first time such a list was prepared and circulated by AP. The news organization published a similar list May 19 – again, no attacks on Israel were included.

More than 1,000 Israeli civilians have been killed by Islamic terrorists since the fall of 2000. Many thousands more have been injured. But none of this counts, according to AP.

I was stunned to learn about 18 months ago that the New York Times no longer accepts as historical fact that a Jewish Temple once stood upon the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. News stories now refer to "the Temple Mount, which Israel claims to have been the site of the First and Second Temples."

Last spring, I noticed AP had followed suit.

We have a term in the news business for a standard paragraph of historical background information that you see in stories over and over again. We call it a "nut graph." Here's what the new "nut graph" at AP says about the Temple Mount: "Jews believe the mosques sit on the ruins of the first and second Jewish Temples, and revere as their holiest site a nearby wall believed to have surrounded the sanctuaries. Muslims say nothing existed on the hill before the mosques."

AP has lost its moral compass. It is leading the international, anti-Israeli pack journalism syndrome. And if you are reading virtually any newspaper in America today, you are supporting this kind of outrageous, vicious propaganda.