People rely on the news media in order to be informed about local and world events. That’s clear enough. It is a fundamental tenet of journalism that news be presented objectively. So far the theory. The reality is much different. Much of news reporting today is agenda-driven opinion that conceals facts that conflict with the message the media want to convey, often even contrives fiction as news. The reporting on Israel is a case in point. Following are numerous examples of ignored voices and facts.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
- A rescue team of 60 Israeli-Arab volunteers in Israeli Army uniforms is ready day and night to assist in any emergency. They all hail from Abu Ghosh, a prosperous Arab town of 5,500 a few minutes’ drive west of Jerusalem. On weekends, the town is filled with mostly Jewish customers who patronize its clean, modern cafes and restaurants and come for the world-class hummus (ground chickpeas) and annual music festivals. To no surprise, Abu Ghosh, which has maintained political neutrality since 1948, has negligible violence. (CBN, December 28, 2015)
- A record 4,500 Israeli Arabs volunteered for the Israeli National Service last year. By law, Arabs are not required to serve, but many do so, despite intimidation from Arab peers. (Arutz Sheva, November 26, 2015)
- A recent poll by the Peace index of Tel Aviv University reveals that 57 percent of Israeli Arabs agree that Jews have equal or greater bond to the land of Israel than Palestinian-Arabs do.
- A poll by the Israel Democracy Institute (2015 edition) reveals that 87 percent of Arabs in Israel would rather remain in Israel than live in the USA or anywhere else in the world. And 65 percent of Israeli Arabs consider their personal situation as good or very good. (“Myths and Facts about Israeli-Arabs,” Evelyn Gordon, in Commentary, November 17, 2015)
- A record 68 percent of Arabs in Israel who turned to government employment centers for work in 2015 were able to find jobs.
- The Israeli government adopted a new program unanimously on December 30, 2015, allocating US$3.8 billion to better integrate the Arab population of Israel, including expansion of education, employment and transportation services. Arabs make up 21 percent of Israel’s population of 8.46 million.
- In 1967, only four of the 708 Arab communities in Judea-Samaria (“West Bank”) had running water. Today, 96 percent of them do due to Israeli management and technology. A pending crisis in the Gazan water supply could be averted, experts say, but the ruling terror group Hamas refuses to accept any aid that smacks of normali-zation with Israel. (Washington Times, December 1, 2015)
- The SodaStream beverage company near the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Israeli Negev has offered to reserve 1,000 job positions for Syrian refugees, said CEO Daniel Birnbaum.