“We Are Not Censors”
Vol: 9 Issue: 24 Monday, June 24, 2002
After being inundated with complaints by subscribers of the anti-Semitic bias of both the BBC and CNN news networks, it was rumored that Israeli satellite TV provider YES-TV was planning to drop both from their lineup.
The chairman of YES’s largest shareholder Bezeq Israel Telecom, who also holds a seat on YES-TV’s board of directors, requested the satellite provider pull CNN off the air for 24 hours to protest their slanted coverage.
Ido Dissentshik withdrew his request after YES-TV contacted CNN. “CNN has said they will review the way they cover the Israeli-Palestinian situation to see whether or not they are balanced,” he said. Pulling the network feed for 24 hours, he said, “was no longer necessary.”
CNN’s chief news executive Eason Jordan issued a straight-faced denial of any bias on his network in an interview with Israeli television. As he sees it, “CNN is not pro-Palestinian or anti-Israeli. We are fair, we are responsible in our reporting, we try to be as accurate as we possibly can be. It’s not to suggest we are perfect, however. On occasion we make mistakes but it’s not because of any bias.”
Sure. In the midst of his denial of being pro-Palestinian, Jordan also admitted he was proactively taking action: “Last week, at my own initiative, I put out a policy across CNN that said we will not televise (the videotapes),” he said.
Israeli radio also quoted him as saying the network would no longer show footage of Palestinian suicide bombers’ families. [Do you recall CNN profiling any Israeli victims of suicide bombers?] Neither does YES-TV.
Wow. At ‘his own iniative’. That means nobody above him had to tell him his coverage was biased. [I thought he said they were ‘fair and responsible in their reporting’]?
Ted Turner, founder and now vice chairman of CNN owner AOL Time Warner Inc., wasn’t demonstrating bias when he said last week that the Israeli military was engaged in “terrorism” against the Palestinians that could be compared to Palestinian suicide bomber attacks on Israelis.
Turner’s comments were published on the morning of a suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem that killed 19 people.
The BBC World News cable network was also contacted regarding their overt pro-Palestinian bias. To their credit, they chose not to issue a denial, rather than to tell a lie. When contacted on the issue, the BBC’s senior Jerusalem producer, Simon Wilson said the “BBC would respond later”.
In the end, instead of dropping CNN, YES-TV added the Fox News Network, which is considered by Israelis to be more balanced in it’s coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
But YES-TV, and all three Israeli cable companies are considering removing CNN and the BBC from the basic cable package. If Israelis have to pay to hear CNN or the BBC explain to the victims of Palestinian terror that they deserved it, CNN and the BBC are unlikely to find Israel a profitable market.
First off, these events provide us with another reason why Israel is America’s natural ally in the Middle East — and this is important.
YES-TV issued a public statement in answer to their subscribers complaints.
Note it carefully: “We are not censors and will not decide for our subscribers what to see and what not to see,” said CEO Shlomo Liran.
Imagine those words emanating from state-owned television anywhere else in the Middle East. Damascus? Baghdad? Riyadh? Amman? Beirut? Gaza? Tripoli? Cairo?
“We are not censors”.
Here’s why that is so important. Israel is a democracy surrounded by a sea of dictatorships. Not a sham democracy — not a ‘people’s democracy’ or ‘people’s republic.
[Countries whose deeds prove they are representative democracies don’t need to explain it in their names – the ‘people’ already know it].
Yet the only genuine Western-style democracy in the Middle East is also the most hated nation on earth.
Iraq has more friends than Israel. On any given anti-Israel resolution voted on by the UN, Israel can count on the support [most of the time] of the US, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.
To many Israelis, the voice of the US is CNN. The voice of Europe is the BBC. To most Israelis, these networks are also the voice of Yasser Arafat.
To get what they perceive to be balanced news coverage, Israel turned to Australian-owned FoxNews network.
Why is that? Why would the only genuine democracy in the entire region — a friend to the West with a uniquely parallel political agenda — be the most hated nation on earth? [Even America has more real friends than Israel].
Is it because of their policies? Apart from attempting to survive, Israeli policies parallel those of the Western democracies.
Not one single Arab state shares the cosmopolitan worldview of Europe, Canada or the US. Not one could be called a truly open society. Every single one is racist. None offer genuine religious freedom.
Not one Arab state has a human rights record that equals Israel’s. Especially given Israel’s fifty-two year ongoing war against enemies in their midst.
Indeed, the Palestinians have fared far better at the hands of Israelis than they have at the hands of their Arab ‘brothers’.
When Syria faced a Palestinian uprising at Hama, ten thousand people disappeared without a trace. Thirty thousand were killed outright. A third of the city was turned into a parking lot.
The Syrian regime raided hospitals and killed all the wounded there without making any distinction between civilians and combatants.
When Jordan faced a PLO uprising in September, 1970, King Jussein of Jordan sent his troops in. By the end of September, three thousand Palestinians lay dead.
After eighteen months of combat, Israel, one of the most militarily powerful nations on earth, has killed about fifteen hundred Palestinians. Yet Israel was immediately condemned for war crimes.
A search of the UN archives show no UN resolutions against Hafez Assad for Hama or King Hussein for Black September. No international threat of war. No European boycotts of Jordan or Syria.
There is no natural reason to explain why Israel need fear anti-Israel bias from the voices of democracy in Europe or America. Indeed, it defies natural explanation.
Because the explanation is supernatural. The Bible says that when Israel once again took her place among the nations of the earth after millennia of dispersion, the timeclock would restart and begin counting down the remaining hours of the final generation before the return of Christ.
Israel stands as a visible reminder that God remains on the Throne. He said Israel would be reborn, and that it would survive against all odds, despite the fact it would be hated ‘without cause’. So hated, according to prophecy, that the last great war of humanity would be over the city of Jerusalem and the existence of a Jewish state.
The enemies of God know that the destruction of Israel would break Scripture. God said of His Word, “My word shall not return to me void.” [Isaiah 55:11]
That won’t happen. But the attempt will bring about the cataclysmic period that Jesus called a time of ‘great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.’ [Matthew 24:21]