Friday, August 18, 2006

Israel and the British Media

Interviewed in the JC, Shuli Davidovitch, the departing Israeli press attaché in London, talks about her time in Britain and her view of the British media coverage of the crisis. She is heartened by the fact that not all the British press is anti-Israel, and that some papers at least, including the Times, the Telegraph, the Sun, the Express and the Spectator, do try to give a balanced view of the situation. On the other hand, she comments:
"Definitely some papers never give any credit to Israel... for some people, especially on papers such as The Guardian and the Independent, the human face of the Israeli doesn't exist. It's always the helmet, the rifle, the aggressor, the occupier. You can have the most pleasant meetings and lunches with them, but it's frustrating, because you feel that what you say falls on deaf ears."

The Independent, Davidovitch notes, had launched a campaign in conjunction with the Save the Children charity. "Lebanese children, because - of course - Israeli children aren't suffering. When it comes to human misery in Israel, you don't see it. Israeli refugees don't exist." Another example: the mayor of Sderot wrote an op-ed talking about the daily firing of Qassam rockets at his town, but, she says, The Guardian refused to take his article. And, "during the academic boycott, one of the commentators on Ma'ariv offered an op-ed and didn't even get a reply. I mean, be polite."
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