Opinion: Media can’t be trusted on Israel

Once U.S. President Barack Obama vetoes Palestine’s bid for independence, which I believe is a strong possibility, it will likely get very noisy on campuses throughout North America.

There may be demonstrations, posters and megaphones advocating the Palestinian cause. Students prompted to form an opinion on the Middle East conflict will turn to CNN or BBC to hear the latest news on the subject. But herein lies a problem.

If I told you that the there was a deadly terrorist attack in Israel Aug. 18, where several civilians were killed, would this be new information to you? Reported by the Jerusalem Post, this attack involved bombs, gunfire and even an anti-tank missile, which was fired upon a civilian car.

This wasn’t an insignificant attack. It was multi-staged, thoroughly planned and thoroughly executed. If I also told you that Hamas has fired rockets into Israel practically every day since then, as can be seen on QassamCount.com, a website detailing every rocket fired at Israel, would you already know this?

These are horrible events that are being strongly ignored by the world media. It’s assumed this is an everyday occurrence in Israel, not worth mentioning. This shouldn’t ever be the norm, regardless of the country. 

The problem with the media is that it doesn’t give all the facts.

Take CNN for example. The day of the attack on Israel, their top headline read: “Israeli airstrikes target Gaza after multiple attacks.” There are several things wrong with this headline. It mentions nothing of the terrorist attack in southern Israel or any Israeli civilians killed.

It also fails to mention that the airstrikes were to retaliate against only those who planned and executed the attack. Finally, the way the sentence is written could give the false impression that first Israel attacked Gaza, and now they are sending airstrikes. It doesn’t mention who committed the multiple attacks. 

It’s very obvious to me that CNN worded the headline in a way to grab attention, since the majority of people only read the headlines. However, it also shows they are not interested in spreading the truth to the masses.

While it may be easier just to stay on the fence about this issue, it’s inevitable that one will form some sort of opinion on the current conflict. With social media and the loud voice of student groups on campus, it’s not hard to associate with one side.

However, I ask everyone: before you form an opinion, try your best to get all the information you can. Don’t simply take all the headlines from major news networks as facts. If you’re interested, do the research, and if you’re not, keep an open mind.

Save a Child’s Heart Foundation is an Israeli organization, which provides free life-saving cardiac surgeries for thousands of under-privileged children from impoverished, developing countries. Hundreds of them happen to be under the Palestinian Authority, according to their website.

Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East, with full rights for women and homosexuals.

The residents of the southern city of Sderot have grown so accustomed to Gaza rocket fire, their playgrounds require bomb shelters.
Will you see any of this in the media? Probably not.

Most importantly, I’ve never seen anything mentioned about how Israel wants peace. Every time Israel has given up or offered land for peace, it seems the world media has increased its demonizing news campaign, instead of praising such noble efforts. 

It’s important for students to keep all these facts in mind when forming an opinion on the situation on the Middle East. While it’s true that there is no such thing as bias-free news, getting as many facts as possible to make an informed decision is always the best practice.

Robbie Wolfe
fourth-year computer science


  • I just don’t understand why they don’t all become friends? If they were friends there would be no need to argue. and they were once friends. so they didn’t argue

  • Against the Israeli occupation that is illegal in every sense of the word. To wit…illegal settlements, settler terrorism, IDF violence against innocent children and civilians. I can go on. The international community, including the UN, ICC, and all human rights Orgs from all corners of the world condem Israel. Once Israel starts to respect international laws, then, and only then, will peace happen.

  • A few things. 1. Israel control of the West Bank isn’t illegal. If it the West Bank was a sovereign state prior to 1967, it would be. However, prior to the Six Day War, The West Bank was occupied by Jordan, an occupation that was only recognized by the UK and Pakistan. Prior to that, it was part of the British Mandate, along with modern day Israel.

    Second, if Israel captured the West Bank in an offensive war, than the legality of the occupation would be questionable. This however, was not the case. The Six Day War was the result of a preemptive strike against Egypt after Egypt expelled UN peace keepers in the Sinai and building up armies there, and blocked off the Strait of Tiran to Israel(both officially acts of war). Along with this, the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Syria were all speaking about destroying the state of Israel. After the preemptive strike against Egypt and Syria, Israel asked Jordan not to get involved. Jordan did anyway by firing mortars from the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It was through this act by Jordan that the Israeli army came to capture the West Bank.

    Thirdly, the settlements take up just over 1% of the land in the West Bank and all of the most recent ones were built on empty land.

    Fourthly, in regards to the IDF violence against children and civilians: Israel’s actions against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are responses to terrorism against Israeli civilians. Like this op ed states, the international community ignores the almost daily rocket fire from Gaza into Israeli towns which target Israeli homes, schools and hospitals. The international community additionally ignored the Palestinian terrorist attacks coming from the West Bank in cities such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem prior to the construction of the Security Barrier. While it is very unfortunate and tragic that Palestinian civilians are killed in these retaliations, what do you expect when Hamas and other terrorist organizations operate among civilians and dressed as civilians. Why doesn’t the international ever consider the fact that many rockets are fired from apartment buildings and schools and that weapons and munitions are hidden in schools and mosques.