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A New York radio station WQXR has refused to air an ad explaining the plight of Jews in Sderot. See the brief news item here:
In response, British radio journalist Walter Bingham, who resides in Israel and has frequented Sderot, has launched a letter-writing campaign to the station urging them to reconsider their decision. Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Bingham's letter to the station appears below:
Dear Mr. Batunek,
As a radio journalist with 58 years experience, (yes I’m 84 years old and still presenting my own programme,)
I am extremely disappointed to learn, that you have judged the advertising spot requested by the American Jewish Committee to be misleading and its content open to challenge.
I have visited the Sderot area several times and can assure you that the rockets are indeed falling unpredicted and without provocation at any time during the day or night, and that the description of 15 seconds warning is absolutely accurate, as the distance between the two locations is no more than 1 to 1 ½ miles.
The government of Israel has for years now been extremely patient, and while the rockets are aimed at the civilian population, any action in response, has been meticulous to avoid civilian casualties among Palestinians, and exclusively aimed at the perpetrators of such attacks. I greatly doubt if the ‘reasonable people’ to whom you refer are troubled by the absence of any comment about the occasional defensive action by the Israeli military, in the light of the volume of missiles fired at Sderot and neighbouring populated areas, on one day recently 22 and on another some 40.
It is important for journalists to be able to place themselves into the shoes of their subject or interviewee, to be able to report fairly, and I invite you therefore to imagine your feelings, when your small children or grandchildren are at school or even at play in your garden under those circumstances.
In the light of this, I feel that it would be right to re-examine the facts that led you to your decision.
I really would appreciate your considered reply, and send you
My most friendly fraternal greetings.
Walter Bingham M.M. MA(lond)
Chartered Institute of Journalists U.K.