NGO: Public Radio Favors Pro-Arab B'tselem

Israel Media Watch says Voice of Israel is lending too much credence to leftist group's reports.

Gil Ronen,

Amir Gilat, IBA Chairman
Amir Gilat, IBA Chairman
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Israel Media Watch (IMW), an NGO that reports on media bias, said Sunday that Voice of Israel public radio is lending too much credence to reports by pro-Arab group B'tselem, despite the group's bias.

On Thursday, May 9, IMW said, the 7:00 a.m. news reported that B'tselem issued a report claiming that more than half of the Arabs killed in Israel's Pillar of Defense operation were civilians.

"B'tselem is an organization whose credibility is doubtful," IMW charged. "Its statements are controversial, and that is an understatement." IMW noted that NGO Monitor, a group that monitors NGO bias, has published "important clarifications" regarding the gap between what is actually written in B'tselem's report, and what B'tselem's press release says.  

"Despite all this, the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) chose to cover the report as if it were the Torah given at Mount Sinai," IMW noted.

The IBA is the body in charge of Voice of Israel radio.

In 2008, IMW's then-president, Dr. Uzi Landau, wrote a letter to the IBA about "the broadcasting of B'telem's lies."  IMW Says that the IBA's then-head, Moshe Gavish, confirmed that B'tselem's reports "indeed contain lies" and promised that reports from organizations like B'tselem would be double checked before publication.  

IMW's present president, Dr. Meir Rosen, wrote a new letter to the IBA's present chairman, Amir Gilat, and asked that coverage of B'tselem's reports cease, or that the claims they contain at least be checked before publication, and that groups recognized for their trustworthiness be given equal air time.