Media Ignorance of Israel

The Associated Press shows its lack of knowledge of Israel by trying to find a misunderstood "disunity " on the most unified day of the year.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu , | updated: 10:02 PM

Memorial Ceremony at Tapuach
Memorial Ceremony at Tapuach
Yoni Kempinski

The Associated Press showed its lack of knowledge of Israel and Israelis by trying to find a misunderstood disunity on Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers and Terror Victims on Monday, the most unified day of the year. Remembrance Day unites secular and religious, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, old-timers and new comers and the entire political spectrum.

Virtually every Israeli has a relative, friend or acquaintance who has suffered a loss in war and terrorist attacks, a fact that AP noted in the second half of its article. 

However, the Associated Press chose to distribute to its worldwide English -speaking audience a focus on supposed discord under the headline, “Israel's Memorial Day Highlights Stark Divisions.”

Its example was Moti Fogel, a surviving brother of Rabbi Udi Fogel – the gentle rabbi who along with his wife and three young children, was butchered to death in a savage Friday night stabbing attack in March in their bedroom in Itamar, a community in northern Samaria.

Moti Fogel favors Arabs and Jews living together in a single secular state on all the territory claimed by both sides, negating the idea of a Jewish homeland, according to AP. This is a view that is thoroughly rejected if not repugnant to almost all other national religious Jews as well as most Israeli Jews in general.

The article demonstrated foreign media's inability to learn and understand that the differences among Israelis – like those among Torah sages – are the very source of unity, spurring development of thought and innovation in every field of technology, industry and education.  

The writer, like most foreign journalists who “cover” Israel but are too far removed from Israel society to understand it, could not absorb the unique make-up of Israelis that flourishes despite – or more likely because of – the very “division” the AP article cited.

The AP report based its entire article on an alleged “stark division” in Israel on Moti’s views, even though the dispatch admitted that Moti “is a rarity" by being an observant Jew and also for deploring “the notion that his brother's death might be exploited for political means."

The surviving brother repeated the message at a Remembrance Day ceremony in Tel Aviv, where approximately 10 protesters protested outside of the hall in which he spoke.

AP tried to show a semblance of balance by quoting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who told the country on Remembrance Day, “I am one of you," referring to the loss of his brother Yonatan who fell in action while commanding the daring 1976 Entebbe rescue operation.