Australia admits ABC broadcaster preferentially covered Arabs

Aussie lawmaker slams national broadcaster for anti-Israel bias, says omission of Jewish victims' names dehumanizes them.

JTA, Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Scene of Neve Tzuf slaughter
Scene of Neve Tzuf slaughter
IDF spokesperson

A Jewish member of the Australian government advertised examples of anti-Israel bias in the media.

Michael Danby paid The Australian Jewish News to publish two half-page ads pointing out treatment differences on two stories reported by the Jerusalem correspondent of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Sophie McNeill.

Covering the brutal slaughter of three members of the Solomon family recently by an Arab terrorist as they sat down for their Shabbat dinner, McNeill’s story failed to name the Jewish victims. Danby said, and a senior secular journalist agreed, that such omissions dehumanize the victims.

Another report by McNeill on the eviction of a Arab family from one of Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods was pictorially enhanced, with family members mentioned.

Danby met with leader of the Australian Labor Party Bill Shorten who “made the point that ads weren’t the most subtle way of communicating the message,” Danby said.

“I accept this was his view. I won’t be doing ads on the Jerusalem correspondent of the ABC in the future,” he added in a statement.

Danby has represented the electorate of Melbourne Ports, home to a large Jewish community, since 1998.

The ABC has strongly defended its correspondent who filed five stories on the Solomon murders.

However, Danby’s has told JTA that the ads were approved by Parliament. A spokesperson said: “Michael Danby’s office has confirmed that the advertisement about the ABC coverage advert has already been submitted and approved by parliament as being within guidelines.”

President of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Anton Block said: “Michael Danby was correct in saying that Ms McNeill gave more coverage to the fact that the Palestinian Shamasneh family had been evicted from their home in...Jerusalem than it did to the fact that three members of the Jewish Solomon family were murdered by Islamists during a family meal in the West Bank.”

“She personalized what happened to the Palestinian family and named them, but did not do likewise for the Jewish family.”