The White House press office routinely turns down requests for credentials to news reporters or organizations that do not practice legitimate journalism.
This then begs the question, does Israel need to grant press credentials to journalists who repeatedly have not reported the truth? Can Israel refuse access to news organizations that have spent years lying about Israel?
As many ideas held dear by Jews were ripped from them on October 7, perhaps we can now also question our beliefs that the international news media is a guardian of the truth and our freedoms.
Simply put, phrasing the question as our shtetl grandparents might, is today’s free press good for the Jews?
The next question we might ask is how should the State of Israel respond to the intentional reporting of lies about Israel and the Jewish people?
For today, we Jews are faced with an antisemetic foreign media which camouflages its hatred of Israel behind the legitimacy given to it by its overall news coverage, and whose newsroom staffs have been thoroughly indoctrinated in the hate of Israel by students and professors at western universities.
How do we know this? How about if we review, pardon the expression, ‘just the facts.’
When a missile struck the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital parking lot in Gaza on October 18, the New York Times, BBC, Associated Press and Reuters rushed to publish that the Jews had destroyed the hospital and killed 500 Arabs.
How did they know? A Hamas ministry told them.
However, as every Journalism 101 student learns, you cannot accept the number 500 until the bodies have been counted---certainly not within minutes of the explosion. You also must leave your newsroom to go and see if the hospital was destroyed.
Critically, if the source--Hamas--has lied in the past, you must never use them as a source again.
So why did the New York Times, BBC and AP use the number 500 dead? Because they wanted this to be true.
The media enemies of Israel were desperate to change the October 7 narrative from Jews being massacred and receiving sympathy, to the media’s more practiced blood libel of Jews massacring Arabs.
Why did the major media organizations want to change the narrative of Jews under attack? Because the October 7 massacre did not fit into the left’s world view that only white people are oppressors. On October 7 it was Jews being oppressed by Arabs, and that simply is not what the mainstream media will report.
Clearly, today’s international media has taken over the role of yesterday’s priests in Christian church pulpits…who screamed that the plague, the poisoned well water, the missing child, the poverty of Europe….is the fault of the Jews.
After US Jews came out in force---300,000 strong---in Washington DC on November 14, the same AP,New York Times and BBC, along with Reuters, the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, lied to their readers with news stories reporting that the turnout was only 10,000 to 20,000 Jews.
A mistake? Of course not. Again, let’s think like our grandparents. The media lied because attendance at the rally was good for the Jews. So automatically, the major news organizations would not print the truth.
Nor did they later correct their lies.
Again, according to Journalism 101, the problem this creates is if these news organizations lied about the Jews’ Washington rally……what other news do they report that is a lie? And has their news always been filled with lies?
October 7 has forced Jews to see the world as it is. To see the truth about Arabs, about Islam, and about the “civilized” western world. To see the truth about who wants us to live and who wants us to die.
And now it is time to also be honest about the foreign media.
With the New York Times, the BBC, the French AFP,Al Jazeera and others operating in Israel, we have allowed Jew haters into our midst, while we grant them privileges and access to the government, and then they do their best to weaponize the news to strike at Israel and the Jews.
We now realize, following October 7, that there is no longer time to deceive ourselves about our world. Truth must be faced. Actions must be taken.
We must acknowledge among ourselves that respected media organizations no longer practice journalism, but are agenda-driven and are the enemies of Israel and the Jewish world. They are not our adversaries, but our enemies. And they are a deadly enemy that wants Israel and the Jewish people to be erased from the planet.
The New York Times, which sets the agenda of US press coverage, has morphed from having a banal anti-Zionist Reform Jewish agenda in the 1920s to a culture of hate for Israel in its newsroom.
Anti-Israel writing is found throughout the newspaper, from the New York Times’ architecture reviews, reviews of Israeli dance troupes and, every single day on their front page.
And the New York Times’ anti-Israel attitude occasionally veers into anti-semitism, as when one of their well paid court Jews, Tom Friedman, wrote in 2011 that the US Congress stood to cheer a speech by Benjamin Netanyahu because Congressmen were paid Jewish money to do so.
Friedman, who was wholly unqualified to be stationed in Israel in 2008 due to his long opposition to the State of Israel dating back to his college days, was later followed in 2008 by New York Times Israel bureau chief Ethan Bronner, who just this week wrote that Israel caused the October 7 pogrom by its many sins against the Palestinian Arabs. Bronner said that the evil Jews are responsible for the behavior of the savage Arabs of Gaza.
This is the prejudice that both Friedman and Bronner brought with them while representing the New York Times, and was perhaps their main qualifications if they wanted to write for the Times.
Journalist Matti Friedman reported in 2014 that while he worked for the Associated Press in Israel he was not allowed to report on the extraordinary Palestine Administration’s corruption, since that would distract from the narrative of the evil Jews oppressing helpless Arabs.
And just last week, the BBC reported that Israeli soldiers were wandering through Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza and shooting doctors and nurses.
They later acknowledged this was a mistake (not a baldfaced lie), but not until they had fired their journalistic artillery at Israel, which was picked up by media worldwide.
In these days following October 7, when we Jews have developed a new clarity born from the unspeakable Arab savagery, perhaps the real issue about the anti-Israel media is not about them, but instead about we Jews.
They tell us, very clearly, at the New York Times, the Associated Press and the BBC that they want the Jews and Israel to disappear. But how have we responded?
Painful questions need to be asked, such as is the western free press dangerous to the Jewish people? And if so, what should be done about it?
Should Israel recognize as journalists those individuals and news organizations that do not follow the basic standards of their professions? Should Israel give access to those journalists and news organizations that have for years lied about Israel?
Should Israel be providing press credentials to news organizations, from Al Jazeera to the Associated Press, that have over and over proven themselves to be at war with Israel by weaponizing their journalism?
Does Israel, a democracy, need to commit suicide to prove to the world that we will bow down to their western values of a free press?
What should Israel do about the journalists and news organizations who abuse their privileges in Israel to write hateful lies about the IDF and Israel?
Using the horrifying clarity thrust upon us after October 7, perhaps we can put to work our vaunted Jewish brains to build a new path for the foreign press to operate in Israel. Perhaps we can figure out how to stop the foreign press from bludgeoning Israel and excusing Arabs……from reporting that every Arab missile fired into Israel is an act of war, while every Israeli missile is a war crime.
Perhaps we can stop giving our enemies in the foreign press the ammunition they are guaranteed to turn against us in their quest to see Israel destroyed.