Israel distortions

Today's Beacon features an opinion piece by staff writer Andrew Bruss entitled "The Israel Double Standard."* It makes the case that media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian situation is filled with distortions on both sides -- distortions that ultimately hurt the peace process. Bruss concludes that Israel is treated far more unfairly by the mainstream media:

"However, the double standards held by many of these journalists, which scrutinizes Israeli aggression while ignoring that of the Palestinians, has presented the conflict in a light that deprives people of an accurate assessment.

This delays the peace process and hurts the people who need the most help: those caught in the middle."

Although a thoughtful piece, I feel it is worth noting its shortcomings. What Mr. Bruss argues is certainly is not the case in the American mainstream media. One need only look at the response to Jimmy Carter's latest book or "The Israel Lobby" to see that criticism of Israel will inevitably be met with a swift and overwhelming response. In the case of "Lobby," perhaps the most discussed academic paper in a decade, the reaction of the mainstream media is one of utter indifference. All of the reaction to that came from other academics and commentators.

Mr. Bruss is quite right to note distortions in our perceptions of Israel and Palestine. The distortion he misses, however, is the consensus that our steadfast and unwavering support for Israel helps America or the peace process.

*Transparency note: As the opinion editor of the Beacon I was responsible for editing this piece. I am also friendly with its author.

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