test Media Coverage of Israel Debate - Munk Debates

Media Coverage of Israel Debate

November 28, 2023
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Media Coverage of Israel Debate

Be it Resolved, the western media has an anti-Israel bias.

Within one week of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, the BBC received more than 1,500 complaints relating to its coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Criticisms were split almost evenly between those claiming its reporting had been biased against Israel and those saying it was biased in favour of Israel. These disparate interpretations of the media’s coverage of the war are not limited to the BBC. Other mainstream media outlets like the New York Times, CNN, and the CBC have faced similar accusations in recent weeks. Israel’s supporters argue that activists have infiltrated newsrooms, leading to journalism that is increasingly biased against the party whom many young progressives have deemed the villain in this conflict: Israel.

From falsely and prematurely blaming Israel for an attack on a Gaza hospital, to refusing to use the word terrorists to describe Hamas, to trusting information provided to them by Hamas under the pretext of the Gaza Health Ministry, the international press has shown its true colours and cannot be relied upon to deliver unbiased, factual reporting. Others argue that the opposite is true. For decades the western press has ignored the suffering of Palestinians and deemed them less deserving of attention or sympathy due to a colonial, white supremacist way of thinking. Whereas Ukrainians who use violence to resist occupation are depicted as heroes, Palestinians are derided as attackers and terrorists. This dehumanization has made violence towards them more acceptable and has made western media outlets complicit in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians.

Arguing in favour of the resolution is James Kirchick. He’s a columnist for Tablet magazine and a writer at large for Air Mail.
Arguing against the resolution is Arwa Damon, a former CNN Senior International Correspondent.

The Western media is playing Hamas’ game and revealing its bias. It is showing that the media is not just a bystander in this conflict, it’s an actual participant.”
– JAMES KIRCHICK

The campaign to dehumanize Palestinians has been ongoing and has been amplified in the Western media, for the most part, for decades..”
– ARWA DAMON

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