Survey finds ‘disturbing’ anti-Israel coverage by New York Times

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Survey finds ‘disturbing’ anti-Israel coverage by New York Times

The negative reporting of Israel rose from 53% during the first 10 months of 2022 to 68% after Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected prime minister.

New York Times (Wikipedia/Source:  / Author	Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
New York Times (Wikipedia/Source: / Author Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

New York Times’ reporting in 2022 showed a clear anti-Israel bias as well as “consistent omission of information regarding threats that Israel faced”, according to a new study conducted by a professor from Bar-Ilan University and a journalist from the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv. 

Israeli author and journalist Lilac Sigan conducted the study in collaboration with International Communication and Public Diplomacy expert Professor Eytan Gilboa of Bar-Ilan University throughout 2022, monitoring the daily coverage of Israel in the New York Times.

Sigan selected The New York Times since it is “the most important news outlet in the world, with a long-standing reputation for professionalism. That’s why the findings are so disturbing.”

“Apart from the immediate effect on the image and status of Israel, the coverage continuously distorts the reality in Israel and in the region, in a way that affixes a false perception for future generations. This affects Israel’s ties with large parts of the American public, and especially with American Jews. The reader receives only partial facts from the news outlet, which paints a dark and monochromatic picture. This is disturbing, distorting and dangerous,” Sigan said.

The research found that 20 negative opinion pieces about Israel were published compared to 13 against Iran, which has seen deadly crackdowns on human rights protesters across the country.

The negative coverage of Israel rose from 53% during the first 10 months of 2022, where Israel was led by a government with left and right-wing parties as well as an Arab party, to 68% after Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected prime minister

National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir was referred to 20 times along with the word “terrorist” while Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar was only mentioned twice in that connection.

Ben-Gvir was convicted in the past for supporting a terrorist organisation, but Sinwar was in prison for over 20 years in Israel for terrorist activities and leads Hamas which is considered a terrorist organisations by the U.S. Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, and the UK.

“This is an important and unique study – it collects data about the coverage of Israel in the most important news outlet in the world and analyses them, and also collects data about events and background facts that reporters and editors omit, causing mistakes, bias and distortion,” Prof. Eytan Gilboa said.

The survey also notes that the New York Times claimed that most of the Palestinians killed during 2022 were non-involved citizens, while the Israeli military said the majority were combatants.

2022 was the most violent year in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 2015, with 179 Palestinians and 31 Israelis killed. 2023 is on a trajectory to become even more violent, with 41 Palestinians killed so far.

Israel says most of those were either directly or indirectly involved in terrorist activities. Last weekend, a Palestinian man killed seven Israelis outside a synagogue in East Jerusalem, making it the deadliest terror attack in over a decade.

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