Freedom of the press is a basic liberty proudly led in the past by Britain and the U.S. The U.S. can no longer claim the moral high ground on this issue given its totally pro-Israel bias in reporting. This is the result of a very powerful Israeli lobby, which combines economic and political pressure to stifle balanced reporting. I subscribe to the Seattle Post Intelligencer (a home town newspaper), the Wall Street Journal, and the Sunday edition of the New York Times. I have never seen an article at all critical of Israel. This is in strong contrast to the press in most other nations of the world. Occasionally I have seen such articles among the Letters to the Editor in our home town paper, but even there the letters submitted in support of Israel hold a 10:1 advantage. I have submitted a few myself, couched in very moderate language, but have not had any published. Of course mine had a pro-Palestinian bias.
In spite of the media bias in favor of Israel, I am finding more Americans who are willing to openly question the motives and tactics of Israel. I feel that many more Americans would also address this question, if the media would present balanced reporting, which it certainly does not do at this time. Realistically, the outlook for balanced reporting in this country is not good. I have the advantage of spending several months a year in Europe, where balanced reporting on this issue exists.
To me, the bottom line with Israel is that it wants the Palestinian land, but not the people. The creation of hundreds of armed Israeli settlements in the occupied territories speaks volumes. This represents ethnic cleansing. Furthermore, the Sharon led government is doing everything possible to make the peace process impossible. The Palestinian people have been denied basic human dignity and opportunity for decades. Israel has committed the moral equivalent of “the Holocaust” against its Palestinian subjects.
In this country, Jews tend to be politically liberal or moderate. They have long prided themselves as being defenders of the underclass in this society. However, on the issue of Israel, only the conservative Jewish positions are heard. I will welcome the day when the liberal and moderate voices of Jewish society stand up and let their voices be heard. Only then will we see an environment where politicians will risk taking a balanced view of the world.