Articles

November 27, 2009
Quotes of the Day

" The last thing that
should interest us is
the Palestinians'
concern.
"
Ending November, Time chooses a Quote of the Day from an Israeli, in this case Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
He is referring to his opposition to any type of settlement freeze. The picture accompanying the quote is of Israeli settlement construction. Again, one must ask is this dismissive opinion representative of the Israeli position? Why not have a quotation from Prime Minister Netanyahu agreeing to the settlement freeze? Certainly that would be more meaningful in representing Israeli
policy.

No, instead Time uses two quotes (Mussa's and Lieberman's) to portray an Arab perspective that settlements are unwise
and an Israeli perspective of indifference.

Settlers beating up Palestinians

Another example of bias is when historical facts are omitted or taken out of
context. The above article is a good example. Time writes about the
archeological dig taking place in Jerusalem's "City of David." Time writes that
visitors to the dig are shown a film. However, the film only mentions Jewish
history at the site, not Muslim or Christian history. What Time does not mention
is that the complete history of the city of Jerusalem – including Christian and
Islamic eras – is indeed represented in great detail at the nearby Tower of
David Museum. The film of the City of David itself does not mention
Christianity or Islam because the dig predates both religions.

Also disturbing is Time's decision to repeat outlandish claims that the work is undermining the Al Aqsa mosque. This is a complete distortion yet Time prints it without speaking with an archeologist for a rebuttal.
       Palestinian religious authorities have complained that the Israeli archaeological digs are insensitive to the relics of
         earlier Islamic eras and worry about possible damage to the al-Aqsa Mosque, which rises just above Silwan on the
         Temple Mount. Proclaimed as the third holiest site in Islam, it is the singular symbol of the Palestinian plight throughout
         the Muslim world.

   The source for this charge is nameless Palestinian religious authorities. Not only is there no opportunity given to a source that    
   would give the Israeli side, an Israeli "peace activist" weighs in with the only direct quote – obviously casting the Jewish presence
   in the City of David in a negative light. The entire article is highlighted by a picture of Jewish “activists” fighting with Palestinians.
   Yet the scuffle did not take place in the City of David. By combining a picture of violence with an article repeating Palestinian    unfounded accusations, the reader again gets a distorted view of what is really happening in Jerusalem courtesy of Time.

Although it an opinion piece rather than an article written by Time's reporters, the column above is again indicative of the
bias of Time. The photo of the Palestinian flag flying heroically over a concrete section of the separation barrier – chosen by
Time and not the opinion piece's author – sets the tone. The Palestinians are trying to build their state despite Israeli
intransigence.

         This time it may be the Israelis who are letting a precious opportunity pass: the West Bank Palestinian leaders
         President Mahmoud Abbas and, especially, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are the best partners for peace in Israel's
         history. Abbas and Fayyad have been astonishingly successful at fulfilling the road-map obligations to reform their
         security forces,resulting in a near cessation of violence in or from the West Bank.

The above is not at all accepted as fact. Neither Abbas nor Fayyad have agreed to any concessions to move the peace
talks forward. In addition, members of the security forces have been involved in terrorist attacks. Although the above
is an opinion piece, to carry it without an alternative view from Israel represents bias.
Time's view of the 2008 conflict with Gaza is represented in the opening
paragraph of the above article:

         One year after Israel launched its three-week offensive in Gaza that
         killed more than 1,300 Palestinians and damaged or destroyed more
         than 50,000 homes in a campaign aimed at stopping Hamas rocket
         fire, the survivors are still living in rubble.

It should be noted that these casualty figures given as fact are based on dubious Palestinian claims rather than more reliable counts that set the toll lower. While "stopping rocket fire" is given as a reason for the operation, why did Time choose
not to use a statistic showing just how massive that rocket fire had been and how many Israeli casualties and damage had been caused.
The article itself is filled with quotations from UN officials who criticize Israel for a continuing blockade, but no mention is
made of the huge volume of materials that are shipped into Gaza by Israel every day. This information is readily available
on the Israeli Foreign Ministry Website. Perhaps listing Israeli efforts to aid Palestinians in Gaza does not fit in with Time's
subjective view on the conflict.

While the account of Goel Ratzon and his 30 "wives" is indeed bizzare, it is questionable why this shocking story of possible
   abuse and rape in Tel Aviv is worthy of a full feature article at a global publication such as Time. While no one would dispute
   the facts laid out in at the article, the decision to include it in the weekly magazine is surprising. Like the peace-loving
   Palestinian living in the cave, Goel Razon is a unique case hardly representative of anything else in Israeli society. While
    strange, cult-like communities exist in every country, why would Time focus the world's attention on this one example in Israel?    While Razon's case is indeed exceptional for Israel, polygamy and the oppression of women is common place throughout the
    Middle East. In Israel, Razon faces charges that could lead to a lifetime behind bars, while in many Arab countries, the same    actions are accepted. Why does this not appear in Time's coverage?


January 19, 2010
   Quotes of the Day

" Pay attention that he
is sitting in a lower chair ...
that there is only an Israeli
flag on the table and
that we are not smiling.
"
Another embarrassing quote is attributed to a member of the Israeli government. This time Danny Ayalon's attempt to
embarrass the Turkish Ambassador is highlighted by Time.

January 25, 2010
   Quotes of the Day

" We are planting here,
we will stay here, we will
build here, this place will be
an inseparable part of the
state of Israel for eternity.
"
When Time quotes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they describe the venue as a "tree planting ceremony in
the West Bank." The quotation makes it appear as though Netanyahu is against any sort of territorial compromise.
However, Netanyahu was speaking at a ceremony in the town of Kfar Etzion and referring to the surrounding area, not the
whole West Bank. Even the Palestinians have acknowledged that the Gush – with its historical record of settlement by Jews
long before the establishment of the State of Israel – will be retained by Israel. But Time Magazine readers would not know this
by the quotation and caption.
The archeological dig at the "City of David" site is one of the most important historical finds in all of Israel, if not the world. It documents a world that existed three thousand years ago. Recent renovations allow the public to tour the site and learn about its history. Yet Time, waves off the importance of the find by implying that the archeologists working there are basing their work on ideology rather than fact. It compares them to Muslim “scholars” who claim that the ancient Jewish Temples in Jerusalem never existed. Time even goes so far as to introduce the article by claiming that the work is all representative of the "Jerusalem Syndrome," a mental disorder

         The Jerusalem syndrome is a psychological disorder in which a visit to the holy city triggers delusional and obsessive
         religious fantasies.... Now an extreme case of the willful jumbling of science and faith is threatening Jerusalem's
         precarious spiritual balance... ...For Rothschild, Be'eri and a succession of 20th century archaeologists the lure was
         a powerful one: evidence of David's reign would be proof that a major Old Testament protagonist was a true historical
         figure, and not mere legend. Politically, the discovery of David's citadel would strengthen Jewish claims to a contested
         part of Jerusalem beyond its pre-1967 borders.... ….But many experts find Elad's archaeological claims dubious.
         Israel Finklestein, an archaeologist from Tel Aviv University says that while there may be ruins on the Elad site dating
         back to the 9th century B.C., "there's not a single piece of evidence about David's palace. These people are mixing
         faith with science."

   Time uses a selection of sources to back up their claim that the City of David is based on ideology rather than archeology.
   Yet they did not choose to include in the article an interview with anyone who could answer these charges. To set the record    straight, we asked Lee Glassman, a prominent Israeli tour guide who specializes in the history of Jerusalem what he thought
   of the charges being leveled by Time and the sources that were used. Here is his response:

         Archeology is not an exact science. Often theories from one year are overturned in the next year’s digging.
         But this is not usually the case with major revelations. Such discoveries are documented and analyzed by experts
         and papers are published. In the City of David dig, we have a number of “keys” that lead us to the conclusion that
         the site is genuine. These keys go far beyond using the Bible as a source, as some of the dig's detractors have accused.

         While many take the Bible as the word of God and thus irrefutable, archeologists, needing to be scientific,
         cannot stop there.
So, when the Bible reports on an event or a site we consider the text as just one key in determining
         the facts. For example, when Isaiah reports that the city was attacked by Sennacherib of Babylon and says that King
         Hezekiah built a wall and a water tunnel to protect the city we are interested in the story.

         Now we take our interest and see if there is any "hard" evidence for it. For example, if we find, as we have in the
         City of David, hundreds of Babylonian arrowheads, we can posit that the city was attacked by Babylonians. When we
         discover, as we have, a tunnel dug in the City of David with an inscription on the wall written in 1st Temple Hebrew
         script by the diggers of the tunnel, and we discover a huge wall built around the city, our interest is heightened.
         When carbon tests done on plaster dated the tunnel to the time of Hezekiah, all of this is evidence, not proof, but we
         have another "key."

         When we find a prism in a dig in Nineveh written by Sennacherib describing his besieging the Jewish King Hezekiah,
         we have a third "key." This is an extra-biblical description found in a different land documenting the same siege
         spoken of by Isaiah and also in the Book of Chronicles.

         When archeologists have 3 "keys," such as they have in the City of David, they accept the event as factual. Without
         benefit of a time machine, this seems rather compelling. Did David have a palace there? We have yet to find a doormat.
         But was this the scene of a siege of a Jewish city by the king of Babylon? You will not find a credible archeologist
         who will deny it. We even have Muslim pamphlets which document it.


Febuary 15, 2010
  Israel Gets More Comfortable with Status Quo

Time continues to build on its theme that Israel is solely responsible for a lack of progress in the peace process. While in reality,
the Palestinian leadership has made no concessions on any of the key issues in the peace process, we are told that even:

         "the minimum demands acceptable to Palestinian moderates are deemed too much for the Israelis."

In fact, the demands of the Palestinian Authority are presented as concessions while even Hamas is portrayed as moving
in the right direction.

         Palestinian leadership recognized that, as much as they desired a return to the homes and land they lost in 1948,
         the balance of forces made that a futile goal. They decided to instead seek a state in the West Bank and Gaza as a
         more limited, but attainable objective. Hamas has not yet formally made such a shift, although its leaders are clearly
         moving toward accepting some version of a two-state outcome - and the more Hamas takes responsibility for the
         well-being of the residents of Gaza and the West Bank, the more likely they will be to accept Israel's existence as a bitter
         but inescapable compromise.

Hamas is “clearly moving in the direction” of a two-state solution? Time offers no evidence whatsoever for such a
statement or tries to quantify how indeed Hamas has taken responsibility for the well being of the residents of Gaza and
the West Bank. In reality, Hamas has endangered their lives through continued rocket fire at Israel. While the Palestinian
Authority and Hamas are shown as being moderates in favor of a peaceful resolution of the conflict, it is the extreme
Israeli leaders who stand in the way.

         The militant settlers who believe they have a God-given right to build their homes in the occupied territories are now
         part of the mainstream, disproportionately represented in the army's mid-level officer corps, and an important support
         base of the Netanyahu government.

Meanwhile, according to time, the rest of the Israeli population "are scarcely aware that Palestinians exist." With the peace process featured every day in the Israeli press, time again presents no data that would back up that patently false accusation.
So while the Palestinian moderates desperately seek peace, Israeli intransigence stands in the way. Time leaves out any mention
of the continuing culture of incitement and indoctrination against Israel that is rampant throughout Palestinian society.
The editorial bias of time that consistently represents Israel and Israelis in the worst possible light while giving the Palestinians a pass continues.