Time Magazine: November 2009 - November 2010
Executive Summary
  When Time magazine published its September cover story, "Why Israel Doesn't Care
  About Peace,"we were stunned by the bias of the article and its fundamental
  misrepresentation of Israeli attitudes. We wondered whether that article was a
  one-time failure of objectivity or if it represented a prevalent bias in Time’s reporting
  on Israel. So we reviewed Time’s reporting on Israel over an entire year
  November 2009 –November 2010, 73 articles, photo galleries, and quotes of the day.  
We found that while the cover story may have generated the most outrage from those who care about Israel, it was entirely consistent with the way Time interprets and reports on the conflict. Time’s dismissive attitude towards Israel’s peace
efforts was just one example of an editorial bias that runs deep.
The impression readers would get from reading Time is
that the Israeli public and its leaders have no interest to making reasonable compromises that would satisfy the moderates in
the region. The refusal of Israel to give in on demands for a complete settlement freeze and acceptance of a Palestinian
State with Jerusalem as its capital at a minimum demonstrates (to Time at least) that Israeli peace overtures are not at
all serious.

Palestinian officials such as Mahmoud Abbas are presented as peace-seeking moderates. A photo gallery shows Abbas traveling
the world to shake hands with international diplomats in his quest for peace. Quotes of the day are attributed to the likes of
Saeb Erekat who use the forum to place all the blame upon Israel for a failure to achieve peace. Meanwhile, extreme
Palestinian demands and the continued daily incitement against Israel by official Palestinian Authority sources are ignored.

Any information that would counter Time's perspective is either omitted or misrepresented. They imply that Jewish claims to
parts of Jerusalem such as the Old City stem from the 1967 War, rather than thousands of years of almost unbroken residency.
Archeological sites that prove thousands of years of Jewish history in the city are labeled "ideological" and summarily dismissed. Space is given to those who level charges at Israel while often Israeli responses are simply left out of articles.

As a result, Time's reporting on Israel leaves readers with a distorted picture that was only amplified by the September
13th cover story. While that article was enough for us to award Time with our 2010 Dishonest Reporter Award, it was
entirely consistent with the anti-Israel bias we found.
Citing Opinion as Fact #1: Israel is Unwilling to Make Reasonable Compromises
         "...The U.S. has been unwilling or unable to press Israel to offer a peace agreement with the Palestinians that is
         even minimally acceptable to any of the moderate Arab regimes, much less to their citizenry..."
         Who Wins, Who Loses If Israel Ends Its Gaza Siege, June 22, 2010
According to Time, it is Israel that is responsible for a lack of peace in the Middle East. Basically, the "hard-line" government of Benjamin Netanyahu will never agree to the most basic requirements of Palestinian and Arab "moderates." We found this theme explicitly reported 18 times in the year's worth of articles we analyzed.

Time seems to assume that all demands from Palestinian moderates are reasonable. But, in fact, these demands include a
"right" of return that would threaten Israel’s survival as a Jewish State. They also claim.... that the Western Wall is not
Jewish, and that they must be given complete sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem. These are, indeed, demands that
no Israeli government could ever accept. Yet how many times did Time report that the Palestinians were stalling the peace
process by insisting on demands unacceptable to Israel? None. Time leads its readers to believe that it is Israel who is being unreasonable.

Citing Opinion as Fact #2: Israel Does Not Care About Peace
         "...Most Israelis are scarcely aware that the Palestinians exist.... now that terror has been largely subdued,
         Israelis feel no urgency about peace."
         Israel Gets More Comfortable with Status Quo, February 15, 2010
While the daisy Star of David cover story brought up the idea that the Israeli public is not interested in peace, it is actually a theme that has come up several times in Time reporting. We counted six times directly and eight other indirect inferences
where the Israeli indifference to peace is mentioned.

   Omission of Key Context:
Jerusalem, the Disputed Territory, and the 1967 War
         " The standoff between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Obama Administration concerns whether Israel can
         build in those parts of the city it captured in the war of 1967..."
         Is It Too Late to Share Jerusalem? March 26, 2010
Israeli claims to Jerusalem and areas in the disputed territories do not stem from the 1967 War. Jews have lived in these places throughout history. In 1948, during the Israeli War of Independence, half of Jerusalem and what is now called the West Bank
fell to the Jordanian Legion. Jews were forced from their homes, synagogues were burned down, and no rights were given to
Jews to visit holy sites under Arab occupation.

Yet Time gives none of this context to articles on Jerusalem or settlements. The only reasonable conclusions that a reader
would make from this coverage is that Jewish settlers (and even Jews living in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem that are
outside the green line) have no right to live where they do and that full withdrawal from Jerusalem and the territory is a reasonable condition for peace.

We counted over twenty examples where omission of key context rendered an article biased against Israel.
   Lack of Balance: Quotes of the Day

" This bloody massacre
by Israel on ships that
were taking humanitarian
aid to Gaza deserves every
kind of curse.
"
Time's unbalanced reporting on the conflict is most pronounced in the quotations that are selected for the Quotes of the Day feature. Over the one year period we reviewed, Time selected 22 quotations about Israel or the Palestinians to feature. Of
these, 19 reflected negatively on Israel or portrayed Palestinians as the victimized voice of reason. Only 3 quotes gave readers
any sense of Israel's perspective.

Negative reporting on Israel comes in many forms on the pages of Time. You can see multiple examples in the analysis of
articles we provide below. For example, several times Time takes an unrepresentative example (a Palestinian pacifist who
lives in a cave, a Jewish "terrorist," etc. ) and implies that it is part of a wider phenomenon. Time also uses biased wording to express its editorial opinions ("hardline” "hawkish" to describe the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu, while Mahmoud Abbas is deemed “moderate.")

Against this backdrop of unprofessional, biased reporting, the September cover story was inevitable. Readers who are looking
for factual, accurate coverage of the Middle East would be best served by going elsewhere than Time. As you can see by reading through this report, almost every article that Time published about Israel or the Palestinians would fail the grade for objective reporting.

The Articles

November 2, 2009
  Quotes of the Day
" If there is no freeze on
settlements, there is
no wisdom.
"
Time coverage for the period we studied begins on November 2, 2009 with the Time Quotes of the Day. Amar Mussa, Secretary General of the Arab League is featured with the above quotation. Time could have balanced this quotation with one from an
Israeli official commenting on continuing anti-Israel incitement in the Arab world being unwise. We did not, however, find
such a quotation.
Time next runs a feature length article on Jack Tietel, an American-Israeli who was accused of several attacks against
Palestinians and Israelis. Tietel is a violent extremist who attacked gays and left-wing Israelis in addition to Palestinians.
Over twelve years, he is accused of two murders and a handful of non-lethal attacks. Time notes:

         If the allegations against him prove true, Teitel will join the list of lone-wolf Jewish terrorists that goes back
         to Barouch Goldstein, the U.S.-born Jewish settler who in 1994 massacred 29 Palestinians in Hebron's cave of
         the Patriarchs.

While there have been a tiny handful of Jewish terrorist attacks against Palestinians, nothing comes remotely close to
Goldstein's attack sixteen years ago. Time implies that Teitel's crimes are comparable to Goldstein's murder of 29
Palestinians and that there is a "list" of comparable actions. It is an example that we saw several times in Time's coverage
of using rare and isolated cases as representative of a larger trend. A trend that in reality does not exist.

November 2, 2009
Picture of the Day
Time's picture of the day for November 2 was of a Palestinian worker repairing a wall riddled by bullets during Israel's conflict with Gaza – almost a year earlier. While the repair work may in fact have taken a year, the picture is outdated and lacking all context. What is that a wall of and why was it hit by Israeli bullets?
The reader gets no help from Time in understanding what is being shown.
This article addresses the problems the Obama Administration was having in getting Israeli-Palestinian direct peace talks going. While the issue can be described in several different ways, here is Time's synopsis:

         The Obama Administration confronts the uncomfortable reality that the furthest the Israeli government is prepared to
         go is not far enough for Arab or Palestinian moderates.

Why are the Arab and Palestinian leadership described as "moderates?"

Despite U.S. requests, the Arab leaders mentioned in the article were unwilling to make even the smallest peace overtures
toward Israel. For their part, the Palestinian leadership refused to back away from any of its positions. At the same time,
Israel offered (and eventually implemented) a ten month settlement freeze. By referring to the Arab leadership as "moderates,"
Time is misleading its readers.
Time again brandishes the label "moderate" to describe Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. While heaping praise
and understanding on Abbas, Time refers to the Netanyahu government by the term "Hawkish." Time writes how Abbas has
"been politically humiliated by years of fruitless open-ended talks at the Americans' behest"
as if the whole reason for a
lack or progress is Israeli intransigence. No mention is made of Palestinian terrorism, incitement, or staking out extreme
positions as a reason for the delay.

Again we have a feature Time article that is based on a singular situation that represents an exception rather than a common theme. This article discusses the
plight of a Palestinian living in a cave who simply desires to live in peace with
Israel. Why is this article biased?

Firstly, Palestinians do not, as a rule, live in caves. This story takes a single
incident and implies that cave dwelling may be a common practice because
Israel forced Palestinians off their land. No background is given to the 1967
War and the reasons that this single person lost his house and moved into
a cave.

But much more troubling is the way Time reprints his direct quotations to imply that these are widespread opinions.
         "I am one small man," Abed-Rabbo tells TIME. "All I want is to live on my land in peace."

Then later on:        
        
         "Many, many Israelis come, and Europeans and many Palestinians,"
Abed-Rabbo tells TIME.
         "Here we have meetings of love, of peace, for a new way. We don't just need to talk about peace on television.
         We also need to sit with people, to get to know them, my kids, their kids, to bring them so they can play with
         each other. That's what love is. You bring people together. That's how you make peace."

It would be wonderful if all, a majority, or even a significant minority of Palestinians shared his views. But poll after poll of Palestinians shows massive support for armed conflict and rejection of Israel as a Jewish State. Time magazine has a
responsibility to report views that are more highly held among the general population. At the very least, it should be made
clear how exceptional Mr. Abed-Rabbo's views are compared to that of his neighbors. Yet Time's investigative report stops
at his cave's "doorstep."

Does Time show views that explain the Israeli position on his case? No. Instead we have quotations from the U.S. Department of State and a representative of what Time refers to as a "left-leaning pressure group." Time again fails in its responsibility to present a balanced picture to its readers.