I am not going to pretend that I have all the facts right now. I am not going to say whether Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner was justified or out of line for the incident in which a protestor received a cut lip. But what astounds me is how out of proportion the coverage of the incident is.
Remember, no one was killed. No one received a permanent injury. No bones were broken. In Syria, the government uses heavy artillery against protestors and kills them by the hundreds. Here, one person was hit which resulted in a cut lip. This is after a large crowd tried to block a major Israeli highway, repeatedly ignoring the instructions of the security officials.
This is how it was reported in the Associated Press.
Saturday’s beating of the foreign activist, filmed by another demonstrator as soldiers blocked them from riding bicycles near the West Bank town of Jericho, gave new ammunition to its detractors.
The New York Times ran FOUR images to document the hit that led to the fat lip.
Almost every major media website carried a story about the episode, many with graphic pictures and videos.
Was this incident really deserving of the type of coverage on par with the bombing of civilian neighborhoods in Syria?
Of course not. So why would the mainstream media give it so much attention?
Perhaps because Israel’s critics have become so skilled at manipulating the media that they can turn even relatively minor incidents into international outrages. I am not saying that the officer was justified. Nor am I saying that it was a clear case of self-defense. An investigation will provide all the facts soon enough.
But I am saying that the coverage is completely disproportional.
Consider this for comparison: A Minister in the Palestinian Authority calls for the destruction of Israel in the PA daily news, (documented by Palestinian Media Watch.) Yet I could find no mention of this in the mainstream media.
They didn’t even pay it “lip service.”
Image: CC BY-SA HonestReporting.com, flickr/Katie Brady.