Five Media Spins to Watch for During Obama VisitMarch 20, 2013 17:40 by Alex Margolin
The events of the Arab Spring in a place like Egypt, or the Arab Winter in areas such as Syria and Libya, should have closed the book on the argument that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the key to all Middle East affairs.
As one Arab state after another saw its citizens rise up against their oppressive leaders, the real problems at the heart of the Arab world were revealed, and they had nothing to do with Israel.
Some media outlets, however, refuse to give up on the long-held belief that solving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians will have a ripple effect on the rest of the region. Haaretz put its own twist on the issue, opining that with the instability in Syria and beyond,
the long held view that the Israeli-Palestinian track can become an instrument for calming the area, soothing antagonism towards the U.S and even assisting in the formation of a U.S.-led anti-Iranian coalition, is bound to become doubly attractive.
World leaders, including Jordan’s King Abdullah, are also reluctant to give up on the idea.
It wouldn’t be surprising if some media attempt to link Obama’s visit with the view that reviving the peace process has global implications. It will be harder for them to prove, however, how peace between Israel and the Palestinians will calm the civil war in Syria.
5. Over-hyping tensions between Obama and Netanyahu.
It’s no secret that relations between Obama and Netanyahu have been cool at best, and even somewhat hostile at times.
But despite the obvious tensions between the two in the past, it’s still possible for the media to overplay the issue. Allies have disagreements over policy,but it’s not for the media to sensationalize the issue for the sake of higher newspaper sales.
The Obama administration has been careful to avoid pressuring Netanyahu publicly on peace or Iran, at least during the run-up to the visit. To focus on past relations between the two leaders as one of the main story lines of the visit would be lazy journalism.
Don’t let the press distort the meeting between Netanyahu and Obama so that it fits one of the pre-packaged narratives peddled by the media. And if you see any of the above news spins, be sure to lodge your complaint with the news outlet.