In a landmark ruling, a French court has found that country’s leading paper, Le Monde, guilty of ‘racist defamation’ against Israel and the Jewish People.While this is an encouraging sign that Europe is waking up to the vitriolic anti-Israel content in its media, it’s disturbing to note that this important ruling received almost no media coverage – in Europe or the U.S. None of the major wire agencies, and none of the major American news outlets (with one notable exception) has carried this story.
The French case focused upon a particularly troubling 2002 Le Monde article, ‘Israel-Palestine: The Cancer’, that described the Jews as ‘a contemptuous people taking satisfaction in humiliating others… imposing their unmerciful rule.’ Tom Gross notes in a Wall Street Journal article that while the Le Monde piece was bad, it was
no worse than thousands of other news reports, editorials, commentaries, letters, cartoons and headlines published throughout Europe in recent years, in the guise of legitimate and reasoned discussion of Israeli policies.
Gross cites more examples of the hateful anti-Israel and anti-Jewish material filling European media, including these editorial cartoons:
GREECE – Ethnos, April 7, 2002
IDF soldier: “Don’t feel guilty, brother.
We were not in Auschwitz and Dachau to suffer, but to learn”
ITALY - Panorama, front page, April 4, 2002
Baby Jesus: ‘Surely they don’t want to kill me again?!’
GREECE - Eleftherotypia, April 1, 2002
‘HOLOCAUST II’: ‘War machine of Sharon is attempting
a new Holocaust, a new genocide’
Earlier this year, a US State Department report on global anti-Semitism found a significant increase of European incidents. European media was found partly culpable in the report:
These media attacks can lack any pretext of balance or even factual basis and focus on the demonization of Israel.
The recent French court ruling against Le Monde is an important opportunity for HR subscribers to publicize this problem of anti-Israel media bias in the European media.
1) Write a letter to the editor, noting the French ruling, the State Dept. anti-Semitism report, and the general problem of European anti-Israel media bias. Use some of the examples provided above.
2) Contact your local editor directly, requesting a reprint of Gross’ Wall Street Journal article.
Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.