The 5 Best Articles of 2012

I don’t want to let the curtain fall on 2012 without acknowledging that sometimes, Big Media gets the story right. While looking over content for the 2012 Dishonest Reporter Awards, I promised myself I’d follow up with a positive list. It’s my own subjective list, and I invite you to post your own list of articles in the comments section.

The fact that I limited this list to the top five (with some honorable mentions) isn’t a reflection of any paucity of good articles, commentaries, and videos. I just think five is enough. So in no particular order:

1. Arab Like Me

Lee Habeeb recalls the backlash he got for writing a pro-Israel column in a college newspaper. But he didn’t back down.

We are not a universal group. But some of us believe in a simple universal truth: that every Arab deserves to live in freedom, wherever he or she might call home. Some of us want Arab countries to be more like America and Israel, places where the individual can flourish.

Say those words to many Arabs and they are shocked and angered. Soon, words like imperialist are thrown about, and the subject turns to Israel. Always, it seems, it turns to Israel.

2. Witness: Jerusalem SOS

Al-Jazeera profiles Jewish and Arab volunteer medics working together in Jerusalem.

3. For the Life of Yahya

You’ll be inspired by the Boston Globe’s story of a six year-old Palestinian boy and his life-saving kidney transplant.

4. Calvinball in Cairo

Masterfully using Calvin and Hobbes as a metaphor, Foreign Policy’s Marc Lynch explains the Egyptian revolution.

For those who don’t remember Bill Watterson’s game theory masterpiece, Calvinball is a game defined by the absence of rules — or, rather, that the rules are made up as they go along. Calvinball sometimes resembles recognizable games such as football, but is quickly revealed to be something else entirely. The rules change in mid-play, as do the goals . . . The only permanent rule is that the game is never played the same way twice. Is there any better analogy for Egypt’s current state of play?

5. Arab Spring and the Israeli Enemy

Abdulateef Al-Mulhim, a retired Saudi navy commodore, made waves asserting that Arab hatred of Israel is misguided. This was republished in several papers.

The Arab world wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of innocent lives fighting Israel, which they considered is their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they never recognized. The Arab world has many enemies and Israel should have been at the bottom of the list. The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, lack of good education, lack of good health care, lack of freedom, lack of respect for the human lives and finally, the Arab world had many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own people.

These dictators’ atrocities against their own people are far worse than all the full-scale Arab-Israeli wars.

Honorable mention

As described by The Lede, someone cut together a 2009 CNN interview with Asma Assad (denouncing the IDF during the Gaza War) with footage from the Syrian bombardment of Homs:

The First Lady of Syria Discusses Death in Homs

Ireland was a hotbed of BDS, but the Irish Times published a notable voice of reason:

Why the cultural boycott of Israel is a blunt and backward instrument

Mark Steyn nails Big Media’s “four stages” of handling the Toulouse massacre:

Lather, Rinse, and Repeat