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UPDATED: Over 300,000, and Israel STILL isn't a story

Last week I posted a piece about how mainstream media websites did not update their sites with news items about the huge demo taking place on Saturday evening. There were 150,000 protesters on that Saturday.

It’s now 4 hours after this Saturday’s protest. This time it was 350,000 people across Israel. That is 5 percent of the population. That would be the equivalent of 15 million Americans marching in D.C.

And yet, before I go to bed, I’m checking the major sites again. Not the TV – I don’t have cable (can’t afford it). So, I don’t know how the TV news sites are dealing with it. But I checked over a few hours how the New York Times, Guardian, BBC News and Huffington Post sites covered the demo.

Or shall I say, didn’t cover it. The New York Times had an old piece by Ethan Bronner up for most of the day, that was oddly taken down just as the demo started. Also, it’s global edition – which you would think would be more open to coverage – had nothing as well. The site did put up an AP piece, but buried it somewhere in its global section.

The Guardian, during the demo, put up a video of the Tel Aviv tents during the demo. But there was no news update on the site about the amazing numbers, as the demo was happening. The caption on the video, by the way, states that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital (but that could be political…).

The BBC News portal had nothing.

The HuffPo Had nothing.

Just because it’s socio-economic does not mean that when 350,000 people take to the streets, it should not be mentioned as it is happening. It was mentioned when Egyptians took to the streets, and as Spaniards did. And let’s not forget the political implications this has in Israel.

If there were 350,000 people (or 15 million) in D.C. as we speak, right now – would you see it mentioned on the homepage of major news sites? I think so.

Again, to be clear – my critique is not against the ongoing coverage of this revolution. There are more important stories out there today. And there were last week.

But as a breaking story, especially in the days of Twitter, Facebook, and technology of easy-updating and confirming of facts, I find it astounding that these sites did not mention this demo on their homepages.

I’ll check in a few hours, when I wake up, to see if anything’s changed. Hope it won’t be like last week. But even if there is something in the morning, they already failed the “breaking news” test. Big time.

UPDATE:

New York Times – nothing on homepage. There is a piece in the WORLD section, “below the fold”

Guardian: Finally, a link on homepage. 6th story down. I’d say that’s fair – yet still very late.

BBC News: Second story. Very good position, but like the Guardian – very late.

HuffPo: It’s on homepage, way below the fold – but there.

So, to sum up: some improvement, NYT is beyond bizarre, and everyone is late. Oh well, it’s still nice to wake up to a new Israel on your birthday. 🙂

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    COMMENTS

    1. Sumer Abdulaal

      What were they protesting !!?

      Reply to Comment
    2. The print media, as you know, have begun to cover it, but not at all in proper proportion. Particularly when you consider how American and Europeans media traditionally hyperventilate when conflict erupts between Israel/Palestine.

      The cable news in the U.S. is silent. Nothing but crickets.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Dan

      There’s a front-page video on the Guardian site but this focuses primarily on the radical settlers joining the campsite on Rothschild Blvd and is almost offensive in its one-sided coverage (and in that one has to say that the settlers knew exactly what they were doing.)
      And there was a story in the Guardian’s paper edition today about the Jerusalem Post (“Israel’s leading English-language daily”) apologising for using the Norway killings to attack multiculturalism in Europe…

      Reply to Comment
    4. Marion Ries

      French international news channel France 24 has been covering these demos, it’s one of the headlines on their web site. And they also covered the previous one.

      Reply to Comment
    5. The story doesn’t fit the media’s narrative about Israel. So they ignore it.

      As we ALL KNOW, Israel is rich and an economic success story, and the only things Israelis care about is the Palestinians(and how to quash them or not), the military, foreign affairs, and hi-tech. Israelis have no social concerns or problems worth talking about.

      The American media is incredibly shallow, and this story would just add complexity to the simplified view they sell of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Jonas

      tagesschau.de, the homepage of German public television’s news program which is one of the most important media of the country published an article today:
      http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/israel1088.html

      I also read an article covering the protests by Etgar Keret in “Die Zeit” which is a well respected weekly.

      I think this is an extremely interesting development.
      Do you think the protests will influence the conflict with Palestine?

      Reply to Comment
    7. Rachelle Pachtman

      Why no protest in the U.S.? 1. Some kind of deal I know nothing about. 2. The reason for the deal: Coverage might give Americans the idea to protest.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Rachelle Pachtman

      I mean, it might give Americans the inspiration to protest being sold out by their own leaders to the Republicans for the benefit of the wealthiest. You know, “no revenues on the table.”

      Reply to Comment
    9. Elisheva

      MSNBC has a fairly decent report that just went up:

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44046614/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/

      I’m going to second what Sydney said though, the American media doesn’t know how to handle a story that doesn’t fit the set narrative for most topics, and certainly not for Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    10. To be fair the mainstream media didn’t cover the Spanish protests either, or the assembly based greek ones, recently inspired by the spanish movement – basically I think owners everywhere are scared of the potential of real democracy!

      Reply to Comment
    11. from Israel, living in the US

      i too was dissapointed by the same issue.
      only the washington post had an article, when it was still 250 thousand people on the streets. i guess if it doesn’t have to do with the occupation, and financing was the US isn’t interested in it. revolutionary or not

      Reply to Comment
    12. Taoist

      Not front page in Google News, but at least the WaPo, CNN, MSNBC, among the main ones, have some coverage. Haaretz, of course, and then bloggers. The Gray Mare (NYT), Israel’s mouthpiece in the US, has it among many World News, but it has not dedicated one analysis to what it is a cataclysmic event for Israel itself, regardless of its limitations.

      Go, Israelis!! Give them hell!!

      Taoist

      Reply to Comment
    13. annie

      i just checked msnbc’s homepage. in very tiny script there is a column under the heading ‘explore’. there’s a list of 11 stories, 1/2 way down the list is “Quarter-million Israelis march over economy”. but the blockbuster photo is london’s riots. biggest font is ‘Deadliest day for US in 10 years of Afghan war’ next in line something about china and then somalia. if you want to know why israel’s protest is not getting attention (and probably won’t) check haaretz:
      “Netanyahu downplays reports of 300,000 protesters across Israel”. i will probably be accused of anti semitism for saying this but the msm in this country is partial to a rightwing zionist agenda. if bibi downplays it so will they.

      Reply to Comment
    14. annie

      http://www.cnn.com/ cnn homepage nothing/zilch

      http://www.reuters.com/ ..nothing. if you google it you can find it.

      google news homepage has a link to haaretz! “Israel is beginning to celebrate a new independence” by Gideon Levy. hooray!

      http://news.yahoo.com/ nothing

      Reply to Comment
    15. Anne O'Nimmus

      Um, Ami, Tel Aviv is the city that is internationally and officially recognized as the capital of Israel. Since Israel only ever declared itself a state within those portions of the ‘partition plan’ it was allocated. ‘Officially’ all the extra land up to the ’48 line (and now over the ‘green line’) is occupied. Take a look at the documentation.

      Reply to Comment
    16. lidia

      Zionist settlers are disappointed – their Zionist leaders grabbed all Palestine for themselves. The lesser thieves now demand their “fair” share of the loot. How touching! I should cry buckets. Poor colonizers, they got used and not awarded for committing war crimes while in IOF.

      On the other hand, there is a saying – crime does not pays or something like that.

      Reply to Comment
    17. I know another saying, “not the sharpest knife in the drawer” or something like that

      Reply to Comment
    18. lidia

      This comment has been deleted and the user banned from the site

      Reply to Comment
    19. Mitchell Cohen

      a) America just lost 31 of her soldiers in Afghanistan. IMO, this should take priority over even the biggest demonstration in another country.

      b) What is more important? That the demonstrations here influence OUR government to make changes or that they are on the first page of the NY Times?

      Reply to Comment
    20. @Mitchell – it would behoove you to read the post carefully. I admit there are more important stories. But it still should show up on homepage. Somewhere. But hey, good for you – that was a nice knee jerk response without even reading the text!

      Reply to Comment
    21. Mitchell Cohen

      I read the article: “Again, to be clear – my critique is not against the ongoing coverage of this revolution. There are more important stories out there today. And there were last week.” [end of quote from article] and I still say between losing 31 of their best and the ongoing discussion on the economic situation in America, not to mention everything else going on in such a big country as America, not to mention the rest of the world, maybe there is just not enough space for this on the “homepage”. As far as the rest of the countries media you mentioned (BBC HuffPo), I can’t speak for them as I don’t following British politics/news that much….

      Reply to Comment
    22. Did you read my update? In a few outlets there suddenly is some space. Which only proves my point.

      Reply to Comment
    23. Frances

      Happy Birthday, Ami

      Reply to Comment
    24. Ruthie Ed

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14433245

      And on the same day – Syrian government went apeshit at their protesters, Israeli F16’s targeted Hamas military headquaters after another group fired grad rockets, Mubarak is on trial and there are petrol bombs and riots in south London.

      We’re “not the only ones…”

      Reply to Comment
    25. Koshiro

      Israel, as a country, simply isn’t important enough to warrant big news. Its Denmark-sized economy and population simply don’t have that much of an international impact.
      It is disproportionally important as a focal point of trouble in the Middle East. For this reason, events relating to this topic are reported more thoroughly.
      Really, is it such an alien concept that international news media weigh stories by how much impact they have internationally? Or did you harbor the illusion that Israel was as important as Spain, or even Greece?

      Reply to Comment
    26. Leif

      AlJazeera reports from Israel about the demonstrations.

      Reply to Comment
    27. @Koshiro – you take the word “spin” to new levels. Good on ya!

      Reply to Comment
    28. Jerry

      Hope for new elections in Israel?
      Finally, Israelis have woken up from “Bibi’s” (Netanyahu) “right-acid stunning”!

      Yesterday’s demonstrations contributed to the opposition finally felt that they have people supporting a strong criticism of Netanyahu disastrous domestic and foreign policy.

      Perhaps successful opposition to the creation of atmosphere that accelerates a new election.

      In my opinion, we can expect that there will be a crushing blow to the extreme right, including ultra-Orthodox forces.

      התקווה לבחירות חדשות בישראל?
      בסופו של דבר, הישראלים התעוררו מן “של ביבי” (נתניהו) “זכות חומצה מדהים!”

      ההפגנות של אתמול תרמה האופוזיציה סוף סוף הרגשתי שיש להם אנשים התומכים ביקורת חריפה על מדיניות נתניהו מקומיים וזרים אסון.

      אולי התנגדות מוצלח ליצירת אווירה מאיצה בחירות חדשות.

      לדעתי, אנו יכולים לצפות שלא תהיה מכה ניצחת לימין הקיצוני, כולל החרדים כוחות.

      Reply to Comment
    29. Deïr Yassin

      Well sometimes the MSM have strange priorities:
      on the eight o’clock news, the Friday when the bomb went off in Oslo (before we really knew about the massacres of the Labour Youth Campers, I do admit that) the French public television France 2 started out with TWO reports on some f… French biker who won that day’s Tour de France course at l’Alpe d’Huez – first time since the French Revolution in 1789 – so nothing surprises me.
      Still, today the demos in Tel Aviv are on the front-page of the on-line ‘Le Monde’, and has been often the last two weeks. The comments though are another story, and reflect mostly what I feel:
      How come only few Israelis beat the sidewalk when their army kill Palestinians on a daily basis ?? Not to forget the Palestinian villages eradicated to give place to the sidewalks of Tel Aviv.

      Reply to Comment
    30. aristeides

      The protests in Egypt were news because the government opened fire and the square ran with blood. The protests in Tottenham were news because the place went up in flames.

      This is what it takes for the US media to consider an overseas story real news. Or you could get Bar Rafaeli to stand on the streets and take off her top – nipples get tons of coverage.

      Reply to Comment
    31. tenchlion

      Yom holedet sameach, Ami.

      Reply to Comment
    32. Moriel Rothman

      Happy birthday to you! (And possibly to a new Israel?)

      Reply to Comment
    33. Stefan Haack

      Dear Ami,
      i read your post last evening. I am still confused. Here in germany all major newspapers (zeit, spiegel, faz, see links above)and tv news (ar tagesschau, wdr, …) report about the “largest” demonstrations in israel/tel aviv. Most with a report and not only with a small three liner news. why do you need the “homepage” / top story in other countrys ? I think israel is a strong country with stong citizens and a democratic government (the only “working one” in mid east) ? Is the no way for new elections ? No other party to vote ? Only bibi, barak or liberman ? This morning the people here in berlin talk in the cafes about the fincial situation of the usa, a possible new global financial crisis and … that even israel has a lot of economical problems….

      Reply to Comment
    34. Anthony

      Am not that surprised about the lack of coverage: There’s a global economic meltdown unravelling, with the US credit rating getting downgraded and the Euro at risk of collapse, and there’s also more serious protests in Syria etc where thousands have been killed.
      The right-wingers were complaining bitterly about the lack of coverage after the killing of the Fogel family – and ignored the fact it happened the same day as the earthquake in Japan killing 20,000 people and creating fears of a nuclear meltdown.
      Old Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times!

      Reply to Comment
    35. Y.

      Healer, heal thyself.
      .
      Nearly every post in +972 exclusively tries to analyse the protests in terms of I/P and foreign policy alone**. Are they good or bad or irrelevant for the causes of +972? One won’t find economic analysis here.
      .
      It is hypocritical to blame the foreign media for having a similar mindset to +972 of essentially compressing everything to foreign policy (which the protest does not have so far, ergo making it almost a non-story as far as certain foreign media is concerned).
      .
      ** Entertainingly, most of the few posts which do not analyse this in terms of I/P alone are not actually hostile to the government, Nethanyahu or their policies, e.g. blaming foreign Jews buying apartments (Noam) or pointing out the polls aren’t actually bad for the gov (Dehila) and so on.

      Reply to Comment
    36. mikepanzone

      here in the states this past week news of your protests has been overshadowed by all the coverage of texas governor rick perry’s rally attended by 30,000 to “pray for the nations economic woes and repent of putting other things before jesus”… looks like you guys wasted your opportunity to do the same when glenn beck was there 😉

      http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/politics/4972/rick_perry%E2%80%99s_jesus_imperative%3A_a_report_from_saturday%27s_mega-rally

      Reply to Comment
    37. Danny

      @Ami:
      To be perfectly honest, these protests, while commendable, are not all that impressive unfortunately. Exactly what are people protesting? That housing costs are sky high? Big deal! Please don’t compare that with protests against Arab despots who have been brutalizing their own people for more than 30 years. Also, do you think for one instant that these protests will evoke real change in Israel? Don’t make Bibi laugh. What would make these protests interesting is if people began to demand that the government stop wasting their tax money on things like settlement construction. When will Israelis finally throw down the gauntlet on that one?

      Reply to Comment
    38. mariam

      @ami
      i am sorry, this is whiny, narcisstic and wrong
      so you checked three sites and did not find anything? it may occur to you that there are other countries and there is lots of media (if u had checked – different impression maybe(first)
      second… this is important and relevant inside israel… (and i m happy to see you fight neoliberalism)but i agree with danny – do you want to be seen in a line with tahrir? the struggle of the syrians?
      is really the whole israeli society coming together fighting for one cause and for social justice of all the people living there? that would be news
      third – frankly, it sounds like a small kid trying to impress big daddy and mummy but they just won t look (us and gb – really?) do your own thing. don t dare if daddy looks. just do it. also doesn t mean daddy hates you… he s just busy. grow up and take responsibility

      Reply to Comment
    39. @mariam – apparently, through all your arrogance you failed to comprehend my post. I suggest, instead of using the uber-patronizing tone, you practice what you preach and grow up yourself.

      Reply to Comment
    40. mariam

      got u.
      i did not mean you personally growing up though. i think it ll do israelis weigh better to just do their thing, neighter the us nor the us media will do any big thing for israelis. thats what i mean with growing up from this dependancy.

      Reply to Comment
    41. Fred

      Ami, this is simply not a very interesting story outside of Israel. It is essentially a domestic issue, and until or unless it affects the makeup of the Israeli government it is not relevant to most people internationally. That said, I think it has been getting a fair amount of coverage in the US media.

      Reply to Comment
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