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Oops? Israeli news site reports ISIS 'threat' to win Eurovision

The song, ‘Death to the West,’ ‘sounds quite thematically heavy, but I’m sure audiences the world over will love the uplifting chorus,’ the all-too-serious report quotes an all-too-made-up Islamic State spokesperson saying.

By Oren Persico

Ahead of the Eurovision singing contest slated to take place in Sweden later this month, “NRG”, a major news outlets in Israel, published an article on “all of the fears” the popular televised event is raising in Israel, Europe and beyond.

Among a number of very real threats listed in the article was one allegedly posed by ISIS. Not a threat to attack the singing contest with violence — a threat by the Islamic State to win the Eurovision.

“We checked to see how Israeli and Swedish security officials are preparing for the event and we found that ISIS is already prepared with a song of their own,” read the sub-headline of the article, authored by the website’s culture correspondent Edo Dagan.

The article, which discussed widespread anger over changes in the singing contest’s format this year, went on to say: “Even the Islamic State organization ISIS is fuming over the planned changes to the voting system in this year’s Eurovision.”

According to the report, a “propaganda official” in the Islamic State organization made an announcement about “the song that will represent it in the Eurovision.”

The song, Dagan reported, is called “Death to the West,” and is “a power ballad in the vein of Leona Lewis’s global hit Bleeding Love – although instead of lyrics about finding love again after a painful heartbreak, they deal with the establishment of a single, global state under a specific interpretation of Islamic rule.”

The article goes on to quote an ISIS spokesperson who notes that “the song itself sounds quite thematically heavy, but I’m sure audiences the world over will love the uplifting chorus. Either way, it still stands a much greater chance of winning than the British entry.”

Of course, as journalist Uriah Canaff quickly realized, the NRG report about the ISIS song is based on an article from the British satirical website “The Poke,” whose slogan is “time ell wasted.”

At the time of publication, NRG had not yet made a correction on its unwittingly spoofed article, which had been online for a full week.

This article was first published in Hebrew on The 7th...

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Only 2% of interviewees in Israeli media are Arab, new index finds

Since the ‘Representation Index’ was launched, however, that number has gone up — dramatically. The index also tracks whether Arabs are interviewed in positive or negative contexts.

By Oren Persico

Only a month after being launched, a new initiative aimed at fostering more fair and equal representation and coverage of Arab citizens in Israeli media has had a dramatic, positive impact on the number of Arab experts interviewed on Israeli television and radio broadcasts.

The “Representation Index,” an initiative of Sikkuy, the Berl Katznelson Foundation and “The Seventh Eye” website, revealed that even though one of every five Israelis is Arab, the percentage of Arab interviewees in the main Israeli media is a mere 2-3 percent, sometimes even less. Removing members of Knesset from the equation, Arab representation drops to 1.5 percent. The index, which monitors radio and television news broadcasts, has been published every week since March 1.

The index provides quantitative and qualitative analysis of Arab citizens of Israel who are interviewed on leading news and current affairs programs on three major Israeli television channels (1, 2 and 10), and on radio stations IDF Radio (Galei Tzahal) and Reshet Bet.

Data collected in the first three months of the project revealed that since March 1 there has been a significant increase in the number of Arab experts interviewed in the Israeli media. Whereas in January there were 29 interviews with Arab experts on the five leading Israeli television stations, and in February there were 31, during March, after the publication of the first findings of the Representation Index, the number of Arab experts interviewed increased to 51 — 1.7 times more than the earlier months.

The index also monitors the framing and context of every interview, and notes the number of Arab experts interviewed about the topic of their expertise on each program. For instance, it includes in-depth findings that assess which of the interviewees were interviewed simply because they are Arabs and which were interviewed because their area of expertise was relevant to the topic or issue being discussed.

For example, an eyewitness to a car accident that took place in a majority Arab area of the country isn’t considered to be an “expert.” By contrast, a sociologist specializing in youth delinquency who is interviewed regarding her professional views on violence among Israeli youth is defined as an expert. Arab MKs, among the most popular Arab interviewees...

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Searching for incitement in Palestinian mosques — harder than you think

Channel 10 News wanted so badly to prove that Muslim preachers in Israel and the occupied territories use their Ramadan sermons to incite against Jews. Something went wrong along the way. 

By Anat Saragusti

“Incitement in Mosques.” That was the headline of a campaign that ran on Israel’s Channel 10 News this week, and which featured the station’s Arab affairs correspondent, Zvi Yehezkeli.

The promo spots, like all of the teasers in the broadcast, were frightening, including dramatic background music, photos of ISIL, and sermons about jihad, mujahadin, Al-Aqsa and other words likely to send any Israeli Jew running into the bomb shelter. The campaign gave the impression that ISIL is amassing on our borders and Yehezkeli is the true prophet, here to lay the facts before us.

Following a wave of ISIL terror attacks across the world at the start of Ramadan, Channel 10 News decided to take a look at what’s happening here — just how much of ISIL’s ideology is percolating into the Arab public in Israel and the territories. “We mapped all of the mosques in Israel and listened,” Yehezkeli tells his viewers, two days before the feature was broadcast. One day before the premier, he gave us another sweetener, this time a clip from the show itself, the subtext of which was: everything you think about Islam is right — it’s dark, scary, threatening, hateful and inciting.

And then the piece itself was broadcast. It was no coincidence that they called it a “special project.” Twenty minutes is considered an eternity in television news. For the show, Yehezkeli wore black clothes, a black cap and shot his stand-ups with mosques in the background. I tried to pick out the wheat from the chaff. Here are a few takeaways from all of the facts in the night of sermons, music, threatening shots, Yehezkeli himself’s rather frightening transitions.

The sentence, “we mapped all of the mosques in Israel,” was, how shall we put it, extremely imprecise. Channel 10’s special project looked at 15 out of hundreds of mosques spread across Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. That’s pretty far from constituting “all of the mosques.”

The bottom line: most of the sermons were “boring” according to Yehezkeli, dealing mainly with issues of religion and spirituality. “This does not represent all the mosques,” he says at the end of his report. Many of the preachers...

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Supreme Court: 'Fascist' Im Tirzu case had no standing

Supreme Court rules that the right-wing ‘Im Tirzu’ movement had no basis to sue a group of Facebook activists who labeled it ‘fascist.’

By Oren Persico

“It pains me to say so, but this suit contradicts this court’s fundamentals regarding the scope of freedom of speech, whereas we are speaking of the heart of the political-ideological sphere on one end, and on the other end we have another consideration, where this discussion took place — on Facebook — rather than a book or an article in a newspaper. When we take into consideration these two aspects, the result is so trivial that is it difficult to believe that you didn’t consider that your appeal will be rejected.” That is what Supreme Court Justice Yitzhak Amit told Im Tirzu’s attorney during a hearing on the appeal filed by the group against the founders of a Facebook group titled, “Im Tirzu is a fascist movement.” “The truth,” Justice Amit added, “is that your appeal should have been rejected out of hand.”

The hearing, which was heard by a three-judge panel that also included justices Anat Baron and Meni Mazuz, was on an appeal filed by both sides, against the Jerusalem District Court’s previous ruling. Roy Yellin, one of the founders of the group, appealed the district court’s decision, which fined him for libel after he published a Facebook comment tying Im Tirzu to scientific racism. The remaining defendants in the original lawsuit filed by Im Tirzu (for NIS 2.3 million), asked the court to force the organization to pay their legal costs. For its part, Im Tirzu appealed the court’s ruling that the “Im Tirzu is a fascist movement” Facebook group did not constitute libel.

Im Tirtzu has become known over the past several years for their attacks on left-wing academics and organizations. It launched a personal campaign against the head of the NIF, Naomi Chazan in the wake of Operation Cast Lead, campaigned against academics who taught courses about the Palestinian narrative of 1948, and led the campaign to shut down the political science department in Ben Gurion University. Im Tirtzu was also behind the attempt to scare the Eretz Yisrael Museum from hosting the annual ‘Return Conference,’ an event put on by the non-profit Zochrot, which works to promote awareness of the Nakba in Israeli society.

At the end of the court hearing, both sides agreed with the Supreme Court’s decision that...

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Reporting in the line of duty

Channel 10’s veteran military analyst rides along with a unit that goes undercover as Palestinians, taking a shot at embedded reporting. The result has very little to do with journalism.

By Nir Gontarz

Television journalists generally bring a videographer with them when they report from the field. Embarrassingly enough, the person who filmed veteran reporter Alon Ben-David’s recent report on Channel 10 about Border Police who go undercover as Palestinians (“Mistaravim” in Hebrew) was actually a cameraman from the Israel Police’s spokesperson’s unit.

When a journalist goes on a paid junket or any assignment that is sponsored and organized by an entity that is not his or her news outlet, it’s customary to disclose the arrangement to the reader or viewer. It’s called full disclosure, something along the lines of: “The reporter has been a guest of Toyota Israel,” or “The reporter has been a guest of the Georgian Foreign Ministry.”

Ben-David should have disclosed to his viewers that he was a guest of the police spokesperson, and if any restrictions were placed on him — to disclose them, too. For instance, did he commit to not asking his interviewees challenging questions that might, perhaps, bring up ethical or moral issues? And if no restrictions were imposed on him, why did he nonetheless choose not to make any disclosure?

Ben-David — a news presenter and military and security analyst – made a downright promotional piece, in which he painted a completely one-sided picture, devoid of any journalistic content. The veteran reporter, who never stopped flattering the arrest raid and assassination unit, chose not to ask the soldiers what it feels like to make extrajudicial arrests of civilians, or to break into a family home in the middle of the night based on shady information.

Under the cover of darkness, Ben-David accompanied the “Mistaravim” on an arrest raid, which we don’t know why they carried out, and in which as far as we can tell from the footage, the “undercover” officers showed up at the site of the arrest dressed in full uniforms — and not in civilian attire. After blowing off the front door of the home, the disabled suspect is arrested and put into a car. Ben-David doesn’t feel the need to tell his viewers what evidence emanated from the suspect’s interrogation, whether he was brought before a judge, whether his remand was extended, whether he was indicted,...

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When even Israel's sports reporters ignore Palestinians

It turns out that only threatening measures by the Palestinian Authority make the Israeli media notice Palestinian athletes.

By Asaf Marziano

A “blind spot” is a kind of built-in flaw in the human eye. This spot exists for all of us, meaning that our view of the world will always lack that certain spot. Because our mind has mechanisms that allow us to complete the picture based on prior knowledge about the world, we are able to see a complete, continuous picture. It is understood that this picture will match what we know about the world, and not the the picture of the world as it really is.

On Friday March 27, Bethlehem held the third annual Palestine Marathon. Over 3,000 runners participated, including Palestinians and Israelis. However, many Gaza runners were not allowed to exit the Strip and participate. Since Bethlehem does not have any 42.2-kilometer route that does not include an Israeli checkpoint or roadblock, the marathon organizers were resigned to designing a circular route. Aside from +972, it’s Hebrew sister site Local Call and Haaretz, which reported on the event from a political perspective, it was not covered by any other Hebrew-language Israeli media outlet, especially not those that cover sports.

Three days after the marathon, Palestinian Football Association (PFA) chief Jibril Rajoub called on FIFA to suspend Israel from international competition for preventing Palestinians from Gaza from taking part in sporting events in Gaza, among other things. The incident was covered by most of the sports sections in Israel, although none of them provided a real explanation or even general background for the PFA’s claims, which were presented as political trickery. However, despite the proximity between the marathon and Rajoub’s call, the former was not mentioned. I tend to believe that these reporters really didn’t know about the event, but shouldn’t they have known in the first place?

When Israeli tennis star Shahar Pe’er participated in a tournament in Dubai, despite the difficulties placed on her by the organizers, the incident was widely discussed in the sports media. The media debate was mostly based on the agreement that sport must be a-political. Therefore, how can it even be possible that a tennis player is prevented from participating in a tournament solely because she is Israeli? After all, she has been training all year long, and what do politics have to...

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The IDF unmasks an anonymous source — itself

Security agencies in Israel love to give reporters information without attribution, refusing to stand behind what they say. Every once in a while, they publish the same information on their official websites.

By Ido Kenan

In July 2011, a year after the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident, in which passengers attacked Israeli forces who then killed 10 of them, Turkish organization IHH planned a second flotilla to Gaza. In an attempt to preempt the second flotilla, the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, approved the transfer of medical equipment donated by the Turkish Red Crescent to Gaza. At the same time, somebody was trying to do away with Israel’s responsibility for the medical crisis in Gaza, and announced that, “coordination of the transfer of the Turkish aid is taking place on a daily basis and not because of the medical supply crisis in Gaza, which is a result of the internal Palestinian conflict in its medical system, to which Israel is not party.”

Who is behind that claim? On Israel’s Arutz 7, for example, the quote was attributed to a “military source.” Israel’s Channel 10 published the claim in its own words, without any quotation marks, and preceded by, “the IDF explained.” Originally, the quote was sent to journalists by the IDF under the contradictory classification of “OTR – In the reporter’s name.” As Rafi Mann explained on The 7th Eye website in an article on the rules of attributing information to sources (Hebrew), “In the reporter’s name” is equivalent to the American term “Deep Background,” a ground rule under which you may publish the information, but without attributing it to the source who gave it to you; OTR, or off the record, is information that is intended only for the journalist’s ears, and not for publication. On the surface of things, both news outlets broke the rules — they published the quote, and thereby broke the OTR rule; and they attributed it to a military source, thereby breaking the ‘in the reporter’s name’; rule.”

Security agencies in Israel love to give journalists information on the condition that they not be identified as the source. Ran Binyamini wrote about it on The 7th Eye in 2006 (Hebrew): “Every once in a while the Shin Bet sends journalists messages through the IDF Spokesperson under the strange headline, ‘information in...

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IDF: Nothing illegal in Gaza strike that killed three journalists

The chief military prosecutor investigates the IDF’s killing of three journalists and finds that ‘the [mortar] fire was carried out in accordance with Israeli and international law,’ in response to intensive fire toward IDF troops.

By Oren Persico

IDF Military Advocate General Danny Efroni decided not to open a criminal investigation into the killing of three journalists, among others, during Operation Protective Edge last summer, according the IDF prosecutor.

On July 30, 2014, IDF forces shelled the market area of the Shejaiya neighborhood in Gaza. Rami Rayan, 26, who reportedly worked as a cameraman for Gaza-based news agency PNJM, was killed on the spot in the shelling. Muhammad al-Diri, 26, who also worked as a cameraman for the same news agency, was wounded and died a few days later. Same al-Ariyan, 28, who worked as a presenter on Hamas’s television station Al-Aqsa, was also wounded in the shelling and died hours later.

Since the end of “Protective Edge,” the IDF General Staff, led by Gen. Noam Tivon, has been reviewing various incidents in which it is suspected that IDF soldiers broke the law. Roughly six months ago, the IDF Prosecutor announced [Hebrew] that the General Staff had examined a different incident, in which Gaza journalist Hamed Shaheb was killed, and reached the conclusion that there was no evidence Shaheb indeed worked as a journalist. It added that his vehicle was bombed because it was transporting weaponry.

At the same time, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) identified the journalists who were killed during the operation and reached the conclusion that some of them were terror operatives [Hebrew]. However, also according to the ITIC, the three journalists killed by IDF shelling on July 30 in the market area of Shejaiya were working as journalists at the time they were hit. Additionally, despite the fact that one of them was employed by a Hamas media organization, there was no evidence found that the three were involved in terrorism.

The IDF Prosecutor this week published the findings of the General Staff review of the events of July 30. The findings show that the three journalists were not killed while documenting civilians shopping in the market, as was reported in the Palestinian media. Instead, the review found, they were bombed as they arrived to film the bombing of a family home adjacent...

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'Israel Hayom' and Netanyahu's shared fear of Arab voters

The prime minister’s gravest allegation against those working against his re-election is that they are trying to raise voter participation among Arab citizens of Israel. ‘Israel Hayom,’ meanwhile, has decided that Arab voters’ opinions just don’t count.

By Oren Persico

“Millions of shekels from overseas — to raise voter participation for the Left and the Arabs,” was the main headline last week on Israel Hayom, the newspaper funded by millions of shekels from overseas. The headline was a quote from an interview with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the newspaper’s edition that day.

Not the danger of Iranian nuclear proliferation, not the controversy surrounding Netanyahu’s Congress speech, not criticism of Netanyahu’s political challengers Isaac Herzog or Tzipi Livni. Of all the quotes in the interview, Israel Hayom’s editors (read more about the newspapers ties to the prime minister here) chose to focus on the warning about high voter turnout among leftists and Arabs.

The quote in the main headline of the newspaper, which is distributed for free to over half a million people, summarizes the prime minister’s long answer to the question of whether Herzog and Livni will become prime ministers in a rotation agreement:

There is a coalition being driven by hidden actors, whose goal is to oust the Likud from power and to replace it with a left-wing government. This is not the “just not Bibi” coalition, which we are familiar with. I’m talking about other forces, much larger, that include millions of shekels from overseas, along with consultants and others in order to accomplish two things: to raise turnout among voters on the Left on a much larger scale than what exists today, and massive turnout among Arab voters [on election day].

These are well-funded organizations that can bring the number of Arab [Knesset] seats up to 16 and decide the elections. The strategy is clear: bring leftist voters to the polls and to raise voter participation in the Arab public to unprecedented levels. That’s how they believe they can break the Likud’s rule and boost the left-wing parties. That’s the main effort, the hidden [effort], of the most significant influence, which has already affected the polls. It presents a very real danger that the Likud and I might not lead the next government.

[Livni] and [Herzog] are first of all hiding Livni and after that they...

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Liberman to head of Joint List: You're not wanted here

Why is it that neither the debate host nor the heads of the other political parties stopped the foreign minister as he alluded to the expulsion of one out of every five Israelis?

By Oren Persico

When does staying silent become collaboration? Last Thursday, Channel 2 hosted a debate between the heads of all the major parties (aside from Netanyahu and Herzog). During the debate, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Liberman directed some pretty harsh language against Joint List head Ayman Odeh.

Liberman claimed that Odeh and his friends in the Joint List represent terrorist organizations and said they should be put on trial for incitement and sedition, in light of Odeh calling on young Arabs not to participate in Israel’s national service. When Odeh remarked that Arabs represent 20 percent of Israel’s citizens, Liberman responded, “for now.” Liberman continued referring to Odeh as a “fifth column” throughout the debate.

(Watch Liberman in Hebrew here.)

The following day, host Yonit Levy received much praise over her ability to keep the debate orderly and navigate a complex situation under previously-established rules. However, in the moments of truth, Levy remained almost entirely silent. It was close to the end, when every party head got the chance to ask another a question. Liberman used his time to turn to Ayman Odeh (without mentioning his name) and ask him the following questions:

Why are you in this studio rather than a studio in Gaza? Why are you running for the Israeli Knesset instead of being elected in Ramallah? Why are you even here. You are not wanted here. You are a Palestinian citizen, you identify as Palestinian, so go to Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] — he will pay your salary, your unemployment benefits, your convalescence, your laziness benefits.

Despite the fact that the party heads interrupted one another constantly, when Liberman told Odeh, “you are not wanted here,” no one cut him off. Not Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon (who condemned Liberman’s words later on in the debate), not Yesh Atid leader Yair “Zoabis” Lapid, not any of the other six Jewish elected officials who took part in the debate. No one said “stop it.” No one made clear that such rhetoric is unacceptable. The only person who responded to Liberman was host Yonit Levy, who only mae a factual correction: “He is an Israeli citizen, Mr. Liberman.”

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All but one Israeli news site gives prominence to Zoabi attack

Out of the main Israeli news websites, only Ynet decides to play down its coverage of the attack on MK Haneen Zoabi.

By Oren Persico

As opposed to all the other major Israeli news sites, only Ynet decidedly toned down on its homepage Tuesday’s attack on Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi, according to The Seventh Eye’s media survey.

The incident occurred around noon on Tuesday at a political conference attended by female members of Knesset, including Zoabi. During the attack, a right-wing activist poured juice on Zoabi’s face, while Joint List spokesperson Emilie Moatti was hit over the head with a flagpole. Most of the Israeli news sites responded quickly to the event, giving placing it prominently on their respective home-pages. After all, it’s not every day that a member of Knesset is attacked in front of dozens of cameras.

Mako, affiliated with Channel 2, put the attack as their top story at 12:15 p.m. (“Water and shoving: MKs attacked at elections conference”). At 1:30 p.m. the headline was changed to reflect the fact that Zoabi was the one attacked. The article remained as the top story until 4:15 p.m.

The Walla! News site published a piece on the incident as its top story at 12:30 p.m. The site published a photo of Zoabi cleaning her face 15 minutes later. The story remained in the top slot until 4:30 p.m., and was followed by a piece on the attorney general’s instructions to probe far-right politician Baruch Marzel, who praised the attack.

Ma’ariv’s website, owned by The Jerusalem Post, also put the story up top at 12:30 p.m., with the headline, “Watch fight at women’s conference: Water bottle poured on Zoabi.” The headline was later changed to reflect that the water was, in fact, juice. The article remained in the top spot until 3:45 p.m.

Nana10, affiliated with Channel 10, put its article up at 1 p.m., although it didn’t make the top spot. An hour later, the editor changed the order of the articles on the site and the attack on Zoabi hit the top, staying there until 3:45 p.m.

The Haaretz website published an article relatively late, at 1:30 p.m., although it did give it prime real estate, mentioned Marzel’s incitement and remained there until 4 p.m.

NRG, which is owned by Israel Hayom, didn’t put the Zoabi piece as its top story. The article went up at 1 p.m. under...

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'The media makes Israeli Jews ignorant of Arab society'

How much do this country’s Jews really know about Arab society, especially around election time? The head of the Mossawa Center, Jafar Farah, says Israelis have only their media to blame for their ignorance.

By Oren Persico

The last attempt by the Mossawa Center to ensure fair representation for the Arab population in Israel’s news coverage during the election season seems to have failed. Much like all its previous attempt.

Two months ago, the center, which works to protect the rights of Israel’s Arab citizens, sent a letter to the chairman of the Central Elections Committee, as well as dozens of media outlets, asking them to ensure fair representation of the Arab population. Most of those who received the letter did not bother responding.

Jafar Farah, who heads Mossawa, doesn’t sound like someone who pinned his hopes on any big change taking place in the way the media covers the Arab population and its political representatives. As someone who has been let down by the Israeli media, Farah describes how Mossawa sends this letter every election season, and how every election season the coverage of the Arab population is nearly zero — especially when considering the fact that the Arab population is 20 percent of the population.

“This time we sent them not only a request, but also a long list of analysts, experts, academics, women in city councils — including phone numbers. They cannot say “we don’t have anything.” But they do nothing. Aside from [Joint List leader] Ayman Odeh, Ahmad Tibi and Labor’s Zoher Bahalul, we do not know of any Arab politicians who have been invited by the media as guests.”

As proof of the poor coverage, Farah mentions a poll published earlier this week in Haaretz. The poll sought to find out how much coverage the media has given to every party head over the past few weeks. The result? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was number one At the tail end of the coverage, after Eli Yishai and Aryeh Deri, who were given 3 percent of the total coverage, came Rabbi Yaakov Litzman of United Torah Judaism and Odeh.

Mossawa head Jafar Farah. (screenshot)

Odeh, we must remember, is slated to stand at the head...

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Only Israel's public TV gives equal coverage to Arab Joint List

Despite polling better in than mid-sized Jewish parties, the Israeli media is simply paying less attention to the Arab Joint List.

By Oren Persico

Israel’s public television, Channel 1, is devoting more time to reporting on the Joint Arab List running for Israel’s Knesset than the country’s other commercial television news channels, a survey of medium-sized political parties’ public relations events in recent weeks showed.

On January 15 former minister and Kulanu party head Moshe Kahlon announced the makeup of his list of candidates. Israel’s Channel 2 budgeted a minute and a half to its report, including a live report from the tent in which Kahlon held his event. In a poll reported in the very same newscast, Kahlon was predicted to receive eight Knesset seats. The same night, Channel 10 made Kahlon’s event its headline story. A survey presented on that newscast gave Kahlon 10 seats. Channel 10’s live coverage of Kahlon’s event started 18 minutes into the newscast, lasted around a minute and included the names and faces of all of the party’s candidates. Channel 1’s broadcast also went back and forth, live, to Kahlon’s speech for around two consecutive minutes.

On Janary 26, Yair Lapid announced the list of his party’s candidates. Channel 2 carried around two minutes of the event live, including selections of Lapid’s speech, and visually presented the candidates. A poll published on Channel 2’s newscast that night predicted that Lapid would win nine seats. Channel 10’s broadcast that night was fairly similar: a live broadcast from the event (starting 16 minutes into the show), presented the candidates’ names and faces, and clips of Lapid’s speech. Channel 1 also had live coverage of the event, including the presentation of the party’s candidates’ names and part of Lapid’s speech. The segment lasted around a minute and a half.

On January 23, Arab parties Ra’am-Ta’al, Balad and Hadash announced that they would run together as part of the Joint List and presented their candidates at an event in Nazareth. Aside from the symbolic unification event, the parties joining together was a newsworthy event in and of itself and is innovative as far as Israeli politics are concerned. A ‘Maariv’ poll published the same day gave the Joint List 11 seats.

Read also: At Joint list launch, a glimmer of hope against incitement, racism

Channel 2’s flagship Friday night newscast devoted all of 30 seconds to the...

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