Yesterday, the Zionist Federation hosted Emanuel Miller, Senior Analyst at HonestReporting, for a briefing on British media bias during and surrounding Operation Guardian of the Walls in Gaza during May. The ZF recently commissioned HonestReporting to conduct special research on this subject, and yesterday’s briefing was the first time its findings were made public.
Miller and HonestReporting’s key findings were:
- After Palestinian elections were unilaterally cancelled by Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas was desperate to find a way to prove itself as the “true leadership” of the Palestinians. It deliberately started a war to achieve that aim. Yet, with only 3.2% of stories published including this crucial background, British media organisations overwhelmingly overlooked Palestinian violence and intra-Palestinian politics, and the role they played in the lead-up to the fighting in May.
- The British media collectively repeatedly failed to mention the Hamas policy of using civilians as human shields in coverage; just 5.2% of articles referred to the practise.
- Almost half of stories published by British news outlets failed to distinguish between civilians and terrorists killed in Gaza; 49.2%.
Richard P Woolf, Acting Chairman of the Zionist Federation said: “We have long known and understood the pernicious impact of biased and one-sided reporting against Israel in the British and international media. Emanuel Miller and HonestReporting’s important research demonstrates that this is still sadly the case, as well as the impact new media platforms such as TikTok can have on mainstream discourse.
We will continue to advocate for Israel and fair news coverage of the Israeli-Arab Conflict. We are grateful to HonestReporting, and thank them for their excellent work which will doubtless prove its worth in the coming months.”
Emanuel Miller, Senior Analyst at HonestReporting said: “For a long time, many have accused the media in general of bias against Israel. This research grounds those claims in facts.
“The media have a responsibility to report the full story. The evidence unearthed in this study points to an unwillingness by much of the media to properly cover Palestinian violence before and during the course of the eleven day conflict in May. Instead a one-dimensional picture emerged which fixated on Israeli actions, while largely ignoring Palestinian belligerence and war crimes. Whether borne of naiveté or sympathy for the cause of terrorists, the result is the same: Hamas started a war by firing rockets at Jerusalem, but media attention and censure focused on Israel’s actions.
Just because Hamas and other terrorist groups repeatedly hide behind human shields, that doesn’t mean the media are no longer obligated to point out this fact. Quite the opposite. Such fundamental omissions constitute a collective failure of the media to carry out its job.”