CNN headlined a report today on the Middle East beginning with an ineffectual report by their Israeli correspondent Oren Liebermann explaining about the resignation of Israel’s Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman (ironically with the same last name). Nothing was said of the 460 rockets fired at Israel and certainly not the results of those massive attacks.
The anti-tank missile fired at a bus from which 50 soldiers had disembarked just moments before leaving only the bus driver and one soldier injured. The kindergarten devastated, the homes in Ashkelon that received direct hits. And most of all, the terror of hundreds of thousands of families given mere seconds to reach shelter. All this was ignored.
Seconds after Oren Liebermann finished his dispassionate report from Israel, CNN’s Gaza reporter was offered valuable air time during which she focused on the “human” element of the “suffering” there in Gaza. They showed a building and a mother and young child walking through to a nursery school room that was damaged as a result of an Israeli attack.
Yes, the reporter pointed out that no one was hurt in the attack and that the building was directly attached to another building which it seemed to her, was the primary target. Why was that building a target? What was there? And why was a nursery school built adjacent to a primary target? Questions not asked.
The child’s quiet behavior was not attributed to being in a room with strangers and cameras but to her being sad about the state of her nursery class.
And then, while Oren Liebermann did not interview any Israelis about what they are feeling, nor did he mention the human side of Hamas’ relentless attacks, CNN spent more time discussing the feelings of Gazans. They are experiencing, said the reporter, “defiant resignation.” They are resigned, the reporter told us, to Israel’s bombings.
Nothing about what triggered those “bombings” – which would be the 460 rockets fired into our cities. Nothing about the fact that in all of Israel’s retaliatory strikes, not ONE civilian in Gaza was hurt, never mind killed. While in Israel, over 100 civilians were hospitalized and one man was killed.
For the five days, I have been forced to suffer CNN. I am in Germany at a conference. Slim pickings on the television in my hotel room and I’m forced to get my news through the Internet or watch Al Jazeera, French English news, or CNN. I can’t keep the television on for more than a few minutes without closing it in anger and disgust.
When did journalism hit such lows? Endless self-glorification by CNN, meaningless reporting of insignificant events around the world, skilled praise based not on actions but how much money that country or its people filtered in to CNN. And endless twisting when it comes to reports on the Middle East.
Few here at the conference, as dependent as I might have been without keying in to Israeli media, know little of the horrific bombing of Israel this week. Those that do are sympathetic and angry for Israel. Numerous emails offering support and an offer to cancel a session I’m presenting here if I feel the need to go home…a home under attack.
A few days outside of Israel, watching the manipulations of CNN as an example, explains why Israel lacks support in much of Europe. How can people possibly understand when a simple and clear event is so badly portrayed. Even the initial Israeli operation is boiled down to the deaths of 7 Palestinians rather than the truth that 7 Hamas terrorists were eliminated. Innocent blood was not spilled in Gaza this time and still CNN and others focused on the rubble of Gaza (without mentioning, of course, the military structure that had been flattened).
As I leave Germany, on a professional level, I take many insights into my industry with me. The conference as a resounding success yet again. And as I leave, on a personal and national level, I also take many insights with me. Israel’s government has failed, on too many fronts, to fight the war that never ends. On a military level, we have strengthened our enemies and weakened our defenses by allowing them to test Iron Dome and walk away feeling victorious. The government has kindly informed Hamas that so long as they are quick enough to beg for a ceasefire, it will be granted. Even, oh my God, EVEN after a relentless and brutal attack in which 460 rockets (at least) were fired directly at our civilians.
And, the government continues to allow world press a free hand in misrepresenting what happened –in real time, and in the hours that follow. Oren Liebermann’s reporting was a disgrace. He can surely be praised as being an excellent CNN reporter, if nothing else. But where are the human reports of Israeli suffering? Why doesn’t the world hear of our children?
Citizen journalism is alive and well in Israel. Friends in the south write but does the world hear? These are the words of one mother, Miriam Lottner, who writes what CNN never bothered to report:
Heading to sleep tonight, reminding myself to sleep and rest, but not really sleep. I might have 45 seconds to get into our missile shelter at some point tonight, and we all know what a home destroyed by a Grad rocket looks like…it happened in Beersheva just a few weeks ago.
I can hear fighter jets whine in the distance, and can imagine the family of every soldier on the border, who must be praying and hoping and believing better times will come. Will they sleep tonight? Probably not.
I sent my own children off to bed tonight and didn’t say a word about “what if there is a siren”….because they’ve been raised in Israel’s South…they already know.
But I have butterflies in my stomach, because, well, I’m human. I have to wake up — if and when — in a flash, and that means not really sleeping. I have to protect my children from the insanity of an enemy that wants to wipe us off the map, toss us into the sea, rip our hearts from our bodies, and publicizes these sick, vile goals freely and without embarrassment. Then they get love from the West as “freedom fighters”.
We are only human and we too have the right to have our stories told…unless you watch CNN, that is.