Dutch news show slammed for anti-Israel bias

In one example, reporter of tv station calls Operation Operation Cast Lead a desperate act which was mostly "motivated by the upcoming Israeli elections."

February 23, 2009 22:48
1 minute read.
Dutch news show slammed for anti-Israel bias

gaza city air strike iaf smoke 248 88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])


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The Dutch state-funded news show The Nos Journal intentionally demonized Israel during the last Gaza war, according to an Israel Facts report. Yochanan Visser, a monitor of Dutch media for the Israel Facts organization, spent the entirety of the Gaza war watching The Nos Journal's methods of reporting on Operation Cast Lead. His team's report, published on February 16, said the TV show's journalistic code claimed to "provide impartial and independent news and allow the right of response." But Visser said they had violated this code by "repetitively using terminology, omitting facts and manipulating video footage to portray Israel in the most negative light." Examples of the accusations against the Dutch television program were plentiful, the eight-page report said. On December 24, Nos Journal reporter Sander Van Hoorn was on site in Bethlehem to describe the Christmas preparations while 60 rockets were fired at the Negev. Van Hoorn failed to mention the transfer of control of the city to the Palestinian Authority, claiming Israel's occupation was still in full swing. Two days later, when Operation Cast Lead began, the reporter called it a desperate act that was mostly "motivated by the upcoming Israeli elections." Furthermore, Israel Facts said that after more than a week of television dedicated to Palestinian footage, not a single Israeli spokesperson had had a chance to speak, so the right of response was never granted. On January 6, a so-called expert on Middle East affairs explained on live news that Israel's ban on entering Gaza was to keep reporters away from "dirty business." Visser said this sort of jargon against Israel had become normal as the war progressed. The Israel Facts group concluded that The Nos Journal had violated its own commitments on unbiased reporting and clearly demonized Israel in its depiction of the war in Gaza. This primetime television program, Visser claimed, "fanned the flames of anti-Semitism in The Netherlands." This included an anti-Israel demonstration in Amsterdam, which a Dutch member of Parliament attended and where scores of people chanted, "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!" The Nos Journal refused to respond immediately to the report, saying it required time to investigate all its accusations.

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