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Bias against Israel in CNN

Israel complains CNN has Palestinian bias

Greer Fay Cashman, Jerusalem Post

JERUSALEM (October 16, 2000) - Israel has complained to CNN about the way the story of the waves of violence in the Palestinian Authority and Israel is being covered.

In particular Israel has objected to the two Palestinian women reporting from the field using the word "we" "as if CNN had become an agent of the Palestinians," Gideon Meir, deputy director-general for public affairs in the Foreign Ministry, told Jerusalem Post Radio yesterday.

Meir said that CNN's Jerusalem bureau chief Mike Hanna had agreed with some points made by the Foreign Ministry and disagreed with others. Hanna was unavailable for comment.

"We're not asking that CNN become an agent of the Israeli government," said Meir. "What we are asking from this important media organization is to be honest and to be even-handed. Right now we don't see it."

Footage of the lynching of three IDF soldiers in Ramallah last week did not receive sufficient coverage by the foreign media, Meir said. This was partially due to the confiscation by the Palestinians of video cassettes from most of the networks that were there.

One of the networks which did succeed in transferring its footage to its home base was the Italian Cinque 5 Channel. Through its contacts, the Israeli Embassy in Rome was able to secure the video and within six hours of the gruesome event, the images were received in Jerusalem. The Italians released it without charge, said Meir.

The murder of Rabbi Hillel Lieberman was also poorly covered, said Meir.

Hundreds of complaints about CNN's coverage and about antisemitic features in the coverage on the BBC World Service have also been received from Jews around the world.

Israel's main goal is "to be credible, to give the right story, the correct story," said Meir. "We have no problem with the other side presenting its story. The problem is that the other side is presenting its story with a lot of lies, and the media often gives them an advantage by covering their side of the story."