The following article was sent to me by a young Jewish student who has noticed bias against Israel in certain parts of the media and is concerned enough to express her feelings:-
"As a Jewish student living in Melbourne, who must open the paper every morning and face the anti-Israel propaganda that surrounds the conflict in the Middle East, I find it hard to just sit idly by.
Yes, the facts are there – innocent people lost their lives as result of the actions of both sides - but how long can we excuse the ignorance of the public in assuming this is all it should come down to? Unfortunately, this fact alone is sufficient enough for the public to consider themselves informed and educated enough to place their judgment.
The media exhibits self-control within its own agenda. Not all the facts are reported nor can all sources be trusted. I find it alarming, that in the 21st century where we are blessed with freedoms of all sorts, including that of thought and expression, that people continue to sit back passively and soak up the bias of the media.
The war in the Middle East is not only about Lebanon and the Lebanese. It's interesting that public opinion considers it irrelevant that this war is at least two-sided. It seems to me that how the conflict began and what preceded it has also been conveniently forgotten or ignored.
For years now, Israeli citizens have been the victims of random suicide bombings throughout the country. These attacks have usually targeted innocent civilians. Why has this been forgotten?
The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) took action against Hezbollah to defend Israel following the killing and abduction of Israeli soldiers on Israeli soil and the continuing bombardment of Northern Israeli towns. Why has this been forgotten?
I think that people need to look at the basic philosophies of each side of the conflict. Hezbollah is an internationally recognized terrorist group whose officially stated aim is to destroy the state of Israel. Hezbollah uses Lebanese civilians as human shields with no regard for fellow Arabs in Israel or Lebanon. Of the civilians killed in Israel, 40% have been Israeli Arabs.
Israel regards human life as precious. Israel protects its citizens, sending them warnings before a rocket falls and where possible allowing them to evacuate and secure themselves in bomb shelters. Hezbollah allow citizens of Southern Lebanon to be sacrificed in the name of a solid piece of propaganda. Given this, would you feel protected under the rule of Hezbollah?
The conflict of the Middle East has roots right back to the establishment of Israel in 1948. Israel wants the fighting to stop but it will not give up its land and the rights of its citizens. Hezbollah is committed to continue attacking until Israel is destroyed. Even now with the UN resolution for a ceasefire, the solution seems unimaginable.
The People of both Israel and Lebanon have suffered greatly. Israel cannot afford to lose and the entire region cannot afford to give in to terror. Surely everyone agrees that peace and security is a right of all nations and people. Now my advice to you is that before you slam Israel, you should ask yourself, is there any fairness in supporting the idea that Israel, the Jewish nation, has no right to exist?"
Thanks Judith. Anybody want to guess where the bias is coming from?