Israel, the Media, and Double Standards

The Fellowship  |  December 7, 2015

Using nothing but his wit and a video camera, Israeli journalist Zvika Klein has been exposing the double standards and discrimination faced by Jews and the Jewish state, both in Europe and in the international media.

A few months ago, Klein walked the streets of Paris wearing a kippah – the skullcap worn by Orthodox Jews – while being filmed with a hidden camera. His intent was to show how Jews are harassed in the streets of Paris, and to cast light on how widespread anti-Semitic sentiment has become in Europe.

When Zvika walked through a Muslim neighborhood, he was taunted and cursed at, and a few people spat as he walked past. But even in parts of Paris less populated by Muslims, he still experienced some harassment, like the passerby who yelled “Viva Palestine!”

Zvika’s social experiment garnered a lot of attention. Nearly 5 million people watched his YouTube clip. Suddenly, due to this footage, European anti-Semitism in Europe was shown to be fact and not just opinion.

Now, the daring Israeli journalist is at it again. But this time, his target is the media and the double standard it applies to terrorist attacks perpetrated against Israelis.

The current wave of terror Israel is facing has received slanted coverage in the world media, promoting a narrative where the Jewish state is the aggressor, and the Palestinians are passive victims. This biased reporting emboldens Palestinian terrorists, tarnishes Israel’s reputation, and delegitimizes its right to defend its citizens.

But Zvika Klein has simply and brilliantly exposed that no sensible western person would accept such shoddy journalism if it pertained to terror on Western soil.

To prove this, Klein interviewed people walking past Paris’ Place De La Republique, where thousands have come to pay their respects to victims of the recent attacks in France.

Holding a fabricated headline which read “7 men shot dead during Paris attack; 129 dead,” Klein asked passersby if it was a fair depiction of what actually took place.

The responses were understandable – people quickly condemned it, and even showed anger toward the biased depiction of the terror attack.

Yet, this is exactly how most media outlets report on terror when it targets Israelis. The phony headline Klein showed people in Paris was actually copied from a recent BBC headline following a stabbing attack in which two Israelis were murdered and a mother and her baby were critically wounded. That headline read: “Palestinian shot dead after attack kills two.”

The media’s bias against Israel is inexcusable, depicting terrorists as victims, while mentioning murdered Israelis only as an afterthought. I commend Zvika Klein for his work in exposing this bias and anti-Israel hostility, and I hope it is a first step toward fixing a problem which has festered for too long, and has poisoned too many minds against Israel and has led many to downplay the existential threats the Jewish state faces.

– Ami Farkas