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Video on fake news on Israel elicits journalists protest

“Fight the fake” details factually incorrect and biased reporting.

Public Diplomacy Minister Galit Distel Atbaryan arrives for a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Jan. 15, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Public Diplomacy Minister Galit Distel Atbaryan arrives for a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Jan. 15, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

An English-language video calling out egregious reporting and released by Israel’s Public Diplomacy Ministry has been condemned by the Foreign Press Association as endangering the safety of journalists.

The two-minute clip posted on the ministry’s Twitter page and titled “Fight the fake: a quick guide in reading the news about Israel” details factually incorrect and biased reporting on Israel by leading international news agencies, newspapers and networks.

The factually incorrect items cited include a report by CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour on the Palestinian murder of the Dee family, which she called a “shoot-out.” Amanpour apologized on air for the report more than a week after a public outcry and subsequent threats of a civil suit.

The video also takes issues with other repeated international media distortions in reporting on Israel, by both newspapers and the wire services, such as their common practice of putting quotation marks around the word terrorist when describing Palestinian attackers, if they use the word at all.

“When someone is taking a knife, a rifle or an ax to kill innocent civilians there is no other way to call it,” the video continues.

The clip also calls out another trend in international reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, omitting the identity of Palestinian assailants in headlines on terrorist attacks and/or treating them as bystanders or victims.

“It seems like inanimate objects do the killing for them,” the clip states. “This is not journalism. And this problem must be dealt with. It must be exposed.

“Share the truth. Let’s fight the fake,” the video concludes.

In response to the video, the Foreign Press Association in Israel accused the minister of “launching an unprovoked attack on the foreign media.”

The association says it sent a letter to the ministry and other officials “expressing our objections to this language, the false impressions it could cause and our concerns that it could even promote violence against journalists.“

Not to be outdone, Israeli media reporting on the video and the FPA’s reaction Thursday ran with such headlines as “Public diplomacy minister feuds with foreign media over ‘fake news’ charges” and “The minister against the foreign press in Israel.”

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