Missing balance

Reporting on Israel shows bias

I would like to commend Rhonda Becker for her revealing Dec. 12, 2012, “My Turn” article on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is always sad to hear the news of another war in our world. One always wonders why people cannot accept others with different ideas, beliefs, religions, ethnicity or backgrounds.

I noted that the Associated Press article reprinted in the Nov. 17, 2012, Recorder reported that “Israel triggered the current fighting by assassinating the military chief of the ruling Hamas militant group.” This was not fair, accurate or fully informed reporting. This statement manifests the ongoing improper biased reporting. Israel’s targeted attacks are to defend its own citizens and to minimize Gazan civilian casualties. Over he past 12 years, the residents of southern Israel have suffered more than 12,000 rockets fired from Gaza. This is their everyday life over the years. Can you imagine what it would be like if we had to live under such constant barrage of rockets here in Massachusetts? Would Gov. Patrick have such restraint? Would the citizens of Massachusetts tolerate this? Where was the reporting of this over the past 12 years?

Currently, 1 million people in Israel have less than a minute to run for shelter. During the recent escalation, 550 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel in 3 days alone. Rocket sirens went off in Tel Aviv for the first time since the Gulf War in 1991. Where is the reporting of the killing of Israelis peacefully attempting to live their life in the face of constant threat of rockets shot from Gaza? Where is the reporting of the Israelis having to build a safe play area in a large bomb shelter in southern Israel to protect the children who cannot safely play outside? Why is it not reported that the rockets from Gaza are specifically aimed at non-military, civilian target. Where is the reporting of Hamas obtaining Fajr 5 rockets from Iran in order to aim at Israel’s civilian metropolitan areas threatening 3.5 million Israelis? The Internet had film clips of Israeli’s running for bomb shelters and Israeli funerals of men, women and children? However, these clips fail to make it to the mainstream reporting in the U.S.

Israel is a 60-plus-year-old country that has had to defend itself against attack for the entire life of the state. Currently, Hamas claims that the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire is only temporary, and does not preclude them from re-arming, as they continue to build up their arsenal.

Fair reporting to the public can start on a local level. I ask the award-winning Recorder to read, edit and balance future Associated Press articles that may show biased reporting. Providing balanced reporting of these circumstances would go a long way to promoting local understanding and sympathy for all the parties involved in Mideast conflicts.

David N. Taylor is a Greenfield resident.

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