Israeli Double Standard Time

Meryl Yourish has a whole category within her blog called “Israeli Double Standard Time.” That is where she documents certain trends in the media when it comes to reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Certain things that always seem to make their way into those accounts.

Things such as:

1) Palestinians are killed, Israelis die. This is subtle, but important: it implies that Palestinian deaths are acts of man, Israeli deaths just sort of happen. No one “kills” an Israeli, so there’s no one to blame.

2) Those killed by Palestinians or other Arabs are rarely named or enumerated; those killed by Israel are usually given names, ages, and biographical details. This emphasizes their “victim” status. Israelis don’t merit “victim” status, so they get short shrift.

3) Israeli actions are presented separate from context. The reason for a particular action is often not mentioned, or buried within the story.

The Boston Globe has a story up that hits most of these points.

Palestinians killed and wounded: Check.

Reason for the air strike mentioned several paragraphs into the story: Check.

Reports that the air strike was merited buried within the story: Check.

It’s so easy to cry “media bias” these days. But some times, when you can lay out a clear set of rules and predict with such precision the format certain stories will be told, and events play themselves out the same way over and over and over again, the term “cynicism” becomes inappropriate, and “honest” and “realistic” seem more and more appropriate.

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