I’m back on the road again – currently on transit in Dubai, heading back to the United States. On my flight into Dubai today I noticed a British man ahead of me reading an English newspaper; on the top of the page I saw the headline “Israel Gets Away With Murder.”
I thought about this headline and a recent interaction I’d had with friends on Facebook this week. A South African friend had posted about some Israeli casualties in the war of occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. I posted a dissenting view, specifically that Israel was the aggressor in the conflict. I have now lived and worked in the Middle East for over 5 years and I see that I have a very different view of this region than my friends and family do.
In watching “non-United States” television and news I can see that the average American sees news that is completely different from the rest of the world. This is probably why America was the only country to vote against a recent UN condemnation of Israeli building of settlements in the occupied territories. America stands alone in supporting Israel – regardless of their policy – and the rest of the world wonders why. While in America, as I watch the news, I find that there is NO negative coverage of Israel. In essence, the American public only sees 1/2 of the story.
As I sit in my hotel in Dubai, I have a chance to watch news from the “other side,” specifically: Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera, unfortunately, is not yet available in the United States. Too bad, its coverage of the news is much more balanced than CNN, FOX OR the other main American channels. And, like the BBC, it covers news stories much more in-depth than the average US news program. I see on Al Jazeera tonight interviews with Libyan officials, coverage of issues in Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt. CNN & FOX? Linsey Lohan has changed her name. Really? That’s news. What a shame.
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