AP and CNN coverage of Israel is partial and second-rate

Coverage of Israel’s vaccination program by media such as AP and CNN – which pride themselves on ‘objectivity’ — clearly demonstrates that these media’s journalists and editors are not only partial, but they also cannot think logically.

The AP piece is written by three Palestinian journalists. According to the AP’s law of objectivity, Israeli journalists may often be negative towards Israel, while Palestinian journalists always write negative things about Israel.

‘Millions of Palestinians left waiting’

According to the article, millions of Palestinians are left waiting while Israelis are being inoculated. The fact that Israel has paid more than anyone else and gone through a lot of trouble to get the vaccines and – until the end of March – only has enough to vaccinate its own citizens, is not mentioned. The Palestinians are eternal victims and if the corrupt Palestinian Authority can’t get its act together, then it must be Israel’s fault.

Israel is attempting to achieve herd immunity as fast as possible. Also, Israel has a higher rate of infection from the coronavirus and many more deaths than residents of the Palestinian Territories. It is only logical that if Israel does not have any more vaccines it cannot inoculate residents of the West Bank and Gaza (whose governments refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist). The Israeli government has said it will give vaccines to the Palestinians when it has them. So this article is really a non-story and when you think about it makes no sense at all, except as an opportunity to bash Israel.

One would think Israel would be praised for being on course to be the first country in the world to vaccinate its entire population (including its Palestinian citizens). At the moment it is the only country that can do so, which means its deal with Pfizer will offer incalculable benefits to the rest of the world in providing vital information on the effects of vaccinating the entire population.

CNN article below all par

The CNN story by Sam Kiley (with a contribution by Abeer Salman) is below all par. For one, the basis of the story is factually incorrect. It falsely states that only residents of East Jerusalem with Israeli nationality can be vaccinated:

“Two young men work side-by-side in a butcher’s shop. They live in the same teeming and densely packed town. One is fortunate — he’s eligible to get an Israeli Covid-19 vaccination. The other isn’t. Both are Palestinian residents of Kafr ‘Aqab, a finger of territory that under Israeli law is part of greater Jerusalem, but under international law is considered illegally annexed territory, following its capture from Jordan in 1967.

Mahmoud Oudeh, like thousands of other residents of the town, has a Palestinian identity document. His friend Anan abu Aishe has an Israeli ID, which defines him as a permanent resident of east Jerusalem. This entitles him to join Israel’s world-leading vaccination campaign, which is on course to meet the government’s target of inoculating the entire country by the end of March.

“Half of the people here cannot take it so I’m also not going to take it, why would I take it when they cannot? I won’t,” he told CNN.
“It’s racist,” Mahmoud added.”

Maybe CNN should check its fact before publishing

According to Human Rights Watch, which has called on Israel to vaccinate residents of the West Bank and Gaza: “The vaccination drive covers Palestinian citizens of Israel, as well as residents of occupied East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed in 1967.”

According to CNN, although Mahmoud Oudeh is a resident of East Jerusalem, he and half of the residents of the district cannot get vaccinated. According to Human Rights Watch and everyone else except for CNN, this isn’t true.

The fact is that — contrary to the CNN report — all residents of East Jerusalem can be vaccinated. However, health authorities say the number of those showing up in East Jerusalem clinics is substantially lower than elsewhere in the city because many Palestinians are afraid to be vaccinated due to conspiracy theories. But the CNN correspondent doesn’t know this because he’d rather find an excuse to bash Israel. To hell with facts and logic.

About the Author
Asaf Shimoni is an author, journalist and translator who returned to Israel in 2016 after spending 40 years abroad, most of them in the Netherlands. He grew up near Boston, made aliyah while living on a kibbutz (from 1973 to 1976), and graduated from Syracuse University in 1978. He also lived some 5 years in Sicily. He is currently in Amsterdam to sort our affairs. He believes that the media should be as critical and truthful as possible.
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