Israel suffers clear bias from politicians, the media, the institutionalized church, and citizens in general. We hear frequent comments like “the illegal occupation of Palestinian land”. But this claim is not backed-up by the legal and historical facts! Politically, the UN probably leads the way, with many more UN Resolutions against Israel than against other countries. Some 40% of UN Human Rights Council Resolutions have been against Israel alone. Leading media, like the BBC, CNN, the Guardian and the New York Times often take an anti-Israel stance. Sadly, the general public is influenced by all this and many join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – a global campaign against Israel. Even the World Council of Churches (WCC) takes a biased view of Israel.
At least one country acknowledges the political bias: the United States of America. In June 2018, US Ambassador Nikki Haley announced her country’s decision to pull out of the UN Human Rights Council, noting its “chronic bias against Israel.”
Political, Media, and Legal Bias against Israel
In general, the world takes an aggressive stance in the form of political, media, and legal bias against Israel. Sadly, the result is widespread public misunderstanding and ignorance of the true nature and purpose of Israel. Let’s take a quick look.
POLITICAL BIAS: The United Nations (UN) does Israel no favours by passing many resolutions against Israel (see below). Some see this as antisemitism in the UN. The most extreme bias is of course demonstrated by Israel’s immediate Arab neighbours as they adopt a warlike stance against her and simply want to eliminate her! Arab leaders have often vowed ‘to wipe Israel off the map’, link. There are also various international boycotts of Israel aimed at changing Israeli government policy.
UK POLITICAL BIAS: The British Foreign Office has shown political bias against Israel since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Since 1948, the Queen or Prince Charles have visited Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya and Qatar. All Arab countries. But over this period the British Foreign Office have repeatedly prevented the Queen from visiting the only democracy in the Middle East – Israel. During her reign, the Queen has made over 250 official overseas visits to 129 different countries, but she has never been to Israel on an official visit, link. It seems the UK does not wish to upset her Arab friends!
Given this political lead, it’s hardly surprising that the UK public ranks Israel as one of the world’s most unfavorably viewed countries, second only to North Korea, link.
MEDIA BIAS: This must contribute to the 1.1 billion people in the world who harbour antisemitic attitudes, link, and to the increasing aliyah to Israel from antisemitic Europe, link.
LEGAL MISINFORMATION: This also comes from the media, and leads to the frequent but erroneous claim that ‘Israel occupies Palestinian land’. Legally it does not, link. Sadly, the World Council of Churches (WCC) tends to follow this misinformation, link, and the institutionalized churches e.g. the Anglican Church lean to the view that the church has replaced Old Testament Israel (Replacement Theology).
Israel’s Response – Hasbara
We might ask ‘Why this worldwide aggression against Israel?’ As noted, it arises through various sources of bias and misinformation and the Israeli government aims to counter this through Hasbara, link, link. The Hebrew word ‘Hasbara’ literally means ‘explanation’ and it is the Israeli term for a broad range of activities aimed at disseminating positive information about Israel and promoting positive attitudes towards the country. Hasbara is aimed at supporters of the Jewish state (to prevent demoralization), to the undecided, and to the international media. It is carried out by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, lobbying groups, private citizens, students, journalists and bloggers.
Mainstream Media Bias Against Israel
We might ask ‘Why is the media so biased against Israel?’ One reason is that the majority of people prefer to support the perceived underdog – in this case the Palestinians. Another reason is intimidation of the media: in Palestinian areas, journalists are threatened for coverage that fails to benefit the Palestinian struggle. Other reasons are shear ignorance of the legal facts, and a preference to follow the current political line. In particular, a common media claim is ‘the illegal occupation of Palestinian land’, but detailed legal analysis shows this to be untrue. Perhaps the deepest and most basic reason for media and all forms of bias is spiritual. Yes, without realising it, the media can be a forum to express hatred of Israel that has been around since the time of Abraham, link.
Admittedly, Israel has been weak on public relations, but that does not justify the almost universal bias against her. See examples in the video:
The EU: Europe has not reacted to the Islamization of the biblical holy places in Hebron by UNESCO (Hebron is considered the second-holiest city in Judaism after Jerusalem).
The BBC and ITV: In Britain the TV media are accused of reporting bias in favour of Hamas. Statements are inflammatory e.g. “Israel ‘bombs civilian targets with links to Hamas”, link.
When Israel acts in self-defense, the narrative is distorted to fit the (BBC) narrative of Zionist aggression
[Lord Michael Grade, former chairman of the BBC]
The British Foreign Office: The BFO does not allow the Queen to make a state visit to Israel, but she can visit Islamic states! In Britain’s defense, a few have spoken up for Israel. In a speech to the British House of Commons, Andrew Roberts MP argued for Israel’s right to self-defense and legitimacy: read speech.
The CBC: a Canadian crown corporation, owned by the very pro-Israel Canadian government, continues to be very anti-Israel in their reporting of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, link.
The CNN: the American satellite TV and Cable News Network has been awarded first prize for its biased reporting of atrocities in Israel. CNN was providing “poor, biased and inaccurate coverage” of the terror attack carried out by two Arab terrorists at a Jerusalem synagogue, in which four Israelis were hacked and shot to death. CNN later corrected the poor reporting. After the Gaza war in July 2014, American Jews demonstrated in front of CNN (Manhattan), protesting against the near absence of footage of Hamas rocket launchings.
Newspapers: The Guardian, a London-based paper, traditionally takes an anti-Israel stance, link, link. The New York Times also leans to that view, poisoning the public mind against Israel by shaping the perception of the Jewish state as responsible for many, if not most, of the region’s ills, link. Even Israeli newspapers can be biased against Israel, link.
Pro-Palestinian: In 2014 the parliaments of Sweden, Britain, France, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Luxembourg voted in support of recognizing a Palestinian state. The EU also voted to recognize a Palestinian state ‘in principle’. However, it is up to the Palestinians themselves to assert state-like-control over their territory and affairs, and this seems unlikely. The UN General Assembly can only recommend the establishment of a Palestinian State (as Resolution 181 recommended the establishment of the Jewish State in 1947).
Today we witnessed staggering examples of European hypocrisy: in Geneva they call for the investigation of Israel for war crimes, while in Luxembourg the European court removed Hamas from the list of terrorist organizations …
[Benjamin Netanyahu, 2014]
Labelling Settlement Products: In November 2015 the EU issued an “Interpretative Notice” to all member states concerning the origin of goods from the territories it considers as ‘occupied’ by Israel since June 1967 e.g. the West Bank, link. The Notice, which is ‘advisory’, recommends the labelling of all such goods as originating in an “Israeli settlement” rather than being labelled “Made in Israel” since the EU does not consider these areas to be part of Israel. So Israeli producers in the settlements must explicitly label their products if they are to be sold in the EU. This move assumes of course that the EU interpretation of Israel’s internationally recognised borders is legally correct. It isn’t, link. So whilst it might not be a boycott, the Notice is certainly seen by Israel as political bias.
It is prophesied that all nations will eventually abandon support for Israel; in fact, all nations will eventually be gathered against her in war. This international bias is best seen in UN Resolutions. As of 2012, the UN had passed 79 resolutions directly critical of Israel, and 40% of UN Human Rights Council Resolutions have been against Israel. This is surprising since Israel is the only true democracy left in the Middle East. The video below highlights the UN bias:
Even the UN Secretary-General has admitted that there is UN bias against Israel:
Unfortunately, because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel has been weighed down by criticism and suffered from bias and sometimes even discrimination [Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, August 2013]
More UN Bias
GENEVA, July 23, 2014: The Palestinian ambassador to the UNHRC, together with Iran, Syria, Egypt, Cuba and Venezuela try to silence UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer during a UN Emergency Session on Gaza. Neuer defends Israel’s right to resist Hamas aggression. The council voted 29 to 1 (USA), with 17 abstentions, to condemn Israel:
As the UN Special Rapporteur on the PA Territories, Richard Falk, compared Hamas terrorists to fighters with the French resistance during the Holocaust, link. Falk is co-author of a 2017 UN Report accusing Israel of being an “apartheid regime”, and he repeatedly condemns the Jewish State with calls for boycotts against the State of Israel, see Fred Skolnik.
KRAKOW, Poland, July 2017: The UN cultural agency UNESCO declared the old city in the West Bank town of Hebron as a Palestinian world heritage site. UNESCO determined the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron “is a Palestinian site (i.e. not Jewish) and that the site is in danger.” This angered Israel since there are deep Jewish ties to the biblical town. Israel claims Hebron is the burial place of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah.
Church Bias against Israel
First, let’s define what we mean here by ‘church’. Here we refer to the form of church that behaves like an institution. It exists above, beyond, and independent of the rank and file church members (the ‘laity’). It is constructed on programs and rituals (like weekly sermons and Christmas and Easter). It is often building-centered and led by professionals (‘ministers/clergy’) who are aided by the laity, and so requires staff, buildings, salaries, and administrators. On this definition, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal and Lutheran churches, for example, could be described as ‘institutionalized churches’. Clearly, this form of highly structured and highly controlled church is far removed from the early New Testament church.
Political Bias: Although many of these institutionalized churches do good work and build Christ’s kingdom, they often fall into ‘political correctness’ when it comes to interfacing with the world. This is relatively easy to do since official church policy is usually controlled by the professional leadership (ministers/clergy) rather than by the congregation. At first glance this might appear surprising. After all, the church promotes biblical teaching and the Bible speaks about Israel from Genesis to Revelation! But it seems the institutionalized church, as embraced by the World Council of Churches (WCC), often takes a politically correct line and avoids conflict with secular thinking. More specifically, it often promotes:
- Replacement Theology, which maintains that the church has now replaced national Israel as God’s witness int the world
- The concept of ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’ (claimed to be the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza). See WCC Israel-Palestine Policy
So the WCC supports numerous UN Resolutions against Israel’s so-called ‘land occupation’, and advocates peaceful protest e.g. a goods and investment boycott (the BDS campaign). The WCC encourages members of Anglican and Methodist churches, for example, to boycott Israeli products from the so-called ‘occupied territories’, and to avoid investment into Israeli companies in these territories, link.
The Aggression against Israel
The political bias of the western nations sharpens into aggression when we turn to the Middle East. Much of the conflict between Israel and the Arab-Islamic nations is over Israel’s very existence:
We must constantly repeat that the root of the conflict is the very existence of the State of Israel, the refusal to recognize the State of Israel in any borders whatsoever [Benjamin Netanyahu, 2012]
For example, consider the following statements:
Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it
Israel has continued too long … the battle has come in which we shall destroy Israel
President of Egypt, 1967
Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be ‘eliminated’
President of Iran, 2012
Israel is a cancerous tumour that should be cut and will be cut
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 2012
Allah says (in the Quran): ‘And drive them out from wherever they have driven you out’. Removing the Jews from the land they occupied in 1948 is an immutable principle, because it appears in the Book of Allah
Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas, and member of the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip, March 2017
To date, no Hamas representative has ever renounced the Hamas Charter, 1988 (it is a religious document and so cannot be changed, link) and their objective remains to replace the Jewish state with an Islamic caliphate, link. Those who say such things should note that they are simply fulfilling Bible prophecy:
They have said, ‘Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more’ (Ps 83.4)
And they should note what God said to Israel via Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you” (Gen 12.3). God also promises Israel: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper” (Isa 54.17). IRAN, HAMAS, HEZBOLLAH, ISIS – BEWARE!