Sunday, September 21, 2008


Israel's Media Watch has written to the Chairman of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, based on a CAMERA report, asking that their news reports, based on B'tselem press releases, be checked and even halted:-

17th of Elul, 5768
Sept. 17, 2008

Mr. Moshe Gavish, Chairman,
The Israel Broadcasting Authority

Dear Sir,

Re: IBA reports originating from the B'Tselem organization

In light of the recent publication by B'Tselem pertaining to Arab lands which, the
organization claims, are being illegally annexed to Jewish communities in Judea and
Samaria, we would like to bring to your attention the manner in which B'Tselem is
given coverage in various bodies within the Broadcasting Authority.

Just recently, a comprehensive report was published by Ms. Tamar Sternthal, a journalist working on behalf the internationally respected media review group CAMERA. The report shows that information published by B'Tselem is, to put it mildly, inaccurate...

...In view of the above we have the following queries:

1. Does the IBA perform a fact-checking procedure on claims made by B'Tselem before broadcasting them?

2. When the IBA does broadcast items originating from this organization, why does it
fail to indicate the organization's political and ideological inclinations?

3. Since B'Tselem is an ideological organization, it is the IBA's duty to have each item accompanied by a reaction on the part of the criticized organizations. Too frequently, however, the B'Tselem publications are reported without responses as though they were factual reporting.

4. Is the IBA aware that it is in fact being taken advantage of as a propaganda tool of an organization which is exploiting the IBA in order to advance its controversial
ideological positions, without being overly careful about the reliability of its reports?

5. Is the IBA aware that broadcasting items on behalf of the B'Tselem organization
is hurting its own credibility?

6. Will the IBA be reporting extensively on the CAMERA findings and on the expose
by Jonathan Dachuach HaLevi from NFC, as it has extensively reported publications
by B'Tselem?

In view of the seriousness of this topic, we ask that the IBA perform a systematic
check as to its treatment of B'Tselem publications with an eye to providing responses
to our questions above, and that the IBA will reach clear conclusions as to how and if to broadcast items whose source is from B'Tselem, an organization whose factual
reliability is in question. A careful investigation of this issue can only enhance the public trust in the transparency of the IBA and in its professional attitude to what it chooses to broadcast.


Dr. Uzi Landau, President

cc: Mordechai Shklar, Chairman, IBA

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