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December 30, 2003
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CBS correspondent Bob Simon shows clear bias on Israel's security fence

The Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) has a great article on the bias shown by CBS's Bob Simon on Israel's security fence:

Veteran CBS correspondent Bob Simon's December 21, 2003 60 Minutes segment on the fence Israel is building to thwart terrorists displayed the same defects apparent in so many of his reports. It was manipulative and shaky on key factual assertions. [...]

Most emotional is a Palestinian woman, an "author and architect," who weeps while describing the anguish she feels when she witnesses "older people" subjected to the "unbearable" humiliation of passing through checkpoints necessitated by the fence. Simon commiserates: "And you never get used to it."

No civilian Israeli victims of terror, whether the bereaved, the wounded or the fearful, are given the chance to tell viewers about not getting "used to" the "unbearable" feeling of vulnerability caused by knowing predators seek entry into Israel to kill and maim them.

Why, for instance, did Simon not interview stunned young Israeli students and parents at the Yokne'am school in northern Israel, which had only two weeks earlier been the would-be target of two Islamic Jihad terrorists. The killers' intention was to explode 22 pounds of explosives among as many students as possible. Captured by the Israeli military, the men said the nearby town of Bardaleh had been chosen to cross into Israel because the security fence did not extend there.

Here's a graph that shows how Israel's new security fence is very effective:

Israel's Security Fence is working: Palestinian mass murderers cannot cross into Israel easily

The security fence is here to stay - it will save lives and stop many Palestinian mass murderers from executing their homicide bombings.

If you'd like more information on Israel's security fence, click here (use the menus at the top, found the link on LGF).

Also, click here to download a good PowerPoint presentation on the fence (to save the presentation to your computer, right click on the link and choose "Save As..."; the total size is 1.92 Mb; if needed you can dowload a free PowerPoint viewer here).

I copy the full article below.

Eye on the Media: CBS's Simon not fenced in by facts
By ANDREA LEVIN, Dec. 30, 2003, Link

Veteran CBS correspondent Bob Simon's December 21, 2003 60 Minutes segment on the fence Israel is building to thwart terrorists displayed the same defects apparent in so many of his reports. It was manipulative and shaky on key factual assertions.

By conscious editorial choice, emphasis was given to critics of the fence, with three Palestinians and an Israeli detractor counterbalanced by two Israeli proponents of the project. Nowhere did Simon report the overwhelming Israeli public support for the barrier, as indicated in an October poll by the Tami Steinmetz Center that found 82% believe the fence will prevent or significantly reduce terrorism.

Instead, a former Israeli official opposed to the fence is featured both in the program teaser and in the segment itself declaring that giving "hope" to the Palestinians, rather than building a fence, is the key to security. For emphasis, Simon reiterates: "So giving the Palestinians hope is a more effective security measure than building a fence?"

Simon also repeats without caveat the nonsensical claim of the same Israeli that "there's less terrorism when Palestinians have more hope for a state of their own." The CBS luminary has himself reported from Israel since before Oslo, when large-scale terror attacks were rare, and after Oslo's ceding of land and authority and the offer of a state, when the mass killings exploded. But the correspondent known for tough jabs is silent.

Similarly false and deceptive are Simon's repeated references to the fence taking "Palestinian land," and to the problem of the fence deviating from the 1967 lines - as though the land is not, in fact, disputed, with its ultimate disposition to be negotiated in accordance with U.N. Resolution 242. That resolution did not, contrary to Simon's continuous sub-text, mandate ceding all West Bank territory. Indeed, its authors believed Israel could not possibly defend itself
along those lines and assumed alterations would be required, and this view has been endorsed
explicitly by American civilian and military leaders.

Simon's story does include two officials advocating the barrier as effective protection against terrorist incursions. A Knesset Member and a general who is chief of strategic planning for the Israeli army both argue the necessity of the fence. And the role of terrorism is included with footage of bombing scenes.

But in addition to the Israeli detractor, three Palestinian civilians present the personal face
of dislocation and difficulty wrought by the new fence. One farmer says he can't reach his greenhouses, another speaks of being cut off from his olive orchards. (Simon omits mention of
Israel's efforts to minimize losses to olive growers by replanting trees affected by the path of the fence, a policy that has led to moving some 60,000 trees.)

Most emotional is a Palestinian woman, an "author and architect," who weeps while describing the anguish she feels when she witnesses "older people" subjected to the "unbearable" humiliation of passing through checkpoints necessitated by the fence. Simon commiserates: "And you never get used to it."

No civilian Israeli victims of terror, whether the bereaved, the wounded or the fearful, are given the chance to tell viewers about not getting "used to" the "unbearable" feeling of vulnerability caused by knowing predators seek entry into Israel to kill and maim them.

Why, for instance, did Simon not interview stunned young Israeli students and parents at the Yokne'am school in northern Israel, which had only two weeks earlier been the would-be target of two Islamic Jihad terrorists. The killers' intention was to explode 22 pounds of explosives among as many students as possible. Captured by the Israeli military, the men said the nearby town of Bardaleh had been chosen to cross into Israel because the security fence did not extend there.

But just as Simon opts for the cliched setup of characters - the hard-nosed Israelis and suffering Palestinians - he takes a pass on reporting the truth about what fuels the bombers. The Palestinian architect insists the "wall will create more young people" without work and school
"ready to do nasty things." Here as in other coverage, Simon is entirely mute regarding the
Palestinians' venomous incitement against Jews and Israelis, the extolling of suicide killers and
calls for Israel's destruction in schools, media, mosques and rallies, in sports tournaments,
posters and even via children's "martyr" necklaces and trading cards.

Indeed, while he has previously done entire stories on suicide bombers, he has never deviated from the charted story line, never focused on the role and responsibility of Palestinian society in nurturing genocidal hatred whose stated aim is not the adjustment of West Bank lines one way or another, but the annihilation of Israel.

But to tell the truth about Palestinian incitement and Palestinian goals would require Simon to embrace journalistic standards he has eschewed for decades of reporting from Israel. His unwillingness to break that pattern is a "barrier" likely to remain in place.

Andrea Levin is Executive Director of CAMERA, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

Posted by David Melle at December 30, 2003 04:47 PM
Comments

The media, by not focusingon the terrorism attacks on Israel, are trvializing the results, adn for that matter trivializing the genocidal hatred of the Palestinians toward Jews, and indeed anyone who is not Palestinian. There never was a Palestine in the sense of an independent country or a self-governing people. Israel has a long history of being an independent self governing country, stretching back to pre-Christian times. The haves have always been hated by the have nots for the very fact that the haves have been successful in life.

If that Palestinian olive farmer really cared about peace in the region, he would rail against those Palestinians who would seek to kill and maim Israelis rather than the fence designed to keep them out of Israel.

The bombers are thsoe who are easily manipulated too. Ever notice how many 60 year old homicide bombers tehre are? NONE! IF some one wanted me to kill myself in abombing for the reward of ahving my photo on a tradign card, I woudl tellhim to stick his bomb where the sun doesn't shine.

Posted by: Richard on January 2, 2004 04:36 AM

I am a journalist in Israel, posting about the American CBS correspondent Bob Simon. We heard about the question that ran in the New York Post last week, on September 29: "WHICH married male network news veteran who specializes in foreign assignments has been having an affair with a female Columbia grad about 10 years younger than his daughter? Former classmates spotted the young woman with him at the Essex House more than once, and say he visited her at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville over the weekend." The key part is that he specializes in foreign assignments. It must be Bob Simon. The CBS show he is on is also broadcast in Israel so he is well known in Israel. About a year ago I saw him at a Jerusalem hotel with a young American woman. When I made a remark about it to someone I know in the hotel's management office he said the hotel staff knew she had been staying with Bob Simon in his hotel room there for weeks. I recognized her because she worked in our office. I am sure she must be the same "female Columbia grad" that the NY Post referred to because I remember that she went to Columbia University in New York before she came to Israel. Her name is Maia Ridberg and she is probably only about 24 years old. She left her job in Jerusalem to go traveling and I later heard that she returned to the United States to start at the University of Virginia. I did not know that Bob Simon was married until the NY post published that last week. That weekend the NY Post referred to was Yom Kippur. That is offensive that they cheated on his wife even on Yom Kippur. We have long thought that Bob Simon is irresponsible in his reporting about Israel but now it is clear that he lacks integrity as a man as well.

Posted by: el on October 6, 2004 05:12 PM
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