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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

CAMERA reports on Madrid's El Pais

Two weeks ago, I reported on anti-Semitism in Spain. One of the reasons that may be behind that anti-Semitism is the extreme anti-Israel bias of the Spanish media. CAMERA reports on the anti-Israel bias at Madrid's El Pais, Spain's largest newspaper.
Are Israelis aware of the Israel-bashing and demonizing carried out in the Iberian press?

Do they know, for example, the case of Madrid's El País? With 430,000 daily copies and an Internet readership of over two million, El País is considered the “leader of the mainstream press in Spain.” And alongside every single article about Israel on the website of this pre-eminent newspaper is a profile of Israel that lists Tel Aviv as the country's capital.

In its section “Corresponsales” (reporters), El País explains that reporter Juan Miguel Muñoz reports from “Jerusalem, Near East.” No other reporter is identified like this as based in a geographic area; they are all in a named country (except those who report on the EU from Brussels).

ReVista de Medio Oriente, a Spanish media watchdog organization, asked El País' editors why this different treatment of Israel. About their placement of Israel's capital in the “Near East,” they said that Muñoz “reports from Jerusalem on Lebanon and Syria too” — hardly a convincing answer on the face of it, and even less so because the reporter almost never writes about those countries but writes practically daily on Israel. About Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel, the editors told ReVista that the “directive to maintain this designation the way it is comes from the paper's directors and can't be changed.”

Analysis of Muñoz's biased reporting has been published at ReVista for two years and recently, a further, in-depth review examined all his articles in El País during an arbitrarily-selected three week period in January and February of 2010. The study showed that Muñoz mainly picked up material from the “local press” (as he calls the Israeli press) and re-wrote it in Spanish. He selectively chose topics that cast Israel in a negative light and presented them without context, creating an image of a nation populated by lunatics and killers.

In this vein, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is portrayed continuously as cynically posing for the press, and his concerns about Iran are all cast as politically motivated rather than justified on security grounds.

In two such articles (February 7th and 10th) Muñoz includes not even one sentence on Iran's threats to world order. Although many nations in the West and Middle East are increasingly alarmed at the peril posed by a nuclear Iran, to read and believe Muñoz is to conclude only Netanyahu has problems with Iran (and they are actually just political posturing). “Benjamin Netanyahu has a fixation: To stop Iran's nuclear program”, Muñoz writes. “Possessing atomic weapons, and not a signer of the Non Proliferation Treaty, Israel will not accept losing the monopoly in the Middle East.”
It gets worse. El Pais made a Palinesque attack on Prime Minister Netanyahu's 15-year old son Avner for winning the recent bible contest in Jerusalem. Read the whole thing.


At 11:30 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

Not only are most Spanish descended from muslims who were forced to convert When Isabella and Ferdinand drove the muslims out of Spain, Catholicism is equal to islam in its Jew-hatred, blood-libel - Jews killed Jesus, sadism and child abuse.


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