One of Israel’s most experienced and respected diplomats has attacked the Norwegian media for its “one-sided” pro-Palestine “activist journalism.”
Raphael Schultz, who was sent to Norway last year, wrote in an open letter citing what he called “a large selection of articles, leaders, opinion pieces etc. were published last week in relation to operation Protective Edge starting… They all had a lack of professionally(sic) around them, just as in last year’s coverage. It was a totally one-sided coverage.”
Schultz, described as “one of the best” in the Israeli foreign service, succeed Naim Araidi, who was forced to resign in February last year following allegations of sexual harassment by female employees at the embassy.
His letter is titled “A lesson not learned” and claims that the Norwegian media had recognised its coverage was biased in the aftermath of last year’s conflict in the Gaza strip.
“Unluckily today, one year later, it looks as if the conclusion is forgotten and the lesson has been lost,” he wrote.
He noted that editors allowed journalists to use emotive and charged terms such as “murder”, when those who died in combat are correctly described as “killed.”
Arne Jensen, the Secretary-General of the Norwegian Editors’ Association, denied that the media had admitted to bias last year, by describing the Israel-Palestine conflict in way that could be perceived as itself biased.
“Israel can not expect that there be equal coverage, because the conflict is not equal,” he told ABC Nyheter (translated by The Local). “By that I mean that one party in this conflict is superior to the other.”
Jensen appears to be alluding to the left-wing view that “power structures” are sometimes more important than facts and can make immoral actions of the perceived victim excusable.
“The criticism is highly unfair,” he continued. “It is driven by the fact that the ambassador wants a different kind of coverage from what they received, which is fine in itself, but doesn’t mean that the journalism is bad.”