I am continuously struck by what I consider to be anti-Israel photographs in the Post-Gazette. This bias influences readers to side against our only true Mideast ally. Why encourage antipathy against America’s most constant friend?
Recently, one portrayed Palestinian protesters purported to channel Nelson Mandela’s pacifism while “clashing with” two Israeli soldiers. The caption didn’t explain any context. Editorial balance was lacking by gratuitously alluding to “Israeli ‘occupation’ in the West Bank.”
A similar prejudice existed in a recent article on mandating education about the Holocaust in Pennsylvania schools in the same edition as a photo of Palestinian youths violently marking the ninth anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death. While people everywhere commemorated the deaths of 6 million Jewish victims at Kristallnacht events with prayers and peaceful gatherings, young Palestinian children remembered the ex-terrorist by throwing rocks and attacking Israelis. The message should have been that Pennsylvania is overdue to deem the Holocaust a school subject worthy of mandatory funding. Instead, the PG ran a photograph suggesting that throwing rocks and shooting missiles at innocent people is an appropriate way to show disagreement.
Newspapers should not try to contrive moral equivalencies. No correlation exists between the apartheid that Nelson Mandela fought and a democratic nation that protects myriad rights and freedoms of oppressed groups. Israel is fair to all people who are not trying to wipe it off the map.
We cannot fail our children by omitting lessons of the Shoah from their coursework. We should not mix messages by juxtaposing misleading photos that inadvertently glorify violence against Western societies.
Let us not subvert lessons that should be impartially communicated. Let’s strive to be evenhanded in presentations of matters involving Israel, the need for its creation and the value of its safe existence.
JEFFREY L. POLLOCK