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PMW awarded Abramowitz Israeli Prize for Media Criticism

Yisrael Medad and Eli Pollak  |
PMW awarded the Abramowitz Israeli Prize
for Media Criticism

: Media Comment: Acknowledging excellence

by Yisrael Medad and Eli Pollak

The goal of the Abramowitz Israeli Prize for Media Criticism is to encourage journalists, pundits, public ‎figures and organizations to contribute toward a critical review of the media… One of the topics that the ‎Israeli media is loath to cover seriously is the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli media is dominated by those ‎who believe that Israel’s future depends on the realization of the two-state vision. Our pundits describe PA ‎President Mahmoud Abbas as a relative moderate, with whom one may cut a deal. This may be true or not, ‎but the public deserves to know whether the facts support it.

Is Abbas a moderate? Is the PA under his rule a model of moderation whose only interest is to create a ‎Palestinian state within the June 4, 1967 demarcation lines? The media’s job is to collect the necessary ‎evidence and provide it to the public. Unfortunately, our media has consistently shied away from this issue… ‎This is why Israel needs an organization such as Palestinian Media Watch. The organization, ‎founded in 1996 by Itamar Marcus, has during the past two decades reported on the PA. Its material is ‎available to all, yet the Israeli media is very loath to bring to the fore some of the egregious hate incitement in ‎the PA, condoned by Abbas. This hate is not against the “occupation” per se, but is anti-Semitic. It ‎encourages terrorism against Israelis and aggrandizes those who commit despicable crimes, such as killing ‎infants in their beds, just because they were born to Israelis or “settlers.”

Why does the media ignore these warnings? One reason is that the idea of peace is so tantalizing that facts ‎are not allowed to interfere. A more sinister motivation is racism – the Palestinians are not considered to be ‎sufficiently civilized to be held to Western standards, and their behavior is discounted as that of primitives. ‎Be it what it may, we at Israel’s Media Watch have found the Palestinian Media Watch and its ‎founder and leader Marcus to be worthy of the media criticism prize this year.

PMW’s work both within Israel as well as in its presentations abroad, in the media, parliaments and ‎other platforms not only provides the Israeli people and allies abroad with an essential service, but ‎by its very existence constitutes a profound critique of the Israeli media. PMW’s work should have ‎been carried out by the Israeli media.

Ayala Hasson, who hosts radio shows as well as the Friday night news program on Channel 1 TV, the news ‎division of which she is also the director of… is a highly effective reporter who has brought to light many ‎serious issues through her careful research. But in the present context, we note her civility, her willingness to ‎listen…. It is these traits for which Hasson was awarded the media criticism prize this year… The prizes will ‎be awarded in the presence of Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein on February 15 at the Sokolov House in Tel ‎Aviv.