Anti Israel Bias at Baptist Press

I've become increasingly distressed that Baptist Press, my own denominations news service, seems to have such a pro-Palestinian approach to coverage of issues in Israel. 
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 They primarily do not cover any of the significant events of Israel, and when they do it typically puts Israel in a bad light.  Two articles distributed March 29 are typical of the BP coverage.  The first article contained these words:


It's been years of territorial back and forth for the two groups, ending most recently in 2009 after a war that saw 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis die. Since then, relative calm had pervaded, and Israel had seemed like the eye of the political storm sweeping the region.

But that all changed in the past few weeks.

More than 80 rockets and mortar shells have been launched from the Palestinian territory of Gaza into southern Israel, and the bus bomb that killed Gardner injured more than 30 others. Retaliatory attacks by Israel have killed 10 Palestinians, with Israeli officials voicing regret over the deaths of two teens playing football outside their house.


A war of 1,300 vs. 13 gives the impression of a brutal government (Israel) terrorizing a helpless people (Palestinians).  Notice that the rockets were launched "from the Palestinian territory" rather than "by Palestinians" or "by Hamas."  The "bus bomb" was mentioned with no indication of its origin, and the brutal killing of the Jewish family (mostly young children killed in their sleep) the week before was never mentioned.  The "retaliatory attacks by Israel" that killed 10 Palestinians (assumedly retaliation for the one death of the bus bomb) are not elaborated upon other than to say 2 of the 10 were teens playing football (once again, a brutal nation terrorizing innocent Palestinians). 


Furthermore, the 100:1 ratio of dead is a widely used inflammatory number that is easily discredited.  The number was used by the Wasington Post and its use criticized just the day before the BP article.  You can read the fallacy of the numbers here.


The second article in today's BP release was almost disgusting in its portrayal of Jews ("It's very hard when you grow up and someone hits you ... it is very hard to give them forgiveness." --this sounds like a Jewish holocaust victim but it is the words of the Palestinian Christian).  The Israeli soldiers "dictated when his family could leave the house and took his brother to jail after breaking three of his ribs."  Those on the Palestinian side of the "dividing wall" are only pictured as heart-stricken believers who love Jesus, while those on the Jewish side are "adrift in spiritual emptiness."  The article clearly favored the brutalized Palestinians who valiantly struggle to forgive and give Christian witness to the brutality of IDF soldiers.


Baptist Press consistently fails to recognize that Palestinian terrorists have a long history of targeting non-combatants in this conflict.  The Palestinian terrorists of Gaza, in their indiscriminant use of rockets on civilian populations, are guilty of war crimes. The recent bus bombing in Jerusalem, the slaughter of the family in Itamar and the ceaseless barrage of rocket attacks for the last 8 years, are all targeted purposefully at civilians to inflict maximum casualties and terror.


Israel, on the other hand, has a moral obligation included in the code of the Israel Defense Forces, not to target non-combatants.  That has played out many times over the years including in Operation Cast Lead when the IDF dropped leaflets and sent text messages warning Palestinian civilians to be aware of incoming attacks on Hamas terrorists.  Those notices were required because Hamas and other terror groups purposefully use the very people they are advocating for as human shields.


There is no moral equivalency between the actions of the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian terrorists.  To create such equivalency is to make a mockery of both Christianity and Judaism.


Whether the bias of Baptist Press is out of ignorance, journalistic laziness, misplaced Christian sympathies, or out of replacement theology and disregard for God’s promises to Israel, I cannot tell.  I obviously do not believe in dual covenant theology, but I do think that Southern Baptists have forgotten about the covenants that do exist between God and Israel.   It would be most refreshing if, in Baptist Press, Palestinians were not continually portrayed as the good guys and Israel as the bad guys. 


For another recent post about Baptist Press bias, click here.


“For Zion’s sake I will not be silent.” Isaiah 62:1


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Randy White,
Apr 11, 2011, 1:41 PM