Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

US envoy to media: 'Keep your mouths shut'


US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Monday that the media should either figure out a better way to deal with the border protests or stop its negative coverage of the Jewish state.

Addressing a media conference in Jerusalem, Friedman said that news outlets have been unfair in their coverage of the deadly protests on the Gaza border over the past few months.

He advised reporters to “keep your mouths shut” unless they know better than Israel how to deal with the demonstrations.

Some criticism of Israel may be legitimate, Friedman allowed, although journalists should have worked harder to find alternatives to Israel’s use of lethal force, which has left scores of Palestinians dead, before accusing the state of wrongdoing.

“Nine out of ten articles” written about the Gaza conflict are critical of Israel, Friedman pointed out.

“You’d think that some journalists would take the time and go and meet with experts and try to understand what could have been done differently or better before they criticize. And I just haven’t seen it,” he stressed.

Friedman said he spent a great deal of time speaking to military experts in the US, Israel and other countries about the proper rules of engagement—which, he added, reporters should have done—and found that the accusations against Israel were, for the most part, unfounded.

Friedman hinted that that his criticism was mainly geared towards The New York Times.

Slanted accounts, he said, “fit a narrative. They fit an opinion. They fit an agenda. But it’s not reporting, because it’s not based on hard, factual analysis.”


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