The vast majority of Israelis no longer trust local mainstream media, a survey by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics has found. Only 35 percent of Israelis surveyed said mainstream media provides credible information, while 60 percent find the reporting untrustworthy.
It must be stressed again that there is no truly objective reporting. I always disagreed on this with my father. It is impossible to objectively describe and engage with a subject like Israel. While I fully believe that the vision of the prophets biblically and politically confirms Israel’s right to exist, I have been unable to convince our detractors and enemies. In this case we are biblically correct, but not necessarily politically correct.
Israelis don’t trust the media
Less than half of Israelis trust television, radio and newspapers, while only a quarter trust social media. In the poll, 50 percent of respondents said the media portrayed things more negatively than reality, while 25 percent felt that press reports reflected the situation in the country. Thirteen percent said the media portrays things more positively than reality. For 47 percent of those surveyed, television is the most important source of information, while 42 percent prefer the internet. The annual survey of attitudes regarding communication and social media was conducted among 6,501 Israelis over the age of 20.
I often wonder how our readers perceive a voice like Israel Today from Jerusalem. To what extent is Israel Today really considered credible? After all, today we are fed 24/7 with endless news and information. I know how confusing the flood of news can be. Ultimately, one has to decide for oneself what is fake news and what is real news. It is often difficult to distinguish between lies and truth. And here I have to admit that this is often very difficult and sensitive for us, too. But believe me, in Jerusalem we are trying to convey the truth in this media salad of truth, half-truths and lies.
But the problem isn’t confined to outright fake news. The media instinctively loves negative news because it always makes more and bigger headlines than with “Peace & Love” stories. It is true that a large part of the population, and accordingly the media, is actually afraid of the current government’s judicial reform. Some people really believe that Israel is on the way to becoming a dangerous theocracy. It is easier to convince people with fear than with love and good ideas. Incidentally, that’s the tactic Benjamin Netanyahu has often been accused of employing. The same is true in American politics. You build an enemy to win people over to an idea. In the case of Israel, the enemies really do want to destroy us, but here, too, a lot is changing.
Left and right media
The country’s left and right-wing media generally report according to their respective agendas. There is much criticism of the judicial reform and the governing coalition on left-wing TV stations, as well as on the Ha’aretz and Ynet websites. But the N12 news portal features daily lead commentator Amit Segal, a religious Jew who hails from the Jewish settlement of Ofra in Samaria. He is labeled by the left-wing media as a mouthpiece of right-wing politics.
Right-wing TV station Channel 14, Arutz-7 and other religious websites glorify almost everything the government does. In both cases, left and right, the ideology of the media outlet is promoted. Other English-language websites tend to be more anti-government than pro-government. The Israeli daily Israel HaYom, which bears our Hebrew name “Israel Today,” was formerly known as “Bibi-Blatt” because it supported Netanyahu’s policies. But that has also changed in the last year. Bibi’s political behavior is now being scrutinized more frequently.
I don’t think we can be objective. It is important to me that Israel Today tells its readers the truth and is credible. It’s not possible to represent and explain what is happening in Israel with only one voice, you have to hear and read several voices from among the people. And that’s important to us, which is why you can often hear a variety of voices and positions with us. Israel has always been a colorful people. But the baseline of Israel Today is the same. This land belongs to the people of Israel, and the people of Israel can only claim this land through the biblical visions of the prophets. This is how the founders of Israel understood it at the time and confirmed it in writing in Israel’s Declaration of Independence 75 years ago. Without the biblical promises, Israel has no right to exist, with all the consequences in politics, in society, in relation to the controversial legal reform, the conflict with the Palestinians, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount up to the messianic redemption of Israel and mankind. We want to be credible before God and before you, and with that in mind I thank everyone who reads Israel Today.
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