The Center for Analyzing Media Coverage of Israel
Israel has a very troubling image in the world. This can have serious repercussions. Companies looking to invest in Israel, may look elsewhere if they are uncomfortable with the way the country in perceived. Tourists will be wary to visit a place when their knowledge is based on reports that Israel acts outside the norms of Western Civilization. Israel finds itself constantly unable to join regional international associations because of its image. Billions of dollars that would otherwise be invested in the country are lost.
We want to change that.
We believe that Israel’s negative image is due to aspects of the way Israel is depicted in the press. The focus of the Center is to provide clarity to the media and public regarding Israel and the Middle East including accurate reporting with the goal of promoting peace.
Some examples of the areas we will focus on are:
1) The consistent use of the term “terrorism” to include all acts of violence motivated by politics or ideology against innocents, whether or not these acts occur within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
2) The proper context of the area referred to the media as “East Jerusalem” to reflect the historic importance of the city as well as the fact that it was liberated from Jordanian occupation in a defensive war.
3) The treatment of residential areas in the disputed territories referred to in the media as “settlements” to show that their international legal status is an open question.
4) Proper recognition of Israeli actions to promote peace as opposed to Palestinian actions that are contrary to reaching an agreement.
We do not desire to pick fights with journalists, most of whom are trying to do a very difficult job under tremendous pressure. We are not interested in chasing down every errant headline written in haste. Nor do we consider ourselves a “hasbara” organization that needs to justify every Israeli action and policy.
We believe that Israel will be best served when events are reported with proper context, correct terminology, and a complete focus on accuracy above all else.
Yarden Frankl, Executive Director
Yarden Frankl is one of the foremost experts in analyzing media coverage of Israel. He has been working in the field for over a decade. His work includes over 200 articles appearing in the Times of Israel, the Algemeiner, the Jewish Press, Israel National News, and on HonestReporting.com where he was a senior editor for 11 years. He was a frequent guest on the Voice of Israel and produced dozens of videos on the subject of anti-Israel media bias.
Yarden moved to Israel from the Washington, D.C. area where he worked on Capital Hill and as a lobbyist for AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He holds a Master’s Degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in International Relations from Colgate University.
Yarden is also the author of CrossingtheYarden.com, his personal blog that chronicles his life in Israel and his struggle with his wife’s Stella’s cancer and untimely death in 2013.
He is an accomplished endurance athlete who has run dozens of marathons, ultra-marathons, and cycling treks. Yarden is also a consultant to the ALYN Hospital Wheels of Love Charity Bike ride.