- Fighting Anti-Israel Bias In The Media
- Lobbying Your Elected Officials
- Informal advocacy: Spreading the word on Israel among family and friends
Fighting Anti-Israel Bias In The Media
As a supporter of Israel and the Jewish people, you probably look for news from the Holy Land in newspapers and magazines, as well as on TV, radio, and on the Internet. If so, you’ve noticed that all too often the reports reflect badly on Israel, portray the Palestinians as persecuted underdogs, and downplay the true nature of Islamist terrorism.
It would be wonderful if everybody shared your love of Israel, but you can at least demand that that the media be balanced, fair, and get their facts straight. You can’t demand that journalists all become friends of Israel -- but you can insist they approach the subject fairly.
What to do:
- Read newspapers and other publications faithfully. Stay informed and know your facts.
- When you believe a story is biased against Israel, take notes about specific errors. Do some research if necessary to gather evidence to refute the errors.
- Send an email, write a letter, or make a phone call asking the news outlet to make a correction or to present an opposing view to balance the biased story or report.
Tips on writing letters or emails to the media:
- Be specific. An angry message that does nothing more than accuse a reporter or news outlet of being anti-Israel or anti-Semitic will likely not get published and will do little to help Israel’s cause. You stand a better chance of changing people’s minds and hearts about Israel by answering charges with specific facts that refute those charges.
- Respond promptly to biased reports on the same day, if possible. The longer you wait, the less chance that your letter or message will be published.
- Keep it brief. Newspapers have specific guidelines on the maximum length of letters from readers. Determine the newspaper or website’s editorial policy before sending your message and follow those guidelines.
- Be direct, but courteous and respectful.
- When a reporter, columnist, or article does a good job of presenting Israel’s situation, send a positive letter.
Lobbying Your Elected Officials
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are key players in maintaining Israel’s strong relationship with Washington. When elected officials visit their home districts, they set aside time to meet with concerned citizens and may be willing to meet with your church or civic group. Make an effort to develop ties with as many of your representatives as possible and to inform yourselves of their voting record on Israel-related issues. If they stand for Israel, thank them for doing so and if they don’t, explain why they should.
Don’t limit your focus to elected officials in Washington. Often, important issues related to Israel are the subject of debate at the state and local level as well. A number of city governments across the country have considered anti-Israel resolutions.
Points to keep in mind when communicating with elected officials:
- Be clear and concise.
- Reserve phone calls for urgent issues. When a vote is pending on an issue of importance to Israel, it’s a good time to call and express your views.
- Know your facts! If you are unsure of the message you want to convey, get clarification before contacting your elected officials.
- Be polite. Nothing is gained by offending or alienating an elected official. Even if he or she does not support Israel, keep open lines of communication and keep making convincing arguments.
For contact info for you elected officials, go to: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
Informal advocacy: Spreading the word on Israel among family and friends
Israel needs friends at all levels of society. While it certainly helps to have a devoted friend of Israel in the White House and on Capitol Hill, it’s also good to have people in your hometown who understand Israel’s situation and identify with the Jewish people.
Spreading the word in your community can take many forms. On an informal level, make an effort to discuss Israel with people you see every day. Tell your neighbors, friends and coworkers how you feel, and try to explain why you believe Israel and America are such good friends and why America must support the Jewish state.
Always tailor your message to your audience. If you are talking to a friend from church, go ahead and make reference to the biblical imperative of supporting Israel. But if you are talking to someone who does not share your religious views, you might stress the fact that Israel is one of America’s staunchest allies, or that Israel is a strong democracy and deserves our backing.