An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth
A former AP correspondent explains how and why reporters get Israel so wrong, and why it matters
August 26, 2014
By Matti Friedman. Mr. Friedman’s work as a reporter has taken him to Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt, Moscow, and Washington, DC, and to conflicts in Israel and the Caucasus. His first book, The Aleppo Codex, won the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, and his second, about Israeli infantrymen holding an isolated outpost in Lebanon, will be published next year. He lives in Jerusalem.
The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself. It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews. The key to understanding this resurgence is not to be found among jihadi webmasters, basement conspiracy theorists, or radical activists. It is instead to be found first among the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry; decent people, many of them, and some of them my former colleagues.