Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hartford Courant's Curious Judgement

The following was sent to Karen Hunter, the Reader's Representative of The Hartford Courant.

Dear Ms. Hunter:

The Courant editors have exhibited rather interesting judgement in two areas of particular concern to PRIMER-Connectict.

It apparently did not have sufficient room to cover the annual, statewide Holocaust Commemoration.

This event was significant enough for Governor Rell to attend and personally issue a proclamation.

It was significant enough for our state's attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, to stay for its entirety, even standing the whole time when there was no seat for him.

Not only was this an important, annual event commemorating the brutal murder of six million Jews, along with millions of other "undesirables," but it was significant in being the thirtieth year this commemoration has occurred. I believe, additionally, that Connecticut was the first state to hold such a commemoration.

While The Courant did not have any space for the memory of The Six Million, it was able to find a large amount of space for an item it apparently considered far more important: outhouses.

I find that judgement rather curious.

The other judgement I found curious was The Courant's choice of a feature on the sixtieth anniversary of Israel's reestablishment.

Israel has gone through an amazing period in these last sixty years, building a thriving democracy without the benefit of a single day of peace.

It has absorbed millions of refugees, forced out of their homes in Arab lands, in the Former Soviet Union, in Ethiopia and elsewhere.

It is the only country in the history of the world which has welcomed Black Africans to freedom, as brothers, rather than to exploit them.

Israel is one of the world's leaders in technology and innovation.

Israel has an incredibly diverse population, a nation of immigrants who have returned to their homeland.

There are so many amazing aspects of Israel that could have been included in a series of articles, yet The Courant chose to publish a single article whose focus had little to do with the reality of Israel and which also contained numerous distortions, such as the following: "A new intifada, or uprising, by Palestinian youths began after Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited a Muslim holy site, the Temple Mount."

The Temple Mount is a Jewish holy site, not a Muslim holy site. It contains to mosques holy to Muslims, but they were not visited by Sharon. While the terror uprising did begin after Sharon visited the Temple Mount, it also began after the Palestinian Arabs rejected peace at Camp David. It also began after they carefully planned it. Sharon's visit was simply a pretext, as was admitted by Arab leaders.

I recognize the choice of articles and the content of these articles are matters of judgement, but the judgement exercised was certainly rather curious.


Alan H. Stein
President, PRIMER-Connecticut
Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting

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