Not-So-Fair Weathered Friends

CNN is already well known for having an anti-Israel bias in their Middle East coverage, so it would not shock anyone to find a Middle East news report that reflects this.

What is shocking is the fact that this bias against Israel extends to their Weather site.

It all starts if you have the temerity to search for Jerusalem. In such a case, you receive 3 possible options:
– Jerusalem, null
– Jerusalem, OH
– Jerusalem AR

Needless to say, clicking on the Jerusalem without a country leads to the weather for Jerusalem, Israel.

Now if this was the only instance of weirdness, then I might even put it down to an innocent mistake. But like a bad infomercial, there’s more.

If you go to the Weather Location Selector for the Middle East, you are presented with a list of countries. Gaza and the West Bank are listed as countries separate from Israel.

And it gets worse. If you select Israel, a list of cities is displayed, which includes:

  • Abu Shusha, an Arab village that has not existed since 1948
  • Akbara, an Arab village near Safed that has not existed since 1948
  • Al Atrun, which is the Arab name for the area of Latrun
  • Dayr Ayyub, an Arab village that has not existed since 1948, and where the eastern segment of Canada Park is today
  • If like me, you are infuriated by this politicization of the weather, then you can contact CNN here.

    And be sure to spread this around and have others complain to them.(Hat tip to the good citizens of Beit Shemesh for pointing this out to me)

    Update: Here’s my latest post on the subject.

    About Aussie Dave

    An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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    • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      CNN is biased like the BBC and is a danger to the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

      Their “news” coverage is comparable to supporting terrorism.

    • Anonymous

      Now this is a stretch, I know, but if you accept that CNN is a left leaning news organization, and the left has not been as friendly to the Jewish community as the right (in my opinion), then why are so many Jews Democrats? So many Jews support candidates and watch news channels that are blatantly biased against Israel.

    • Anonymous

      When I checked the SELECT CITY list, Jerusalem wasn’t even on it!!

    • Anonymous

      Because, in my humble opinion, lots ofAmerican Jews are masochists, they hate themselves for being Jewish, they try to prove that they are “fair” minded, and they want to belong, just like the Jews in Germany in the 30’s ‘belonged’. G-d forbid that Israel should perish, then they would find themselves with no one to defend them, just like in Germany in the 30’s.

    • Anonymous

      Jews are traditionally Democrats.
      It has nothing to do with American Jews being masochists, it’s merely that a few decades ago the left was not anti-Semitic and did support Israel.
      I only recently watched an episode of “Till Death Us Do Part”, a British political sitcom of the late 60s early 70s about the Six-Day-War. The lefties in the show defended Israel and “the Jews”.
      The left’s attitude towards Jews and Israel now is an entirely new phenomenon, at least among the non-communist left.
      Jews are traditionally Democrats because in the old days the northern Democrats were pro-immigration and pro-working-class but not communist while the Republicans were much represented WASPs and nativists. You would assume to find Jews among the first group.
      Later the Democrats were staunchly anti-communist but did not give up their social democratic positions, again attracting Jews.
      It was only when northern and southern Democrats merged their values that the current Democratic party emerged.
      The left find themselves in the position the nationalist right used to be in the 1920s: their philosophy has been shown not to work, hence they have to get votes from people who don’t care about the platform but merely about whose fault it can be that they are poor and forgotten.
      Only recently in Germany the “national democratic party” (neo-Nazis) have voiced their support for Oskar Lafontaine, leader of the German socialist party (NOT the Social Democratic part of Schroeder). His positions: get rid of foreigners, stop supporting Germany’s allies, and condemn Israel as an “aggressor state”. (In their view being attacked makes one an aggressor, if one is Jewish.)
      But back to America… Ronald Reagan defined the right of the 80s. But he was simply not a character most Jews would care for. He didn’t target Jews as a group he would like to represent. The same goes for George Bush Sr. And then Bill Clinton was a Democrat who was not openly hostile to Jews or Israel and was not Jimmy Carter and who did oppose Arab nationalists and the cold war was over… there are many reasons, but the upshot is that Clinton did almost nothing which made it hard to see that the Democrats had changed. Clinton was certainly not one of the new anti-Semitic left, but he didn’t do anything and hence nobody could see what the Democrats were like at that point.
      And between George Bush Jr. and Al Gore before 2001 and before it was obvious what the Democrats stood for, who can blame anybody for supporting the Democrats back then? I would have voted for Gore. He seemed like an intelligent man. (And Bush did not.) And then is there is Joe Liebermann and the Republicans’ support for black rather than Jewish politicians (pick your minority).
      In short, it’s not about masochism. We just happen to be talking about decisions made in the 1930s and 40s that have yet to be re-evaluated. It seems to me that American Jews are moving towards the Republican party now.
      Don’t forget that New York City has voted Republican a lot lately.

    • Anonymous

      Oh, that’s easy, but not as simplistic as Anonymous above makes it. Everyone here knows about the traditions of social justice in the Jewish community (look no further than the numerous Joint Distribution Committees established at one time or another in numerous places). And Jews saw that voting for the Democratic platform in the 1930s was more palatable than becoming Communists (especially if they were religious). But that can’t be all, because other groups such as the Irish and Italians have become more distributed in their political views. Rather, I place the blame on the Republican Party of the 1920s-30s. At the time, the party was notoriously nativist and openly courting the same people the KKK were (look at the highest election the KKK was able to make, the Indiana governorship. He was a Republican). Why else do you think the main bloc threatening FDR against admitting the passengers of the SS St. Louis were all Republicans? Or, for that matter, Charles Lindbergh? Compound this with the traditional anti-Jewish feelings in the South that were expressed by Dixiecrat Democrats who eventually moved to the Republican Party in the 1960s, and you get a DEEP backlash against the party, one that has yet to be rectified. Association with the ascendant Christian Right in the 1980s on is still contentious for a community that had fought against everything they represent today in years past (namely, pushing the encroachment of Protestant Christian doctrine (and everything it represents) out of government (yeah, Protestant Christian, because Catholics sure weren’t going to go along with it and haven’t)). Moreover, Jews today are still at an unease over today’s ascendant nativism. The Right may like Jews, but I have a feeling they prefer a lockstep view. Dems as a whole don’t (hence the infighting in the party), which is why it’s important to maintain mainstream control of the party without giving in to extremists and their “Dod Moshes”.

      Then again, I’m an anomaly, being right on this and left on that. I personally don’t like the war in Iraq, but you won’t see me at an anti-war rally, because you can always tell their motives by the company they keep. I’m a Dem, but you probably won’t see me voting for a Hillary and definitely not a Kucinich or Gravel (Obama I probably will, and here’s why: he maintains much of the domestic while breathing hope into the electorate, and he’s more pro-Israel than you probably think (I bet it was probably he or one of his allies who forced the repeal of the UCC’s inflammatory statements passed two years ago)).

    • Anonymous

      “Akbara, an Arab village near Safed that has not existed since 1948″
      It actually still exists. Just for the record.

    • Anonymous

      Weather in Tel-Aviv- Yafo, Israel is listed. So i am not sure about what is going on here.

      I do suspect CNN to be left-leaning at times

    • Anonymous

      I’m just as suspicious and annoyed by leftist bias as the next guy — but, speaking as a database programmer, this has the marks of an innocent database error.

      I run a large web site myself that caters to an international audience. If there’s a keystroke error in updating the information for a city, it’s quite easy for BOTH things you observed to happen: for Jerusalem to be missing its country designation, and for Jerusalem not to get filed properly when you browse for information by country.

      In fact, you couldn’t much have one without the other occurring at the same time; it’s just how databases work.

      So I’d cut ‘em some slack on this one, assuming they fix the problem early.

    • Anonymous

      OK, that CNN stuff is obnoxious and dangerous. The good people of Israel (whom I support 200% in their long battle with terrorism and military aggression) deserve better.

      But on the _really_ interesting question of why Jewish people overwhelmingly vote for Left Wing parties, the uncomfortable truth is that most Jews of the West are extremely bigoted, and Conservative parties — that are generally patriotic and support traditional values — are rejected by Jewish voters for their association with Christianity and (in the USA and Australia at least) Anglo-Saxons.

      Policy has nothing to do with it, the average Jewish voter would rather hurt Israel than vote for ‘one of them’.

    • Anonymous

      or it’s simply that for some of us, democrats support more of the issues that we believe in – social programs, education, health care, etc. and republicans don’t. Republicans also tend to be very bigoted. If we were to choose only on “who is best for Israel” lines we might vote differently, but if we put everything together, many will vote for a party that supports the majority of their positions.

    • Anonymous

      Nonsense; immigration reform, no child left behind, school vouchers… there are abundant social policy reasons why the Republican Party could attract at least a goodly proportion of socially liberal Jews — unless that electorate was a prisoner of the bigoted conviction that ‘those sort of people’ were always ‘up to no good’.

    • Anonymous

      Outrageout. email has been sent to CNN. Just report the facts – keep personal bias out of the news, ESPECIALLY the weather….

    • Anonymous

      I am a Liberal Jew. 80 percent of the Jewish population voted for Kerry. I proudly did.

      What people here don’t seem to understand is that the Democratic party strongly supports Israel, as do most of the “liberal ” Jews like myself.

      There was a vote in the senate a few years ago, in support of Israel. Only 2 senators voted against it. Israel enjoys wide support from both parties.

      The present administration is both corrupt, and outright stupid. I am proud of the fact that for the most part Jews in America do not support it. As far as some of the fringe Jewish Leftists, there is no greater anti-semite than a self loathing Jew.

      But, overall, Jews in America lean to the left, and Jews in America have been solid supporters of Israel from its birth through present.

      I find it insulting sometimes when people in blogs act like support for Israel is a left right issue. It is an issue of common sense and love of freedom.


    • Anonymous

      Stan errs when he writes that “the Democratic party strongly supports Israel, as do most of the ‘liberal’ Jews like myself.”

      If liberals – especially liberal Jews – would step out of their hermetically sealed ideological box once in a while and actually take in some new information, they would know that the world has changed since they formed their political opinions in adolescence. I say this as someone who was a liberal Democrat all my life – until the 2004 election.

      An NBC/WSJ poll in July 2006 found that 84% of Republicans support Israel vs 43% of Democrats. An LA/Bloomberg poll at the same time showed that 69% of Republicans support strong U.S. ties with Israel. Democrats? Only 39%.

      Read Richard Baehr at the American Thinker: The Democrats sign up with the anti-Semites. Or better yet, Omri at Mere Rhetoric, who has a question for you.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry, I didn’t mean to pop up as “Anonymous” in my reply to Stan above.

      Also shouldn’t have signed off without thanking Dave for the mind-blowing CNN story. Keep up the good work.

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