I’m sure that plenty of Israelis are fed up with American Peter Beinart-types talking about how they love Israel so much, that they have to condemn it for its own good. (I’m fed up with it, too.) There are also, however, many, many of us in the US that actually love Israel, that work hard to defend Israel from bias in the mainstream media, on social media, and on campuses. We give our time writing letters and our money to organizations that pursue these goals. On behalf of everyone in the US that works hard to support Israel, I’d like to say, today, WTF, TOI?
This headline in today’s Times of Israel gives the distinct impression that segregation on buses is something that has been ongoing. Reading the first line of the story, however, we find that “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday morning suspended a Defense Ministry pilot plan that would have disallowed Palestinians with work permits from using Israeli buses to enter the West Bank.” Reading further, we find that Netanyahu stopped the plan on the same day that the Defense Minister intended to start it — it other words, it never went into effect at all. Adding a single word to the headline could have made it accurate: “Netanyahu puts the brakes on ‘segregated’ West Bank bus plan.”
Headlines are important. A single person can put just a headline into the facebook newsfeeds of hundreds of other people, in some cases even thousands, that will never read beyond that headline. It’s vitally important, therefore, that headlines not be misleading. Cutsey New York Post-worthy pun aside, this headline was sloppy, lazy, and inexcusable.
It is difficult enough dealing with bias in CNN, the Associated Press, and the New York Times. And don’t even get me started on our friends in the UK that have to deal with the BBC and The Guardian. It really should not be too much to ask that Times of Israel write accurate headlines, that don’t provide fodder for those who spread baseless lies about Israel.