Bias is a tendency.
According to Psychology Today:
Most biases—like preferring to eat food instead of paper clips, or assuming someone on fire should be put out—are helpful. But cognitive shortcuts can cause problems when we’re not aware of them and we apply them inappropriately, leading to rash decisions or discriminatory practices. Relying on biases but keeping them in check requires a delicate balance of self-awareness.
The head of the foreign press in Israel insists the media is not biased against Israel.
Varda showed us how 235 media outfits rushing to print something not true – one mistranslated word – which showed Israel in a bad light was big international news.
Was that simply a cognitive shortcut?
Now, let’s contrast with how many foreign media outlets wrote about a significant event on Tuesday in Jerusalem, Israel, which anti-Israel, and even pro-Israel, people might find surprising.
Was there one foreign media correspondent in attendance other then my friend from Russia?
Seven Qadis, Sharia Court Judges, were sworn in at the Israeli President’s Residence, in the same room Ban Ki-Moon and John Kerry are received on diplomatic visits.
The event was attended by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, as well as the President of the Sharia Court of Appeal Qadi Daoud Zini, and saw the appointment of two Sharia Court of Appeal judges, and five who will serve in the regional Sharia Courts.
Who knew there is an Islamic Sharia Court system as part of the Israeli Justice system?
President Rivlin’s comment about female judges may have not gone over so well.
“I pray we will merit to see as such an event swearing in female and male Qadis – until we will be fortunate enough to see this, may you all be granted the ability to build bridges between the tradition and rulings of Sharia, and between the understanding that men and women are equal in every way.”
The room was full as Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked MK reiterated the female theme.
“When the decision to make the new appointments was made, I turned to the sub-committee for recommendations for female candidates for Qadis. This can and would be an important declaration to the Arab population and Israeli citizens as a whole. In recent years we have seen such appointments made is several Muslim countries including Jordan, Egypt and others. There is no reason why Israel, as a democratic and progressive state, would not align itself with these important winds of change, in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, which sets forward that the state would be based upon equal rights for all its citizens regardless of religion, race, or sex. We must welcome the fact that the Arab sector is willing to support such a move and do all that is necessary to ensure equal representation for women, which will promote them to their rightful place at the forefront of the judiciary.”
Shaked’s speech has not spread like wild fire through the social media, but it was recorded on more than one iPhone by audience members.
Whether the new Qadis are open to having females join them as judges in their Sharia Courts, remains to be seen. But Muslim guests at the Israeli President’s House were lining up to pose with the female Israeli Justice Minister after the ceremony.
Especially as we prepare for a new onslaught of hate with the approaching Israel Apartheid Week and more of the apartheid lie, why did the international media not cover this official event?
It is not just a few outrageous headlines or spreading false stories without fact checking. What is deemed newsworthy and what is not shared, is part of the delicate balance required of foreign media.
RELYING ON BIASES BUT KEEPING THEM IN CHECK REQUIRES A DELICATE BALANCE OF SELF-AWARENESS.