The question of alternative facts has reared its head again in national media as Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted this past month on charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust. The prime minister allegedly bribed media outlets in exchange for favorable coverage as Israel heads into their third election. Israel’s failure to fill the seats in government is just one of the hues currently surrounding Netanyahu’s uncertain political future.
Netanyahu has adopted an almost “Trumpian” approach to dealing with the charges: dismissing the claims as baseless, and naming the investigation as a coup and a witch hunt. Netanyahu has received President Donald Trump much more openly than he did President Barack Obama during his two terms, and we may be seeing some of the effects of the relationship.
Israel’s representation in American media has remained favorable as many groups of Palestinian citizens are deprived of their national identity and relocated. In the last democratic debate, Senator Bernie Sanders was met with applause when he stated that we should be treating the Palestinian people with “the respect and dignity they deserve.” This quote was then put at the forefront of headlines and highlights of the debate, as if he had spoken an unthinkable phrase. Democrats have their golden standards of tolerance and acceptance, but the line becomes blurred when approaching the Israeli/Palestinian predicament. Part of this may be due to the powerful Israeli lobbying group AIPAC, which appeals for pro-Israel legislation to democrats. AIPAC also donates to democratic candidates.
So, when we see the Israeli prime minister being indicted on charges of bribery and fraud, allegedly exposing a quiet agreement between government and the media that reports on it, we can begin to draw a concerning conclusion about what that media won’t be reporting on: human rights violations.
Nevertheless, Netanyahu’s political allies are standing behind him, our president included, and Israel will move forward with a mismanaged electoral process. We can only hope that justice is dealt out on the proper side of the coin.
CJ Fudala is a fourth-year student majoring in English writing and minoring in journalism. CF895983@wcupa.edu.