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AIJAC writes to the ABC asking it to explain the lack of coverage of Gaza rocket attacks

Jun 5, 2018

AIJAC writes to the ABC asking it to explain the lack of coverage of Gaza rocket attacks

Media Release

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has written to ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie asking her to explain the ABC’s glaring lack of coverage of the biggest rocket and mortar attacks launched by Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Israel since the 2014 war.

AIJAC Executive Director Colin Rubenstein today said the ABC’s decision not to cover last week’s large-scale violence appeared to be “one more addition in a growing list of glaring failures by the taxpayer funded ABC to meet its statutory requirements to be fair and balanced in its coverage.”

He noted that apart from one Al Jazeera sourced report broadcast twice on ABC Radio National “News Radio”, the ABC could apparently find no room on any of its many flagship programs or websites to report on an attack unequivocally condemned by numerous world leaders and the UN’s own Middle East envoy.

Dr Rubenstein noted that,” As AIJAC’s letter says, more than 200 rockets were indiscriminately fired at Israel. The UN’s own Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov said the ‘firing of rockets and mortars against civilians cannot be justified under any circumstances’. Yet there was no coverage on AM, PM, Breakfast, 7.30, ABC TV News, nor abc.net.au.”

“This almost complete lack of coverage stands in contrast to most of the Australian media – including Fairfax, News Ltd and SBS – which seemed to have no problem identifying the attacks and the international reaction to them as newsworthy,” he added.

Dr Rubenstein also pointed out that, “The ABC’s silence on the rocket attacks was in marked contrast with its sudden rediscovery of Gaza on Sunday June 3 when it broadcast a report on ABC TV news that Israeli security forces had killed a Palestinian medic during violent Friday protests on the Gaza-Israel border” as well as the ABC’s very extensive coverage of the deadly clashes along the Gaza border over previous weeks.

Dr Rubenstein said AIJAC’s letter also criticised the ABC for its ongoing use of Al Jazeera sourced reports, particularly on ABC News Radio.

“Al Jazeera has a known agenda against Israel and in favour of Hamas and the Palestinians. Al Jazeera is owned and controlled by the Qatari royal family which shares the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist agenda and provides political and financial support for Hamas. Using it undermines the ABC’s own requirement under its code of conduct for fairness and balance in reporting,” he concluded.

For additional information, contact AIJAC on (03)-9681-6660.

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