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AUTHOR LEE BENDER ON ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS IN THE MEDIA AND SOCIETY
B’nai B’rith Podcast: New Episode on Dangers of Losing the Narrative on Middle East Conflict
(Washington, D.C., July 24, 2019)—Author and attorney Lee Bender notes: “Words have tremendous meaning. And if they are maligned, or misunderstood and mischaracterized, that can cause tremendous problems, issues and concerns.”
Bender joined B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin on the B’nai B’rith Podcast to talk about the pervasiveness and dangers of anti-Israel bias in the media. He co-wrote “Pressing Israel: Media Bias from A-Z” with Jerome Verlin and runs the website FactsonIsrael.com.
On the podcast, Bender and Mariaschin discuss how anti-Israel activists continue to poison the discourse around Israel and Zionism by injecting biased words into the discussions.
For example, many media outlets now differentiate between “East Jerusalem” and “West Jerusalem,” even though Jerusalem has been an undivided city for the vast majority of its history. Bender says that deceptive language like this – what he calls “Toxic Terms” – hurts efforts to reach people who occupy a middle ground between anti-Zionism and pro-Israel advocacy; these people could become pro-Israel if they learn about the issue, but only from unbiased sources that use honest language.
While it might be tempting to minimize the importance of precision in language, Bender cautions against this: “Our motto is: if you forfeit the language, you forfeit our heritage and our history.”
Listen to the podcast here. (https://www.bnaibrith.org/podcasts/if-you-forfeit-the-language-you-forfeit-our-heritage-and-history-factsonisraelorg-co-founder-lee-bender)
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