A group of local pro-Israel activists got together a few weeks ago and discovered they shared a distaste for the way Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, was being portrayed by much of the media in this country.
Last week they made their feelings public.
Without an organizational sponsor, operating on social media as the hashtag #StandWithIsrael, the friends put together a rally outside the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle, the New York home of CNN. More than 1,000 people came to the “Rally Against Biased Media.”
The event featured singing, dancing, fundraising for Israeli soldiers and speeches by such individuals as Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind and Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America.
The site of the rally was “a symbol,” said Jeremy Dery, an American-born, French-raised Zionist activist who returned to the U.S. two years ago. The rally, he said, was not protesting only CNN’s coverage of the Israel-Hamas fighting.
Though the rally took place outside the CNN studios, its target was “all media outlets [that] don’t really explain the context” of the fighting that has taken nearly 2,000 Palestinian lives in Gaza, which far out number the 64 Israeli soldiers who fell in battle, Dery said. Pictures of dead Palestinians in newspapers and on television present “a one-sided view of the conflict” that often prejudices readers and viewers against Israel, he said. “This is a recurring issue. The media have to show balance, not the propaganda that Hamas spews.”
Last week’s event probably won’t be the last one that Dery and his friends will organize, he said. “We would like to do more rallies.” He suggested that the next one would not be focused on the media but would be an “Israel Appreciation” demonstration.