Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Swedish News Bureau TT Distorts Information Concerning Israel.

TT (Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå) is a national news bureau in Sweden which more or less holds a monopoly on foreign news published in the Swedish media. The news bureau which was founded in 1921 also has a decades-old tradition of negatively twisting information about Israel.

Recently, a story was published via TT’s news bureau in Swedish newspapers that “Israel lets through clothes and shoes to Gaza.”

The article, translated from Swedish reads:
Israel Lets Clothes and Shoes Through Into Gaza”
Published 2010-03-29 21:40
Israel will allow a supply of clothes and shoes to the Gaza Strip, for the first time in nearly three years of blockade against the Palestinian territory.
Palestinian sources said Monday that the first ten truck loads will cross the border into the Gaza Strip on Thursday.
The outside world presses Israel to ease the blockade. For example, the UN has stressed that the entire Palestinian population of the strip is collectively punished by Israel’s actions against the militant Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the strip.
On the long list of goods that Israel stops are, in addition to steel and concrete, a number of things that can hardly be used for violent attacks against Israel, such as pencils and books.
As a result of the blockade the Gazans are smuggling goods, including consumer goods through the narrow and dangerous tunnels under the border with Egypt. Israel has also bombed such tunnels on many occasions.


As can be read in the blog “Israel in Sweden” (both available in English and Swedish), TT, once again, fails to bring Israel’s reason for blocking trade into Gaza into the picture leaving the Swedish readers distorted and biased in front of the information.

The blog reads;
“While TT is telling the Swedes, who do not have any other source of information from the Middle East (except possibly Muslim TV stations on cable TV like Al Jazeera)  that the evil Israelis are stopping all other delivery and on top of that, are bombing tunnels for delivery of shoes! No mention at all of all the transport of weapons through these tunnels of course…

It is important for Swedish media to not take a pre-determined stance against Israel when claiming to “report credible news”. Therefore, TT also should, when bringing news to the Swedish media report that there are “more than 1,000 tunnels, some broad enough for loaded trucks, through which a large array of basic and luxury goods flow to the markets and shops of the Palestinian enclave - and have done ever since the end of 2009. More about this can be found here 

TT should also mention that Israel also, since the end of the IDF operation in Gaza (18 Jan 2009), increased  its humanitarian aid to the Gaza strip. Within this framework 834,850 tons of aid and 122,723,653 liters of fuel have been delivered to the Gaza Strip.

When TT constantly, it seems, leaves out information, such as the above mentioned which is relevant for reporting an unbiased story, it can no longer claim to be reporting “credible news”. When it does not report both sides of the story, TT’s news leaves the Swedish readers unaware of the real facts. By doing so one can also argue that TT in this way demonizes the state of Israel and adds to the level of biased Israel-hatred in Sweden.

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