Criticism is not censorship

A common complaint that anti-Israel commentators make is that their views are being suppressed, when all that’s really happening is that their statements are being disputed and their factual errors are exposed. 

Indeed, a useful tactic by the anti-Israel brigade to ward off criticism, according to a recent CAMERA brief,  is to charge those who scrutinize their claims as being guilty of censorship, intimidation, or otherwise stifling debate. 

So how do we approach this tactic?  A first step is to realise that this is what is happening.  Then read Gilead Ini’s excellent overview in  Asserting Mid-East facts isn’t censorship

To answer one critique that because of a supposed Israel lobby, discussion of Israel is lacking in the United States. Ini replies with the simple fact that “In January of this year, Israel was mentioned in 211 New York Times articles. Sudan and Darfur, where the Times editorial board says a genocide is taking place, were mentioned in just 53 articles.”

Ini adds that “Nonetheless, some anti-Israel activists can’t resist claiming their views are being suppressed by a nefarious lobby. This serves a dual purpose for the activist: It discourages careful analysis of their claims — after all, nobody wants to be accused of suppressing debate — while at the same time assigning to themselves the mystique of being a persecuted intellectual martyr.”

It is a particularly inappropriate tactic for journalists to employ since Ini reminds us that “the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics calls on the media to “test the accuracy of information from all sources,” to “admit mistakes and correct them promptly,” and to “invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.”

  As Harry Truman said in 1942, “If you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen.” 

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