With signs held high reading such slogans as, ‘The Media Fuels Terrorism,’ ‘We Demand CNN Stop Supporting Terror’, and ‘UNRWA=United Nations Rocket Warehousing Agency,’ several hundred protestors gathered outside CNN headquarters on Columbus Circle in Manhattan for over three hours to hear speakers, music performances and to express their dismay at the coverage of Israel’s operation Protective Edge by CNN and other major media outlets.
The event was organized by an ad-hoc group of New Yorkers. Sabrina Muldoon, one of the organizers created a Facebook page entitled, ‘A Voice for Israel,’ as a forum for communication on issues facing Israel.
The message of the rally, according Muldoon, was that “Media bias is not only unacceptable but it is a disservice to the world! If the only way a majority of people are forming decisions is based on watching the news and not looking in to real clear facts as to why Israel must defend itself, it is hard to see any side except the horrific images presented by the media; All while it ignores the efforts of Israel to protect civilians as much as possible.” While media bias against Israel has been coming from numerous news outlets, Muldoon says CNN was selected for the protest because of its “especially egregious coverage coming from reporters and journalists such as Diana Magnay calling Israelis ‘scum’ and Marc Lamont-Hill tweeting lines like ‘Iron Dome takes away Hamas's military leverage."
Joe Hyams, the CEO of Honest Reporting, a group dedicated to monitoring media coverage of the Middle East, announced that he would not “apologize to the international media that we did not bleed enough.” Hyams noted how with all the negative bias against Israel, there is “no sense of understanding as to why Israel went to all the trouble to protect itself.” While pointing out the contrast between the warring sides, he noted that “Israel uses missiles to defend its kids while Hamas uses kids to defend their missiles.”
Laura Regan of EMET a Washington think tank noted the distortions in the media and called attention to the falsification of civilian casualty figures in Gaza by Palestinian sources which are readily accepted. Regan urged readers to follow bloggers who “tell the truth” about the mid east like Elder of Zion and emphasized the need to fight anti-Zionism which is anti-Semitism.”
With the rousing words, “Rise Zion, honor your legacy”! Activist Chloe Valdery urged those assembled to continue speaking out against those who defame Israel and the Jewish people. Valdery noted the lack of context in mainstream media coverage which she termed as “institutional bigotry.”
Israeli singer, Beni Elbaz, gave a spirited concert which included his hit song, ‘Hashem Melech, Hashem Malach.’
In the words of one of his compositions, entitled, ‘Israel Aparthied,’ against the charge that Israel is an apartheid state, Jewish raggae singer, Ari Leeser, sang “It’s not fair to compare a racist regime (old South Africa) with the war on terror. For two-thousand years the Jews all roamed but we always called Israel our home.”
After the event ended at 9:00 P.m. demonstrators remained for an additional hour dancing and singing in front of CNN.