My beat used to be, and sometimes still is, Israel. I covered the country for nearly twenty years for American, British and French media.
Working from Brussels and Berlin, since 2016, I’ve done a reverse commute and commented on European affairs for Israeli broadcasters.
Thus, you can imagine how much local press I’ve been consuming since Hamas launched its Al-Quds Flood campaign from Gaza.
French and German coverage has been disproportionately tabloid. It used to be that European media was much more balanced on the Middle East.
While Cockburn is still with us (now at Independent spinoff the i), everything reads more like American newspapers. Particularly the UK press.
It’s not uncommon to read a thousand-word feature on Gaza and not quote Palestinians – just Israelis, or for British papers to mistake photos of Gaza for Tel Aviv.
This is actually a picture of an Israeli attack on Gaza.
But you’d never guess that from the headline. pic.twitter.com/JE9gowfaZ2
— benhaboucha housseyn (@housseynhab) October 10, 2023
Even if you side with Israel, it’s still lousy journalism.
To that end, I have some recommendations for following the Sukkot War.
Despite being a state broadcaster, Qatar’s AJE produces the best broadcast journalism about the Middle East in English. As much as they’re prone to criticise it, Israeli media and lawmakers follow it religiously.
The best newspaper in the Middle East since 1918. The English edition could be more local, but it’s still expertly curated and will change how you think about Israeli politics. Requires subscription.
Increasingly equal to Haaretz in terms of the analysis it offers, 972’s volunteer contributors show how far citizen and hobby journalism can go. The Hebrew edition, Mekomit, is worth your time as well.
Israel/Palestine has always produced great news and documentary photographers. Founded in 2005, the Active Stills collective is the best photo agency in the region. Active Stills’ Instagram feed is obligatory.
The ToI started on the right. Founded by ex-Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz, the platform has done a political about-face over the years and is now a must-read. Tal Schneider’s 8 October history of Bibi’s support for Hamas explains why.
The only exclusively US media on this list. Though not focused on Israel, its literary commentary and analysis of the matsav (situation) reflect where American Jewish opinion is headed on the Jewish state.
Special Mention: Unsettled
The name should be a dead giveaway about its content. The only podcast on this list, the five-year-old Unsettled is an engrossing listen, produced by independent Israeli and American journalists. Highly recommended.
Between these outlets, you can’t go wrong. None are perfect, but they’ll give you the closest to an informed view abroad.
Photograph courtesy of Israel Police. All rights reserved.