The Dutch Media’s Sins of Omission

April 29, 2013

An astounding 5 million Dutch have a profoundly negative view of Israel and believe that Israel is committing genocide. In a study by the University of Bielefeld in Germany, researchers asked 1,000 Dutchmen whether Israel is running a war of extermination against the Palestinians. More than 38 percent of those interviewed answered in the affirmative.

Yet, commentary on the implications of this study have been met with Dutch media silence. Manfred Gerstenfeld, an expert in anti-Semitism, wrote an article about these widely held beliefs which, says Gerstendfeld in a Times of Israel article, “resemble the dark anti-Semitic views propagated during the Middle Ages. I sent it to two Dutch newspapers. Both refused to print it. It was then published on one of the Netherlands’ largest blogs, Dagelijkse Standaard. This blog is also read by journalists from the major Dutch papers, yet they did not publish anything on the study. Only a small Christian internet radio station, Pillar of Fire, whose editor was shocked by the report’s findings, contacted me for an interview”.

According to Gerstenfeld, “many major Dutch media publish trivial items about Israel, as long as they are sufficiently negative. Both the abject belief of about 5 million Dutchmen and the media’s silence on the extreme hatred of Israel reflect aspects of what is radically wrong with Dutch society”.

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