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March 30, 1984 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-03-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, March 30, 1984

24

Personal views of Israel
coverage by the news media

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By CARL ALPERT
Haifa — I have been
queried many times about
my choice of subjects to
write about. Readers may
be reassured that there is no
lack of subjects. I could
write a daily column, 365
days a year, and never run
out of themes in this fas-
cinating country.
Rather, the question is,
what guidelines do I use?
How do I determine
whether a specific subject is,
shall we say, "suitable" for
readers overseas.
For one thing, everything
I write is submitted to and
clears through Israel mili-
tary censorship to make
sure that I am not, even un-
wittingly, revealing any-
thing that might be of value
to the enemy.
Beyond that, I subject
myself to personal censor-
ship. In reply to many ques-
tions, let me make it clear at
once that I am not objective.
To the contrary, when it
comes to love of Israel, de-
sire to help Israel flourish
and be strong, and concern
for the quality of life here, I
cannot be objective. I am in-
tensely, perhaps even
passionately partisan.
For that reason, perhaps,
I am discriminating in my
choice of subjects. I hope
that not everything I write
sounds Pollyanish. I am fre-
quently critical, but I am
also aware of the kind of
coverage which Israel has
been receiving on American
television, in Time maga-
zine, the New York Times
and other papers, and I do
feel that it is necessary to a
degree to offset some of the
false and misleading re-
ports to which the overseas
public is subjected.

Carl Alpert

In Israel, it appears that
many journalists and even
the state-owned television
have gone wild. That which
is negative and critical of Is-
rael gets the greatest expo-
sure.
As I stated earlier, much
of this is politically in-
spired, perhaps only
natural when the "outs"
want to be "in" and consider
it proper to decry and
undermine everything the
party in power is doing,
whether in defense or in
economics. And since there
is a dynamics about this
kind of criticism, the repeti-
tion begins to lead to the
creation of a psychological
atmosphere in which the
worst fears begin to be
realized.
If one cries "depression"
over and over again, it con-
tributes to a public response
in which depression is
bound to occur.
The politcal reaction to
the war in Lebanon is an-
other case. If ever Israel was
in a better bargaining posi-
tion to make the most of its
presence in Lebanon, the
constant harping criticism

Alas, many of my col-
leagues within the country,
in both the printed and the
visual media, feel no need to
exercise any restraint. They
believe that as journalists By HASRELL COHEN
they are obligated to pub-
There may not be too
lish everything which many outstanding Jewish
makes a "good story." They ahletes i'',- ,,resenting the
are subject to no moral or U.S. in the upcoming Olym-
national responsibility; to pic Games, but a number of
them, freedom of the press is Jewish coaches will be han-
paramount. And the savage dling our athletes in Los
attacks against the Israel Angeles this summer. Sev-
government (most of them eral foreign-born Jews have
politically inspired) which been selected to coach some
see the light in this country of the squads. With the
are reflected in the dis- addition of rhythmic gym-
patches sent abroad by nastics as.p. Olympic sport
foreign correspondents in in 1984United States
Israel. •
team wi;fl 131 headed by
I value freedom of the coach S vi irsky , the current
press, but democracy sets up mento r j ,or , the L S. National
certain criteria as the price Team ',Iiid heat f(c.oach and
for such freedom. We are all choreo:'g-rapher
-r the Los
. ,
called upon to restrain some Ange , l es School o ,_.iymnas-
Gymnas-
of our freedoms. Israel re- tics.,
tics.
1\ t; - s. Svirsk who cur-
cently passed a strict law
which restrains the freedom inntly coaches 11.,
y 1 .vdia
Bree
.
of people to smoke
and Valerie Zimri -ig — two
whenever and wherever of the U.S.'s top an. ateurs in
they like. We accept restric- the sport —
to
tions as to when and where, the U.S. in immisTated
. t
1974 & ' p mhe
we can cross streets, tyre Soviet Union and
speed at which we are per- her
0- 1980
her U.S. citizenship i eceived
mitted to drive, the d "-gree Ms. Svirsky was hon
of body exposure or sexual America's Coach of the' Year
`',.
activity in which we can in rhythmic gymnastiC
s in
engage in public. In every 1981.
.res
case the criterioa is the wel-
The Van Nuys, Ca.
Ca., J in
fare of the greater public.
dent is experien cecd

the opposition and the
by the
ill-timed street demonstra-
tions strengthened the hand
of our enemies and in effect
sabotaged our government's
efforts.
As Minister of Defense
Moshe Arens has pointed
out, this was not Israel's
first war. Following the
Six-Day War, Israel was
engaged in a long and
bloody War of Attrition
along the Suez Canal. The
Israel army was then lo-
cated on battlefields much,
much further from home
than Beirut. Our troops
were pinned down in a Bar
Lev Line which ultimately
proved to be valueless.
The death toll rose con-
stantly, but not once in
those days did the then op-
position do or say anything
which might handicap or
cripple the Labor govern-
ment in its conduct of the
war. Too much was at stake.
Now, in opposition, Labor
has shown no such re-
straint, and many of the
country's journalists have
lent themselves to what is
in effect a political cam-
paign waged on the backs of
the military.
I have many faults to find
with the present govern-
ment, and I certainly do not
agree with all its policies.
But there are so many jour-
nalists and commentators
engaged in lambasting the
government that my serv-
ices are not required in that
direction.
Rather, I do seek to cover
a more neglected aspect,
showing the positive, the
constructive, the unusual,
the cheerful — or even just
the normal side of Israel to-
day.
There is much to tell. I
hope my readers approve.

Jewish coach helps train
U.S. Olympic contingent

coaching at both the na-
tional and international
levels, most recently having
coached the U.S. teams at
the 1983 World Rhythmic
Championships in Stras-
bourg; the International In-
vitational in Orange, Cal;
and the Brother Cup in To-
kyo.
Prior to her arrival in
America, Ms. Svirsky was
the head coach for rhythmic
gymnasts at the Polytech-
nical Institute in Odessa.

The World Championship
For Masters Runners has
been awarded to Israel for
staging in 1987. The event
features runners over the
age of 50.
* * *
Israel's sports program is
developing rapidly in the
wheelchair and disabled
fields. Recently, 18 wheel-
chair basketball teams par-
ticipated in a championship
series at the Ilan Sports
Center, where a crowd of
1,000 spectators watched
the Ilan Jaffa team defeat
Ilan Ramat-Gan 62-47 for
the title.

Copyright 1984, JTA Inc.

cs;

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