Light a candle in the dark

What can an individual do to counter biased or non-factual media reporting? The most important contribution is to arm yourself with the facts and then muster the courage and dare to express it.

Hillel Neuer is director of UN Watch in Geneva. His speech “Where are your Jews?” before the UN refugee organization UNHRC where he addressed the Arab states, has had 11.7 million views on Facebook and YouTube. Photo: UN Watch

The combination of lies and terror is treacherous. The fear of telling the truth because of threatening groups can affect even politicians, journalists and opinion leaders. History shows that both grassroots people and decision-makers in these situations easily think short-term and self-centered at the expense of both truth and humanity.
We live at a time when anti-Semitism is increasing around the world, where Islamist groups with totalitarian ideologies and/or states on the right and left are joining forces in their hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. It is a situation that makes high demands people in terms of courage and action.
Responding to incorrect or biased information in the media and social debate is therefore extremely important so that the opinion that is most threatening or loudest does not gain further ground.

Objectivity and facts

There are a number of ways to refute incorrect and biased news reporting. Everything starts with being objective and fact-based at your own starting point. Being well-read and having correct factual information lends authority to your words. There are a number of Israeli newspapers available that present Israeli perspectives on the news, which otherwise mainly convey the Hamas point of view. Examples of three of these are the Jerusalem post (, The Times of Israel ( and (
It can also be valuable to read the websites of English-language Arab newspapers or the English-language websites of Arab states, to get a picture of what is being said at home – where the rhetoric, and anti-Semitism are often more pronounced.
Palestinian Media Watch ( is an organization that monitors and documents cases of anti-Semitism in the Palestinian media. The NGO Monitor ( examines international aid activities from the same perspective, and UN Watch ( is a human rights organization that monitors among other things the UN’s actions in relation to Israel, based on the yardstick of its own charter.

Take contact

Once you’ve got hold of the facts you can use them in a number of ways. You can write a letter to the editor of a newspaper or tip-off a journalist in a newsroom’s editorial staff. You can also email or call a newsdesk or contact a journalist who publishes incorrect or misleading information. If the error is serious, you can also report the feature/article to the Review Board.
Making your own updates on social media is another way to make room for important facts. In your conversations among friends, with family or at work there are many opportunities to pass on factual information. Organizing seminars and lectures with other people are more examples of how to make room for an Israel-friendly tone in the public sphere.