'Bad News From the Netherlands' – kwalijk Israelisch project tegen 'vooroordelen' in onze media

‘Om duidelijk te maken hoe de media Israël een negatief imago hebben bezorgd’, zette Manfred Gerstenfeld een week ‘Slecht nieuws over Nederland’ op een rij om een publieke discussie uit te lokken (de Volkskrant Forum van 28 juni)

‘Slecht nieuws over Nederland’ – een Joods project dat tot weerwerk noodt

News coverage from Israel in the European press is often little more than a parody of honest journalism. Israelis have complained about this for decades, but more evidence of what you might call atrocities against journalism surface every day in European courtrooms and in the research of scholars.

To highlight at least one of the techniques used by European — and some American — news organizations, one Israeli has launched his own news parody. "Bad News from the Netherlands," run by Manfred Gerstenfeld, reports on the Netherlands by focusing exclusively on negative news. By the time you run through the clippings — all real news stories — the usually placid Netherlands sounds like the abode of the devil himself: Dutch soldiers suspected of torturing prisoners and killing civilians; soldiers beating an immigrant to death in the street; Dutch politicians guilty of incitement against foreigners. The list goes on, with items pouring into Gerstenfeld’s inbox every day from his fans in the Netherlands and from the Dutch newspapers he reads.

His point? Unbalanced reporting can make any country look bad. Focusing on the negative is one way to do this. Failing to show context and willingly distorting facts, or routinely accepting disinformation from one side of a conflict, are others.

Speaking to HonestReporting, Gerstenfeld said: We hope that people in other countries will follow. "Bad News" is a typical example of how to shift paradigms. We do not spend our time exposing Dutch media distorters or writing letters to their editors. We just take their distorting methods to the extreme on their own country. At the same time we are honest while they are not. We tell upfront that we only publish negative news. I think that as the number of negative items on our website will grow, their cumulative effect will become very powerful. We should however never forget our ultimate goal: to force Dutch society to begin a debate on how many of its leading Dutch media distorts reporting on Israel.

Will "Bad News From the Netherlands" fatally tarnish the country? Perhaps not, but this project presents an innovative angle exposing anti-Israel media bias.

‘Bad News From the Netherlands’ (Honest Reporting)

Bad News from the Netherlands

This project sets out to demonstrate that media coverage can degrade a country’s image by using selective news without context. It uses the Netherlands as an example. It is a reaction to the frequent misrepresentations of Israel in many ways in major media, including those of the Netherlands.


Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Commentaar: Het valt met die gepercipieerde vooroordelen in Nederland tegen Israel wel mee, zou elke objectieve waarnemer opmerken.
Het tegendeel is eerder het geval:

Ben benieuwd of VVD-Kamerlid Hans van Baalen over dit project ook zo snel vragen gaat stellen zoals hij recentelijk deed n.a.v. een kritisch CIDI-rapport over de (Nederlandse) ‘United Civilians for Peace’..

Report: Dutch government funding anti-Israeli organization (Haaretz)

De (pro-Groot-) ‘Israel lobby’ in Nederland: een noodzakelijke inventarisatie

What’s So Bad About Israel? (by Michael Neumann in CounterPunch, July 6, 2002)


2 thoughts on “'Bad News From the Netherlands' – kwalijk Israelisch project tegen 'vooroordelen' in onze media

  1. I find it unfair to blame only the Dutch media for the way Israel viewed by the rest of the world. Lets face it, both the Netherlands and Israel must have done something to be viewed this way by other countries.
    I also don’t think that bringing more positive news will make the bad new go away. Instead of debating this take notice of what is said in negative reports and try do deal with it in a civilized manner instead of blaming people who are not really directly involved.
    Then again, I guess what is said in this article is more propaganda than a factual opinion.

  2. M: I don’t think Dutch media are biased against Israel – to the contrary: our ‘Israel lobby’ has a firm hold on the media and on the majority in our parliament.
    (Mis)using our national guiltfeelings because of our very poor record in (not) protecting Jews in WW II, this lobby successfully suppresses evenhanded reporting on Israel’s behaviour towards Palestinians.
    Besides, many of our hardline Islam/Moslems-bashers belong to our ‘Israel lobby’.

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