(This question was put by the Emet News Service –www.emetnews.org)
Though the seeds of Arab revolution were sown over the many years by the brutal policies of their dictators, US media coverage of the Middle East over the last decade has meant Israel, and Israel alone.
Until the street protests in Tunisia and Egypt forced media outlets to focus their resources on these countries, the US media seemed to conveniently forget that hundreds of millions of people throughout the Arab world lived under ruthless rulers who continuously subjugated their citizens and abused their basic human rights.
If a story did not deal with the Israeli-Arab conflict it was inauspiciously placed on the back-burner. Minute scrutiny was given to every action of the Israeli government or the IDF and reporters routinely lambasted Israel to make headline news out of such trivial events as the renovation of an abandoned hotel in East Jerusalem or the government decision to implement a citizen loyalty oath.
Though egregious human rights violations were happening simultaneously in Iran, Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, there was practically no coverage conferred to these events. Israel probably has the highest per capita “fame quotient” in the world because of the disproportionate media coverage it is given.
People in the US tend to know more about Israeli politics and find Israel’s leaders more recognizable than even those of their neighbors in Canada or Mexico.
Moreover, there are more news correspondents and organizations based in Israel than in any other country in world except for the United Kingdom.
Unfortunately it took such a momentous and unprecedented action as the complete upheaval of the status-quo in the Middle East to remind the media that stories exist outside the borders of Israel.