Wailing Wall, Jerusalem

Kiwis for
Balanced Reporting
in the Middle East

New Zealand Media bias Photo Perry Trotter

Selected Feedback

Here are some of the letters that we have received, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
More feedback can be seen at Feedback Archives.

Bigotry Box

When people blame Israel for actions that they ignore or condone when done to a far worse degree by other nations (including Israel's enemies), or when they dismiss truths favourable to Israel as ‘propaganda’, one can only wonder about their motives. In the following letters the hatred and bigotry speak for themselves.

January 23, 2011
Dear KBRM,
… Thank you for reminding me that there are people like you active in my nation. I didn't realise that an organisation like yours was out there but now I know, I will put a lot more time into helping to Free Palestine in any way I can, and urging my friends to do the same!
Bloodthirsty, racist fascists like you have to be counteracted, for the sake of many innocent lives…
As I am a Teacher I will also try to make sure that by the time they leave my classroom at the end of each year, my students know the truth about Palestine and the human rights abuses that are going on there.

October 6, 2010
See this critically acclaimed play about US human rights activist Rachel Corrie, killed in Gaza by an Israeli military bulldozer while defending Palestinians from ethnic cleansing by the Zionist state. (From a leaflet sent anonymously to KBRM, presumably in response to an advert about Gaza.)
The charge of ‘ethnic cleansing’ is a gross lie (and libel) that is so extreme it can only arise from bigotry. The bulldozer was destroying a Palestinian home used for arms smuggling. Two years later Israel completely withdrew from Gaza. Today Israel sends truckloads of supplies to Gaza and treats sick Gazans in its hospitals. Today there are 1.4 million Arabs living in Israel as full citizens, while Gaza is (Jew-free). If there is any ‘ethnic cleansing’, it is not by Israel.

August 15, 2010
The following unsigned letter, although not overtly anti-Semitic, reeks of prejudice. Facts favourable to Israel or unfavourable to Palestinians are either ignored or derided, and false claims are made. (KBRM comments are in blue.)
It is with utter disgust that I am writing to you in regards to the paid advertisement in the Herald. It is obvious that your organisation has jumped the band wagon of pro-Israel rhetoric. While I understand that you have the right to your views, it is obvious you have misinterpreted the meaning of "objective". An international inquiry hasn't yet begun but I am sure the whole world would love to get the results. However, I need to bring to your attention some matters which you raised. Much of the article was trying to validate and justify the actions of the Israelis. On the other hand, you have mentioned atrocities by Muslims. What I fail to understand is what makes you so right in supporting one group while criticising the other. Why do you have to attack Muslims in trying to justify Israelis killing the peace activists??
The advert was designed to present facts not found in the newspapers, not to validate, justify, support or criticise either side. We did not "attack" Muslims. We reported the fact, seen on videotape, that the peace activists' attacked the Israelis first, who then responded with force. Yet almost nothing except condemnation of Israel , with little evidence, has appeared in the New Zealand media. Our advertisement addresses this imbalance.
You should also mention in your article, since you are an objective group that most killings, murderers, criminals in jails around the world are Christians. You don't have to go far, check the statistics from NZ jails and US jails. You will be surprised what you will find. So I strongly suggest that you use these figures in future articles.
Our concern is Balanced Reporting on the Middle East. However it is not surprising that most criminals in Christian nations are Christian. Your prejudice is showing again.
Israel has continually defied numerous UN resolutions and your defense of the Israelis is appalling.
We do not ‘defend Israel’; we present facts. Nearly all UN resolutions are non-binding expressions of opinion. There have been many resolutions critical of Israel , passed because most Islamic countries support anything critical of Israel . No binding resolution has ever been passed against Israel.
Israel demolished homes, killed hundreds and made Palestinians slaves in their own country. How would you feel if someone made another home in your own compound and put a big fence in between?? Will you welcome the neighbour with open arms?? Well, that's what your article implies. Your ignorance of the actual situation is absolutely pathetic and sickening.
In fact, few homes have been demolished, and those only after a full legal process. Demolishing illegal structures is done in many countries, including New Zealand. Residents of the Palestinian Territories are denied numerous rights, e.g. the right to vote, but this was imposed by their own leaders. There is no slavery in Israel or the Territories. The Palestinian ‘slaves’;, as you call them, in Israel prefer to live there (where they have full rights) than in a Palestinian state. There would be no killings if the Palestinians would give up their terror war on Israel and accept its existence. If you attack a country, you must expect to be counter-attacked.
The Humanitarian crisis is escalating by the day. All countries around the world acknowledge this, including the US . A ship is bound to Gaza from America as you read this. (check the internet) So I am now wondering what makes you so right in saying that Gazans are living a life of luxury ...
Our advert did not claim that all Gazans live a life of luxury. However even Hamas leaders have stated that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. There is undoubtedly hardship, but also much wealth, and the Hamas rulers seem uninterested in redistribution.
The US tried to justify the war in Iraq with the weapons of mass destruction as the reason. They found nothing. Israel killed the members of the peace group on the pretext they had weapons. Not even a single ‘gun’ was found. Even you acknowledge this!!!
Israeli forces did not respond to a ‘pretext’, but to attacks that are documented on videotape. If a crew chooses to attack soldiers trying to carry out a peaceful mission, the consequences are likely to be severe. While no gun was found, there were bullets that did not come from Israeli guns. (It's not hard to throw a gun overboard.)
I must say your article is not in anyway whatsoever ‘balanced’. I am an avid reader of world news and I do not confine myself to one form of media. I have followed the Israeli, Palestine conflict for a long time and I can confidently conclude that your organisation is pro Israel . That is why you have denied that Palestinians face any problems at all. I suggest you and your colleagues watch BBC/ABC/AL-JAZEERA for update coverage of world news.
We are not ‘pro-Israel’, we are ‘pro-truth-for-Israel’. There is a difference. When we see unbalanced reporting in the media, we try to correct it by supplying ‘missing truths’. We never denied that Palestinian face problems. Most if not all of these problems could be solved if their leadership would agree to accept the existence of Israel.
And please do a good research and get your facts right in your next article. NZ deserves balanced reporting. But not what you print. Thanks for reading have a lovely day.
Once again, we do not present ‘balanced reporting’, we try to restore it. For all your criticism you didn't mention one fact that we got wrong. We must have done a good job.


January 22, 2011 (Abridged, but spelling and grammar unchanged)

I see That you are back to Putting your Propaganda back in the New's Paper's after a bit of time Since The Flotilla Murder's and The Mossad Assination's to Die Down .you have noticed that Quite a Few South American Countries have reconized Palestine as A country and Israel was't happy about it I am Not Happy That Israel Is Allowed to Have an Embassy In Wellington which getst away with Murder because The U.S will Veto any U.N Investigation or Critism Of Israel,One Day The U.S's Crown will fall and you will not Have there Protection and Just like your Old Ally South Africa it will Catch up with you Most of your supporters are only doing it cause they have to suck up to The U'S,even Turkey Has woken up and after geting $billion's of the U.S to keep quite and Pretend you were GOOD GUY'S!… you wil get more on your own than you realise and it's all your own Making with Still being in OCCUPIED LAND that we all know you won't give a inch of it back you taking more every day bulldozing house's of Palestinian.s

This letter fits the same pattern as most bigoted feedback. First, truths favourable to Israel are called ‘propaganda’ without any attempt to refute them. (Perhaps because they are true.) Second KBRM is conflated with Israel. KBRM is not a representative of the Israeli government, nor do we believe that all of Israel's actions are proper. We only believe that Israel, like any nation, has the right to exist, the right to defend itself against attacks, and the right to have the truth told about it.

February 20, 2011

I recently read your advertisment ‘top 5 lies aboout Israel and why you don't know the truth’, and was taken aback by the incredibly incoherent arguement presented with in it. Your so called truths, are in fact half truth which don't explain the reasons behind such things as the UN authorization of Israel. Consequently, you claim that people don't know the truth because they are being misguided by false Palestinian claims. Playing on the ignorance of the general NZ public to the situation with these claims to truth does not only constitute propogating an utterly biased opinion and perspective on the history of the conflict, it makes a joke out of what your organization claims to be. Any one with the internet and a concious can find out the historical atrocities committed againt the Arab people SANCTIONED AND ORDERED by the Israeli government. I myself am nuetral in the conflict and only hope for peace, which cannot be attained by publishing articles such as this. A sceptical reading of the article represents the Jewish arguement as arrogant and selective, and dismisses facts whilst posing irrelevent ‘truths’ to so called lies. Take ‘lie’ number one, in which its claimed that israel has no true claim, then states that in truth it does because Jews have been living there for 3000 years. How on earth does that constitute a legitimite claim when the Arabs do not get the same right. Your claim to not being pro Israeli and your organizations benign name are as transparent as the UN's motives in sanctioning Israel in the first place. Please do not assume NZ's are that stupid to take seriously your advertisment as truth,

You make the same mistake of many anti-Israel folks in dismissing our ‘missing truths’ as ‘utterly biased opinion’. Truths are truths. We present those that are missing from most New Zealand papers because we believe in balance. As to atrocities, KBRM does not deny that in the heat of war Israeli soldiers behave like every other army in the world and sometimes commit acts it is not proud of. In most cases they are unintended consequences of war and not deliberate acts aimed at hurting civilians, as are the acts of Palestinian terrorists. Another difference is that most Arabs and Palestinians are proud of their atrocities against the Jews, while Israel punishes those who commit atrocities. With regard to Israel's claim to the land because Jews have lived there continuously for 3,000 years, please note that it does not forbid Arabs to do the same. There are 1.5 million Palestinians who are citizens of Israel living within its borders with the same rights as Jewish Israelis (except they don't have to serve in the army). Your thinking is the more baffling because the PLO and Hamas have made it clear they will not allow any Jews to live in a Palestinian State — indeed Hamas intends to destroy Israel and ‘ drive all the Jews into the sea’. Yours sincerely, Mary, contact KBRM

October 1, 2010

Does Israel really want peace? (Attached was an article that began ‘If Israel is serious about peace it would have extended the settlement construction moratorium.’)

Response: KBRM cannot speak for Israel, but here are two possible answers. You choose.
1. Yes.
2. No. Israel prefers to remain under constant attack, with rockets raining down on cities like Sderot and suicide bombers infiltrating its borders, not to mention the possibility of a nuclear bomb attack from Iran. Israel just loves having its people killed.
As to settlement construction, intelligent people understand that the settlements are not hindrances to peace, even if they are portrayed as such by the Palestinians. Houses are usually taken down, if necessary, AFTER boundaries have been determined. Or perhaps, if the Palestinians change their mind about a Jew-free state, they could even remain. After all, there are 1.4 million Arabs living in Israel. In any event, these houses are not hurting anyone, or interfering with a resolution of other issues. One might better ask, ‘Do the Palestinians really want peace?’

August 10, 2010

The following complaint was sent to the Advertising Standards Authority:

I was astonished by the Heralds continual support for printing a half-page [it was actually 1/4-page] advertisement on p. A13, 10/8/10, labelled Gaza flotilla: The missing truths. The advertisement was submitted by a group that ironically calls themselves Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Middle East — KBRM, which is nothing short of hypocrisy and an example of misguided propaganda given this is far from balanced. This is a topic that needs more representation of truth, not a distillation of truth in an ADVERTISEMENT that is cleverly disguised as an EDITORIAL PIECE aimed to confuse readers.
The NZ Herald has a history of supporting KBRM's medium to operate their propaganda. So I was compelled to complain formally given the nature and sensitivity of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and to allow such propaganda to be printed in a National paper to be an unjust method of opinion. We are often faced with two sides of (sic) in this country. But when an advertisement that disguises itself as an editorial piece allowing an imbalance of truth through a dodgy form of propaganda finds its way consistently into the wider viewership we are heading down a slippery slope. Support for printing such articles as the attached sets a dangerous standard for advertising and news media in general.

While the writer found no errors in the advertisement, he objects to it because it is ‘unbalanced’. When someone goes out of his way to protest the presentation of facts favourable to Israel, calling them ‘misguided propaganda’, but doesn't object to the deluge of opinion articles in the NZ Herald that attack Israel, that person can only be called a bigot. The charge that the KBRM ad was ‘cleverly disguised’ is false: the word ‘advertisement’ was clearly printed both above and below the advert. No deception was intended. Most importantly, the writer fails to understand the purpose of KBRM. We are not in the news business. When we see unbalanced reporting, we try to correct it by presenting ‘missing truths.’ If the newspapers would present a balanced and truthful picture, there would be no need for KBRM's advertisements.
The Advertising Standards Authority agreed, writing ‘The chairman has determined that there is no apparent breach of the Code.’


April 17, 2011

I have for a long time been appalled at the one-sided views expressed in the NZ media towards things Israeli and welcome your forum to put some balance into the equation.
I tend to get my international news from overseas media for the above reason …
There are troubling times ahead for Israel, with another left-wing led flotilla headed for Gaza in the middle of May and the wider picture of how the unrest throughout the Middle East plays out in the future. Again the media are not giving the full picture of what lies behind the unrest, with the role of the Muslim Brotherhood generally down-played and whether Iran is orchestrating things in the background is not mentioned by most commentators.
I shall be watching your site on a regular basis to see how it all unfolds.

April 2, 2011

I am a Christian Zionist living in Auckland. When it comes to the Israeli / Arab issue I always find NZ reporting to be very one sided, always taking the arab side! People are blinded or just willfully ignorant of matters in the middle east. The media forms it's opinion and the people believe the lies. True reporting should be factual and not opinion based! I am happy to hear KBRM is standing for truth! Keep up the good work guys. Be heard!

March 18, 2011

I've read one of your advertisements. My prayers are with you. I've enclosed $100 towards your costs. God bless.

February 23, 2011

Can you please add me to your news updates for Kiwis For Balanced Reporting In The Middle East. I am keen to support Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East and am concerned that Israel is not always portrayed in the light that it should be. Israel has much in common with New Zealand and the West. We should stand together in these uncertain times.

February 23, 2011

‘Terrible’ and ‘Horrible’ Israel who New Zealanders should despise because they used NZ to set up identities for Mossad has offered New Zealand specialist earthquake search teams. John Key was rung by the Prime Minster of Israel. When Haiti was hit the King of Saudi Arabia rang the President of Haiti with condolences-Israel responded with specialist medical teams. As most medical team staff have trained with the Israel Defense Forces they are very good at dealing with trauma cases. Thanks Israel. We really appreciate you and your offer.

February 10, 2011

I was recently traveling in NZ from US and determined that there were only 6000 Jews there, I was pleased to see an advertisement of your organization ‘Top Five Lies About Israel’. This ad and your website are very accurate and supportive of the Israeli position and I appreciate what you are doing. Keep it up.

February 3, 2011

I'm just dropping you a line to say ‘thanks’ for the recent ad you placed in the NZ Herald — “Top Five Lies About Israel”.
I read with much interest and am pleased to have found your website. To you and your team – good work!

November 14, 2010

I heard the interview with your spokes-person on Radio NZ and I am interested in becoming a supporter of your group.
I am very concerned about the blatant bias against Israel in the media. I believe this reveals the lack of journalistic integrity in this country which is not only influencing public opinion against Israel, but also pushing an agenda to manipulate the social and political destiny of New Zealand.
I also think that the media attacks on Israel have consequences for us as part of what author Robert Spencer calls the ‘Stealth Jihad’- Muslim groups attempting to establish Islamic hegemony by non-violent means such as media manipulation.
The work you are doing is vital to uphold the truth about Israel, and to provide a balanced viewpoint to concerned Kiwis.
Please let me know how I can support your efforts.

September 23, 2010

I can fully appreciate what you people are doing. I am originally from Kashmir India and some historians say that we (Pundits of Kashmir) have a common ancestry with Jews. I live in Auckland and would be very happy to associate with you guys.

September 13, 2010

My wife and I are in our late 70s, and for a number of years we have noticed ourselves the biased reporting on what is happening in Israel, and the Middle East as a whole. The Flotilla advertisement was a real eye opener, confirming what we ourselves have managed to put together after reading about various events that have taken place in the region. One doesn't have to have a university degree to recognise the slant that is put onto ALL news coming out of that particular part of the world.

August 29, 2010

Hi KBRM. Saw your ad re the flotilla a couple of weeks ago and have just seen the Sunday Doco on TV1. Support you 100%. I too am concerned at the way mainstream media portray Israel's self defence. Would be interested in joining with like minded people to show support against Islamic fundamentalism. Keep up the good work.

August 26, 2010

Keep up the good work. I am sick and tired of the propaganda pro-Palestinian/anti-Israeli/anti/USA) in the majority of NZ media. Activists like Minto and Locke use the issue as their latest extreme left-wing cause. It's pathetic and tiresome.

August 21, 2010

Subject: A drop of sanity down under.
I am buoyed by the interest and activities of such a few in trying to counter the almost insurmountable tsunami of anti-Israel/Jew Journalism that has become the norm in the once fair and balanced Isle of NZ.
I hope you succeed in your goals and myself contribute to your battle from afar.

Contact KBRM at contact@kbrm.org.nz

Help correct the misinformation and revisionist historian lies.