World Citizen: In Jordan, Media Strive to Demonize Israel

World Citizen: In Jordan, Media Strive to Demonize Israel

AMMAN, Jordan -- The front page of Wednesday's Jordan Times featured a photograph of a helmeted Israeli soldier pushing a grimacing young Palestinian's face into the ground, with one fist pressing hard against the jaw of his youthful victim and the other one twisting the Palestinian's arm behind his back. The previous Sunday's paper had a picture of a bloodied little boy, with a caption explaining the child was a Palestinian "beaten up by Jewish settlers." Every day, it seems, the paper brings another shocking image of Israeli brutality, with captions that describe a black-and-white scenario of utter evil against untarnished innocence.

Even in Jordan, one of the most moderate Arab countries, one that has diplomatic relations and a signed peace agreement with Israel, the news diet fed to the public makes it all but impossible to begin forging any semblance of tolerance and acceptance between the two peoples. The media appear determined to create the kind of mistrust and demonization that undermines peace and lays the groundwork for future conflict.

Jordanians care deeply about what goes on across the border -- in the West Bank and in Israel proper. After all, the majority of Jordanians are Palestinian.

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