This summer, the influential cable news network aired a six-part series on the city of Jerusalem, with each episode focusing on a different conflict—from biblical times to the Six-Day War. David Litman writes that the first five episodes were “seriously marred by factual inaccuracies and one-sided narratives omitting vital information. Many of the ‘experts’ featured in the series have clear histories of anti-Israel activism and partisanship.” Even more egregious was the treatment of the 1967 war in the finale:
CNN [routinely distorts] events to portray Arabs as powerless victims, . . . such as when the narrator tells viewers, “the [Jordanian] shelling is meant to target Jews in West Jerusalem, but it’s the Palestinian Arabs living in the area that are left defenseless.” Yes—CNN suggested that when Arabs were trying to kill Jews, it was really Arabs who were the victims.
If one were to explain the events leading to the Six-Day War based only on the CNN series, the answer would be: (1) some Palestinian terrorists placed a mine and killed three Israeli soldiers; (2) Israel responded with a retaliation raid into the West Bank that escalated into a battle between Israeli and Jordanian forces; and (3) Egypt felt it had to defend Jordan’s honor and thus responded by closing the Straits of Tiran. It should go without saying that this narrative is laughably absurd.
There are also multiple attempts in the final episode to portray the conflict as one in which Israel is a heavily armed American ally. All the while, no mention is made of Soviet military assistance to the Arab armies. . . . The reality: the United States barely provided any military equipment to Israel prior to or during the Six-Day War.