These examples are only the tip of a massive iceberg of biased reporting against Israel. Reasons have been advanced for such media bias and the best explanation would seem to be some combination of the following factors, operating in a different mix in the case of each individual journalist:
- A three-month investigation of the foreign press in Israel concluded that some foreign correspondents do impose their private sympathies on the news they report
- Palestinian intimidation of journalists and manipulation of the journalistic process in the areas they control has been rampant, although not well reported. In March 2001, Marwan Barghouti, leader of the PA's Tanzim militia, warned outright that any Israeli journalist who entered PA areas would be killed. Since then, most Israeli journalists either stay home or make sure to be accompanied by well-connected Palestinians. In 2003, Dr. Riyad Al-Hassan, the director general of the PA State Information Service (SIS), admitted in an interview that newspapers and journalists can be subjected to, "Sometimes a little punishment, [laughter] sometimes."
- Ignorance of history erases the context of events and makes it easy to accept bogus claims.
- Palestinians are perceived as the underdog, skillfully portrayed that way by propagandists. "Children with rocks against Israeli tanks" is a popular image, ignoring the rifles, machine guns, rocket propelled grenades, and more that are utilized against Israeli troops by Palestinian fighters lurking in the background.
- The open, democratic Israeli society includes vibrant debate that uncovers weaknesses, failures and contradictions. Instead of seeing this as a strength, and a mirror of American values, the press often uses it against Israel. The autocratic, media-suppressed Palestinian Authority has been more successful in "controlling the message".
- Because Israel is a western, secular, democratic society, the press and the public have higher expectations of Israel and therefore find fault more quickly when Israel is less than perfect.