Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 non-profit pro-Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 media watchdog group
Watchdog journalism
Watchdog journalism aims to hold accountable public personalities and institutions, whose functions impact social and political life. The term "lapdog journalism", for journalism biased in favour of personalities and institutions, is sometimes used as a conceptual opposite to watchdog...

. The group says it was founded in 1982 "to respond to the Washington Post's coverage of Israel's Lebanon incursion", and to respond to what it considers the media's "general anti-Israel bias".

CAMERA is known for its pro-Israel media monitoring and advocacy. CAMERA releases reports to counter what it calls "frequently inaccurate and skewed characterizations of Israel and of events in the Middle East" that it believes may fuel anti-Israel and anti-Jewish prejudice. The group mobilizes protests against what it describes as unfair media coverage by issuing full-page ads in newspapers, organizing demonstrations, and encouraging sponsors to withhold funds. CAMERA has over 65,000 paying members and states that 46 news outlets have issued corrections based on their work.


CAMERA has chapters in major US cities and Israel, including New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, Miami, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and in 1988 a Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 chapter and headquarters, founded and led by Andrea Levin
Andrea Levin
Andrea Levin is director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America , a pro-Israel nonprofit, tax-exempt organization based in Boston...

; Charles Jacobs
Charles Jacobs (political activist)
Charles Jacobs is the co-founder of the American Anti-Slavery Group , which campaigns against slavery worldwide, and a co-chairman of The Sudan Campaign , a coalition calling for an end to slavery in Sudan...

 became deputy director of the Boston chapter.

In 1991, Levin succeeded Winifred Meiselman as executive director of CAMERA. According to the organization's website, CAMERA's membership grew from 1,000 in 1991 to 55,000 in 2007 The director of the Washington office of CAMERA is Eric Rozenman.

In 2002, The Forward
The Forward
The Forward , commonly known as The Jewish Daily Forward, is a Jewish-American newspaper published in New York City. The publication began in 1897 as a Yiddish-language daily issued by dissidents from the Socialist Labor Party of Daniel DeLeon...

 named CAMERA executive director and regular Jerusalem Post contributor Andrea Levin America's fifth most influential Jewish citizen, saying "Media-monitoring was the great proxy war of the last year, and its general is Andrea Levin."

Structure, staff, and activities

On its official website, CAMERA describes itself as "a media-monitoring, research and membership organization devoted to promoting accurate and balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle East" which "fosters rigorous reporting, while educating news consumers about Middle East issues and the role of the media." CAMERA further describes itself as a "non-partisan organization" which "takes no position with regard to American or Israeli political issues or with regard to ultimate solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict." CAMERA complained in 2008 that the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is a non-profit organization that describes itself as "a central address for key American, Israeli and other world leaders to consult on issues of critical concern to the Jewish community."Currently comprising 51 national Jewish...

 (of which it is a member) did not consult it before disinviting Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 vice presidential
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 candidate Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin
Sarah Louise Palin is an American politician, commentator and author. As the Republican Party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, she was the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major party and first Republican woman nominated for the vice-presidency.She was...

 to an anti-Ahmadinejad rally. CAMERA has also criticized the Israeli non-governmental organization B'Tselem
B'Tselem is an Israeli non-governmental organization . It calls itself "The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories"...

 for some of its reporting on Israel.

When CAMERA perceives an inaccurate statement in the media, it says it gathers information, and sends findings asking for a printed or broadcast correction. CAMERA lists 46 news outlets which it says have issued corrections based on their work. The organization also publishes monographs about topics relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is a public policy think tank devoted to research and analysis of critical issues facing the Middle East. The center is located in Jerusalem, Israel...

 website says CAMERA has 55,000 paying members and thousands of active letter writers.

CAMERA is a member of the Israel Campus Roundtable
Israel Campus Roundtable
The Israel Campus Roundtable is an umbrella organization of pro-Israel groups in the New England area.According to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "The Israel Campus Roundtable is a coalition of 14 organizations that provides students with resources and support for pro-Israel programming on...

, which includes the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States...

 (AIPAC), Anti-Defamation League
Anti-Defamation League
The Anti-Defamation League is an international non-governmental organization based in the United States. Describing itself as "the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency", the ADL states that it "fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects...

, The David Project Center for Jewish Leadership
The David Project Center for Jewish Leadership
The David Project, is a non-profit educational organization located in Boston, Massachusetts, with satellite offices in New York and Israel. The David Project's stated aim is "to educate and inspire strong voices for Israel through dynamic educational seminars, workshops, and curricula." It was...

, and other pro-Israel organizations. As a member of this Campus Roundtable, CAMERA operates on college campuses to combat what it perceives as "propagandistic assaults on Israel . . . creating harmful misperceptions of Israel" and "publishes a student-focused magazine, CAMERA on Campus, containing specialized information useful in countering misinformation." For undergraduates willing to write op-eds and organize pro-Israel events on campus, CAMERA has offered student representative positions which include compensation and training in Israel.

Criticism by CAMERA

Among the organizations and works that have been criticized by CAMERA are:

ABC News anchor Peter Jennings

"We've long considered him anti-Israel", CAMERA's founder Andrea Levin has commented of Peter Jennings
Peter Jennings
Peter Charles Archibald Ewart Jennings, CM was a Canadian American journalist and news anchor. He was the sole anchor of ABC's World News Tonight from 1983 until his death in 2005 of complications from lung cancer...

, after an incident in which CAMERA, and eventually also the Columbia Journalism Review
Columbia Journalism Review
The Columbia Journalism Review is an American magazine for professional journalists published bimonthly by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism since 1961....

, took issue with Jennings and ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 for balking at correcting an alleged misquote of Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He serves also as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a Knesset member, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel.Netanyahu is the first and, to...


National Public Radio

CAMERA's report, "A Record of Bias: National Public Radio's Coverage of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: September 26 – November 26, 2000" (2001) asserted that National Public Radio's "coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict has long been marred by a striking anti-Israel tilt, with severe bias, error and lack of balance commonplace." CAMERA supported a boycott
A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons...

 of NPR, and demanded the firing of NPR's foreign editor, Loren Jenkins. CAMERA said that Jenkins had a long record of partisanship in favor of Palestinian views, and let his personal views tilt NPR's coverage. CAMERA also said Jenkins compared Israel to Nazi Germany in his writings, and referred to it as a "colonizer".

NPR's then-Ombudsman, Jeffrey Dvorkin
Jeffrey Dvorkin
Jeffrey A. Dvorkin is a Canadian-American journalist.A former Vice President of News and ombudsman for National Public Radio, Dvorkin moved to the United States in 1997 following a lengthy career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto and Montreal, where he was Managing Editor and...

, said in a 2002 interview that CAMERA used selective citations and subjective definitions of what it considers pro-Palestinian bias in formulating its findings, and that he felt CAMERA's campaign was "a kind of McCarthyism
McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and characterized by...

, frankly, that bashes us and causes people to question our commitment to doing this story fairly. And it exacerbates the legitimate anxieties of many in the Jewish community about the survival of Israel."


In an article originally published in the Jerusalem Post and posted on the official website of CAMERA, Andrea Levin, the Executive Director of CAMERA, describes Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

's digital multimedia encyclopedia Encarta
Microsoft Encarta was a digital multimedia encyclopedia published by Microsoft Corporation from 1993 to 2009. , the complete English version, Encarta Premium, consisted of more than 62,000 articles, numerous photos and illustrations, music clips, videos, interactive contents, timelines, maps and...

as "a troubling mix of solid information, bias and error." In particular, Levin points to the articles written by Shaul Cohen of the University of Oregon
University of Oregon
-Colleges and schools:The University of Oregon is organized into eight schools and colleges—six professional schools and colleges, an Arts and Sciences College and an Honors College.- School of Architecture and Allied Arts :...

, which Levin says "blurs Arab aggression against the Jews from the Mandate period to the present, repeatedly equating the violence by the parties."

Steven Spielberg's film Munich

In her film review of Munich
Munich (film)
Munich is a 2005 historical fiction film about the Israeli government's secret retaliation attacks after the massacre of Israeli athletes by the Black September terrorist group during the 1972 Summer Olympics. The film stars Eric Bana and was produced and directed by Steven Spielberg...

(2005), posted on the official website of CAMERA, Andrea Levin states that the film (a collaboration of director Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

 and playwright–screenwriter Tony Kushner
Tony Kushner
Anthony Robert "Tony" Kushner is an American playwright and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993 for his play, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, and co-authored with Eric Roth the screenplay for the 2005 film, Munich.-Life and career:Kushner was born...

) promotes "its thesis of Israeli culpability" and that "Israel's action battling its adversaries is cast as aberrant, bloody and counterproductive." Levin continues: "indeed, it is stunning to watch Munich and realize that its director [Spielberg] brought Schindler's List
Schindler's List
Schindler's List is a 1993 American film about Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and based on the novel Schindler's Ark...

to the world. Where that was artistry drawn from truth, Munich is cinematic manipulation rooted in lies."

Mearsheimer and Walt

CAMERA published Alex Safian
Alex Safian
Alex Safian is associate director of CAMERA .Safian is a graduate of Columbia University with a Ph.D. from Harvard University.-References:...

's detailed critique of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is the title of a book by John Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, Professor of International Relations at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, published in late August 2007...

, a paper written by Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 professor Stephen Walt
Stephen Walt
Stephen Martin Walt is a professor of international affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Among his most prominent works are and . He coauthored The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy with John Mearsheimer.-Education and career:In 1983, he received a Ph.D. in...

 and University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 professor John Mearsheimer
John Mearsheimer
John J. Mearsheimer is an American professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. He is an international relations theorist. Known for his book on offensive realism, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, more recently Mearsheimer has attracted attention for co-authoring and publishing...

. Safian argued that the paper is "riddled with errors of fact, logic and omission, has inaccurate citations, displays extremely poor judgement regarding sources, and, contrary to basic scholarly standards, ignores previous serious work on the subject. The bottom line: virtually every word and argument is, or ought to be, in 'serious dispute.' In other words, a student who submitted such a paper would flunk."

God's Warriors

CAMERA published a critique of Christiane Amanpour's
Christiane Amanpour
Christiane Amanpour, CBE is anchor of ABC News's This Week and formerly chief international correspondent at CNN, where she worked for 27 years. She is a Board Member at the IWMF .-Early years:...

Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 documentary series God's Warriors
God's Warriors
CNN Presents: God's Warriors is a three-part CNN Presents documentary produced by Christiane Amanpour in which she examines the rise of religious fundamentalism as a political force in the world. The documentary was filmed in the United States, Europe and Middle East...

, calling it "one of the most grossly distorted programs to appear on mainstream American television", "false in its basic premise", and "a perfect illustration of classical propaganda techniques". Amanpour has responded that the documentary is not meant to compare religions, but rather to show "that each faith has their committed and fervent believers, and we're showing how each of those are active in the political sphere in today's world."

"Israel's Jewish Defamers"

In October 2007, CAMERA organized a conference entitled "Israel's Jewish Defamers," in which a panel of discussants accused selected Jewish critics of Israel, as well as one of Israel's leading newspapers, Haaretz
Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

, of distortions and falsehoods about Israel. CAMERA director Andrea Levin described the Jewish critics — who included Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

's Richard Falk, writer Norman Finkelstein
Norman Finkelstein
Norman Gary Finkelstein is an American political scientist, activist and author. His primary fields of research are the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust. He is a graduate of Binghamton University and received his Ph.D in Political Science from Princeton University...

, New York Review of Books contributor Henry Siegman
Henry Siegman
Henry Siegman is a German-born Jewish American nonfiction writer and a journalist specializing in the Middle East policy towards Israel, and a visiting professor at the University of London.-Early life and education:...

, former New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis
Anthony Lewis
Anthony Lewis is a prominent liberal intellectual, writing for The New York Times op-ed page and The New York Review of Books, among other publications. He was previously a columnist for the Times . Before that he was London bureau chief , Washington, D.C...

, Trent University
Trent University
Trent University is a liberal arts and science-oriented institution located along the Otonabee River in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.The enabling legislation is the Trent University Act, 1962-63. The University was founded through the efforts of a citizens' committee interested in creating a...

 professor Michael Neumann
Michael Neumann
Michael Neumann is a professor of philosophy at Trent University in Ontario, Canada. He is the author of What's Left? Radical Politics and the Radical Psyche , The Rule of Law: Politicizing Ethics and The Case Against Israel , and has published papers on utilitarianism and rationality.-Background...

, and Tikkun
Tikkun/Tikun is a Hebrew word meaning "Fixing/Rectification". It has several connotations in Judaism:Traditional:*Tikkun , a book of Torah scroll text, used when learning to chant Torah portions or for correct-fixed scribal calligraphy...

 magazine publisher Michael Lerner
Michael Lerner (rabbi)
Michael Lerner is a political activist, the editor of Tikkun, a progressive Jewish interfaith magazine based in Berkeley, California, and the rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue of San Francisco.-Family and Education:...

 — of being guilty of "demonstrably false and baseless defaming of Israel, wildly distorted out of context accusations against Israel." Among the panelists were writer Cynthia Ozick
Cynthia Ozick
Cynthia Ozick is an American short story writer, novelist, and essayist. She is the niece of the Hebraist Abraham Regelson.-Background:Cynthia Shoshana Ozick was born in New York City, the second of two children...

 and Harvard psychiatrist Kenneth Levin
Kenneth Levin
Kenneth Levin is a Newton, Massachusetts psychiatrist and historian and author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege....

, who likened the Jewish critics to chronically abused children.

In response, Anthony Lewis told the New York Sun that the conference was "about a nonexistent phenomenon," noting that Jewish criticism of Israeli policies was not necessarily defamatory. Haaretz's editor-in-chief, David Landau
David Landau (journalist)
David Landau is a London-born Israeli journalist and newspaper editor. Landau was editor-in-chief of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz from 2004 to 2008. He was the founder and editor-in-chief of the paper's English edition from 1997 to 2004...

, refused to comment on the conference, citing that "it was "a matter of policy and principle" not to respond to CAMERA, which Landau described as "McCarthyite." Tikkun editor Lerner also rejected the notion that he was anti-Israel.

2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict

In response to coverage of the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict
2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict
The Gaza War, known as Operation Cast Lead in Israel and as the Gaza Massacre in the Arab world, was a three-week bombing and invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israel, and hundreds of rocket attacks on south of Israel which...

, CAMERA criticized the reporting of the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

, Ha'aretz, NPR
NPR, formerly National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States. NPR was created in 1970, following congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting...

, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, and Norwegian doctors being funded by the Norwegian ministry who appeared on media outlets such as the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 and CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

. CAMERA said that in its view reporting from the Los Angeles Times "consistently omitted key information about Gaza Strip sites targeted by the Israeli army" and gives the false impression that Israel doesn't aim to prevent civilian deaths. CAMERA criticized Ha'aretz for "confusion and misinformation on the medical issue" in its "outlining what medical supplies Gaza is reportedly lacking and ignoring all incoming medical aid".

Quotation misattributed to Moshe Ya'alon

In early 2009 CAMERA began investigating the dissemination of a quotation widely misattributed to Moshe Ya'alon
Moshe Ya'alon
Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon is an Israeli politician and former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. He currently serves as a member of the Knesset for Likud, as well as the country's Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs.-Early life:...

, "The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people", after the quotation was cited by Rashid Khalidi
Rashid Khalidi
Rashid Ismail Khalidi , born 1948, a Palestinian-American historian of the Middle East, is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, and director of the Middle East Institute of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs.-Family, education and...

, a Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 professor, in an op-ed
An op-ed, abbreviated from opposite the editorial page , is a newspaper article that expresses the opinions of a named writer who is usually unaffiliated with the newspaper's editorial board...

 article in the New York Times. The quotation, and variants, had previously been repeated throughout the world by news broadcasts, blogs, and in reputable publications such as the Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, and the flagship publication of the Tribune Company. Formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper" , it remains the most read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region and is...

, Boston Globe, Toronto Star
Toronto Star
The Toronto Star is Canada's highest-circulation newspaper, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Its print edition is distributed almost entirely within the province of Ontario...

, Time Magazine, and the London Review of Books
London Review of Books
The London Review of Books is a fortnightly British magazine of literary and intellectual essays.-History:The LRB was founded in 1979, during the year-long lock-out at The Times, by publisher A...

. The belief that Ya'alon, a high-ranking Israeli military official, had expressed disregard for Palestinian people in this manner reinforced an opinion among some readers and commentators that Israel was the aggressor and Palestinians its victims. However, Ya'alon did not make the statement in the 2002 Haaretz
Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

 interview generally cited as its source, and appears never to have made the statement at all. In part due to CAMERA's campaign, a number of international newspapers, including the New York Times, issued corrections
Correction (newspaper)
A correction in a newspaper is usually the posting of the notice of a typographical error or mistake that appeared in a past issue of a newspaper. Usually, a correction notice appears in its own column....


Reception to CAMERA

CAMERA has attracted both critics and supporters. Gershom Gorenberg
Gershom Gorenberg
Gershom Gorenberg is an American-born Israeli historian, journalist and blogger, specializing in Middle Eastern politics and the interaction of religion and politics. He is currently a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, a monthly American political magazine...

, a journalist for The American Prospect
The American Prospect
The American Prospect is a monthly American political magazine dedicated to American liberalism. Based in Washington, DC, The American Prospect is a journal "of liberal ideas, committed to a just society, an enriched democracy, and effective liberal politics" which focuses on United States politics...

, has written that CAMERA is "Orwellian
"Orwellian" describes the situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free society...

-named" and that "like others engaged in the narrative wars, it does not understand the difference between advocacy and accuracy". Other critics have described CAMERA as a special interest group fighting for a pro-Israeli bias. Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel, US Senator Joe Lieberman
Joe Lieberman
Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman is the senior United States Senator from Connecticut. A former member of the Democratic Party, he was the party's nominee for Vice President in the 2000 election. Currently an independent, he remains closely affiliated with the party.Born in Stamford, Connecticut,...

, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz
Alan Dershowitz
Alan Morton Dershowitz is an American lawyer, jurist, and political commentator. He has spent most of his career at Harvard Law School where in 1967, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor of law in its history...

, and former Israeli cabinet minister Natan Sharansky
Natan Sharansky
Natan Sharansky was born in Stalino, Soviet Union on 20 January 1948 to a Jewish family. He graduated with a degree in applied mathematics from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. As a child, he was a chess prodigy. He performed in simultaneous and blindfold displays, usually against...

 have assisted CAMERA in its fund raising efforts, by speaking at their national conference. Richard Landes
Richard Landes
Richard Allen Landes is an American historian and author, specializing in Millennialism. He currently serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Boston University...

, an Associate Professor at Boston University, said "their work is that they are careful both to reason and cite sources scrupulously" and that those who dismiss their work "rely on a dismissal that is at least as partisan as that with which it charges others." Robin Shepherd
Robin Shepherd
Robin Shepherd is a prominent British-born political commentator and analyst. He is currently Director of International Affairs at the Henry Jackson Society....

 has described them as a reputable institution.

Boston Globe

  • In a 2003 profile of the organization in the Boston Globe, Mark Jurkowitz observed:

"To its supporters, CAMERA is figuratively - and perhaps literally - doing God's work, battling insidious anti-Israeli bias in the media. But its detractors see CAMERA as a myopic and vindictive special interest group trying to muscle its views into media coverage. ... To many in the media CAMERA is ... an advocacy group trying to impose its pro-Israeli views on mainstream journalism."

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

  • Mitchell Kaidy, writing in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
    Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
    The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine, published nine times per year in Washington, D.C., focuses on "news and analysis from and about the Middle East and U.S...

    , criticized CAMERA's efforts to pressure university libraries to remove books that the organization finds offensive. CAMERA has criticized the organization as being "virulently anti-Israel".


  • Writing in The Nation
    The Nation
    The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as "the flagship of the left." Founded on July 6, 1865, It is published by The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City.The Nation...

    in 1987, journalist and author Robert I. Friedman described CAMERA as having been formed in the wake of Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon "to keep the U.S. press in line," noting that the organization's activities at the time included publishing a newsletter and placing advertisements in The Christian Science Monitor
    The Christian Science Monitor
    The Christian Science Monitor is an international newspaper published daily online, Monday to Friday, and weekly in print. It was started in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist. As of 2009, the print circulation was 67,703.The CSM is a newspaper that covers...

    and The New Republic
    The New Republic
    The magazine has also published two articles concerning income inequality, largely criticizing conservative economists for their attempts to deny the existence or negative effect increasing income inequality is having on the United States...

    in support of Israel's West Bank
    West Bank
    The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

    Israeli settlement
    An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

     policies. According to Friedman, "CAMERA, the A.D.L., AIPAC and the rest of the lobby don't want fairness, but bias in their favor. And they are prepared to use McCarthyite tactics, as well as the power and money of pro-Israel PACs, to get whatever Israel wants."

  • In his 2006 book Public Editor #1, former New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent
    Daniel Okrent
    Daniel Okrent is an American writer and editor. He is best known for having served as the first public editor of The New York Times newspaper, for inventing Rotisserie League Baseball, and for writing several books, most recently Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.-Education and...

     expressed gratitude to CAMERA as a notable example of organizations that "maintained an evenness of tone and an openness of communication no matter how much they disagreed" with his columns.

  • Writing about criticisms from CAMERA he and his colleagues have received, Jerusalem-based journalist Gershom Gorenberg wrote "It is not the press's job to provide PR
    Public relations
    Public relations is the actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc....

     for any government. Until CAMERA gets this straight, self-respecting journalists will regard an occasional snarl from the watchdog as proof that they're doing their job."

  • Ian Mayes, president of the Organisation of News Ombudsmen in Britain, wrote in 2006 that to him, methods employed by CAMERA seemed to go beyond reasonable calls for accountability. He mentioned CAMERA's campaign against the Middle East reporting of National Public Radio, in which he says CAMERA had attempted to influence NPR's supporters to withhold funds.

The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

  • Writing about attempts by CAMERA to get a local Pasadena, California
    Pasadena, California
    Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although famous for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena is the home to many scientific and cultural institutions, including the California Institute of Technology , the Jet...

     church to cancel an appearance by Palestinian activist Reverend Naim Ateek
    Naim Ateek
    The Rev. Dr. Naim Stifan Ateek is a Palestinian Christian who is the founder and head of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. He went to school to the Nazareth Baptist school where he also taught after graduation...

    , Rob Eshman, Editor-in-Chief of The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
    The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
    The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles is an independent, nonprofit community weekly newspaper serving the Jewish community of greater Los Angeles, published by TRIBE Media Corp. The Journal was established in 1985. As of 2010 it had a verified circulation of 60,000 and an estimated readership...

    , wrote "I'm always leery when Jewish groups ride in from out of town to try to save us from the bad guys. We have plenty of sharp-eyed Jewish defense groups locally who can tussle on our behalf. It's just a bit condescending to think we rubes, out in America's second-largest Jewish city, don't know how and when to fight. Or whom." Eshman later clarified that his criticism was directed specifically at CAMERA's handling of the Ateek visit, and not toward the organization in general. "I think CAMERA, which in so many cases I find useful and correct, is in this case making things worse," he wrote.

Center for Middle Eastern Studies

  • In 2005, Donald Wagner, Executive Director of the defunct Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Associate Professor of Religion and Middle Eastern Studies at Northpark University, characterized the organization as "a well-known source of extremist pro-Israel propaganda that is routinely challenged by Israeli and international human rights and peace organizations for its consistent misrepresentation of the facts in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the only major daily newspaper in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, and its suburbs. The AJC, as it is called, is the flagship publication of Cox Enterprises. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the result of the merger between The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta...

described the place CAMERA took in a debate among various Jewish groups about statements made by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

. Rabbi Marvin Hier
Marvin Hier
Rabbi Marvin Hier is the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, its Museum of Tolerance and of Moriah, the Center's film division....

, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center
Simon Wiesenthal Center
The Simon Wiesenthal Center , with headquarters in Los Angeles, California, was established in 1977 and named for Simon Wiesenthal, the Nazi hunter. According to its mission statement, it is "an international Jewish human rights organization dedicated to repairing the world one step at a time...

, said it was not right to outright dismiss his apology. CAMERA said true repentance required Carter to reverse any of the perceived harm he caused, and called on the president to take "concrete actions to redress troubling false statements" the group said he made about the war Israel waged in Gaza. Ira Forman
Ira Forman
Ira N. Forman was Executive Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council from January of 1996 through June of 2010.-Education and early career:...

, chief executive of the Washington-based National Jewish Democratic Council
National Jewish Democratic Council
The National Jewish Democratic Council works as lobbying organization for the country of Israel in the United States of America and the Democratic Party and its mission is to promote pro-Israeli policies within the Party, and to promote the Democratic Party within the jewish community.The NJDC is...

, said it was "mensch
Mensch means "a person of integrity and honor". The opposite of a "mensch" is an "unmensch" . According to Leo Rosten, the Yiddish maven and author of The Joys of Yiddish, "mensch" is "someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character...

-like" to accept and encourage Carter's remarks.


In 1986, Florida International University
Florida International University
Florida International University is an American public research university in metropolitan Miami, Florida, in the United States, with its main campus in University Park...

 political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 professor Cheryl A. Rubenberg noted CAMERA was "Another pro-Israeli organization that was formed after 1982 to monitor the media..." She further stated that CAMERA was one of several 'new groups' which constituted the "Israeli lobby"
Israel lobby in the United States
The Israel lobby is a term used to describe the diverse coalition of those who, as individuals and as groups, seek and have sought to influence the foreign policy of the United States in support of Zionism, Israel or the specific policies of its government...

 at the time.

In 1988, Edward Said
Edward Said
Edward Wadie Saïd was a Palestinian-American literary theorist and advocate for Palestinian rights. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a founding figure in postcolonialism...

, a political activist and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

, argued that not even the Israeli government has ventured arguments as extreme as CAMERA, and that "surely, the Israeli lobby can find better propaganda methods than this!"

Robin Shepherd
Robin Shepherd
Robin Shepherd is a prominent British-born political commentator and analyst. He is currently Director of International Affairs at the Henry Jackson Society....

, Director of International Affairs at the Henry Jackson Society
Henry Jackson Society
The Henry Jackson Society is a non-partisan association. The society's goals include the promotion of "democratic geopolitics". The society is named after after Henry M. Jackson, the late Democratic Senator from Washington State...

, describes CAMERA as one of "several reputable institutions monitoring [media] trends closely."

In 2010, Boston University
Boston University
Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. With more than 4,000 faculty members and more than 31,000 students, Boston University is one of the largest private universities in the United States and one of Boston's largest employers...

 history professor Richard Landes
Richard Landes
Richard Allen Landes is an American historian and author, specializing in Millennialism. He currently serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Boston University...

 wrote that CAMERA is "careful both to reason and cite sources scrupulously."

CAMERA campaign in Wikipedia

In an April 2008 article, the pro-Palestinian online publication Electronic Intifada
Electronic Intifada
The Electronic Intifada is a not-for-profit, independent online publication which covers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a Palestinian perspective, "aimed at combating the pro-Israeli, pro-American spin" its editors believe exists in mainstream media accounts.-History:EI was founded by Ali...

 revealed the existence of a Google group set up by CAMERA. The stated purpose of the group was "help[ing] us keep Israel-related entries on Wikipedia from becoming tainted by anti-Israel editors". Electronic Intifada accused CAMERA of "orchestrating a secret, long-term campaign to infiltrate the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia to rewrite Palestinian history, pass off crude propaganda as fact, and take over Wikipedia administrative structures to ensure these changes go either undetected or unchallenged".

Excerpts of some of the e-mails were published in the July 2008 issue of Harper's Magazine
Harper's Magazine
Harper's Magazine is a monthly magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts, with a generally left-wing perspective. It is the second-oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the U.S. . The current editor is Ellen Rosenbush, who replaced Roger Hodge in January 2010...

 under the title of ″Candid camera″. In April 2008, CAMERA's "Senior Research Analyst" Gilead Ini would not confirm that the messages were genuine but maintained that there was a CAMERA email campaign which adhered to Wikipedia's rules. In August 2008, Ini argued the excerpts published in Harper's Magazine were unrepresentative and that CAMERA had campaigned "toward encouraging people to learn about and edit the online encyclopedia for accuracy".

A group of Wikipedia administrators strongly believed an editor on Wikipedia to be Gilead Ini and blocked that user account indefinitely. In April 2008 Gilead refused to say whether he was behind the Gni account, and in May 2008 he denied that the account belonged to him. Andre Oboler, a Legacy Heritage Fellow at the Israeli non-governmental organization NGO Monitor
NGO Monitor
NGO Monitor is a non-governmental organization based in Jerusalem, Israel whose stated aim is to generate and distribute critical analysis and reports on the output of the international NGO community for the benefit of government policy makers, journalists, philanthropic organizations and the...

, alleged that groups such as "Wikipedians for Palestine" have engaged in similar practices. Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah
Ali Abunimah
Ali Hasan Abunimah is a Palestinian American journalist and co-founder of Electronic Intifada, a not-for-profit, independent online publication about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Born in Washington D.C., he spent his early years in the United Kingdom and Belgium before returning to the...

 insisted that his group would never encourage a similar e-mail campaign.

Commenting on the incident, Gershom Gorenberg, of the liberal magazine The American Prospect
The American Prospect
The American Prospect is a monthly American political magazine dedicated to American liberalism. Based in Washington, DC, The American Prospect is a journal "of liberal ideas, committed to a just society, an enriched democracy, and effective liberal politics" which focuses on United States politics...

, stated "CAMERA is ready to exempt itself from the demands for accuracy that it aims at the media. And like others engaged in the narrative wars, it does not understand the difference between advocacy and accuracy." Gorenberg criticized CAMERA for telling members not to share information about the campaign with media, and he also argued Ini's definition of accuracy "only means not printing anything embarrassing to his own side". David Shamah, of The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post is an Israeli daily English-language broadsheet newspaper, founded on December 1, 1932 by Gershon Agron as The Palestine Post. The daily readership numbers do not approach those of the major Hebrew newspapers....

, stated that "the vast anti-Israel lobby that haters of our country have managed to pull together" hate it when groups like CAMERA mess up "their anti-Israel propaganda with (gasp!) facts".

Five editors involved in the campaign were sanctioned by Wikipedia administrators, who wrote that Wikipedia's open nature "is fundamentally incompatible with the creation of a private group to surreptitiously coordinate editing".

See also

  • Media coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict
  • Facts and Logic About the Middle East
    Facts and Logic About the Middle East
    Facts and Logic About the Middle East is a non-profit pro-Israel organization based in San Francisco, California. It began as a chapter of the pro-Israel media watchdog group CAMERA, later becoming an independent organization. Its stated purpose is ". ....

  • HonestReporting
    HonestReporting is a non-governmental organization that monitors the media for what it perceives as bias against Israel. The organization has affiliates in the United States, UK, Canada, Italy, and Brazil...

     media watchdog "dedicated to defending Israel against prejudice in the Media"
  • If Americans Knew
    If Americans Knew
    If Americans Knew is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the Arab–Israeli conflict and the Foreign policy of the United States regarding the Middle East, offering analysis of American media coverage of these issues. Its mission, according to the group's website, is to provide "what every...

    , a US-based media-monitoring organization which covers much the same issues, but from an opposing viewpoint.
  • The Jewish Internet Defense Force

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.