"RULES OF THE GAME" LIPUTAN MEDIA DI TIMUR TENGAH
Sejumlah pernyataan di bawah ini saya kutip dari sebuah posting di Internet. Terkesan simpel, tapi bagi saya --yang kebetulan dulu sering meliput politik Timur Tengah-- memang ada kebenarannya. Hegemoni wacana pemikiran, yang merugikan posisi Palestina dan Arab, memang banyak menghinggapi insan media. Kita juga bisa membandingkan dengan pemberitaan media atas agresi Israel ke Lebanon, Juli-Agustus 2006.
Tetapi penilaian tentu terserah Anda masing-masing. Ini adalah sejumlah "rules" yang sering dipraktikkan media, dalam meliput konflik di Timur Tengah:
Rule No. 1: In the Middle East, it's always the Arabs that attack first and Israel that defends itself. That's called retaliation.
Rule No. 2: Arabs, whether Palestinian or Lebanese, have absolutely no right to kill Israeli civilians. That's called terrorism.
Rule No. 3: Israel has every right to kill as many Arab civilians as it wants. That's called legitimate self-defense.
Rule No. 4: When Israel kills too many civilians, the Western powers urge for restraint. That's called the reaction of the international community.
Rule No. 5: Palestinians and Lebanese have no right to capture Israeli soldiers, even if their numbers are limited to three.
Rule No. 6: Israelis have the right to capture as many Palestinians as they wish -- over 10,000 prisoners as of today, of which 300 are children. Uttering the magic word, "terrorist," is all that's
needed to throw Arabs behind bars without charges.
Rule No. 7: When you say "Hizballah," you should always add "supported by Syria and Iran."
Rule No. 8: When you say "Israel," you should never add "supported by the United States and Europe" lest the conflict appear imbalanced.
Rule No. 9: Never mention "occupied territories," or "UN resolutions," or "violations of international law," or "the Geneva conventions." That might perturb television viewers and lead them to ask questions.
Rule No. 10: Israelis speak English better than Arabs. That is why we always give them -- and their supporters -- more air time. That way, they can explain Rules 1 through 9 to us. That's called media objectivity.
Rule No. 11: If you don't agree with any of these rules, or if you think they favor one party over another, that's because you're a dangerous anti-Semite.
Satrio Arismunandar - dkdily