Thu, June 10, 2010 | Arutz Sheva | By Yochanan Visser
UPDATE: Conny Mus, the subject of this article, died Friday (August 20, 2010) while on vacation in his home country, the RTL broadcasting company said. He was 59. RTL said he died of a heart attack in his sleep.
Mus was one of the Netherlands’ best-known broadcast and television reporters. He began reporting from Jerusalem as a freelance journalist in 1982 and joined RTL at its inception in 1989. He appeared on air more than 1,300 times for the broadcaster. He also was a columnist for several magazines.
Mus was the current chairman of the Foreign Press Association in Israel, a position he had held off-and-on since 1990.
Do you wonder why foreign press reports about Israel are so skewed? Meet Conny Mus, the Dutch chairman of the Foreign Press Association in Israel.
Last week for the first time, foreign reporters in Israel literally came under attack when TV crews reported about the Turkish flotilla from Ashdod. Angry Israeli’s disturbed live broadcasts by waving flags in front of the cameras and by shouting slogans.
Israelis are apparently fully aware of the way events in their country are depicted by a large number of foreign reporters. Last week’s events showed clearly that the Israeli public is fed up with this.
And rightly so, the damage done to Israel by these reporters is immense. The flow of biased reports, cropped pictures and outright lies has caused an unprecedented deterioration in Israel’s international position and has strengthened the position of Israel’s enemy’s.
Conny Mus the Dutch chairman of the Foreign Press Association in Israel is one of the main forces behind the foreign media campaign against Israel.
He was probably also responsible for the attempt to curb the flow of IDF You Tube video’s about the events on the Mavi Marmara. The FPA accused Israel of illegal use of the confiscated camera’s and demanded immediately return of the camera’s and the footage.
Mus, a veteran Dutch language reporter working for RTL 4 Television has become increasingly hostile to the Jewish state over the years.
But that’s not all, recently he has lowered his journalistic standard even further by reporting outright lies about events in Israel.
This became perfectly clear in his reports about the raid on the Mavi Marmara.
Stony- faced Mus reported that six heavily armed Israeli commandos descended on the ship at the start of the raid. He stated that the Israeli’s don’t care about the nine deaths as long as Gilad Shalitt is still in Hamas custody. He openly questioned Israel’s decision not to kill some of the Gush Katiff settlers when he compared the minor violence during the evacuation of Gush Katiff to the violence of the IHH mob on the Marmara.
He claimed that foreign humanitarian aid does hardly reach Gaza and accused Israel of ignorance towards the needs of the Gazan population.
A week before these reports were broadcasted a Missing Peace investigation into another Conny Mus RTL 4 report was published in the Netherlands and Belgium.
This RTL report was broadcasted on RTL 4 television at May 5. In the report Mus resorted to lies about the situation on road 443. Mus said in this report that the Israeli army was ignoring a High Court of Justice order to open the road.
He said this while standing almost next to works which were done to prepare a new entrance to the road from the Palestinian village of Beit Sira close to Modi’in.
He also didn’t mention the reason for the closure of the road eight years ago: the murder of six Israeli’s. Instead he presented the closure as an ordinary measure to punish the Palestinians.
Mus furthermore claimed that the extended travel time to Ramallah due to the closure, had cost Palestinian lives.
His interview with a Palestinian woman contained two versions of the same story.
Mus said an ambulance came too late to save the life of the woman’s husband. The woman however, told the TV crew that she had decided to bring her husband to Ramallah herself.
At the end of the report Conny Mus, standing almost next to the -not visible- new entrance to road 443 at the village of Beit Sira, stated that “there was no prospect of opening of the road in the foreseeable future”.
As we all know, road 443 with the new entrances for Palestinian traffic opened on May 29. The Jerusalem Post reported about the preparations for the opening on May 2, three days before Mus reported that the army was doing nothing.
In a recent blog Conny Mus stated that “foreign journalists are responsible for reporting the facts about Israel”. He was ridiculing the recent campaign by the Israeli government to improve the public diplomacy. He also explained that his viewers are wise enough to look through the Israeli propaganda. Mus has no shortage of chutzpah, he knows very well that most of his viewers are buying his propaganda because they have no means to control his reports.
The Israeli government recently installed a monitor mechanism which is meant to detect Palestinian incitement. The incitement and bias against Israel by foreign reporters however, has more impact and goes mainly unanswered. Freedom of speech and press freedom are important assets in the free world. However, when those assets are misused to produce inciting libels that are endangering the freedom of a people or a country like Israel, lines have to be drawn.
There are legal tools to held reporters accountable for the reports they produce. For example Ha’aretz journalist Amira Hass has been convicted for writing lies about Jews in Hebron in June 2001.
It is about time Israel uses these legal tools against lying foreign reporters as well.
About the author,
Yochanan Visser is a Dutch-language analyst for the Israel Facts Group (Israelfacts), a European media watchdog organization, as well as manager of Israel Facts Monitorgroup and israelfacts.eu. He lives in Efrat, Israel.