CNN’s ‘Fast Facts’ Minimizes Judaism’s Connection to Land of Israel –

Posted By on August 29, 2021

The Land of Israel is where Jewish identity was forged. It is unquestionably the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people.

But to read a Judaism Fast Facts page on the CNN website, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Jews connection to the Holy Land commenced only around a century ago.

CNNs fact sheets are typically split into three or four sections. Those about Christianity and Islam, for example, open with a section about Beliefs/Practices. Its page on Judaism does much the same, under a more general subheadline, About Judaism. The Judaism page then features sections about history and statistics. The Christianity page also includes these latter two parts. The Islam page is slightly different, and includes parts about Muslim denominations, Sharia law, other facts, and finally a brief timeline.

In the first section of the page about Judaism, CNN details the central texts of Judaism, religious practices, beliefs, the origins of Jewish faith, as well as the structure of Jewish life.

But absent is any mention of the Land of Israel.

Only in the following section, titled History, is any reference made to the Jewish homeland. There, it is written:

The creation of a Jewish state was discussed at the first Zionist Congress in Switzerland in 1897. In 1948, the state of Israelwas formed, afterWorld War IIand thegenocideof over six million Jews.

For this to be the first description of Jewish sovereignty is immensely misleading. By starting from modern Jewish attempts to achieve self-determination in the Holy Land, without any mention of the fact that Jews lived there consistently throughout the centuries, CNN makes it seem as if the State of Israel was only formed in response to WWII and the Holocaust, and thus erases the Jewish peoples millennia-long bond with the land.

According to Jewish tradition, all of creation began in Jerusalem. Abraham, Issac and Jacob all passed through the city. Kings David and Solomon built the Jewish temples there. The Land of Israel is subject to numerous biblical laws, observed by religious Jews to this day.

One of the best known is the Shmittah, which takes place every seven years. For an entire year, the lie must rest and lay fallow. Coincidentally, the current cycle is coming to an end now, meaning that Jews in Israel will observe the rules of this law starting from this Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year) in early September.

The Land of Israel is deeply significant in Jewish religious practice. For example, it is a religious commandment to live in the land of Israel. Many of those not able or not willing to move, however, have sought to be buried in Israel after they pass away.

For those unable to, there is a custom to symbolically sprinkle some earth taken from Israel into ones coffin.

Perhaps most notably, for centuries Jews around the world have fasted on two days each year (the 17th of Tamuz and the 9th of Av) to commemorate the destruction of the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem, as well as the various other calamities that occurred in the Land of Israel. And during the Passover and Yom Kippur holidays each year, as Jews around the world finish prayer services by singing the words LShana Habaah BYerushalayim, meaning next year in Jerusalem.

Jewish prayers speak of the Jewish yearning to return to Zion; the Talmud tells of stories that happened to Jews in the Holy Land; and for centuries Jews around the world have prayed facing Jerusalem.

Yet, CNN includes none of this in its summary of Judaism.

CNNs fast facts pages is a great idea in concept. People have a need for basic information on a broad range of topics and news outlets can provide a real public service with such background pieces. Unfortunately, HonestReporting has repeatedly found CNNs fast facts pages to be an unreliable source, with frequent omissions and distortions in those related to Israel and the Palestinians (see, for example, here and here).

This latest omission is even less excusable. Judaism is not a political issue. The basic tenets of Judaism are undisputed.

So why didnt CNN include the most basic facts?


Read this article:

CNN's 'Fast Facts' Minimizes Judaism's Connection to Land of Israel -

Related Posts


Comments are closed.

matomo tracker