A recent survey in The Netherlands showed that news consumers consider the NOS public broadcaster to be the country’s most reliable media brand. According to the Oxford-based Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 77 percent of the Dutch trust NOS News, with only 7% saying they are skeptical of its reporting.
By comparison, the same June 2022 study found that over 40% of Americans distrust CNN.
Yet, when it comes to its coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict, this trust in the NOS is unwarranted. The outlet has repeatedly been forced to apologize for spreading gross inaccuracies about the Jewish state, and it was even accused of disseminating Nazi-like antisemitic propaganda.
Indeed, the NOS’ track record on Israel has led some Jewish leaders to suggest that the taxpayer-funded broadcaster is systematically slanted in favor of the Palestinian narrative.
And last week, NOS appointed as its correspondent in Israel a reporter who has been criticized for her alleged bias against the Jewish state.
Following the resignation of Ties Brock, the NOS announced its new Jerusalem correspondent. In the August 29 press release, outgoing editor-in-chief Marcel Gelauff described Nasrah Habiballah as an “experienced multimedia journalist with a great drive” who would bring “new, fresh perspectives” to the NOS’ coverage of the decades-old conflict.
Meanwhile, Habiballah said her “personal connection with the region” and “extensive network in Israel and the Palestinian Territories” would allow the NOS to present to the Dutch public “different opinions and unique stories.”
But this is precisely what worries some critics in The Netherlands.
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Prior to her employment at the broadcaster, Habiballah — whose family comes from the area of Nazareth in northern Israel — studied Arabic for six months at the West Bank’s Birzeit University.
The Hamas-controlled university has honored Black September member Kamal Nasser with a hall dedicated to the terrorist on campus. Also, the university has named a basketball championship after Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian viewed by many as the mastermind behind the Second Intifada.
During a 2016 Fatah rally at Nasrah Habiballah’s alma mater, students called for the murder of Jews. Last year, students associated with EU-designated terrorist organizations organized military parades, complete with mock rockets and explosive belts.
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