“I'm driven by my love for Christ and my love for Israel and my love for Israel's neighbors,” said Joel Rosenberg, a New York Times bestselling author and founder of All Israel News and All Arab News. “Now, not every evangelical who loves Jesus and loves Israel necessarily thinks about Israel's neighbors, but of course, Jesus commanded us not only to think about them but to also love them.”
Rosenberg explained that this love has created a desire to share good news about what the Lord is doing in Israel and in the surrounding Arab regions. But he knew something needed to change when he witnessed the constant amounts of media bias in Middle Eastern news coverage. While he recognizes that there are journalism outlets that cover accurate and impartial stories, he said the majority of Middle Eastern news coverage falls among a range of three media biases: soft bias, hard bias, and war.
He explained soft bias as journalism that never considers the news coverage of stories that evangelical Christians find important, whereas hard bias is journalism that blatantly disregards such coverage. However, the final and most severe form of bias that Rosenberg saw was media war—journalism that actively seeks to wage war against Christianity, Judaism, Modern Islam, and anyone who tries to advance peace.
“So, [when considering the media bias] I have two choices,” said Rosenberg. “I could get angry—which okay, I do get angry at times—or I could do something about it.”
This crossroads led him to take action and to launch two websites that could take a much different approach to the journalism he had encountered. On Sept. 1, 2020, Rosenberg launched two new news outlets that would share current issues surrounding Israel, where Rosenberg and his family have resided since 2014.
He believed a site with original coverage, polling, analyses, and interviews could give their audience fair and balanced news. By writing unbiased content and linking stories of other credible outlets from the region, Rosenberg said that All Israel News was created to be a one-stop shop for evangelicals and others to understand current issues.
However, Rosenberg recognized that many Arab leaders would not want to be associated with All Israel News’s mission of “tracking news and events impacting Israel and the Middle East for the world’s 600 million evangelicals.” With that in mind, Rosenberg created All Arab News with a different objective.
“[All Arab News] is somewhat of a safe place for Arab leaders and citizens to be able to tweet it out or to put it on social media, Facebook, or wherever as an All Arab link,” said Rosenberg.
While the site is not dishonest about their goal and mission, Rosenberg believes it is important for his site to also give an understanding of all perspectives and to create an unbiased environment for all of its readers.
“I want to point out here what's been fun about starting these sites, as of September 1, is having a team of young Israelis, Palestinians, and Lebanese evangelicals working with me,” Rosenberg said. “So, while we all share the same faith, we share very different geography and angles on what's happening.”
He has three main missions for his two news outlets—to educate, to encourage, and to warn the church—and one of the most important news events Rosenberg and his team have faced is the Israeli peace treaty among the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan.
“We are witnessing the most exciting and positive development in the area of Arab-Israeli peace in an entire generation,” said Rosenberg. “We have not seen any Arab-Israeli peace treaty in more than 25 years, until now.”
For Israel, this is a massive step in its history and future development, but Rosenberg has felt the frustration in seeing news coverage, especially in the United States, not recognize the full weight of this landmark decision.
“Some of the biggest stories in this region are happening, and some of the biggest news outlets in America don't care or are actively trying to suppress good news,” said Rosenberg. “So, for us, the last few months have vindicated our rationale for existing.”
He said that it is upsetting for him to see certain American mainstream media refuse to cover the importance of this peace treaty simply out of spite for President Trump, but at the same time, it has given Rosenberg an even greater motivation for pushing forward in his mission of publishing unbiased and accurate news from the Middle East.
“News in the Middle East affects America and affects Christians around the world,” Rosenberg said. “Mainstream media is doing a lousy job covering it, and that's why we need to cover it.”
Joel Rosenberg has spoken at many NRB events. To learn more about Joel and his work, click here.
Published: December 2, 2020