What is the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA)?
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA) is an organization recognized for promoting anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian narratives.
CAMERA cites the work of notoriously Islamophobic individuals to discredit American Muslims and Muslim organizations. For example, Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) was the most frequently referenced source in a 2012 report published by CAMERA.
Recognized as “hawkishly pro-Israel,” CAMERA received more than $4 million in grants between 2017 and 2019, according to CAIR’s 2022 report on “Islamophobia in the Mainstream.” The organization has deep ties with the Islamophobia industry, including Seth Klarman, co-founder of the Times of Israel and contributor to the anti-Muslim ‘The Israel Project,’ who donated over $1.5 million to CAMERA.
Anti-Muslim and Palestinian Activities
CAMERA undertakes initiatives to shape biased narratives about Palestinians. monitoring of the campus media, classrooms/professors, and anti-Israel events.” This has resulted in their work being described in the Jewish Forward as “intimidating and smearing students and scholars who disagree with their views,” predominantly Muslim and Palestinian voices.
In 2008, senior research analyst Gilead Ini organized a group of CAMERA members and sympathizers to covertly edit Wikipedia pages “to help us keep Israel-related entries on Wikipedia from becoming tainted by anti-Israel editors.” Another CAMERA contributor stated, “We will go to war after we have built an army, equipped [sic] it, trained,” referring to the campaign. When the campaign was discovered by Wikipedia administrators, several of CAMERA’s editors were permanently blocked from posting on the website.
In 2012, CAMERA published a report called “The Islamic Society of North America: Active, Influential and Rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood,” baselessly accusing several American Muslim organizations of being fronts for terrorism. Dexter Van Zile, who served as CAMERA’s ‘Christian media analyst’ for years insinuated that Muslims are undermining ‘the West’ through various educational and religious institutions.
CAMERA’s activities aim to pressure media organizations and individuals to retract or modify their coverage and interpretations to align with CAMERA’s beliefs.
Mark Jurkowitz of the Boston Globe described CAMERA as an advocacy group trying to impose its pro-Israeli views on mainstream journalism, rather than acting as a watchdog. The organization encourages its supporters to mass-email publications to get articles with differing views taken down.
In one instance, NPR suffered a loss of over $1 million after CAMERA organized over thirty rallies across the United States to boycott the organization and dissuade contributors from supporting it “until its Middle East coverage becomes more sympathetic to Israel.”