Weekend long read

It has been another long and difficult week with news coming in thick and fast of terror attacks across Israel and much to say about the international media’s coverage of those events.Weekend Read

Our colleague Gilad Ini at CAMERA is compiling a rolling round-up of some of the worst examples of misleading reporting in a post titled “Wave of Palestinian Violence Accompanied by Spate of Bad Writing“.

At the Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens wrote a timely article ($) titled “Palestine: The Psychotic Stage” which will ring bells for consumers of BBC content.

“If you’ve been following the news from Israel, you might have the impression that “violence” is killing a lot of people. As in this headline: “Palestinian Killed As Violence Continues.” Or this first paragraph: “Violence and bloodshed radiating outward from flash points in Jerusalem and the West Bank appear to be shifting gears and expanding, with Gaza increasingly drawn in.”

Read further, and you might also get a sense of who, according to Western media, is perpetrating “violence.” As in: “Two Palestinian Teenagers Shot by Israeli Police,” according to one headline. Or: “Israeli Retaliatory Strike in Gaza Kills Woman and Child, Palestinians Say,” according to another.

Such was the media’s way of describing two weeks of Palestinian assaults that began when Hamas killed a Jewish couple as they were driving with their four children in the northern West Bank. […]

…Western news organizations have resorted to familiar tropes. Palestinians have despaired at the results of the peace process—never mind that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas just declared the Oslo Accords null and void. Israeli politicians want to allow Jews to pray atop the Temple Mount—never mind that Benjamin Netanyahu denies it and has barred Israeli politicians from visiting the site. There’s always the hoary “cycle of violence” formula that holds nobody and everybody accountable at one and the same time.

Left out of most of these stories is some sense of what Palestinian leaders have to say. As in these nuggets from a speech Mr. Abbas gave last month: “Al Aqsa Mosque is ours. They [Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.” And: “We bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah.””

Over at the Telegraph, Arsen Ostrovsky asks “Why is the world ignoring a wave of terror in Israel?“.

“Then I look at some of the media reporting on these attacks, such as that from the BBC, and ask myself how on earth they can twist the facts and logic beyond a semblance of recognition to actually place the blame on Israel.”

Also at the Telegraph, Eitan Na’eh takes a historical – and personal – look at incitement in an article titled “Jews are being killed simply for being Jews“.

“One myth in particular has shown itself evergreen: the idea that Jews are trying to undermine Islam and its holy sites in Jerusalem. We have heard the lie that “Al Aqsa is in danger” since the 1920s, when the Palestinian leader Haj Amin Al-Husseini tried to stir up local rioters against Jews, inciting them to murder. Husseini would distribute pamphlets saying: “O Arabs! Do not forget that the Jew is your worst enemy and has been the enemy of your forefathers.”

Last month, President Abbas called on Jews not to put their “filthy feet” on the Temple Mount, again inciting anti-Jewish violence. Yet when Palestinian activists use this revered holy site as a temporary base from which to attack Israelis – piling up rocks, fireworks and explosives – it is they who desecrate the place.

Those making libellous claims about Israel and Al Aqsa today ignore the fact that 3.5 million Muslims visited the site last year, compared to 200,000 Christians and just 12,500 Jews. Indeed, Israel has maintained a delicate status quo since 1967, when it regained control of the Old City of Jerusalem, and handed back the administration of the Muslim holy sites to Islamic administrators known as the Waqf. Israel is determined not to let the status quo change, and has recently banned politicians from any visits to the site, in order to calm tensions.”

Yaakov Lozowick also discusses the backdrop to the current wave of terror in Israel in a post titled “This is what long-term education to hatred will do“.

“The part that impresses me is the public atmosphere forming the minds of Palestinian teenagers. In order for significant numbers of them to be willing to be killed for the chance to stab an Israeli, they must be steeped in hatred to a degree most Western pundits can’t even recognize. Many westerners don’t even accept the reality, let alone the legitimacy, of the concept “enemy”. These young Palestinians seem unable to accept the reality, let alone the legitimacy, of their common humanity with Israelis. For this, blame their parents and grandparents and society at large.

Spend decades telling yourself, your children and your grandchildren that Jews have no legitimate reason to be here, and that now they’re here they spend their days cooking up nasty ideas about how to be cruel to Palestinians and destructive towards Islam, and eventually this is the result you’ll end up with.”

At the Jewish News, Sir Eric Pickles writes “We deserve better reporting of these evil attacks”.

“The BBC – legally obligated to display total impartiality – set a very low standards in its reporting. On Sunday, 11 October, correspondent Orla Guerin produced an extraordinary report on the recent wave of attacks that claimed “there’s no sign of involvement by militant groups”, before immediately showing footage of Palestinian Islamic Jihad banners at the home of a 19-year-old terrorist who carried out a deadly knife attack at Lions Gate in Jerusalem on 3 October.

The BBC’s original coverage of this attack also attracted controversy, with a headline being amended four times from its misleading original version that read: ‘Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attacks kills two’. […]

No doubt the BBC will seek to rebut these claims about bias, but it would be helpful if they published the much anticipated Balen Report into the impartiality of its reporting of the Israel-Palestinian issue.

Events in the Middle East affect all our lives. We deserve better reporting.”

And here, courtesy of TIP, are the words of Arab-Israeli journalist Lucy Aharish – herself a survivor of terror.


Wishing us all quieter days and Shabbat Shalom.

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