Sky News reporter forfeits any claim to objectivity

We recently posted about Sky News Middle East correspondent Mark Stone, who, during a May 9th report from Jerusalem, ignoring all evidence, including the previous 48 hours of Palestinian violence, suggested that Israeli police were engaged crowd control tactics near the Old City “for no logical reason”.

Yesterday, he not only doubled-down on the fiction that Israeli police were harassing Palestinians for no reason, but decided to go on an anti-Israel diatribe not unlike what you’d expect to hear from an official Palestinian spokesman.

Here he is, responding to a question by Sky News presenter Mark Austin:

First, he erred on the number of humanitarian aid trucks got though to Gaza before a Hamas rocket struck the crossing. It was eight, not two.

But, more importantly, note how (at 2 min into the video) he refers to attacks by Arab citizens of Israel on Jews, and the burning of synagogues, as “protests” and an “uprising” – racist-inspired acts that he seems to characterise as something positive or at least understandable.  Also, as David Collier reported, Stone’s only riot related tweet is this:

As far as we know, he hasn’t said a word about that Palestinian incitement which has no doubt contributed to the violence places like Lod, Acre and Bat Yam – the overwhelming majority of which, as CAMERA’s Hebrew site demonsrated, has been Jewish on Arab violence.

Then (at 2:25 in the video) he doubles-down on his previous assertion and argues that the most provocative acts have not been by violent Palestinian demonstrators, but by the police, who he accuses of “again” using disproportionate force to disperse “peaceful” protesters.

Tellingly, and in violation of normal journalistic practices, he doesn’t mention if he sought comment by an Israeli Police spokesperson, who may have provided him (and Sky viewers) with context on the police actions he’s referring to.  Since we don’t know the date or time of the police activity he’s referring to, it’s hard to specifically address his accusation. But, it’s of course possible that police had intelligence indicating that the protests would turn violent, or they’ve decided to reduce the possibility of more Palestinian violence by dispersing crowds that have the potential for violence.

Let’s remember that the disturbances began with mass Palestinian violence in the al-Aqsa Mosque last week, where rocks, fireworks and other weapons were stored in the holy mosque and used against police.

Stone also fails to even suggest alternative explanations for Palestinian violence other than Israeli actions.  He doesn’t mention the increased Palestinian Authority and Hamas incitement before and during the riots themselves, the cancellation of Palestinian elections, and the broader context of the ongoing rivalry between Hamas and Fatah for the hearts and minds of the Palestinian street.

Stone, like so many other journalists covering the conflict, appears to have accepted the unwritten rule for reporters covering the region: Palestinians  don’t possess agency and, by virtue of the imbalance of power between the two sides, Israeli decisions and Israeli actions are the only ones that matter.

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  1. says: Norman Cohen

    Why is he still reporting from Israel. The Sky Management should be contacted and told that in view of his unprofessional behaviour his press credentials will be revoked and he will be put on the first plane back to the UK.

  2. says: Grimey

    My (LibDem) MP has emailed a letter to me evidencing that she has totally swallowed the anti-Israel propaganda put out by The Grauniad, the Independent and the BBC. She is convinced that Israel is entirely to blame for the latest war and that Israel should stop attacking children in Gaza. The truth of the situation is far from her cognisance and will ever be so until Israel has a successful means of projecting it.

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