— Mark Stone (@Stone_SkyNews) June 22, 2021
First, the tweet Stone commented above was by Linah Al Saafin, a reporter at the Qatari propaganda outlet Al Jazeera – which is why it’s not surprising that her version of events in the east Jerusalem neighborhood, which Stone amplified to his 64,800 followers, is backwards.
As our colleague Tamar Sternthal detailed in a recent post, even Haaretz reported that the clash in question appears to have started when Palestinians launched fireworks at police, and two Palestinian teens allegedly threw a firebomb at a Jewish home. Following that unprovoked violence, a Jewish resident pepper sprayed Palestinian residents, Jews and Palestinians threw chairs and stones at each other (per the clip in the tweet), and Palestinians shot off firecrackers at Jewish homes.
In other words, what Stone tweeted was a selective clip which only showed a short episode within a larger brawl – one apparently initiated by Palestinians. To refer to the incident as “systematic state-sanctioned violence” is of course a lie.
As our readers may recall, this isn’t the first egregious distortion by the Sky News reporter.
In a video report by Stone on May 9, amidst the tensions and riots in Jerusalem preceding the war with Hamas, he completely erased Palestinian violence, claiming that there “was no logical reason” for police crowd and riot control tactics being used prevent or quell additional incidents.
In a video report on May 19th, during the Gaza war, Stone again erased the Palestinian violence that led to the Jerusalem tensions, blaming it almost entirely on the reaction by Israeli police, and also inexplicably referred to attacks by Arab Israelis on Jews, and the burning of synagogues, as “protests” and putatively justified “uprisings”.
And, on June 8th, during a Twitter exchange with a British Jew who complained that his “children have to hide who they are” and that he’s “not sure they have a future in this country it’s got that bad”, Stone replied that “so many Israelis tell me that the Jew hatred you experiences is actually a consequence of the current Israeli government’s policies and the ongoing occupation“. (Following the uproar over what amounted to his blaming Jews themselves for the antisemitism they face, Stone apologised and deleted the tweet).
In our post about his comments about antisemitism, we argued that Stone had forfeited any claim to fairness and objectivity when covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Stone’s latest tweet, conflating cause and effect and completely obfuscating Palestinian violence, is more evidence of his inability to uphold the “Impartiality and Due Accuracy” clause of Sky News’s Editorial Guidelines, which includes “Making sure views and facts are not misrepresented”, “Making sure all significant opinion is duly reflected on any controversial issues”, and “Making sure particular views and opinions are not given undue prominence over others”.