An article in the Independent by Middle East correspondent Bel Trew (“Wielding saws, shears and shovels, Israeli settlers ramp up attacks on Palestinians during olive harvest”, Dec. 1st) not only left the impression that attacks against West Bank Palestinians by Jewish extremists have increased, but alluded to this statistic to putatively prove the point:
the recent violence has been so serious that the Israeli security forces themselves sounded the alarm last month, reportedly telling Army Radio that there has been a 60 per cent rise in violent attacks by extremist settlers in comparison to 2020, which was already a bad year.
However, a journalist at the same Army Radio, citing reports by police, actually came to the opposite conclusion – a fact we tweeted to the Indy journalist.
.@Beltrew You wrote that security officials told "Army Radio that there's been a 60% RISE in violent attacks by extremist settlers in comparison to 2020"
Yet, per this graph tweeted by an Army Radio journalist, there's been a decrease in attacks according to police pic.twitter.com/bBwCx1qAfv
— CAMERA UK (formerly UK Media Watch and BBC Watch) (@CAMERAorgUK) December 1, 2021
The graph, based on the information provided by Israeli police, reports that so-called “price tag attacks” against Palestinians by settlers have DECREASED over 60% since last year, and that physical altercations between settlers and Palestinians decreased by 19%. The only category that did rise was settler attacks on Palestinian olive orchards, which increased by 1% compared to 2020. (The last category in the graph is Israeli indictments against settlers, which rose 100% from the previous year.)
We complained to Indy editors, asking that they provide an alternative source which backs up Ms. Trew’s claim, or, if not, to delete the claim.
UPDATE: Indy editors responded to say that the journalist was referring specifically to attacks on Palestinian Olive Trees, which they note has risen by 60% from the previous year.
Guardian report on “West Bank tension” omits half of the story
It’s as if this journalist believes in the common myths about “fairness and objectivity” characterizing the standard of the intrepid scribes of our day’s current events, admittedly a wonderful goal, but without any effort on their own part to make that ideal more real.
I mean, how much more blatantly absurd does it get to turn a 60% decrease into a 60% increase, apparently either out of total incompetence, bias against the State of Israel and/or Jews in general and Israelis in particular, sheer chutzpah, or some combination of all three?!