For more than a decade, major news outlets have been exposed for biased, anti-Israel reporting. Yesterday, in the aftermath of the horrific synagogue attack in Jerusalem leaving five dead and six wounded, that bias surfaced again.
Back in 2001, a pro-Israel watchdog group pointed out a disturbing trend in BBC headlines.
When Israel engaged in acts of war targeting the Palestinians, headlines reported this in the active voice and with clear attribution of responsibility. In stark contrast, when Palestinians attacked Israelis, headlines reported this in the passive voice and without any attribution of responsibility.
Here are some glaring examples, all from March-May 2001 on BBC:
Contrast this: “Israeli attack kills baby girl,” with this: “Israeli baby killed by gunfire.”
Contrast this: “Israeli tanks attack refugee camp,” with this: “Bomb stokes Mid-East tension.”
Contrast this: “Israel turns firepower on Gaza,” with this: “Mortars injure Gaza settlers.”
With consistency, Israel’s role is spelled out explicitly while the Palestinians’ role is not even mentioned, as if a bomb just went off or gunfire just erupted out of nowhere or, as in another headline, “Israeli city hit by blast,” a blast just happened on its own, without anyone being responsible for it.
On April 3, 2002, CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting) posted an extremely glaring example of anti-Israel media bias.
After a suicide bomber injured 49 Israelis, the photo editor of the San Jose Mercury News “passed up numerous images made available by AP, Reuters, Getty Images, and others, of victims being evacuated, medical workers on the scene of mayhem, the damaged eatery, stunned onlookers, or victims in their hospital beds.”
Instead, to accompany the article describing the terror attack, the editor chose a “photo of the killer’s tearful mother in mourning. The caption reads: ‘The mother of Islamic Jihad militant Rami Ghanem, center, is comforted by relatives and friends at her home in the West Bank on Sunday. Ghanem blew himself up near a Netanya café, injuring 49.'”
Is this overt enough?
Don’t show the victims and their families; show the tearful mother of the bomber. That’s how to shift people’s sympathies in a hurry. (See examples from the Los Angeles Times.)
Yesterday, major media outlets were guilty of similar acts of biased reporting (not to mention CNN’s initial blunder reporting that the killings took place in a mosque rather than a synagogue).
The Blaze reported that “CNN was heavily skewered online early Tuesday morning for headlines that initially appeared on their website and on air following the deadly terrorist attack in Jerusalem.”
This was the headline first run by CNN: “4 Israelis, 2 Palestinians killed in synagogue attack, Israeli police say.” Even more ambiguously, on air, CNN declared, “4 Israelis, 2 Palestinians dead in Jerusalem.”
Perhaps all six were attacked by others? And who, exactly, carried out the attack?
As the Blaze noted, “The headlines noticeably omitted that the two Palestinians were the individuals armed with guns and [axes] who authorities said were responsible for the attack, which claimed the lives of at least four worshipers.” (A fifth victim, a Druze Arab serving in the Israeli police force, died later in the day of his wounds.)
And note once again that the headlines did not ascribe guilt to the Palestinian terrorists (people were just “killed” or “dead,” with no mention of who killed them).
To its credit, CNN issued a formal apology later in the day.
The Jerusalem Post added another example, this one even more egregious: “The website of British newspaper The Guardian ran a story about the attack from Reuters. The wire dispatch the agency sent included the headline ‘Palestinians kill four in Jerusalem synagogue attack’ and led with the sentence: ‘Two Palestinians armed with a meat cleaver and a gun killed four people in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday before being shot dead by police. …’
“However, The Guardian changed their headline to ‘Four worshippers killed in attack on Jerusalem synagogue,’ and in their lead, they also excised any reference to Palestinians, publishing: ‘Two men armed with axes, knives and a pistol have killed four Israelis and wounded several others in a Jerusalem synagogue. …'”
So, the Israelis were just “killed” – we have no idea who did it – and any reference to the Palestinian killers was removed with surgical precision. Does anyone think this was an unintentional error?
The Jerusalem Post also pointed to the headline used by the Canadian news service CBC: “Jerusalem police fatally shoot 2 after apparent synagogue attack.”
That was the headline they chose to describe the cold-blooded murder of four Jews (and now, a total of five Israelis)? CBC focuses on Jerusalem police killing the two murderers? And CBC calls the attack “apparent”?
CAMERA was also critical of the New York Times, announcing, “After Jerusalem Massacre, New York Times Covers Up Abbas’ Incitement.”
According to CAMERA, “Hewing to a long-established history of downplaying Palestinian incitement, the New York Times article on today’s brutal massacre of worshipers in a Jerusalem synagogue casts incitement to violence by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as nothing more than a complaint lodged by Israeli right-wing political figures.”
To be sure, Abbas denounced “the killing of civilians from any sides” and “the whole cycle of violence,” although this was in his typical fashion, denouncing alleged Israel attacks of terror along with Palestinian acts of terror rather than simply condemning the murders.
But CAMERA is right to point out how the Times completely neglected Abbas’ words of incitement in recent weeks, including a statement from an Abbas adviser that, “We kiss every forehead, every hand and even every foot” of the recent Palestinian terrorists who killed Israelis.
And how many major news outlets reported that Abbas’ adviser called the attack on Tuesday a “heroic operation,” that Fatah, Abbas’ party, stated that it “welcomes the operation” and “escorts the Martyrs to Paradise,” and that Fatah was “handing out candy in the cities of the West Bank in celebration of the Jerusalem operation”?
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