Though accusations regarding “fake news” are used way too often these days, the Times of London report on an “Israeli attack” last night over Homs in Syria clearly deserves to be labeled as such.
Why do you hate Israel more than any other nation? Why does Israel anger you more than any other nation does? Why do Israel’s military activities aggravate you and disturb your conscience and provoke you to outbursts of street protesting or Twitter-fury in a way that no other state’s military activities do? These are the questions that hang darkly over today’s so-called progressives. Which eat away at their self-professed moral authority, at their claims to be practitioners of fairness and equality. They are the questions to which no satisfactory answer has ever been given. So they niggle and fester, expertly avoided, or unconvincingly batted away, a black question mark over much of the modern left: why Israel?
Here’s the latest installment in our ongoing series of posts documenting BDS fails.
The only difference between Hamas and Ahmad Abu Artema, the Great Return March chief organiser, is that Hamas is a terror group founded on the idea that Israel has no right to exist, and Abu Artema is a “non-violent” activist dedicated to the idea that Israel has no right to exist.
For 3rd time in 5 months, UKMW prompts Daily Mail correction to “Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital” claim.
Though we’ve been very successful at prompting editors to revise language falsely suggesting that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital, most media outlets nonetheless stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that Jerusalem holds this status.
In a mere one minute and twenty seconds, the Sky News clip accurately capsulizes the media’s continuous credulity when faced with Palestinian soundbites that echo the narrative of proscribed terror groups – representative of a broader institutional failure to contextualise coverage of events in the region by reminding news consumers of the malevolent aims of the Hamas tyrants who rule Gaza.
The fact that 10 out of the 16 Palestinians killed since Friday have been verified by the IDF as members of terrorist groups, or that the border protests have included the throwing of Molotov cocktails, the planting of EIDs and – in at least two cases – shots fired at Israeli forces hasn’t hampered the desired media narrative: a ‘disproportionate’ Israeli response to ‘peaceful’ Palestinian protesters.
Will media report on investigation’s conclusion that Ibrahim Abu Thuraya was NOT killed by IDF snipers?
Though we may never learn what caused Ibrahim Abu Thuraya’s death on the Gaza border last December, the media’s immediate rush to judgement – presuming Israeli guilt whilst ignoring evidence undermining such accusations – once again demonstrates their institutional failure to subject Palestinian claims to the same degree of skepticism and critical scrutiny that Israeli claims are almost always subjected to.
In fairness, the Guardian – over the last few years – has been a bit more vigilant in avoiding antisemitic language, and we’re certainly glad that their editorial position on the antisemitism scandal currently engulfing the Labour Party is morally clear. However, it would benefit their readers – and help contextualise the problem of antisemitism on the British Left – if senior editors would show a bit more self-reflection by acknowledging their own troubling history of sanctioning toxic rhetoric historically used by anti-Semites.
We contacted editors, who upheld our complaint and amended the passage to note that Tamimi will be released in five months to take into account the time she already served.
Maybe the story that best captures the disconnect between the media portrayal of Israel, and the actual picture of Israel, is the fact that for a fifth year in a row, Israel was named by the UN the 11th happiest country in the world. The appraisal of Israel as a place of doom and gloom is not shared by Israelis themselves (and that includes Jews and Arabs).
The claim by the Indy journalist that Fatah as founded to promote the creation of a Palestinian state shouldn’t be seen as merely a one-off factual error, but, rather, an example of a larger media pattern of casting Palestinians as the reasonable party in the dispute by obfuscating undeniable evidence demonstrating their long history of terror, extremism, and rejectionism.
By linking to Murray’s wild, completely unsubstantiated and incendiary charges, and uncritically citing it as grounds for readers to be skeptical of the government’s assessment, the Guardian has legitimised a full-out anti-Israel conspiracy theory – the kind of malign, obsessive and often delusional Israel root-cause explanations for international events which continues to fuel antisemitism in the UK.
Whilst it’s true that MOST of the more than 325,00 Arabs living in the city are permanent residents, thousands are full Israeli citizens. Roughly 7 percent of the city’s Arabs (more than 20,000 people) are Israeli citizens and have the same rights (including the right to vote in national elections) as all other citizens.
The suggestion that Tamimi, who was arrested for assaulting an Israeli soldier and for incitement, by endorsing (on video) armed “resistance”, is a “political prisoner” is beyond absurd. The term “political prisoner” is as codified as pertaining only to those detained in violation of “freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and information, freedom of assembly and association”.
Contrary to Robert Fisk’s claim, Yasser Arafat was offered was a contiguous state encompassing Gaza, east Jerusalem and considerably more than 90 percent of the West Bank. And, it’s not the “American media” making this “claim”. It’s three of the principle players during negotiations – Bill Clinton, his chief peace negotiator Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk, then the US Ambassador to Israel.
This conclusion that the flight of Arabs from Haifa was instigated by the Arab leadership, and not by the Hagana, isn’t just reached by Karsh, but by historian Benny Morris, and even radical anti-Israel historian Illan Pappe, who acknowledged that “Jewish troops had no clear intention of provoking an Arab exodus” and that “their military strategy was not calculated to produce such an outcome”.
In addition to being an “acclaimed Palestinian writer”, Ghassan Kanafi was also a high-ranking member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group. Kanafi was the right hand man to the group’s leader George Habash and met with members of the Japanese Red Army who murdered 26 people in the Lod Airport Massacre in 1972.
Guardian opposed US attack on Syria in 2013; Now says inaction led to more bloodshed. Fails to admit error.
A recent Observer editorial is critical of Obama’s decision not to bomb Assad in 2013, but there is just one thing the editorial does not mention –that Observer editors, at the time, encouraged Obama NOT to take action.
The original Telegraph language, alleging that proposed Knesset legislation would allow the government to expropriate “church land”, was changed to note that the proposal relates to land sold by the church, and now owned by private (Jewish) investors.
The Guardian error is an important one, because the erroneous claim that Israel is ‘confiscating church land’ lends credibility to an outrageous statement by church leaders – quoted in the report – which outrageously compares the government’s behavior to “laws enacted against the Jews during dark periods in Europe”.
Following communication with UK Media Watch, Guardian editors amended a photo caption which misleadingly suggested that a far-right Polish demonstration in Warsaw included a pro-Israel contingent.
This month, the New Statesman published an article by Sarah Helm entitled “How Donald Trump provoked a Palestinian refugee revolt” which is inaccurate on two levels – it makes false assertions and misleading statements about specific details, and presents a very selective version of the overall story.
Despite the fact that we’ve prompted corrections on this point continually over the years, UK media outlets continue to make errors regarding Israel’s capital – by claiming, explicitly or implicitly, that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital. We caught two such errors yesterday, one at the Daily Express and the other at the Daily Mail.
If foreign journalists covering the region held Palestinian leaders to the same level of critical scrutiny that they consistently hold Israeli leaders to, the ten seconds of Abbas addressing the UN would cause nothing less than a media storm – with reports, analyses and commentaries informing readers that Abbas’s claim that Palestinians “are committed to fostering a culture of peace and a rejection of violence” is simply the opposite of the truth.
Following communication with UK Media Watch, editors at the Evening Standard revised the headline and text to make it clear that the incident on Israel’s northern border last week was started by an Iranian drone that penetrated Israeli air space.
In initial reports on Sunday and Monday, following hostilities on Saturday between Israel and Syria, the Iranian drone (which violated Israeli air space and caused the incident) wasn’t included in the headline and only appeared further in the article. However, a recent report in the Independent went a step further, omitting the drone altogether in both the headline and the text.
The Guardian simply has no credibility on the issue of anti-Jewish racism, and we seriously doubt that the editor responsible for the piece condemning attacks on Soros was motivated by a genuine anger towards antisemitic expressions. As Guardian journalist Michael White tweeted, on an unrelated controversy, “we all cherry pick our outrage sometimes”.
Guest post by Akus We have become used to the media misreporting events from Israel. However, the reports that followed the recent destruction of an Iranian drone that entered Israeli airspace were […]
A Feb. 11th report in the Independent, by Daniel Khalili-Tari, managed to get a crucial detail wrong, claiming that an Iranian drone was shot down over Syria, despite prior reports at the same publication making it clear that the drone was shot down after it crossed the northern border into Israel.
The decision by The Economist to leave the false impression that a leading Holocaust historian evoked such a comparison does not reflect well on the seriousness of editors in upholding their own editorial standards, which includes a pledge to “consider whether the context and presentation of the facts are fair”.
Foreign journalists covering the region are so careful not to amplify or accept at face value the “hasbara” disseminated by the Israeli government or pro-Israel groups, yet seem perfectly willing to report (as real news) such staged protests and other forms of political street theatre.
Economist falsely suggests Israeli historian compared African detention centers to “concentration camps”.
We contacted Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer by email, to ask him if, as The Economist claimed, he’s used the term “modern concentration camps”, to characterize the detention of African migrants. Bauer promptly replied to our email and flatly denied ever using any version of the term.
The suggestion in the EU report that the Jewish “narrative” is being promoted “at the expense of other religions” represents the opposite of the truth, as Israel continues to safeguard Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, whilst Palestinian leaders continually deny Jewish history in the holy city and incite their people to view any Jewish presence on Judaism’s holiest site as an intrusion onto an exclusively ‘Muslim’ site.
Despite the fact that Burke acknowledges that “the emergence of terrorism as we know it today” begun “in the second half of the 19th century”, his historical overview of modern terror somehow manages to avoid any mention of Palestinian attacks against Jews in Israeli cities, or Palestinian attacks on Jewish targets in Western cities.
“Despite being engaged in nearly perpetual conflict with Palestinians over the division of land, Israel has developed into an economic hub in the 69 years of its existence. The densely populated country has focused on growing its high-tech industry, a change from its agricultural roots. Israel has one of the fastest growing GDPs of the 25 richest countries, increasing 4% in 2016.”
Netanyahu’s trip to India reveals two sides of Israel that do not receive enough media attention – Israel as a partner in solving the major humanitarian issues of the day, and Israel as a country that is quite popular in many parts of the world – facts which contradict the simplistic, one-sided narrative often presented by foreign journalists covering the region.
Indy’s former Jerusalem reporter: Gaza tunnels are a testament to Palestinian “hard work and ingenuity”
Macintyre, the Indy’s former Jerusalem correspondent, said that Hamas were “a relatively pragmatic Islamist regime”, suggested Gazans are free to criticise the regime, and that the terror group’s building of tunnels was “testament to their hard work and ingenuity”.
Whilst Fisk’s criticism of Ross’s AIPAC connections is legitimate (as are questions about Jared Kushner’s Israeli financial and business ties), questioning the loyalty of Ross and the other Jewish peace negotiators – suggesting they can’t be trusted to negotiate fairly with the Palestinians because of their faith – crosses the line.
There are good humanitarian-based arguments for maintaining current UNRWA funding until a long-term solution can be found, but there can be no serious argument to maintain the fiction that there are over 5 million actual Palestinian refugees and that these non-refugees of Palestinian descent should be “repatriated” to a place they never once stepped foot.
It is entirely logical for Israel to not allow BDS activists into the country. It is not because they are documenting human rights violations – human rights organisations work freely in Israel. It is because they have made the choice to join a movement whose stated aim is to harm Israel. Why do such people have the right to enter the country they seek to harm?
There seems to be no limit to the lengths the Guardian will go to ignore, obfuscate or excuse Palestinian extremism, incitement or historical revisionism. Their former Middle East Editor, Ian Black, provided his take on Mahmoud Abbas’s recent speech in Ramallah and characteristically airbrushed the most indefensible parts in order to maintain the narrative of a ‘moderate’, even “principled” Palestinian President.
An op-ed in The Guardian by radical anti-Israel activist, and Code Pink co-founder, Medea Benjamin, included the outrageous claim that Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teen who was captured on video assaulting an Israeli soldier, was a “PEACEFUL human rights activist”.
Following communication with UK Media Watch, the Guardian agreed to amend the sentence and remove the word “peaceful”.
The low lights of a diatribe against the world in Ramallah last night by the Palestinian “president”, who today celebrated the 12th year of a 4 year term, included his characterisation of Israel as a European “colonialist project, which has nothing to do with the Jews”. Thus far, among UK media outlets, only The Telegraph covered Abbas’s speech. However, their article ignored his antisemitic smear.
Following communication between UKMW and the Guardian, their editors also agreed to change their caption beneath the photo, used to illustrate a recent article (Israel imposes travel ban on 20 foreign NGOs over boycott movement, Jan. 7th), to reflect the more accurate translation of the Arabic sign.
Contrary to what Rehman and countless other Guardian contributors and journalist have alleged, BDS is not a ‘progressive’ civil rights movement, but represents quite the opposite: a regressive campaign by radical activists, all of whom share an unhealthy fixation on the ‘sins’ committed by a historically oppressed minority, and some of whom openly seek to turn back the clock on Jewish civil rights by denying Jews, and only Jews, the right to self-determination and freedom
In addition to the incendiary, hateful, anti-historial and intellectually unserious nature of the charge that Israeli “atrocities” against Palestinians are anywhere in the same moral universe as Nazi atrocities against the Jews, such comparisons of are defined as a form of antisemitism by the EU Parliament and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, of which Ireland is a member.
Though we’re of course accustomed to errors, distortions and omissions in Guardian op-eds about Israel, this piece by the Orthodox Patriarch, suggesting some sort of sinister Jewish plot to ethnically cleans Christians from the holy land, rises to a whole other level of dishonesty.
An Independent article on the death of a Palestinian man on the Gaza border, during clashes with Israeli soldiers last month, included a passage suggesting that his death evokes Israel’s “killing”, in 2000, of a 12 year old Palestinian boy named Mohammed Al Durah. However, the article erroneously suggested that Israel’s responsibility for the young boy’s death was an indisputable fact.