Daily Mail

UK media bigotry of low expectations? Selective outrage over Brussels terror comments

Shortly after news of deadly ISIS terror attacks in Brussels on Tuesday, Gregg Carlstrom (who reports for Times of London) tweeted this, expressing outrage at comments by an Israeli MK.

However, the Facebook comments by Ofir Akunis (Minister of Science, Technology and Space) were hardly outrageous. Akunis expressed condolences to the Belgian people, but also noted the hypocrisy of those who condemn Islamist terror in Europe, but not in Israel – a frustration often expressed by Israeli terror victims and their families.

Additionally, a March 23rd Guardian report by David Smith on President Obama’s comments on the terror attack included the following passages, again highlighting controversial remarks by an Israeli politician:

Meanwhile, as the world grappled with yet another Isis atrocity, there were more provocative interventions from Australia and Israel

And Yisrael Katz, Israel’s minister of intelligence and atomic energy, pulled no punches when he told Israel Radio: “If in Belgium, they continue to eat chocolate and enjoy the good life with their liberalism and democracy, and do not understand that some of the Muslims there are planning terror, they will never be able to fight against them.”

Remarkably, the Daily Mail devoted an entire column to Katz’s comments, in this March 23rd story by Corey Charlton:

daily mail column

Though (unlike with MK Akunis) Katz’s words were indeed offensive, it’s quite telling that vitriolic comments in response to the Brussels attacks by a high-ranking Palestinian security official went unreported by major news outlets.

As first revealed by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW)Adnan Al-Damiri, a spokesman for the PA’s security forces, wrote a Facebook post blaming the US and Europe (and, of course, Israel) for the Brussels attacks and the rise of international terror.

Here’s a translation of the comments by PMW:

While we condemn and denounce terrorist acts everywhere in the world, we Arabs are the ones who have been most severely burned by the fire of terror, which has been created and exported by the US and Europe since the Arab Jihad fighters in Afghanistan, and before that by exporting the Jewish terror to Palestine, supporting it and justifying it. Today, Europe is being burnt by its [the terror’s] fire in its airports and squares. I do not gloat but feel pain over every innocent soul that was killed, but those who prepare the poison will taste it themselves, and today Europe is having a taste of what it prepared with its own hands. Unless you fight terror everywhere, first and foremost in Palestine, since the [Israeli] occupation is the ugliest form of terror, as well as in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan – you will be burnt by its fire, and terror has no religion.

The failure of journalists to report these outrageous comments is part of a larger pattern of double standards.

Though offensive comments by Israeli officials are often immediately seized upon by British media outlets, they almost universally fail to inform news consumers of the steady stream of antisemitic, pro-terror propaganda emanating from PA officials and the state-controlled media.

Additionally, if you follow the twitter feeds of many journalists working for UK news outlets, you similarly find a huge disparity in outrage over ‘ugly’ comments by Israel and Palestinian leaders.

This represents another example of the Western tendency not to hold Palestinians accountable to the same standard of morality as they do Israelis – what’s been termed the “bigotry of low expectations“, a dynamic which continues to profoundly distort British media coverage of the region.

65 replies »

  1. Katz is right if a little tactless. Even al-Beeb and other UK channels is open about how inept the Belgians are, in spite of Paris, in spite of London, in spite of Madrid.

    However, Belgium’s attitude isn’t too different from the rest of the EU, which refuses to recognise that although it may not be at war with islam, islam is most assuredly at war with Dar el Harb.

    • In order to win this war all parties must recognize the Motivator of the Jihadist, whether, IS or the Muslim Brotherhood.The source of the ideology is the Quran Hadith and Sunnah. If the political and military establishment ignore this, dont’ study it will be a never-ending Jihadist War.

  2. Thanks for highlighting Gregg Carlstrom’s tweet to me. I agree entirely with its sentiment and have retweeted it.

    What you call ‘the bigotry of low expectations’ is what I call ‘taking Israel at its word’. Israel has decided it wants to be a light unto the nations. It set itself up as a Jewish and democratic state, aspiring to Jewish and democratic values, with the aim of being (to quote from the Jerusalem Programme, official platform of the World Zionist Organisation) “an exemplary society”.

    Being exemplary means being held up as an example. It means striving to be the very best, not to be only marginally better than the Palestinians. If Israel didn’t want to be held up as a global example, and held to higher standards than tinpot dictatorships like the Palestinian Authority, it shouldn’t have aspired to be an exemplary society, a light unto the nations or a Jewish and democratic state.

    So far as Akunis’ and Katz’s comments go, they were both very much of public interest so it is no surprise that the press has reported them. Katz’s were bizarre and darkly amusing – if you’ll pardon the pun – and Akunis’ were so offensive and outrageous and victim-blaming (in a way that would infuriate the readers of your website, Adam, if anyone blamed Israeli victims for anti-Israel terror attacks) that they were rightly condemned by the world’s press.

    Admittedly I too would like to see more coverage of similarly outrageous remarks by Palestinian leaders, but cannot really fault the media for reporting these stories, for the reasons given above.

    • Not a shock that you didn’t really address the main issue here or jumped into cheerleading for the reporter (also quite confident that someone of your rigorous research skills knows that said reporter is a wonderful hybrid of “Palestinian apologist” and “terrible at his job”). The main salient point isn’t a Left-Right issue, it’s a facts/opinion one. Everything Akunis said was accurate, whether people like you can cope with it or not doesn’t change that.

      • I feel like I did address the main issue (which was Adam’s interesting point about how the media runs stories critical of Israeli politicians with greater frequency and prominence than stories critical of Palestinian politicians).

        I’m doubtful that what Akunis said was accurate, but as I say, in any event, it was (i) insensitive and (ii) exactly the sort of thing that right-wing Zionist voices would complain about if directed against Israel.

        • I don’t understand the love affair Lefft-Wing Socialists have for Ultra Right-Wing Conservative Islamofascists.

          The Ultra Right-Wing Conservative Islamofascists who hang gay teens, stone girls to death, shoot girls in the head for wanting an education, kill Bahais, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Zoroastrians and any sane Muslim to opposes Islamofascism, Islamoimperialism.

          It’s a repeat of the Socialist Stalin/Socialist Shitler non-aggression pact of 1939.


    • “Israel has decided it wants to be a light unto the nations.”

      Sorry, Gabby! Another bad attempt at reading into words.

      The story is that Israel WILL be regarded as a light upon Nations. So sayeth the first monotheistic presence in World literature.

      And when you consider the attacks on Brussels and Paris are reminiscent of attacks from the 2nd Intifada of more than a decade ago, I assure you the next step in Radical Islam Voicing Displeasure with the West will be seen via multiple stabbings. This, in fact, has occurred in America twice during the most recent 6 month stretch of Palestinian savagery.

      Sometimes you don’t get to choose that others end up looking at you in how you continue to live your life despite the obstacles of hate mongers all around. But I understand where you’re coming from, since you’re more like a Blight upon others than a logical voice of reason.

      Sorry, Bud!

      • “Sorry, Gabby! Another bad attempt at reading into words. The story is that Israel WILL be regarded as a light upon Nations”

        Yep, fair call. How about the decision to become an ‘exemplary society’?

        • So your point is that your definitions of words spoken/written 70+ years ago, and plopped in the middle of a critique of the habits held by modern Western journalists (that is, the constant bashing of Israeli society, no matter the situation, which in this case are the terror attacks in Belgium), carry some kind of weight?

          Other than bogging you down as some sort of opportunistic Israel-basher, I can’t imagine what kind of weight you expect your comments on this blog to carry.

          But I’ll think about it. Much like you think about all the points we have raised on this end of the spectrum. You know, the parts about how the Palestinians like to reject peace measures in order to remain stateless so that they can continue their attacks in the name of Occupation. Also known as Manufactured Outrage. That’s your real industry. The business of making yourself a victim in light of other people’s judgements of other people. Great stuff!

  3. The UK Press can continue their biased assault on Israel, often interwoven somehow with Jews or Jewish Practices. UKmediaWatch.org has a large role to play but I’m growing less concerned about the Press propaganda because seeing is believing, experience is the best educator for the long-term, Unlike the arrogant Press and their masters; the Native Peoples of Europe are far from stupid. Up until now they’ve been tolerant,welcoming for the most part, and giving the government leaders support. All of this has changed now since the Europeans seen the savages upfront, the barbaric =&criminal =behavior, The total disregard for Laws and authority plus mass numbers just disappeared. It evident to Europeans that there exists a disconnect between what they know to be true on the street versus whats put forth in the Media and told to them by their Government Hacks (Officials). I am convinced that if Israel dumps the idea of going toe to toe with the Media, News Broadcasts, Newspapers and like IS develop and implement strategies using Social Media we can win this part of the War of out right lies against us. The PM and IDF already use FaceBook. Where are you Ministry of
    Tourism, Ministry of Absorption, Ministry of Housing,Ministry of Science&Technology?
    There great opportunities out there to use one platform for =many =purposes and Target audiences.We can’t be stuck stuck in the 50s,60s or 70s mode of doing things.



    • Fair comment. However, just to clarify: do you think progressive journalists (or any progressive for that matter) should rightly hold Israeli Jews to a higher moral standard than Palestinian Muslims when reporting the news? (Leaving aside ‘leaders’…just talking about Jews as Jews and Palestinians as Palestinians). If so, are you telling me that this isn’t an example of racism?

      • No, I think the standard to which individuals are held should be the same in all circumstances. However there are public interest elements which may affect the frequency of reportage of each side (as an alternative element to racism).

      • I most definitely believe in all matters that Israeli-Jews AND Jews in the Diaspora are held to a higher standard that is always moving. It is pure unadulterated RACISM that is applied to no other race, religion nor ethnic group. The Left use the equation of fairness or parity, so prior to the 1964 Civil Rights Act many Universities applied quota systems for admission. It may sound equitable on the surface but Jews account for only 2-3% of the General Population. Education amongst us has a high priority. We probably exceed all other groups seek entrance except perhaps for Asian Groups such as Chinese. So our hard work under a system such as the quota system punishes us. I digress a little. In my opinion a newspaper that prints an outright lie should be given a warning the 1st time by the GPO. If there is a second violation they should be banned from having a presence in Israel for a certain period of time. I understand its a combination of reporters, editors, Publishers guidelines/standards. It’s an on-going battle, and we are the only country subject to this type of guilty until proven not guilty. Think about it SArabia, Fridays heads roll for blasphemy and apostates. Churches are destroyed with the recent Fatwa by the Grand Mufti validating no Houses of Worship other than those for Allah. Is any of this reported?. We need to shame some of these reporters and Opinion writers. Also, I think they should be subject to Financial disclosure and conflicts of interest reporting.

      • The Biased Assault from two days ago in Brussels – or have you already forgotten?

        Any terrorist Islamofascist atrocity helps Trump and boosts his ratings.

        • If Trump does win I’m sure that the military and non-uniform services bring perspective to his outlook. However Islamic Terrorists, CAIR, Muslim Brotherhood, MSA, and all other who are openly or quietly an enemy of the US: the Military has held their tongue for 8 year. Some recently retired Generals and Admirals have had the guts to put in writing that President BHO is a traitor and has acted against the interests of the US. So, beware, Anti-Jewish, Anti-Christian and Non-Muslim terrorists, if the GOP wins you will have a very different experience soon. You mocked Our soldiers from far away, you may have the chance to try up close and personal and see who prevails! I’m sure the Brits here will agree against the SAS they will very surprised for the nanosecond they have to comprehend.

  4. “if anyone blamed Israeli victims for anti-Israel terror attacks) that they were rightly condemned by the world’s press”. What a load of crap, people are constantly doing this!

  5. There is a very sobering thought here. Belgium is a nation, like so many others that claim to be open and liberal, that in reality is at war with itself. They have great difficulty forming governments and they have almost more parties than they have constituencies. There is an invisible line through the country that actually traverses Brussels separating the Flemish from the Walloons and, even though the antipathy is generally non-violent, it tends to be a state of calm through clenched teeth. Both Britain and France suffer from similar dysfunctionality and the result of this is a general lack of respect for the flag, the government, the forces of law and order, the head of state and so on. In such a climate such phenomena as Islamic Jihadism can flourish whilst everyone else is keeping themselves to themselves. If reports are to be believed from Belgium even police weren’t talking to each other.

    However offensive Katz’s words were, what he said has to be stated. There are a number of contributors to this very website who seem to permanently harbour subversive thoughts, not just about Israel, but about their own country too. With such people, ever ready to blame the very nations that thus far have allowed them to live in comparative peace and safety, the agents of IS may continue to have a field day.

  6. http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/12/08/72-of-palestinian-arabs-support-genocide-against-the-jews/
    72% of Palestinian Arabs Support Genocide Against the Jews
    By Michael Lumish

    Palestinian Arab jihadis are the contemporary Ku Klux Klan.

    As with the Klan, they feel it necessary to wear masks.

    They are worse than the Night Riders, because they feel free to carry out their violence in the daytime. They can do this because they know that they have Arab-Palestinian society, as created by Yasser Arafat and the PLO, behind them… as well as the Western Left.

    A recent Watan Research Center poll, conducted between November 14 and the 21st of this year, reveals that 72 percent of Arabs living in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza favor the Stabbing Intifada.

    This is to say that 72 percent of Arabs who live within the Land of Israel believe that they have a religious-political imperative to send their kids into the streets with kitchen knives for the Allah-inspired purpose of murdering random Jews.

    It does not matter the age of those Jews; a woman in her 80s, a child in her crib. Nor does it matter the personal beliefs of those Jews. All that matters is that they be Jewish.

    Still another way of gaining perspective on this 72% figure is to understand that it also means that 72% of Arabs within Israel yearn for the genocide of the Jews. It can mean nothing else. If you believe that Allah wants you to send your children into the streets for the purpose of killing Jews then, ipso facto, you favor the genocide of the Jews.

    There is no way to escape that conclusion, is there?

    Referencing this recent poll of Arabs within Israel, Dalit Halevy, writing in Israel National News, tells us:

    A full 72% said they support continuing the “Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Intifada,” as it has been termed, until it achieves its “goals,” which they were later asked to define.

    No less than 44% of the Arab public expressed support for an armed intifada terror war using guns, 18% gave support to stabbing attacks, and 14% supported attacks throwing rocks at Israelis.

    The goal of the intifada terror war according to 48% of the Arabs is the “liberation of Palestine,” indicating the conquest and occupation of all of Israel.

    This is not a border dispute.

    This is a theocratic war waged by a much larger, hostile Arab-Muslim majority in the Middle East against a much smaller, besieged filthy-footed Jewish minority endeavoring to survive and thrive.

    You can be sure, considering Israel’s technological and medical contributions to the world community, that if Israel represented a 23rd Arab-Muslim country it would be considered a “light unto the nations.”

    When Israel was under Ottoman rule, Jerusalem was a backwater. The al-Aqsa Mosque had no gold plating. The place was essentially a ruin and nobody spoke of it as the third holiest anything to anyone. The Jews, being indigenous to the region, have lived on that land for something close to four thousand years.

    The Jewish people are the closest thing that the Land of Israel has to an indigenous population. It is true that other peoples have lived on that land prior to the Israelites, but unless there is a wondering band of Jebusites out there someplace, then the land is the land of Jewish sovereignty.

    But 72% of Palestinians want that land Judenfrei.

  7. One of the ugliest rituals after an attack on a european city by Islamists is the european elite’s proclivity to absolutely not face the problem that is staring them straight in the face, but instead flail about looking in every other direction. One of these is to use its energy castigating Israelis, and by extension Jews. Scapegoating Jews will not end the attacks. Carlstom’s tweet reflects an old irrationally held belief.