This is but one extraordinarily misleading sentence within the cacophony of sensational, biased and misleading headlines, photos and articles published in the British media since late March. Yet, it aptly demonstrates how language is often chosen by reporters not with painstaking attention to the veracity of the information being conveyed but in order to serve the broader narrative of Israeli villainy and Palestinian victimhood.
There hasn’t been a shortage of inflammatory, misleading and inaccurate media claims during coverage of recent Gaza riots, but the insinuation of Israeli malevolence in this Indy editorial is among the worst we’ve reviewed.
UK Media Watch prompts a correction at The Independent to a report on a video depicting the IDF shooting a Palestinian man on the Gaza border. The original Indy report failed to include the official IDF statement about the video which was available more than an hour before. The IDF statement significantly changes the story, as it provides Israel’s account of the circumstances – and context – by which the Palestinian man was shot.
Contrary to the Indy’s claims, the Knesset hearings made clear that the ‘6.5 million Arabs’ number cited does in fact include those living in east Jerusalem and Gaza – that is, it includes all the Palestinian Arabs living “between the river and the sea”. Our complaint to Indy editors was upheld, and the new language reflects the correct information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
UKMW prompts correction to Daily Mail article accepting Hamas claim “Israel killed” Ibrahim Abu Thuraya
UK Media Watch prompted a correction to a Daily Mail article which reported, as if it’s a fact, Gaza Health Ministry claims that Israel killed Ibrahim Abu Thuraya during violent protests on the Gaza border last month. The new article has several additional sentences outlining the IDF statement which casts serious doubt about these Palestinian claims.
The Dec. 19th article in The Independent failed to provide the Israeli response to the incident, leaving readers with a take on the the death of Ibrahim Abu Thuraya informed entirely by the unsubstantiated claims of Hamas officials.
The repeated media lie that ‘Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital’ represents a broader UK media pattern of what we call ‘advocacy journalism’: the belief held by many reporters that they have a moral duty (in the spirit of ‘comforting the afflicted and afflicting the powerful’) to advocate on behalf of Palestinians and give credence to their narrative, a duty which transcends their ethical responsibilities as professional journalists to be objective and tell the truth.