UK Media Watch prompted two corrections recently. At the Indy, we convinced editors to revise a sentence which misleadingly framed an accusation that settlers killed a Palestinian woman as if it were a fact, rather than just a claim. At the Telegraph, we prompted a correction to a sentence which claimed that the US was the only country to move its embassy to Jerusalem, neglecting to note that Guatemala also recently moved its embassy to the Israeli capital.
Indy ignores deadly Palestinian terror, but rushes to pronounce settlers guilty in lethal rock-attack
The Independent was one of three British media outlets that failed to cover two recent Palestinian terror attacks that claimed the lives of three Israelis, but was quick to publish a story about a rock-throwing attack in the West Bank over the weekend that claimed the life of a Palestinian woman – an attack, relatives claim, was carried out by settlers. However, not only did the Indy jump on the story, but immediately pronounced the settlers guilty, despite the fact that the incident is still under investigation and there aren’t currently any suspects.
For 2nd time in 3 weeks, Times of London, Telegraph and Indy ignore deadly Palestinian terror attack
The journalistic axiom ‘if it bleeds it leads’ isn’t entirely true when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where selective concern for the suffering of one side is the norm – indicative of a broader pattern of double standards which continues to compromise British media coverage of the region.
The decision by the Indy editor to promote Noam Chomsky’s charge on Israel’s putative influence on the US political system, without informing readers of the academic’s record of unhinged commentary on Jews, Israel and a host of other international issues, is extremely worrying.
The “both sides blame each other” phrasing used by the Indy Middle East correspondent is one in a long list of tropes and cliches employed by journalists to avoid reaching the morally intuitive conclusion that the violent extremist group that controls Gaza is more interested in stoking conflict than the Jewish democracy they’re trying to destroy.
Contrary to Robert Fisk’s claim, Polish Jews do not have a “right” to “take back Nazi-confiscated property.” Following communication with UK Media Watch, editors at The Independent upheld our complaint and revised the sentence accordingly.
Most British outlets which covered the death eight-month-old Layla al-Ghandour have failed to publish allegations that Hamas paid the girl’s family to tell the media that Israeli tear gas caused her death though the real culprit was a pre-existing blood condition.
The result of our work isn’t revolutionary change in their reporting from the region, but significantly improved coverage. In life, as in media monitoring, the perfect is often the enemy of the good.
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.
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”.
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.