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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An article in the Independent suggests that Israel denied a travel visa for a 28-year-old Gaza student who was due to begin a masters programme at Goldsmiths, University of London in Oct. However, UK Media Watch contacted a spokesperson at COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories), who denied the claim and clarified that the student’s visa was approved for the date requested by the Palestinian Civil Authority.
After UK Media Watch alerted the Independent that a police investigation over the tragic death of a young Palestinian girl had cleared the Israeli driver of negligence, they updated their article on the incident accordingly.
Though most articles which refer to the 2006 Gaza beach incident now refer to the cause as ‘disputed’, an article in The Independent written by Bethan McKernan published on August 1st reported that the girl, now 23, has graduated college, and provided background on the incident which takes practically as a given that Israel was to blame.
For the sixth time in a little more than a year, UK Media Watch has prompted a UK media correction to a false claim or suggestion that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel.
It’s impossible to properly understand events in Jerusalem over the past week without acknowledging the continuing pattern of Palestinian incitement, antisemitism and violence over Al-Aqsa Mosque.
UK Media Watch prompted a correction at The Independent to the claim that Israel prevents Gaza doctors from traveling abroad for training seminars. The new text cites statistics on the hundreds of such crossings over the past two years alone.
As is often the case with many pro-BDS polemics, the justification offered by British director Ken Loach to politically, economically and culturally isolate Israel – and only Israel – included distortions and at least one outright lie: that there are “racially segregated roads” in the West Bank.
The Independent uncritically quoted an NGO claim that Gaza doctors are prevented by Israel from traveling abroad for training. However, we contacted a spokesperson from the Israeli agency responsible for coordinating such travel and they flatly denied the claim, citing hundreds of such crossings for Gaza doctors each year.
The Indy journalist not only effectively ignored Judaism’s holiest site, but also managed to parrot Palestinian talking points, thus leading many readers to falsely believe that the location of the Israeli government meeting represented some sort of provocation against Palestinian Muslims.
Though The Independent’s response to our email over the headline was delayed due to the holidays, they recently informed us that they upheld our complaint, and revised the headlines.
The Independent continues to lead the British media pack when it comes to story selections designed to paint Israel in the worst possible light. Here’s a recent example from the Indy’s Israel page of two stories published within a day of each other which each focusing on sexual attitudes within Israeli society.
This represents at least the fourth British media correction this year to a false claim that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital.