WHILE YOU STAND ON ONE LEG: Last week, in the wake of a terror attack in Britain, we focused on the importance of people in the West seeing Israeli victims of bombings, stabbings, car rammings, etc., as no less victims of Islamic terror than victims of the same such attacks elsewhere. The Western media has not been balanced in this.
This week, in the wake of a terror attack in Britain, we focus on the importance of people in the West seeing Israel’s responses against the terrorists who commit such acts as no less a nation’s natural and necessary response against terror than other nations’ responses. The Western media has not been balanced in this.
Headlines Should Be “Israel: Terrorists Killed,” Not “Palestinians Killed”
Last week’s #856, in the wake of an Islamic terror attack in Britain, cited examples of the mainstream Western media not calling bombings, shootings, stabbings,etc., of Israeli civilians the terrorism such attacks constitute when perpetrated against other countries’ civilians.
This week, in the wake of yesterday’s Islamic terror attack in Britain, this week’s #857 looks at instances of the media misportraying Israeli responses against perpetrators of terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians as not constituting a country’s natural and necessary defense of its citizens.
*** On 2/1/15, the Philadelphia Inquirer (Inq) headlined as “Israel: Troops Shoot Two Palestinians” an AP article that said in its lede: “… who were throwing firebombs at Israeli vehicles.” [emphasis added throughout]
*** On 10/18/15, the Philly Inquirer headlined as“3 Palestinians Slain After [sic] Knife Attacks” an article from the Washington Post that said in its lede: “… three Palestinian attackers wielding knives were shot dead by Israelis.”
*** On 10/27/15, the Philly Inquirer headlined as“Israelis Kill 3 Palestinians” a European news article the text of which made clear that all three were involved in knife attacks on Israelis.
*** On 11/13/15, the Philly Inquirer headlined as “Palestinian Killed as Israelis Raid Hospital” an article from the L.A. Times that said that an Arab who’d been wounded while stabbing a Jew had “fled the scene and was later smuggled into the hospital for treatment,” and that when the Israelis entered [“raided”] the hospital to arrest him, he had “attacked them during the arrest.”
*** On 11/27/15, the Philly Inquirer headlined as“Israeli Forces Kill Three Palestinians” an AP article the text of which stated that one “hurled firebombs and stones,” one was “a Palestinian attacker wielding a knife, “ and one “was about to throw a firebomb at passing traffic.”
***On 11/28/15, the Philly Inquirer headlined as “West Bank: 2 Palestinians Shot” an AP article the text of which stated that “they rammed their cars into soldiers in separate West Bank attacks.”
***Here’s how our #788 of 2/7/16 reported media mis-headlining of Israeli response to the fatal stabbing of a female soldier that week:
Here’s the AP’s lede to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s AP Israel article Thursday (Inq, Thu 2/4/16, AP, A6):
Jerusalem – Three Palestinians armed with automatic weapons, explosive devices, and knives killed an Israeli security officer and seriously wounded another in Jerusalem on Wednesday before police shot and killed the attackers.
It was one of the most brazen attacks in nearly five months of near-daily Palestinian assaults, mostly stabbings, on Israeli police, soldiers and civilians….
Three Palestinians Shot and Killed by Israeli Police at Damascus Gate in Occupied East Jerusalem
The CBS news network headlined:
3 Palestinians Killed as Daily Violence Drags On
Our hometown Philadelphia Inquirer headlined:
Israeli Paramilitary Officer, 3 Palestinians Die in Fight
A gun battle erupted in Jerusalem after the trio attracted the notice of a security patrol
Times of Israel reported the day before (Wed,2/3/16) that Israeli officials concluded that those three Palestinian Arabs who came to Jerusalem’s Old City armed with automatic weapons, explosive devices and knives “had been sitting and waiting for a large group of Israeli civilians to enter or leave the Old City and had planned to attack them.” (emphasis added)
Perhaps, on our side, an awakening is coming.
Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni, not known as a hard-line conservative, put to CBS News: “If you have to choose a side, choose the side of the facts. The fact is: ‘a female Israeli soldier was murdered today by terrorists.’”
YNetNews.com said that the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO), in response to the CBS headline, “announced that it was weighing up ‘far-reaching’ measures in response”:
“This time we will not let it pass quietly,” GPO head Nitzan Chen said on Wednesday. “We are considering rescinding press passes from journalists and editors who are negligent in their work and present headlines that flip the reality.”
Take a moment to reflect on the flipping of reality in the Philly Inquirer’s headline and sub-head.
Israeli border policewoman Hadar Cohen, age 19, didn’t “die in a fight,” in “a gun battle that erupted in Jerusalem” (emphasis added). She was murdered by terrorists, to quote a liberal Israeli MK, terrorists who were hunting for Jews in Jerusalem, armed with automatic weapons, explosive devices and knives, in “one of the most brazen attacks,” to quote the Inq’s own AP article, “in nearly five months of near-daily Palestinian assaults” on Israelis. “Die in Fight”? “A Gun Battle Erupted”? Only in headlines that flip the reality.
*** On 2/15/16, the Philly Inquirer headlined as “Five Palestinians Killed in Attacks” an AP that led: “Jerusalem – Five Palestinians were killed and another was critically wounded while attempting to attack Israelis in four incidents in the West Bank and Jerusalem on Sunday….”
In fairness to the Philly Inquirer, its headlining of Arab attacks on Israeli civilians and Israeli responses against the attackers then suddenly became astonishingly who-did-what-to-whom factual. E.g.: 2/19/16, “2 Palestinians Fatally Stab Israeli in Market”; 2/22/16, “Knife-wielding Palestinian Killed”; 2/27/16, “Palestinian Attacks Soldier, Is Killed.”
But still there are the nagging concerns [a] whether such balance will last [under “H – Headlines: Not Always What Happened,” in Lee’s and my book, Pressing Israel:Media Bias Exposed From A-To-Z, we list headline imbalances going back more than a decade], and [b] how the mainstream media will react under battlefield stress when the inevitable next round with Hamas and/or Hezbollah comes.
Several times in this media watch we’ve recounted how in one particular Hamas round in 2008 when Hamas escalated from “homemade” rocketing of Sderot to Grad rocketing of Ashkelon, bringing much of Israel into range, with Ashkelon residents saying “We’re just like Sderot,” dozens of rockets pounding Israelis daily, headlines in the Inq, for one paper, completely ignored “Hamas … rocketing escalation … Ashkelon,” and fixated on Abbas righteously “suspending” peace talks over “Israel’s incursion into Gaza.”
And reflect on Westerners’ perceptions of the last round with Hamas, inundated as they were with “the vast majority of Palestinian casualties” being civilian. Even the almost-Democratic candidate for President of the United States was influenced by it. Today both Hamas and Hezbollah (Resolution #1701, anyone?) are deeply enmeshed among civilians in the places where an unprecedented rain of missiles aimed at Israeli civilians will come from.
The somewhat effective impact of Western media misportrayals of Israeli victims of terror as not victims of terror, and of Israel’s responses against terrorists [often lovingly sometimes mislabeled Israeli“retaliation” and sometimes as “Israel Kills Palestinians”] as being against civilians, not terrorists, is to hold Israelis’ arms behind their backs while terrorists hit them. Recognize it as that.