Monday, July 4th | 5 Tammuz 5782

March 27, 2019 9:57 am

Why Do Media Outlets Ignore Palestinian Terror, But Condemn Israel’s Response?

avatar by Simon Plosker


A man stands near a house damaged by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, Nov. 13, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun.

On Monday, a rocket attack from Gaza struck an Israeli house, injuring seven people, including two infants. The attack prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cut short a visit to the US and the IDF launched retaliatory strikes on terror sites in Gaza. The Palestinian rocket struck the community of Mishmeret, about 25 km from Tel Aviv, the longest distance that Palestinians have fired a rocket since the 2014 war.

CNN changed an inappropriate headline in response to HonestReporting’s tweet. But what about other media outlets?

Here are a few examples of flawed coverage of the latest developments.

Headlines matter. Why? Because people don’t read most articles.

Much of what people know about developments comes from skimming headlines in the papers and on social media feeds.

Australia’s ABC News got the story’s chronology right, but the message entirely wrong in a headline that misled readers to believe that there was a non-existent cause and effect between two completely separate events.

Israel launched airstrikes on Hamas targets in response to a terrorist rocket attack, not as a result of Donald Trump signing a proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

While it is unclear if these latest events will ultimately lead to a significant IDF military operation in Gaza, Israel has prudently moved some forces closer to the Gaza border. Not, however, according to The Irish Independent, which inexplicably placed Israeli soldiers inside the Strip:

The Irish Independent wasn’t the only paper to get its geography wrong. A report on Deutsche Welle‘s English website said this:

Mishmeret is less than 20 km northeast of Tel Aviv, but it isn’t a “settlement” in the terminology widely used to denote Israeli communities over the 1967 Green Line.

It ought to go without saying that no Israeli community — whatever its location — deserves to be terrorized by rockets, shootings, stabbings, car-rammings, infiltrations, or any other violence. Unfortunately, references to settlements are often either used as some sort of sick justification for terror, or a blanket statement that all Israeli villages, towns, and cities are illegitimate wherever they are.

We hope that Deutsche Welle’s error is just that — and not a product of a more nefarious agenda.

At first glance, Newsweek‘s video accompanying its story shockingly omits any mention of the rocket attack on Mishmeret that led to Israel’s Gaza airstrikes.

Until one processes the dates on the subtitles:

October 27, 2018, was a previous flare up, when Israel launched airstrikes in response to hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza. Recycling old newspapers may be environmentally friendly, but recycling old news isn’t. It’s misleading, and fails to do justice to an actual story that should be reported on.

Simon Plosker is Managing Editor of HonestReporting (, the world’s largest grassroots organization monitoring anti-Israel media bias. Originally from the UK, he immigrated to Israel in 2001 and has worked for a variety of non-profit organizations. A version of this article was originally published at HonestReporting.

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