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October 31, 2021 5:03 pm
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Vice News Mourns Gaza ‘Father’ Who Was Actually a Terrorist

avatar by Emanuel Miller

Opinion

Palestinian demonstrators gather at the Israel-Gaza border fence during a protest in the southern Gaza Strip August 25, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Vice News’ blatant anti-Israel bias continues unabated.

In a compilation titled, “Inside the Final Days of a Father’s Life in Gaza,” the outlet alleges to have “uncover[ed] the tragic human consequences of the Israel-Palestine conflict through the death of Ahmed al-Mansi.”

The piece features a brief 246-word article by Ian Bell about the 11-day conflict between Israel and Palestinian terrorist groups in May, accompanied by a video, “At Home With a Gaza Family as Bombs Fall.”

Instead of making clear who al-Mansi was, readers and viewers are simply told that he is a “father.”

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But that description is about as relevant as it would have been for Osama Bin Laden.

In reality, Ahmed al-Mansi was identified by Hamas itself as a lieutenant in its internal security forces. Below is a picture taken from Hamas’ Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades website this year:

Nevertheless, the Vice video, which is an amalgamation of film taken by Gazans during the war, shows no acts of Palestinian violence — only Israeli airstrikes and the aftermath of those strikes, which are interspersed with footage of Ahmad al-Mansi and his children, who continually convey to the camera their sense of fear.

Towards the end, a paragraph of text flashes on-screen:

Ahmad Al-Manis, the father of Hala, Sarah, and Malek, was killed by an IDF strike on May 14. His brother Youssef also died in the blast.

That is all that viewers are told about the identities of the brothers. That’s it. Nothing more.

People watching the video have no idea that Youssef Hatem Mahmoud al-Mansi was a Hamas operative and policeman in Gaza.

Below is his picture, sourced from a Telegram channel by photojournalist Anas al-Sharif.

Al-Sharif reported that Hamas called on the public to show their respect for Youssef by attending his funeral, and a Facebook page showed him being buried wrapped in a Hamas flag. The brothers were killed alongside Ahmed Muhammad Abd al-Aziz Sabah, who was an operative in Hamas’ military wing, according to the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades website.

Yet Vice makes no mention of all these Hamas connections.

Of course, naming the organization would only be helpful if viewers have a clue what Hamas is.

For those unfamiliar with the region and its actors, Vice provides viewers with no way of knowing that Hamas is one of the terror organizations that collectively fired over 4,300 rockets at Israel over 11 days in May.

At no stage in the video are any Palestinian weapons seen. At no point are terrorists clearly shown on camera. (Interestingly, uniformed men at one point do appear outside a hospital. This is notable because Hamas routinely embeds its members in civilian areas, and uses locations such as schools and hospitals as cover from attack.)

Reality Inverted

Near the beginning of the video, this paragraph of text appears on-screen:

In May, tensions between Israel and Hamas reached a breaking point over the possible displacement of Palestinian families in occupied East Jerusalem [sic] and a police raid at a mosque that injured hundreds. Palestinian forces fired rockets at Israel on May 10. Israel responded with an 11-day air assault on Gaza.

This brief text is so full of omissions, distortions ,and plain lies, that it’s hard to know where to begin.

In fact, tensions reached a breaking point when Palestinians rioted on the Temple Mount, pelting police with rocks and Molotov cocktails, and even using fireworks as weapons. This sparked the Israeli response. Tensions were already simmering following a wave of attacks by Palestinian youths on Israeli civilians that were recorded and posted as videos to the TikTok social media platform.

And, of course, the Palestinian families Vice invokes need not be “displaced” at all — they just need to pay a minimal sum in rent to the organization that Israeli courts have deemed the rightful owner of the homes in which they are squatting.

Yet none of this is mentioned in either the video or article. This totally distorts the reality of what happened in May, specifically regarding the role Palestinian violence played in the lead-up to the escalation in hostilities.

The bias of the last two sentences is particularly reprehensible: “Palestinian forces” did not simply fire rockets “at Israel on May 10.” Rocket attacks indeed occurred then … and they did not stop for 11 days.

So intense was the assault that within two days, over 1,500 rockets had already been fired at Israel from Gaza.

Similarly, the text appearing at the end of the video is also grossly misleading:

Israel launched 1,500 airstrikes on Gaza, an area roughly the size of Philadelphia. Palestinian fighters also fired thousands of rockets at Israel. The vast majority fell short of Israel or were deflected by Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ air defense system.”

Again, so many lies in such a short text.

First, the targets of the respective parties are not mentioned. Israel clearly aimed its airstrikes at Hamas military assets and those of other terror groups. Palestinians, by contrast, launched their rockets at Israeli civilians.

Second, Israel is also small, around the size of New Jersey, and Hamas rockets reached as far north as Haifa and as far south as Beersheba. The vast majority of the country’s population lives between the two. In other words, almost all of Israel was under threat.

Finally, while the number of Israeli airstrikes is included, the precise number of rockets fired by Palestinians is not, apparently, deemed irrelevant.

This isn’t reporting. This is blatant anti-Israel advocacy.

Vice’s Atrocious Record on Israel

This is far from the first time that Vice has fallen well short of the standards expected from professional journalists.

Earlier this month, Vice News’ Isobel Yeung parroted terrorist propaganda by claiming that the IDF’s defensive actions in May somehow breached international law, despite a total lack of evidence.

Meanwhile, an HonestReporting investigation revealed that five employees of Vice, some of them occupying senior positions, disseminated the notorious dual loyalty trope to attack Jews; spread uncorroborated rumors about Israel; falsely accused Israel of killing “journalists” who were actually Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists — and much more.

And, of course, this video wasn’t the first produced by Vice about May’s conflict. Back then, a Vice video focusing on events in Jerusalem also turned a blind eye to Palestinian violence, ignoring the reason why Palestinians were being arrested: because of unprovoked attacks on unsuspecting Jewish Israelis, and rioting on the Temple Mount.

The repeated distortions of reality by Vice are an affront to the entire journalism industry — a situation that must be fixed.

Emanuel Miller is a writer-researcher for HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism — where a version of this article first appeared.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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