Thursday, February 2nd | 11 Shevat 5783

December 7, 2021 11:33 am

How the Media Distorts Terrorist Attacks to Attack Israel

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avatar by Charles Bybelezer


Israeli security personnel secure the scene following an incident in Jerusalem’s Old City November 21, 2021. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Hamas last month called on Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank to “escalate the resistance [sic] against the Zionist enemy” using “all tools and forms.” Since the terror group’s call to violence, numerous Israelis have been seriously injured in terror attacks. The Jewish state also mourned its first civilian death since the 11-day Hamas-initiated conflict in May.

By ignoring Hamas’ rampant incitement, international news outlets are effectively minimizing the effects of, and a core reason for, Palestinian terrorism against Israelis.

But HonestReporting is fighting back.

Just days ago, a slanted Washington Post (WaPo) article made clear how facts and evidence are seemingly subservient to the “blame Israel” narrative.

On December 4, around 4:30 PM local time, a Palestinian terrorist attacked an Orthodox Jew near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. Security camera footage released within two hours of the attack shows the assailant repeatedly stabbing Avraham Elimelich before being shot by Israeli Border Police officers.

While clear proof of the terrorist act was promptly made available, WaPo in its initial reporting hours later, nevertheless described the perpetrator as an “alleged Palestinian attacker.”

Amid subsequent criticism, including from HonestReporting, the headline was amended to read, “Clashes break out in Jerusalem after Palestinian who stabbed Israeli is killed by police.”

Saturday’s incident was at least the sixth attack in Israel’s capital since September. In more than one instance, the corresponding news headlines blatantly blurred the distinction between the Palestinian terrorists and their innocent victims.

For example, on November 21, a Palestinian gunman opened fire in Jerusalem’s Old City, killing one Israeli civilian and injuring several more. Yet, CNN mangled its headline to such an extent that the story ended up packaged as a vague “Jerusalem attack” — with it unclear who was the perpetrator and who were the victims.

This, despite the fact that Hamas had already taken responsibility for the shooting.

We took immediate action: Our related article and accompanying social media post went viral, the latter having reached some 450,000 people. CNN subsequently changed the title of its piece to include that the gunman was indeed a Hamas terrorist, and his targets were Israeli.

NBC News similarly obfuscated Palestinian terrorism when it ran a story titled, “Israeli police shoot to death Palestinian woman in Jerusalem’s Old City.” What went unmentioned is that the woman had attempted to stab security forces, with clear and unquestioned videos and photos from the crime scene showing a large knife.

After highlighting the issue, NBC updated its headline to: “Palestinian woman shot dead after attempted stabbing, police in Israel say.”

Hamas’ ongoing calls for violence manifested in tragedy again on Monday morning, when a Palestinian rammed his vehicle into a security checkpoint in the West Bank. An Israeli guard was severely injured in the attack, which was praised by Hamas as a “resistance operation.”

As we continue to fight for accuracy and fairness in reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict, we must ensure that media outlets are held to account.

Charles Bybelzer is the Managing Editor of HonestReporting, whose staff contributed to this article — a version of which was published at HonestReporting.

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