Tuesday, September 26th | 11 Tishri 5784

June 21, 2023 10:22 am

The Top 5 Anti-Israel Alternative News Sources

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avatar by Chaim Lax


A general view shows the plaza of the Western Wall in Jerusalem, amid the coronavirus pandemic, May 6, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun.

With the rise of the Internet and the proliferation of personal computers, the media landscape has vastly expanded from traditional news sources to include a wide variety of alternative and independent news outlets.

However, while these outlets may provide their audience with a variety of opinions and news stories that are not covered by the mainstream media, they can also be sources of misinformation and deceptive news coverage.

This is particularly true when it comes to reporting on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The following are the top five (in no particular order) alternative news sources that have a particularly egregious record when it comes to their coverage of the Jewish state, the Palestinians, and the Middle East:

1. Mondoweiss

Mondoweiss is an American news site dedicated to “news & opinion about Palestine, Israel & the United States.”

Headed by Philip Weiss, it began as a general-interest blog on the website of the New York Observer. In 2007, when the blog started to take an unhealthy focus on Israel and the Jewish community, Weiss left the Observer and turned the blog into a stand-alone news source.

According to its four principal aims, Mondoweiss seeks to “offer alternatives to pro-Zionist ideology as a basis for American Jewish identity” while also fostering “the movement for greater fairness and justice for Palestinians in American foreign policy.”

As noted by David Bernstein in a 2015 profile for The Washington Post, Mondoweiss is “one-stop shopping for anti-Israel news. Anything bad that goes on in Israel will be publicized and exaggerated at Mondoweiss.”

In addition, Bernstein deems Mondoweiss to be a “hate site” due to its inability to “preserve a fine line between hostility to Jews and hostility to Israel.”

As a case in point, one of Mondoweiss’ journalists is Mariam Barghouti, who has been called out by HonestReporting in the past for her comparison of Israelis to Nazis, her claim that Zionism exploits the Holocaust, and her defense of journalists who express support for Hitler.

Along with its anti-Israel news coverage that dips into anti-Jewish rhetoric (such as the continued use of the term “Talmudic rituals” to refer to Jewish religious rites), Mondoweiss also features an opinion section, where some of the most outlandish claims and allegations can be found. Some notable opinions expressed on Mondoweiss include:

  • The opinion that the Palestinians should refuse to recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.”
  • A piece by disgraced former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn that perpetuates the “Nakba” narrative.
  • The claim that Iran does not pose a threat to Israel.
  • The allegation against the Jewish people that, “When it comes to the Palestinian people, the Holocaust has hardened our hearts and closed our minds.”
  • The opinion that Judaism has become “violent and unethical.”
  • The claim that Jews “no longer deserve Passover,” since they are responsible for “injustice” and enslaving others.
  • The allegation that the Exodus story is a “tragic” one and should be viewed through the lens of the Canaanite tribes.

Despite its extreme ideological bent and biased reporting, Mondoweiss has been cited by a number of mainstream news organizations over the years. In 2012, the Associated Press used Mondoweiss as a source for an Israel-related story, while it was cited by Vox News in early 2023. In addition, in 2012, Salon.com announced a content-sharing partnership with Mondoweiss.

2. Mint Press News

Based in Minnesota, Mint Press News (MPN) was founded in 2012 by Palestinian-American journalist Mnar Muhawesh.

Mint Press News is known for its support of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, its pro-Russia stance, and its opposition to Saudi Arabia and Israel.

MPN’s ideological bent may be attributed to Muhawesh’s father-in-law, Odeh Muhawesh, a native of Jordan who studied for five years under an ayatollah in Iran following the Islamic Revolution.

In its reporting on Israel, Mint Press News deploys conspiracy theories that seek to tie Israeli intelligence to the “Epstein Ring,” and connect “shadowy” pro-Israel organizations to foreign governments.

Even HonestReporting was the subject of an investigative piece by MPN, which claimed that the media watchdog organization has “a deep relationship with the Israel lobby, military, and government.”

In other news items, Mint Press News seems to parrot Palestinian Authority propaganda, with claims that Jewish pilgrims to the Temple Mount violated “the sanctity of Al-Aqsa” and “storm[ed] the compound,” that Jewish visitors to the Tomb of Patriarchs performed “Talmudic rituals,” and that they were attempting to “Judaize” the holy site.

One of Mint Press News’ main writers regarding Israeli matters is Miko Peled, an extremist anti-Israel advocate whose claim to fame is that his father was a decorated Israeli general.

Peled’s hate-filled diatribes include the claims that Israel is a “state that was established through theft, lies, and terrorism,” that “because Zionism is a racist, nationalistic ideology, and Judaism is a religion, the two are in fact incompatible,” and that Israel is guilty of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

In one of his lowest stoops, Peled released an article in response to Rabbi Leo Dee’s statement about right and wrong, and not equating terrorists with victims (Rabbi Dee’s wife and two daughters were killed in a terror attack in April 2023). In his piece, Peled claimed that the rabbi has “no right to condemn anyone,” as he “chose to participate in a bloody project of genocide and ethnic cleansing” when he moved his family from the UK to Israel.

Peled caps off his piece by claiming “the violence perpetrated by Zionist settlers, who are, in fact, terrorists, is the very reason there is no peace in Palestine,” and adding some historical revisionism by denying the ancient Jewish connection to the city of Tiberias, while claiming it is of Palestinian origin.

Along with Miko Peled, another prominent anti-Israel and antisemitic personality associated with Mint Press News is the site’s resident cartoonist, Carlos Latuff.

For years, Latuff has been the subject of controversy as his cartoons equate Zionism with Nazism, make use of traditional antisemitic tropes, and perpetuate blood libels. Latuff also won second place in the infamous 2006 Iranian Holocaust Cartoon Competition.

3. Electronic Intifada

Electronic Intifada (EI) was founded in 2001, during the early violent days of the Second Intifada, to offset Israel’s “orchestrated media campaign to spin news reports to its own advantage.”

The personality most commonly associated with Electronic Intifada is Ali Abunimah, the site’s co-founder and current executive director.

Abunimah is a supporter of the anti-Israel boycott movement, and openly advocates for the one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (via “coercion,” if necessary).

For Abunimah, Zionism is “one of the worst forms of anti-Semitism [sic] in existence today,” and he claims that it is the “continuation in spirit” of the Holocaust.

When it comes to the Holocaust, Abunimah has a proclivity for comparing Israel to Nazi Germany while also besmirching the legacy of Holocaust survivors (he once called Elie Wiesel a “moral fraud and huckster”).

Abunimah’s ideological imprint can be found throughout Electronic Intifada’s news and opinion pieces.

EI features articles that advocate for the BDS movement, that laud Palestinian armed “resistance” and glorify Palestinian terror groups, accuse Israel of ethnic cleansing and inhumanity, and advocate for the one-state solution (including a defense of the anti-Israel “From the river to the sea” chant).

Despite Ali Abunimah and Electronic Intifada’s track record of anti-Israel bias, hateful rhetoric and extreme ideology, Abunimah’s opinion pieces and “expert” analysis have been featured in such notable publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Independent.

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