Gross distortions in media coverage of the recent Jerusalem synagogue massacre, coming so soon after the gross media distortions in the Gaza conflict, in both cases leaves a feeling of a media that hits on Israel while giving Palestinian terror a free pass. It leads us to ask why?
Try some of these major Western media headlines and feeds to understand the bias of what you would assume to be leading professional media outlets;
Initial BBC headlines shouted, “Jerusalem synagogue attack kills 4 Israelis.” No Palestinians, no terrorists, it was a synagogue that killed Israelis, not even identifying the victims killed as Jews, or Palestinian Arabs as the perpetrators.
It was blindingly obvious to everyone that this slaughter of Jews at prayer was a terror incident but the BBC had to qualify their report by tagging on the preface, “What police say was a ‘terror attack’…” hinting that the definition of the attacks was defined by the police and not what the evidence clearly showed.
CBC Canada tweeted, “Israeli police fatally shoot two after an apparent synagogue attack.” Why was the attack only “apparent” and not obvious to CBC? And what happened to the identity of the attackers and, of course, the missing murdered Jews? How many were there and how were they killed? You wouldn't know from their headline. The lingering impression is that it was the Israeli police that did the killing. They were the only ones named by CBC.
CNN led their report with “4 Israelis, 2 Palestinians killed in synagogue attack, Israeli police say.” Notice the neutrality of who were the victims and were who the attackers. I doubt that this is not what the Israeli police said. I am pretty sure they said what happened, who the terrorist perpetrators were, and who the victims were. I am also pretty sure that CNN knew this as they put out this feed which equates Palestinian killers with Israelis (read “Jewish”) at prayer.
Another CNN headline said, “6 people killed…” again without differentiating between Palestinian terrorists and Jewish victims.
CBS, Nora O’Donnell called the Jerusalem synagogue attacked by hatchet-wielding Arabs a “contested religious site.” Here is what she said;
“Two Palestinian attackers died in a shootout with police. It happened at a contested religious site in Jerusalem…”
Notice she listed the two dead Palestinians. No mention of murdered Israelis or Jews. No mention of the site of the massacre being a synagogue. To her it was a “contested religious site.” Her viewers may be forgiven for assuming that, with the opening words referring to Palestinians, the religious site would be a mosque, not a Jewish synagogue.
CBS later failed to air footage of Palestinian Arabs dancing and celebrating the slaughter of Jews in Jerusalem.
The Irish Times led their report with the headline, “Four killed in attack on Jerusalem synagogue,” thereby failing to identify the attackers and the victims in yet another bland neutral banner. Later, it was amended to “five killed” as further reports came in. At the foot of their article they arbitrarily pegged this incident to the murder of a Palestinian teenager back in July, quoting unnamed “residents” as their source. The Irish Times made no reference to the ongoing religious-based incitement emanating from the Palestinian Authority as being a more feasible spark for the synagogue massacre.
Similar headlines came from Sky News, “Six dead after Jerusalem synagogue attack.” Again, no identification, in their headline, that the majority of the dead were Jews. Compare that with Sky headlines during the recent Gaza conflict. Most of their reports named Palestinians as casualties. “Five Palestinians killed in Gaza strike.” “Gaza: 100 Palestinian killed in one day.” Their headlines in Jerusalem failed to identify the perpetrators where, in their Gaza reporting, they fell over themselves to include ‘Israel” into headlines of the military aspect of the conflict. They did it even when it was Hamas that repeatedly reignited the violence as in “Israel resumes assault on Gaza as truce ends.”
The media knee-jerk response that gives no credit to Israel is troubling. It has become stock in trade journalism to position headlines and lead-ins as Israel’s fault, granting Palestinians a get-out-of-jail free card, or sterilizing the story intro to a moral equivalence between intentional Palestinian murderers and Israeli victims that deprives the readers or viewers of basic truths. As I write in my book, it is a media in the service of Israel’s enemies.
The hypocrisy behind such reporting by British, Canadian, and American media sources is that their reporting is completely different and to the point when their countries are hit with similar terrorism.
It is only then that they find their journalistic moral compass when reporting the news.
Barry Shaw. “Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.” www.israelnarrative.com