One can understand the biased propaganda in the Palestinian media. Their conflict with Israel makes them demonize the Jewish state. What is it about the anti-Israel bias, and distortion of facts by many in the western media? They can easily discern fact from fiction, and they’re free to move everywhere in Israel, with access to people and events, yet their reports lack accuracy, and smack of bias.
Media outlets such as Reuters, Guardian, and BBC to name a few, are deliberately avoiding using such words as “terror,” and “terrorist,” in the way they covered the recent terror attack by a Palestinian Arab on innocent Israeli civilians sitting in a Dizengoff street bar in central Tel Aviv, last Thursday, April 7, 2022. This triggered an angry reaction from the Israeli Foreign Ministry to the above-named media outlets over the deliberate omission of the nature of the attack, and the identity of the terrorist attacker who murdered three young Israelis and wounded twelve others.
The BBC headline reported from Israel that, “Palestinian gunman killed after a deadly attack at Tel Aviv bar,” adding, “He was found after a huge manhunt following an attack on a bar which killed two people, police say.” In this BBC YouTube video, the announcer called the Palestinian terrorist simply “gunman.” No motive was given by the BBC for the terrorist killer’s action, when it was clear he was motivated by a jihadist urge to kill Israeli Jews, with the same motivation the previous three terror attacks in Beersheba, Hadera, and B’nei Brak. The BBC report failed to identify the victims as Israeli Jews.
In none of the subsequent eleven revisions of its headlines, nor in the rest of the story, did the BBC use the words “terror” or “terrorist” to define the terrorist killer Ra’ad Hazem from Jenin… Instead, audiences were told at various points that it was a “gun attack” or a “shooting” by a Palestinian gunman, and sometimes “Palestinian attacker.” Apparently, the selectively applied by BBC editorial guidelines on the use of language, the words terror, terrorism, and terrorist appear only in describing counter-terrorism, and quotes from Israeli officials.
Reuters World tweeted on the terror attack, “Israeli forces shoot dead Palestinian after Tel Aviv bar attack.” This distorted report was even worse than the BBC’s. Nowhere does it mention that three Israelis were murdered and many others injured by the “Palestinian,” or his motive for the killings. Moreover, the Reuters tweet puts a negative onus on “Israeli forces,” not on the terrorist killer, and there is no clue as to who was attacked and killed at the Tel Aviv bar.
The British Guardian headlined its story, “Israeli forces kill Palestinian following shooting in Tel Aviv bar that left two dead.” Angry Israelis flooded social media, outraged by the Guardian’s headline. As a result, the Guardian changed its headline to “Israel: Two dead following an armed gunman opened fire in Tel Aviv bar.” Once again, the headline does not identify the “armed gunman” or his Israeli victims.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry was not content with the Guardian’s slight change of headline, and sought to point out the paper’s lack of professionalism. The message to the paper was, “words have consequences,” and when mistakes are made, it is essential that the outlet correct it immediately.
The spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry tweeted in response to the BBC’s refusal to use the terms “terror” or “terrorist,” suggesting that if (the BBC) is unable to call a person who murdered Israelis (simply because they were Israelis) a terrorist, that (the BBC) is giving legitimization to his deeds.
CNN, NPR, Washington Post, and New York Times, like their British counterparts, used the same script provided by Reuters, refraining from calling the Palestinian killer a terrorist. The New York Times, like the British outlets, used the term “occupied territories” to define Judea and Samaria, typical for the liberal-left press. Although the New York Times provided more details, its headline read, “Palestinian who killed 2 in Tel Aviv is shot dead after manhunt.”
The anti-Israel bias in the western media can be dated to the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel was transformed by the media from a proverbial “David” into a “Goliath.” To many in the liberal media, Jews are to be victims, not victors. Sympathy was given to the martyred Jews in the Holocaust, but none to the living Israeli Jews today, who have survived and flourished against all odds. Democratic and Jewish Israel was able to achieve material and military success, which raised old antisemitic tropes by some reporters and editors, driven by envy and resentment. The secular globalist media elites in America and Europe resent the idea of a Jewish state, but have no problem with 22 Arab-Muslim states, and 57 states (the Organization of Islamic Conference) under the banner of Islam.
Many reporters and editors are clearly ignorant of Middle Eastern history, and most don’t speak the languages of the Middle East (Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew). As a result, one would rarely read in an article about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that mentioned the fact that the Palestinian-Arabs rejected self-determination in November 1947, when the UN voted to partition Palestine into two sovereign states: an Arab state and Jewish state. This was the second opportunity for Arab-Palestinians to assert their self-determination. The first was a decade earlier when the British Peel Commission arrived at the same conclusion: that there must be two separate states for Jews and Arabs in Palestine.
The Palestinian Arabs rejected many more such opportunities in subsequent years. The Oslo Accords and the July 2000 summit at Camp David could have provided the Palestinians with a state. Instead, Arafat chose a bloody intifada. In 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert made even greater concessions to Mahmoud Abbas than PM Ehud Barak made to Arafat. Still, Palestinian leaders continued to reject statehood by saying no to compromise and peace. Much like in 1947, Palestinian leaders would rather focus on destroying the Jewish state than provide a national framework (state) in which their people could prosper. Prosperity for Palestinians won’t be found in Hamas-controlled Gaza or in the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, where authoritarianism, corruption, and human rights abuses are the rule. Israel is being used as the scapegoat by Hamas and the PA leadership to cover up for their misrule. With Palestinian media, mosques, and schools preaching hatred for Israel and Jews, and inciting their young people to kill Israelis, is it any wonder killers like Ra’ad Hazem would murder innocent Israelis relaxing in a Tel Aviv bar?
A significant number of western media outlets and their leadership have resented Jewish people’s success, and now begrudge the success and prosperity of Israeli democracy, as imperfect as it may be. The constant harping on “occupied Palestinian territory” by many of these outlets is patently false and misleading. The late Eugene Rostow, former dean of Yale University law school and former Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs in the Lyndon Johnson administration, made it clear that Israel has as much claim to the West Bank territories as the Palestinians. You won’t, however, find it in BBC, NPR, or NYTimes reports.
The easiest route for today’s reporters and their editors is to pick an underdog and a bully. In the eyes of the “politically correct” elites in the western liberal media, the Palestinians are “brown people” and are therefore automatically underdog “victims.” Hence, their underlying perverted rationale is, “white” Israeli forces, “shoot dead Palestinians,” and the Palestinian terrorist killer is merely a “Palestinian attacker,” and not a vile terrorist murderer.