How media bias helps exonerate anti-Jewish attacks

Media Bias against Israel

Media reporting on Israel

In my previous post about the arrest of the Toulouse school attacker, I wrote:

It’s going to be interesting to watch the reactions from both left and right as the identity of the terrorist murderer becomes clear.

We need wonder no more for as we read the mainstream media and other commentators, all becomes clear. The reactions were all entirely predictable of course, and yet they have grave implications for the safety of Jews worldwide because they wilfully ignore the real cause of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments that prevail in society today.

As I read online articles in the Guardian and the Independent I was shocked, although I really ought to be used to it by now, not only by the vicious and visceral hatred towards Jews and Israel expressed by some talk-backers, but by the contorted logic and twisted reasoning necessary in order to somehow make this dreadful murder of Jewish children into the fault of –  you guessed it – the Jews. (and Israel is included in that).

It was obvious that this was going to be a lose-lose case for Israel and the Jews as far as I could make out.  If the killer had been a neo-Nazi, there might  have been some sympathy for the victims from the extreme left, but early comments, when it was still assumed that the killer was a neo-Nazi, chided us that we were too quick to blame Islamists for the killing.  And when it became clear that he was indeed an Islamist, suddenly the killings were acceptable because they were “in revenge for the killings of children in Palestine by Israel”. It would seem that any terrorist can claim that his nefarious deeds are to avenge Palestinian blood, and that becomes an automatic “get out of jail card” for him. All is excusable in the name of revenge against Israel.  The  terrorist himself does not necessarily need to believe this declaration. He only has to say the words and the world’s media will be off and running with his excuses.

CiFWatch shows us how the Guardian twists and turns in order to avoid blaming Islam, or one Muslim, for the murders, and instead blames “anti-immigrant rhetoric” in the current French elections for the murder.  The article concludes:

Though more Guardian reports on the shooting will be forthcoming, we can can be certain that the vital and unmistakable moral lessons of such incomprehensible evil – an extremist antisemitic ideology which views even Jewish children as legitimate targets – will not be included in their coverage.

Such painfully obvious truths about the danger posed by Islamic antisemitism are simply not part of the narrative.

Professor Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection has a report about the cornering of the killer, and makes a salient point about the media has obfuscated about his identity and affiliation:

Given how “anti-Muslim” speech by bloggers was blamed (unfairly) for the Norway shooting, I wonder if anti-Israel speech by the Boycott Divest Sanction movement,the groups behind the Gaza Flotillas, academic boycotters of Israeli universities, and others will be blamed for the killing of the Rabbi and his children in Toulouse.

The blogger Edgar Davidson had a prescient article in the Times of Israel yesterday whose title sums up his entire thesis:

Toulouse killer: media ignore all the evidence and pray it’s a white racist

After his premonitions were confirmed by today’s arrest, Mr. Davidson then wrote an excellent article on his own blog entitled “The Toulouse killer is a Muslim terrorist so the media narrative changes again” which expands on his premise:

So there you have it in a nutshell. When a terrorist grabs tiny Jewish children by the hair and shoots them through the head this can only be the work of a white racist who actually hates Muslims as much as Jews (Tuesday’s media headlines). But when on Wednesday we discover he is a Muslim terrorist then suddenly his actions are justified by poverty and are a natural reaction both to anti-Muslim attitudes in France and the actions of Israel against Palestinians. And of course the real victims in all of this are Muslims.

Joe Hyams, CEO of Honest Reporting, also writing in the Times of Israel, makes a similar point about the responsibility of the media and its incitement in his article “Blood Libel 2.0“.

Jews kill babies for Passover matzah. It’s one of the most heinous hallmarks of incitement known better to our grandparents as a blood Libel.

Surely, the advent of mass media sunshine would see its demise?

Unfortunately not. In fact, technology has delivered into the hands of Jew-haters the world over the most powerful of social media tools, equal in reach and influence to broadcast and print news of earlier years.

[…]

Last week my organization broke the news that Khulood Badawi, the individual responsible for this blood libel, works for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Imagine that: A UN employee engaged in a blood libel.

[…]

The damage, as with all slander, is done at the moment of intimation, accusation, and defamation. And could it be that online incitement might have a hand in motivating offline terror such as Monday’s tragic mass murder at a school in Toulouse? The facts of that story are still being investigated. But the road from libel to acts of violence is a short one. Too much Jewish blood has indeed been spilled in the shadow of anti-Semitic vitriol disseminated through media, in every age.

But despite the damage already done in the case of Badawi, deterrence is the sword we wield best in a rough neighborhood. And the Jewish people have only recently had the capacity to defend and deter.

Melanie Phillips completes my (partial) list of commentators who have noticed the contortions that the mass media have had to undergo in order to make the facts fit their preconceptions and prejudices. In her article “Laying the groundwork for the Toulouse Massacre” she writes:

Jews throughout the world are all potential targets for attack in a terrifying manifestation of global incitement to murder. Islamists regularly declare their intention to kill Jews wherever they can find them. Hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza at southern Israel over the past couple of weeks bear out daily the frenzied attempt to murder as many Jews as possible. In the Mumbai massacre in 2008, it turned out that the attack on the tiny ultra-orthodox Lubavitch centre was for the Islamic perpetrators of that atrocity the most important target. There have been repeated Islamic terrorist attempts on Jewish targets around the world. Oh — and Islamists have been murdering black people in Libya because they are black.

Yet all this is ignored by the mainstream media. Desperate to sanitise Muslim genocidal terrorism and prove that racism and Jew-hatred is confined to white people and the ‘far right’, the media simply did not entertain the possibility that the perpetrator of the French killings might have been a Muslim. So a range of likely perpetrators was canvassed – but they were all variations on white racists.

And even when the perpetrator turned out to be an Islamic terrorist the media were still trying to spin it away, with Sky News stressing the deprivation of the killer and his family and interviewing a French female journalist living in London who claimed that this was ‘an attack against diversity’.

[…]

Thus the EU foreign affairs chief, the British Baroness Ashton, seemed to equate the murder of the French Jews in Toulouse with the deaths of Palestinian children in Gaza in Israeli military operations there.

[…]

The terrorist who carried out the French killings may now have been caught. But those in the west who provide an echo chamber for the diabolical discourse that incubates genocide have yet to be brought to account.

The lesson for us all in these sad examples is that we have to be ever-vigilant against anti-Israel and antisemitic libels and slanders, and to actively stand up against them, whether by talk-backs, letters to the editor, protests to advertisers on these sites, up to and including legal action where possible.

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9 Responses to How media bias helps exonerate anti-Jewish attacks

  1. Rob Harris says:

    Anne, a good synopsis of what is going on. I agree that this issue should be blamed on the incitement in the media. It is interesting that this murderer is a French national, and the French media has colluded with Palestinianism, e.g. in the Al Dura case – a libel that was disproved but is still resurrected by the worst elements of the media, e.g. The Guardian and Haaretz.

    More broadly I feel this issue can be blamed on the continual incitement against Jews and Israel in the Arab-Islamic world. I fear this case may set off a new trend of targeting Jews in the West.

    One point that needs emphasising generally is the fact that Catherine Ashton went out of her way to reference Gaza in her comment about children suffering, the deaths of the children in Belgium having been major news, and the continual slaughter in Syria an obvious point. Thus she pointedly made a remark that was almost a carbon copy of a lslamic terrorist.

  2. Roxymuzak says:

    Ashton is a repellent toad, I can think of no better condemnation of her remarks than the fact that a senior spokesman for the depraved terrorist organisation Hamas, which regularly uses children as human shields, lauded her comment.

  3. Brian Goldfarb says:

    Totally off topic, except insofar as Islamism is involved:

    Can We Talk About This?
    I would urge any readers of this blog who live in London to try and get to “Can We Talk About This?”, an entertainment devised and directed by Lloyd Newson. It’s performed by the DV8 Company, who combine words and dance to put across a ply. This one is about combatting and confronting Islamism and Jihadism in the west, and Britain in particular.

    The deviser asks, in his foreword to the programme, “How does the West support progressive Muslim voices that want a modern and moderate version of Islam which offers equality to women, homosexuals and tolerance towards others’ faiths?”

    One excellent line in the “play” is along the lines of “Islam has 10 Nobel Prizes, with One and a Half Billion people. Judaism, with 12 million, has 108. We’re not under-armed, we’re under-educated.”

    The Theatre (The National” was full of young people, and they were very appreciative of the event. For more info on the company DV8, go to http://www.dv8.co.uk. Hurry, it’s only on until the end of this month.

  4. jerome says:

    An evil and deeply demonic ideology has sunk its filthy fangs into the world and is slowly squeezing it dry of any decency , honesty or acceptable moral standard.
    Disingenuousness reigns supreme and no one dares to stand up and speak out for fear of reprisal or fear of unpopularity or fear of not being reelected.
    Popular misconceptions and deliberate and egregious misrepresentations of facts about jews and Israel are disseminated by media and supported by radical islamic and other left and right wing groups. This unstoppable insensible force rumbles through common sense and smashes any resistance to the prevailing zeitgeist of the day which is clearly that Israel is purported to be the worst and most repressive regime in the history of the earth.
    Of course this kind diatribe is lapped up by real violators of human rights because it takes the focus away from them and zooms in on the most popular uniting glue the world has ever seen
    and which it apparently will never get enough of: ANTISEMITISM.
    Innocent jewish children can be grabbed slaughtered and slain in broad daylight and the sympathy goes not to the families of the murdered but to the palestinians and their trumped up
    accusations that have successfully fooled the world for the years and created a whole massive industry that relies solely on demonizing jews and Israel to succeed in spectacular fashion.
    Never mind that Israel does not and never has targeted civilians especially children and in fact goes out of its way not to harm civilians- this is completely ignored by the myopic stupid french media lemmings who have not had a new idea in decades.
    The UN and all its anti semitic tentacles continues to thwart the efforts of those trying to aid
    the truly suppressed in various countries around the world and whilst obama is president of the USA this can only get worse.
    Real dictators and racists and oligarchies breathe a contented sigh of relief knowing that whatever atrocities they commit they will never be brought to account because the cushion of jewish hatred that pervades the earth will protect them for ever.

    • anneinpt says:

      Thank you for your very heartfelt comment Jerome, and welcome to the blog. Your sentiments are confirmed by my post about the UN’s HRC condemning Israel for the umpteenth time and initiating yet another “investigation” into Israel’s “crimes”. It is just sickening.

  5. Rob Harris says:

    Re. responsibility in the media, I only just heard that Just Journalism closed last Spetember http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/55184/just-journalism-forced-close and the content from their site hasn’t been archived. It was an important site for addressing the incitement coming out of the UK, which was a major source of this garbage. It seems the organisation ran out of money, and there were tensions on the board. It should be transformed into an organisation run by volunteers!

    • anneinpt says:

      Yes, I remember reading about its closure at the time. I was extremely saddened and rather shocked too. For a long time one could still access their articles but now I need to log in – and of course I don’t have a login for their site. It’s a huge shame.

      On the other hand Honest Reporting UK are doing a similar, and very thorough, job with monitoring the UK media, and the CST blog is monitoring antisemitic activity in the UK so all is not lost. Plus Michael Weiss now blogs very regularly at the Daily Telegraph so he probably has a wider audience.

      • Rob Harris says:

        Hi Anne, I take your point about Honest Reporting – their coverage is good and I have used it on occasion for my own articles but their work doesn’t seem that prolific, if my own experiences are anything to go by, and if the link you provided is indicative. That’s partly why I felt Just Journalism was quite a loss. Besides the money issues, maybe there were problems at the organisation that couldn’t be resolved but it would be nice to see it resurrected in some form – even just as an occasional platform for volunteers to work on for reporting media bias. Just something to mull over anyhoo…

        BTW http://www.robinshepherdonline.com which also dealt quite often with media bias in the UK has also gone. I noticed this just today when trying to resurrect an old article on the Palestine Papers!

        • anneinpt says:

          Perhaps the Honest Reporting UK site is not very active but the main site is super-active. They have a daily newsletter (or news-stream) which you can site up for, a blog and a a very active site. I recommend you to sign up for their daily alerts. They are excellent.

          As for Robin Shepherd, I was heartbroken when he stopped writing for his site, but he has opened an excellent new site called The Commentator. It’s not only about media watching, it’s about politics-watching in general but is also excellent. I have it linked on my sidebar on the right.

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