Media bias, anti-semitism, and the anti-anti-semitic pushback

Media Bias against Israel

Media reporting on Israel

This post is going to be a catch-up of sorts of some of the news items I let slip over the last few days. They all have a connection, if only tangential, to Israel’s war against the Hamas in Gaza.

My first item is typical of the propaganda that masqueraded as fact during the fighting (now renewed) in Gaza. The foreign press gleefully reported that an entire family of six was killed by the IDF in Gaza, implying that the Israelis are barbaric baby-killers. The truth is somewhat different. The entire dead family has miraculously been discovered to be heartily alive:

The media has been getting its ghoulish Gaza death toll from Hamas and its employees. And it turns out they might not be that accurate. And the media is more than happy to manufacture and inflate any story that makes Israel look bad.

If we take a closer look at the ranks of the Gaza dead, we’ll find more living dead people than an episode of The Walking Dead.

First Donald Macintyre of the New Statesman claimed that ten-year-old Mohammed Badran’s “entire family had been killed when a missile destroyed their home at the Nuseirat refugee camp.”

Now… not so much.

Update, 12 August: Mohammed Badran’s family turned out not to have been killed in the strike on his home, as had been reported here.

That’s quite an update.

But Donald Macintyre of the New Statesman insists that Israel is still the villain, randomly killing innocent civilians for no reason.

Read the rest and be suitably outraged at the tendentious reporting that is in essence anti-Israel incitement.

A similar very important story was discovered by the Elder of Ziyon (reprinted in the Algemeiner) to be not quite the whole truth and nothing but. A Righteous Gentile who returned his award in disgust at hearing about members of his family being killed in Gaza turns out to have a terrorist skeleton in his family closet:

This story was on the front page of the New York Times and has been reported all over. The irony of a person who saved Jews during the Holocaust now accusing Israel of war crimes is too rich to ignore:

In 1943, Henk Zanoli took a dangerous train trip, slipping past Nazi guards and checkpoints to smuggle a Jewish boy from Amsterdam to the Dutch village of Eemnes. There, the Zanoli family, already under suspicion for resisting the Nazi occupation, hid the boy in their home for two years. The boy would be the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust.

Seventy-one years later, on July 20, an Israeli airstrike flattened a house in the Gaza Strip, killing six of Mr. Zanoli’s relatives by marriage. His grandniece, a Dutch diplomat, is married to a Palestinian economist, Ismail Ziadah, who lost three brothers, a sister-in-law, a nephew and his father’s first wife in the attack.

…Dr. Zeyada (older brother) said last month that none of his family members were militants. Israel says that it takes precautions to avoid killing civilians, and that Hamas purposely increases civilian casualties by operating in residential neighborhoods. It has offered no information on whether the Zeyada family home was hit purposely, and if so, what the target was and whether it justified a strike that killed six civilians. The military told the left-leaning Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which first reported Mr. Zanoli’s decision, only that it was investigating “all irregular incidents.”

Once can understand why the IDF is unwilling to discuss details that could reveal its intelligence assets during a war. But there is information that is freely available out there – information that the media like the NYT hasn’t bothered to check – that indicates that there was a valid military target in that house.

Here is the list of people killed in the July 20th attack, from PCHR:

At approximately 14:00, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a 3-storey house belonging to Jameel Sha’ban Ziada, in which 20 people live, in al-Boreij refugee camp. The house was destroyed and 6 members of the family, including 2 women and a child, and a guest were killed: Jameel Sha’ban Ziada, 53; Yousef Sh’aban Ziada, 43; ‘Omar Sha’ban Ziada, 32; Sha’ban Jameel Ziada, 12; Muftiya Mohammed Ziada, 70; Bayan ‘Abdul Latif Ziada, 39; and Mohammed Mahmoud al-Maqadma, 30.

Hmmm…one of those names is a bit different.

What do we know about Mohammed Mahmoud al-Maqadma?

Well, you can ask B’Tselem. When they list the people killed in the house, they laconically mention that Maqadama was a “military branch operative.”

Suddenly, it looks like there might have been a valid military target at the Ziyada house.

The point is – this information is available. The New York Times first discussed the bombing of that same house on August 4, and by then the identity of the “guest” was known to NGOs. The anomalous name among the victims is a point that a decent reporter should have checked out.

This is really the proof of media bias against Israel. Any thinking person knows that Israel has an active interest in minimizing civilian deaths, and every knowledgeable reporter knows that Israel has good intelligence in Gaza.

The same research that people can do on the Internet is available – along with much more  – to the staffs of major media outlets like the NYT.

Yet the media report, without skepticism, every claim that there were no military targets in each flattened home. The information that contradicts this claim is out there – if they would bother to look for it. 

They don’t.

Again, I recommend you read the entire article. I don’t know how the Elder finds time to do his extensive research, write his numerous blog posts and hold down a day job. But if he can do it so can the New York Times and every single other media outlet. But as he says, they don’t. Because they’re lazy, or because their “received wisdom” just confirms their anti-Israel bias.

As I mentioned, this anti-Israel media bias is in effect incitement to violence against Israel, and by extension to Jews. We have been witness to the extreme rise in antisemitic violence and boycotts around the world in the last few weeks – with new cases every day, for example a Jewish charity shop (a charity shop!) and a synagogue, both in Southgate, London, were vandalised in antisemitic attacks –  and yet the international media are shocked! shocked! at this phenomenon.

Dovid Efune at the Algemeiner details how the anti-Jewish riots have exposed Hamas’s antisemitism and chastises the international media for ignoring it:

The editors at British newspaper The Guardian are beside themselves.

Somebody forgot to pass on the ‘Anti-Israel Rioting Etiquette Handbook’ to the largely vicious and thoroughly bigoted hordes who gathered to call for Israel’s demise in the streets of the world’s major cities over this past month.

Media reports said that the marches were prompted by Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza and sympathy for Palestinian children.

So why is it that protesters in Paris were chanting “death to the Jews” and “Hitler was right,” and activists in London proclaimed “Heil Hitler” and “Oh Jew, you will die”?

Of course all this left the honchos at The Guardian, and others who are generally aligned with the anti-Israel cause, feeling rather uncomfortable, and they quickly moved to disassociate themselves from the hate.

In an editorial on Friday, The Guardian wrote, “It should not need saying, but it does: people can be as angry as they like at the Israeli government, but to attack a synagogue, threaten children at a Jewish school, or throw a brick through the window of a Jewish grocery store is vile and contemptible racism. It cannot be excused by reference to Israeli military behaviour. The two are and should be kept utterly distinct.”

But The Guardian has completely missed the point.

The sad truth is that while the situation in Gaza may have been used to ignite the raging protesters, it is the marches themselves and their message that have exposed a key motivation in Gaza’s war against Israel.

Hamas has made no secret of its visceral hatred of Jews, and anti-Jewish animus is enshrined in the group’s constitution.

Read the rest. It is a point that has been made numerous times but bears repeating over and over until the liberal media get the message.

In other anti-anti-Semitic news:

George Galloway is being investigated by the police for his racist declaration of Bradford as Israel-free zone.

An American Fortune 500 company cancelled a prestigious six-day trip, bringing 600 business visitors to Glasgow, in protest at their Palestinian flag-waving stunt at City Hall.

Palestinian flag flies from Glasgow City Hall

South African Jews are suing a trades union leader for hate speech after he accused the Jewish Board of Deputies of complicity in murder because they sided with Israel in the Gaza conflict.

It will be interesting to see how much media bias and hate speech is engendered by the US attacking ISIS in Iraq – a situation very much in parallel with Israel’s fight against Hamas. As of yesterday, the US had hit 90 ISIS targets in air-strikes in Iraq.

Somehow I doubt they used the IDF’s warning systems of “knock on the roof” or dropping leaflets to warn civilians to evacuate ahead of the bombings. I wonder how many civilians were killed, or if anyone is even bothering to count. I also wonder how long it will take the UN to issue a condemnation or form a commission of inquiry to investigate US war crimes.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no objection to the US’s actions. On the contrary, I’m all in favour. I’m just pointing out the double standards where Israel is concerned.

On second thoughts, I wouldn’t rely on the UN to act any more fairly towards the US. Perhaps that explains the pressure being applied on the ICC to forego an investigation into “Israeli war crimes”. Israel and the Jews are forever the canary in the coal mine. If Israel is investigated, whether or not it is found guilty, it could lead to similar charges against the US and NATO allies.

And to conclude, here’s my favourite headline of the day: Egypt (!) calls on the US to exercise restraint (!) in Ferguson (where a police shooting of an unarmed black teen has led to violent race riots). As the article snarkily notes about Egypt:

Last week saw the anniversary of an Egyptian police crackdown on two protest camps in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda squares that killed hundreds of people.

You couldn’t make it up. 🙂

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12 Responses to Media bias, anti-semitism, and the anti-anti-semitic pushback

  1. No offence, but your stance is not at all rational. The logic seems to go like this:
    If Elder Z, or Daniel Greenfield (or any other fruitcake with an axe to grind) is capable of putting an absurdly pro-Israeli propagandist spin on events by selectively harvesting half-truths, why can’t you?

    • anneinpt says:

      My stance is perfectly rational, and if you would take the trouble to read my sources properly you would see that all the rebuttals I have brought against the various anti-Israel smears are fact based.

      If you think that the Elder or Greenfield et al are fruitcakes then you should at least bring some sources to prove your point. Otherwise there really isn’t anything more to discuss with you.

      As for “why can’t I do the same as them” – I just did!

  2. Indeed you did.

    Think of it like this: In the field opposite my house (factual example) there are a couple of hundred cattle. About 190 of these are Angus (black), and about 10 are Belted Galloway (brown with a white stripe). Imagine I go around taking photos of the cows from various vantage points, and then I upload them. I could easily present the herd as being entirely composed of Angus cows, or as being entirely composed of Belted Galloways, should I so wish. This would not involve the falsification of any particular picture, but merely careful selection of the photos I present.
    By exhibiting a rather extreme ‘edit bias’ of this type, in citing these sources you have achieved the same thing.

    Think about the Zenoli story, for example. The tragedy, and the poignancy, are glaring: an unequivocal hero, who put justice and humanity before his own safety, has suffered a terrible loss. Many of his family are dead. HIs pain, which surely we all understand, is huge. His disillusion is such that he no longer considers he can accept that medal from Israel. This is significant for many reasons. We can all count them. But what is the single fragment of this episode framed as salient by you and your sources? That somebody killed in the same strike as Zenoli’s family had the same name as somebody who may have at some point have been in the military. That’s what you take away.

    So. I guess they’re all Belted Galloways. ..

    • cba says:

      That’s an excellent analogy.

      In fact, it’s a perfect description of the way the international media (BBC, CBC, the Guardian, et al.) present any news involving Israel to paint it in the worst possible light (including uncritically quoting Hamas statements as gospel)..

    • anneinpt says:

      Well, if they’re related to Galloway you’ve made my point for me. 🙂

      Seriously, you’re accusing me, and by extension my sources, of “edit bias” when in fact that is exactly what is involved in all the mainstream media reporting about Gaza. Israel is placed under a ridiculous moral microscope when any similar actions from any other party are ignored. So when a family is killed – or is not killed in this case but let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good story – it is presented immediately as Israel’s ultimate crime, murdering babies, murdering women, massacring the innocents, a modern-day Herod.

      You see? Edit bias works both ways. Only when I’m showing you the truth you accuse me of hiding parts of the truth. Remove the beam from your own eye before you criticise me.

      Israel’s actions are also presented as illegal besides immoral, when this is simply not the case. And just like your cows, Israel’s actions, even its mistakes, are presented as proof of its absolute immorality and sinfulness. There is never any redeeming good in Israel in these reports. There is never a reason for Israel to take action, and any action it does take is by definition illegal, immoral and disproportionate.

      So take your magnifying glass elsewhere and shine your morality from your high moral watchtower onto ISIS, Hamas, Al Qaeda, and all their pals. And that includes Galloway – the human, not the bovine.

  3. Sorry, but you’re lurching from one fallacy to another. Now the message seems to be:
    “I know I’m wrong, but these other people who disagree with me are even more wrong about something else, so if you disagree with me you must be wrong too.”

    My free advice: Invest in some sound reasoning skills. It will pay off for you, and maybe even for your arguments. Of course, your arguments will probably have to evolve in the light of the reasoning.

    I’ll take my magnifying glass. You take your colonoscope.

    • anneinpt says:

      You have huge reading comprehension problems.

      Why do you think I was saying “I know I’m wrong”? On the contrary I know I’m right and if you took the trouble to read my article and more importantly read the sources I quote you would see the facts are on my side. You cannot make a live family a dead one for example. And you cannot wish away a terrorist in a family, however good the family was.

      But a closed-minded fool like you never lets the facts get in the way of his convictions.

      I was tempted to let you continue the debate. There are several commenters on this side with whom I don’t agree but with whom I enjoy an argument and reasoned debate, even when we agree to disagree. But Your snide ad hominem, and lewd comment, lead me to put you on moderation at the very least.

  4. One more thing, before I let you have the last word:
    As moral relativism goes, being not as bad as ISIS is not really setting very high standards, for you or for Israel.

    • cba says:

      “being not as bad as ISIS is not really setting very high standards”

      Once again you are correct.

      However, being as good as any other country in the world (including the UK, Canada, the USA, or Sweden) and a damned sight better than most is setting high standards.

      Israel’s record, under far more trying circumstances than are facing the UK, Canada, etc., is at least as good as theirs and in many cases better.

      Is Israel perfect? Of course not. Neither are the UK, Canada, etc. But it’s pretty damned good and working hard to improve.

      Do I expect you to acknowledge this? Of course not. You’re too convinced of your moral superiority and impeccable reasoning skills to allow anything that contradicts your worldview to impinge. You’re not the first person I’ve met who epitomizes “Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is made up!”

      Declared while you stand on the Mount of Superior Morality, of course.

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