Say, you’re a reporter or editor and you have 2 events in which to contextualize into a headline and story.
1. Muslim and Christian graves are desecrated by unknown assailants.
2. A Jewish synagogue is firebombed.
Would you highlight the former vandalism or the latter explosive device hurled at a Jewish place of worship, or at least give them equal coverage?
Well, if you’re an editor for the Guardian, there really is no doubt about which you prioritize.
In today’s Guardian.
In fact the Guardian/AP report contains a mere 32 words about the firebombing of a synagogue in a 424 word story which was ostensibly focused on both the firebombing and vandalized graves.
And, not only does the grave vandalizing take precedence over the firebombed synagogue, the subheading concludes, based on (as you’ll see later) no actual evidence, that the desecration of graves was the work of “militant Jewish settlers”.
Conversely, the Guardian doesn’t explore who precisely would have thrown the explosive.
The article begins:
“Dozens of gravestones have been desecrated at Muslim and Christian cemeteries and a firebomb thrown at a synagogue in Jaffa, Israel, on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.
At least five tombs were smashed and around 20 others sprayed with Hebrew graffiti, including ‘Death to Arabs’ and ‘Price Tag’ – a slogan used by militant Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and their supporters.
So, while the subheading of the piece indicts “militant Jewish settlers”, the subsequent text simply notes the similarity between the slogans painted on graves in Jaffa with such writing used in previous acts of vandalism by settlers in the West Bank.
The subheading is even more curious given that they quote Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld saying, “there was no initial indication the suspects were settlers or settler supporters, and that there was also a possibility that they might be football hooligans.” [emphasis mine]
Also, according to the Jerusalem Post:
Police added that “Death to Russians – G.A. 02” was spray-painted in the cemetery, and that this graffiti was “linked to a soccer group.”
Other graffiti included X’s and the letters ACAB, as well as at least one depiction of a male sexual organ.
Police are not convinced that the graffiti was spray-painted by far-Right elements.
Police suspect that those responsible for the Jaffa graffiti are also responsible for the Bat Yam events [in which soccer fans are suspected], Israel Radio reported
Further, Ynet quoted Ahmed Ashharawi, a member of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa City Council, stating his belief that the perpetrators are just hooligans looking to stir up trouble.
Also, as the attacks are reported to have taken place at 4PM on Friday, the eve of Yom Kippur, any religious Jew would have been eating the final meal before the fast. (For those observing Yom Kippur in Israel, the final meal was to be finished at 4:38, 20 minutes before candle lighting on Oct. 7).
The closest Israeli settlements are around 25 km east of Jaffa. So, we are to believe that religious settlers violated the prohibition against driving on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar in order to vandalize Arab graves in Jaffa?
Even the state controlled PA media isn’t claiming that the graves were defaced by “settlers” but, rather, by Jewish extremists, showing the Guardian’s herculean efforts to out-Palestinian the Palestinians.
But, of course, when you’re a media institution ideologically conditioned to see a region under siege, not by Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian terrorism and antisemitic incitement, but, rather, from Israeli civilians living on the “wrong” side of the Green Line, any story can be crafted in a way consistent with “settler” villainy.