Indy buries the lead on Arab Jerusalemite support for synagogue massacre

The mayor of Ashkelon is already backtracking, after rightfully coming under fire from politicians across the political spectrum, from his pledge to fire Arab workers installing bomb shelters in city kindergartens.  Mayor Itamar Shimoni, who issued the threat after Tuesday’s deadly terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, admitted his decision was “disproportionate”, and that he has agreed to allow Arab laborers to continue working at the sites.

unnamed (1)

Cover of Israel newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth the day following the synagogue massacre

 

Though Ben Lynfield’s report on the row in The Independent, titled, ‘Synagogue attack: Israeli mayor accused of racism after suspending 30 Arab workers for ‘security’ reasons‘, was straight forward enough, there was an extraordinary sentence buried without comment in the second paragraph:

The step by Itamar Shimoni, mayor of the coastal city of Ashkelon, comes after a wave of attacks, mostly in Jerusalem, triggered largely by the Palestinian perception of an Israeli threat to al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest site. The synagogue assailants are widely viewed in Arab East Jerusalem as “martyrs” who acted in defence of the mosque. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will not make changes in the mosque compound, sacred to Jews as the Temple Mount. But provocative visits by right-wing Israeli politicians have more weight in Arab eyes than the premier’s declarations.

 Is this an accurate statement by Lynfield? Do Arabs in east Jerusalem – most of whom are permanent Israeli residents – support the Palestinian terrorists who butchered innocent Jews (while they were at prayer at synagogue) with axes and knives?

If such a perverse, morally indefensible view is indeed held by a large segment of “Arab East Jerusalem”, let us humbly suggest to the Indy’s Ben Lynfield that perhaps such a disturbing phenomena might be of greater news value in the context of helping readers understand the region than the short-lived racist pronouncement of one solitary mayor. 

Peter Sellars in the Guardian: “Nobody is allowed to discuss Palestine”

The word “censorship” generally refers to cases where “an instrument of government” uses the power of state to prevent citizens from exercising their right to free expression in the arts, politics or in the media.

Often, however, the debate about this important subject gets blurred by unserious assertions about the West’s supposed ‘creeping descent’ into censorship, sometimes after a theater company or cinema decides not to show a controversial play or film, or merely because the production is the subject of a peaceful protest or mild rebuke.

A Nov. 20 column by playwright Peter Sellars (in the Opera section of the Guardian) calls upon this hyperbolic tradition by conflating mere criticism with outright suppression.

opera

Sellars helped create the original opera The Death of Klinghoffer and directed its first performance - an opera based on the 1985 hijacking of a cruise ship, in which a wheelchair-bound Jewish man was shot in the head by a Palestinian terrorist before being thrown overboard. And, Sellars devotes most of his Guardian article to the controversy surrounding the recent New York Metropolitan Opera production of this opera.

After lamenting how putatively fragile free speech is in America today, Sellars gets to the point:

Nearly 30 years ago, the passenger liner Achille Lauro was hijacked by Palestinians, who murdered and threw overboard an American Jew called Leon Klinghoffer. The story occupied the news for two weeks, then disappeared. What was the story of the century that preceded this? What was its aftermath in real terms? 

John Adams took up this challenge in 1991 with his opera The Death of Klinghoffer. Opera has always spoken to a cross-section of society. Its roots lie in Greek dramas, which were about the most difficult and dangerous topics, recognising that we can only face them if we face them as one.

Looking at something does not mean you’re endorsing it. One can abhor an event, yes, but one also needs to understand it.

He then turns to his central thesis:

Yet the US today is coming close to censorship.

Now, to his larger point about “Palestine”:

Nobody is allowed to discuss Palestine. Nobody is allowed to mention Palestinians, much less depict them. Most Americans have no idea about the history of Palestinians, or what their situation is now. When The Death of Klinghoffer was staged at New York’s Metropolitan Opera last month, it was picketed – and exploited – by extreme special-interest groups who had no interest in the actual opera, or indeed any opera.

First, the Opera was not cancelled by The Met, so it’s unclear what precisely is being censored.

More broadly, the assertion that “nobody is allowed to discuss Palestine” or “mention Palestinians” is so cut off from reality that it rises to the level of parody.

Indeed, the issue of Palestine is of course nothing short of an obsession at international bodies like the UN, and within much of the Western news media, and to claim just the opposite – that there is a dearth of conversation about Palestine and Palestinians – represents an astounding inversion of reality. 

Simply because The Death of Klinghoffer was criticized and was the object of a peaceful protest campaign – by those exercising their own right to free expression – doesn’t mean “you can’t discuss Palestine”.

It only means that you can’t expect to be immune from criticism when doing so. 

Economist refers to Jews wanting to pray at the Temple Mount as “militants”

In a great example of the media’s use of language to blur moral differences within the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, The Economist expanded the common understanding of the word “militant” – a word fancied by those fearing “terrorist” is too judgmental a term for those committing violence for political ends – to include Jews wanting to peacefully pray at Judaism’s holiest site.

pic

From left to right per The Economist: Palestinian militants, and Jewish militants

 

An article published on Nov. 17th titled ‘The trouble at the Mountincluded the following passage:

THE Temple Mount in Jerusalem is one of the world’s most explosive bits of real-estate. It has started to rumble again in recent weeks, with demands by Jewish militants to extend prayer rights, riots by Palestinians and the killing of several Israelis in knife or car-ramming attacks.

So, the term “Jewish militant” includes:

1. A Jew who wishes to extend prayer rights to Jews at the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

Further in the article, the term is used again.

On the religious front, Jewish militants have stepped up their visits to the Haram, often to pray surreptitiously (for instance by pretending to speak into mobile phones).

So, now, the term “Jewish militant” includes:

1.  A Jew who wishes to extend prayer rights to Jews at the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

2. A Jew who insidiously engages in Jewish prayer at the Judaism’s holiest site while “pretending to speak into mobile phones”.

However, that’s not all. The term is actually used a third time, in the following passage:

Moreover, privately financed militant groups have been buying houses in the heart of Palestinian neighbourhoods, which have in any case largely been cut off from their hinterland in the West Bank by Israel’s security barrier. 

So, now, the term “Jewish militant” includes:

1.  A Jew who wishes to extend prayer rights to Jews at the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

2.  A Jew who insidiously engages in Jewish prayer at the Judaism’s holiest site while “pretending to speak into mobile phones”.

3.  A Jew who – as part of a “privately financed” group – buys a home in a previously non-Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Though there are good practical reasons for maintaining the status quo at the Temple Mount (where Jews can visit but not pray), it’s difficult to fathom how the British magazine can justify using a term which refers to those “favouring confrontational or violent methods in support of a political cause” to characterize Jews peacefully campaigning for the right to pray. 

Former UK minister Warsi tweets ‘morally indefensible’ equivalence in Jerusalem terror attack (Update)

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi was Minister of State for Faith and Communities, until her resignation after disagreeing with David Cameron’s position on the war in Gaza, a policy she described as “morally indefensible” in its support for Israel.  

The row over her resignation was widely (and quite sympathetically) covered by the Guardian. 

Here’s Warsi’s Tweet this morning in response to today’s terror attack, in which Palestinian terrorists massacred Jewish worshippers at a synagogue in Jerusalem.

tweet

In addition to the morally indefensible equivalence she imputes, the first line of Warsi’s tweet was the kind of shamefully dishonest agitprop you’d expect to see at Electronic Intifada.  Israeli extremists have not of course “stormed the mosque”, nor “intimidated” Muslim worshippers – unless you consider the wish to peacefully recite Jewish prayers to be a form of “intimidation”.

Just about all the violence at the Temple Mount in recent memory has been instigated by Muslim extremists, targeting Israeli police and Jewish worshippers.

It’s truly #Tragic that such putatively respectable British leaders so willingly parrot the most crude and risible Palestinian propaganda about the root cause of ‘tensions’ in Jerusalem. 

(UPDATE)

The Guardian’s Live Blog just covered for Warsi in deciding to ignore the shameful tweet we cited above and, instead, highlight a more moderate tweet thirty minutes later.

guardian

Guardian erases “Palestinians” from Reuters story on Jerusalem terror attack

At least five Israelis were killed and eight wounded Tuesday morning when Palestinian terrorists armed with knives, axes and guns began attacking Jews in a Jerusalem synagogue during morning prayers.  The terrorists, who were reportedly shouting “Allahu Akbar” during the attack, were eventually shot and killed by police.

The Guardian’s first report on the incident was a Reuters story which they posted at roughly 9 AM Israeli time.

First, here’s a snapshot of the original story, as it appeared on Reuters’ website, titled ‘Up to five dead in suspected Palestinian attack on Jerusalem synagogue‘.

reuters

However, as you can see, the Guardian’s version (Deadly attack in Jerusalem synagogue) deleted the word “Palestinian” from the headline.

guardian

But, that’s not the only revision to the Reuters article by Guardian editors.

Here’s the opening passage of the original Reuters report:

(Reuters) – Two suspected Palestinian men armed with axes and knives killed up to five people and wounded four in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday before they were shot dead by police, Israeli media said, the worst such attack in years.

Now, here’s the Guardian’s version.

Two men armed with axes and knives killed up to five people and wounded four in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday before they were shot dead by police, Israeli media said after the worst such attack in years.

Consistent with the omission in the  headline, the word “Palestinian” was deleted from the lead sentence, despite the fact that Israeli police have clearly identified the attackers as Palestinians from east Jerusalem.  (Indeed, other UK media outlets we reviewed have clearly identified the terrorists as Palestinian.)

Once again, the Guardian has demonstrated their institutional bias when reporting on Israeli-Palestinian issues – specifically, a pattern of obfuscating even the most unambiguous examples of Palestinian culpability for terror, violence and incitement.

(See also CAMERA’s recent blog post, ‘In CNN Headline on Jerusalem Terror, Integrity is Another Casualty‘)

CiF Watch suggestions for Palestinians who want to ‘ease tensions’ in Jerusalem

Though Benjamin Netanyahu, John Kerry and Jordan’s King Abdullah met recently to address the “recent surge of violence in Jerusalem”, the herds of independent minds in the UK media have essentially settled on a narrative to explain the “tension” in the holy city: that demands by some Jews for prayer rights at the Temple Mount incite Palestinians, thus increasing tension and violence. 

Whilst even beyond the UK media, most opinion leaders have narrowly focused on what Israeli leaders can do to calm the situation in Jerusalem and prevent an escalation, we here at CiF Watch tend to fancy the progressive notion that Palestinians possess moral agency, and therefore have a role to play in any plan to address rising tensions. 

So, inspired by a recent post at a site known for its decidedly unconventional take on the news, here’s our list of ways Palestinians can “ease the tension” in Jerusalem.

1.  If you’re a Palestinian driving your car in Jerusalem, resist the urge to slam your vehicle into a crowd of innocent pedestrians merely because they’re likely to be Jewish.  The impact of two tons of steel crashing into a human body tends to break bones, rupture organs and cause death for those in the vehicle’s path – thus escalating tensions in Jerusalem.

2. If you’re a Palestinian and happen to be carrying a knife in Jerusalem, resist the urge to stab someone with it merely because he or she is a Jew.  Knives tend to damage organs, cause profuse bleeding, and could cause death – thus escalating tensions in Jerusalem.

3. If you’re a Palestinian and happen to be carrying a gun in Jerusalem, resist the urge to shoot a Jew merely because you disagree with his or her political beliefs.  Bullets can cause massive hemorrhaging, rupture organs and result in death or serious injury – thus escalating tensions in Jerusalem. 

4.  If you’re a Palestinian and you hear radical Islamists or even “moderate” Palestinian leaders warn you that the al-Aqsa mosque is in danger, and you must defend the mosque by rioting, attacking Jews or becoming a ‘martyr’, resist this urge. In reality, the mosque is not actually in danger and doesn’t need to be defended.  Further, rioting, martyrdom, and spilling Jewish blood all tend to escalate tensions in Jerusalem. 

5. More generally, if you’re a Palestinian and get the urge to do something that you think might cause Jews to stop living, don’t do that thing.  Again, killing Jews tends to escalate tensions in Jerusalem. 

6.  Finally, if you’re a Palestinian, consider activities with a low risk of killing Jews, such engaging in the political process, organizing a peaceful protest or participating in interfaith prayers at the Mount.  

Trust us on this: activities which tend not to kill Jews are more likely to ease tensions in Jerusalem than activities with a high risk of killing Jews.

What the Guardian won’t report: The role of incitement in fomenting terrorism

Despite the recent briefing for foreign reporters by Yossi Kuperwasser of the Israel Strategic Affairs Ministry on the role of Palestinian incitement in the recent wave of riots and terror in Jerusalem, we don’t expect journalists to deviate from their normal script which effectively blames Jewish prayer right activists for the Palestinian violence.

For those interested in learning more about this rarely covered and extremely dangerous phenomenon, here’s the slide show given by Kuperwasser to reporters, which includes examples of Palestinian officials glorifying terror, demonizing Jews and denying Jewish history.

(Youtube videos weren’t successfully embedded into the slide. So, you’ll need to click on the Youtube links to open a new page.)

 

Guardian article suggests Yasser Arafat abandoned terrorism after 1990

A nearly 5000 word hagiographic profile of Yasser Arafat by  and  in the Guardian characteristically obfuscated the decades-long record of planning and carrying out terror attacks against innocent Israelis by the late Palestinian leader and groups under his control.

header

Here’s the key passage in the Guardian’s ‘long-read’ (Yasser Arafat: Why he still matters, Nov. 13) concerning the man known to some as the “father of modern terrorism.”

Without armed struggle the Palestinian awakening heralded by Fatah was unlikely to have occurred, yet Arafat and his colleagues knew both the value and limits of force. They were aware of the need to modulate or discard force entirely when necessary. Their political programme developed accordingly, from an emphasis on armed action as the sole means of struggle in 1968 to its eventual disappearance from the PLO’s political programme altogether after 1990.

However, the fact is that, though in 1988 he claimed to accept Israel’s right to exist and in 1993 shook hands with Yitzchak Rabin (inaugurating the Oslo Accords), Arafat continued to encourage and provide financial support to “groups directly under his command, such as the Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade”.

Continue reading

UK media lie begins: Jewish prayer rights activists cause Palestinian terrorism

chaya-zissel-braun-baby-terror-attack-jerusalem

Chaya Zissel Braun (3 months), killed by a Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem on Oct. 22

The question of whether the recent increase in Palestinian terror attacks – which has included two lethal stabbings, and the murder of three Israelis by Palestinians who intentionally ran their vehicles into crowds of pedestrians in Jerusalem – will one day be categorized as the start of a new intifada is debatable.  

However, we can already see how the UK media will likely be framing the story if indeed the uptick in deadly attacks continue and increase: that demands by some Jews to be able to pray at the Temple Mount (the holiest site in Judaism) is responsible for the violence. 

A Nov. 6th article by the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont, following the two vehicular terror attacks, opined that “Demands for greater access have been blamed by Israelis and Palestinians for a recent increase in violent confrontations in Jerusalem”.

The Economist suggested – in an article in their print edition on Nov. 8th titled Temple Madness - that “dangerous campaign for Jewish prayer rights” is a form of “Jewish agitation” which is driving Palestinians to violence.

And, Ben Lynfield of The Independent – in a Nov. 10th report titled “Fears of new intifada: Israel is hit by wave of Palestinian violence linked to concerns over al-Aqsa mosque – was even more brazen in arguing that the recent deadly attacks on Israelis “was triggered largely by a Palestinian perception of an Israeli threat to al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Islam’s third holiest shrine.”

There is, of course, no threat to the al-Aqsa Mosque, and Israel’s prime minister has been adamant about the need to preserve the status quo at the holy site – where Jews are allowed to visit the site, but not to pray.

Continue reading

Guardian Tweet on Jerusalem terror attack: Israel police shoot dead driver…

A couple of hours ago, a Palestinian from east Jerusalem affiliated with Hamas plowed his vehicle into a crowd of people at a light rail station along the seam-line between the east and west sections of the city, killing one and injuring 14, in what was clearly a terror attack.

Here’s a video showing some of the deadly attack.

Continue reading

Has there been even one recent incident of Jews attacking Muslims at the Temple Mount?

The question in our headline was inspired by an interesting post published at CAMERA’s blog Snapshots about an article in Haaretz which suggested (in both the headline and text) that the violence at the Temple Mount is initiated equally by both Jewish and Muslim worshippers.

haaretz temple mount two sides

Haaretz, Oct. 19th

Closer to the focus of this blog, you’d be hard pressed to find any UK newspaper acknowledging what any neutral observer of the frequent riots on the Mount would of course understand: that it is almost exclusively Palestinian Muslim visitors to the site “who routinely attack police and target Jewish worshipers” at the Temple Mount.

Continue reading

Indy buries shooting of Yehuda Glick, focuses instead on Temple Mount closing

For the second time in a week, the British newspaper The Independent has buried the lead in a story involving a Palestinian terrorist attack on Israelis.

We recently noted that an Oct. 23rd article in the Indy featured news on a briefly detained Palestinian stone thrower, while relegating the terrorist murder of a Jewish infant to a relatively brief mention at the end of the article.

Now, here’s how the same paper covered yesterday’s news regarding the shooting of Rabbi Yehuda Glick by a Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem. 

Continue reading

Guardian’s photo choice again illustrates their obsession with Israel

Even by the standards of the Guardian Left, George Monbiot represents an extreme example of those commentators who go beyond mere hostility to Israel and the United States, but, more broadly, seem to wake up in the morning convinced that reactionary jihadists are actually victims of the democratic (“imperialist”) West. 

Though his Oct. 21st op-ed in the Guardian is about the ‘duhumanising rhetoric’ used by political leaders to demonize and exploit vulnerable minority groups, he naturally avoids citing the most egregiously racist and violent Islamist extremist movements, instead citing – as examples of those who use dehumanising rhetoric to render people expendable – Israel, the UK and the United States.

Continue reading

Indy buries story of murdered Jewish baby; focuses instead on briefly detained Palestinian boy

On Oct. 19th, per a video released by B’tselem, a Palestinian boy was arrested in Hebron for throwing stones at soldiers.  Fifteen minutes later, the soldiers released the boy after his father arrived and explained that he was mentally disabled.

On Oct. 22nd, a Palestinian Hamas supporter (Abdelrahman al-Shaludi, from the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem) with a history of antisemitic violence, rammed his car into pedestrians standing a light rail platform in Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a 3 month old baby (Chaya Zissel Braun) and injuring others.

If you were the editor of a major British daily, which story would you be more likely to highlight?

Well, evidently editors at the Independent decided that the story of a briefly detained Palestinian stone thrower was of greater importance than the terrorist murder of a Jewish infant.  

Continue reading

Guardian contributor suggests Leon Klinghoffer’s murder wasn’t motivated by antisemitism

When it comes to the issue of antisemitism and Israel, ‘diversity’ at the Guardian generally signifies merely giving voice to contributors with differing reasons on why something or someone is not antisemitic, and the precise reason why Israel is of course in the wrong.   

An article published in their music section, titled ‘We took four New Yorkers to the Metropolitan Theater’s production of The Death of Klinghoffer: what was their verdict?‘, aired the views of four contributors, all of whom arrived at the inevitable conclusion: The Death of Klinghoffer is not antisemitic, and doesn’t justify terrorism or humanize terrorists.

Whilst we encourage you to read a review of the opera (based on the 1985 Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking and terrorist murder of a wheelchair bound Jewish passenger named Leon Klinghoffer), by CAMERA Senior Analyst Myron Kaplan, which provides one of the better arguments among those morally offended by the production, a passage in one of the Guardian reviews, by Brooklyn College professor Moustafa Bayoumi, is especially worth noting as it aptly represents the quintessentially Guardian tick of obfuscating antisemitism.  

Continue reading