December 13, 2017

DPA Captions Wrongly Blame Israel for Islamic Jihad Deaths

Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) published photo captions yesterday which incorrectly imply that an Israeli strike was responsible for the deaths of two Islamic Jihad members in Gaza. The photos and captions, distributed by major photo agencies including Agence France Presse (AFP) and Associated Press, note the funeral procession for the Islamic Jihad men "follow[ed] an Israeli strike in Beit Lahia, Northern Gaza Strip."

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ATTENTION/GRAPHIC CONTENT: Palestinians carry the body of one of two Islamic Jihad militants, during a funral procession following an Israeli strike in Beit Lahia, Northern Gaza Strip, 12 December 2017.Wissam Nassar.

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ATTENTION/GRAPHIC'CONTENT: Palestinians mourn and shout slogans as they carry the body of one of two Islamic Jihad militants, during a funral procession following an Israeli strike in Beit Lahia, Northern Gaza Strip, 12 December 2017.Wissam Nassar.

But as DPA reported today ("Israeli air force bombs Gaza Strip after rocket attacks"):

Also on Tuesday, two Palestinian militants were confirmed dead after an explosion in the Gaza Strip, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group said that the two militants - Hassan Ghazi Nasrallah and Mustafa al-Sultan - were preparing rockets when the explosion occurred. (Emphasis added.)

In addition, Haaretz reported yesterday ("Gaza-based Islamic Jihad Drops Claim of Israeli Drone Strike"):

The Islamic Jihad militant group in Gaza now says the blast that killed two of its members was an accident.

The group earlier Tuesday accused Israel of killing the men in an airstrike. But it has issued a new statement saying the men had mishandled explosives.

Ealier [sic] reports from Gaza's Hamas-controlled Health Ministry said Tuesday that two Palestinians were killed in what was described as an assassination by an Israeli military drone. Palestinians say the two killed were members of the Al-Quds Brigade, the military wing of Islamic Jihad.

The Israeli army denied any role in the incident and said that contrary to the Palestinian report, the military had not carried out any such drone strike in Gaza. Israeli army officials said that the explosion was believed to have been the result of a "work accident," the term generally used when explosives intended to be used by militants against Israel explode prematurely.

CAMERA has contacted DPA to request a clarification. Stay tuned for an update.

Posted by TS at 01:17 PM |  Comments (0)

December 12, 2017

Reuters Rushes to Publicize Claim of "Israeli Attack," You Won't Believe What Happened Next

There may be times when "local residents" are good sources for a news story. But the death of two members of the Islamic Jihad terror group, killed in an explosion as they raced through Gaza on a motorcycle, is clearly not one of those times.

Before the metaphorical dust had a chance to settle, the Reuters World Twitter account sent to its 236,000 followers the following, in which Israel is named as the culprit:

Turns out it wasn't an Israeli attack. At some point after — hopefully after — this was posted on Twitter, the Reuters article updated to note that, by all indications, the terrorists were involved in a planned attack against Israel, but their explosives detonated prematurely. Not only did Israel indicate it wasn't responsible, but Islamic Jihad announced that its two dead members were "martyrs of preparation," indicating that their own weapons did them in.

Still now, hours after the article was updated, the Reuters headline frames the story as one about Israel denying responsibility for an "attack," as opposed to Islamic Jihad bungling plans to strike at Israel.

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The conclusion is pretty straightforward. Reuters should be aiming more for accuracy and less for intrigue in headlines and tweets. If a mysterious explosion kills Palestinians, dubious allegations about Israeli involvement don't belong front and center, at least not until they become something more than dubious allegations. And when they become something less than dubious allegations — inaccurate claims — the headline should focus on what happened, not on Israel's denial of something Israel didn't do.

Impatient journalism might get more clicks. But readers expect more from serious news organizations.

Posted by GI at 02:32 PM |  Comments (0)

What Were the Motives of the Port Authority Bomber?

What were the motives of Ayaked Ullah, the Port Authority bomber in yesterday's attack? There are many news headlines that address the issue, and they advance differing theories, each of them presented as fact.

Thus, Haaretz's English print edition page-one headline states as fact: "N.Y. bomb suspect sought revenge for Israel's Gaza actions."

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The accompanying article, however, is more cautious about determining the motive. It qualifies:

The suspect in a failed suicide bombing in New York City on Monday told police he was motivated by Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip, CNN reported. (Emphasis added.)

Haaretz's headline for the digital version of the same article was also more careful, likewise attributing the Gaza claim to a "report," as opposed to presenting it as fact: "New York City Bomber Tells Police He Carried Out Attack Due to Israeli Actions in Gaza, Report Says."

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Meanwhile, others are equally certain that it's Jerusalem that motivated Ullah to strap a bomb to his body in hopes of killing as many commuters as possible. Thus, for example, The Times of London proclaims as fact:

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The article itself, however, is much less certain that Jerusalem was a factor. It reports:

Akayed Ullah, 27, is thought to have been inspired by Islamic State, but without having been in direct contact with the jihadist group. According to some reports he shouted that he was acting in the name of Isis. Others said he shouted the word “Jerusalem” — a reference to President Trump’s decision last week to recognise it as the Israeli capital.

Still a third theory -- again depicted as fact in headlines -- is that the ISIS-inspired terrorist was angered by the Christmas decorations in Port Authority. Business Insiderposits: "The ISIS-inspired NYC bomber chose to attack Port Authority because of its Christmas posters."

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Is it possible that a combination of the above factors could have motivated Ullah? Yes, but until the facts are established, media outlets would do well to present theories as just that.

Posted by TS at 06:54 AM |  Comments (2)

December 08, 2017

Erin Burnett’s Hostility on Display

Media bias can manifest in a variety of ways. Selective omissions, lack of balance, and errors that seem to favor one side are common. In television news, journalists can, in addition, betray their bias with their voices, facial expressions, and gestures. Erin Burnett’s December 6 interview with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, following President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, was a case study in a journalist’s expression of personal bias.

None of Burnett’s questions to Dermer were, in terms of content, out of line. It’s reasonable to ask about the Arab response to the announcement, the effect on the peace process, and even a video clip in which Dermer appeared to be reacting to a gaffe made by the US President. Throughout the interview, however, her tone, and at times her language, is hostile and accusatory.

(You can also watch it here.)

In her first question to Dermer, Burnett begins:

Look I know this is a day you have wanted for a very long time and I know it matters a lot to you. That is important. But, of course, the situation that we’re seeing now is crucial, the State Department warning of violence because of the move, leaders of countries throughout the region, across Europe, warning of violence, Palestinians calling for three days of rage. A crucial question for you tonight, Ambassador: are you willing to accept violence and the possible death of Israelis in exchange for getting what you have so long desired?

Burnett announces that Palestinians have called for “three days of rage” as though national leaders calling for violence is the most natural thing in the world. She doesn’t seem bothered by it, nor does she ask whether they should call for peaceful protests instead of “rage.” Instead, both her language and the accusatory tone directed at Ambassador Dermer imply that any violence that occurs is the fault of the government that the Ambassador represents. Similarly, her facial expressions during his response betrays her skepticism of anything he said.

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After Dermer responds, Burnett continues with her second question:

Two senior US White House officials are telling CNN that this decision has temporarily derailed the peace process. And as you know, Ambassador, the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas saying Trump’s announcement means the United States has completely withdrawn – completely withdrawn – its role in mediating the Middle East peace process.

Once again, Burnett’s accusatory tone suggests that the Palestinian reaction to the US President complying with US law is the fault of Ambassador Dermer and the government he represents.

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Ambassador Dermer, to his credit, ignored Burnett’s animus, and simply made the points he wanted to make. Burnett’s antipathy, however, is conveyed to viewers, who will come away from the segment with the subtle message that Israel, again, is to blame for the violence against it, and Israeli government officials are not to be trusted.

Posted by kabe at 11:42 AM |  Comments (1)

USA Today Cartoon Notes Palestinian Calls to Destroy Israel

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A USA Today cartoon, published on Dec. 8, 2017, detailed the response by many Palestinians to the United States recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. As the cartoon, entitled “Same old Palestinian response,” highlighted, not much has changed.

The illustration, by Nate Beeler, a syndicated cartoonist with The Columbus Dispatch, showed two “American textbooks,” each with a map of Israel. One “old American textbook” listed Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital and a “new American textbook” showed the capital city as "Jerusalem.”

Juxtaposed underneath these books were two “Palestinian textbooks,” one “old” and one “new.” Both remained unchanged despite the U.S. recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in a Dec. 6, 2017 announcement by President Donald Trump. Both said “Wipe Israel off the map!” Prior to the announcement, it was official U.S. policy to decline to "acknowledge any capital at all," as the President noted in his remarks.

As CAMERA highlighted in a Dec. 7, 2017 Times of Israel commentary, Palestinian leadership called for Israel’s destruction long before the U.S. acknowledged that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish state—a fact that many in the media coverage failed to note (“’Days of Rage’ and Bad Reporting”). And Palestinian textbooks have long shown maps that erase Israel.

With one cartoon, USA Today offered more insights than numerous media reports.

Posted by SD at 11:01 AM |  Comments (2)

December 05, 2017

The Hill Omits Turkey’s Support for Hamas

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

A Hill dispatch about Turkey threatening to cut ties with Israel, omitted key information about Ankara’s support for Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror group committed to the Jewish state’s destruction ("Turkey: Recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli Capital Would Be 'Red Line' for Muslims," Dec. 5, 2017).

Reporter Max Greenwood noted a Dec. 5, 2017 speech by Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, before his country’s parliament. Erdogan stated that a potential decision by the U.S. to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a “red line for Muslims.” The Turkish leader added: “We could go as far as cutting diplomatic ties with Israel over the issue.”

Yet, The Hill failed to inform readers that Erdogan—the leader of Turkey’s Islamist Justice and Development Party, also known as the AKP—has been a long-time supporter of Hamas, which routinely launches terror attacks against Israel.

Erdogan’s support for Hamas is well documented.

As Politico highlighted in an Aug. 16, 2016 article: “Turkey has worked with Islamist groups and supported militant organizations in the Middle East for years, according to the German government (“German government: Turkey supports terror groups in the Middle East").”

The German foreign ministry even issued an August 2016 statement, based on information from its Federal Intelligence Service, pointing out that “as a result of the gradually Islamized domestic and foreign policy of Ankara since 2011, Turkey has become the central platform for action for Islamist groups in the Middle East.” Hamas and Egyptian and Syrian Muslim Brotherhood groups were among those listed by the German diplomatic service.

Indeed, as CAMERA has noted, Turkey has supported “humanitarian agencies” with ties to Hamas. In February 2017, a man named Muhammad Murtaja, the Gaza coordinator for the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency, was arrested by the Israeli security agency, Shin Bet. Murtaja was accused of “funneling funds earmarked for humanitarian projects to Hamas,” according to a Jerusalem Post report.

Murtaja’s employer, the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency is a government-run agency that operates on five continents. The agency is a department of the Prime Minister of Turkey and is tasked with providing development assistance to select countries and regions.

Another Turkish “charity,” the IHH, “has a record of supporting terrorist groups” and “has close relations with Turkey’s AKP government,” per a study by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

Although relations between Ankara and Jerusalem have waxed and waned since the ascension of Erdogan and the AKP in 2003, Turkey’s support for Hamas has been a constant, according to Jonathan Schanzer, the Vice President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, and a former U.S. Treasury Department terror analyst ("Turkish Organizations Under Fire for Alleged Hamas Support," FDD Policy Brief, March 22, 2017).

On several occasions, Hamas has even thanked Erdogan for his support. In a June 28, 2016 statement posted on its official website, Hamas “expressed its deep appreciation of Turkish official and popular efforts” to bolster the group’s propaganda efforts against Israel.

Such expressions of gratitude shouldn’t go unmentioned.

Posted by SD at 02:24 PM |  Comments (0)

December 04, 2017

Palestinian Textbooks Are ‘Significantly More Radical’ Than Before


The hatred taught in Palestinian schools is only increasing, according to an Algemeiner article by correspondent Shiri Moshe (“Report: New Palestinian Curriculum Praises ‘Martyrdom,’ Significantly ‘More Radical’ Than Before,” Dec. 3, 2017). Moshe highlighted a recent study by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), which found that Palestinian textbooks “groom young Palestinians to sacrifice themselves to martyrdom,” promote the idea of a mass “return” to Israel and “feature a radical Islamist, and occasionally, a Salafi worldview.”

The report noted that—as with previous Palestinian textbooks—the newer ones include maps that erase Israel, depicting all of the land as “Palestinian.”

Anti-Jewish violence is also encouraged in the curriculum. A fifth grade language textbook defined “martyrdom” and “jihad” as “the most important meanings of life.” The book even extolled the benefits of becoming a “martyr,” claiming that those who commit terror attacks teach “people that drinking the cup of bitterness with glory is much sweeter than a pleasant long life accompanied by humiliation.” It also proudly admitted that in Palestinian society, such attackers are honored:

“We give their names to our children; we put their names on our streets and squares and the cultural places.”

This hateful indoctrination starts early. Moshe noted that a third grade textbook included a poem calling to “sacrifice my blood” in order to “eliminate the usurper from my country.” In keeping with this theme—that Jewish people, indeed that non-Muslim people have no right to the land—some textbooks even categorize Palestinian figures like Dalal Mughrabi and Yasser Arafat, as “heroes,” along with figures like Tariq ibn Ziyad, an 8th century Berber general who helped conquer Spain.

History is not the only field to be contaminated with Palestinian Authority (PA)-sanctioned perversion.

Moshe detailed that IMPACT-se found a seventh grade science textbook that “teaches Newton’s Second Law through a cartoon depicting a Palestinian youth with a slingshot facing off against armed Israeli soldiers.” Similarly, fourth graders learning math are instructed to perform calculations using “martyrs.”

IMPACT-se presented their report in meetings with representatives from the European Union (EU) and major European donors to the PA, such as Belgium, Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom. The Joint Financial Agreement, a pooled funding system that supplies half of the budget for the PA’s Ministry of Education, funds the curriculum. That agreement is currently co-chaired by Belgium which, the Algemeiner noted, halted future construction on two Palestinian schools in November 2017 after it was revealed that a PA school would be named after Mughrabi, a terrorist who murdered 38 Israelis—13 of them children—during the 1978 Coastal Road massacre.

In other words, Palestinian schoolchildren would be taught in a school named after a child-murdering terrorist. As CAMERA has highlighted, numerous sports teams, streets, and even stores—or what the textbook refers to as Palestinian “cultural places”—are named after Mughrabi and/or are adorned with her likeness (see, for example "Missing the Palestinian after-terror after party," The Washington Examiner, July 6, 2016).

Continue reading " Palestinian Textbooks Are ‘Significantly More Radical’ Than Before"

Posted by SD at 01:54 PM |  Comments (0)

Fatah Official: Iran is Hindering Palestinian Reconciliation

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Top Hamas operatives Yahya Sinwar and Ismail Haniyeh

The man tasked with leading efforts to reconcile Fatah and Hamas has accused the Islamic Republic of Iran of working to prevent reconciliation between the two Palestinian groups, which rule the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the Gaza Strip, respectively.

Fatah and Hamas are rivals for power. They engaged in a brief and bloody civil war in the summer of 2007, after Fatah lost elections in 2006. That conflict ended with Hamas seizing control of the Gaza Strip, which had previously been run by Fatah, the movement that dominates both the U.S.-supported Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

As CAMERA has noted, Hamas and Fatah have been in reconciliation talks for nearly four months ("The Washington Post Belatedly Covers Hamas-Fatah Talks," Oct. 6, 2017).

On Nov. 27, 2017, a senior Fatah official named Azzam al-Ahmad told al-Arabiya, a Saudi Arabian outlet, that, “Iran is the number one sponsor of the division…the number one financier.” The Times of Israel’s Dov Lieber noted the significance of al-Ahamd’s comments, calling them “rare” and “full-throated (“Senior Fatah Official: Iran the key source of Palestinian division,” November 28).”

Tehran is a chief supporter of Hamas and other groups that rival Fatah, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Both Hamas and PIJ challenged Fatah’s support for diplomatic engagement with Israel during the 1990s Oslo process that created the PA. Both groups, as well as Fatah elements like Tanzim—which was supported by then-Fatah and PLO-head Yasser Arafat—perpetrated terrorist attacks against Israelis.

Iran’s support for Hamas dried up as a result of a disagreement over Tehran’s involvement in the Syrian civil war. However, Iran recently renewed its support of the U.S.-designated terrorist group and, in a widely underreported move, senior Hamas operative Saleh al-Arouri visited Iran in late October 2017 (“Where’s the Coverage? Hamas Visits Iran,” CAMERA, Oct. 27, 2017).

Indeed, in an August 2017 interview, Hamas’ Gaza chief, Yahya Sinwar, admitted that Iran is now “the largest backer financially and militarily” of the terror group.

In his interview with al-Arabiya, Al-Ahmad stated, “It seems that one of the conditions for the return of Iranian support [to Hamas] is the continuation of the division.” As part of the ongoing talks, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that the authority be in sole control of all weapons and security in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has refused to give up its arsenal.

Azzam al-Ahmad’s remarks were widely ignored by major U.S. news outlets, including The Washington Post, USA Today, The Washington Times, and others. By contrast, The Times of Israel provided a detailed report, complete with essential background and context.

A Palestinian official highlighted Iran’s efforts to thwart a “unity deal” between two rival and warring factions and many in the media were nowhere to be found.

Posted by SD at 11:02 AM |  Comments (0)

December 01, 2017

Israeli Peace Offers Go Missing in Politico

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A Politico report about the Trump administration possibly moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, omitted the numerous instances of Palestinian leadership rejecting a Palestinian state if it meant peacefully co-existing with a Jewish one (“Trump inches toward moving U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem,” Nov. 20, 2017).

The article, by reporters Andrew Rusticcia and Eliana Johnson, claimed that moving the U.S. Embassy “could derail Trump’s attempts to restart peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians.” Politico reported that Jordan’s King Adbullah II has told administration officials that such a move “could derail efforts to reach a peace agreement in the region,” and some administration officials have claimed it could “heighten tensions in the region.”

However, Politico failed to inform readers that Palestinians have refused opportunities for statehood on numerous occasions, including 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba and 2008 after the Annapolis Conference.

As CAMERA has detailed, the 2008 offer included 93% of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and a Palestinian state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem. Not only did Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas reject this proposal, he failed to either make a counteroffer or to call Israeli and American negotiators back.

Politico also stated that some Trump administration officials are worried that an embassy move could “heighten tensions in the region.” Yet, as CAMERA’s Senior Research Analyst Steve Stotsky has pointed out, Palestinian terrorism increased after the establishment of the PA and peace talks as part of the Oslo process during the 1990s (“The Straight Facts about the Palestinian Authority and Fighting Terrorism,” Oct. 25, 2012).

In 1995, the U.S. Congress passed a law mandating that the U.S. Embassy be moved to Jerusalem, in keeping with the custom of maintaining embassies in a nation’s capitol. Yet, as Politico noted, U.S. presidents have overridden that law by continually signing a six-month waiver keeping the embassy in Tel Aviv. The publication did not note, however, that failing to move the embassy didn’t stop endemic Palestinian anti-Jewish violence, including during the Second Intifada, in which more than 1,000 Israelis—most of them civilians—were murdered (“Jimmy Carter’s Second Draft,” CAMERA, March 3, 2009).

History is clear: Palestinian leadership has rejected opportunities for peace and statehood while supporting terrorism. And they’ve done so without the U.S. moving an embassy to Jerusalem, as mandated by law.

Posted by SD at 03:00 PM |  Comments (0)

November 28, 2017

International Business Times Peddles Fake News About Mossad's Gal Gadot

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A screen shot from Lebanon's Al Liwaa, which had erroneously used Gal Gadot's photograph to illustrate a story on alleged Mossad agent Collette Vianfi. Al Liwaa apologized, but The International Business Times lags far behind (Image via Times of Israel)

Update: After communication from CAMERA staff, the International Business Times corrected its article and added a notice explaining that the story "has been updated to reflect that Al Liwaa apologized for using Gal Gadot’s photo to illustrate a story about an alleged Mossad agent."

Starring as "Wonder Woman," Israel's Gal Gadot has grossed more than any other super-hero origin film, capturing the imagination of untold numbers of fans. She has also captured the imagination of an International Business Times reporter, who, based on an embarrassing photographic error on the part of a Lebanese newspaper, spun her own fantasy tale about the Israeli actress.

Leaving the facts behind, Lauren Dubois wrote yesterday ("Lebanese Newspaper Claims To Reveal Gal Gadot’s Alleged Alternate Identity As Mossad Agent"):


However, at least according to a Lebanese newspaper, Israeli actress Gal Gadot also has another secret identity—as a Mossad agent.

The paper, a daily known as Al Liwaa, published an image of Gadot on their front page Monday, claiming in an unsubstantiated report (via The Times of Israel), that she was actually Collette Vianfi, an agent from Israel’s international spy agency who was allegedly recruited to work with Lebanese actor and playwright Ziad Itani, who was arrested on Friday on charges of “collaborating” with Israel and gathering information about political figures.

The report included an image of Gadot from 2011’s “Fast Five” movie, and the report allegedly claimed the photo of her had “circulated” on social media, and hours before the report was published, the image had been shared online with some claiming that Gadot was Vianfi, who was reportedly meant to visit Itani in Beirut this week, before canceling the trip after his arrest.

But Al Liwaa never claimed that Gal Gadot was an Israeli agent or that her alter ego is someone called Collette Vianfi. Rather, it accidentally used a picture of Gadot to illustrate a story covering purported Israeli agent Vianfi. As The Arab News reports:

Israeli ‘Wonder Woman’ star Gal Gadot was pictured as a Mossad agent on the front page of a Lebanese newspaper yesterday.

Beirut-based Al Liwaa newspaper used a picture of the actress to illustrate a story about Colette Vianfi, an alleged Israeli Mossad officer accused of recruiting Lebanese comedian and playwright Ziad Itani as a spy.

A senior newspaper executive described the incident as “embarrassing” in a telephone interview with Arab News.

Tareq Damlaj, one of the managing editors at the newspaper, said: “People were spreading the photo of actress Gal Gadot on social media, especially through WhatsApp, believing it was a photo of the Israeli officer.

“But after receiving a phone call today from cinema enthusiasts, and not security services, we learned this was the photo of an Israeli actress.”

Furthermore, an editor's note yesterday on the very Times of Israel story to which Dubois linked spelled out that the Lebanese paper didn't accuse Gadot of being a spy, but rather misused her photograph ("Lebanese paper uses photo of Gal Gadot for tale of 'Mossad agent,' apologizes").

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Meanwhile, not only does The International Business Times falsely claim that Lebanon's Al Liwaa supposedly accused Gadot of being a Mossad agent, it also egregiously fails to inform readers that the paper has already apologized about the "embarrassing" misuse of Gadot's picture. Al Liwaa apologized. Will The International Business Times?

Posted by TS at 07:29 AM |  Comments (0)

November 27, 2017

Official Palestinian Media: U.S. and Israel Are Responsible for ISIS Attack

PA President Mahmoud Abbas

An Op-Ed in Al-Hayat al-Jadida, an official Palestinian Authority (PA) daily newspaper, blamed the United States and Israel for a Nov. 24, 2017 terrorist attack in which 305 Muslim worshippers were murdered in Sinai, Egypt by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

A report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), an organization that monitors Arab media in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), the Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem, highlighted the Al-Hayat al-Jadida Nov. 26, 2017 commentary by Palestinian Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul.

PMW noted that Al-Ghoul claimed that the U.S. and Israel are worried about a strong Egypt, and therefore used “pawns” to carry out an attack to “weaken” the Egyptian state. It was, the commentator claimed, part of “an American-Israeli decision—which is being implemented by their pawns…to continue weakening Egypt, at least, particularly because the main goal of their plan is to tear unified Egypt into small and scattered states.”

This is not the first time that official Palestinian media has conspiratorially claimed that ISIS—an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)—was created by the U.S. and the Jewish state.

As PMW pointed out: An Oct. 17, 2017 Al-Hayat al-Jadida report pushed allegations by Palestine Liberation Organization political bureau member Muhammad Al-Soudi that “the Zionist enemy” was responsible for an ISIS terror attack that month, in which six Egyptian soldiers were murdered.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida is “the Palestinian Authority’s daily newspaper” and its “work parallels the official line of the government of Mahmoud Abbas and his political party, Fatah,” according to a Nov. 4, 2015 Washington Post dispatch.

That same Post article detailed an Al-Hayat al-Jadida cartoonist, Mohammad Sabaaneh, whose work promotes anti-Jewish violence. The Post—while citing PMW evidence—nonetheless minimized the incitement as merely “claims” by “Israeli media watchdogs (“Meet the Palestinian Cartoonist Israelis Accuse of Incitement”).

Posted by SD at 05:40 PM |  Comments (0)

The Washington Post’s Hollywood Approach to History


A Nov. 22, 2017 Washington Post article, “How the Netflix action series ‘Fauda’ shows the human side to the Israeli conflict,” gave a distorted look at the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Tellingly, the headline omits the party—Palestinian Arabs—responsible for that conflicts’ continuation. As CAMERA has frequently noted, Palestinian leadership has rejected U.S. and Israeli offers for statehood in exchange for peace with the Jewish state in 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba and 2008 after the Annapolis Conference, among other instances.

The Post’s dispatch, from the Jerusalem bureau’s Ruth Eglash, highlighted the popular TV show Fauda, which is about an elite undercover Israeli unit and their fight against Palestinian terrorists. The Post, however, described its “main subject matter” as “a decades-old intractable conflict and military occupation that has brought myriad wars and deaths, and eluded a succession of U.S. Presidents who have sought peace.”

Yet, the Arab-Israeli conflict is far more than “decades-old.” It did not begin, as this description implied, with Israel’s obligatory “military occupation” of disputed territories, which itself only ensued after the Arab states launched an unsuccessful war against the Jewish state in 1967. The Arab states, aided by Palestinian Arab “irregulars,” waged wars against Israel in the decades before 1967—including during the country’s 1948 War of Independence.

Indeed, as CAMERA has noted, the history of organized and endemic anti-Jewish violence in pre-state Israel is extensive and goes back at least a century—not “decades” (see, for example Anti-Jewish Violence in Pre-State Palestine,” Aug. 23, 2009).

The Post also quoted Avi Issacharoff, an adviser to the show and “a prominent journalist” who “said it was important…to show Israelis that the Palestinians are real people.” Issacharoff then stated: “It is very convenient for Israelis to ignore Palestinians.” Building on this, the paper editorialized, claiming: “Most see little of the Palestinians except through the lens of the military.”

That Palestinian media routinely shows distorting—and frequently antisemitic—depictions of Israelis goes unmentioned by The Post. As Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), an organization that monitors Arab media in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), the Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem, has highlighted, official Palestinian media often depicts Israelis as the “sons of apes and pigs” and has stated that murdering Israelis makes “gardens bloom,” among other incitements to anti-Jewish violence.

Indeed, many Palestinians “see little” of Israelis because it is illegal to sell—or to even rent—land to a Jew in areas that are controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Per policy, those areas are largely Judenrein. This was one of the first laws passed by the Palestinian Authority. By contrast, Arabs sit on Israel’s Supreme Court, hold high-ranking government positions, and have their own political party.

Further, it is The Washington Post that often ignores Palestinian politics and culture. As CAMERA pointed out in a June 22, 2017 Algemeiner Op-Ed, The Post seems incapable of reporting on the Palestinians unless the stories can somehow be connected to Israel (“For Palestinians, It’s Lights Out at The Washington Post”).

For example, in February 2017, Mahmoud al-Aloul—an unrepentant terrorist nicknamed Abu Jihad—was appointed to be a possible successor to the octogenarian head of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas. Nearly a year later, The Washington Post has yet to note his appointment, as CAMERA pointed out in a Washington Jewish Week Op-Ed (“The Media and the Missing Abu Jihad,” Oct. 4, 2017). Similarly, The Post only briefly—and belatedly—reported on the recent reconciliation attempt by Abbas’ Fatah movement and Hamas, the U.S.-designated terror group that rules the Gaza Strip (“The Washington Post Belatedly Covers Hamas-Fatah Talks,” Oct. 6, 2017).

That is: If people are uninformed about Palestinians and/or the Arab-Israeli conflict, The Washington Post is partly to blame.

Posted by SD at 01:31 PM |  Comments (2)

November 22, 2017

Duke University Press Criticized for Publication of Jasbir Puar’s “Right to Maim”

Jasbir Puar is the Rutgers University professor who first coined the term “pinkwashing” to denigrate Israel’s progressive record on LGBTQ rights, and who made the baseless claim at a 2016 lecture at Vassar College that Israel harvests organs from the bodies of dead Palestinians, a modern day blood libel.

Despite being called a “raving crackpot” by the editorial board of the liberal-leaning New York Daily News, Puar has a new book out this month from Duke University Press. The book has generated a firestorm of controversy for the publisher as well as for Duke and Rutgers.

In an Op-Ed published in the Durham, North Carolina paper the Herald-Sun, Peter Reitzes writes,

In “The Right to Maim,” Puar continues what appear to be thinly veiled comparisons of Israelis to Nazis. Puar wonders if Gaza is “not a death camp but a debilitation camp,” asks, “Is Gaza an experimental lab for the production, maintenance, and profitability of biopolitical debilitation?” and states, “The understanding of maiming as a specific aim of biopolitics tests the framing of settler colonialism as a project of elimination of the indigenous through either genocide or assimilation.”

Poor scholarship – what one historian called “academic garbage” – plagues “The Right to Maim.” For example, Puar quotes a professor of psychiatry from Al Jazeera America (not from a peer reviewed study) saying, “Palestinian children in Gaza are exposed to more violence in their lifetime than any other people, any other children, anywhere in the world.” Puar attempts to support this allegation by citing the study, “Effect of Trauma on the Mental Health of Palestinian Children and Mothers in the Gaza Strip” published in the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal. I took the time to obtain and read this study and was surprised to see that it appears to conclude the opposite: “Compared to other types of conflict in war zones, events [in Gaza] were not as acute,” it reports, and “The most common type of traumatic event was seeing victims’ pictures on television.”

Why would DUP publish a book like Puar’s with such poor scholarship and obvious anti-Semitic overtones? Why, in fact, has DUP brought Puar aboard as an editor?

Perhaps the problem lies within bias in DUP’s own staff and policies. …

[T]here are a large number of personnel involved with DUP who appear to selectively attack Israel and advocate for positions that delegitimize, demonize, and utilize double standards against Israel. Does DUP staff treat other countries in this manner, or is it just Israel, the only Jewish majority country in the world, which receives such treatment?

Moreover, Asaf Romirowsky, Executive Director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, has told the Duke Chronicle that he “considered the book's thesis of ‘maiming individuals in order to dehumanize’ a ‘total fallacy.’… Romirowsky added that in conflict areas, violence exists on both sides, but Israel abides by rules of engagement.”

For a certain segment of the population, there is simply no right way that Israel can defend itself from attack. Unfortunately, such individuals are increasingly finding comfortable homes in academia.

Posted by kabe at 04:18 PM |  Comments (1)

CAMERA Featured Letter-Writer

A recent review of Reem's Bakery in the New York Times' travel section referred to convicted terrorist Rasmeah Odeh, featured in a mural on the bakery's wall, as an "activist," and failed to provide any information about Odeh's crimes.

The Times subsequently appended an Editors' Note acknowledging that the story had "lacked context," and added to the review, "In 1970, Ms. Odeh was convicted by Israeli courts for her role in the murder of two students. In 2014, she was convicted of immigration fraud in U.S. federal court and deported to Jordan in 2017." However, the paper continued to refer to her as an "activist," and refused to run a correction in the print edition.

Letter-writer Sara Miller wrote to the paper:

Editor: Thank you for adding the information that Rasmeah Odeh is a convicted terrorist. However, it doesn't ever make sense to call someone who targeted and killed civilians an "activist." Would you call anyone who targeted civilians in another country "a controversial activist"? Shouldn't you reserve the term "activist" for people like me, who contact you repeatedly with (surely annoying) letters but would never hurt anyone?

You should also run an editor's note in this Sunday's paper to make your addition/correction clear. The note should clearly state that Odeh was convicted of murdering two students and trying to kill other civilians, that she was a member of PFLP, and that she was deported from the U.S. for lying about her record. A lot of people may not realize that you added the information to the article about her terrorism, so it should be clearly stated that you did.

Thank you.

Sara Miller

Posted by kabe at 12:28 PM |  Comments (0)

November 20, 2017

NBC's Anachronism: Israel's 'Ongoing Occupation' of Gaza

Nov. 21 Update: NBC Corrects About 'Ongoing Occupation' of Gaza

NBC's Vivian Salama seems to be stuck some dozen years in the past. In her Nov. 15 news story ("'An open secret': Saudi Arabia and Israel get cozy"), she writes:

An Israeli-Saudi alliance would also be vastly unpopular on the Arab street given the ongoing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. (Emphasis added.)

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In 2005, Israel withdrew every last one of its citizens, both living and dead (having exhumed remains from the cemeteries), as well as all of its soldiers, from the Gaza Strip in 2005, ending its occupation of the territory.

Following the 2005 withdrawal, then Secretary of State Rice said in a May 1, 2006 briefing:

And in fact, the Israelis do not any longer occupy Gaza; it is Palestinian territory. And that is in no small part thanks to the tireless efforts of Jim Wolfensohn, who worked day and night to make certain that that could happen. (Emphasis added).

While the United Nations and Human Rights Watch regard Gaza as still occupied, Hamas' Mahmoud Zahar disagrees, stating in 2012: "Against whom could we demonstrate in the Gaza Strip? When Gaza was occupied, that model was applicable."

In addition, a number of legal scholars disagree with the NGO position that Gaza is still occupied.

Indeed, after similarly stating that Gaza is occupied, The Los Angeles Times last year commendably published the following correction, the paper's second correction on this topic:

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In addition, last month The Evening Standard also corrected this point.

CAMERA has contacted NBC to request a correction.

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Posted by TS at 03:21 AM |  Comments (0)

November 17, 2017

Where’s the Coverage? Israel Offered to Help Iranian and Iraqi Earthquake Victims


An Israeli offer to assist Iranian and Iraqi earthquake victims was “immediately rebutted” by Baghdad and Tehran—and widely ignored by major U.S. news outlets.

As The Times of Israel reported on Nov. 14, 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of North American Jewish leaders that “Israel had offered the aid via the Red Cross, following Sunday’s magnitude 7.3 quake that killed at least 530 people in Iran and several people in Iraq, and injured thousands across the region (“Israel offers quake help to Iran, Iraq, but immediately turned down”).”

Netanyahu said that he saw “heartbreaking images of men and women and children buried under the rubble,” prompting him to offer assistance to two countries that fail to recognize the Jewish state.

As CAMERA and others have noted, Iran routinely calls for Israel’s destruction and supports terrorist groups, such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) that wage war against it. Yet, the Israeli Prime Minister said: “We have no quarrel with the people of Iran. Our quarrel is only with the tyrannical regime that holds them hostage and threatens our destruction. But our humanity is greater than their hatred.”

Despite the devastation of the earthquake, both Iran and Iraq refused the aid, leading an official from Netanyahu’s office to note: “This shows the true face of the Iranian regime.”

While Iran and Iraq rejected the offer, the media rejected coverage.

Many major U.S. news outlets, including The Washington Post, USA Today and The Baltimore Sun, failed to provide a detailed report on Israel’s offer. The Post did, however, republish a November 14 Associated Press brief that noted Israel’s offer—but not the subsequent rejection.

The Post’s failure to offer readers an original report on the subject is striking. As CAMERA has pointed out, the paper has reported on Chinese tourists purportedly being overcharged at an Israeli restaurant, among other comparably frivolous stories.

Posted by SD at 09:21 AM |  Comments (0)

November 16, 2017

Tucker Carlson Allows Max Blumenthal’s Anti-Israel Comments to Slide

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This past Tuesday, on his Fox News television show Tucker Carlson Tonight, host Tucker Carlson interviewed Max Blumenthal about the Russian government-funded cable network RT and the Trump administration’s attempt to have that station register as a foreign agent. For those familiar with Blumenthal and his anti-Israel vitriol, there was nothing surprising in what he said. What was surprising, though, was that Carlson let Blumenthal’s false and toxic allegations go unchallenged.

Responding to Carlson’s question about why some journalists seem unconcerned about the administration’s request, Blumenthal asserted that he enjoys his appearances on RT because “they let me talk about, for example, what the real sources of foreign influence are in this town, including the Israel lobby, and organizations like AIPAC, which have been promoting a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza strip, war on Lebanon, war on Iran, and which is not required for some reason to register as a foreign agent, and I don't know why that is.”

Of course, AIPAC does not promote any of these things, and the reason it is not required to register as a foreign agent is that its leadership and members are U.S. citizens, and it doesn’t take money or direction from foreign governments. Similar claims about an all-powerful “Israel lobby” have been debunked many times over. Carlson, however, did not challenge any of these assertions. After a few more softball questions, he simply replied, “Max, thank you, appreciate that analysis.”

This was not the first time that Max Blumenthal (who is the son of Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal) has appeared on Carlson’s show. After Blumenthal’s July appearance, several conservative commentators criticized Carlson’s decision to host him. Yet, this week, Carlson brought Blumenthal back.

Carlson might not have been so appreciative of Blumenthal’s comments if he were more familiar with his guest’s shaky track record. CAMERA has documented Blumenthal’s falsehoods going back years. As we’ve written before, “Max Blumenthal has demonstrated a willingness to spread fabricated, distorted, and disavowed quotes.” The Simon Wiesenthal Center included his book Goliath in its list of “Top Ten 2013 Anti-Semitic, Anti-Israel Slurs.” One German newspaper even referred to Blumenthal and compatriot David Sheen as “lunatic Israel-haters” after they pursued a German politician into a bathroom.

Carlson frequently brings guests of various political persuasions to his program. He is known, however, for challenging them when he disagrees. In this case, Carlson invited onto his show a guest who is known for slandering Israel, but he was unprepared to dispute him and instead allowed his baseless comments to stand.

Posted by kabe at 01:19 PM |  Comments (3)

November 14, 2017

Anti-Israel NGO Admits: Palestinian Children Commit Terror for ‘Status’

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A PFLP operative

The program director for Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), a Palestinian NGO, admitted in an interview that Palestinian minors commit terror attacks to enhance their societal status. The admission contradicts DCI-P’s propaganda, which is often disseminated by an uncritical press.

Ayed Abu Qteish, DCI-P’s accountability program director, acknowledged as much in an Oct. 11, 2017 interview on the show Personal Encounter, which is broadcast on official Palestinian Authority (PA) TV. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a non-profit organization that monitors Arab media in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), the Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem, translated Qteish’s remarks:

“There are children who, when they were in prison, told the lawyer: ‘I want to be imprisoned.’ The first time [the child] was imprisoned, he didn’t confess, and they released him because there was no evidence to convict him in the Israeli military court. The second time, there was no evidence either. The third time, he wanted to be imprisoned so that his image wont be hurt in the eyes of his friends, even though he is actually innocent…In several cases [Palestinian children] carried out stabbing operations because of the way the public looks at them. They realized ‘the best way to clear myself of this image [of helping Israel] is to participate in the resistance operations [emphasis added].’”

As CAMERA has noted, “resistance operations” is a euphemism for committing terrorist attacks.

PMW pointed out that DCI-P “has unjustifiably been accusing Israel of breaching the rights of Palestinian minors who are arrested on suspicion of committing terror attacks.” PMW noted that Oteish’s admission is significant because “in stark contrast to the claims of DCI-P in its campaign, it demonstrates that when Palestinian minors are arrested but the investigation ends without finding sufficient evidence, the suspect is released.” Put simply: Oteish’s interview highlights the hollowness of DCI-P’s claims.

According to NGO Monitor, an organization that monitors non-governmental groups that are active in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, DCI-P supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS), which seeks to delegitimize Israel and calls for its ends as a Jewish state.

DCI-P also has ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S.-designated terrorist group. In its report on the non-profit, NGO Monitor noted that Shawan Jabarin, “an alleged PFLP activist” was a member of DCI-P’s board, as were alleged PFLP affiliates Nassar Ibrahim and Dr. Majed Nasser. The board’s secretary Fatima Daana is the widow of Raed Nazzal, the former commander of PFLP’s Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades. One DCI-P employee, Hashem Abu Maria, was celebrated by the PFLP as a “commander” after his death in 2014.

Yet, as CAMERA highlighted in a June 15, 2016 Washington Jewish Week Op-Ed, the media and policymakers frequently omit DCI-P’s anti-Israel agenda and links to the PFLP (“The Greatest Threat to Palestinian Arab Youth”). The New York Times, The Hill, and others have all broadcast DCI-P’s claims, but failed to provide essential background about the organization and its aims.

Posted by SD at 11:00 AM |  Comments (1)

November 13, 2017

The Washington Post’s Selective Language on Israel


The Washington Post often displays two standards of language in its international coverage: one for Israel and another for the rest of the world.

Take, for example, the paper’s use of the term “terrorist.” Post reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict shows an aversion to the word, with the less descriptive “militant” often being a preferred substitute. An Oct. 30, 2017 report “Seven Palestinian militants killed as Israel blows up tunnel from Gaza,” is but one of many examples.

When he was The Post’s Jerusalem bureau chief, William Booth almost exclusively relied on the term “militant” to describe members of U.S.-designated terrorist groups, such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), among others who target Israel (see, for example “While Israel held its fire, the militant group Hamas did not,” July 15, 2014). By contrast, the paper’s reporters hardly—if ever—used the term “terrorist” to describe those perpetrating and planning terror against the Jewish state.

Now chief of the paper’s London bureau, Booth has reported on terrorist attacks by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Europe (see, for example “Barcelona suspect says terrorist cell planned to bomb monuments in city,” Aug. 22, 2017). And now, he uses the more precise “terrorist” instead of “militant.” Yet, both ISIS and Hamas, to name two examples, are U.S.-designated terrorist groups who commit terror attacks; it’s unclear what difference there is beyond the fact that one is primarily engaged in the realm of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Post exhibits similar selectivity elsewhere. For example, the paper has referred to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the Gaza Strip as “Palestinian territories (for example, see “A daily commute through Israel’s checkpoints,” May 29, 2017).” Yet, as CAMERA has informed Post staff—and as the paper acknowledged in a Sept. 5, 2014 correction that it disregards at will—“the status of the territories is disputed and no Palestinian state has ever existed.” Nonetheless, the paper has shown a proclivity for, at times, inaccurately labeling the territories as “Palestinian” instead of “disputed.” It has even defended doing so on the grounds that while it might not be accurate, its use is frequent (“The Washington Post: We Print ‘Commonly Used’ Falsehoods,” CAMERA, June 12, 2017).

By contrast, the paper has no compunction using the term “disputed”—or a variant—when talking about other conflicts. In one recent example, the paper reported on Iranian-supported Iraqi forces seizing “contested areas” in what was then Kurdish-held Kirkuk (“Iraqi leader’s acclaim grows after retaking of Kirkuk,” Oct. 26, 2017). Elsewhere, the article referred to areas—which once belonged to Iraq but were declared in a Sept. 25, 2017 Kurdish referendum to be part of Kurdistan—as “disputed territory.”

The Washington Post, along with other major news media, has also shown a selective use of adjectives when it comes to Israel. As CAMERA has noted, the paper has a recurrent practice of describing countries larger than Israel, such as Georgia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, among others, as “tiny” but virtually never highlights the Jewish state’s size and population. If unintentionally, this minimizes the threats that Israel faces from much larger, and often hostile, countries.

“The aim of language,” the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once observed, is to “reveal the situation…[to] reveal it to myself and to others in order to change it.” When it comes to its coverage of Israel, the language used by The Washington Post is revealing indeed.

Posted by SD at 12:46 PM |  Comments (0)

New York Times Whitewashes Convicted Bomber as 'Controversial Activist'

Cross posted with updates here

Days after a New York Times arts piece about the Louvre Abu Dhabi covered up an official Emirati ban on Israeli symbols at the international Grand Slam judo tournament last month, the paper of record this week published a travel article which whitewashes convicted bomber Rasmeah Odeh as a "controversial Palestinian activist."

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The Nov. 11 "Bites" New York Times food review is all about love, community organizing and social justice ("An Arab Bakery in Oalkland Full of California Love"). Rebecca Flint Marx writes:

Reem’s is one of a handful of Arab bakeries in the Bay Area — but it is likely the only one where you’ll find the children’s book “A Is for Activist” on the shelves and an enormous mural of the controversial Palestinian activist Rasmeah Odeh on the wall.

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But there is not a word about the source of Odeh's "controversy," as The Times delicately puts it. As The New York Times itself reported May 27, 2017, Odeh "was convicted in Israel of playing a role in the bombing of a supermarket that killed two civilians in 1969."

Odeh was convicted of perpetrating the bombing in which Hebrew University students Leon "Arie" Kanner, 21, and Edward Joffe, 22, were murdered. That makes her a convicted terrorist, not an "activist."

The Associated Press reported that this past September, Odeh

was deported from the United States for concealing a decades-old bombing conviction arrived in Jordan on Wednesday. . . .

Odeh didn't disclose her criminal record when applying for a U.S. visa and later for U.S. citizenship.

The depiction of a convicted bomber responsible for the killing of two civilians who was deported from the U.S. after she concealed her criminal records from authorities as a "controversial Palestinian activist" is a complete whitewash of her crime.

At the end of the article, Flint Marx dances around Odeh's conviction, still withholding the key information from readers:

While Ms. Assil's food has drawn plenty of praise, the bakery's mural has invited criticism: in late June, an online op-ed charged that Mrs. Odeh's portrayal glorified terrorism, and the bakery's Yelp page was besieged by a slew of one-star reviews. "It was really scary," Ms. Assil said of the experience, but added that it won her new allies.

By concealing Odeh's crimes and her victims, readers would have no way of knowing the reason why some might accuse restaurant owner Reem Assil of glorifying terrorism. Uninformed readers might conclude that Assil's accusers were motivated by nothing more than bigotry at worst or differing politics at best. Ignoring the real victims in this story -- Kanner and Joffe -- Flint Marx casts the purportedly social minded, loving Assil as the victim who was really scared.

In September National Geographic removed a similarly misleading mischaracterization, identifying notorious hijacker Leila Khaled as a "Palestinian activist." Khaled, like Odeh, was affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – a group designated as a terror organization by the European Union and the United States, as well as Israel and Canada.

CAMERA has contacted The Times to ask for a clarification noting that Odeh was convicted in Israel of two bombings, including one that took the life of two university students, and that she was deported from the United States for concealing her criminal record.

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Posted by TS at 03:09 AM |  Comments (1)