July 26, 2017

Israel Dismantles Security Measures, But Palestinian Leaders Continue to Encourage Riots


Perhaps Palestinian President Abbas did not believe that Israel would so quickly back down from its newly implemented security measures for the Temple Mount following the murders of Israeli security guards near there. Perhaps he didn't think the metal detectors and cameras would be dismantled so quickly. After all, the perpetrators of the July 14th attack came directly from the Temple Mount with weapons they had smuggled there that same morning. And it is not as if metal detectors and security cameras are not routinely used everywhere -- from airports to religious sites -- to avoid such attacks. Visitors to the Western Wall pass through metal detectors, as do visitors to Mecca.

But this was simply another pretext for Abbas and his Fatah party to once again sound their battle cry "Defend Al Aqsa", as they've done before and as did their predecessors before them -- to great effect. Their calls for violent jihad on the basis of the bogus allegation that Jews are trying to destroy or take over Muslim holy sites has resulted in the murders and maiming of hundreds of Israelis, Jews and foreign visitors.

The last time Abbas used this pretext, calling on Muslims to defend their holy sites from Jews who would "defile" the site with "their filthy feet", the result was a wave of violence that included stabbings, car rammings and shootings, in which dozens of innocents were killed and hundreds more wounded. Thus, the installation of metal detectors provided a new excuse to re-invigorate anti-Israel violence. But after just a week of riling up the masses with calls to defend Muslim holy sites (a week in which three people at a Shabbat meal were slaughtered in a bloody terror attack inspired by the incitement), Abbas and his cohorts are not yet ready to stop, never mind the offending metal detectors and cameras having been removed. So they continue to accuse Israel of taking steps to change the status quo and Abbas, as well as Hamas, are calling for a "Day of Rage" (violent riots) on Friday. Palestinian Media Watch reports on Abbas' encouragement to anti-Israel rioters, published in today's official PA daily:

You have objected to all of the [Israeli] steps, and we have supported you in what you have done and what you are doing. We are with you in everything that you have done and are still doing, as you are causing us pride, and you are taking care of your Al-Aqsa Mosque, your land, your dignity, your people, your religion, and your holy sites. This is the response to everyone who wants to harm our holy sites. Jerusalem is ours. It is our capital and it is [under] our sovereignty, and therefore what you [Palestinians] are doing is right.'

Posted by RH at 02:44 PM |  Comments (0)

July 18, 2017

Former Peace Negotiator Acknowledges Mistakes

Aaron David Miller

A former American Arab-Israeli peace negotiator, Aaron David Miller, acknowledged that the U.S. “overlooked” negative Palestinian behavior in its attempts to fashion a two-state solution. Miller, a former U.S. State Department employee and long-time author and commentator on the Middle East, made his remarks at a July 11, 2017 book launch at the Washington D.C.-based think tank, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD).

The event, attended by the press, policymakers and CAMERA, featured Miller, as well as FDD analyst Grant Rumley and Ha’aretz contributor Amir Tabon, both of whom were promoting their recent book The Last Palestinian: The Rise and Reign of Mahmoud Abbas.

Politico’s Susan Glasser moderated a discussion between the three panelists, much of which revolved around the future of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which rules the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and has been led for twelve years by Abbas.

Miller, who participated in Arab-Israeli negotiations from the 1980s through the early 2000s, reflected on what American negotiators missed, noting:

“We overlooked—in terms of the state-building capacity—we overlooked so many bad forms of behavior in the maybe well-intentioned pursuit of Israeli-Palestinian peace—corruption, authoritarian behavior, incitement—largely because the Israelis, however annoyed and disturbed they were by these trends, were also prepared to subordinate them to the overall goal and objective, and you see the consequences now. Same issues are there.”

“One of the things that we foolishly never understood about Arafat [Yasser Arafat, Abbas’ predecessor],” Miller said, was that “he never gave up the gun from the beginning…”

Miller pointed out that these Palestinian institutional issues are endemic and stated, “the last thing the Middle East needs now—and Palestinians deserve a functional state for many reasons—is a broken, failed one.”

The panelists’ discussion on Palestinian politics—a topic they all agreed was widely ignored by the media—also focused on who might succeed Abbas, an octogenarian who hasn’t stood for elections in more than a decade. Miller suggested Mohammad Dahlan, a former Fatah operative currently being embraced by the rival movement Hamas, as a possibility. Rumley stated that its currently a “competing race” between Marwan Barghouti, an imprisoned murderer and terrorist, and Jibril Rajoub “who hails from the security apparatuses.”

Rumley also highlighted the chaos and confusion that might happen in the event of a succession:

“What happened when Arafat passed was power went to the speaker of the PA’s parliament for 60 days while elections were prepared. That’s what Palestinian basic law says is supposed to happen. The problem with that now is that Hamas won the 2006 elections, so the speaker of parliament is a member of Hamas. It’s unlikely in any scenario that the Fatah-dominated PA is going to give power, even temporarily, to a member of Hamas.”

Now, if not yesterday, might be a good time for the media to start devoting more attention to internal Palestinian affairs.

Posted by SD at 10:47 AM |  Comments (2)

The Washington Post Notes Growing Hamas-Fatah Tensions

Mohammad Dahlan

A July 13, 2017 Washington Post report (“Abbas increases Gazans’ pain in feud with Hamas”) highlighted growing tensions between Hamas, the U.S.-designated terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, and Fatah, the movement that dominates the Palestinian Authority (PA), which controls the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). The front-page article is a welcome departure from the paper’s history of underreporting Palestinian affairs, a problem that CAMERA has documented and brought to the attention of Post staff.

Jerusalem bureau chief William Booth and reporter Hazem Balousha noted that PA “President Mahmoud Abbas is pursuing a high-risk campaign in the Gaza Strip” by reducing salaries for Gaza-based PA-employees, withholding permissions for medical patients to leave and cutting payments for the electricity provided to Gaza by Israel.

The Post pointed out that Abbas’ strategy is filled with risks, including Hamas attacking Israel in an attempt to draw Israel into the internecine Palestinian conflict. Citing an interview that Abbas, who also leads the Fatah movement that dominates the PA, gave to Asharq Al-Aswat newspaper, the paper noted that the Palestinian leader was “prepared to go even further, threatening to impose sanctions against Hamas and free funds for its leaders.” Such tactics, Booth and Balousha say, are “unprecedented in the decade-long split between the rulers of Gaza and the West Bank.”

The report noted that the lack of power has resulted in rolling blackouts, factories shutting down and pressure on “Gaza’s dysfunctional sewage system.”

It’s a precipitous time to put pressure on Hamas. The Post correctly highlighted that Egypt has outlawed “the Muslim Brotherhood, the progenitor of Hamas,” and other long-time supporters and enablers, such as Qatar and Turkey, have been facing pressure as late.

Increased tensions between Hamas and Fatah, as well as problems confronting the former, have led to weird bedfellows. The dispatch detailed Hamas’ recent embrace of a former Fatah operative named Mohammad Dahlan, who was exiled by Abbas in 2011. Before the PA President—currently in the twelfth year of a single elected four-year term—expelled him as a possible rival, Dahlan was his enforcer tasked with running the authority’s security services in the Gaza Strip—a role that naturally brought him in conflict with Hamas. Now, under the auspices of Hamas, he’s looking to reenter Gaza and the Palestinian political fray.

In several recent Op-Eds (see here, here and here, for examples), CAMERA has highlighted how The Post frequently neglects internal Palestinian affairs, including Abbas’ autocratic tendencies and possible rivals, as well as the energy crisis in the Gaza Strip. The net effect of only covering Palestinians through an Israel-fixated lens, as CAMERA told Post staff in an June 2017 meeting, is to deprive them of independent agency—and to deprive readers of the full story.

This report is a welcome, if belated, change.

Posted by SD at 10:14 AM |  Comments (0)

Wall Street Journal Wrong on the Wall


The Wall Street Journal is the latest media outlet to err on the Western Wall, misidentifying it as Judaism's holiest site. The July 14 article by Nancy Shekter-Porat ("Israeli Police Officers Shot Dead in Jerusalem Temple Mount Attack") erred:

Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City, was the location of an ancient Jewish temple. It is bordered on one side by the Western Wall, considered the holiest site in Judaism. Al Aqsa mosque, which sits on the esplanade, is the third holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. (Emphasis added.)

The Western Wall is not Judaism's holiest site; the Temple Mount, the site of the first and second temples which housed the Holy of Holies (the inner sanctuary where the Ark of the Covenant was located), holds that distinction. The Western Wall, a retaining wall of the Temple Mount compound, obtained its holy status due to its proximity to the Holy of Holies. It is the holiest site where Jewish prayer is permitted, as Jews are prohibited from praying at the Temple Mount, their holiest site.

Multiple media outlets including The New York Times and The Washington Post, The Telegraph, BBC and many more, have corrected this identical error.

CAMERA has contacted The Journal to request a correction. Stay tuned for an update.

Posted by TS at 04:19 AM |  Comments (0)

July 12, 2017

Poll: Majority of Palestinians Support Payments to Terrorists


Ninety-one percent of Palestinians are opposed to the suspension of Palestinian Authority (PA) payments to prisoners, including terrorists, being held in Israeli jails, according to a recent poll by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).

PSR conducted the poll in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between June 29 and July 1, 2017, with a sample size of 1200.

PSR highlighted other important findings, including that strong majorities of Palestinians are opposed to the PA’s decisions to cut employee salaries in the Gaza Strip (88 percent) and to stop covering Israeli-supplied electricity to Gaza (84 percent). Gaza is ruled by Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror group and rival to Fatah, which dominates the PA.

According to PSR, many Palestinians who were surveyed viewed “these measures as aiming at imposing economic hardships on the population in order to force it to reject Hamas’ rule. Very few people think that the PA has taken these measures due to the financial problems [that] it currently faces.”

PSR’s recent poll also noted that 69 percent of Palestinians believed that a recent hunger strike by Marwan Barghouti “enhanced his leadership status.” As CAMERA highlighted in an Algemeiner Op-Ed, Barghouti is a convicted terrorist and murderer who is incarcerated in an Israeli prison. Barghouti used his prisoner status to launch a “hunger strike” in order to gain political popularity and influence—although many in the media omitted this reason behind Barghouti’s political machinations, choosing instead to portray him as a “freedom fighter” protesting supposed indignations he claims to have suffered in incarceration.

Barghouti’s ploy seems to have worked; the survey noted that if presidential elections were held today between PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Barghouti, the latter would be the most popular candidate.

Poll results also reflected strong dissatisfaction within Palestinian society: Only eight percent of Gazan Arabs and twenty-four percent of West Bank Palestinians voiced a “positive evaluation of conditions” in their respective societies. An astonishing 79 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank said that PA institutions were corrupt and 58 percent said that people “cannot criticize the PA without fear.” Indeed, PSR highlighted that the polls showed that “the most serious problem confronting Palestinian society today is the spread of corruption in public institutions.”

Nonetheless, as CAMERA has pointed out in a recent Times of Israel Op-Ed, “When The Washington Post Makes Palestinians Disappear,” many media outlets routinely ignore internal Palestinian affairs and developments; only reporting on them when links to Israel can be made, or even conjured.

PSR’s poll can be found here.

Posted by SD at 09:42 AM |  Comments (2)

July 10, 2017

Hamas: We ‘Salute and Support’ BDS


The boycott, divestment and sanctions effort (BDS) that seeks to delegitimize Israel received an endorsement from Hamas on July 5, 2017. Hamas, the U.S.-designated terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, tweeted: “We salute and support the influential BDS movement.”

Hamas’ declaration of support is hardly surprising.

Hamas seeks the destruction of the Jewish state and the genocide of its inhabitants. As CAMERA has noted, BDS itself has links to individuals and organizations tied to Hamas. Jonathan Schanzer, a former analyst of terror networks for the U.S. Treasury Department, noted these links in testimony delivered before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on April 19, 2016.

One organization linked to Hamas is American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). Schanzer noted that AMP is a “leading driver of the BDS campaign. AMP’s campus activities are extensive. AMP is arguably the most important sponsor and organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is the most visible arm of the BDS campaign on campuses in the United States. It provides speakers, training, printed materials, a so-called ‘Apartheid Wall,' and grants to SJP activists.”

Schanzer stated that the organization spent $100,000 on college campuses in 2014 alone. The group has a campus coordinator on staff to work directly with SJP and “other pro-BDS campus groups across the country.”

AMP also has strong ties to Hamas-linked “charities,” including the now-defunct Holy Land Foundations (HLF).

According to the U.S. Treasury Department: “HLF support Hamas activities through direct fund transfers to its offices in the West Bank and Gaza that are affiliated with Hamas and transfers of funds to Islamic charity committees (‘zakat committees') and other charitable organizations that are part of Hamas or controlled by Hamas members. Mousa Mohamed Abu Marzook, a political leader of Hamas, provided substantial funds to the Holy Land Foundation in the early 1990s. In 1994, Marzook (who was named a Specially Designated Terrorist by the Treasury Department in 1995) designated HLF as the primary fund-raising entity for Hamas in the United States. HLF funds were used by Hamas to support schools that served Hamas ends by encouraging children to become suicide bombers and to recruit suicide bombers by offering support to their families.”

BDS advocates often claim that the effort has its origins in organic “civil society groups.” Yet, as a CAMERA Op-Ed in The Hill pointed out, U.S. listed terrorist groups, including the al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade and non-Palestinian Syrian extremist organizations, played a role in founding and supporting the BDS movement (“More Distortions on Israel,” May 19, 2015).

The media should not ignore the close links between Hamas and BDS.

Posted by SD at 08:04 AM |  Comments (0)

July 06, 2017

AFP's Double Standard on Hebron Massacres: 1929 vs. 1994

Members of the Slonim family, murdered in the 1929 Hebron massacre

When it comes to two brutal massacres in Hebron, one in 1929 and the other in 1994, Agence France Presse coverage displays an egregious double standard.

Today's article, "Palestinians, Israelis square off on UNESCO vote on Hebron," fails to give even the most basic information about the 1929 massacre, stating only:

There had been a Jewish community there for decades earlier, but they were forced out by attacks in British mandatory Palestine.

AFP fails to note who carried out the attacks (local Arabs). It fails to note the outcome of the attack: 67 murdered Jews and 60 wounded. And it fails to note the nature of the attack: an enraged Arab mob wielding knives, axes and iron bars killed all of the Jewish students in the local yeshiva and the mob slaughtered a delegation of Jewish residents on their way to the police station. The mob also broke into the home of Rabbi Ya'akov Slonim, where Jews were seeking refuges, and murdered him, his family and all those sheltering there. Dutch-Canadian journalist Pierre Van Passen described the scene at Rabbi Slonim's house:

we found the twelve-foot-high ceiling splashed with blood. The rooms looked like a slaughterhouse . . . I intended to gather up the severed sexual organs and the cut-off women's breasts we had seen lying scattered over the floor and in the beds.

Regarding the 1994 Hebron massacre, on the other hand, AFP provides all of the critical information, identifying the perpetrator ("Israeli-American Baruch Goldstein"), the outcome ("killing 29") and the means "opened fire on Muslims praying at the site." AFP reports:

In 1994, Israeli-American Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Muslims praying at the site, killing 29, before being beaten to death by survivors.

Why does AFP fail to note how many Jews were killed in the 1929 massacre? Indeed, the article doesn't even indicate that there were any fatalities in the "attacks." Why does it fail to identify the perpetrators (Arabs from Hebron) and their means of murder (knives, axes and iron bars used to kill and mutilate), while the key facts do appear with respect to the 1994 massacre?

In addition, in a separate problem in the very same sentence, the AFP inaccurately reported that there had been a Jewish community in Hebron "for decades" before the 1929 "attacks." In fact, Jews had been living consistently in the city for centuries before the massacre. Jews who survived the murderous rampages of the Ottoman Turks in 1517 fled to Beirut, but returned to Hebron in 1533 and the Jewish presence in the city remained unbroken from that time until the 1929 massacre.

This post was updated on July 9 to note that Jews lived in Hebron for centuries prior to 1929, not decades, as AFP had reported.

July 9 Update: Subsequent Article Includes Key Info on 1929 Massacre

A July 7 AFP article ("What is the Hebron row?) included key information about the 1929 massacre that had been omitted from the July 6 article. The more recent article noted:

Jews had been living in Hebron decades before 1967 but were forced out after violent attacks by Palestinians during the British Mandate - the most violent of which saw 67 Jews killed in a 1929 massacre.

Notably, AFP uses the passive voice for the 1929 attacks ("violent attacks by Palestinians . . saw 67 Jews killed") versus the active voice in which Israeli-American Baruch Goldstein "opened fire . . .killing 29," but the very fact that the news agency included the information at all is a step forward.

Posted by TS at 06:37 AM |  Comments (1)

July 03, 2017

Washington Post Book Review Eviscerates Anti-Israel Writers

matti friedman.jpg
Matti Friedman

A Washington Post book review by journalist, author and former IDF soldier Matti Friedman highlighted the inaccuracy and the absurdity of a recently published anti-Israel collection of essays.

The Post, to its credit, published Friedman’s “What happens when famous novelists ‘confront the Occupation’ in the West Bank,” which examined an anthology called Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation. This book features contributions by novelists such as Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Dave Eggers, among others.

Friedman noted that the group of novelists were “shown around by anti-occupation activists and wrote about their experiences.” Yet, as a reading of the book makes clear, “the visiting writers aren’t experts,” nor are they seeking a balanced or accurate portrayal of Israel. Friedman points out that the essays get basic facts, such as when the Oslo Accords were signed, wrong.

The essays are also plagued with poor sourcing, as Friedman notes:

“The writers interview the same people who are always interviewed in the West Bank, thinking it’s all new, and believe what they’re told Chabon, for example, waxes sarcastic that in the West Bank you can spend months in administrative detention if you forget your I.D. card at home. But that isn’t true.”

Indeed, the writers don’t ask—nor do they tell readers—who financed their anti-Israel excursion: Breaking the Silence (BtS). As CAMERA has pointed out, BtS is one of several largely foreign-funded organizations that seek to delegitimize the Jewish state via anonymous testimonials.

Yet, the group’s influence is obvious on the writers. Friedman highlights that “the host’s choreography becomes evident the more you read, because the writers keep going back to the same street in Hebron, the same village near the same settlement, the same checkpoint activist. They avoid Palestinian extremists and average Israelis, so it looks like all Palestinians are reasonable and all Israelis aren’t.”

Nonetheless, “everything,” Friedman says, “is described with a gravitas suggesting that the writers haven’t spent much time outside the world’s safest corners.”

Indeed, according to the review, one monumental fault with the book is its superficiality and the novelists’ own sense of self-importance. Large regional questions that are unfolding near Israel’s borders, such as the Syrian civil war, Hamas’ totalitarian Islamist vision being implemented in the Gaza Strip, internecine Palestinian violence, aren’t given attention in the volume. Why? Because “the essays aren’t journalism but a kind of selfie in which the author poses in front of the symbolic moral issue of the time…That’s why the very first page of the book finds Chabon and Waldman talking not about the occupation, but about Chabon and Waldman.”

“After a while,” Friedman bemoans, “I feel trapped in a wordy kind of Kardashian Instagram feed, without the self-awareness.”

Readers of a Kingdom of Olives and Ash aren’t the only ones being taken for a factually flawed, skewed view of the Arab-Israeli conflict. As CAMERA has pointed out, The Washington Post itself feted the group of the writers while they were on their anti-Israel tour (“Washington Post’s Letter from Israel Should be Marked ‘Return to Sender,’” May 11, 2016).

Matti Friedman’s book review can be found here.

Posted by SD at 03:45 PM |  Comments (1)

June 29, 2017

Expert in Nazi Propaganda Omits James Wall’s Affiliation With Neo-Nazi Publication in Wikipedia Article

James Wall MLK.jpg
James M. Wall meeting with Martin Luther King in 1967. (Screenshot from The Link.)

James M. Wall, former editor of The Christian Century, is notorious for his hostility toward Israel and its supporters in the United States.

On his blog, Wall has referred to Israel’s supporters in the United States as a “fifth column” and for a while, he was associate editor for a website called Veterans News Now, a publication that promotes hostility toward Jews throughout the world and has promoted the work of David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan. His behavior is a huge embarrassment for his former employer, The Christian Century, the flagship publication of mainline Protestantism in the United States.

CAMERA has written extensively about Wall’s descent into the netherworld of antisemitism on a number of occasions, including articles that can be seen here and here. Articles on the failure of Christian Century and the United Methodist Church to hold Wall accountable for his hateful writings about Israel and its Jewish supporters can be seen here and here.

All this is worth recounting because a few weeks ago, a well-known historian, Randall Bytwerk, who taught for many years at Calvin College in Grand Rapids Michigan, apparently wrote an article about Wall at Wikipedia.

The article, which can be read here, is a pretty straightforward text, detailing his career as a journalist, movie critic and Democratic politician and activist. The documentation demonstrating that Bytwerk wrote the Wikipedia article in question can be seen here and here.

What is amazing is that the text makes no mention whatsoever of Wall’s affiliation with Veterans News Now, which was so embarrassing to Christian Century that it was forced to issue a statement about the controversy here.

Continue reading "Expert in Nazi Propaganda Omits James Wall’s Affiliation With Neo-Nazi Publication in Wikipedia Article"

Posted by dvz at 04:39 PM |  Comments (2)

June 28, 2017

The Washington Post Manages to Outdo the BBC with Anti-Israel Headline

post logo 3.jpg

The Washington Post not only failed to offer a full-length report on the June 16, 2017 terror attack in which a 23-year old Israeli Border Policewoman, Hadas Malka, was murdered, it also made misleading changes to an AP dispatch on the attack.

Malka was stabbed to death by a Palestinian assailant in a coordinated terrorist attack in Jerusalem’s Old City. She was attacked while responding to the scene of another terrorist attack in which two Palestinian attackers opened fire on an Israeli Border Police patrol at Zedekiah’s Cave in the Muslim Quarter. Israeli authorities killed all three Palestinian terrorists.

The initial AP report on the attack was titled "Palestinian attackers killed after killing Israeli officer." This headline made clear to AP readers the important chain of events and noted the death of the Israeli officer.

The Washington Post, however, made questionable edits to the AP brief it republished in the print version of its June 18, 2017 edition. The headline chosen by The Post was “3 Palestinians killed after attacks on police”—omitting the death of the Israeli officer and failing to mention that the Palestinians killed were terrorists carrying out an attack. As CAMERA pointed out to Post staff, this violates the ethics code of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). SPJ calls for journalists to "Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context."

As CAMERA has highlighted, the BBC, after considerable public outcry, changed a similarly misleading headline of a report about the June 16, 2017 terror attack. The BBC's statement acknowledged, "“We accept that our original headline did not appropriately reflect the nature of the events and subsequently changed it. Whilst there was no intention to mislead our audiences, we regret any offense caused.”

The Post made other questionable changes to its print version of the AP dispatch. The original stated: “Since September 2015, Palestinian assailants have killed 43 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British student, mainly in stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks. In that time, some 250 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire. Israel identified most of them as attackers.” Yet, The Post’s print version omitted this last, crucial sentence—possibly leaving readers to conclude that Israel is using “disproportionate force” and killing Palestinians without cause. By contrast, the online version republished by The Post included this important information.

CAMERA contacted The Post requesting a correction and a clarification to their print version of the AP dispatch. The paper declined to do so, claiming that it faced “space constraints” and the headline “accurately conveyed the story, within the constraints of space.”

This is risible; the paper failed to offer a detailed report, on its own, on a coordinated terrorist attack—an occurrence that refutes previous Post coverage of “lone-wolf” attacks against Israelis. Further, Hamas, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), all sought to claim credit for the assault—a fact which also makes the event newsworthy, to say nothing of a young Israeli woman being murdered.

Indeed, as CAMERA has noted, the paper has previously run lengthy stories on Chinese tourists being overcharged at Israeli restaurants, the used car market among Palestinians, and the Israeli Prime Ministers’ dog nipping someone at a dinner party.

The Post should have spared some “space” for this terror attack—and the little bit afforded to readers should have carried the important context that other news providers managed to print.

In a Feb. 11, 2017 tweet, Post Jerusalem bureau chief William Booth claimed that “every major attack in Israel & West Bank gets covered in Wapo NYT etc and we dig deeper.” That, however, is demonstrably false.

Posted by SD at 12:15 PM |  Comments (2)

NBC's Blinders on Egyptian Blockade

In an article about Hamas banning dog-walking in the Gaza Strip, NBC News believes it's important for readers to know that Israel blockades the Gaza Strip. On the other hand, NBC would prefer that readers not know that Egypt also blockades the Gaza Strip, even though the Egyptian blockade is much more restrictive than the Israeli blockade by any measure ("Hamas bans dog-walking in the Gaza Strip").

The article, a collaborative effort by NBC's Wajjeh Abu Zarifa , Dave Copeland , Lawahez Jabari and F. Brinley Bruton reported:

Hamas — the militant group that runs the poor, Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip — recently decreed dogs can’t be walked in markets, roads and along beaches.

nbc Israel blockade.jpg

Israel allows in virtually all products aside from weapons and items defined as dual-use items (ie can be used for military purposes), a fact confirmed by the Israeli NGO Gisha, which is highly critical of Israel's policies with respect to Gaza. Both goods and people can much more easily pass through the Israeli blockade of Gaza than through the strict Egyptian blockade.

That Egypt's blockade, ignored by NBC, is significantly more restrictive than the Israeli blockade (which NBC singled out), is confirmed by recent UN data. The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that this past May, for example, (the most recent UN data available), the Israeli crossing for people (Erez Crossing), was open for 25 days, enabling 6,328 times in which people crossed from Gaza to Israel. In contrast, the Egyptian crossing for people (Rafah Crossing), was open for just four days, enabling just 3,068 times in which people crossed in either direction (Egypt to Gaza and the reverse). (Graphic below from OCHA's report.)

nbc ocha people crossing May.jpg

More than 200 trucks exited Gaza into Israel via the Kerem Shalom crossing over the course of 17 days in May. Zero trucks exit Gaza for Egypt.

As for the entry of goods into Gaza, the Kerem Shalom Crossing from Israel operated for 19 days in May, enabling over 10,000 trucks carrying goods to enter from Israel. In contrast, Egypt's "Rafah crossing exceptionally opened on four days, allowing 381 truckloads of goods to enter Gaza, the largest volume through this crossing since June 2015."

In 2015 Reuters, which had likewise initially ignored the Egyptian-blockade in a graphic entitled "Gaza blockade," commendably added the information when the omission was pointed out.

CAMERA has contacted NBC to request that they likewise amend their report to include the more severe Egyptian blockade. Stay tuned for an update.

Posted by TS at 03:29 AM |  Comments (0)

June 27, 2017

Yusef Daher Descends to New Low

A screenshot of an image posted on Yusef Daher's Facebook page.

Yusef Daher, the Executive Secretary of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Center, has posted some ugly stuff on his Facebook page and on his Twitter timeline. Daher is supposed to promote peace at the JICC — which is supported by the World Council of Churches — but for one reason or another, the licensed tour guide has posted a number of images that legitimize, promote or downplay the horror of Palestinian violence against Israelis.

It’s something that CAMERA has written about on a number of occasions, including here, here, and here.

But yesterday, June 26, 2017, Daher hit a new low, posting an image of a young girl holding a plastic water bottle as if to throw at a target off in the distance. She’s standing in front of a stenciled image of a young girl — with a pigtail just like hers — throwing a Molotov cocktail.

The comments posted in response praise the young girl, calling her “precious” and “spontaneous” and “humble.”

Both the image and the comments are indicative of a thoughtlessness and contempt for the victims of Palestinian violence on the part of both Daher and his friends on Facebook.

Continue reading "Yusef Daher Descends to New Low"

Posted by dvz at 03:52 PM |  Comments (0)

DPA Places Jerusalem in 'Palestinian Territories'

June 28 Update: DPA Corrects: Jerusalem in Israel, Not Palestinian Territories

DPA, the German news agency, has relocated Jerusalem to the Palestinian territories. Today's photo caption, which appears on the photo sites of leading news agencies Associated Press and Agence France-Presse, states:

Gilad Grossman, spokesman of the human rights organisation Jesch Din, in Jerusalem, Palestinian Territories, 26 June 2017. The Israeli government has approved the first state-sanctioned settlement in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of the Oslo peace process. The settlements are widely regarded as illegal under international law. Jesch Din is one of the organisations contesting the move. Photo by: Stefanie J'rkel

dpa ap Jerusalem Palestinian territories.jpg

In addition, a second DPA caption refers to a future Israeli settlement to be built in "Palestinian territories." The land slated for the future settlement of Amichai is in disputed West Bank land, Area C, not under Palestinian control, and is therefore not part of the "Palestinian territories." The final status of this land is to be determined in negotiations, and has not yet been resolved.

This caption also appears on the AP and AFP photo sites:

Avichai Boaron, a spokesman for the illegal West Bank settlement of Amona, stands in front of the site upon which the Israeli government has approved the first state-sanctioned settlement in the occupied territories since the beginning of the Oslo peace process in 'Amichai', Palestinian Territories, 26 June 2017. The settlements are widely regarded as illegal under international law. Photo by: Stefanie J'rkel

dpa afp Amichai Palestinian territories.jpg

CAMERA has reached out to DPA, AP and AFP for corrections. Stay tuned for updates.

See also: "DPA, AP Correct: Lebanon, Not Libya, Borders Israel"

Posted by TS at 06:39 AM |  Comments (0)

June 26, 2017

BBC Misleads Again



The BBC shows a pattern of misleading its audience as to the nature of Palestinian terrorism. The grotesquely inappropriate headline is the most recent in a lengthy list of such examples. Israeli policewoman Hadas Malka was murdered by three Palestinian terrorists, yet the BBC editors decided to headline the story as "Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing." Only after complaints from high visibility individuals, like Donald Trump, Jr., did the BBC change the headline to more accurately reflect what occurred.

Read the article on this journalistic malfeasance at

Posted by SS at 03:06 PM |  Comments (0)

June 24, 2017

University Professor Who Cheered Student’s Death is a BDS Supporter

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Otto Warmbier crying in a North Korean court, at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Image courtesy of NBC News

A University of Delaware professor who said that student Otto Warmbier, a victim of the North Korean regime, “got exactly what he deserved,” after he was held and possibly murdered by North Korea, is a supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) effort which seeks to delegitimize Israel.

Kathy Dettwyler, an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Delaware, wrote on her personal Facebook page that Warmbier was “typical of the mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males who come into my class.”

Warmbier was a University of Virginia student visiting North Korea on a January 2016 trip. Accused by North Korean authorities of stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel, he was subsequently arrested and sentenced to 15 years hard labor. On June 13, 2017—to his parents’ shock and horror—Warmbier was returned to U.S. soil, unresponsive and in a coma. Six days later, Warmbier—who was reportedly in good health at the time of his trip—died from his injuries, having been in a coma for at least 15 months.

Gordan Chang, a foreign affairs analyst who specializes in North Korea and China, pointed out that although Pyongyang claims Warmbier had contracted botulism, doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, which examined the student upon his return, “found no traces of botulism but did find dead brain tissue”—likely the result of severe trauma.

In her Facebook post, Dettwyler justified the young man’s death at the hands of a brutal, authoritarian regime. Writing for the News Journal, reporter Jessica Bies noted some of the professor’s troubling remarks:

"These are the same kids who cry about their grades because they didn't think they'd really have to read and study the material to get a good grade ... His parents ultimately are to blame for his growing up thinking he could get away with whatever he wanted. Maybe in the US, where young, white, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women. Not so much in North Korea. And of course, it's Ottos' parents who will pay the price for the rest of their lives."

Dettwyler is also a BDS supporter, according to research by CAMERA that found that she was a signatory for the “Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions.”

The movement's co-founder, Omar Barghouti, has stated that the purpose of BDS is to permanently end Jewish self-rule in the region; he advocates a Palestinian Arab state to replace the Jewish one, not a “two-state solution.” (“BDS, Academic/Cultural Boycott of Israel, and Omar Barghouti,” Feb. 24, 2010, CAMERA).

As CAMERA has noted (“J Street's Unreported Pro-BDS Partner—‘Jewish Voice for Peace,'” June 18, 2015), the “Palestinian civil society groups” behind the founding of the BDS movement include U.S.-designated terrorist organizations Hamas and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades of Fatah and non-Palestinian Syrian extremist movements. The charter of Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel and genocide of the Jews.

Indeed, in his April 19, 2016 testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Jonathan Schanzer, a former U.S. Treasury Department terror analyst, highlighted ties between the BDS movement and Hamas-linked charities. Schanzer testified that the U.S. Coalition to Boycott Israel (also known as the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine) is led by a Chicago resident named Ghassan Barakat, a member of the Palestine National Council (PNC), and its coordinator is Senan Shaqdeh. Shaqdeh is a former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S.-designated terrorist group, and a self-described founder of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a pro-BDS group.

Given her support for BDS, Dettwyler’s decision to blame the victim of an autocratic, anti-Western regime, seemingly on the grounds of his racial/ethnic makeup, is perhaps unsurprising.

Amid calls for Dettwyler’s dismissal, the University of Delaware has stated that the professor’s “distressing” comments “do not reflect the values or position” of the school.

Posted by SD at 02:17 PM |  Comments (1)

June 21, 2017

Newsweek: "Why Is Israel So Corrupt?"

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A headline on the Newsweek website today asks why Israel is corrupt. Just how corrupt? "So corrupt," the headline states, followed in the article by anecdotes about abuse of power by Israelis in politics and business.

"So corrupt" sounds pretty bad. But there are more thorough measures out there — for example Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index, in which Israel ranks as 28th least corrupt of 176 ranked countries, which is tops in the Middle East and above a number of European countries. The index went unmentioned in the Newsweek article, as did other relevant reports.

The author — who, it should be noted, isn't responsible for the headline's strange wording — said on Twitter that the corruption he perceives isn't in "the day to day doing business," but rather at "the highest levels of business & government."

Posted by GI at 05:02 PM |  Comments (0)

June 20, 2017

Huffington Post Does Not Recognize Vehicle-Ramming Terrorist Attacks Against Israel


In the wake of the recent ramming attack in London, the Huffington Post features a nearly 2 minute video on vehicle ramming attacks as a new form of terrorism. The video states "Here are the vehicle attacks that have occurred in the last year" and then it shows footage of attacks in London, Nice, Berlin and Stockholm. There is no mention of several vehicle attacks in Israel over the past year.

All told there have been over 60 ramming attacks by Palestinians against Israelis.

The Huffington Post has a long and disturbing history of anti-Israel articles, opinion pieces and on-line commenting. The failure of this featured video to even recognize the occurrence of terrorist attacks against Israel is a striking example of implicit bigotry and dehumanization of Jews. The implication is that Israeli victims of terrorism do not deserve recognition or the humanitarian empathy bestowed upon European victims.

This continues a troubling pattern where the British media does not acknowledge ramming attacks against Israelis.

Posted by SS at 02:28 PM |  Comments (1)

Politico Notes Israel’s Security Challenges

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A Politico report on a bipartisan group of political analysts, pundits and lobbyists visiting Israel provided readers with a look at some of the security challenges facing the Jewish state (“Israel trip calms D.C. tensions,” June 18, 2017).

Politico reporter Daniel Lippman noted that “a number of former to Trump campaign officials and prominent Democrats” went on a seven-day trip to Israel that was sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation and organized by American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) political director Rob Bassin.

A total of 16 U.S. former officials and political operatives met with Israeli government officials and business leaders and traveled the entire country.

Bill Burton, a former Obama administration deputy press secretary, told Politico that a “stark contrast” existed between the realities and environment that Israel faces on a day-to-day basis as opposed to those present in the U.S.

J. Toscano, a partner at the Democratic ad firm GMMB, observed:

“The fact that you can drive from one border line with an area that’s controlled by Hamas to another border line with a region that’s controlled by ISIS in the same time that you can drive from D.C. to New York really gives you a deep sense of the security challenge that the country faces and that the region faces.”

A Washington D.C.-based publication that focuses on politics and policy, Politico doesn’t often report on Israel—and when it does, its coverage is frequently flawed. As CAMERA has highlighted, the paper has called convicted Palestinian terrorist Jibril Rajoub an “urbane diplomat,” erroneously claimed that Israel occupies the Gaza Strip (“Politico’s Misleading Poll on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” Jan 12, 2017), and frequently omitted Palestinian rejection of U.S. and Israeli offers for statehood and peace (“Politico’s ‘Letter from Israel’ is Marked to the Wrong Address,” Jan. 5, 2017.

Politico should be commended for providing readers with a straightforward, albeit brief, look at the dangers Israel and Israelis face.

Posted by SD at 08:31 AM |  Comments (0)

June 15, 2017

"Tragic Inaction on Congo"

An Op-Ed in the International New York Times today discusses, as its headline puts it, "The U.N.'s tragic inaction on Congo."

The piece focuses on the tragic killing of two Westerners in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The pair were working for the United Nations, which, the authors protest, has failed to investigate the killings. The authors link the incident to a wider phenomenon: "their deaths are a reminder of how little attention is paid to the killings of hundreds of Congolese in the Kasai region since last August," they say, noting the recent discovery of dozens of mass graves in the region.

The passive voice here — "little attention is paid" — means readers aren't told who, exactly, isn't paying attention. But if history is any indication, the same newspaper publishing this Op-Ed is a prominent example of those guilty of paying relatively little attention to violence in Congo.

The book Stealth Conflicts: How the World's Worst Violence is Ignored, by Virgil Hawkins, shows that The New York Times largely overlooked the deaths of nearly two million people during the first two years of fighting in the DRC.

The discrepancy between how the newspaper covered that violence and the fighting between Palestinians and Israel starting in 2000 is highlighted by a striking graphic in Hawkins' book:

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Tragic inaction on Congo, indeed.

Posted by GI at 04:07 PM |  Comments (0)

June 14, 2017

AFP Falsely Reports: Hamas Accepts State 'Limited to 1967 Borders'

Influential wire service Agence France Presse falsely reported yesterday that Hamas' May 1 policy document accepts a Palestinian state "limited to the 1967 borders" ("Gaza: Palestinian territory ravaged by war, poverty").

In no way does the new Hamas document signal an acceptance of a Palestinian state "limited to the 1967 borders." In fact, it says the exact opposite. The wording is:

Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea. However, without compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity and without relinquishing any Palestinian rights, Hamas considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of the 4th of June 1967, with the return of the refugees and the displaced to their homes from which they were expelled, to be a formula of national consensus. . . .

A real state of Palestine is a state that has been liberated. There is no alternative to a fully sovereign Palestinian State on the entire national Palestinian soil, with Jerusalem as its capital. (Emphases added.)

In an interview with Reuters, Hamas' Mahmoud al-Zahar emphasized that the new document is a "mechanism" for Hamas' pledge "to liberate all of Palestine." Reuters reported:

One of Hamas's most senior officials said on Wednesday a document published by the Islamist Palestinian group last week was not a substitute for its founding charter, which advocates Israel's destruction.

Speaking in Gaza City, Mahmoud al-Zahar, a regular critic of Israel, said the political policy document announced in Qatar on May 1 by Hamas's outgoing chief Khaled Meshaal did not contradict its founding covenant, published in 1988.

Trailed for weeks by Hamas officials, the document appeared to be an attempt to soften the group's language towards Israel. But it still called for "the liberation of all of historical Palestine", said armed resistance was a means to achieve that goal, and did not recognise Israel's right to exist.

"The pledge Hamas made before God was to liberate all of Palestine," Zahar said on Wednesday. "The charter is the core of (Hamas's) position and the mechanism of this position is the document.

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Posted by TS at 05:27 AM |  Comments (1)