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December 30, 2015

USA Today Provides Rare Look at Anti-Israel Terror


Writing for USA Today, special correspondent Shira Rubin provides readers with a brief, but surprisingly direct report on the recent terror attacks by Palestinian Arabs against Israelis—and the effects of these attacks on every day Israeli citizens (“In Jerusalem, living on edge is new normal,�? Dec. 24, 2015). Surprising because such “start with the basics�? coverage is comparatively rare.

The USA Today article begins by doing something not frequently done by major dailies such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, among others—quoting an Israeli civilian, in this instance a teacher named Talia Malek—who speaks about news worthy developments without equivocation.

Describing Malek’s use of public transport in Jerusalem to get to work—amid three months of “near daily attacks by Palestinians�?—Rubin provides readers with an important perspective, one often missed.

“‘This is our city, this is our country, and we need to show that we cannot be intimidated,’ Malek says about her daily trips.

While noting Malek’s defiance in the face of terror, Rubin also quotes her concerns:

“Co-existence in Israel is possible… but this current situation reminds us that Palestinians see us as their enemy….And the moment that they have the chance they will—literally—stab us in the back.�?

The USA Today article provides details about the recent terror attacks, noting that 20 Israelis and an American student have been killed.

In contrast to other recent coverage noted by CAMERA (for example, “AP, NYT Headlines Cast Palestinian Attackers as Victims, Ignore Dead Israelis,�? December 24), Rubin evidences no problem with distinguishing attackers from victims.

In a one sentence paragraph, Rubin informs readers about a major cause of the violence:

“The attacks began after false word spread among Palestinians that Israel was going to take control of their holy site, [al-Aqsa mosque on Temple Mount] a claim repeated by Palestinian leaders despite repeated Israeli denials.�?

CAMERA has noted (“Rocks Attack Cars, ‘Violence Spikes’ but Palestinian Arabs not Responsible,�? October 5) how many major print news media outlets have failed to detail this use by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and others of the so-called “al-Aqsa is in danger libel.�? The false charge historically has encouraged violence against Jews and replicates earlier propaganda by Palestinian Arab leaders. Despite being provided via email with CAMERA background on the libel and its use by Abbas that preceded the recent terror attacks (“Incitement over Temple Mount Leads to Palestinian Violence, Again,�? Sept. 16, 2015), The Washington Post among other major outlets downplayed when it did not ignore.

For example, in its December 26 coverage (“In Israel, a new form of violence�?), The Post uncritically repeats PA officials claims that “Palestinian authorities are not initiating the violence�? and “this [terror attacks] is caused by our humiliation and suffering�?—omitting any mention of the incitement by Abbas and others.

Yet, in a one-sentence paragraph Rubin reports “root causes�? other media—mesmerized by Palestinian claims about “the occupation,�? “humiliation�? and “frustration�?—have missed or omitted. In eight short paragraphs she provides readers with Israeli perspectives and essential facts, frequently diminished or missing in much lengthier coverage.

Sometimes, less is more. And in this case it certainly was.

Posted by SD at December 30, 2015 10:24 AM


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