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November 27, 2017

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 November 27, 2017 01:31 PM


From time to time CAMERA publishes useful and detailed studies of various important newspapers and their treatment of the conflict over a given period, including not only the news features but also the op-eds. I think it might be interesting and useful to analyse the coverage not only of certain journalists whose writings leave much to be desired - which CAMERA has also done on occasion - but also the treatment of the conflict by those journalists who are Israeli and/or have regularly written for Israeli publications, like Ruth Eglash, if their coverage has become problematic.

"Ruth Eglash is a correspondent for The Washington Post based in Jerusalem. She formerly a reporter and senior editor at the Jerusalem Post and freelanced for international media"

Posted by: Paul at November 29, 2017 05:32 AM

The way the Post article reads I am having difficulty figuring out if they are writing about "Palestinians" or Israeli Arab Muslim citizens who are not committing acts of terrorism in an attempt to annihilate the Israeli State. If the show and people were more honest they would look at the underlying causes of bigotry and most of them are religious but then that would be critical of Islam and that could excite terrorism and violence, or Islamophobic.

Posted by: jeb at November 30, 2017 12:06 PM

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