October 31, 2014
Where's the Coverage? Christian Priest Tells UN Israel is "Only Safe Place" for MidEast Christians
Last month, Father Gabriel Naddaf of Nazareth spoke before the ironically-named United Nations Human Rights Council on behalf of the watchdog group, UN Watch. He laid out the facts that many in the “international community” and the global media refuse to acknowledge:
Do you know that at the start of the 20th century, Christians comprised 20% of the population of the Middle East?
Today they comprise only 4%.
Do you know that over the past years some 100,000 Christians have been killed annually? And why? Not for a crime they’ve committed, but only for believing in Christ.
In Iraq alone, more than 77% of the Christians have fled during the year 2000, in addition to thousands killed and expelled.
Some 2 million Christians lived in Syria, but today, they are less than 250,000.
Christians in these countries are treated as second-class citizens; facing racial, religious, economic and social discrimination.
Why is this happening? Only due to their religion, a religion that advocates love and peace between mankind.
Christians in the Middle East are marginalized; their rights denied, their property stolen, their honor violated, their men killed, and their children displaced.
Where will they go? Who will defend them? And who will guard their property?
If we look at the Middle East, Mr. President, we realize there’s only one safe place where Christians are not persecuted.
One place where they are protected, enjoying freedom of worship and expression, living in peace and not subjected to killing and genocide.
It is Israel, the country I live in. The Jewish state is the only safe place where the Christians of the Holy Land live in safety.
Does the world acknowledge Israel for protecting its Christians? Many in the international community have chosen to criticize Israel.
He went on:
I, Father Gabrial Naddaf of Nazareth, stand before you and plead: O world leaders and supporters of peace, stop those who want to destroy the only free Jewish state in the region.
It is the only refuge welcoming and protecting all of its citizens. It is the only place that does not attempt to push out Christians, forcing them to leave their land in search of security.
Yet, have you read about this in the mainstream media? Have you seen it on the evening news? Where's the coverage?
Watch Father Naddaf’s speech:
October 28, 2014
Compare and Contrast: A Further Look at the NYT
Several days ago, CAMERA posted “The ABC’s of Media Spin” about how New York Times coverage of a deadly Palestinian terrorist attack was manipulated to blame Israel. Just two days later, the newspaper covered the shooting death of a Palestinian teenager in clashes with Israeli security forces – providing an even clearer demonstration of the newspaper’s double standards in reporting.
Compare and contrast:
"Driver Plows Into Group at Jerusalem Train Station, Killing Baby, Police Say"
“Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Teenager in the West Bank, the 2nd in 8 Days”
The headline about the Palestinian attack that killed two Israeli residents conceals the nationalities of the perpetrator and victims and portrays the entire incident as a claim by police, while the headline about Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces spells out the nationalities of both the perpetrators and victims and presents it as fact.
What does the newspaper present as disputable claim? And what does the newspaper present as reliable claim? According to the Times, the reliability of any claim is correlated with the party that is being implicated. In other words, sources that incriminate Palestinians are routinely portrayed as unreliable, if not omitted entirely, while sources that implicate Israelis or that exonerate Palestinians are presented as reliable. Take for example the presentation of facts, reliable and unreliable claims in the article “Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Teenager in the West Bank, the 2nd in 8 Days”:
Israeli troops on Friday shot and killed a Palestinian teenager who also held American citizenship.
Israeli source implicating the Palestinian, presented as unreliable:
The Israeli military said its forces opened fire as the teenager threw a firebomb onto a main road in the West Bank that is often used by Israeli settlers, an account that could not be verified. [emphasis added]
It was the second fatal shooting of a Palestinian teenager in the occupied West Bank in eight days. Soldiers shot Bahaa Sameer Mousa Bader, 13, in the chest during a confrontation on Oct. 16 near Israel’s separation barrier in Beit Liqya, another village near Ramallah.
Israeli source and information implicating Palestinian omitted entirely:
Israeli news sources have reported that an initial investigation by the IDF's Judea and Samaria Division revealed that local Palestinians began throwing firebombs at army jeeps that were leaving the area, and the boy was shot after he threw a Molotov cocktail at soldiers from close range, during clashes.
This information was concealed from readers. Yet, even thought the army investigation is absent in the article, the article makes sure to brand army investigations unreliable in general, just in case someone might have heard about it.
Israeli source presented as unreliable:
Palestinian and Israeli critics have expressed skepticism about internal army investigations saying they rarely yield results.[emphasis added]
Of course, when a reporter omits mention of an investigation that does yield results and instead cites critics who allege that army investigation don't yield results, a reader might legitimately suspect that the reporter is taking pains to conceal, dismiss and delegitimize any result from an army investigation that does not concur with his or her own pre-existing notion of guilt.
Palestinian source implicating Israelis presented as reliable:
Local residents said that Palestinians throwing stones clashed with Israeli soldiers in the village after Friday Prayer, but that Orwa was apparently killed hours later.
Nothing about this claim being “unverified” and nothing about anyone “expressing skepticism” about it.
Palestinian source implicating Israelis presented as reliable:
Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights organization, said it had documented the killing of 34 Palestinians in the West Bank or East Jerusalem by Israeli forces or settlers since mid-June, six of them minors.
Nothing about this claim being “unverified” and nothing about anyone “expressing skepticism” about it.
On Wednesday a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem plowed his car into an Israeli light rail station in the city, killing a 3-month-old girl, Chaya Zissel Braun, who also held American citizenship.
Presented as disputable claim:
The Israeli authorities treated it as a terrorist attack, and a police officer shot and killed the driver as he tried to flee, the police said. Relatives of the driver said they believed he had simply lost control of the car
Does anyone discern a pattern here?
Is Conflict With Israel Good For Business?
A provocative opinion piece, appearing on Ynet.com on Oct. 28, suggests that Hamas initiates destructive rounds of violence with Israel in order to compel international donors to provide money. In effect, these occasional escalations are Hamas's way of telling the international community to pay up or else.
The author, Adam Reuter, observes,
Several years ago, Hamas "discovered" what nations used to do in ancient times and in the Middle Ages and what the mafia in the US does in the modern era: Making a living through threats and demanding protection money.
The author does not offer enough evidence or detail to convincingly make his case that Hamas's decisions to provoke Israel into destructive responses are driven by financial calculations as opposed to ideological zeal or political calculations. However, by raising the issue, one can hope that a curious journalist looking for an interesting angle might uncover more information to support this conjecture.
In light of revelations about the privileged lives of Hamas leaders, Reuter's theory is not far-fetched.
October 22, 2014
After Suspected Terror Attack Against Israelis, Early AP Headline Reported: "Israeli Police Shoot Man in East Jerusalem."
A three-month-old in Israel is in critical condition and at least 7 others were wounded when an car slammed into an Israeli train station in a suspected terror attack. (Video here — warning, shows from a distance a car hitting people.) The driver of the car was subsequently shot by Israeli police, reportedly as he tried to flee the scene.
The Associated Press ran an initial report on the incident with the headline, "Israeli police shoot man in east Jerusalem."
As you can see in the screen shot above, there were clearly enough details available at the time, even with the news still in the hazy "breaking" stage, that the inappropriate and misleading headline should never have appeared on the story. The story opened by noting that a driver "slammed into a crowded train stop" and was thought to be a terror attack.
Nearly an hour after AP's first report, it published a second one, containing virtually no new information, with the more appropriate headline, "Car slams into east Jerusalem train station."
October 20, 2014
How Max Blumenthal Lies About Israel
Moments ago, we posted an item about anti-Israel activist David Sheen's brazen mistranslation of Benjamin Netanyahu, a lie he used to shamefully draw an analogy between the Israeli prime minister and the Nazis.
Not to be outdone, fellow extremist Max Blumenthal is likewise spreading blatant lies on Twitter about Israeli prime ministers:
@damianjread he made those remarks to Molodet activists.— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) October 18, 2014
The comment was made in support of, and in elaboration of, another Twitter user's claim that Ariel Sharon had said:
It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time.
The first is that there is no Zionism, colonialism, or Jewish state without the eviction of the Arabs or the expropriation of their land.
The classy image Blumenthal approvingly commented on, which appears above, claims the quote was reported by wire service Agence France Press on November 15, 1998. When Blumenthal was asked on Twitter to provide substantiation for the quote, he remained silent. When Twitter users informed him that the quote appeared to be a hoax, he again failed to reply, and did not delete or amend his tweet.
As Anthony Julius reported several years ago pointed out on the (now defunct) Z-Word blog, the quote
is taken from an op-ed column in the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot of July 4 1972. At the time, Ariel Sharon was head of the IDF’s southern command. Even given Israel’s relatively open political culture, it would have been surprising to find him publicly calling for the eviction of Arabs from their homes and for the expropriation of their land.
He did not do so (though it is common enough in anti-Zionist discourse falsely to attribute blood-curdling statements to him). Yeshayahu Ben-Porat, a journalist and commentator, in fact wrote the words. In the column from which the quotation has been taken, Ben-Porat called on the government to recognise honestly the implications of occupation.
Nurit Baytch, who had quickly raised doubts about the false quote, noticed that the Twitter user Max Blumenthal supported has previously spread anti-Semitism on Twitter — for example, an image in which Facebook is hilariously described as "Nosebook" and its Jewish founder was depicted as an octopus with a long hook nose.
October 17, 2014
How David Sheen Lies About Israel
David Sheen is an anti-Israel extremist who often lectures to American college students about the supposed evils of the Jewish state. He was a speaker, for example, at last weekend's Open Hillel conference at Harvard.
With Sheen's participation, Open Hillel has shown that it's open to people who peddle brazen falsehoods about the Jewish state. Just one day after he spoke to the students, Sheen took to Twitter to lie about Israel's prime minister and compare him to the Nazis.
Just as Nazis compared Jews to vermin to incite racism against them, Netanyahu compares non-Jewish Africans to ebola http://t.co/n9eIcim9jN— David Sheen (@davidsheen) October 13, 2014
Sheen appears to substantiate his shocking allegation with a URL. But the link would be unhelpful to most of his Twitter followers — the article it leads to is in Hebrew, a language Israel-haters don't generally know how to read. And that's what Sheen was counting on. Indeed, when a Twitter user challenged Sheen's allegation, he responded by mocking the user's use of Google Translate:
@johnmknox it says it in the headline of the article, but you would not know that because you don't read Hebrew & require Google translate— David Sheen (@davidsheen) October 13, 2014
But the Twitter user was right, of course. Neither in the headline nor anywhere else in the article does Netanyahu, Nazi-like, "compare" Africans to a disease. He was simply discussing Israel's efforts to keep Israelis safe from Ebola (yes, the same conversation leaders in every country across the world is having) and pointing out that Israel's tight border controls, a result of the country's struggle with terrorism and illegal immigration, also serve to protect the country from the epidemic.
The headline, which notwithstanding its quotation marks appears to be a paraphrase of the Israeli leader and not a direct quote (it does not appear in the body of the article), states: "Netanyahu: 'As part of the struggle against infiltrators and terror — we will prevent the entry of Eblola into Israel.'"
The article is introduced by a second passage in quotation marks that again appears to be a paraphrase: "Netanyahu: 'As part of the struggle against infiltrators and terror — we will work to prevent Ebola.'"
Those both appear to be summaries of the actual quote, which appears in the body of the article and the embedded video. Netanyahu says:
The state of Israel is preparing to stop, as much as possible, the entry of people with Ebola into its borders. This is part of the effort we're making in order to defend the borders in general, from illegal infiltrators or from terror.
We are talking about a global epidemic. We are cooperating with other countries. In addition to guarding our borders, we are also taking a number of steps in order to isolate the sick, if they arrive, and also of course to treat them in our healthcare network.
We hope there will not be a need for this, but we are prepared for all possibilities.
Sheen, whose specialty is finding extremist and racist Israelis and broadcasting them to the world as if they represent the entire country, is now casting himself as an expert on "Israeli incitement" to those who don't and don't have the language skills to fact-check him.
It must be easy to lecture about Israeli incitement when you're so willing to lie to your audience.
New York Times Story Covers Up Hamas Destruction of Gaza Antiquities
A story in yesterday's New York Times deals with threats to Gaza's ancient artifacts — or at least, some threats.
Although the story relays the charge that Israel fired missiles into a museum during fighting in 2008, purportedly damaging several ancient pots and other artifacts, it says nothing about Hamas's bulldozing of portions of Gaza's ancient harbor. The harbor is a UNESCO heritage site. According to Al Monitor,
Earlier last month, amid overwhelming criticism from public figures and nongovernmental organizations, the military wing of the Islamic movement of Hamas, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, bulldozed a part of the ancient Anthedon Harbor in northern Gaza along the Mediterranean Sea. The Brigades damaged the harbor in order to expand its military training zone, which was initially opened on the location in 2002, according to Ejla.
Why did the author, freelance reporter Kate Shuttleworth, ignore the terrorist group's assault on Gaza antiquities in an article meant to be about threats to antiquities?
When asked about this on Twitter, Shuttleworth declined to comment.
In a related mystery, the author's use of the passive voice makes it unclear how the pots and jars said to have been "damaged" by Israel were later "destroyed." Shuttleworth states:
During the 2008 war, Mr. Khoudary said, Israeli tanks were stationed 300 meters from the hotel and missiles were fired into the museum. Ancient treasures were damaged in the attacks, include sun-dried clay pots and wine jars, mud-brick wall fragments and Egyptian alabaster plates, some 5,500 years old.
“We were so lucky, our loss was so limited,” he said. “Others had lost all their factories and all their houses were totally destroyed.”
The damaged items were later destroyed. When Mr. Khoudary was asked why he decided not to keep them on display, his face at first turned somber, and then he laughed. “We have to show encouraging things, something positive,” he said.
So how, exactly, were they later destroyed, and at whose hands? Was it Israel? Hamas? Did Khoudary, the sympathetically treated subject of the piece, throw them away, something which surely should be called out in this story about threats to antiquities? Most of all, why did editors leave the vague and confusing sentence in place instead of asking Shuttleworth to clarify?
October 15, 2014
Where's the coverage? U.N. Report Shows Gaza Damaged Limited
During last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, news reports often highlighted claims of noncombatant casualties made by Palestinian sources or agencies relying on such sources. They also emphasized damage Israel inflicted on housing and other Gaza Strip infrastructure during its war against Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip.
Such reports frequently missed the fact that many of those casualties were not civilians, for example, as indicated three weeks in the 50 days of fighting by CAMERA’s senior analyst Steve Stotsky (“How Hamas Wields Gaza’s Casualties as Propaganda,” TIME, July 29, 2014)
Another analysis, this one by the U.N. Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, also was missed or ignored by much of the media. The United Nations, of course, is a font of anti-Israel activity, and one must sift through hyperbole in the Humanitarian Affairs office report about "unprecedented" destruction, but data it contains support Israel’s contention that it targeted Hamas in a restrained manner.
According to a review of the study, done for the Web site www.israellycool.com:
“It now becomes very clear that most of the damage was caused to 5 locations right on the border with Israel. The rest of the Gaza Strip was, for the most part, undamaged. The main population areas of Gaza City, Jabaliya, Khan Yunes, Rafah and Deir el-Balah were disproportionately undamaged.
“If we do a rough estimate of the damage area, it is once again clear the vast majority of the Gaza Strip was unscathed. With a fairly generous estimation that a damage point has a 25 meter radius — the footprint of a house, or the blast radius of a bomb — the total damage area of the 12,433 impacts was in the order of 15 KM2. The land area of the Gaza strip is 360 Km2. In other words, less than 5 percent of the land was affected” (“Assessing the UN’s OCHA ‘Gaza Crisis Atlas 2014’ Report,” Israellycool, Aug. 24, 2014).
Where was the coverage of such basic information? During the July-August war scores of pictures of Palestinian casualties and damaged or destroyed buildings ran in The Washington Post (“More than 100 Palestinians dead in worse day of Gaza conflict; Israel denies soldier captured,” July 24, 2014), New York Times (“Civilian or Not? New Fight in Tallying the Dead From the Gaza Conflict,” Aug. 5, 2014) and Chicago Tribune (“100 Palestinians, 13 Israelis killed in bloody Gaza fighting”, July 20, 2014), among others.
Yet, The Post, N.Y. Times, Tribune and many other outlets did not undertake their own analysis of the report the U.N. Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. This, despite the fact that coverage of the fighting during the summer promoted heightened anti-Israel and, as exemplified by murderous slogans chanted at pro-Palestinian rallies in Europe, antisemitic behavior.
So, Israel’s intensive attacks against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip left 95 percent of the territory unscathed. Where was the coverage?—by Ziv Kaufman.
October 08, 2014
Where's the Coverage? Israeli Innovation Tackles Ebola
As the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States has passed away, it is not surprising that a search of Google News for “Ebola” will turn up roughly 32 million hits. But very little of the coverage mentions Israel’s leading role in battling this deadly disease.
Only the Israeli and Jewish press mention virologist Dr. Leslie Lobel and his fellow researchers at Ben Gurion University, despite the fact that, as The Times of Israel reports, they “are partnering with the US military and the Uganda Virus Research Institute to devise a way of conferring long-term immunity against the disease.” Lobel has been traveling to Africa to research a cure for a dozen years. Media--? Crickets.
Israel Today writes:
Israel has dispatched medical teams to Sierra Leone and Cameroon to train local doctors on how to better combat the Ebola outbreak. Sierra Leone has also requested medication for treating the symptoms of Ebola, and Israel has reportedly promised to provide.
Meanwhile, over 5,000 people in the affected areas of Africa have downloaded a new smartphone app, “About Ebola,” developed on the Israeli platform “Snapp.” According to Israeli press reports, the app:
...is providing medical workers in the field with what is turning out to be one of their most effective tools available for preventing the alarming spread of Ebola in the villages of in West Africa. Using the Snapp platform, it took volunteers only about three days to build a mobile app that provides information on what Ebola is, what to do if symptoms associated with Ebola appear, and how to avoid catching it in the first place.
Most important, said Asaf Kindler of Snapp — the platform is so easy to use that it was a simple matter for volunteers to reprogram for the languages used by villagers in the back-country villages of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other affected countries – languages like Jola, Krio, Liberian English, and Wolof.
While millions of people are concerned with Ebola and the press is rightly covering many aspects of the story, one is conspicuously underplayed — Israel’s leading role in fighting the outbreak and curing the disease. Where’s the coverage?
October 06, 2014
Abbas' 'Dangerous Grandstanding' Nailed by Washington Post
The Washington Post criticized Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for the tactics editorial (“Dangerous grandstanding”, Sept. 30, 2014) displayed in his United Nations address.
“…Mr. Abbas delivered a bridge-burning speech to the U.N. General Assembly … mendaciously accusing Israel of ‘a new war of genocide’ and declaring that a return to negotiations was ‘impossible.’ ”
Impossible is what Abbas seemed to be making of any potential peace agreement with Israel. His accusations and distortions echoed the rhetoric sometimes employed by his predecessor, Palestinian Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat. Arafat, of course, rejected two-state proposals made by U.S. President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barack in 2000 and 2001, resorting instead to the terrorism of the second intifada. Of Abbas, The Post editorial noted:
“…he has now rejected platforms for a settlement on two occasions from two U.S. presidents [George W. Bush and Barack Obama]. He persists in grandstanding gestures that he must know will only delay the serious negotiations that must precede the creation of a Palestinian state …”
The Post lamented Abbas’ rejection of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations as the path to a two-state peace agreement and his intention to have Israel investigated for alleged war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
Other commentary in addition to The Washington Post's took note of Abbas’ bridge-burning. Dror Eydar in Israel Hayom, quoted Abbas, noting that “toward the end of his speech, this so-called moderate partner asserted that what had caused terrorism in our region was — get ready — international leniency toward Israel. He then discussed the Islamic State group [also known as the Islamic State in the Levant or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria], saying: ‘Confronting the terrorism that plagues our region by groups such as ISIL and others that have no basis whatsoever in the tolerant Islamic religion or with humanity and are committing brutal and heinous atrocities requires much more than military confrontation. ... It requires, in this context and as a priority, bringing an end to the Israeli occupation of our country, which constitutes in its practices and perpetuation, an abhorrent form of state terrorism and a breeding ground for incitement, tension, and hatred’ ” (“Abbas incites and we’re to blame?”, Sept. 29, 2014)
Eydar concluded Abbas “juxtaposed the Islamic State with a much more loathsome entity — the State of Israel, which, according to the moderate partner, is a ‘terrorist state’ and a ‘breeding ground for incitement, tension, and hatred,’ and is actually more dangerous than the beheading Islamists. This sentiment is present throughout the entire speech.”
Too often news and commentary of Abbas and his Fatah movement describe them as “relative moderates” compared to Hamas. This may be accurate as far as it goes, but as the propaganda and incitement of Abbas’ General Assembly speech indicate, it doesn’t go far enough. Kudos to The Washington Post and Israel Hayom for pointing that out to readers. by Ziv Kaufman.
Richard Falk Teams with Al-Jazeera America to Vilify Israel
Professor and former U.N. official Richard Falk’s latest anti-Israel fantasy is posted on Al-Jazeera America’s Website. It contains his usual abundance of misinformation about Israel. It has not (yet) aired on the network’s TV channel.
Why would a news network put out the welcome mat for an unreliable individual like Falk? Al-Jazeera America's coverage of Israeli-related news is predominantly biased against Israel which is not surprising since the network's owner/operator is the government of Qatar, which has supplanted Iran as the primary funder of Hamas, the U.S.-designated terrorist group ruling the Gaza Strip that is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and genocide of Jews.
In the posting, Falk characteristically hurls invective and malicious distortions such as “recent vicious attack on Gaza” while failing to point out the viciousness of Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli citizens and omitting mention that Israel has gone to extraordinary lengths to minimize casualties among the Hamas ruled populace.
Likewise, he mentions “charges of genocide directed against Israel in connection with [Operation] Protective Edge” for which there is not an iota of proof while omitting any mention that Hamas is a genocidal organization according to its own charter.
Disappointingly, on Oct. 6, 2014 Yahoo Website contained a favorable teaser linked to Falk’s Al-Jazeera America posting.
How far out is Falk? He’s even endorsed the conspiracy theory that America was behind the 9/11 attack at the Pentagon and World Trade Center known to have been perpetrated by Muslim Arabs.
Yahoo should consider apologizing for its October 6, 2014 Falk teaser.