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November 20, 2014

Palestinians Butcher Israelis, Wall Street Journal Pivots to Blaming Israel


Joshua Mitnick and Nicholas Casey, correspondents for the Wall Street Journal, have long evidenced a bias favoring the Palestinians in their reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But in recent months this bias has spun out of control. In a deluge of articles on the upsurge in violence around Jerusalem starting in October, Mitnick and Casey have struck a monotonic chord that always points to Israeli actions and policies as the problem.

Even after the most recent case in which two Palestinians butchered four rabbis praying in a synagogue readers are not spared the usual spin. On November 20, page A10 of the Journal published two articles on the violence encompassing nearly the entire page. The top-of-the-page headline states, "Israel Destroys Home of Car-Attack Suspect."

The entire thrust of the article is to condemn Israel for "reviving an internationally condemned demolition policy." In mantra fashion, each paragraph begins with a harsh Israeli action or a criticism of Israeli action.

Paragraph two starts with "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened a harsh response..."

Paragraph three starts with a description of the action taken by Israeli soldiers against the family of one of the terrorists.

Paragraph four starts with "The demolition marked the return of one of israel's m ost controversial policies..."

Paragraph five starts with "The U.S. views home destruction as counterproductive..."

Paragraph six starts with "Palestinians and rights groups say home demolitions aren't a deterrent and only encourage families to seek revenge, fueling a vicious cycle."

Paragraph seven starts with a quote from a pro-Palestinian leftist group B'Tselem, "You cannot punish people for other people's actions."

Where is the discussion of the Palestinian actions; relentless official incitement to violence based on instilling in its youth a vengeance-driven sense of victimization; Muslim religious doctrine that fuels intolerance of Jews. The failure to attribute Palestinian responsibility to the current violence indicates a patronizing, soft-bigotry on the part of Mitnick and Casey toward the Palestinians.

The second article "Jerusalem's Jews and Arabs are Fearful after Massacre" provides more of the same one-sided coverage. It opens with the claim that "A heightened sense of fear and division gripped both Jews and Arabs of this city..." Except that in reality, there is not parity here. There have been two innocent Arab victims versus sixteen Israeli ones (fourteen Jews and two Druze) in Jerusalem and the West Bank since June when three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered. The deadly violence and the murderous provocation is overwhelmingly on the Arab side and has been consistently for many years.

Mitnick and Casey then engage in revisionist history as they contend that the "current crisis has been in the making since Israel captured the city's eastern districts from Jordan in the 1967 war..." They have chosen a convenient starting point, as the chronology of Arab violence against Jews in Jerusalem in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s apparently doesn't count. Why not point to the ethnic cleansing of Jews from eastern Jerusalem in 1949 as the starting point?

Mitnick and Casey allege that it was the Israeli leader's neglect of Palestinian neighborhoods that is to blame. The incitement to hating Jews and the persistent urging by Palestinian leaders to engage in violence doesn't make it into their account. Nor does praise for the terrorists as "martyrs" from the most influential institutions in Palestinian society matter. In fact, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made a point of praising the attempted assassin of Jewish activist Yehuda Glick as a "martyr." Such topics reside in a black hole that neither Mitnick nor Casey has the inclination to grapple with. It might require them to push beyond the boundaries of their comfort zone in blaming Israeli authorities.

It would be bad enough if these unbalanced articles were presented in an editorial or opinion piece. But what makes Mitnick's and Casey's articles particularly detestable is that their one-sided account is offered under the guise of reporting the news.

The Wall Street Journal can do better.

Posted by SS at November 20, 2014 11:15 AM


I am a long time subscriber to the Jiurnal and have noted and complained to it if the biased coverages of Israel by Mitnick.The Nivember 20 story,which made me I'll when I read it is typical of the biased reporting by Mitnick.Guven Judie Rudoren's coverage of Israel,,Mitnick is no surprise.

Posted by: Martin Novack at November 26, 2014 12:08 PM

This article is particularly enlightening. I was under the impression that the WSJ was more sensitive to the truth, since I thought (perhaps in error) that the WSJ was the parent of Fox television news. Fox, except for Shepard Smith, always 'appeared' more interested in the truth than virtually all other TV 'news' channels. Maybe it is because the other 'man line' broadcasters are so despicable that Fox appeared so good. What good is 'Freedom of the Press' when they all stink so badly?

Posted by: Victor Galindo at November 26, 2014 01:36 PM

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