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March 07, 2016

USA Today Imprisons Facts, Conceals Truths

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(Note: The letter below was sent to USA Today staff)

"USA Today’s “Palestinian children as young as 11 join attacks on Israel” (Feb. 25, 2016), by Asma’ Jawabreh and Jacob Wirtshafter, features omissions, minimizes anti-Jewish violence and relies on a questionable source without offering a counterbalancing view.

Not disclosing that most Palestinian Arab attackers incarcerated by Israel have been held for terrorist plots or attempts targeting Jews, the report uncritically quotes a “human-rights” lawyer who complains that incarcerated Israeli minors have rehabilitation options whereas Palestinian minors have “almost none.” This misleading comparison omits that all Israeli citizens, Jews and Arabs, have equal access and rights under the law. But Palestinian Arabs are not Israeli citizens; in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) their daily activities fall under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Why that authority chooses not to invest in rehabilitation measures, but in anti-Jewish violence by giving honors and money to terrorists and their families—while using state media to condone their acts—is a question USA Today should ask of the PA, not Israel.

The newspaper minimizes continuing Palestinian attacks against Israelis using cinder blocks, knives, meat cleaver, vehicles and guns, among other items, that have claimed 28 lives and wounded many more since September 2015, as merely a “spate of stabbings and other assaults.” Further, it claims without substantiation that the violence is “over Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank.”

In fact, since 1993 when the PA was established in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, given limited self-rule and a chance for statehood in exchange for promises of peace with Israel, Palestinian attacks have only increased. Since the PA’s creation and refusal of peace and statehood, it has persisted in ceaseless demonization and dehumanization of Israel and Jews—encouraging terror.

Contravening established journalistic practice, the report uncritically quotes only Israel’s critics and defamers. Not a single Israeli official is provided space to counter claims from questionable sources like Gerard Horton of Military Court Watch (MCW). NGO-Monitor, a non-profit watchdog group, has noted that MCW traffics in testimonies that are “anonymous, unverifiable, and lack credibility.”

USA Today tried to tackle an important story. Unfortunately, this one-sided effort fell far short.

Sincerely,

Sean Durns
Media Assistant
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America"


Posted by SD at March 7, 2016 09:32 AM

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