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August 26, 2016

USA Today Report Shines Light on Terrorist Motivations, Israeli Responses

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In only 487-words, a USA Today report (“Attack lull ends as Israeli is stabbed by Palestinian,” Aug. 12, 2016) on a Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem provided readers with information frequently omitted by major U.S. news media outlets. Although the article initially erred by claiming that an Aug. 11, 2016 terror attack was “the first such attack after a five-week lull,” it nonetheless offered some valuable reporting and insights.

As CAMERA has noted (“After CAMERA Contacts about Error, USA Today Corrects on Palestinian Terror ‘Lull,’” Aug. 26, 2016), the August 11 assault was, in fact, not “the first such attack” since July 1, 2016. Other incidents were detailed by, among others, Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Following contact from CAMERA, Today editors commendably issued a correction.

The rest of the article, however, was informative and offered details seldom found elsewhere.

Rubin highlighted Israel’s strategy in confronting the so-called “stabbing intifada” in which Palestinian Arabs have, since September 2015, attacked Israelis with rocks, knives, vehicles, and guns, among other weapons. Rubin pointed out that “Israel has tamped down attacks by retaliating against the assailants’ families rather than cracking down on all Palestinians and provoking a widespread push for new violence against Israelis, according to security analysts.”

By contrast, some news media have inaccurately depicted Israeli counterterror responses as both indiscriminate and disproportionate (see, for exampleHa’aretz Validates Bernie with Bad Information,” CAMERA, April 18, 2016).

New Israeli counterterror methods are detailed in the Today article. For example, the report noted that Israeli authorities have “developed online algorithms to identify and take down online posts that incite assaults…. [and] other ministries have worked on a system to find potential attackers based on their online comments in support of violence and a desire to avenge the death of a relative by Israeli forces.”

Despite the terrorist attacks, Rubin pointed out that the Jewish state “has been letting more Palestinian workers into the country and is planning to distribute thousands of work permits in the near future, a move intended to spare the wider Palestinian community punishments for the acts of a few.”

Unlike some prior reports on the stabbing intifada, the USA Today article highlighted a key cause behind it: the al-Aqsa libel. Rubin stated that the assaults and murders were “prompted by false rumors that Israel would take control of the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.” Indeed, as CAMERA noted at the time (“Incitement over Temple Mount Leads to Palestinian Violence, Again,” Sept. 16, 2015), Palestinian leadership have repeatedly echoed an old libel which claimed that Jews held designs to “rid” Jerusalem of the al-Aqsa mosque, located on Judaism’s holiest site, Temple Mount. As in previous instances, for example 1929, 1996 and 2000, Palestinian officials and media used that libel to encourage anti-Jewish violence.

The USA Today report, despite an initial error, gave readers insights into both a motivating factor behind Palestinian terror attacks and how Israel is responding to the violence. Shira Rubin’s article can be found here.


Posted by SD at August 26, 2016 02:10 PM

Comments

USA Today seems to be doing a better job very recently in its Israel coverage. Unlike other MSM, they actually correct errors and bia (recently, anyway). I think efforts by CAMERA, including letters written by supporters of CAMERA are helping.

Posted by: Michael at September 1, 2016 11:27 AM

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