March 9, 2008
Deconstructing Anti-Israel Bias: The Jerusalem Yeshiva MassacreBy Gary Wolf
The bias of the mainstream media against Israel never ceases to amaze me. It must rank as one of the most curious sociopolitical phenomena of our era. The further the Palestinian Arabs move toward a barbaric Islamic theocracy, the deeper the support for them among the cadre of "progressive" journalists.
An example of the entrenched bias is last Thursday's (March 6) article from the Associated Press, "7 die in shooting at Jerusalem seminary."
Let us first examine the headline: "7 die." Seven what-people? Jews? Martians? And they are not killed, they simply "die," in the passive sense, as if from a stroke. The main reason why this is so insidious is that such language is never used when the enemies of Israel are the ones who die. One of the calling cards of Leftist journalism is that when Arabs die, you know how they died, who killed them, and whether they had any special characteristics worthy of pity. If the sides were reversed, the headline would read, "Israeli extremist massacres 7 youths learning Koran at Gaza holy place."
Let us now move to the body of the article:
A gunman? Don't use the T-word, Mr. AP reporter, it hurts too much. Sure, a gunman, a man who happened to have a gun. It was probably just a liquor-store holdup that went bad.
"Killing at least seven people." Okay, we now know that the gunman killed someone. The victims remain just vague people, however. Not students, rabbis, youths, boys, teenagers, whatever.
The militant Hamas? Nothing like a little air freshener to sanitize one of the world's premiere Islamofascist terror groups. Militant, that sounds like hippies holding a sit-in demonstration. We should be grateful they weren't called activists.
Here we begin the obligatory recitation of Israel's recent bad behavior, to give us the context for the terror attack. First we learn that the old martyr's club pulled off the caper because Israel killed their hero, Mughniyeh. Israel of course "denied any role," which is to be expected from those tricky devils.
But wait, there's more Israeli mischief behind all this:
Well why didn't you say so? It was only after Israel decided to kill 120 people that the great moderate leader, His Excellency the President Mr. Abbas, was obliged to suspend the talks. Bad, bad Israel. At least the rocket attacks against Israel were mentioned, but note the odd sentence structure, with the sequence of events reversed. Ah, those cute little militants, "barraging southern Israel with rockets." Not bombing, not raining death, but barraging.
By the way, what does all this have to do with the event the article purports to be covering?
The T-word is finally used, but put in the mouth of an Israeli. We have been told that the gunman is a militant, so the use of the word terrorist seems misplaced and extreme. Another classic calling card of Leftist journalism.
Similarly, descriptions of the carnage in the mouth of an Israeli, rather than being stated as fact. And even for this crumb, we had to wait until the 13th paragraph.
Implying that the institution is all about that nasty West Bank stuff. Our intrepid correspondant might have let us know that Mercaz Harav is one of the most important Jewish theological seminaries in the world. Harav ("the Rabbi" in Hebrew) refers to Rabbi Kook, the first chief rabbi of Israel, a great preacher of love and reconciliation. The students who were murdered and maimed by the militant were engaged, among other things, in study of the Bible. Where are the photos and heart-rending accounts of Bibles riddled with bullet holes?
The "entrance of Jerusalem"? What does that mean, and what does it have to do with anything?
Note that Israeli spokesmen are always labeled as the military or police, not the "government" or "Israeli authorities." And these military/police types "claimed to have foiled many attempts." They only claim; surely they must be lying. After all, we're talking about those peace-loving Palestinians.
We are told that the heyday of militancy, 2001-2004, occurred "at the height of Palestinian-Israeli fighting." An interesting way to describe the wave of terrorism that swept across Israel during those years. "Fighting," as if the Palestinian Arabs came out to meet the Israeli army head-on, rather then sending Jihad-crazed human bombs into crowded urban areas.
I wonder whether the article would have looked any different if the militant had shot up AP headquarters in New York, killing seven people and wounding ten.
Let us imagine what on-the-scene coverage of 9/11 might have looked like if the media's anti-Israel bias were brought to bear: