Blood in the Headlines

Arabs are stabbing Jews again. This is another in a series of tactics utilized by the Arabs to push the Jews out of the region. Since Israel’s founding Arabs have been attempting to wipe the Jews out of the Middle East. The stabbings now taking place are a strategy employed to both demoralize Israel on the ground, and delegitmize Israel on the world stage. The Western Media is a coconspirator in this delegitimization effort.

Scenario: a teenager stabs a thirteen-year old on a bicycle in front of you. If you don’t try to defend the victim, you are a bystander. But if you actively, loudly, publicly condemn the police for shooting the attacker you are no longer a bystander. You are now a participant. The mainstream media has consistently misrepresented the situation in the Middle East. These journalists are not mere bystanders; they are key participants in a war.

Israel has undergone a transformation over the past few weeks. On October 1st, four children watched from the backseat of a car as their parents were shot dead. That was the first in a series of similar horrors. The Israeli Defense Force website provides this accounting:

  • October 1: Eitam and Naama Henkin killed in front of their four children in shooting attack near Nablus. Assailants apprehended
  • October 3: 2 Israelis killed, 2 injured in stabbing attack in Jerusalem
  • October 4: Israeli teenager stabbed in Jerusalem. Assailant shot on site.
  • October 7:  Israeli civilian stabbed in Jerusalem. IDF soldier stabbed in Kiryat    Gat.  Israeli civilian stabbed in Petah Tikva. Attempted car ramming in Jerusalem.
  • October 8: 4 Israelis injured in screwdriver stabbing attack in Tel Aviv.Israeli stabbed in Kiryat Arba. Israeli stabbed in Afula.
  • October 9: 6 Israelis stabbed 5 Israelis injured.
  • October 10: 7 Israelis injured
  • October 11: 7 Israelis injured in various attacks
  • October 12: 2Attempted stabbings. 4 succesful stabbings.
  • ·October 13: 3 Israelis killed 13 injured
  • October 15: 1Israeli Injured. Joseph’s tomb burnt.
  • October 17:  3 Israelis stabbed
  • October 18·: 1 soldier killed, 10 Israelis attacked

If you’re a typical American teenager you did not know about these attacks. If you don’t have family in Israel you did not spend the study breaks of the last two weeks scanning Israeli media’s reports of victims for the names of your friends. News updates from the mainstream media may have alerted you to the fact that something out of the ordinary was going on in Israel. You don’t know that Israeli children are afraid to go to school. You don’t know that mothers and fathers sleep with guns next to their beds, just in case.

A slim collection of journalists with a sweet spot for honest reporting have begun rebuking the mainstream media for failing to bear witness to this spillage of Jewish blood. This rebuke, though apt, is incomplete. It casts the media as mere bystanders rather than active participants. It ignores the culpability of the journalists and reporters providing their readers with a biased anti-Israel conception of the streets in which Israeli children are being stabbed. Here is an example of such condemnable reporting:  “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two” – BBC News, October 3rd

This headline fails to identify the Palestinian as the attacker. Odd.

This is not silence. This is not unbiased journalism. This is vilification; specifically the vilification of a country for defending its citizens from lethal harm. It is also precisely what the attackers are hoping for. That teenagers were killed is a tragedy, but that the media blames those who were defending themselves rather than those who were instructing mere children to stab Jews is not an example of silence. It is a dangerous, shameful trend.

The following headlines, to pick a few from countless examples, are further examples of this same failing:

 “Two Palestinian Teenagers Killed, Two Injured by Israeli Police” – The Wall Street Journal, October 12th

Two Palestinians aged 12 and 15 have been shot dead and two knife attacks have left five Israelis wounded” – The Guardian, October 10th  

“6 Palestinian teens die amid Mideast unrest” – Los Angeles Times, October 11th

These consistent misrepresentations are not accidental. The chasmic difference between the blood on the street and the blood in the headlines is far too great and far too uniform to be unintentional. The media has consciously sided with the wrong side, and they are therefore guilty of contributing directly to the problem. They are guilty of legitimizing a regime that systematically incites its citizens to terror. That is what portraying terrorist as victim accomplishes.

This legitimation has consequences beyond the trajectory of dinner time conversation. In a free country people read the newspaper, and people also vote in elections. Two weeks before the first attack in October, Mahmoud Abbas, acting leader of the Palestinian Authority, stated, “we bless every drop of blood that has been spilled in Jerusalem.” This is one of countless examples of the catalysis of violence by Abbas against Jews. Don’t look for that quote in the BBC or the NY Times -- you won’t find it. What you will find is reports that Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with Abbas to discuss peace negotiations.

Abbas wrote his PhD dissertation arguing against the historicity of the Holocaust. He was part of the leadership that engineered the Munich Massacre, the Coastal Road Massacre, the murder of diplomats in the Sudan. His resume is riddled with American and Jewish corpses. That he is constantly portrayed by the media, and consequently by our government, as a legitimate partner in the pursuit of peace in the Middle East is absurd. That U.S. aid money is given as payment to the family members of those martyred at the behest of their government, while murdering Israelis is absurd. That the United Nations has issued more condemnations of Israel than any other country in the world, including Syria and Iran and North Korea, is absurd. These absurdities are linked; they are the manifestations of a febrile virus with which the mainstream media is infecting its readers.

This is not silence. This is not passive communication. This is legitimizing terror. This noxious reporting is equally responsible for the blood of the Palestinian teenagers as it is the Israeli victims.

If the media were only guilty of silence, that would be a gross dereliction of journalistic responsibility. It would be cowardly. But they are not only guilty of silence, they are guilty of participation. They are complicit.