The sage Hillel asked “If not now, when?” Can I humbly add: “Now, more than ever?”
Another murder this morning in Gush Etzion, where my angelic Aunt Rosalie lives with my cousins and extended family. The Paris terror bloodbath still rings in our ears, and again — like clockwork — Palestinian terrorists spill more Israeli blood. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali said: “Israel knows that terrorism is based on hatred. It must be agressively fought and defeated.” And it must be accurately reported.
I shudder to think what the news media will say this time — or rather, what they won’t say. Will they report that innocent Israelis are being stabbed as they walk down the street, murdered while they pray, and shot while riding on public transportation? Will they call a terrorist a terrorist? Or will they call an axe-wielding murderer an ‘assailant’? Will they mention that it was a Palestinian who acted first, in cold blood, or will they write that a young Palestinian has been killed by Israelis, and omit the self-defense part?
Here’s what I heard during the last spate of murders:
12 pm, MSNBC. A murderer had just rammed into a bus stop wielding his ax and killing a rabbi, and there were 3 other knife attacks. This was the coverage:
NY correspondent: “So. Let’s talk about the violence in Israel. I understand it’s because of the settlement activity.”
Jerusalem correspondent: “That’s right. And I’m told that the death rate is four Palestinians for each Israeli.”
I let out a wail in my living room.
5 pm, Charlie Rose. Usually spirited and informative, today we had an American journalist from Ha’aretz newspaper and an Arabist from the Brookings Institute or some similar think tank. The conversation was so milquetoast , these three could have been discussing a bone of contention at a chemistry conference. Not a word about vicious killings, the stabbing of innocents, treachery.
Several days later, The New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren — true to her perpetually-unbalanced-towards Israel form — wrote that one of the stabbers “was carrying a boy-scout knife.” Not only, as it turned out , was this factually untrue, but it so obviously conjures up an image of, well, a good boy scout. That is Jodi: telling it like it isn’t.
So why do I say ‘Now more than ever?”
Because these ordinary Israelis, going about their day and being murdered with utter lawlessness are the same Israelis that invent technological wizardry to make our lives easier, discover medical cures like freezing breast tumors so we all live longer, invent revolutionary car cameras to help us drive safer, find a method to take salt out of ocean water so millions of people are less thirsty, and create drip irrigation so that farmers from California to Calcutta can grow their crops efficiently.
So we have a double whammy. Lousy reporting on vicious murdering of Israelis, and virtually no reporting on Israeli innovations that better the world.
And what of Israel’s humanity, like the fact that doctors treat the Terrorist Stabbers in Israeli hospitals? Yes, deafening silence on that one….
That is why those determined to tell the truth about Israel are so vital. Groups like Untold News, Stand with Us, JNS, CAMERA, and HonestReporting throw a powerful-punch counterattack to the distorted media. A side-arm ‘right back at ya’ fastball. Some fight lies and bias; others shout about Israeli innovation; others get up-to-the-minute stories out on the wire to Jewish, Christian, Hispanic and other key audiences.
We fight the good fight, because on this side of the pond we have a duty to be proactive and not just reactive. We can and we will influence the media message, so that Americans know and understand:
Israeli inventiveness matters.
Israeli lives matter.
Hillel was right. If not now, when?