For the past 16 years I have spent a great deal of time monitoring coverage of Israel by main stream media outlets stationed both here and abroad.
It’s no surprise that it doesn’t take very long to find articles whose content can be described as either anti-Israel by nature, or those whose authors simply misrepresent the facts whether with malicious intent, or simply because they didn’t do their job of fact checking, in a rush on tight deadline when filing a report.
Of the literally thousands of articles I have come across, this past Sunday’s front page article in the New York Times, by Jerusalem Bureau Chief Correspondent Jodi Rudoren “In a West Bank Culture of Conflict, Boys Wield the Weapon at Hand.” is probably at the very top of the all time list in terms of its blatant glorification and justification of terror by the ‘poor and meek’ Arab stone-throwing children, vs. the big bad IDF and the dreaded ‘settlers.’
I don’t know Rudoren personally, and I don’t know what makes her tick, or her rationale and justification for publishing this despicable piece, but it’s articles like these which result in more Jewish Israeli blood being split by its Arab neighbors.
The fact is Rudoren’s published words, backed by a major main stream news outlet, no doubt encourages these young terrorists to keep up their attacks.
The article could probably be analyzed word for word in terms of its incitement-laced nature, but I want to focus on several disturbing points.
- Rudoren quotes a 17-year-old terrorist named Muhammad from the village of Beit Ommar who describes his attack on passing Jewish cars as a “hobby.”
“Children have hobbies, and my hobby is throwing stones,” says Muhammad.
While it might not be Rudoren’s responsibility to edit out a direct quote from her subject’s admission of guilt in carrying out terror attacks, the problem is what she fails to include.
It is well documented that families living under the PA whose children are arrested by the IDF for terror activity are compensated (actually rewarded) 1,000-1,500 NIS per child per month while in Israeli custody. In other words, Rudoren fails to acknowledge that Muhammad hasn’t taken up a ‘hobby’ like marbles or stamp collecting, but he has taken up a profession – attempted murder knowing full well that his family will be paid for his actions. Leaving out this major detail downplays Muhammad’s acts significantly.
2. Of course Rudoren does allow a ‘settler’ to speak offering one Menuha Shvat a mere 73 words to explain that rock attacks can be deadly. Fair and balanced right? Hardly.
Rudoren does say that Shvat knew a man and his son who were murdered in a terror attack in 2011, when their car flipped over after being pelted with “stones” (more like a boulder, traveling as fast as a bullet, hurled out of a passing car). But she fails to put a human face on the dead father/baby ‘settlers’ by omitting the victims’ names. Asher and his son Yonatan Palmer who were the victims in that attack were not only Israeli citizens, but US citizens as well. It seems pretty strange that the New York Times being a US-based newspaper omitted this detail right? Or is it?
3.Towards the end of the article Rudoren quotes a study by the Defense for Children International, who she says is “an advocacy group that last year documented 360 cases of arrested Palestinian youths.” Rudoren cites numbers which claim that while 90 percent of Arab children received jail sentences in Israel’s military system, according to the report, only 6.5 percent of arrested Israeli children are sentenced.
Sounds completely unfair and out of proportion doesn’t it?
But what makes the numbers significantly different is the fact that those 6.5 percent of Israeli children sentenced are accused of a full spectrum of criminal activity – theft, drugs, etc. while the 90 percent of Arab children, are mostly found guilty of carrying out terror attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. Therefore there shouldn’t be any confusion as to the discrepancy of those statistics. But since that information was omitted, there certainly is a reason to point a finger at Israel, when the information is read by the average NY Times reader.
Again, these are just three points, and there are plenty more that can be made proving that this article is simply journalism at its worst.
At the end of the day anyone who is trying to understand the Middle East objectively (meaning isn’t yet an Israel hater) and reads this, comes away sympathizing with the poor “stone” throwers who are simply bored in life vs. the evil Israeli army and evil “settlers”.
I only pray that more Jews don’t lose their lives or are hurt as a result of this glorification of terror. Wishing everyone safe travels.