From the State Department News Room

Here is part of the exchange that went on the other day at the briefing room of the US State Department between Al-Quds reporter Said Arikat (yes, a distant relative of Palestinian Authority Saeb Erekat) and John Kirby, State Dept. spokesman.  But I must warn you, I have underlined the words, terms and phrasing that make this man a propagandist and not a journalist and more about that after the quoted sections:

QUESTION: …I wanted to ask you very quickly on the topic that we discussed before, which is the excessive use of force by the Israeli army, Israeli law enforcement authorities…drawing on the lesson from London just the other day, when a knife-wielding terrorist was basically subdued by a taser, wouldn’t it be more prudent for the Israelis to use such methods in subduing these kids instead of turning them into martyrs and basically just accelerating and fanning the flames and so on? Wouldn’t it be better to use methods like this to sort of neutralize these would-be knife-wielding —


MR KIRBY: …I’m not going to get into characterizing every incident or every word that’s uttered…We’ve been very clear that we want incitement to stop and for the violence to stop. To your question, what needs to happen is the violence needs to stop…there’s a role here for both sides…we want the violence to stop so that people can start to move forward, meaningfully move forward towards trying to get to a two-state solution.


QUESTION: I understand that the violence needs to stop, but I guess my question to you is you would prefer if you saw a situation where less lethal force was used to achieve the same results, basically, would you?


MR KIRBY: Again, I’m not going to get into a debate about individual acts or individual decisions made on this. We’ve said – long said Israel has a right to defend itself….I’m not going to get into parsing every way in which they go about ensuring that security…the violence has to stop and the killing of innocent people has to stop.

This manipulative dialoguing by Arikat has been noted previously and the man has been quite successful in planting a potential headline or sound byte trap which, for spokespersons, is almost unavoidable although Kirby did fine above.  However, this time, the Free Beacon spotlighted the Q & A maneuver.

The news site did the true journalism job and pointed out that

Arikat’s line of questioning did not include the fact that the police used stun guns did not work at first at the Leytonstone Tube Station. Video of the attack, in which the 29-year-old suspect Muhaydin Mire screamed, “this is for Syria,” shows that Mire did not immediately go down after being hit with the stun gun. Witnesses of the incident reported the terrorist “went back to have another go.”  The question also did not address where the violence originated in the first place: the attackers bearing knives.

What further needs top be addressed is whether there were any other Israel media personnel in the room and why did any of them not join in the fray and point out the obvious: Arikat was engaged in a “leading question” maneuver with false assumptions and incorrect facts.  Does TOI have a rep there? The Jerusalem Post? YNET? NRG? You’ll excuse me but I will not include Haaretz in that list and I think you know why.

Do their editors not see what is happening and דם direct them to be more alert and to assert themselves? To ask pointed questions of their own? To highlight lack of Palestinian fulfillment of obligations?  Matt Lee does just fine in that room, drawing attention to the foibles and outright lies by State in quite an objective fashion and YNET even reported on that.

Israeli media people can’t do that?

Whose fault is that – the reporter or his editor?

P.S.  I would have added as a tag “Media Bias” but it isn’t on my list. Sorry.

About the Author
Yisrael Medad, currently is a Research Fellow at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem and Deputy Editor of the English Language Anthology of Jabotinsky's Writings. American-born, he and his wife made Aliyah in 1970. He resides in Shiloh since 1981. He was a member of the Betar Youth Movement World Executive and is a volunteer spokesperson for the Yesha Council. He holds a MA in Political Science from the Hebrew University and is active is many Zionist and Jewish projects and initiatives.
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