Michael Berenhaus

Israel bashing at The Washington Post

Facial recognition technology is used by most countries for security purposes. Why did the newspaper single out the Jewish state?

A front-page Washington Post article, “Israel targets Palestinians with cameras, facial tracking” (11/9/21), which includes a full inside page and as many as four photographs, looks like a startling scoop about Israeli misuse of facial recognition technology. One must journey to the end of the overwrought expose to realize the anticlimactic truth that Israel’s facial recognition practices are not only lawful but similar to those of the US and other democracies worldwide.

The article describes how Israel is using facial recognition to identify Palestinians. The Post article acknowledges that the former Israeli soldiers who “broke” this story “were told by the military that the efforts were a powerful augmentation of its capabilities to defend Israel against terrorists.”

After that, the bulk of the article is a series of attempts to demonize Israel with claims that the high-tech monitoring violates Palestinian human rights and rights to privacy. The report does not cite any human rights law or privacy law that might be breached. Nor does it disclose that Israel observes the same high standards of privacy protection as the European Union.

However, if the reader is able to wade through the article to paragraph 35, then they will get critical details to understand the Israeli program. The Post states that “The Israeli system is used to check whether a Palestinian has a permit to enter Israel, for example to work or to visit relatives, and to keep track of who is entering the country, according to news reports. This check is obligatory for Palestinians, as is the check at American airports for foreigners.” Scratching my head…so that’s what this fuss is about?

The Post adds that “Unlike the border checks, the monitoring…” is also happening in the West Bank Palestinian city of Hebron. Hebron is one of the most dangerous flashpoints in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and is the home of the Caves of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, – a holy site in both Islam and Judaism. Hebron is also a stronghold of the terrorist group Hamas. One cannot stress enough that Israel suffers more terrorist attacks or attempted attacks than any other country in the world.

Israel has no need to apologize for protecting their citizens and soldiers, especially with non-violent surveillance. Most countries protect public safety with the same technology. Why did the Post single out Israel?

About the Author
Dr. Berenhaus has worked tirelessly as a watchdog for anti-Israel bias in the media. His efforts monitoring and responding to false media reports on Israel have compelled several news organizations to retract inaccuracies and publish letters clarifying the truth about Israel. He has been published widely in highly distributed newspapers and online publications including The Washington Post, The NY Times, The Economist, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Jewish Week, and The American Thinker. He is a crusader in online/social media working to educate the general public as an advocate of Israel and against anti-Semitism. Dr. Berenhaus is a co-founder of ‘Boycott The Post’ and of ‘Eye on the Post’ - two non-profit organizations that monitor media coverage to ensure accuracy, fairness and truth as it relates to Israel. He is also a founder of The Pakistan Israel Peace Forum, an organization dedicated to creating peace between Muslims and Jews. Although many people in the Washington Jewish community know Dr. Berenhaus for his work in journalism, most don't know how generous he is to the Jewish community with both his time and money. Dr. Berenhaus has spent countless hours throughout the years volunteering for Israel and Jewish organizations. He went to Ethiopia and worked with the last remaining Ethiopian Jews. He has lectured to Interns and community groups providing direction and techniques for Israel Advocacy in the media. Currently, Dr. Berenhaus is working with JSSA to coordinate and donate eye glasses to the entire Washington DC region of needy Holocaust Survivors. That effort has now been expanded nationally.
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