Aaron Menche

Media Bias, The New Blood Libel

Throughout the history of the Jewish people, we have been accused of murdering non-Jews for their blood. This is called a blood libel. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a blood libel is defined as “The false and maliciously perpetuated accusation that Jews have murdered non-Jews (such as Christian children) in order to use their blood in rituals.” The purpose of these blood libels, which occurred in both Christian and Muslim countries, was to paint the Jews as outsiders with murderous intent. It was to rile up the local population to commit violence against the Jews.

I stopped watching the TV news coverage of the war two weeks ago. I find that I am mentally in a better place. However, I do read a lot of news. I am a news junkie. It seems that not a day goes by that there is not a case of a major news organization that tries to promote false accusations about the Jews.

The most famous of these was the October 17th bombing of the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which was originally blamed on Israel. Although it has been definitively proven that Israel was not at fault, this news has not gone away. The number of dead that Hamas claimed this incident caused was 471 and is included in their statistics of deaths in Gaza due to the war. This story has no doubt been one of the direct causes of the current outbreak of antisemitic hatred across the globe and is still being repeated today. Rashida Talib, a congresswoman of the USA, keeps repeating this lie. That is the thing with blood libels; once the accusation is made, it never goes away. Yet even after this event was proven not to involve Israel, the majority of news in the world still paints us as bloodthirsty and looking for revenge.

Most of the time, these libels are done covertly, like quoting numbers of people killed by Israel and not mentioning that the numbers include those from the hospital, the terrorists that have been killed (which Israel has said are in the thousands), the fact that the definition of a child is anyone 18 and under, that women can be terrorists and that about 25% of the rockets fired at Israeli civilians fall into Gazan territory and kill people. What could be the reason for not clarifying this when the casualty numbers are given, other than to malign Israel and turn public opinion against it?

Or, how about the fact that the return of the hostages is portrayed as a situation of a hostage for a hostage. I mean it’s the same, isn’t it? I have not read anywhere that, whereas Hamas is releasing innocent women and children that they forcibly abducted, Israel is releasing people that have murdered or attempted to murder Israelis. Yes, they are women and children being released, but one child was a 17-year-old man, and one of the women tried to stab a policeman to death.

There are even some newscasters who try to condemn Israel for the fairness of the exchange. Just last week, Kay Buley, a veteran newscaster on Sky News, asked the Israeli spokesperson, Eylon Levy, what he thought of the following. She had been speaking to a hostage negotiator that morning and he suggested that since Israel was willing to give up three Palestinians for each Israeli, this proves that Israel does not value Palestinian lives as much as Israeli life.

It is my understanding that government spokespeople are chosen for their ability to give facts and respond to hostile questioning, but to say the least, Mr. Levy was stunned (his stunned face has become a meme). He politely (too politely, in my opinion) told her that this was an “astonishing accusation.” Not surprisingly, she has still not apologized for the extremely offensive question, claiming that she is trying to give the point of view of both sides.

I could cite a hundred more examples, but I won’t. Most of you have seen this kind of thing many times over the last 7 weeks, but it is a frustrating situation. Anyone who supports Israel today is experiencing some sort of Bizarro world where right and wrong don’t matter, and only numbers count.

The New York Times wrote an article last week about how some families were having a hard time at Thanksgiving this year. In a Jewish home, the grandmother was staunchly pro-Israel. Her daughter was also pro-Israel, but her daughter (the granddaughter) was very anti-Israel. They, of course, gave the granddaughter the last words on the subject which were “To me, there are no sides. The sides are not killing people.” That makes a lot of sense. I am sure that most news outlets feel the same yet there is one major difference. Although I don’t know her personally, I will assume that this young person has no concept of the history of the region. As a matter of fact, she probably doesn’t care. To her, it is simple, stop killing.

The news outlets, on the other hand, do know this difference. They know that the Palestinians rejected peace in 1948 and that they started a war, with 5 Arab countries as allies, with the expressed goal to kill all the Jews in the new state of Israel. The news outlets know that the Palestinians have not only rejected 6 more offers of peace (the last being 98% of what they were looking for) but have never made a counteroffer that was not the destruction of Israel. The news outlets also know that Hamas broke the ceasefire on October 7th, again, and that they promised that they will continue to do so.

We lovers of Israel know not to expect any better, but who will pay the consequences for the lies, misinformation, and libels about us? These are not innocuous accusations or omissions of facts; they have real-world repercussions. Antisemitism is at an all-time high and these reports have made it hard to publicly identify as a Jew in public. Just yesterday, a teacher in a High School in Queens, N.Y., was chased into a classroom by close to 200 students because they found out that she supported Israel. She was there for over two hours. 25 police officers had to come to save her, yet there were no arrests. This is the result of the current blood libels. It is what the purpose of a blood libel has always been. It is to turn people against the Jews for their bloodlust, their support of “genocide,” “ethnic cleansing,” and the intentional killing of children. It is the textbook definition of blood libel, and today it is the major news outlets that are their biggest promoters.

About the Author
Aaron Menche has a dual major in Political science and Near Eastern studies and started his masters in Near Eastern studies but, then life got in the way. After raising a family in NYC, he made Aliyah 7 years ago. He is currently waiting for good sushi and overnight Amazon to come to Israel.
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