The Bottom Line

It sure isn’t the top line. You don’t get the western media spelling this out. You just get – in the main – excuses for terrorism and demonization of Israel.

Notice, we are talking about looking from the perspective of their leaders. It’s not clear what the ordinary Palestinian wants.

Killing by Silence

TOI coverage of Ori Ansbacher's murder

The death of Ori Ansbacher is a terrible, shocking event.

Away from the clamor of calls for the restoration of the death penalty, or the stormy, noisy row over whether to deduct payments from the PA, there is another area where her murder has been met with a deadly silence.

As of now, her death has been ignored by the BBC, the Guardian, and the Independent. Not one word. (Funnily enough, all have covered the latest casualties in the Gaza riots.)

That silence is a killing silence.

That silence ensures that the media consumed by the western world is unbalanced and unfair.

That silence is part of the demonization of Israel. Minimizing Palestinian terror reinforces the (false) narrative from the media that Israel is to blame for everything, and the Palestinians are innocent, oppressed, and deserved of sympathy.

I do not seek to minimize the deaths of Palestinians. Whatever the Gaza rioters were doing, all deaths are to be regretted. But the silence about poor Ori’s murder – while covering every Palestinian casualty – is as hateful, as poisonous, as evil as any piece of antisemitic bilge from so called pro-Palestinian supporters. Arguably, it’s worse because the reach of these media platforms is so wide, so extensive, and so insidiously persuasive.

To put it another way, had Ori been a Palestinian, her death would have been front page, worldwide news. But the death of a Jewish girl at the hands of a Palestinian terrorist? That’s not news.

That silence is a killing silence. It kills the prospects for peace and reconciliation. It kills the chances of even handed treatment in the eyes of the world. It kills by piling further pain on the family who see their daughter’s life rendered as of no value, as insignificant. It kills because it empowers extremists on both sides. It kills the lie that such media is honest and impartial. It kills the belief that liberal media have good principles and moral standards. It kills the belief that western liberals have good principles and moral standards – I mean, where’s the outrage, guys? That silence is a killing silence.

In Fatah-Land, Murdering Jews Still Popular

The Elder of Ziyon has this:

Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah celebrates Wednesday’s murderous terror attack

From the official Fatah Facebook page comes the message saying the two people who murdered Ofer Ben Ari and Rabbi Reuven Biermacher are “heroes” and “martyrs” who engaged in a “heroic operation” and who they say are now immortalized and filled with glory.

And here’s the graphic:


The Elder continues:

“The party led by Mahmoud Abbas is very excited that they managed to kill a couple of Jews.

I want to stress that yet again, I cannot find a single Arabic-language voice under PA rule – not one op-ed, not one article – that finds murdering Jews to be anything less than heroic.”

In Fatah-Land – the country into which billions of dollars of western aid flows, with minimal oversight as to its expenditure – killing Jews is still popular; something to be celebrated, something heroic, something to be proud of. And the west sticks its collective head in the sand and sees no problem – except with Israel.

This is one reason alone, one significant reason for sure, that when western politicians or armchair experts, critics or whatever, tell Israel what to do, they are not speaking from a position of strength. Instead, by continuing to ignore the hatred, they are speaking from a position of being terror supporters and enablers. In this case, he who pays the piper seems to have no interest in the tune being played. Such people have no standing in our eyes.

The media plays its part. It is a scandal – a total dereliction of professional standards and integrity – for western media like the BBC, Guardian, CNN, and so on, that they do not report the facts about the situation. There is no excuse. They are facilitating the ongoing incitement.

Something missing this way comes

The following appears on the BBC website:

Syria conflict: Raqqa air strikes ‘kill 32 IS militants’

Air strikes on the city of Raqqa in northern Syria have killed at least 32 members of the Islamic State (IS) militant group and wounded 40 more, an activist group says.

The strikes on Sunday hit IS bases in the north, east and south-east of the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

It said the US-led coalition was believed to have carried out the raids.

Raqqa is IS’s de facto Syrian headquarters.

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the UK-based observatory which has a network of informants on the ground, said there had been about 15 strikes. He said the casualty figures had come from just one hospital and the final death toll could be higher.

The coalition has been targeting IS in Syria since September 2014.

The UK joined the coalition bombing IS in Syria earlier this month following a vote in parliament. It was already targeting the group in Iraq.
France has also stepped up its attacks in Syria since deadly attacks in Paris in November claimed by the group.

On Friday, German lawmakers backed plans to back military action against the group in Syria.

Russia is also carrying out air strikes in Syria, although critics say it is mainly targeting rebel groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Notice anything missing?

Call me a cynic, but the idea that these air strikes were so accurate that there were no civilian casualties is beyond belief. (I wish it were the case that there none, but I very much doubt it.)

Does anyone seriously think these people are co-operating by grouping themselves in one place as a big target, and broadcasting to the Western air forces, “Here we are! Shoot now!”

The lack of any inquisitiveness about such casualties is also more than suspicious. The whole item smells very much like a piece of propaganda.

As I said, call me a cynic.

Call it what it is: evil

Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal has a must read piece. (I first saw it at the Elder of Ziyon.) I want to focus on this extract:

“Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now. The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due. We understand its explanatory power when it comes to American slavery, or the Holocaust. We understand it especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak. Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy.

Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.

Who are the accomplices?

The western media, for one.

Who are the apologists?

The western media for one.

Take this, from yesterday’s Independent, as one example:


The real story behind the (awful) headlines there:

  1. A civilian tried to interfere with the soldiers carrying out their duty.
  2. Every killer has a ‘human side.’ How is that relevant?
  3. Civilian casualties are an inescapable fact of war – as the UK, USA, and others have all too readily (and disproportionately) demonstrated. Talk about demonization.

It’s not politically correct to say it, but it’s true; these apologists and accomplices are consorting with evil.

(The Bret Stepehens piece is here, but there may be a paywall, so see it at the Elder’s site, here.)

Never a truer word?

The Elder of Ziyon reports here (via Buzzfeed) on the ongoing and increasing toll of civilian casualties caused by USA forces. (What do you mean, you haven’t heard anything about it?) For those with a basic grounding in the issues, and the realities of war, there are no surprises. Unfortunately.

The Elder’s conclusion contains the clear, unvarnished truth about the situation, and the obscene double standards the world so smugly applies. It’s important to highlight this and share it widely:

“This is what happens in war.

But the US is not held to the same standards of investigation into each incident that Israel is.

Israel keeps track of each mortar, tank shell and missile so it can investigate the circumstances and ensure that mistakes are minimized – but the US is simply covering their mistakes up.

And no one cares, just as they don’t care about Saudi air raids in Yemen, because they only care when Jews can be blamed.

The ancient hatred remains, burning brightly in the hypocritical halls of power in Washington, Whitehall, and elsewhere. And it is an everlasting light of hate in the mass media of today.

If the story doesn’t fit, ignore it

That must be the explanation.

What else could it be.

Of what am I talking?

This, from the Times of Israel:

Israel’s defense minister on Monday accused the Palestinian Authority of failing to implement a deal that would have placed PA presidential guards at the border crossings in and out of Gaza after the 50-day war in the region last summer, enabling the easing of the blockade on the Strip.

“We tried after [Operation] Protective Edge, with Egyptian agreement, to facilitate the entry of the PA into the Strip, but they didn’t want it,” Moshe Ya’alon said in a videotaped address to the annual conference of the INSS — the Institute for National Security Studies.

Egypt, he said, “treats Hamas as a hostile element, even as enemies,” and therefore it was clear that the only way to allow the more open transfer of goods and people in and out of Gaza to Israel and Egypt would be through the stationing of PA troops at the border crossings.

“We created a three-way mechanism — the [Israeli] Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Palestinian prime minister, and the UN representative Robert Serry. What’s left of that today? The coordinator and Robert Serry. The Palestinians ran away! They are good at accusing us at the UN and the Security Council and the ICC. But when it comes time to take responsibility, they are nowhere, and this was not the first time.

The blockade. The one that Israel haters scream abuse about. The one that Israel offered to ease (despite the risk to itself). That blockade. It seems like the Palestinian leadership has no interest in doing the right thing for its people. Shame on it.

Shame also on the mainstream (non Israeli) media that deem this not newsworthy. Of course it’s newsworthy; it’s just that it does not fit with the party line of Israel bad, Palestinians good.

Another point to note for future reference the next time your nearest and dearest Israel haters start to go on about the blockade. Tell them to contact Abbas. He has some explaining to do.

Speech of the year?

I know it’s only January, but Matti Friedman‘s speech to BICOM at a dinner in London on January 26, was wonderful.

One taster:

“In my time in the press corps I saw, from the inside, how Israel’s flaws were dissected and magnified, while the flaws of its enemies were purposely erased. I saw how the threats facing Israel were disregarded or even mocked as figments of the Israeli imagination, even as these threats repeatedly materialized. I saw how a fictional image of Israel and of its enemies was manufactured, polished, and propagated to devastating effect by inflating certain details, ignoring others, and presenting the result as an accurate picture of reality. Lest we think this is something that has never happened before, we might remember Orwell’s observation about journalism from the Spanish civil war:

“Early in life,” he wrote, “I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which do not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. … I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what had happened but of what ought to have happened according to various ‘party lines.’”

That was in 1942.”

Turn off your phone. Get something nice to drink, and perhaps a nibble or two. Snuggle up somewhere quiet and comfortable, click here and read it all. You will not be sorry.

[Another one to chalk up to the Elder of Ziyon.]

The Hamas Three Step Program

Source: Michel Chaton/Wikimedia

Source: Michel Chaton/Wikimedia

Follow along, and see how the darling terrorists of the liberal world responded to last week’s atrocities in Paris.

Step 1

Praised the attacks.

Step 2

Condemned the attacks. (After removing all praise from Hamas websites.)

Step 3

Blamed Israel for the attacks. (No, you couldn’t make it up.)


Threatened to kill all Jews who move from France to Israel.

The Hamas Three Step Program. Recommended if you feel there just isn’t enough antisemitism in the world.


  1. Check out the details at the Elder of Ziyon. As the Elder says: “So in the course of three days, Hamas went from pretending that they were against killing innocent civilians to threatening to murder every single French man, woman or child who immigrates to Israel.
  2. Let me know if you see any coverage of this in the Western media. Apparently, it’s not newsworthy.

Press to hate

Matti Friedman, writing about the international media in Israel:

In these circles, in my experience, a distaste for Israel has come to be something between an acceptable prejudice and a prerequisite for entry. I don’t mean a critical approach to Israeli policies or to the ham-fisted government currently in charge in this country, but a belief that to some extent the Jews of Israel are a symbol of the world’s ills, particularly those connected to nationalism, militarism, colonialism, and racism—an idea quickly becoming one of the central elements of the “progressive” Western zeitgeist, spreading from the European left to American college campuses and intellectuals, including journalists. In this social group, this sentiment is translated into editorial decisions made by individual reporters and editors covering Israel, and this, in turn, gives such thinking the means of mass self-replication.

Mr Friedman is clearly no Bibi fan, but his personal politics do not prevent him from whistle blowing (as he was a former AP reporter) about the almost unbelievable state of play in the press that covers this part of the world.

Some other extracts:

Confusion over the role of the press explains one of the strangest aspects of coverage here—namely, that while international organizations are among the most powerful actors in the Israel story, they are almost never reported on. Are they bloated, ineffective, or corrupt? Are they helping, or hurting? We don’t know, because these groups are to be quoted, not covered.

That last line is particularly significant. UNRWA anyone?

How about this:

In the aftermath of the three-week Gaza war of 2008-2009, not yet quite understanding the way things work, I spent a week or so writing a story about NGOs like Human Rights Watch, whose work on Israel had just been subject to an unusual public lashing in The New York Times by its own founder, Robert Bernstein.

Editors killed the story.

Around this time, a Jerusalem-based group called NGO Monitor was battling the international organizations condemning Israel after the Gaza conflict, and though the group was very much a pro-Israel outfit and by no means an objective observer, it could have offered some partisan counterpoint in our articles to charges by NGOs that Israel had committed “war crimes.” But the bureau’s explicit orders to reporters were to never quote the group or its director, an American-born professor named Gerald Steinberg. In my time as an AP writer moving through the local conflict, with its myriad lunatics, bigots, and killers, the only person I ever saw subjected to an interview ban was this professor.

Considering the people who are interviewed, and whose interviews are broadcast (or published) this ban on Gerald Steinberg is Kafkaesque.

Try this and see if it leaves a bad taste in your mouth:

When Hamas’s leaders surveyed their assets before this summer’s round of fighting, they knew that among those assets was the international press. The AP staff in Gaza City would witness a rocket launch right beside their office, endangering reporters and other civilians nearby—and the AP wouldn’t report it, not even in AP articles about Israeli claims that Hamas was launching rockets from residential areas. (This happened.) Hamas fighters would burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau and threaten the staff—and the AP wouldn’t report it. (This also happened.) Cameramen waiting outside Shifa Hospital in Gaza City would film the arrival of civilian casualties and then, at a signal from an official, turn off their cameras when wounded and dead fighters came in, helping Hamas maintain the illusion that only civilians were dying. (This too happened; the information comes from multiple sources with firsthand knowledge of these incidents.)

Colford, the AP spokesman, confirmed that armed militants entered the AP’s Gaza office in the early days of the war to complain about a photo showing the location of a rocket launch, though he said that Hamas claimed that the men “did not represent the group.” The AP “does not report many interactions with militias, armies, thugs or governments,” he wrote. “These incidents are part of the challenge of getting out the news—and not themselves news.”

And the burning question? When is the press going to cover the real story set out by Matti Friedman? When will the press properly cover the press?

Matti Friedman’s piece is unmissable. Read it all here.

[Seen first at the Elder of Ziyon.]