Media Blast Israel for Banning Palestinian Terrorist Front Groups, Give Turkey’s Erdogan Pass for Real Civil Society Crackdown & Harboring Hamas Leaders

Reprinted from Honest Reporting.


On October 22, Israel designated six Palestinian “rights groups” as terrorist organizations and accused them of funneling foreign aid to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The ensuing media coverage has for the most part ignored the cold hard truth and thus made it possible for people to come away with the mistaken impression that Jerusalem’s move was aimed at quashing dissent.

In fact, major news organizations have twisted the story by reporting on how the Jewish state’s decision supposedly constituted a “…major escalation of its decades-long crackdown on political activism in the occupied territories [i.e. West Bank].”

Meanwhile, the well-documented links of these so-called Palestinian NGOs to a widely proscribed terrorist outfit, whose members have perepetrated deadly attacks against Israeli citizens, were almost universally withheld from the public (see here, here, here, and here).

Related Reading: Should News Be Reported With Balance? The Answer May Surprise You.

As global news agencies were placing Israel in their crosshairs, something actually sinister was garnering much less attention.

In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a diplomatic onslaught against some of the world’s leading democracies by initiating steps to expel 10 ambassadors from Western nations. This, because they had collectively called for the release of Turkish activist Osman Kavala, who has been languishing in jail for four years despite not having been convicted of a crime.

Erdogan only backtracked when “the United States and several of the other concerned countries issued identical statements saying they respected a UN convention that required diplomats not to interfere in the host country’s domestic affairs.”

Erdogan then publicly assessed that the envoys would “be more careful now.”

Compare this with the litany of condemnation that rained down on Israel from across the globe for its move to blacklist the Palestinian groups.

Turkey’s NGOs Vs. Palestinian ‘Civil Rights’ Groups

An HonestReporting article published this week detailed how the Palestinian organizations have deep ties to the PFLP:

Nevertheless, media myopically fixated on Jerusalem’s alleged violations have largely failed to investigate and report on the stark contrasts between Erdogan’s actions and those of the Israeli government.

For example:

  • Turkey has been referred to as the world’s biggest jailer of journalists.” Hundreds of writers, academics and non-violent human rights activists have been imprisoned.
  • Human rights lawyers claim that 100,000 Turkish citizens have been investigated merely for insulting Erdogan.
  • In January, some 680 non-governmental organizations in Turkey condemned a new law aimed at increasing oversight of them. International rights groups have accused Erdogan of using the measure to silence critical NGOs.
  • Many of the non-governmental organizations that are allowed to operate in Turkey have been linked to Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP. At least one of these ‘approved’ NGOs has ties to a known terrorist group.
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From Silencing Dissent to Supporting Terror Attacks: Erdogan and Israel

On September 26, Erdogan appeared on CBS News’ Face the Nation, during which he had the following exchange:

MARGARET BRENNAN: He [US President Joe Biden] said you’re going to have to pay a price for some of your actions. He said this when he was a candidate and he talked about human rights abuses. Has he ever talked directly to you about what he meant?

PRESIDENT ERDOĞAN: Well, on the contrary, he never mentioned any of these issues to me. And, I know whenever we got together, he’s very respectful towards me. And ever since the days when he was the vice president, he was always very respectful — that’s how he approached me….”

Kudos to CBS News for even bringing the matter to the public’s attention.

Most media, however, are turning a blind eye to Erdogan’s increasingly tyrannical rule, thereby blurring the distinction between those governments that concertedly shutter legitimate human rights organizations and those that take necessary steps to protect citizens from acts of terrorism.

Not surprisingly, the reluctance by many prominent news organizations to shine a spotlight on Erdogan’s consolidation of power is mirrored by their apparent unwillingness to mention the Turkish leader’s long history of antisemitic outbursts. 

And this rhetoric has real-world, violent implications for Israelis.

In this respect, Erdogan continues to host leaders of Hamas, designated as a terrorist group by many Western countries. Ankara has been accused of allowing the Gaza Strip’s rulers — who in May initiated an 11-day conflict in which more than 4,000 rockets were fired by Palestinian terrorists at Israeli population centers — to plot terror attacks against the Jewish state from Turkish soil.

Related Reading: CNN, Washington Post Hide Erdogan’s Antisemitism

Perhaps news organizations ostensibly dedicated to reporting facts should refocus their energies and resources.

Erdogan’s threat to expel the ambassadors of France, Germany, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and the United States — most of them NATO members alongside Turkey — because of their concerted efforts to free a Turkish civil rights leader elicited coverage of a decidedly uncritical nature.

By contrast, Israel’s move to protect its citizens by designating several Palestinian NGOs as terrorist front groups unleashed a torrent of skewed reporting.

As a result, news organizations have done a disservice to individuals who, in reality, are dedicated to advancing human rights and, instead, effectively helped promote the destructive anti-Israel cause of terrorists.

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Featured Image: Photo by Getty Images


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