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Media Fail to Report Officials Got It Wrong Over Gaza “Famine”

“Famine is imminent as 1.1 million people, half of Gaza, experience catastrophic food insecurity,” the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) claimed in a special brief published on March 18.

Following its release, major news organizations jumped at the opportunity to include the word “famine” in their headlines.

Associated Press
The New York Times
BBC News

However, a new report released on June 4 by the IPC’s Famine Review Committee (FRC) uncovered several flaws in the original data published in March, leading them to amend their original claims. Ultimately, the FRC concluded that they cannot consider the situation in Gaza a “famine.”

Here are the most significant points that deserve to be highlighted:

  • The original report said that the caloric availability in the area covered only “59-63% of the needs (based uniquely on Humanitarian Food Assistance) in April.”
  • The new report estimates the range of coverage of caloric availability was actually 75-109%.

So how did the IPC go from claiming that Gazans in the north were nowhere near getting their nutritional requirements to acknowledging that they were nowhere near being underfed? How did they get it so wrong the first time?

  1. When discussing food trucks and other methods of aid entering the area, the IPC excluded commercial and/or privately contracted deliveries and World Food Program (WFP) deliveries to bakeries in northern Gaza from their original numbers.
  2. The original report “relied on multiple layers of assumptions and inference, beginning with food availability and access in northern Gaza and continuing through nutritional status and mortality.”
  3. There may have been a “mismatch in reporting periods” by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).

While the corrected data from the FRC is receiving publicity on various X (formerly Twitter) threads, major news organizations seem to be ignoring its release.

By failing to report on the most recent information, news organizations are misleading their audience about the extent of food flowing into Gaza and misrepresenting the hunger situation in the area.

Even more dangerously, on June 16, almost two weeks after the new data was released, The New York Times still referenced the outdated, invalidated claims.

Why hasn’t The New York Times consulted the new data and instead continues to link false information in its articles?

The new report from the FRC states that it is impossible to determine the number of people who are completely unable to access food in Gaza, and it is inaccurate to continue to say that Gaza is under threat of “imminent famine.”

This is not to suggest that there are not serious problems distributing food in a war zone. But 32 deaths attributed to malnutrition do not exceed the threshold necessary to be considered a “famine,” and most of those suffered from pre-existing conditions.

Instead, the updated data has barely elicited a ripple from the mainstream media, with only Fox News giving the story the attention it deserves. Like many others, The New York Times’ choice to ignore new data contributes to a media environment that villainizes Israel, and contributes to the accusations in places such as the International Court of Justice that Israel is deliberately starving Palestinians.

Instead of misleading their audiences by endorsing false claims that there is an insufficient amount of food entering the area, news outlets should better focus their reporting on the collective responsibility of multiple parties in making sure the food is distributed to civilians in need.

One can only hope that as new data emerges, reporting from major news organizations will uphold their journalistic integrity and update their audiences following suit.

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‘3,000 Rockets a Day and Hospitals Overwhelmed’: What All-Out Israel-Hezbollah War Would Look Like

A full-scale war between Israel and Hezbollah inched closer this week as the Shiite Lebanese terror group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened both Israel and Cyprus.

In a televised address on Wednesday, Nasrallah said, “There will be no place safe from our missiles and our drones should a larger conflagration erupt,” and that Hezbollah had “a bank of targets” it would aim for in precision strikes. He also urged the Cypriot government against opening airports and bases on the island for the “enemy” to operate from, although Israel is not known to have ever done this.

Hezbollah and Israel have exchanged near-daily fire since the October 7 Hamas attack, after the group fired rockets in support of Hamas, forcing tens of thousands of Israeli civilians to evacuate their homes in northern communities close to the border. Israeli military chiefs now think an all-out war is a real possibility.

In a statement, the military said “operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon were approved and validated, and decisions were taken on the continuation of increasing the readiness of troops in the field.”

But what would a war with Hezbollah look like? How would Israelis be affected by the war? And who would win?

[embedded content]

‘3,000 Rockets Launched Daily; Air Defenses Overwhelmed and Mass Casualties’

A three-year study by Reichman University’s Institute for Counter-Terrorism, in which more than 100 senior military and government officials took part, forecasted devastation in Israel in the event of war.

The report, which was reportedly presented to government officials before the Hamas attack last year and seen by Israeli publication Calcalist, predicted Hezbollah would fire between 2,500 to 3,000 rockets each day at Israel. These would range from accurate rockets to precision long-range missiles and would be interspersed with intense barrages aimed at specific targets for maximum destruction, such as densely populated civilian areas or military targets.

Iranian terror proxies in the region, including pro-Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen’s Houthis, would also join the conflict. It is thought that a multi-pronged assault could destroy Israel’s air defense systems, specifically by using munitions and drones to target Iron Dome batteries, as well as cause thousands of civilian and military casualties.

There has also been speculation that Iran itself would join, attacking Israel, as it did on April 13.

Due to Hezbollah’s vast arsenal of rockets, Israel’s Iron Dome interceptors and David’s Sling missiles would run out just a few days into the conflict, leaving most of the country entirely exposed and unprotected. It is thought that the daily rocket fire would last for weeks. The group’s precision missiles would target Israeli military bases to hinder counterattacks and critical infrastructure such as power plants, water facilities, and electricity stations.

The critical seaports of Haifa and Ashdod would buckle, and international trade would be severely impacted, while flights would be canceled and airspace closed. Israel’s health system would likely be overwhelmed by the sheer number of casualties, as well as by hospitals themselves becoming targets of suicide drone attacks.

Meanwhile, an assault would also be launched in the digital realm, with Israeli communications infrastructure and government websites subjected to cyberattacks designed to wreak further damage on the country’s economy. The group would try to capitalize on the chaos to send hundreds of Radwan commandos to infiltrate the border with the goal of seizing Israeli towns and villages, forcing Israel to launch ground operations within its own territory.

There could be widespread panic among the Israeli public amid extensive damage and large casualty numbers, as well as difficulty accessing essentials like food and medicine. Hezbollah would seek to provoke a psychological campaign of warfare against Israelis by flooding social media networks with disinformation, aiming to sow distrust in official government spokespeople.

Like Hamas, Hezbollah would encourage Palestinians to carry out attacks and pile pressure on Israeli police struggling to maintain control. The war would end after around three weeks as the sheer scale of damage done to both sides is too much to sustain, leading to a kind of stalemate.

Post-War Détente & Wider Implications

The cost to Lebanon would be enormous. The 2006 Lebanon War was catastrophic for Lebanon’s economy, causing $3.5 billion in damage to infrastructure. A new war would be even worse for a country already facing a deep economic crisis.

However, Hezbollah is unlikely to be destroyed in a war, in part due to its deep integration into Lebanese society, including holding positions in the Lebanese government and controlling key institutions. Additionally, a war with Israel would likely serve as a propaganda victory for Hezbollah.

Hezbollah’s confrontation with Israel would help it drum up support in the Arab world, potentially leaving it in a strengthened domestic position.

War with Hezbollah would have a much wider regional impact, including galvanizing extremist actors in the region and ushering in further instability in the Middle East.

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Israel at War: The Media Battlefield – Briefing #32

HonestReporting has been working around the clock to identify and respond to the worst media bias since the appalling events of October 7 and the subsequent launch of Israeli military action against Hamas.

You can already see many of the posts that we’ve published on our website but here’s a roundup of just some of the issues and media outlets that we’ve flagged on social media over the past several days that didn’t make it into full articles.

Make sure to follow us on X/Twitter to get all of our content in real time during this period.

TAKE ACTION NOW: You can make a difference. We’ve included contact details for many of the examples of media bias below. Please send your considered comments to the media and hold them accountable.

The Guardian & San Francisco Chronicle Misrepresent ICJ Decision

Contact The Guardian readers’ editor: [email protected]

Contact [email protected]

The Times of London Plays Down Hezbollah’s Intentions

Contact The Times at [email protected]

Washington Post Legitimizes Hamas-Run Health Ministry

Contact the Washington Post Readers Representative: [email protected]

UPI Passes Off Hamas Press Release as Legitimate News

To send your feedback, fill in UPI’s form here.

New York Times Belittles Israel’s Humanitarian Efforts

Contact the New York Times newsroom.

Associated Press Claims Israel Had Gaza Under “Siege” Before October 7

Open AP Customer Zone & select Editorial and News from the dropdown options: https://customerzone.ap.org/cz/s/contactsupport

The Guardian Accuses Israel of Pink-Washing

Contact The Guardian readers’ editor: [email protected]

UPI Misleads on Protester Arrests

To send your feedback, fill in UPI’s form here.

BBC News Skews Reality in Profile of Lebanese Village

Follow the BBC’s complaints procedure: https://www.bbc.co.uk/contact/complaints/make-a-complaint/#/Complaint

CNN’s Numbers Don’t Add Up

(Note: CNN has removed its online feedback form, thereby denying its audience an easy way to contact the network. CNN can still be contacted at the following number: 1-404-827-1500)

Washington Post Falsely Accuses Israel of Keeping Rafah Crossing Closed

Contact the Washington Post Readers Representative: [email protected]

Wall Street Journal Reprints Claim That Israel is Targeting Civilians

Contact: [email protected]

Washington Post Downplays Hezbollah’s Aggression While Ignoring Israeli Casualties

Contact the Washington Post Readers Representative: [email protected]

Washington Post Publishes Ishaan Tharoor’s Flawed Analysis

Contact the Washington Post Readers Representative: [email protected]

CNN Relies on Untrustworthy WAFA News

(Note: CNN has removed its online feedback form, thereby denying its audience an easy way to contact the network. CNN can still be contacted at the following number: 1-404-827-1500)

Washington Post Parrots Hamas Propaganda

Contact the Washington Post Readers Representative: [email protected]

The Guardian Misrepresents Hamas’ Aims

Contact The Guardian readers’ editor: [email protected]

The Times of London Publishes Biased Report on Sexual Violence From October 7

Contact The Times at [email protected]

The New York Times and Associated Press Uncritically Parrot Hamas’ Numbers

Contact the New York Times newsroom.

Open AP Customer Zone & select Editorial and News from the dropdown options: https://customerzone.ap.org/cz/s/contactsupport

Washington Post Portrays Hostage Rescue Mission as “Brazen”

Contact the Washington Post Readers Representative: [email protected]

BBC News & Reuters Headlines Mislead on Hostage Rescue

Follow the BBC’s complaints procedure: https://www.bbc.co.uk/contact/complaints/make-a-complaint/#/Complaint

Contact Reuters Customer Support: https://liaison.reuters.com/contact-us

CNN “Explainer” Omits Vital Information

(Note: CNN has removed its online feedback form, thereby denying its audience an easy way to contact the network. CNN can still be contacted at the following number: 1-404-827-1500)

BBC News & Voice of America Mislead on Israel’s Targeting of Hamas Compound

Follow the BBC’s complaints procedure: https://www.bbc.co.uk/contact/complaints/make-a-complaint/#/Complaint

Fill in the VOA feedback form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSceBUoJvZdZJhGvFpjbYxSj5uR0mrEhcVD4e1r86JgDg5XyIQ/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1

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The Evisceration of Mehdi Hasan

Few tears were shed at HonestReporting in November 2023 when MSNBC announced the cancelation of long-time detractor of Israel, Mehdi Hasan’s regular show. Rather than accept his effective demotion, Hasan eventually chose to quit the network and launch his own independent media company, Zeteo.

Unfortunately, while MSNBC did very little to restrain his brand of anti-Israel agitprop, Hasan now has even more freedom to pursue his obsessive attacks on Israel through his own outlet and on social media.

So it was gratifying to see Hasan’s holier-than-thou persona brought down a peg or two when he came up against UK lawyer Natasha Hausdorff and author and political commentator Douglas Murray in a must-see Munk Debate on anti-Zionism.

Speaking in favor of the motion that anti-Zionism is antisemitism, Hausdorff and Murray beat Hasan and hateful Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy by 66% to 34%. Not only that, between the beginning of the debate and the end, support for Mehdi’s position actually dropped by 5%.

But more importantly, it was demonstrated that Hasan, the author of the book “

It’s interesting to observe how Hasan, even when caught red-handed, tries to deflect. Let’s remember that he was rightly called out for factually misquoting Lord Arthur Balfour, the author of the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Natasha Hausdorff never made any judgment on Balfour’s character, which was not the issue.

That didn’t stop Hasan from reposting the below tweet quoting from a 2017 opinion piece by Palestinian American activist Yousef Munayyer that called Balfour a “white supremacist” and “antisemite.”

Making False Claims Against Your Opponent

Here’s another example of how Hasan twists the truth when he claims that Douglas Murray “advocated for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza” in The Spectator.

This is the relevant text from Murray’s Spectator article:

Rather than advocating for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza as Hasan charges, Murray speculates what Israel might do in the immediate aftermath of October 7. Unsurprisingly, Israel has not “clear[ed] all the Palestinians from that benighted strip.” And the charge that Murray is advocating ethnic cleansing when says “It could be a good time to do it”? In the context of the subsequent passage, it is clear that he is referring to the fact that Arab states care very little for the Palestinians and certainly not enough to prevent Israel from carrying out such an action (which it, in any case, hasn’t).

It’s the Audience’s Fault

And if you’ve lost the argument, then why not simply blame the voting audience?

Hasan relies on the “halo effect” to suggest that organizations such as Oxfam are beyond reproach. As it happens, there’s plenty to say about Oxfam and many other non-governmental organizations that sound like benign charities but in reality, are a major part of the global anti-Israel campaign.

So the audience, which Hasan accuses of being pro-Israel by default, are within their rights to jeer.

And maybe, just maybe, Mehdi Hasan, the audience actually got this one right.

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Biased Coverage of Gaza Hostage Rescue Serves Hamas

Media outlets went out of their way on Saturday (June 8) to make Israel’s heroic rescue of four Gaza hostages look tainted or even immoral, with a reframing that served Hamas’ strategy.

Instead of simply reporting the news — that Israeli hostages Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov, and Shlomi Ziv had been rescued in a rare and complex operation in the heart of Gaza — media outlets chose to label it as one of the “bloodiest” raids of the war.

They used three tactics to achieve that goal, which effectively turned justice into injustice:

  • Minimizing the achievement by using the term “freed” instead of “rescued” to describe the hostages
  • Emphasizing the Palestinian death toll based on Hamas figures
  • Whitewashing the terrorists’ use of civilians as human shields

The Washington Post, for example, committed two of these journalistic crimes:

Its headline led with the number of Palestinian casualties (without questioning how many of them were terrorists), its sub-header called the operation “brazen” and the lead paragraph labeled the operation “one of the bloodiest raids of the war.”

The fact that the hostages were rescued alive is mentioned only in the second paragraph. And the word “Blitz” is casually thrown into the fifth paragraph, evoking comparisons to Nazi warfare.

But what’s hidden in plain sight is the complete whitewashing of Hamas’ strategy of using civilians as human shields. The article simply mentions that the hostages had been held in “buildings,” omitting the fact that they were kept in families’ homes in the crowded multi-story structures, amid the civilian population.

NPR‘s coverage has similar faults: The Palestinian death toll is used to frame the hostage rescue with descriptions like “the streets were…covered in blood,” and the sites of the hostage captivity are called “locations in Nuseirat in central Gaza” — which could mean anything from tunnels to military compounds.

Did the Washington Post or NPR journalists independently verify whether the blood in the streets belonged to terrorists or innocent civilians? Or is blood used here — as in ancient times — to demonize Jews?

Either way, their coverage whitewashes the terrorists.

Related Reading: Media Reframe Israel’s Dramatic Rescue of Gaza Hostages

Selective Terminology

Reuters, which also called the operation “one of the single bloodiest Israeli assaults of the eight-month-old war,” used another tactic while focusing on the Palestinian casualties.

One of its headlines used the vague term “freed,” which can be attributed to the goodwill of the terrorists, instead of the value-laden word “rescued” that may paint Hamas as bad:

BBC did the same, while obscuring the identity of Hamas terrorists and IDF rescuers:

Cognitive Dissonance

But some media outlets didn’t just change words. They descended into a total cognitive dissonance in their attempt to put the onus on Palestinian victimhood.

AP, for example, shamelessly quoted casualty data from the Palestinian health ministry whose reliability had been questioned by the wire service only a day earlier.

And a BBC anchorwoman expected the IDF to warn Gazans ahead of such a dangerous rescue operation:

Similarly, a Sky News anchorwoman gave a platform to Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti, and failed to correct him when he called Israeli hostages “prisoners.” She also didn’t remind him about starvation and sexual assault when he suggested that those released in the past had been well treated by Hamas:

And the same network’s Alex Crawford didn’t even bother waiting for more details of the operation to emerge before she labeled it “a massacre”:

The underlying premise of such biased coverage is that Israelis should not fight for their lives because it comes at a cost. They should just sit back and let terrorists slaughter and kidnap their brethren because they run and hide among innocent people.

But media should stop ignoring the increasing evidence of Gazan civilian complicity with Hamas, as well as the fact that Hamas bears responsibility for putting the entire Gazan population in danger since its October 7th attack on the Jewish state.

On Saturday, Israeli special forces undertook a mission in an area that became a legitimate target by virtue of the presence of hostages. As Noa, Almog, Andrey, and Shlomi were rescued after eight months in captivity, Hamas terrorists fired RPGs at them from within the Nuseirat market area. IDF troops responded to save their lives and bring them home.

Any other way to frame it serves the terrorists.

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Will Hostage-Taking Journalist Abdallah Aljamal Be Added to CPJ List?

One day after Israeli security forces rescued four Israeli hostages from their Gazan captivity, both the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security agency) confirmed that three of the hostages had been held captive in the family home of Abdallah Aljamal.

Aljamal, who was killed during the raid that freed the hostages, had previously served as a spokesman for the Hamas-run Gaza Labor Ministry and, as a journalist, had contributed to Al Jazeera and served as a correspondent for The Palestine Chronicle. His last article was published by the Chronicle one day before the Israeli rescue operation.

With Abdallah Aljamal’s death as part of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, it begs the question whether he will be added to the running list of “journalist casualties in the Israel-Gaza war” compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Since the start of the war, the CPJ’s list of journalist casualties has been used by a variety of news outlets, activists, pundits, and politicians to highlight the seemingly disproportionate number of Gaza-based journalists killed during Israel’s counter-terrorism campaign and to question whether Israel is purposefully targeting reporters and other media workers.

However, as noted earlier by HonestReporting, a significant number of the journalists who appear on the CPJ’s list were in some way affiliated with Hamas and other anti-Israel terror organizations.

As of this writing (June 10, 2024), close to 50% of the 103 Palestinian journalists listed by the CPJ either worked for news outlets affiliated with terror organizations or were active members in these organizations themselves.

If Abdallah Aljamal is added to the CPJ’s list, this will only highlight the problematic nature of the list by its inclusion of terrorists and kidnappers among the ranks of killed Palestinian media workers and will serve to further debunk the libel that Israel is targeting journalists in order to stifle their reporting capabilities.

If Aljamal is not included on the CPJ’s list of killed Gaza-based journalists, it will ultimately need to be asked what separates him from the likes of Hamza Al Dahdouh, Mustafa Thuraya, and Mohammad Jarghoun, all three of whom are accused of being active members of terrorist organizations and who appear on the list.

In either case, the mere possibility that Abdallah Aljamal, a Hamas member who helped hold three Israeli civilians hostage, will be added to the CPJ’s list of killed journalists is a cold reminder of the interaction between terrorism and civilian life in Gaza, the influence that Hamas has over the media in Gaza, and the untrustworthiness of outlets that turn a blind eye to these salient factors.

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▶️ Misplaced Media Outrage Lands on Israel Rather Than Hamas

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Hamas using schools to launch rockets and store weapons is nothing new.

But when the media ignore facts, they allow the narrative to become “Israel bombs schools and medical clinics.” In reality, the world’s outrage should be directed at the terrorists who fire anti-tank missiles from schools and place explosive devices inside medical clinics.

Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel via Flash90

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Iran Attacks Israel: CNN’s Amanpour Minimizes Barrage & Fake News Goes Viral

Iran launched an unprecedented direct attack on Israel overnight on Saturday, launching at least 300 drones and missiles towards the Jewish state.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) coordinated with other militaries, including the USA and UK, to intercept most of the projectiles, which were also supplemented by further rockets fired from Iranian terror proxies in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Iranian-backed Hezbollah also joined the assault and announced it had fired two barrages of rockets at an Israeli military base in the Golan Heights.

Fake News Goes Viral Overnight

As the skies above and surrounding Israel were lit up with rockets overnight, social media was also alight with fake news, videos and photos purporting to be of the extraordinary attack.

While the majority of outright false information came from users on the platform X (formerly known as Twitter), Qatari mouthpiece Al Jazeera was also caught publishing a video that it falsely claimed showed rockets hitting Tel Aviv.

Meanwhile, infamous pro-Hamas influencer Jackson Hinkle was among the X platform users to share fake footage that he said showed “Israelis panicking” as the Iranian barrages hit Israel. BBC Verify journalist Shayan Sardarizadeh confirmed the video was actually of crowds in Argentina waiting to meet a musician. 

Hinkle, who was recently banned from Instagram, posted numerous messages of support for Iran throughout the attack, including several posts praising Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and AI-generated images of planes dropping bombs.

Jackson Hinkle praise for Iran on X

Unsurprisingly, Iran’s state TV was behind the spread of many videos that purported to show catastrophic damage in Israel, including one that was actually of a fire in Chile that was filmed in February.

Perhaps hoping to ratchet up the tension, a number of users shared claims that Israel had immediately launched a drone counterstrike on Iran, including sharing videos of what they claimed was a fire in Tehran.

Others shared footage of the 2020 Beirut Port explosion, which they said showed Israel’s Mossad bombing the Iranian capital.

International Media Play Down Attack

The international media responded to the overnight attack with breaking news updates and rolling live coverage.

While most of the reporting stuck to the facts, there were a few instances of the media either downplaying the attack or obscuring the sequence of events that preceded Iran’s assault.

CNN pundit Christiane Amanpour, for example, ludicrously described the attack as “entirely targeted,” even though hundreds of thousands of Israelis were forced into shelters as large parts of the country remained under threat.

The BBC and ABC News Australia did not specify in their headlines that Iran had fired hundreds of drones and long-range missiles at Israel, instead vaguely referring to the weapons as “objects.” Furthermore, ABC News Australia’s headline failed to mention Iran at all.

ABC News Australia
ABC News Australia’s Headline on Iran Attacking Israel

The New York Times, in its coverage, suggested that the attack was somehow justified by asserting that Israel had “bombed an Iranian embassy complex” in Damascus. In reality, Israel targeted a building near the embassy that was being used by IRGC leaders to coordinate attacks on Israel.

The Observer published an editorial mere hours after the attack, calling for any further escalation to be prevented:

Amid the present tumult, it should not be forgotten that this Iranian attack was provoked, according to Iran’s leadership at least, by Israel’s unacknowledged bombing on 1 April of an Iranian embassy annex in Damascus that killed several senior commanders. In Tehran’s not unreasonable view, that attack crossed a red line by targeting diplomatic premises.”

Let us be completely clear: there is nothing “unreasonable,” as The Observer suggests, about Israel striking the infrastructure of the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism that was being used to mastermind attacks on Israel. Suggesting it was merely a diplomatic facility is nothing short of absurd.

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Joe Rogan’s Troubling Anti-Israel Podcast Episodes

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At 14.5 million followers, The Joe Rogan Experience consistently tops the charts as the most popular podcast on Spotify.

With 16 million subscribers on YouTube and millions more on Apple Podcasts, it is clear that Joe Rogan’s unique interviews and charismatic personality resonate with and influence a wide audience.

Part of the appeal of The Joe Rogan Experience is that it covers topics that are generally considered controversial and features interviews with people who hold ideas that are seen as being outside the mainstream.

Naturally, this means that the podcast has touched on Israel and the Jewish people in the past.

However, just because The Joe Rogan Experience’s brand isn’t scared to go outside the mainstream, it does not absolve the podcast of spreading misinformation by either Rogan, himself, or one of his guests.

Here are just some of the times that Joe Rogan enabled the spread of anti-Israel misinformation or dangerous stereotypes about the Jewish people on his podcast.

Joe Rogan: Israel is Committing Genocide

During a podcast interview with comedian Kurt Metzger recorded at the end of March 2024, Joe Rogan commented that Israel’s ongoing defensive war against Hamas was tantamount to genocide due to the number of civilian casualties caught up in the fighting.

Rogan then went on to engage in Holocaust inversion, claiming that Israel was okay with imitating what was done to the Jews during the Holocaust. According to Rogan, “You guys [Israel] are willing to do what was done to you that led you to believe that you needed to start your own country? You’re willing to do that on a small scale in Gaza.”

Rogan also allowed his guest to openly claim that Israel’s war conduct in Gaza was worse than that of Putin’s Russia during its invasion of Ukraine and that Israelis hated Palestinians as part of a “racial thing.”

Joe Rogan Defends ‘All About the Benjamins’ Tweet

In 2019, Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar publicly commented on US congressional support for Israel, tweeting “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” asserting this bi-partisan support for the Jewish state is a result of lobby money and not shared values between the two countries.

With its allusions to the classic antisemitic stereotypes of Jews and money as well as dual loyalty, Omar’s tweet aroused a media firestorm and she subsequently apologized for her statement.

In February 2023, following a US House of Representatives vote to oust Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee, her 2019 tweet arose as a topic of discussion between Joe Rogan and his guest Krystal Ball.

Rogan jumped to the defense of Omar, quipping that her 2019 tweet was “not an antisemitic statement, I don’t think that is. Benjamins are money. The idea that Jewish people are not into money is ridiculous. That’s like saying Italians aren’t into pizza, it’s f—-ng stupid.”

Later, Rogan concurred with Krystal Ball’s assertion that the pro-Israel lobby movement and money are responsible for “uniparty consensus around our policy vis-à-vis the Israeli government and a total inability and unwillingness to criticize the Israeli government.”

Joe Rogan Interviews Roger Waters

For years, Roger Waters has spent his time spreading a wide variety of absurd claims about Israel, Zionism and the Jewish people, some of which have crossed the line into outright antisemitism.

So, it was only natural that when he appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience in October 2022, the famed musician would take some time to spread his latest conspiratorial talking points about the Jewish state.

However, as pointed out by many on social media at the time, rather than push back against Waters’ extreme rhetoric, Rogan simply nodded along and even responded positively to some of Waters’ assertions, granting them an air of legitimacy.

As detailed at the time by the pro-Israel blog site Israellycool, some of the most egregious statements made by Waters during his Joe Rogan Experience interview included:

  • The claim that Israel behaves like “people in the past behaved towards Jews in northern Europe” [i.e. Nazis].
  • A legitimization of Hamas as the “democratically elected government of Gaza,” the claim that Hamas rockets are “ineffectual,” and the implicit validation of Hamas’ anti-Israel terrorism as “resistance” against occupation.
  • That Israel is hoping for another Palestinian intifada as a pretense “to kill them all.”
  • The oft-repeated claim that an Israeli audience reacted negatively to Waters’ suggestion at a 2006 concert that it was incumbent upon this generation of Israelis to make peace with the Palestinians even though audio footage from this concert belies his claims.

Joe Rogan Hosts Abby Martin

In 2017, Joe Rogan hosted independent journalist and former Russia Today host Abby Martin on his podcast, giving her a platform to spread her anti-Israel libels and misinformation.

As noted by the UK-based Israel Advocacy Movement in its takedown of Martin’s untruths following her appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, these are the most egregious claims that Rogan allowed Abby Martin to make without any pushback:

  • The claim that Palestinian political parties are illegal in the West Bank.
  • That Palestinians who share incitement to violence against Israelis and Jews on social media are punished based on how popular their posts are.
  • Her claim that someone she had interviewed had been shot in her vagina during a “peaceful protest” even though the woman admitted in her original interview with Martin that she had been shot in the leg while attempting to slingshot Israeli forces during a violent riot.
  • The absurd claim that 200 Palestinians had been shot during this violent riot even though there are no reports that it ever occurred.
  • The claim that Israel has a policy called “shooting to cripple,” where Israeli forces shoot men in their genitalia.
  • That barely any Palestinians are allowed to pray at the Dome of the Rock, “the most holy site in Jerusalem” (which also goes to show her general ignorance about the region in general).
  • The baseless claim that Arabs and Jews have different license plates (as opposed to different license plates in Israel and the Palestinian Authority).
  • The claim that Israel is a “white nationalist ethno-supremacist state.”
  • The claim that the UN “partitioned a country on top of another country” even though there was no independent state in the area during the 1947 UN vote.
  • That Israel has been the “crux of so many problems in the world.”

Despite the above examples, there have been other occasions where Joe Rogan has interviewed pro-Israel voices or made positive comments about Israel and the Jewish people on his podcast.

Unlike some of his guests, Rogan does not appear to have an inherent animus against the Jewish state. However, his apparent lack of understanding of the topic has allowed for the spreading of extreme and absurd claims about Israel and the Jewish people without any resistance.

As someone with an audience of millions of followers around the world, Joe Rogan has a responsibility to do better and not to allow his podcast to serve as a jump-off point for the proliferation of such baseless and dangerous claims.

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Photo Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

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Damage Done: How Al Jazeera’s Fake News Harmed Israel’s Reputation In Less Than 24 Hours

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A popular adage has it that “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”

In this day and age of social media and up-to-the-minute news, it has never been faster for a lie to travel around the world and even harder for the truth to try to catch up.

That was the case this past week, when Al Jazeera spread a malicious libel about Israeli soldiers raping Palestinian women in Al-Shifa Hospital during the IDF’s ongoing campaign against entrenched Hamas forces, before quietly removing the story and trying to silently bury it.

On the morning of March 24, Al Jazeera Arabic’s principal news presenter, Elsy Abi Assi (who is no stranger to antisemitism and denial of Hamas atrocities), interviewed on live TV a Gazan woman by the name of Jamila Al-Hessi, who claimed that Israeli soldiers operating in Al-Shifa Hospital were raping Palestinian women and brutally murdering other Palestinians sheltering in the medical complex.

These allegations soon spread like wildfire on social media, with popular anti-Israel accounts picking up the story and disseminating it to their large English-speaking audiences.

Then, that night, Yasser Abuhilalah, an Al Jazeera columnist and former director, tweeted that a Hamas investigation into these allegations had concluded that they were not true and that Jamila Al-Hessi had justified her on-air deception by claiming that she had exaggerated her claims in order to “arouse the nation’s fervor and brotherhood.”

According to some analysts, Hamas had decided to issue a rare public denial of these claims since its dissemination among Palestinians in northern Gaza was having the opposite effect than was intended: Instead of producing enmity against Israel, these allegations had caused Palestinians to flee the area in fear for their safety.

By the next day, Al Jazeera had removed references to Al-Hessi’s claims from its online platforms but never formally retracted these libels, even though it had uncritically aired them in the first place.

However, by this point, it was too late. The damage to Israel’s reputation had already been done.

In less than 24 hours, millions of people had already viewed Jamila Al-Hessi’s lies on social media and, despite the denial by Hamas itself, continue to do so through a variety of anti-Israel accounts.

As of this writing (March 26, 2024), the story had been viewed 2.3 million times on the X (formerly Twitter) account of Middle East Eye, 918,000 times on the X account of “investigative journalist” Sulaiman Ahmed, 405,000 times on the X account of “human rights activist”/Hamas supporter Ramy Abdu, and over 305,000 times on the X account of alternative media outlet The Cradle.

Some (including Sana Saeed, a journalist affiliated with Al Jazeera) have even gone so far as to voice skepticism of Hamas’ discrediting of Al-Hessi’s story.

The allegation of rape by IDF soldiers in Al-Shifa Hospital is not the first lie about Israel and the IDF to be spread since Hamas’ October 7 terror attack and the subsequent Israeli invasion of Gaza.

However, in this case, it was not spread by a lone social media activist or a fringe news source but by a news organization that enjoys a veneer of respectability among both news consumers and media outlets around the world.

Despite it serving as an official mouthpiece of the authoritarian Qatari regime and accused of echoing Hamas talking points, Al Jazeera is viewed as a trusted source of information about Israel and the Palestinians during the current conflict as well as over the past several years.

In 2022, HonestReporting uncovered that Al Jazeera had been cited by 16 “top-tier news outlets” 116 times in Israel-related news stories, with most never mentioning the Qatari media organization’s inherent bias.

Also, if not for Hamas deciding that the libel about rapes in Al-Shifa Hospital was not in its best interest and issuing a denial of the allegations, it is highly likely that Al Jazeera would have continued to run with this fabrication as a trusted news story.

In this age of the 24-hour news cycle and instant access to news from around the world, Al Jazeera is serving as a valuable tool in Hamas’ propaganda war, spreading misinformation and sullying Israel’s image around the world at record speeds.

Al Jazeera’s malign influence on the views of social media users is concerning. For mainstream media outlets to rely on it as a source for Israel-related stories is downright journalistic malpractice.

Liked this article? Follow HonestReporting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to see even more posts and videos debunking news bias and smears, as well as other content explaining what’s really going on in Israel and the region.

Honest Reporting is a website that seeks to bring balance to the left slant in the major news media.

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