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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

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.

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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.

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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Israel at War: The Media Battlefield – Briefing #24

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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.

Sky News Platforms Terror Sympathizer Ghassan Abu Sittah

Contact: [email protected]

The Washington Post Misinforms About Hamas Rocket Fire

Contact the Washington Post Readers Representative: [email protected]

The New York Times Publishes Report Full of Problematic Terminology

Contact: [email protected]

The LA Times’ Editorial Board Reinvents Reality in Gaza Op-Ed

Contact the Readers’ Representative: https://form.jotform.com/93047569731162

The New York Times Legitimizes Hamas Front Organization

Contact: [email protected]

BBC’s Jeremy Bowen Accuses Israel of Lying About Humanitarian Assistance

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

Sky News Publishes Inflammatory Report About West Bank “Starvation”

Contact: [email protected]

RTE News’s “Expert Analysis” Confuses Dome of the Rock For Al-Aqsa Mosque

Contact [email protected]

The Guardian Publishes Biased Report on Hamas

Contact The Guardian readers’ editor: [email protected]

The Associated Press Ignores Israeli Hostages in Report on Possible Rafah Operation

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

Reuters Headline Ignores Military Targets in Headline on Israeli Airstrikes

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

The New York Times Misleads on Humanitarian Aid For Gaza

Contact: [email protected]

Sky News Broadcasts Unverified Hamas Propaganda

Contact: [email protected]

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.

Photo Credit: Chaim Goldberg via Flash90

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

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Israel at War: The Media Battlefield – Briefing #23

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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.

BBC Star Lineker Legitimizes Extremists

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

NPR Politicizes Quiz With Misleading Statistic

Contact NPR Public Editor: https://help.npr.org/contact/s/contact?request=Ask-the-Public-Editor-about-ethics

ABC News Is Confused on the Temple Mount

Fill in the ABC News Feedback Form: https://support.abc.com/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=360003079511

NPR Gets It Wrong on the Western Wall

Contact NPR Public Editor: https://help.npr.org/contact/s/contact?request=Ask-the-Public-Editor-about-ethics

The Washington Post’s Excuse for “Analysis”

Contact the Washington Post Readers Representative: [email protected]

The New York Times Lies Over Gaza Aid

Contact: [email protected]

What The Washington Post Left Out of Its Feature

Contact the Washington Post Readers Representative: [email protected]

The Washington Post Politicizes Ramadan Recipes

Contact the Washington Post Readers Representative: [email protected]

Sky News’s Diplomatic Editor and the “Israeli Occupation Authority”

Contact: [email protected]

The New York Times Needs an Icon to Illustrate Palestinian Hunger

Contact: [email protected]

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.

Featured image: Flash 90/David Cohen

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Ramadan Violence at Al-Aqsa Mosque: Palestinian Riots & the Israeli Response

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As Muslims around the world begin to observe the holy month of Ramadan, many media outlets have been particularly focused on connecting Ramadan to the ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza as well as the possibility of rising tensions surrounding prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Some outlets have referenced incidents of violence between Israeli police and Palestinian rioters that have occurred in the mosque and its environs during Ramadan over the past few years.

However, these reports fail to properly convey what led to these disturbances, either leaving out who started the melee or placing the blame solely on Israeli security forces.

For example, The Washington Post described the 2021 violence as “fighting between police and Palestinians” and the 2023 disturbances as “an Israeli police raid last spring to clear protesters who had locked themselves inside.”

Contrary to The Post’s description, the Israeli police were not simply fighting “Palestinians” or mere “protesters.”

Similarly, The Guardian referred to the 2022 and 2023 eruptions of violence simply as “police raids on the mosque,” while The New York Times has described them as “raids into the Aqsa compound by baton-wielding police forces firing tear gas and sponge-tipped bullets who have clashed with Palestinians throwing stones and setting off fireworks.”

As will be seen below, in the violent eruptions that occurred on the Temple Mount during Ramadan in recent years, each incident was initiated by Palestinian rioters and instigators and was responded to with force by the Israeli police, working to protect innocent worshipers, fellow security officers, and innocent bystanders outside the holy compound.

Related Reading: ‘Al-Aqsa Is in Danger’: The Anatomy of a Lie

Although there had been violent disturbances between Palestinian rioters and the Israeli police throughout Ramadan in 2021, the violence peaked in the last weekend of the holy month (May 7 to 10).

On the night of May 7, following the last Friday prayers of Ramadan, Israeli police were compelled to respond with force after officers stationed on the Temple Mount were attacked with stone slabs, rocks, bottles, and firecrackers. In order to stem the violence and disrupt the rioters, Israeli security forces were forced to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque itself.

According to Israeli authorities, these projectiles had been stockpiled in previous days throughout the holy complex in anticipation of that Friday’s disturbances and were reportedly meant to be used against Israeli security forces as well as against Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall below.

Following that Friday’s violence, intermittent disturbances continued throughout the weekend and into Monday, May 10 at the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex and the surrounding area.

That rioting included the barricading of the mosque as well as attacks against Israeli security forces with rocks, firecrackers, and other projectiles. It was only on that Monday that Israeli police were finally able to restore peace and order to the Temple Mount compound.

[embedded content]

In 2022, Ramadan violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque was once again instigated by a minority of Palestinian rioters and hooligans.

On Fridays April 15, April 22, and April 29, Israeli police were forced to enter the compound in order to disrupt riots that included the throwing of rocks, firecrackers, and other projectiles at security forces and toward the rear of the Western Wall, as well as the barricading of rioters within the mosque, preventing proper access to worshipers.

On April 29 (the last Friday of Ramadan that year), the rioting in the morning was so bad that at least one projectile landed in the Western Wall compound below. However, by that afternoon, order was restored and Ramadan prayers were able to end relatively peacefully.

Related Reading: Ramadan in Israel: There’s More Than Meets the Eye

In 2023, violence was instigated at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the night of April 4/early morning of April 5, when rioters barricaded themselves within the mosque and attacked Israeli security forces with explosive devices, fireworks, and rocks.

In order to quell the disturbances, Israeli police were forced to enter the mosque and use riot dispersal methods while arresting those responsible for the violence.

During the melee that unfolded following the entry of Israeli forces into the Muslim holy site, social media erupted with context-free videos of Israeli police using violence against Palestinian agitators, inciting violence within the region and driving a false narrative of Israeli aggression around the world.

[embedded content]

Every year, before Ramadan, the Israeli police undertake intensive preparations to “enable the freedom of worship while maintaining security and public order.”

So, too, this year, the Israeli police have released guidelines for the upcoming month of Ramadan, detailing the traffic changes, regulating of crowds, reinforcement of security forces, and restrictions that are in place (which are similar to past years’ guidelines).

However, despite all the police preparations, there is the possibility this year that some Palestinians will seek to take advantage of the large crowds at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the tense atmosphere due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas War in order to disrupt prayers and instigate violence against Israeli security forces.

If disturbances do erupt at Al-Aqsa Mosque during this year’s Ramadan, will the media report correctly on how the violence erupted, or will they only start the story with Israel’s response?

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.

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▶️ War in Israel’s North? Hezbollah, Iran, and the Ring of Fire

[embedded content]

Please turn subtitles on your video to get translations where needed. You will see an icon at the bottom right of the video [CC] to enable that.

The Ring Of Fire. I wish it was a reference to the Johnny Cash hit, but it’s not. It’s a reference to something far more sinister – and something that has to be understood in order to really contextualize what’s happening; not in Israel, not in Gaza, not even in the Middle East, but on a global stage.

At the beginning of February, I returned to Israel for two days. In those two days, I went to the most dangerous parts of the country. No, I did not go to the South this time. Instead I travelled North with the help of the team at HonestReporting who accompanied me to various evacuated areas all along the border between Israel and Lebanon to explore the looming threat of Hezbollah, and the wider question of the Iranian regime. There we made a miniature documentary about what’s happening in Israel’s northern communities, where some 60,000 Israelis have been displaced, and where a constant question of a war on a second front with Hezbollah is in the air.

I visited an IDF post in the Golan Heights to talk to voluntary reservists, who have been stationed away from their families for months. I visited two kibbutzim: Metzuba and Dafna, both abandoned, and interviewed residents who came back just to talk about the dangers in their home villages. The latter, Dafna, is in the finger of the tip of Israel, moments from both the Syrian and Lebanese borders. The only living creatures remaining there now are the cows, and the cats, who are cared for by IDF soldiers.

I cannot put to words the surreal nature of visiting abandoned kibbutzim in the North, versus my experience in December visiting the torched and annihilated kibbutzim of the South, including Kfar Aza, Nir Oz and Be’eri. The northern kibbutzim, such as Metzuba and Dafna, showed me just how the southern communities would have appeared (albeit empty) were it not for Hamas’s destruction and devastation on October 7. And I couldn’t help but feel uncertain about whether or not these northern communities won’t be vulnerable to pogroms in the future. It is unthinkable, and yet we must think about it. We must conceive of it. We must be prepared for it. This is the reality. And the only reason why it’s the reality of these Israelis, and not the reality of anyone in the West, is because Israelis are most proximate to the threat from the Mullah regime of Iran.

In the documentary, which you can watch exclusively below, at the end of this post, you will meet two experts. The first is Sarit Zehavi of the Alma Center, who took me to a lookout in the same town that Romi Gonen (the 23-year-old hostage who remains in Gaza, and who was taken from the Nova music festival) grew up in. Sarit is former IDF intelligence, and runs a non-profit overlooking the northern territories, from which she assesses the threats every day. I could have spent a month going through Sarit’s information. Alas, we had a few hours. Sarit showed me the urgency of Hezbollah’s presence and how at any given moment, their army could attack the Galilee. Furthermore, Sarit gave me a birdseye perspective on the global threat that Israel understands better than anyone. The threat of fundamentalist Islam and its vision for the world.

It looks something like this:

Alma

This is a graphic of all of the Iranian proxies. You may recognize some of the flags, which appear on placards and posters at protests currently taking place all over the West, purporting to support progress and freedom. “You should do something about that,” said Sarit to me, joking. Dark humor is a salve during such upside-down times.

To understand why Hamas launched the war on October 7, you have to understand that the Abraham Accords, and the normalization process between Israel and various states, including the UAE, Sudan and Jordan, and potentially Saudi Arabia, has isolated Iran, and the Palestinians – who have their own independent power struggle between Hamas and Fatah; a struggle that is of no significance to Iran’s hegemonic vision.

Someone who was able to delve deeper into this with me was Avi Melamed; again, an expert I could have interviewed for a week. Iran’s vision, he explains, is anti-Western, and will not relent until Israel (the emblem of Western ideas in the Middle East) is annihilated via the Ring Of Fire; a circle of Iranian-funded proxies that are spread like the tentacles of an Octopus throughout Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Iran and the Gaza Strip. On October 7, Hamas bolted early and alone, with its plan to exhaust Israel, but Hamas expected the “unifying of arenas”, where a war would be launched simultaneously via the other proxies. This hasn’t yet happened, likely because Hamas pursued its own glory and didn’t wait on a signal from the other proxies, who have no empathy for Hamas’s subsequent struggles. The question isn’t whether the other proxies will strike. The question is when will they strike…

Via Inside The Middle East – Intelligence Perspectives

Avi is also former IDF intelligence and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Arab world and its inner conflicts. I asked him: is expansion of the war possible? Of course. But the how and the when is not guaranteed.

During our second day of reporting, Avi spoke to me at a lookout in view of Tiberius, and he made a point that’s now forever enshrined in my perspective. Imagine the hubris of the West in its screams and chants since October 7, knowing full well that most of those doing the screaming and chanting don’t even speak the langauges of the Arab world. And even if they did, they do not and cannot understand the riddles that the leaders of these proxies talk in. They speak in coded language that can appear as hyperbole or metaphor, but is often just an expression of intent. The West has foolishly fallen prey to the orchestrated and strategic propaganda campaign, led by disinformation armies that thrive on social media sites such as X, Instagram and Telegram, lapping up disinformation by the milisecond, in complete denial that it doesn’t even share a common language with those it purports to be soldiering on for.

Avi brilliantly explained the ignorant confusion of those chanting “From The River To The Sea…” while holding signs advocating for a caliphate; two ideas in direct opposition to one another. A caliphate, which is the desire of the Mullah regime of Iran, would eradicate all freedoms and liberties for all peoples. Under such a regime, there would no free land of Palestine. The question of Palestinian statehood, and of Israel’s part in that, is but a pawn for the Mullah regime, to distract the world while it focuses on becoming a superpower, with the help of several proxies (which form the “Ring Of Fire”, including Hamas and Hezbollah) and the aforementioned global propaganda campaign that romanticizes notions of “justice” and “freedom” in the context of Palestine, but is in reality ushering in an extreme ideology that mirrors the true face of Hamas; the true face of terrorism. The end desired result is to completely destabilize the West. It’s already happening. You just have to assess the latest most extreme case of US soldier Aaron Bushnell’s self-immolation at the gates of the Israeli embassy in Washington DC to understand the levels of brainwashing that have captured vulnerable Americans who are prepared, like Islamic Jihadists, to pay the ultimate price for their beliefs. “Free Palestine!” he screamed, on his phone camera, after pouring gasoline all over himself, and lighting a match. Bushnell is dead now. Who needs a middle man?

So as informed – and hopefully morally sound – people, what is our objective? What about the “day after Hamas”? Well, Israel must permanently change the structure of Gaza, and ensure that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are no longer regional players for Iran. This isn’t just in Israel’s best interests, it’s in the Gazans’ best interests, and indeed the best interests of the rest of the world, who can only benefit from stability and lasting peace. To stop this social contagion that is imprisoning the otherwise free minds of generations of Westerners.

Here is a short documentary that I hope will provide a picture of an as-yet untold story. Many thanks to the team at HonestReporting, and a very special thank you to cameraman Daniel Moore and our incredible driver Shachar.

This piece was republished from Eve Barlow’s newsletter on Substack called Blacklisted.

Eve Barlow is an LA-based music and pop culture journalist. She previously served as Deputy Editor of the New Musical Express (NME) and currently contributes to New York Magazine, The Guardian, Billboard, LA Times, Pitchfork, and GQ, among other publications. Barlow is also an outspoken voice on Jewish identity, Zionism, and fighting antisemitism on social media, and has also shared her views in publications such as Tablet. Barlow was also named one of The Algemeiner’s Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life.

Image credits: Eve: Daniel Moore, via Getty Images: Soldiers: Nasser Ishtayeh/SOPA Images/LightRocket, Explosion: Fadel Senna/AFP.

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

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Israel at War: The Media Battlefield – Briefing #21

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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.

Associated Press Parrots Hamas Disinformation

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

The Guardian’s Op-Ed Lionizes Disturbed Self-Immolator

Contact The Guardian readers’ editor: [email protected]

The New York Times Digs Up Boar Libel

Contact: [email protected]

Reuters Falsely Implies Israel Operating Against Gaza

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

Washington Post Legitimizes an Antisemite

Contact the Washington Post Readers Representative: [email protected]

The Independent Commits a Capital Offense

Fill out The Independent’s contact form: https://help.independent.co.uk/hc/en-us/requests/new

The New York Times Fails to Recognize Hypocrisy

Contact: [email protected]

Foreign Affairs Claims Hamas “Inherited” Gaza’s Tunnels From Israel

Contact: [email protected]

Sky News Guest Makes Moral Equivalence Between Israeli Hostages and Palestinian Prisoners

Contact: [email protected]

The New York Times Underplays South African and Brazilian Hostility

Contact: [email protected]

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.

Featured image: Oren Ben Hakoon via Flash90

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Ghoulish Media Praise ‘Humanity’ of Aaron Bushnell Who Set Himself On Fire Outside Israeli Embassy

The death of active-duty US serviceman Aaron Bushnell, who killed himself by self-immolation outside the Israeli embassy in Washington DC, was met with a profoundly unsettling response.

Bushnell, 25, live-streamed his death on the broadcasting website Twitch, filming himself saying: “I am an active-duty member of the United States Air Force. And I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest. But compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers—it’s not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal.”

Outside the embassy, he put his camera on the ground, poured an accelerant over himself, set himself ablaze, and shouted, “Free Palestine!” until he collapsed.

Bushnell was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Shortly after his identity was confirmed, details about Bushnell’s disturbing views emerged.

A review of his social media profiles found that he held extreme anarchist views and had posted numerous anti-Israel comments online, including one in which he seemingly condoned the October 7 Hamas massacre in which scores of Israeli civilians were raped, tortured and murdered.

According to posts seen by the ADL, Bushnell posted on Reddit earlier this month: “Israel is a white supremacist, ethnonationalist, settler-colonial apartheid state… it has no right to exist.”

In October 2023, he wrote: “Can you or I really say that Indigenous people are wrong for retaliating against colonizers who are rubbing their domination in their face?”

Worryingly, however, Bushell’s warped and antisemitic views that led him to set himself alight in front of horrified bystanders have not stopped some high-profile journalists from lionizing him.

The Guardian published an op-ed four days after Bushnell’s death — more than a day after his social media history was uncovered — in which he is described as a “person of such profound commitment and depth of feeling” who “could be much more useful to the world alive than dead.”

Written by Moira Donegan, the headline of the piece laments what she deems the “loss” to society that is Bushnell’s death.

The Guardian Aaron Bushnell op-ed

Sickeningly, Donegan scorns commentators who rightfully questioned the state of Bushnell’s mental health before he killed himself. Such questioning, she contends, should be extended to Israel and its “insane” war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

It is insanity (apparently) to wage war against a genocidal terrorist group that slaughtered and kidnapped more than 1,200 Israelis — but, we must assume, it is not insane to douse yourself in gasoline in the middle of the street in protest of a war happening 6,000 miles away.

Even worse, Donegan states it would be wrong to question what “struggles” led to Bushnell’s suicide because it is “the wrong question to ask, a way to avoid confrontation with the stated meaning of Bushnell’s self-immolation: that Israel is conducting a genocide in Gaza, one that is only possible with US money and US support, and that this moral catastrophe implicates all Americans in complicity.”

Of course, the article ignores that Bushnell had defended the Hamas massacre, which presumably would make him seem less heroic.

Later in the piece, Donegan suggests that “the [political] left,” which is used as a synonym for pro-Palestinians, is a “much less violent group” than the right.

Publicly-available hate crime statistics, however, tell a different story.

Antisemitism has surged globally, with almost daily reports of Jews being physically assaulted, synagogues attacked and antisemitic graffiti sprayed in public spaces.

The pro-Palestinian marches that have taken place in major cities all over the world have also featured antisemitism.

Donegan isn’t alone in her praise of Bushnell.

Fellow Guardian opinion writer Owen Jones, who previously cast doubt on whether Hamas terrorists carried out rapes or intentionally killed children during the October 7 invasion, posted online that Bushnell died “because he had too much humanity for a world run by people who don’t have any.”

For the likes of Jones, it is a mark of one’s “humanity” to justify the rape and slaughter of Jews, as Bushnell did.

Others who also suggested Bushnell’s actions were in some way laudable included Hamas, which praised him as a  “heroic pilot” and The Nation’s “Palestine correspondent” Mohammed El-Kurd, who defended violent actions such as plane hijackings and throwing Molotov cocktails.

Aaron Bushnell’s death is a tragedy — but not for the reasons the likes of Moira Donegan and Owen Jones believe.

No, the tragedy is that he was so radicalized to hate Israel that he ended up doing the unthinkable and took his own life in such a gruesome and public manner.

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Journalists Using Israel-Hamas War as a Pretext For Claiming Tel Aviv is Israel’s Capital

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Just over a decade ago, HonestReporting achieved significant success in changing the way The Guardian reports on Israel, setting a journalistic precedent in the UK.

Following a complaint to the then-UK media regulatory body, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC)—which included launching legal action to pressure the PCC to enforce its own rules—The Guardian officially acknowledged that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel.

While it was, sadly, a stretch too far for The Guardian to recognize Jerusalem’s status, the newspaper nevertheless updated its style guide. Since then, we have only had to complain to Guardian editors on a handful of occasions when a reporter has erroneously stated that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital in news copy (see here and here).

It is a similar story with other international media outlets which, depending on their editorial policies, normally either refer to Jerusalem as the capital or avoid mentioning Israel’s capital city at all.

Related reading: Deal With It: Jerusalem is Israel’s Capital

However, since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of publications “mistakenly” describing Tel Aviv as the capital.

Since October 7, media organizations including CNN, The New York Times, The Daily Mail, The Times of London, The Independent, and The Telegraph have all made this error. Worryingly, several of them have failed to issue corrections, citing specious grounds.

Although the majority of outlets have swiftly responded to HonestReporting’s request for a correction, the Daily Mail was one of the publications that refused to amend several of its pieces, arguing that Israel’s military headquarters are based in Tel Aviv, which is where decisions relating to the war have been made.

It is the very definition of the publication getting off on a technicality: the IDF’s HQ is physically located in Tel Aviv.

So even though Israel’s war cabinet headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu frequently convenes in Jerusalem and the holy city remains Israel’s capital, some journalists have asserted their use of “Tel Aviv” as a synonym for Jerusalem strictly refers to from where military decisions are emanating.

Of course, HonestReporting has disputed this point and secured numerous corrections in the process.

Concerning British media outlets, we have referred to the fact that the United Kingdom does not recognize Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital, while the United States officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital city in 2017.

In addition, no United Nations resolution has ever determined that Tel Aviv is, or should be, the capital of Israel.

The reality is that Jerusalem has always been Israel’s capital and the city is home to the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), the Supreme Court of Israel, the Prime Minister and President’s official residences, the Bank of Israel and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Capital cities are chosen by sovereign states — as is their right. They are not determined by interfering outsiders who think they can simply reimagine Israel’s geography.

It would be both baffling and inaccurate if Israeli journalists suddenly started referring to New York as the US capital in news stories, or used Manchester as a synonym for London when writing about British politics.

Why, then, do some journalists find it acceptable to make similar errors with Israel?

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Media Ignore Anti-Israel Rocket Attack, Focus on Israel’s Military Response

On the morning of February 14, northern Israel was subjected to a barrage of indiscriminate rocket fire from Lebanon. Rockets reportedly landed in the city of Safed and an Israeli military base, killing a female soldier and wounding eight others.

In response to this attack, the Israeli air force undertook a “widespread” bombing campaign against Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon, killing several terror operatives as well as a number of Lebanese civilians.

This rocket barrage was the latest escalation in Hezbollah’s campaign against Israel, which it undertook in the wake of Hamas’ October 7 massacre in southern Israel. Due to the threat posed by the Iran-backed terror group, tens of thousands of Israeli civilians from the north have evacuated to other parts of the country.

Despite this latest violence stemming from the rocket barrage directed at Israel, several news outlets chose to frame the story in such a way as to portray Israel as the aggressor.

While some news outlets (like the BBC and Fox News) did properly convey the necessary information in their headlines, explaining that Israel’s airstrikes came in response to the rocket barrage earlier that day, several media organizations failed in this regard, with their headlines leaving out the vital context and turning Israel’s defensive campaign into one of aggression.

For example, The Washington Post‘s headline only mentioned Israel’s strikes in Lebanon, informing its readers that Israel was responding to a rocket barrage only in the report’s third paragraph.

As did CBS News‘ headline, which only mentioned Israel’s strikes in Lebanon.

Further, the report indicated that Israel’s strikes were “raising fears of a war” between Israel and Lebanon. It would appear that only Israel’s response raises fears of war, not attacks from Hezbollah against Israel.

Reuters‘ headline only mentioned Hezbollah’s vow that Israel will “pay price” for the “deadly day.”

It took 12 paragraphs for Reuters to even mention at all that Israel’s strikes in Lebanon were in response to a rocket attack.

For its part, two Sky News headlines failed to inform its readers that Israel was bombing Lebanon in response to an earlier rocket attack.

The first read: “Israel launches wave of deadly attacks on Lebanon – as Hezbollah vows revenge” while the second headline read: “Children among 11 people killed in Israeli strikes on Lebanon, say security sources.”

While the sub-header for the second article did mention that Israel was responding to an earlier attack, it also used different language for each country’s casualties, claiming that Lebanese were “killed” by Israel’s strikes while an Israeli had passively “died.”

Several video reports also left out vital information, portraying Israel as the aggressor in the region.

For example, France 24 titled its report “Fears of escalation as Israel strikes hit southern Lebanon.”

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Similarly, 9 News Australia’s video report was titled “Israel launches wave of air strikes in Lebanon as tensions escalate.”

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The title for AFP’s clip of a State Department briefing on the clashes over Israel’s northern border not only failed to mention the initial anti-Israel rocket attack, but the barrage was also entirely missing from the video’s accompanying text.

For some news outlets, it was not the headline that was the issue as much as the content of the report itself.

For example, The Guardian‘s coverage (under the headline “Seven civilians killed in Israeli strikes on south Lebanon”) mentioned both the rocket attack from Lebanon and Israel’s strikes in Lebanon. However, it failed to inform its readers as to which occurred first, leaving them with the impression that both Israel and Hezbollah are equally to blame for tensions and violence along the border.

In its report, news agency UPI described Israel’s targeted air strikes as a “barrage of rockets” while the indiscriminate fire directed against Israel from Lebanon was described as an “attack” and a “strike.”

Perhaps the most egregious report was filed by The Times of London, which reported in two paragraphs on Israel’s strikes in Lebanon but not a single word about the earlier barrage against Israel or the fact that an Israeli soldier had been killed in that attack.

By leaving out vital information and context from their headlines and reports, these news outlets are not only failing to inform their respective audiences properly, but they are also helping to contribute to a false narrative that leaves Hezbollah’s belligerency out of the picture and portrays Israel as the primary aggressor along its northern border.

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Photo Credit: Tasnim News Agency reporter (uncredited)

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

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