Strange reporting of a terrorist attack that killed three Israelis

April 10, 2022 • 10:00 am

Both the New York Times and ABC News report a terrorist attack that killed three Israelis in Tel Aviv on Thursday night.

Three other victims were in serious condition. As ABC News Reports:

Israeli security forces tracked down and killed the alleged assailant in a shootout early Friday near a mosque in Jaffa, an Arab neighborhood in southern Tel Aviv, according to statements from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet. The suspect was identified by Shin Bet as a 29-year-old Palestinian man from Jenin, in the occupied West Bank.

This is the latest in a series of Palestinian terrorist attacks on civilians, with 14 killed in the last 18 days. Malgorzata sent me a list, as we often don’t hear about these in the U.S.:

22 March, Beersheba, 4 killed, 2 wounded
27 March 2022, Hadera, 2 killed, 12 injured
29 March, Bnei Brak, 5 killed,
31 March, Gush Etzion, one seriously wounded (attacker shot dead)
7 April, Tel Aviv, 3 killed, 12 injured

In this case, both sources lead with the fact that it was a terrorist attack and was committed by a Palestinian.  Other sources haven’t been so clear! (See below.)

The dead included two friends since childhood, 27 and 28 years old, one engaged, killed while enjoying a post-work libation. The other victim was an Olympic kayaker. They were all civilians.

Here’s the former kayaker, a father of three:

The curiosity is how the attack was reported, with many media and nonmedia people being clearly averse to using the words “terrorism” or “terrorist” (this was a clear case of both) and especially to identifying the killer as “Palestinian”. It’s almost as if the word was taboo.

Further, the way the scenario was presented, which was appropriate in the NYT and ABC, was clearly hedged to make the act seem less heinous. Here are some tweets (reported by Elder of Ziyon) showing the media coverage. You can say this is Jewish propaganda dealing with normal reporting, but there’s no denying the commonality of many headlines, leading with the Israeli killing:

Notice that in both cases the killer is identified as Palestinian, but who perpetrated the “attack” or “shooting” is unclear.

In contrast, both the NYT and ABC are clear, though ABC (second headline) is  bit ambiguous. The NYT headline is especially  succinct and accurate.



But other media used euphemisms, inverted headlines, or omission of “terrorism” or “Palestinian”:

And another. “Inverting the story”—i.e., putting the killing of terrorists by of Israeli soldiers/police as the first bit of the story—has become almost customary in the media. This leaves the impression that Israel “started it”:

But Reuters, which has a long history of distorting the news in favor of Palestine, was the worst, inverting the headline and omitting “terrorism”:


And here’s a thread of people who deliberately avoid using the “P word”. I wonder why?

Now this is an interesting tweet.

Yes, the NYT did originally give a positive take on Refaat Alareer, a professor at Islamic University in Gaza City.  But the information depicting Aalareer’s classroom was based on a single visit by a reporter, and Alareer knew the reporter was there. He clearly toned down his critique of Israel at that visit, as an earlier video without reporters present gave a much less flattering picture. In fact, a few months ago the Times‘s editors added this update to the article:

Editors’ Note, Dec. 13, 2021:

After publication of this article, Times editors reviewed additional information that is at odds with the article’s portrayal of Refaat Alareer, a literature professor at Islamic University in Gaza, who was described as presenting Israeli poems in a positive light to his Palestinian students.

In the class witnessed by a Times reporter, Mr. Alareer taught a poem by the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai, which he called “beautiful,” saying it underscored the “shared humanity” of Israelis and Palestinians. He said he admired how it showed that Jerusalem is a place “where we all come together, regardless of religion and faith.”

However, in a video of a class from 2019, he called the same poem “horrible” and “dangerous,” saying that although it was aesthetically beautiful, it “brainwashes” readers by presenting the Israelis “as innocent.” He also discussed a second Israeli poem, by Tuvya Ruebner, which he called “dangerous,” adding “this kind of poetry is in part to blame for the ethnic cleansing and destruction of Palestine.”

When The Times asked Mr. Alareer about the discrepancy, he denied that there was a “substantial change” in his teaching and said that showing parallels between Palestinians and Jews was his “ultimate goal.” But he said that Israel used literature as “a tool of colonialism and oppression” and that this raised “legitimate questions” about Mr. Amichai’s poem.

In light of this additional information, editors have concluded that the article did not accurately reflect Mr. Alareer’s views on Israeli poetry or how he teaches it. Had The Times done more extensive reporting on Mr. Alareer, the article would have presented a more complete picture.

Good for them!

Now you can say that the other forms of reporting are simply coincidental, but I beg to differ. There is a history of Anglophone media downplaying terrorism and the Palestinian responsibility for it; this is just one of many, many examples. I’m surprised, in fact, that the New York Times is the best of the lot! But kudos for an accurate headline.

The other side, of course, is the obligatory celebration of Palestinians at seeing more Israelis slain by “martyrs”. Their joy is unspeakably horrid, and one wonders, when you see it break out after civilians are killed, what kind of Americans are valorizing Palestinian terrorists and those who call for the elimination of Israel.

What these terrorists are doing resembles what Russia is doing to the Ukraine: killing civilians with the ultimate aim of absorbing another country. Imagine how much stronger our revulsion at Russia would be if we knew that man Russians jumped for joy and handed out sweets every time a Ukrainian civilian was killed!

The obligatory celebration:

The killer’s father celebrates his son’s death.

You get the idea. Just one more sight of the celebrations in Gaza. There’s much more documentation at this site:

There’s no doubt that anti-Semitism is on the rise in America, particularly among “progressive” liberals, who increasingly sympathize with Palestinians because they are seen as “people of color”.  U.S. legislators like Congresswomen Rashida Taleeb, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ilhan Omar regularly laud Palestine and demonize Israel—also supporting the anti-Semitic BDS movement. And much of the U.S. media, increasingly populated by young journalists with “progressive” sentiments, echo this hatred. Is this the way liberals should behave: lauding those who kill civilians and then celebrating it?

7 thoughts on “Strange reporting of a terrorist attack that killed three Israelis

  1. I’m so glad that you expose this phenomenon for all to see, because it deserves to be more widely recognized. The practice of downplaying the legitimacy of Israel’s right to defend itself against unprovoked attacks is longstanding. The wording is subtle, so the reader has to be very observant. But, indeed, the pattern is clear to one who pays close attention over time. Is this practice antisemitic? Well, it’s anti-Israel, which may or may not denote antisemitism, depending on the specifics. But, just as anti-Israel or anti-Zionist reporting is sometimes antisemitic, the systematic downplaying of the right of Israel to defend itself is also at times antisemitic. Either way, the use of hedge words and euphemisms to downplay attacks on Israel or on Jews is a tool that antisemites have at their disposal.

    1. It’s not antisemitic to hold Israel to certain standards.
      What’s antisemitic is the media, activists, intellectuals, and politicians focusing so greatly on Israel, holding Israel to standards to which they hold no other country. And, seeing as how Israel is a Democratic nation where all citizens are treated equally under the law, I can’t see any reason for holding them to such stringent standards and increased scrutiny except for the fact that it’s a refuge for Jews. That’s the only reason I can find. Far worse countries — for example, Saudi Arabia and all the countries in its coalition that have killed over 300,000 Yemenis and displaced over five million since 2016 — are held to far lower or even no standards. Myanmar? Kill and persecute as many Rohingya as you like! China? They’re not concentration camps meant to commit genocide against an entire culture; they’re just reeducation day camps!

      There must be 100 countries in the world that kill more innocent civilians than Israel on a yearly basis, and almost always with far worse justification. Only Israel is held to this magical standard of “you can’t defend yourself, every time you kill someone who is trying to destroy your country and kill its people is a war crime, your enemies deserve no scrutiny and are often even valorized, you should cede your lands to terrorists, etc.” That’s the antisemitism.

  2. The CBC in Canada does the same avoiding the word “terrorist” and diminishing the seriousness of such random attacks to civilians.

  3. I’ve been watching this sort of thing for years. Another act of terrorism sponsored by every fiber and policy of the Palestinian leadership. As an American, I can not get past the idea that Israel allows political parties on its sovereign soil that have an official policy of terrorist murder. The Oslo Accords, which created the Palestinian Authority and self-rule of Palestinians in the disputed territories is supposed to be a peace treaty, not a suicide pact.

    Abbas, and the PA leadership have been in obvious abrogation of Oslo for decades with their Pay For Slay policy alone. Indeed, they have announced several times that they no longer will abide by Oslo at all. Without Oslo, there is no diplomatic immunity for these murderers. Why does not Israel, if somehow no such law already exists, outlaw terrorism including its approval, abetting, glorification, and former association by any political party and simply arrest, prosecute, and convict offenders like Abbas et al until the Palestinians elect a leadership that dares not contemplate terrorist murder and truly wants peace? What possible disinclination does the PA have right now to desist? Answer: None.

    1. None of it would matter. Israel can be as justified as possible in its actions, but those actions will invariably be filtered through the anti-Israel-tinted glasses of the media and intelligentsia. It doesn’t matter what they do, why they do it, what the outcomes are, or what their sworn enemies do. Israel will continue to be treated unlike any other country, and it’s only getting worse.

  4. Shouldn’t the “Israeli forces shoot dead Palestinian after Tel Aviv bar attack” be “shoot a Palestinian dead”, otherwise it seems to say that they shot his corpse.

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