The Media Two-stepFebruary 2, 2005 12:00 by ManagingTeam
While the diplomatic mood in the Mideast may be taking a turn for the better, one classic pattern of anti-Israel media bias remains very much intact: When a Palestinian civilian dies under disputed circumstances, the media (1) overwhelmingly blame Israel, and (2) ascribe a ‘revenge motive’ to any subsequent Palestinian terror.On Monday (1/31), 10-year-old Nuran Deab was struck by a bullet in southern Gaza and died shortly thereafter. The IDF immediately suggested the gunshots may have come from nearby Palestinians firing celebratory shots in the air. Further, Reuters stated that ‘it did not appear that Israeli soldiers some 600 meters away could have seen into the [school] compound from their position behind high walls.’
Despite this, many news agencies were very quick to promote the Palestinian version of events, backed by the UN:
? Agence France-Presse, under the headline ‘Palestinian schoolgirl shot dead by Israeli troops in Gaza,’ prominently quoted the PA prime minister condemning it as ‘a crime.’ The Israeli denial of responsibility was buried at the very end of the AFP report. ? The Independent based its story on a UN official who directly accused the IDF of firing on Deab, then passed off IDF spokespersons who denied culpability as ‘plainly embarrassed.’ ? Knight Ridder-Tribune quoted both Ahmed Qurei decrying the shooting as an IDF ‘war crime,’ and a UN official condemning ‘the Israeli military’s indiscriminate firing into civilian areas.’And this is how a Reuters photo release portrayed the event (emphasis added):
This lopsided version of events appears all the more ludicrous given the Jerusalem Post’s report that PA police have now arrested a Palestinian man for the shooting.
Step two of this dishonest reporting is to ascribe a ‘revenge motive’ to subsequent Palestinian terror.Nearly all articles included a statement similar to this from Knight Ridder: ‘the militant group Hamas responded [to Deab's death] with a mortar attack on an Israeli settlement.’ (Hamas issued a press announcement to that effect.) The IDF was thereby blamed for disturbing the ‘calm’ that had previously held.
Yet Hamas mortar shells and rockets had never stopped raining on Israeli civilians in Gaza or Sderot ? see reports from Jan. 24, 26, and 29. This episode, therefore, was clearly used by Hamas as a mere excuse for their ongoing terror.As we’ve seen repeatedly in this conflict, the terrorists use minor grievances ? oftentimes fabricated ? as pretexts to rationalize their murderous acts against civilians. When media outlets report these statements from Hamas, et al., without directly questioning their merit, the media become a tool exploited by terrorists to promote their anti-Israel campaign.HonestReporting encourages subscribers to be on the alert for the ‘media two-step’ of blaming Israel for disputed events, then passing off subsequent Palestinian terror as ‘revenge.’Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias. HonestReporting