The Warp, Botch and Skew

Dear HonestReporting Member,

It’s been a busy week in Israel — and the media has been busy warping, botching, and skewing the news. We present below the 3 worst offenders.

===== (1) CNN WARPS THE FACTS =====

In reporting on the Palestinian shooting spree in Jerusalem on Tuesday, CNN’s homepage headline proclaimed:



Read carefully. The false implication of this CNN headline is that Israel perpetrated a shooting spree.

In another article this week, CNN referred to Hamas as “an organization known among Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza Strip for actions such as building schools, hospitals and helping the community in social and religious ways…”

Whoops! Did CNN forget that Hamas is classified by the U.S. State Department as a “terrorist” organization, with no differentiation between the military and political arms? Says the State Department:

“Various Hamas elements have used both political and violent means, including terrorism, to pursue the goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in place of Israel.”

If you believe that CNN has demonstrated bias in these instances, write to:


On Tuesday, two separate events occurred:

1) A Palestinian terrorist sprayed machine-gun fire on shoppers in downtown Jerusalem, and

2) Israel uncovered a bomb factory in the West Bank, subsequently killing the 4 Hamas terrorists who operated it.

In a vile case of “moral equivalency,” Associated Press ran the following headline on Tuesday:


AP would have you believe that it’s tit-for-tat: A 78-year-old Jewish shopper is gunned down, just as a Palestinian bomb-maker is, too.

Recall that earlier this week, AP delivered another botched headline, in reporting on Israel’s incursion into the town of Tulkarem:


Elie Hobeika was an evil man, directly responsible for the deaths of thousands, including the Sabra and Shatilla massacres in 1982. This Thursday, when Hobeika was blown up and killed in Beirut, Palestinians celebrated and fired guns into the air in their Beirut neighborhoods.

But some reporters were quick to quote Lebanese officials blaming Israel for Hobeika’s death. Other reporters used Hobeika’s death to rehash false war crimes charges against Israel and Ariel Sharon.

Here’s how Reuters blamed Israel for the bomb that killed Hobeika:

“No one claimed responsibility. But although the dead man had no shortage of Palestinian and Lebanese enemies, many in Beirut were quick to accuse the Israelis…”

Recall that conspiracy theorists blamed Israel for the World Trade Center attacks, and for chartering the Karine-A shipload of weapons. Now they accuse Israel for the death of Hobeika.

How does your local media portray Hobeika? Does it use Hobeika’s death to spray accusations against Israel?

HonestReporting members may want to bring Robert Maroun Hatem’s book, “From Israel to Damascus,” to the attention of local editors. In the book, Hobeika’s own bodyguard in 1982, Robert Maroun Hatem, revealed that Hobeika was a Syrian double-agent, and the massacre was aimed at discrediting Israel and Ariel Sharon. An excerpt:

“I can state under oath, that General Sharon would never have lit up the area the way he did had he planned for any butchery… Reflecting back on the events of my life, all the facts led me to believe that Hobeika was the man, who in 1982, provoked the Sabra and Shatilla massacres.”

The book is banned in Lebanon, but it can be read online.