American press coverage grants Israelis all the humanity
Philip Weiss on October 13, 2015
|Aviva Yisrael, armed settler, in photo she supplied to USA Today|
Hillary Clinton’s shocking statement yesterday sympathizing with Israeli Jewish victims of attacks and saying nothing about Palestinian victims is actually reflective of American press coverage.
Mainstream news sites continue to emphasize Jewish victims over Palestinian victims, and leave out the larger context of the conflict, Israeli occupation and the hatred it is producing, on both sides.
For instance, USA Today has a grotesque account of a Glock-bearing settler that portrays her as a pioneer confronting savagery (“Glocker mom”) and leaves out the military occupation she lives inside, entirely.
As violent clashes erupted throughout Israel and Palestinian territories, Aviva Yisraeli decided to carry a handgun while commuting from her home in the West Bank settlement of Tekoa to a weekly course in Jerusalem. “I feel that it’s important for us to do everything in our power to protect ourselves,” said the mother of four, adding that she refuses to be a “sitting duck.”
Reporter Shira Rubin repeatedly speaks about “Arab” violence:
The Israeli government announced new policies to contain Arab violence..
But Yisraeli and many neighbors said tougher security measures have done little to deter Palestinian assailants….
“The Arabs have absolutely no fear from our army .…but when I started carrying our gun, I realized that they do have fear from the civilian response,” she said. “As they say, it’s better to visit you in jail than at the graveyard.”
Yagil Henken, a military historian at the Israeli Defense Forces college whose brother was killed in a West Bank shooting on Oct. 1, said he carries a gun to assuage his “paranoia,” but his West Bank community is still maintaining a calm resolve.
Did the Jim Crow south or the Algerian colonial-settlers ever get such a fair shake from the establishment press?
The New York Times publishes an article by Jodi Rudoren and Isabel Kershner, “4 Attacks by Palestinians Leave 3 Dead in Israel,” which again portrays Arabs as malefactors, some of whom actually have freedom to “freely roam the country” and “work in Jewish areas.”
A police spokeswoman said the steps to be considered included a complete closing of Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods, whose residents are generally not citizens of Israel but can freely roam the country and often work in Jewish areas, and an easing of gun-licensing procedures.
But those Arabs think that “the country” is also theirs, and for good reason. The Times mentions the occupation, but fairly far down. Donald Johnson explains that the article reflects an institutional bias:
It focuses on Israeli shootings but only in cases where the dead Palestinian either had stabbed someone or was accused of wielding a knife and whose innocence can’t be proven. (And yes, a Palestinian killed by Israelis is guilty until proven innocent, and if so it is still not Israel’s fault.). They quote critics and skeptics of the police, but the message is that the Israelis are at worst guilty of shooting Palestinians who have been violent or might be violent.
I don’t recall a single NYT story devoted to the shooting of Gaza fishermen–it has been mentioned in passing and I am certain this was only due to reader complaints, but shootings that can’t be spun as understandable reactions to Palestinian violence don’t interest the NYT. Doesn’t fit the narrative.
The Times piece is open to comment, the first time in days that the Times has permitted comment; and the Readers’ Picks echo concerns we have on this site. TMC in New York:
New York Times, this is outright racist coverage. I’m sick of it. I watched a video of a two year old girl killed by an Israeli bomb being hugged by her father and you attempt to make it sound like the Palestinians are are attacking Israelis out of the blue. You ignore the context of the occupation. Editors, writers, internet post reviewers, have you no empathy? Is this how you would have covered apartheid in South Africa? I’d love to say you are on the wrong side of history, but there is a distinct chance the Israelis will succeed in wiping out the Palestinians, partially because of resorting like this.
And Finnbar in Seattle makes a similar point.
Very biased reporting, showing compassion for Israelis but none for the Palestinians. When we are finally able to show compassion for all that suffer then maybe there will be a solution.
This Washington Post article about the spate of Palestinian attacks: by William Booth and Ruth Eglash dares to state that Palestinian violence is a response to occupation in the third paragraph:
Palestinians are also frustrated by their own weak leaders and almost 50 years of military occupation.
The latest round of U.S.-brokered peace talks collapsed last year in failure.
But the article doesn’t really follow up that point. Its concern is Jewish victims, till the last paragraph says:
At least 30 Palestinians, including rock throwers and knife attackers, have been killed by Israeli forces and civilians. Palestinians say that several of their dead were shot and killed without cause.
And on twitter, Eglash reminds us of the society she lives in:
U know the situation is out of control when ur 13-yr-old comes home from school n says: “I’m still alive”
Here by contrast is fantastic coverage by Ynet of a racist mob of Israeli Jews going out at night to hunt down Arabs in Jerusalem.700 people are in this mob! And the reporting by Roi Yanovsky is terrifying:
During their entire march, organized by La Familia (a group of far-right fans of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club) and Lehava (a right-wing organization dedicated to preventing the “assimilation” of Jews with non-Jews in Israel), the protesters chanted slogans such as “death to Arabs” and “may your village burn,” and looked for Arabs to attack. And indeed, after the protest ended a number of the participants attacked a taxi driver and attempted to attack other Arab passersby.
The main group of protesters, which was controlled by the police, didn’t engage in physical violence, but small splinter groups moved toward the city center and began searching for Arabs. They entered stores, asking clerks if Arabs were employed there. They asked employees random questions like “what’s the time?” in order to test their accent.
Yanovsky helps save a Palestinian storekeeper from harm.
Ynet is at least acknowledging the deep racism inside Israeli society. That hatred was also expressed in this shocking video from Jerusalem of a wounded Palestinian 13-year-old who was charged with stabbing someone before he was run over by a car. An Israeli shouts at him: “Die you fuck, die you son of a whore, die die, die you son of 66 whores.” His name is Ahmed Manasra and you can see that he is not receiving medical attention and that an Israeli officer pushes him to the pavement with his foot when he seeks to sit up. We haven’t put it on our site because it is so disturbing. The New York Times mentions the boy’s injury and the killing of his cousin Hassan, who also allegedly participated in the attack, but does not identify them by name.
Correction: I initially mixed up Ahmed Manasra, 13, for Hassan Manasra, 15, in my description of the video and said the boy in the video is dying. Ahmed survived the serious injuries. Palestinian Center for Human Rights has set the matter straight. It also makes clear that the cousins’ alleged attack took place in Pisgat Ze’ev, which is in occupied East Jerusalem, not Israel, as the NYT states.
Thanks to James North.
Child Killed and His Cousin Seriously Wounded Amidst Settlers’ Cry “Die” and “David Red Star” Ambulance Deliberate Delay
Tuesday, 13 October 2015 00:00
Date: 13 October 2015
|Ahmed Saleh Mahayan (Manasra) (13),|
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest terms the crime committed by Israeli forces on Monday, 12 October 2015, in occupied East Jerusalem, which resulted in killing Hassan Khaled Mahayna (Manasra) (15), from Beit Hanina village, north of the city. Moreover, PCHR condemns the deliberate delay made by the David Red Star ambulance crew to offer first aid to his cousin, who was deliberately run over by Israeli forces. PCHR warns against the increasing number of killings among Palestinian civilians, including children and girls, in the occupied city on the grounds of suspicion of carrying out stabbings against Israeli forces and settlers. This crime was committed few hours after the killing of Mostafa al-Khateeb (18), from Sour Baher village, south of occupied Jerusalem. Furthermore, PCHR denounces this crime that is added to the series of Israeli crimes committed in East Jerusalem in particular, and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in general. Therefore, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate action and fulfill its legal and moral obligations to protect the Palestinian civilians in the oPt. PCHR believes that the silence of the international community towards these crimes encourages the Israeli government to continue its policy that violates the international humanitarian law.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, on Monday afternoon, 12 October 2015, Israeli forces opened fire at Hassan Khaled Mahayna (Manasra) (15) and deliberately run over his cousin Ahmed Saleh Mahayan (Manasra) (13), both are from Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They were attacked while going to a mall near their family houses in “Pisgat Ze’ev” settlement. As a result, the first child was killed by several bullet wounds, while the other sustained serious wounds. The Israeli police claimed that two settlers were seriously wounded as the two Palestinian boys had stabbed them.
A video published by Ma’an Satellite Channel showed Ahmed after he was deliberately run over in the light rail area. In spite of the boy’s wound, bleeding and cries for help, Israeli settlers and police officers insulted and swore at him calling for brutally killing him. The video also documents the presence of a David Red Star ambulance crew in the scene but did not offer the boy first aid on time responding to the settlers’ calls stating, “Die Die”.
The killed boy’s family said to PCHR fieldworker in the city that their son Hassan is a 10th grade student at Ibn Khaldoun School, and his cousin is an 8th grade student at the New Generation School. Both of them went back home in Beit Hanina village from their school and then went out heading to the nearby mall in “Pisgat Ze’ev” settlement. Hassan wanted to buy a games CD and Ahmed wanted to buy a pigeon. The family refuted the Israeli police story.
Afterwards, Israeli Special Forces raided over 10 nearby houses belonging to the same family. They detained the family members in the family’s divan and cordoned them. They also arrested the two boys’ fathers and took them to al-Qashala police station to be questioned.
Additionally, at approximately 13:00 on the same day, Israeli police officers opened fire at the schoolgirl Marah Bakeer (17) from Beit Hanina village. As a result, she was seriously wounded. She was then taken to a hospital in West Jerusalem for medical treatment. Israeli officers opened fire at the girl after a settler attempted to attack her when she was present at the bus stop in al-Shaikh Jarrah area, north of the Old City, after finishing her school.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, the aforementioned schoolgirl was on her way back home from Abdullah Bin al-Hussein School for Girls along with her friend in the street. They both stopped at the red traffic light when a settler cursed them. He kept chasing them to the bus stop in Shaikh Jarrah area near the Israeli police headquarters. The settler was crying that Bakeer is “A terrorist” and she had a knife and attempted to stab him. The Israeli police hurried up and fired four live bullets at Bakeer although she was begging them and saying that she did nothing. One of her friends said that Marah fell to the ground after she was shot, after which dozens of Israeli police and intelligence officers surrounded her and pointed their guns at her although she was bleeding and screaming. When a Palestinian young man attempted to help her, the Israeli police officers arrested him and accused him of being involved with her in planning for a stabbing. The Israeli police claimed that Bakeer was suspected by a Border Guard officer, so he stopped her. Once he approached her, she took a knife out and attempted to stab him, but he opened fire at her.
PCHR strongly condemns these crimes that proves the increasing number of killings among Palestinian civilians in the oPt in general and occupied East Jerusalem in particular. Moreover, PCHR stresses that in the above-mentioned cases, Israeli forces could have used less force against the victims or could have arrested and tied them if their allegations were true. PCHR reiterates its call upon the international community to take immediate and effective actions to put an end to such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions.