On Sunday, October 11, the Los Angeles Times ran the headline “6 Palestinian Teens Die Amid Mideast Unrest.” It was, technically, true. But it left out a few key details.
Try the opening sentence, instead: “Two Palestinian teenagers were shot to death Saturday in Jerusalem, officials said, after they carried out separate stabbing attacks on an ultra-Orthodox Jew and two Israeli police officers.” Among Palestinians, stabbing Israelis is in vogue at present — as are shooting them, ramming them with vehicles, and bludgeoning them with meat cleavers, all of which have also taken place in the “unrest” of the past few weeks. Seven Israelis have been killed and dozens wounded in attacks since Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebration, ended on September 15. The purported reason for the renewed violence is the rumor, despite Benjamin Netanyahu’s assurances to the contrary, that the Israeli government plans to reopen the Temple Mount to Jews. But the rash of violence is better explained by a century-long virus of hatred.
Overseas, coverage has been, if possible, worse. Earlier this month, the BBC titled an article “Palestinian Shot Dead after Jerusalem Attack Kills Two.” (The tweet advertising the article simply read, “Attacker kills two in Jerusalem.”) When that headline garnered the wrong kind of social-media attention, the BBC modified it — “Jerusalem Attack: Israelis Killed in Old City ‘By Palestinian’” — making use of what can only be called unorthodox punctuation. Soon, they stripped the quotation marks, then later changed the headline again: “Jerusalem: Palestinian kills two Israelis in Old City.” Meanwhile, the Independent wailed, “Israel Kills Pregnant Mother and Her Baby in Revenge Attacks,” a curious way of describing “airstrikes in Gaza targeting Hamas weapons manufacturing facilities,” as the article eventually acknowledges.
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For nearly 70 years the Left has trafficked in false moral equivalences between terrorists and those in Israel defending themselves from terrorism. A responsible media would expose that unconvincing narrative. The one we’ve got has decided to participate in its propagation instead.
If you need more evidence, just tune in. The intifada will surely be televised.
— Ian Tuttle is a William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute.