Monday, November 29, 2021

Newspaper Headline Downplays Terrorist Attack Against Jews While Focusing on the Death of the Terrorist

Imagine if a news report about the 9/11 terrorist attacks carried the headline "15 Saudis, two UAE citizens, one Egyptian, one Lebanese die in plane crashes after hijackings." Would any rational person consider that to be an accurate, unbiased summary of terrorist attacks committed by Arab terrorists with the intention of killing American citizens, resulting in nearly 3000 deaths of innocent civilians?

It is breathtaking and horrifying to observe the lengths to which far too many media outlets will go to minimize antisemitism even when that antisemitism culminates in murderous violence. Antisemitic violence committed by Muslim terrorists against Jews is a regular occurrence in Israel, but you would never know that by reading headlines such as this one that recently appeared in the Manchester Evening News: "Palestinian shot dead after holy site killing." The "Palestinian" referenced in the headline was a Hamas terrorist who opened fire on Jews in Jerusalem, killing 26 year old Eliyahu Kay and wounding four others. 

Hamas is a terrorist organization devoted to killing Jews worldwide. Hamas is sponsored by Iran, and by Arab countries that support killing Jews worldwide. The fact that Iran and Arab countries pay to kill Jews worldwide is not a narrative that the mainstream media is interested in reporting. The headline writing technique of downplaying state-sponsored terrorism against Jews is not new, or accidental. Many media outlets summarize Arab terrorist attacks against Jews by leading with active voice references to the deaths of the terrorists, followed by bland passive voice references to the murder victims. 

In Eli Kay is a hero of the Jewish people, Warren Goldstein--the Chief Rabbi of South Africa--connects Kay's murder to the history of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah, and he laments that the cold-blooded murder of Jews does not fit in with the narratives that many media outlets prefer to promote (such narratives include but are not limited to the bizarre notion that Jews are not members of a persecuted minority group but rather beneficiaries of "white privilege"):

That is why our sages focused on the menorah and the miracle of the oil as the symbol of Hanukkah, rather than the miraculous military battle. The menorah--the rededication of the Temple to its holy service, the spiritual values and practices of the Jewish people, the light of Torah--is what the Maccabees were fighting for. 
It is deeply significant that the modern State of Israel chose the menorah as its official symbol. It reminds us that to be a Jew, and to be a Zionist, is not a simple nationalistic identity; that our connection to the Land of Israel and to our people is rooted in our values and in our Torah. 
The senseless murder of Eli Kay makes this clear--the cold-blooded gunning down of a tour guide doesn't fit into a political or nationalistic narrative. Our struggle with those who would banish us from our land is not, in essence, a territorial battle but one of values. If this were a mere political dispute over nationalism and borders, the conflict would have been resolved long ago.

The Manchester Evening News received complaints about their tendentious headline, and issued a statement which read in pertinent part: "We recognize the headline did not reflect the story in an accurate and balanced way. We apologize unreservedly for any upset caused."

There is a larger issue that goes beyond one headline, namely the systematic, deliberate, and widespread effort by media members, academics, and self-proclaimed "progressive" activists to rewrite Jewish and Israeli history in a way that transmogrifies the Jewish people from persecuted minority to racist oppressors, and libels Israel as an "apartheid state" as opposed to being the only democracy in the Mideast. This effort, which has gained power and influence in recent years, can only be successfully defeated by people who are armed with historical truth, and who are unafraid to speak that truth even during an era when speaking truth can result in ostracism.

11/29/21 Update: After I posted this article, I found another recent example of a mainstream media outlet using deceptive phrasing to downplay a terrorist attack that does not conform with mainstream media narratives. The car-ramming terrorist attack in Waukesha was conducted by an antisemitic BLM supporter, but because the suspect's demographics contradict mainstream media narratives about terrorism CNN decided that the car, not the person, should be the focus of a summary posted on social media referring to a car (not a leftist, antisemitic terrorist) that "drove through a city Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring scores of others." It is obvious that CNN would have framed the Waukesha attack much differently if the demographics of suspect Darrell Brooks had conformed with the mainstream media narratives about terrorism.

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