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British media: Covering up murder, as usual


It’s tragic when anyone dies in a terror attack.  But last week’s murder by a Palestinian attacker of a British student in Jerusalem provides an opportunity to view the “local angle” – the British take on what exactly happened.

We all know the truth isn’t pretty – at least, until the British start telling it.  These three media reports are typical in that they sidestep the truth, leaving huge gaps when talking about who exactly committed the murder.

First, we have The Guardian:

Headline:  “Jerusalem stabbing: British student, 20, killed close to Old City”

Paragraph 1:  “British victim of a fatal stabbing”  (who did it?)

Paragraph 2:  “killed on Friday” (by whom?)

Paragraph 3:  “The attack, which police said involved a Palestinian assailant with a history of mental health issues” (involved?  was there anyone ELSE involved?  who exactly did it???)

Later in the article:  “A wave of unrest that erupted in October 2015 has claimed the lives of 260 Palestinians, 41 Israelis, two Americans, one Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese...”  (erupted?)


Next up is Sky News:

Headline:  “British student Hannah Bladon's family 'devastated' by her killing in Jerusalem”

Paragraph 1:  “the British student stabbed and killed in Jerusalem” (by whom?)

Paragraph 3:  “She was attacked while travelling on a light rail train” (more passive waffling)

VERY last paragraph:  “Israel's Shin Bet security agency identified 57-year-old Palestinian Jamil Tamimi as her attacker, adding that he suffered with mental health problems and had previously tried to take his own life.”

This one might be the worst.  But not by much.

Because we also have the esteemed The Times of London:

Headline:  “Family ‘devastated’ by student stabbing in Jerusalem“

Paragraph 1: “has been stabbed to death” (that’s terrible – I wonder who did it?)

Paragraph 2:  “was killed yesterday just outside the walls of the Old City after a man pulled a knife from his bag and stabbed her several times” (a man???  what a bad man!)

Paragraph 3: “video of the incident showed the man being wrestled to the ground” (good, they got the bad man!)

Second-last paragraph: “At least 45 Israelis and foreigners have been killed in a sustained wave of attacks which began in late 2015 after clashes between worshippers and police at the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.”

Final paragraph: “The Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency, called the stabbing ‘another incident of many in which a Palestinian suffering from mental health or personal issues has chosen to carry out an attack as a way out of his problems’.”

What’s wrong with these articles?

Killed while… Attacks which began… Clashes between… does nobody actually DO anything in these articles???  If these stories were high-school essays, I have no doubt that they’d fail because of their overuse of the passive voice. 

In this case, it’s what passes for Israel news all over the world.  All three articles – and every other article I’ve seen outside of Israel – also try to find ways to excuse the incident due to the attacker’s mental  health problems.

Nice try, British media.  I know it’s tough for you to look terror in the face.  I remember after 9/11 our rabbi stood up – probably he wasn’t the only one – and said “maybe now America will get it.”  Maybe they did, for about 15 seconds.  And then they went back to denial and complacency.

Britain had a chance here to “get it,” to really understand what people in Israel live with every day.  But if the British media is any indication, they didn’t take this opportunity to understand.  They just serve up the same old garbage, praising the victim for her many lovely and wonderful qualities (fair enough), mumbling a few vague somethings about “who done it” and leaving it at that.  Happy to forget all about terrorism in Israel until the next time a British person has the misfortune to get involved in “international politics.”

This isn’t about mental instability, British media.  It’s not even about politics.

It’s about a culture of terror and incitement, and a person who was mentally unstable and decided to be Allah’s messenger in the Palestinian holy war to exterminate the Jews.  He just happened to have messed up and gotten a British Christian instead of an Israeli Jew.

It’s about death that can come at any time, and an international media which is complicit in its silence.

This coverage will not come as a surprise to anyone who has been aware of these issues before.  But it’s no excuse.  Shame on you, British media.

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה

Photo credit © ZAKA

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