Letter: Fake, Not Fake
OpinionLetters to the Editor

Letter: Fake, Not Fake

Toby Block says the media need to tell the full story about Israel and stop the misleading headlines.

IDF Sgt. Emma Browne speaks at the FIDF commemoration of the Six-Day War on June 12.
IDF Sgt. Emma Browne speaks at the FIDF commemoration of the Six-Day War on June 12.

I concur with Dave Schechter that news isn’t fake simply because the information reported doesn’t agree with the reader’s point of view (“When News Is and When It Isn’t ‘Fake,’ ” June 23). However, I am concerned that many people fail to understand that much of the news about Israel is slanted in a way that makes Israel look like the victimizer of the Palestinians, a subject briefly touched on in the “Forget Peace” editorial (Our View, June 23).

The editorial focused on the reactions of Palestinian leaders to the killing of Palestinians who had attacked Israelis and fatally stabbed Border Police Staff Sgt. Hadas Malka. The Palestinian leaders either praised the attack on Malka as an act of resistance against the “occupation” or condemned the “murder” of the Palestinian attackers.

In contrast, an Israeli soldier, Sgt. Emma Browne, speaking recently at a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces event in Atlanta, reflected on the many lives saved when an attacker is killed.

Browne’s words were similar to many TV reports I saw that praised the quick action of the British police and military in killing the perpetrators of the ramming and stabbing attacks on London Bridge several weeks ago. But media coverage of the attacks that took Malka’s life was quite different.

For example, the June 17 Washington Post ran an article with the headline “3 Palestinians Killed After Attack on Police,” which concluded with a statement that far fewer Israelis than Palestinians have been killed during the past two years of Palestinian attacks. The article did not identify Malka.

A follow-up article, published after she had succumbed to her wounds, again failed to identify her. Rather, the article focused on Israeli restrictions placed on Palestinians in the wake of recent attacks.

I have to admit that the June 17 headline was a bit of an improvement over one the Post used May 13 (“Jordanian Killed by Israeli Police Officer After Alleged Attack”), which implied that an innocent person had been executed for an attack that might not have occurred. The article revealed that an Israeli officer had killed an attacker who had just stabbed the officer.

Unfortunately, many people read the headlines without reading the articles, so incremental improvements in headlines are not enough.

We need to demand that the media tell Israel’s story. Instead of telling us how many Palestinians have died, the media should note that there would be no deaths on either side if Palestinian leaders would negotiate on Israel’s peace proposals instead of firing missiles at Israeli population centers and inciting people to “violently resist” (and paying stipends for answering the call).

— Toby F. Block, Atlanta

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