Media Critique #5 Barak's "Difficult Consequences"
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Media Critique #5 Barak's

Media Critique #5 Barak's "Difficult Consequences"

Barak warns of 'difficult consequences' if Arafat fails to curb violence; at least 5 Palestinians killed in new clashes.

by Aish.com Staff

The following report from CNN.com (November 1, 2000) appears in bold-type; our commentary follows each snippet.

Barak warns of 'difficult consequences' if Arafat fails to curb violence; at least 5 Palestinians killed in new clashes.

CNN's headline and sub-headline – as well as the three photos in the article – all either characterize Israel as the aggressor and the Palestinians as the victims.

Bullets light the sky over the West Bank city of Beit Jallah on Wednesday night during an exchange of fire between Palestinian gunmen and the Israeli Defense Force.

This caption from the article's first picture neglects to inform that the IDF was only returning fire from Beit Jallah to the residential Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told CNN on Wednesday evening that he has been prevented from leaving Jericho by Israeli security forces.

Once again, Israel is characterized as the oppressors, jailing Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat. CNN provides no context: Jericho was closed because of heavy gunfire initiated by Palestinian policemen on Israeli soldiers and civilians who live at a nearby settlement. No mention is made of the fact that an Israeli soldier was killed during this Palestinian-initiated altercation.

Erakat says his home town of Jericho was cordoned off by Israeli security forces, and he was told by the regional army commander he would not be able to leave due to the ongoing clashes there.

Once again, no mention is made of the fact that Erakat's problem is 100 percent a result of Palestinian violence. The IDF's cordoning off of the area is in response to the violence, not a punitive action taken without cause.

Wednesday's Israeli-Palestinian clashes left at least five more Palestinians dead in Gaza and the West Bank.

What do the words 'at least' mean? Instead of reporting the straight facts, CNN intimates there may be even more Palestinians killed. Furthermore, zero mention is made of the three Israeli soldiers killed in these very same gun battles.

Throughout the article, there is not one picture of any Jewish area being fired upon or of any Jewish victims. The only picture of Palestinian rioters has the caption that "Palestinians take cover," again depicting the Israeli response to Palestinian-initiated attacks.

Near Bethlehem, Israeli helicopter gunships were called in Wednesday after the Israeli Defense Forces said four of its soldiers were injured in exchanges of gunfire with Palestinians.

Two of these four soldiers were killed, not injured. Israeli gunships were brought in to rescue the injured Israeli soldiers. It took three hours for the IDF to airlift the injured soldiers; consequently two of the four died. The gunships were brought in to quell the shooting in order to save the soldiers.

CNN, in its sub-headline, wrote, "At least five Palestinians killed in clashes." However, Jewish victims are not reported as factual, with CNN merely reporting "the IDF said" that four of its soldiers were injured.

Israeli forces opened fire on the Palestinian town of Beit Jallah after they said Palestinians were firing into the nearby Israeli town of Gilo.

Once again, CNN stresses the IDF's firing on Beit Jallah, though it was only in response to Palestinian firing on Gilo.

Also, the Palestinians firing on Gilo is once again not presented as a fact. The article writes only that the IDF said that Gilo was fired upon.

Furthermore, CNN has decided to make Gilo into a town instead of calling it what it really is – a suburban neighborhood of Jerusalem. By disconnecting Gilo from Jerusalem, it minimizes the gravity of the attack on a major metropolitan Jewish area.

Israel has incorporated Gilo into Jerusalem.

Now CNN tells us that this town, Gilo, was incorporated into Jerusalem. This is patently false. Gilo is a new neighborhood of Jerusalem, built on an abandoned hill that was purchased by Jewish developers. It is not some area that existed previously that was incorporated into Jerusalem. Since its existence, Gilo has always been a neighborhood of Jerusalem.

The Palestinians say the area belongs to them.

CNN here attempts to give justification for the Palestinian shootings. Furthermore, by presenting this justification, readers could think that territory is really the core issue that the Palestinians and Israelis are fighting about. However, when the area of land was offered to Arabs in 1948, they rejected it and attacked Israel. Yasser Arafat has maps in his office which show the entire State of Israel replaced by his vision of a Palestinian state. The core issue between us is not territory, but rather the refusal of Palestinians to accept the existence of the State of Israel.

Earlier Wednesday, two Palestinian teenagers were shot in the head and killed by Israeli troops at Karni Crossing along the border between Israel and Gaza. Later on, another Palestinian was killed in the area.

This is grotesque. Without providing any background, readers could think that Israeli soldiers walked up to two unarmed Palestinians and fatally shot them in the head without cause.

Palestinian doctors said the two teens killed Wednesday were 15 and 16 years old.

CNN adds an extra paragraph to repeat for a second time that the causalities were teenagers, then emphasizes a third time their young ages, 15 and 16.

A massive funeral with thousands of mourners was held in Gaza City for four people killed at the crossing Tuesday.

No mention is made of any Jewish funerals – either of the dead Israeli soldiers, or of the victims of terrorist murders the day prior at the National Insurance Institute and outside of Gilo.

For his part, Arafat met with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Gaza earlier Wednesday. Schroeder said he supported Palestinian aspirations for an independent state but urged Arafat not to make a unilateral declaration of independence.

No mention is made of the fact that Prime Minister Barak also met with the German Chancellor. By neglecting this fact, CNN implies that Arafat is the only principal in the conflict making an effort to reach a ceasefire.

Published: December 31, 1969


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