Thursday, March 02, 2017

02-Mar-17: In case you thought objective Middle East news reporting was an actual thing

Jerusalem Post
Here's what we understand happened yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon just a few minutes' drive from where we live. It's in our own words and based on what we read, heard and found when checking (and since we're not news professionals, we might be wrong - but pros never are):
A Palestinian Arab sneaked his way in to an Israeli agricultural community, Havat Mor (in English: Mor Farm), in the region Israelis know as Drom Har Hevron, the Southern Hebron Hills, and close - less than a mile - from the established community of Teneh Omarim. Shabtai Kochowalsky, 33, lives in a mobile home in Havat Mor with his wife, their baby and a dog called Sophie. During the morning, Kochowalsky called the IDF to send a patrol because a Palestinian Arab shepherd had brought his flock worryingly close to his home. The shepherd was asked to keep his sheep at a fair distance and Kochowalsky promptly filed a formal complaint with the Israel Police. Soon afterwards, in the early afternoon, hearing a noise outside his home, Kochowalsky opened the door. Standing in the doorway was a Palestinian Arab male... brandishing two knives. Kochowalsky ran back inside to get his pistol. The assailant pursued him and in front of the wife and "children" (according to one Israeli report we saw) he lunged at the young Israeli, stabbing him in "the limbs". Sophie then intervened and did a great dog's job of keeping the terrorist at bay for the few critical moments needed for the stabbing victim to grab his gun and fire at the Arab. A local doctor arrived soon afterwards at the home and pronounced the attacker dead. In the Palestinian Arab media, the assailant is identified by a Palestinian Health Ministry official as Said Muhammad Ali Qisiyeh, 24, from Dahiriya, a village just a few kilometers down the road [see Google Map] from Teneh Omarim and some 25 km south west of Hebron.
A few words about the neighbourhood and the neighbours.
Most people will agree that there is a stunning viciousness in the cowardly attacks carried out against Israelis living in those Hill communities. More than enough to put Israelis on their guard. And certainly enough for reporters and editors to refer to the Arab-on-Israeli violence that characterizes much of the interaction - both recently and historically in the area. 

Now see the radically different emphases which the attack and its aftermath have acquired in the hands of the headline writers, the editors and the reporters.

First the Israelis:

Ynet | Palestinian stabs Israeli in southern Mount Hebron area
Times of Israel | Terrorist sneaks into outpost, stabs man as family watches
Then these others:

Tasnim (Iran) | Israeli settler kills young Palestinian in West Bank
Anadolu (Turkey) | Palestinian killed after alleged West Bank knife attack
iAFRICA (South Africa) | Palestinian stabs Israeli settler shoots dead [sic]
The Muslim News (UK) | Palestine: Palestinian killed after alleged West Bank knife attack

The New Arab (UK) | Palestinian shot dead after alleged stabbing attack
IMEMC | Israeli colonial kills a young Palestinian who reportedly stabbed him
Ma'an News Agency (Bethlehem) | Palestinian killed by Israeli settler in illegal Hebron outpost after alleged stab attack
Finally, last and in significant ways also least, the latest effort from the oddly-named semi-government PressTV from Iran:
PressTV (Iran) | Israeli settler guns down Palestinian in West Bank

If you visit PressTV's front page right now, today, you can experience a little more of their characteristic form of reality-inversion via an article entitled ''Israelis enjoy free pass to kill Palestinians: Commentator". It's based on an interview with an "expert" called Steppling, described as "an author and commentator" who says:
Israeli soldiers have always received a “free pass” to execute these types of killings, asserting that there are “hardcore rabbis” who are advocating the idea that “it is a religious crime" if you do not murder a Palestinian.
(We looked him up. He's a Californian playwright who lives in Norway. He told another Iranian news outlet yesterday that the US government is “the chief funder of global terror” )

So... which of these news producers would you choose to rely on?

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