Almost every headline about the latest Gaza violence focuses on the number of Arabs who were killed the previous day.
For editors and journalists who are biased against Israel, the current round of violence is tailor-made for their agenda. That’s because the side with more victims always attracts the most sympathy—at least, from readers and viewers who are only superficially acquainted with the facts and don’t have the time or interest to delve deeper into the story. In other words, the large majority of readers and viewers.
Of course, if you think carefully about it, you realize that a body count cannot possibly tell you which side is the aggressor and which side is the victim. A lot more Germans died in World War II than Americans. That didn’t make Germany the victim—or deserving of any sympathy. But most people don’t think about that. This is what biased editors count on.
Don’t be fooled by claims that the media emphasizes the number of casualties simply because they’re reporting the most important fact of the story. The Reuters headline on March 30 did not have to be worded: “Israeli Forces Kill 16 Palestinians in Gaza Border Protests.” Such language clearly gives the impression that the Israelis killed them merely because they were “protesting.” The headline could just as easily (and more accurately) have said: “16 Palestinian Firebomb-Throwers Killed in Gaza.” Or “Israelis Shoot Back, Kill 16 Palestinian Attackers.”
The pro-Palestinian “body counters” of the international news media are greatly aided by the fact that Israel’s security forces are so good at saving lives.
Almost every day, somewhere in Israel, a Palestinian terrorist attempts to murder Jews. Almost every time, the police or army foils the attack. And in almost every such instance, the story is ignored by the international media. In effect, terrorists with bad aim get a free pass.
In late March, 10 Islamic Jihad terrorists from Gaza boarded a small fishing boat and began carrying out surveillance in preparation for an attack on an Israeli naval vessel. They were intercepted. A few days later, a terrorist was captured in Beersheva on his way to slaughter Jews.
On April 1, Palestinian terrorists stoned an Israeli bus near the police station junction in Samaria. They hoped the rocks would cause the driver to crash, killing the passengers. The driver was wounded but managed to steer the bus to safety.
The next day, a Palestinian terrorist attempted to stab an Israeli security guard to death at the Te’enim crossing near the town of Avnei Hefetz. The would-be killer was shot and wounded.
On April 3, a Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into a bus stop near Ariel. He was shot and killed before he was able to hurt anybody else.
Two days after that, a knife-wielding Palestinian terrorist was caught near the entrance to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (I suppose his defense attorney will claim that he’s a chef who just prefers to carry his work implements inside his sock.)
On April 8, a Palestinian terrorist attempted to stab an Israeli civilian at a gas station at the Mishor Adumim junction near Ma’ale Adumim. Another civilian shot the terrorist dead.
I couldn’t find a mention of any of the above incidents in the pages of The New York Times or The Washington Post, or in the dispatches of the Associated Press or Reuters. If there’s no way to make to Israel look bad, then it’s apparently not news.
Supporters of Israel have no need to feel defensive or apologetic about aggressive Gaza firebomb-throwers suffering a higher fatality rate than the Israelis. Molotov cocktails and rocks can be deadly, but the guns of Israeli soldiers are more powerful and effective. And that’s good. We all know what happened to the Jews the last time our enemies had superior weapons. I, for one, am glad the tables have turned.
Stephen M. Flatow, a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney in New Jersey. He is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.
Be a part of our community
JNS serves as the central hub for a thriving community of readers who appreciate the invaluable context our coverage offers on Israel and their Jewish world.
Please join our community and help support our unique brand of Jewish journalism that makes sense.