OpinionAntisemitism

‘The Washington Post’ again portrays Jews as baby-killers

Despite a previous disaster, the Post again pushes anti-Israel agitprop disguised as news.

“The Washington Post” homepage. Credit: Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock
“The Washington Post” homepage. Credit: Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock
Sean Durns
Sean Durns
Sean Durns is a senior research analyst for CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

The Washington Post can’t seem to get enough of blaming dead babies on the Jewish state. In medieval times this would be called a blood libel. At the Post today, it’s considered front-page “news.”

The latest example, a Feb. 20 front-page report entitled, “After a desperate Gaza rescue, babies have nowhere to go,” proved that the newspaper is incapable of learning from its mistakes. The dispatch, while ostensibly about babies being evacuated from Gaza to receive care in Egypt, was little more than anti-Israel agitprop. Indeed, it even talked about Israel “targeting” Shifa Hospital in Gaza, but failed to note that the hospital is being used by Hamas for terrorist purposes.

On Nov. 20, 2023, the Post published a front-page story titled, “Israel’s war with Hamas separates Palestinian babies from their mothers.” The report not only alleged that Israel was maliciously separating infants from their parents, but also that the paper couldn’t ascertain important details—including the names of the relevant hospitals—for fear of Israeli retaliation.

On closer examination, the entire story fell apart. Rob Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near Policy, noted in one of several lengthy critiques that the report was “based largely on unnamed sources” and didn’t make “any effort to check the claims with the relevant Israeli government agencies.” The Post reporters, he said, “violated the most fundamental rules of journalism” by failing to conduct independent verification, uncritically repeating claims that slandered the Jewish state. The entire premise of the story, as conveyed by the Post, was utterly false.

The fiasco also attracted attention from CAMERA, Jewish Insider, National Review and others. Weeks later, the Post appended several corrections that largely reversed its reporting, calling the newspaper’s credibility into question. It was a major story with multiple reporters assigned. They not only failed, but failed in a manner that raises suspicions about their intentions.

To paraphrase the 19th-century French diplomat Talleyrand, the Post has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. The newspaper seems to be as committed to failure as it is to attacking Israel.

Indeed, the Feb. 20 dispatch reads more like a press release from Hamas than an article in a major newspaper. In a more than 1,000-word story with four pictures, the Post doesn’t once mention Hamas, the group responsible for Gaza’s plight. Not even once. This is pathetic, but par for the course.

Nor did the Post reach out to Israeli officials for comment, choosing instead to uncritically quote entities with a long history of lying and anti-Israel bias, such as the World Health Organization. As CAMERA’s Ricki Hollander documented in a lengthy April 2020 backgrounder, the WHO is not a neutral player. Hollander noted that it approaches healthcare in Gaza, Judea and Samaria through a “political and sectarian” lens. It has furnished entire reports devoid of context purely to castigate Israel.

The Post might not mention Hamas, but it continues to treat the genocidal U.S.-designated terrorist group as a credible source. The newspaper quotes “Palestinian health officials” for casualty claims. As CAMERA and others have documented, these “health officials” are, in fact, Hamas. The terror organization has an incentive to exaggerate casualty statistics and a history of doing so, including in the current conflict.

CAMERA has highlighted the Post’scurious decision to trust Hamas, including in an ad campaign, several op-eds and various letters to the editor. But the Post is committed. It doesn’t care about the facts or the veracity of its stories.

What matters is the narrative. This narrative depicts the Jewish state as uniquely bloodthirsty and unjust. If, in order to do so, the Post must treat actual bloodthirsty terrorists as credible sources, that’s a price it’s willing to pay. The important thing is to malign the world’s sole Jewish state by depicting it as wantonly murdering children. There’s a word for that.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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