Opinion

To ‘The Washington Post,’ Jewish pride is a provocation

The paper fails to note the Palestinian refusal to accept Jewish social and political equality, which is the root of the problem.

Jerusalem Day celebrations at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, May 29, 2022. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
Jerusalem Day celebrations at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, May 29, 2022. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
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 has a message for readers: Jews marching in a peaceful parade in their ancestral homeland is provocative.

This was the takeaway from a May 27, 2022 dispatch, titled “Israel faces test of anti-terror tactics with planned flag march.” Jerusalem bureau chief Steve Hendrix and reporter Shira Rubin began the article by asserting: “Israeli officials are bracing for potential violence at a planned march by Jewish nationalists through a Palestinian neighborhood here Sunday, a repeat of a rally last year that ended with rockets fired at Jerusalem and an ensuing 11-day war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.”

The language is revealing. Nationalism, the Post has repeatedly warned, is a bad thing. Unless, of course, it’s Palestinian nationalism. And the attempt to tie the Jerusalem Flag March to the 2021 Israel-Hamas War is revealing as well.

The marchers were celebrating Jerusalem Day, a national holiday that commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem following Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War. The holiday was officially created by the Knesset in 1968. This was more than a decade before theocratic fascists seized power in Iran. The 2021 war was launched by these fascists, who are patrons of Hamas. Tehran initiated the conflict to apply pressure on the U.S. in ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Indeed, Iranian officials have said as much.

On May 6, 2021, the Middle East Media Research Institute translated a speech by Asghar Emami, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, which has trained and equipped operatives from Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terror groups. Summarizing Emami’s remarks, MEMRI reported that “General Emami explained that Iran can easily tighten its grip around ‘the throat of the Zionist regime’ in order to exert pressure and extract concessions from America.” Emami, MEMRI said, “continued to say that while Israel has airplanes that can reach Iran, Iran does not require airplanes to target Israel, it can place Israel ‘under siege’ via the artillery and mortar shells of the ‘resistance axis.’”

The Post’s false juxtaposition wasn’t the only bit of misleading language. In keeping with a long-worn habit, the newspaper described Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad as merely “militant groups.” Yet both are U.S.-designated terrorist groups that call for Israel’s destruction and the genocide of its citizens. “Militant” is an insufficient description—although many in the media routinely use the phrase, as CAMERA noted in a May 2019 JNS op-ed.

Similarly, recent Israeli efforts to deter and prevent an increase in terrorist attacks were described as a “supercharged crackdown.” These counter-terror raids, the Post tells readers, “have been violent.” Well, yes. Raids against Islamist terrorists tend to be violent. Just ask Osama bin Laden.

For good measure, the newspaper also treats the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as a credible source. OCHA, the Post says, claims that Israel’s counter-terrorist operations “resulted in the deaths of 14 Palestinians.” Yet the majority of them were terrorists—a fact that the newspaper and OCHA omit. Indeed, OCHA itself has a long history of anti-Israel bias and shoddy claims.

The newspaper fails to note that Islamist terrorists tend to use human shields—a documented fact that even Hamas itself has admitted. The Post also took the time to cite Nour Odeh, who criticized Israel’s security measures, but identified Odeh as merely a “Palestinian activist in Ramallah.” In fact, she is a former spokeswoman for the Palestinian Authority, an entity that has vowed to continue paying tax-deductible salaries to terrorists.

Although the Post dispatch contains important and useful information—on civilian defense patrols that are meant to deter terrorism, for example—it fails, from beginning to end, to identify the core of the problem: The Palestinian refusal to accept Jewish social and political equality. If Jews peacefully marching in their ancestral city is capable of inciting anti-Jewish violence, this is hardly the fault of the Jewish state. Rather, it is an expression of the worst brand of Palestinian nationalism. The Post missed an important opportunity to note as much.

Sean Durns is a senior research analyst for the Washington, D.C., office of CAMERA.

This article was originally published by CAMERA.

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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