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How the Media Skews the Narrative: Israelis ‘Died,’ Palestinians ‘Killed’

An aerial view shows the bodies of victims of an attack following a mass infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip lying on the ground in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in southern Israel, Oct. 10, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ilan Rosenberg

According to The Los Angeles Times on November 4, some 1,200 Israelis “died” in the Israel-Hamas war while some 9,000 Palestinians were “killed.”

Just like that, with a few casual clicks of the keyboard, a major US paper whitewashed Hamas’ ISIS-like atrocities, including the mass slaughter of primarily civilians and also soldiers, beheadings, rapes, mutilations, torture, parents killed in front of children and vice versa.

What President Joe Biden decried as “pure, unadulterated evil,” Los Angeles Times staff writer Ashley Ahn passed off as a “surprise offensive.”

In her Nov. 4 article, (“Hundreds rally at Israeli consulate in L.A., calling for cease-fire in Gaza,” page B1 in the Nov. 5 print edition), the Los Angeles Times fellow and former editor of the University of Pennsylvania’s campus paper intoned:

The protests come amid an escalating war between Israel and Hamas militants, who launched a surprise offensive from neighboring Gaza on southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Since then, more than 1,400 people have died on the Israeli side, with Palestinian militants continuing to hold about 220 people hostage. More than 9,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

New to the LA Times newsroom, the young Ahn might be forgiven for concealing the nature of the gruesome terror attacks murdering hundreds of civilians at a dance party and countless families in their homes, including children slaughtered in their bedrooms or cowering with their parents at safe rooms.

But what about editors who reviewed and approved the story for publishing? What about deputy editor for California, Hector Becerra, who shared Ahn’s story on X, formerly Twitter?

According to the paper’s website, The Los Angeles Times’ fellowship program in which Ahn participates, includes:

… six weeks of instruction on how to operate, navigate and succeed in a major newsroom, with training geared toward their specific interests. The next stage of their program includes multiweek rotations across the newsroom, where they will write, produce, edit, create visual projects and more, with coaching from seasoned members of The Times’ staff.

But what training can we expect from a staff which includes nine journalists who signed an open letter penned by journalists against ethical journalism calling for reporting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the false lens of “Israel’s military occupation and its system of apartheid”?

In a recent Los Angeles Times opinion piece, Jonah Goldberg highlighted the critical role of the editor (“Will the media get coverage of the crisis in Israel and Gaza right? It all depends on the editors“):

What do good editors do? Beyond all of the meat-and-potatoes grammar and style stuff, editors slow the process down as a necessary part of quality control. They tell reporters that an unverified rumor is not printable without adequate verification. They tell opinion columnists that a histrionic argument that ignores contrary evidence needs to be shelved or reworked. They stand against the tide of momentary collective passion or the irrepressible ambition of individual journalists to maintain a higher standard for the institution as a whole.

What if those establishing the higher standard for the institution as a whole include Sara Yasin, the paper’s managing editor, who has apparently embraced the Hamas narrative on X, reposting material accusing Israel of “mass ethnic cleansing” and a “genocidal assault”?

Can we count on such an editor to instruct young journalists not to cover up Hamas’ horrific barbarity? Will she point out the unacceptable double standard of covering up these innocent civilian victims’ horrific murders (they “died”) even as the report manages clearly to state that the perpetrators of the atrocities were “killed”?

(Indeed, the casualty totals released by Hamas’ “Health Ministry” includes the estimated 1,500 Hamas terrorists who were killed as they carried out the massacre within Israeli).

And what if the daughter of the paper’s owner takes an active role in the paper, “advocat[ing]” for her interests, as Nika Soon-Shiong has acknowledged she does? And what if those interests include her sentiment, shared on X, that “It’s not journalistic malpractice to describe the state of Israel as an Apartheid state. This is well-established in international law”?

If Soon-Shiong’s egregiously baseless position represents the “higher standard for the institution as a whole,” what hope is there for the paper to get coverage of the crisis in Israel and Gaza right? Ethical journalism dies alongside some 1,200 Israelis.

Tamar Sternthal is the director of CAMERA’s Israel Office. A version of this article previously appeared on the CAMERA website.

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Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta

Illustrative. Anti-Israel protesters demonstrate outside AIPAC President Michael Tuchin’s vacation home in Los Angeles, Nov. 23, 2023. Photo: Screenshot

i24 NewsA protester was in critical condition on Friday after setting themself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. authorities said. A security guard who tried to intervene was also wounded.

A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. He added that investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.

JUST IN: A pro-Palestine protester is in critical condition after they set themselves on fire in “political protest” outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Atlanta.

The protester was reportedly draped in a Palestine flag.

The protester has severe burns and unfortunately, a…

— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 1, 2023

“We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.” Everyone inside the consulate building was said to be safe.

Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the southeastern U.S., said: “We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way.”

“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act. We are grateful to the city of Atlanta’s law enforcement and first responders for all they do to ensure safety.”

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Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed

Relatives and supporters of hostages kidnapped on the deadly October 7 attack by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, rally for their release, after a temporary truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas ended when the terrorist group broke it, in Tel Aviv, Israel, December 2, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.

Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel‘s defense headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.

“I came to thank you because without you I wouldn’t be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now.”

Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.

A seven-day truce, during which Hamas had released more than 100 hostages, collapsed on Friday after Hamas breached the ceasefire.

Israel said on Saturday it had recalled a Mossad intelligence agency team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal that would have freed all children and women held hostage.

More than 240 people – Israelis and foreign nationals – were abducted to Gaza on Oct 7. by Hamas terrorists who burst through the border with Israel and killed 1,200 people.

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IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist

Illustrative. Palestinian attacker near Nablus hurls stones towards Israeli troops during clashes at a riot in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, May 5, 2017. Photo: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

i24 NewsThe Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported thwarting a stabbing attack on Saturday afternoon against reserve Battalion 7037 at the X junction near Nablus in the West Bank.

According to the IDF spokesperson, the event unfolded when the forces at the roadblock became suspicious of an individual approaching the barricade.

During the questioning process, the suspect suddenly drew a knife and advanced towards the IDF personnel.

ניסיון פיגוע דקירה אירע לפני זמן קצר לעבר כוח צה”ל במילואים מגדוד 7037 שפעל בחסם בצומת האיקס סמוך לעיר שכם שבמרחב חטיבת שומרון.

הכוח חשד במחבל שהגיע לחסם והחל לתחקר אותו, המחבל שלף סכין והחל להתקדם לעבר הכוח.
הלוחמים חתרו למגע והגיבו בירי לעבר המחבל שחוסל. אין נפגעים לכוחותינו.

— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) December 2, 2023

The soldiers, faced with the threat, engaged in contact procedures and ultimately responded by opening fire on the assailant. The spokesperson confirmed that the attacker was neutralized due to the IDF’s action.

It was also noted that there were no casualties among the IDF forces involved in the incident. According to the spokesperson, the situation at the X junction has stabilized, and IDF continues to maintain vigilance in the area to prevent further attacks.

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