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Voice of America Whitewashes Terror Backgrounds of Gazan Journalists

An Israeli soldier helps to provide incubators to Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Photo: Screenshot

In the early morning hours of March 18, 2024, Israeli forces raided Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza to remove the Hamas presence that had re-emerged months after being routed by the Israeli military in November 2023.

According to the IDF, 40 Hamas terrorists were killed during the gun battle that ensued, and 200 others were detained as suspected terror operatives.

One of those detained was Ismail Al-Ghoul, who identified himself as an Al Jazeera journalist.

Voice of America (VOA) dedicated an entire piece to Al-Ghoul’s arrest and subsequent release, as well as claims about Israeli treatment of Palestinian journalists throughout the war between Israel and Hamas.

However, this piece was a one-sided attack on Israel’s conduct during the war which ignores vital context, disregards emerging information about Al-Ghoul’s connection to Hamas, and misrepresents Israel’s treatment of Palestinian journalists.

IDF: Troops raid Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, battle Hamas members holed up inside https://t.co/kYYwFpD4Ke

— The Times of Israel (@TimesofIsrael) March 18, 2024

VOA glaringly omits the vital context that the IDF raided Al-Shifa on specific intelligence that Hamas terrorists were once again present there. In fact, the word “Hamas” only appears once in the entire piece, a passing reference to the terror group’s October 7 invasion of southern Israel.

Without the necessary context, the average reader is left with the impression that Israel’s early morning raid on Al-Shifa was just a wanton exhibition of violence inside the Gaza Strip’s largest medical center.

The IDF says troops have so far killed more than 50 Hamas gunmen during its ongoing raid at Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital.

The operation, which began early Monday morning, is being carried out by the Navy’s Shayetet 13 commando unit, the 401st Armored Brigade, and the Shin Bet… pic.twitter.com/t0yBv9zbIY

— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) March 19, 2024

Just as VOA ignores Hamas when describing the IDF raid in this report, it also completely disregards the Gaza-based terror organization when discussing Ismail Al-Ghoul.

According to the publicly-funded American media outlet, Al-Ghoul is an “Arabic-language correspondent” for the Qatar-based news network, Al Jazeera.

While it might be technically accurate, this banal description of Al-Ghoul is hardly a complete picture of who he is and what he stands for.

In the hours following his arrest, both Israeli analyst Eitan Fischberger and British investigative journalist David Collier did deep dives into Al-Ghoul’s background, unearthing his ties to Hamas as well as deleted social media accounts full of anti-Israel incitement, praise for terrorism, and glorification of internationally recognized terror groups.

Probably the most sophisticated Al Jazeera “journalist” psy-op yet:

You may have seen the headlines today about Al Jazeera journalist Ismail al-Ghoul, who was apprehended by the IDF in Shifa Hospital while it was battling terrorists.

Given the multiple instances since… pic.twitter.com/GemeIhzTxB

— Eitan Fischberger (@EFischberger) March 18, 2024

From Fischberger’s and Collier’s research, it appears that Ismail Al-Ghoul began working as a correspondent for Al Jazeera after October 7 and the beginning of Israel’s war against Hamas.

Prior to joining the Qatar-based broadcaster, Al-Ghoul worked for a variety of media outlets and “media production companies,” including the Hamas-affiliated outlets Felesteen and Al-Resalah.

It was also discovered that all of Al-Ghoul’s current social media accounts had been opened between November 2023 and February 2024, during his tenure at Al Jazeera.

According to Fischberger, the deletion of Al-Ghoul’s old social media accounts and their replacement with clean new ones is part of a “highly sophisticated, concerted effort” to “manufacture a ‘legitimate journalist’ out of whole cloth.”

In effect, Al-Ghoul appears to have rebranded himself as a respectable journalist instead of the mouthpiece for terrorism and incitement that is apparent in his now-deleted social media accounts.

10/ To clarify: al-Ghoul’s prior TikTok, X, and Instagram accounts were deleted. We know this because the usernames of his new accounts on the platforms all end with the number 2.

It’s no small feat to erase much of someone’s social media presence, create new profiles, and then… pic.twitter.com/LD3esrzwVa

— Eitan Fischberger (@EFischberger) March 18, 2024

Both Eitan Fischberger and David Collier have discovered posts from these accounts that glorify Palestinian terrorists, including Yahya Sinwar, the ruthless leader of Hamas in Gaza, who is thought to be primarily responsible for planning the October 7 terror attack, and members of the PFLP and Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades who were killed in gun battles with Israeli security forces.

Along with his praise for Palestinian terrorists, Al-Ghoul also advocated terrorism against Israelis, uploading posts that celebrate rockets fired toward Israeli population centers and lone-wolf terror attacks conducted against Israeli civilian targets.

In addition, Al-Ghoul also incited against the Jewish state, referring to Israel in one post as “the greatest epidemic.”

Following its coverage of Al-Ghoul’s arrest, VOA then sought to add context by referencing reports by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Israel’s treatment of Palestinian journalists during the war.

However, much like its description of Ismail Al-Ghoul, VOA leaves out vital information.

For example, it reports that, according to the CPJ, 90 Palestinian journalists and media workers have been killed so far during the war.

What’s missing from this statistic is the fact that a substantial number of these media personnel worked for Hamas-affiliated news organizations.

In late February 2024, HonestReporting discovered that, based on information provided by the CPJ and the Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center, over half the journalists killed in Gaza were members of or affiliated with a proscribed terror organization.

Even though the CPJ mentions the terror affiliations of several journalists in its own report, VOA remains mum on the subject, leaving its readers with the impression that all these journalists were deliberately targeted by Israel for their reporting.

Similarly, VOA reports that, based on a CPJ report, Israel is a “leading jailer of journalists,” having arrested 17 Palestinian journalists since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war.

Once again, this statistic lacks vital context.

As pointed out by the Committee For Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA UK), the CPJ notes that two of these journalists were arrested for “incitement,” a charge that exists in other Western countries.

In addition, CAMERA UK lists several more of these Palestinian journalists who have either publicly endorsed terrorism or worked for outlets that advocate attacks against Israeli civilians.

This context is necessary to dispel the false impression that these journalists were arrested by Israeli authorities simply to stifle their free speech.

Sadly, @pressfreedom knows that the only way to draw attention to 242 journalists listed is to focus on 17 it claims Israel has jailed.

Did CPJ even bother to find out how many of the 17 are affiliated with Palestinian terror orgs or were actively involved in terror activities? https://t.co/fYjxR6XgKm

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) January 18, 2024

When VOA and other media organizations accuse Israel of deliberately killing Palestinian journalists while whitewashing the close connection between Gazan journalists and internationally recognized terror groups, it’s both context-free journalism and a contributor to anti-Israel sentiment.

In the end, this not only harms Israel’s fight against terrorism but also does a disservice to champions of press freedom and integrity in Gaza and around the world.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

The post Voice of America Whitewashes Terror Backgrounds of Gazan Journalists first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander

Antisemitic hate crimes continue to account for more than any other category of reported hate crimes in Toronto, according to the head of Toronto police intelligence. Superintendent Katherine Stephenson of Toronto Police Service (TPS) confirmed the ongoing spike in hate occurrences during a presentation at Holy Blossom Temple on May 29, where she addressed 350 […]

The post Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘Israel Is Not Jewish People,’ New York Times ‘Daily’ Guest Really Wants You to Know

Anti-Israel protesters outside Columbia University in Manhattan, New York City, April 22, 2024. Photo: USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

When producers from the New York Times podcast “The Daily” posted on social media looking for “Jewish students who represent a range of feelings and experiences, from being enthusiastically pro Palestinian to enthusiastically pro Israel, and everything in between,” I replied, “This is a trap! They’ll use the ‘pro-Palestinian’ (the polite term they use for the ones who want to wipe Israel off the map) ones to make it sound like the Jewish community is divided and give listeners the illusion that the anti-Israel protests aren’t antisemitic.”

Sure enough, the Times podcast episode that finally aired, headlined, “The Campus Protesters Explain Themselves,” included three students.

Mustafa Yowell, of Irving, Texas, said his mother was from “Nablus, Palestine” and described himself as a Palestinian Arab. He’s a student at the University of Texas, Austin who complained to the Times that “two IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers had infiltrated the campus.” By “IDF soldiers” he meant Israeli students at the university who had, like many Israelis, served in the army before college.

The second student interviewed, Elisha Baker, a student at Columbia University, described himself as a proud Zionist and a graduate of Jewish day school.

And the third student, Jasmine Jolly, a student at Cal Poly Humboldt, described herself as the daughter of a Catholic father and “of Ashkenazi descent on my mom’s side.” Jolly showed up at protests with a sign that said “in honor of my Jewish ancestors, I stand with Palestine.” Jolly also chanted “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.”

“There’s nothing that has come across to me as antisemitic if you are able to pause and remember that Israel is not Jewish people and Zionism is not Jewish people,” Jolly explained to the Times audience.

Jolly read an email from her Jewish grandfather claiming, “Israel is an increasingly apartheid state.”

This is just such a misleading view of reality on campus and in American Jewish life. Even polls like Pew that use an expansive definition of who is Jewish find overwhelming Jewish support for Israel and negligible support for Hamas, including among younger Jews 18 to 34.

In reality, a lot of the anti-Israel protesters aren’t even Palestinians; they are European or Asian students or white or black Americans who either have been brainwashed by their professors or who have underlying, pre-existing antisemitic attitudes. Few of them have been to the Middle East and many of them are ignorant about basic facts about it — remember the Wall Street Journal piece, “From Which River to Which Sea?

“The Daily” episode made it crisply concrete, with the Times representing Jews as being split 50-50, with one normative Jew and one Jew chanting “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.” That’s ridiculous, yet a similar approach contaminates other Times coverage of the Jewish community, misleadlingly portraying American Jewry as deeply divided rather than unified around the goals of getting the hostages back, eliminating the threat of Hamas, and making American college campuses safe for Jewish students.

The Times was at this game well before Oct. 7, 2023, proclaiming “the unraveling of American Zionism” and trotting out old chestnuts such as the Reform movement’s Pittsburgh Platform of 1885 and the New York Times‘ favorite Jew, Peter Beinart.

I find myself rolling my eyes at such depictions, but there is clearly some audience for them among the Times readership and top editorial ranks. The Times executive editor, Joe Kahn, told Semafor’s Ben Smith in a May interview, “I’m not an active Jew.” Maybe the New York Times can sell sweatshirts: “Inactive Jew.” Who, exactly, is supposed to find that distinction between “active” and “inactive” Jews reassuring? Maybe they can put it on top of the front page in place of “All the News That’s Fit to Print”: “Edited by someone who wants the public to know he’s not an active Jew.”

Of all the moments to choose to distance oneself publicly from the Jewish people, this is sure quite one to choose.

This “Daily” episode seems calculated to appeal to the inactive Jews, and to others who want justification to believe it’s not antisemitic to set up on Passover and falsely accuse Israel of genocide. It’s nice for the Times to include a Zionist voice on the program, but he wound up sandwiched in between a Palestinian and an “only one solution, intifada revolution” person. It’s fairly typical for the New York Times these days, but it isn’t pretty.

Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. His media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here. He also writes at TheEditors.com.

The post ‘Israel Is Not Jewish People,’ New York Times ‘Daily’ Guest Really Wants You to Know first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases Second Video of Israeli Hostage Sasha Troufanov

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in an undated propaganda video released by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group on May 30, 2024. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Thursday released a second propaganda video this week featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

In the video, Trufanov says he is doing well and criticizes Israel’s prime minister and government in remarks that were likely scripted by his captors.

There was no information about when the video was filmed. However, Trufanov refers to Israel’s decision on May 5 to order the local offices of Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite news network to close, indicating he may have been filmed in the last few weeks.

The latest video came just two days after Islamic Jihad, an Iran-backed Palestinian terrorist group in Gaza, released its first video featuring Trufanov.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare meant to torture the Israeli public, especially the families of the hostages being held in Gaza.

Trufanov’s mother said after the first video was released that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but it was “heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

“Seeing my Sasha on my TV was very cheering, but it also breaks my heart that he’s still been in captivity for so long,” she said in a video released by the family. “I ask everyone, all the decision-makers: Please do everything, absolutely everything, to bring my son and all the hostages home now.”

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Sasha was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend. All three women were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases Second Video of Israeli Hostage Sasha Troufanov first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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