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Media Analyses





Al-Jazeera America (AJAM) Watch for January – March 2016


March 29–31 2016 – Al-Jazeera America aired numerous reports on the same topic – Israeli soldier killing an incapacitated Palestinian assailant on March 24 in Hebron in the West Bank.

Note: Al Jazeera America aired dozens of one-sided reports during March 29 to April 2 (at least) about an incident captured on video. The footage seemed to show an Israeli soldier wantonly shooting to death a Palestinian Arab, Yusri al-Sharif (also referred to as Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif), lying helplessly on the ground. The NOTE accompanying CAMERA's Al-Jazeera America Watch April 2 entry provides a different perspective.

Al-Jazeera America – March 31 10:16 a.m.
News hour host: "An Israeli military court is meeting to decide whether to release a soldier accused of killing a Palestinian who had been injured. He was shot in the head and killed. He'd been wounded after allegedly attacking an Israeli."
 
Al-Jazeera America – March 31 1:27 p.m.
Host: "An Israeli court is meeting to decide whether to release a soldier accused of killing a Palestinian that was already injured. He was shot in the head and killed last Thursday. He had been wounded after allegedly attacking an Israeli."
 
Al-Jazeera America – March 31 2:40 p.m.
News hour host: "An Israeli military court has been meeting to decide whether to release a soldier accused of killing a Palestinian man who was already injured. Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif was shot in the head and killed last Thursday in Hebron, he had been wounded after allegedly attacking an Israeli. The U.N.'s Humans Rights chief says he's extremely concerned about what he calls an apparent execution. Stefanie Dekker is in west Jerusalem."

Reporter: "The session opened with a military prosecutor downgrading the potential charge from murder to man slaughter. One account said the soldier told the commander after the shooting, he killed the terrorist because he deserved to die. Another account that we heard that the soldier told another soldier on the spot that he stabbed my friend, tried to kill him and he deserved to die. We heard from the prosecutor that the soldier told his commander of his worry of explosives and his commander didn't believe him. This all goes against the soldier's defense which was that he believed that the 21-year-old Palestinian who was already shot, wounded lying on the ground posed a threat to the soldier and his colleagues by him. We have gone through the video extensively with the man who filmed it, he says that it is clear that no one thought that the 21-year-old Palestinian had any explosives on him. You can see in the video people roaming around in close proximity. So dramatic video in a case closely watched here and the prosecution has asked for the soldier's detention to be extended for the next seven days."

Al-Jazeera America – March 31 10:17 p.m.
Host: "An Israeli soldier caught up on video fatally shooting a Palestinian assailant will face manslaughter charges. The Palestinian man was on the ground wounded after attacking a solder with a knife. The Israeli soldier is shown walking over and shooting the man in the head."
 
Al-Jazeera America – March 30 11:21 a.m.
Host: "U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has called for more solidarity in the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time. Calling on more refugees to get away from the war in Syria. The installment of 480,000 refugees, taking some of the pressure off of bordering countries. Urging larger countries to take a more united approach. We must find a way to manage this crisis in a more humane and equitable manner. And this is only possible if the international communities unite in agreement on how to move forward.

He's extremely concerned for what he calls the apparent execution of a Palestinian man by Israeli force. He was shot in the head and killed while he was lying injured on the floor. He had been wounded while allegedly attacking an Israeli. And the U.N. is calling on Israel to protect the man who filmed the incident. Some reports say that he's being intimidated."

Al-Jazeera America – March 29 several morning news hour broadcasts featuring the same report from Al-Jazeera's Stephanie Dekker:
 
Host: "The soldier was shown shooting a Palestinian in the head in footage that has sparked condemnation around the world."

Reporter: "We're been taken through the sequence of events that was captured on camera. It comes moments after two Palestinians were shot after stabbing an Israeli soldier. One was killed instantly. Another is injured and is laying on the ground. Fast forward and a second soldier appears to be speaking to a settler. He then makes his way to a colleague. They appear to have a conversation. The soldier cocks his weapon, and in five seconds later he shot him in the head, instantly killing him."

Palestinian man (provided video footage): "I was taken surprise by the shooting. It was most violent."

Reporter: "His home has been fire bombed. It's now being fixed. His front door has been shot out. Every member of his family has been harassed. He said documenting life under Israeli occupation in Hebron is what it's about."

Man: I hope this video will reduce the scope of violence from the Israelis towards the Palestinians. I hope the Israelis will do wisely in punishing the soldier."

Reporter: "... said the soldiers are here. The soldier asks about our car parked outside and does not want us to be here. He tells us if we do not leave we will be arrested. It seems since the video was published the army doesn't want anybody here. The soldier is being investigated for murder, which is rare and led to an outcry of the Israeli society who hold the army in high regard."

• March 10, 2016 – 4:10 p.m. (Eastern) four-minute report during Al-Jazeera America news hour.
 
Note: On this day, at least, the network aired several teasers to this particular report and similar such reports. An exact repeat of this report (same host and interviewees) was aired the same day approximately one hour later at 5:11 p.m. The report makes much use of a murky, dark video clip. It's difficult to discern with any degree of certainty what is taking place.

Host: Woman (name unknown) from Al-Jazeera English studios in Doha, Qatar.

Interviewee: Husam Zomlot, Palestinian Authority [P.A.] U.N. diplomat, ambassador at large for the P.A.

Interviewee: Micky Rosenfeld, Israeli police spokesman.

Host: “Video footage emerged allegedly showing an Israeli security man shooting a Palestinian man while he lay still on the ground. In the video, one person tells him to shoot the man in the head, another person yells, ‘He is on the ground, don't shoot,' before a gunshot is heard. The man [on the ground] was suspected of killing an American tourist and stabbing several others. Husam Zomlot is a senior Fatah official and ambassador-at-large for the state of Palestine [Sic]. He [Zomlot] says he is not surprised by what the video appears to show.”

Note: There is no entity known as the "state of Palestine" compliant with international law, including the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, regarding sovereign countries. A Palestinian Arab man, identified by Israeli authorities as Bashar Massalha, carried out a stabbing spree on March 8 in Jaffa that killed U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force. Five other victims of Massalha's stabbings were described as being in critical condition.

Zumlot: “This is what we experience and live on a daily basis. This is no revelation for us. Number one, Israel since its inception has a security doctrine of excessive use of force for terrorizing the nation, trying to inflict its political agenda, via the use of disproportionate power. If we shout, they shoot. If we throw a stone, they break bones. If a bullet is fired, they bring their Apaches [helicopters] and F-16s [fighter planes]. What would justify the firing of almost 50 bullets in the laying body of a young boy, except the mentality of shoot to kill and making sure this person has died. It has nothing to do with containment, it has nothing to do with the rules of engagement. It's just a revenge that is very well rooted in the hatred, and we in Palestine [Sic] have always witnessed that the occupier hates the victim more than the victims hate the victimizer.”

Note: In a typical moral inversion, propagandist Zumlot portrays the victimizer as the victim. Zumlot has previously been provided a propaganda platform on the network for the purpose of demonizing Israel as he does here on Al-Jazeera (see NOTE below). In America, Zomlot appears only on the Qatari-owned anti-Israel Al-Jazeera America network.

Host: “Micky Rosenfeld, a chief inspector with the Israeli police, rejects claims that Israeli police use disproportionate force.”

Rosenfeld: “The Israeli national police are responsible for saving lives, and saving innocent people that are walking through the streets who are being stabbed by Palestinian terrorists, who are getting up in the morning, lone wolves, lone individuals, lone terrorists, who are looking to stab and kill Israelis including our police officers. That is something that is unacceptable. Therefore there has to be a prompt and drastic response by our police officers. Of course it's proportional. If there are attacks anywhere across Europe, if there are attacks in the United States in public areas in main cities, you would expect every police officer to react and respond exactly in the same way. Our police officers are responsible, but at the same time, of course, all incidents are looked into and examined as well.”

NOTE: Zomlot was also afforded a propaganda platform on Al-Jazeera on Dec. 6, 2015 in which he also made wild generalized accusations against Israel. Zomlot implied that Israel fabricated the ISIS (Islamic State terrorist entity) beheading of American journalist James Foley. This is according to a Youtube recording of a “BBC News Hour” broadcast. Also, dealing with Zomlot's accusations regarding Foley's beheading and his controversial views on the Holocaust, is a BBC-Watch report. In the Al-Jazeera December 6 broadcast, Zomlot spouted the usual array of Arab anti-Israel propagandistic terms – apartheid, segregation, racism, illegal settlements, theft of Palestinian resources – all of which have been aired chronically by Al-Jazeera – and debunked by CAMERA's Al-Jazeera America Watch (including entries for Nov.17, 19, and 20, 2015). As noted in CAMERA's December 6 entry, when Zomlot accuses Israel of “the murder of our youth and our kids practically as they do every day,” he is propagandistically referring to Israeli defensive responses to Palestinian stabbing, shooting or vehicular attacks upon Israelis almost every day in an atmosphere of constant official incitement to hatred and violence against Jews by Palestinian media, mosques and schools.
 
March 9, 2016 – 10:21 a.m. (Eastern) during Al-Jazeera America news hour.

In this segment the network provides an anti-Israel propaganda platform for a man referred to by some as the "Palestinian Minister of Disinformation." Anti-Israel propagandizing is routine fare for the Qatari-owned and operated network. Some consider Al-Jazeera, perhaps because of its Western-style production values, a reliable news source. Certainly when it comes to Arab-Israeli coverage, it has never played such a role.

Host: Man (name unknown) from Al-Jazeera English studios in Doha, Qatar.

Guest: Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian Arab activist.

Host: "Mustafa Barghouti is the secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative and former Palestinian information minister. He joins us now from Jerusalem. Thank you for being with us. It's good to speak to you again. I want to ask you first of all about your thoughts on this visit by the U.S. Vice President [Joseph Biden] — the comments that you heard there, and the perception of whether the United States can be a really honest broker in its dealings with Israel and the Palestinians."

Barghouti: "Well, unfortunately during the last 23 years or 25 years, to be precise, the United States has failed to be an honest broker, because it is strategically and intentionally biased to Israel. And as long as it is biased to one side, it is failing constantly in conducting a fruitful peace process, and failing to be impartial. And the most recent statement by Mr. Biden is an indication of that. He wants Palestinians to condemn attacks on Israelis, but he never says a word about the necessity of the Israeli government condemning attacks by Israelis on Palestinians including settler attacks and there are attacks on Palestinians constantly. Seventy percent of the Palestinians killed, of the 194 killed, were killed either in peaceful demonstrations or without engaging in any acts of violence, including a 60-year-old woman whom the Israelis claim was trying to stab a soldier, which makes no sense whatsoever. So in my opinion Mr. Biden is not being impartial and not being fair. And when Mr.[Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu speaks about terrorism, he forgets to talk about the state terrorism that is practiced by Israel against the Palestinian people, one action of which is the continuation of this terrible occupation which has been there for almost 50 years. And this is the cause of all problems and violence, and if the United States really wants peace for both Palestinians and Israelis, it should pressure Israel to stop the occupation, forever."

Note: Barghouti relies upon the tactic of moral inversion, by turning the victimizer into the victim. He falsely equates violence against Israelis incited by Hamas-controlled communications media, mosques and schools in the Gaza Strip and by similar institutions of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority on the West Bank including several hundred stabbings, shootings and car rammings since last September to a few acts of unprovoked violence against Arabs by Israelis, acts condemned by Israeli leadership and society. As to Barghouti's 194 Palestinian Arabs killed "in peaceful demonstrations or without engaging in any acts of violence," news media repeatedly have reported that virtually all have died either committing or attempting to murder Israelis or in violent "clashes" – essentially riots – with Israeli soldiers. As the Washington Post reported, "more than 165 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis, most while carrying out attacks and the rest during clashes with the military" ("Israeli troops relying on Waze app blunder into Palestinian area; clashes follow," Mar. 1, 2016). Meanwhile, more than 30 Israeli Jews, Arabs and foreign visitors have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists, and more than 100 wounded. So, in fact, it is the Palestinian Arabs who are the victimizers.

Likewise, Barghouti employs the "big lie" technique, falsely accusing Israel of "state terrorism" based on "this terrible occupation which has been there for almost 50 years." Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, which unfortunately led to the rise of a terrorist "Hamastan." Meanwhile, Israel's occupation of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) remains obligatory under international law, Israel having taken the territories in a war of self-defense in 1967 and retained them in another such conflict in 1973. It continues pending a negotiated settlement. But Barghouti's Palestinian Authority opted to perpetuate "this terrible occupation" by rejecting offers to negotiate a "two-state solution" in 2000, 2001, and 2008 since they involved making peace with Israel as a Jewish state. Meanwhile, Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank, even under the daily administration of the corrupt, thuggish PA, have been more prosperous than Arabs in other non-oil states or areas such as Egypt, and more secure than those in Syria, Iraq, Libya or Yemen, for example. If this is Israeli "state terrorism," it might not look bad to the millions of Arabs fleeing the Middle East for Europe.

Host: "Well, what do you say to those who argue that some of the responsibility for this current state of affairs that we have there is down to the Palestinian leadership in the occupied West Bank and the perception that they are seen as legitimizing this occupation, which has gone on for so long? That is what many Palestinians tell us."

Barghouti: "The Palestinian Authority, if you are talking about the Palestinian Authority is practically an authority under occupation and an authority without authority. That's the truth. And the Israelis want this authority to stay weak, and they want the Palestinians to remain divided. That's why Israelis adamantly oppose any effort to have reconciliation. It is suitable for Netenyahu to say there is no partner on the Palestinian side that can represent all Palestinians, and when we try to reconciliate at it, he starts talking about Palestinians choosing Hamas rather than choosing peace. This is a well-known Israeli game, and the response should be more efforts to end this terrible internal division and the establishment of a unified leadership. We need this unified leadership to stop the Israeli aggression, and we need this unified leadership to be able to lead our people in our struggle for freedom."

Note: A journalist interviewing Barghouti might well have pointed out that Netanyahu's rejection of dealing with a Palestinian Fatah-Hamas unity government stems from the fact that Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of Israel, an Islamic theocracy in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and genocide of the Jews. Such an interviewer might have asked how Barghouti's Fatah planned to work with Hamas, which not only provoked short wars with Israel in 2008, 2012 and 2014 by firing thousands of mortars and rockets into the Jewish state and, in 2014, tunneling into Israel to stage massacres and kidnapings but ousted Fatah and the PA from Gaza in a "five-day war" in 2007 that took more than 100 lives.

Host: "Good to speak to you there, Marwan Barghouti joining us from Ramallah. Thank you for being with us."

Barghouti (correcting the host): "Mustafa Barghouti [not Marwan Barghouti]."

Note: Mustafa's cousin, Marwan Barghouti, was apprehended in 2002 as a Fatah leader of the second intifada, 2000 - 2005, during which nearly 1,500 Israelis were killed, convicted on charges of murder and imprisoned. Yet a third Barghouti cousin is Omar Barghouti, co-founder of two groups aimed at destruction of the Jewish state: the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

[Host fails to reply.]

NOTE: Barghouti's lack of credibility concerning Jews and Israel has been demonstrated by his falsehoods and malevolent activities including:

* He has falsely claimed that Jesus, a Jew from Judea, was a Palestinian Arab;
 
* In 2007, as Palestinian information minister, he falsely denied the existence of a children's show on Al-Aqsa TV(controlled by the Palestinian Authority) featuring a Mickey Mouse-like character urging children to take up arms and calling for a genocide of Israel's Jews. Then later after being confronted with the truth, he lied again when he claimed the show was taken off the air (It has continued to be aired);
 
* Barghouti's goal of delegitimizing and destroying the Jewish state extends to his outspoken support for BDS which seeks to economically isolate Israel before politically and physically destroying it; and
 
* Just one hour after the announcement of the death in 2014 of Ariel Sharon, former Israeli general and prime minister, the BBC World Service opened its coverage with Barghouti's defamatory remarks about Sharon and Israel.
 
Feb. 4, 2016 – 6:20 a.m. (Eastern) four-minute report during Al-Jazeera America news hour. Numerous recent similar and identical reports.
 
Host: Nick Clark from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Correspondent: Imtiaz Tyab, Al-Jazeera English correspondent covering Palestinian territories and Israel.

Host: “Palestinian journalists across the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip held protests against the detention of a Palestinian reporter, Mohammed al-Qeq. He has been held in an Israeli prison without charge. For 72 days, he's been on a hunger strike. We have this report.”

Correspondent: “Their message is clear – ‘free Mohammed.' This protest organized by a group of journalists from Ramallah, they want Israel to release him. He was arrested in November, and has been held in what Israel calls administrative detention, imprisonment without charge for up to six months, renewable indefinitely. Journalists held a similar protest. They have never been charged with any crime. Israel accuses him of being part of Hamas. The 33-year-old has been on a hunger strike since shortly after he was detained. His health had deteriorated. He's in poor health and continues in a hospital. On Thursday, Israel's Supreme Court was expected to rule on an appeal. It's to have him released from administrative detention, based on medical grounds. Officials believe the court will rule to suspend the detention, meaning that once he's recovered from his hunger strike, he'll be put back in an Israeli jail. Mohammed's wife said if Israel doesn't release her husband, he told her that he will continue the strike, even if it costs him his life.”

Wife (translated): “Mohammed said, ‘I reject my detention and refuse a deal.' He wants his freedom. When the lawyer asks him what is the longest you agree to spend in jail, he said, ‘as long as it takes to transfer me from Israel to hospital.' He is not budging.”

Correspondent: “An Israeli official ordered health workers to treat him with salt and supplements without his consent. He'll continue to resist Israeli intervention into his health until he is a free man.”

NOTE: In this report, Al Jazeera uses the Mohammed al-Qeq situation to convey the false impression that Israel routinely imprisons Palestinian Arabs for protests in opposition to Israel or for publishing reports unfavorable to Israel. But American news media outlets often critical of Israeli actions have not dealt with the case. It may be that this is so because Israel's Shin Bet security service, responsible for al-Qeq's detention, says he's being held for what the security service claims is current involvement in terror activity connected with Hamas, designated a terrorist organization not only by Israel but also by the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. The Shin Bet is Israel's domestic security service, equivalent to the FBI or the British MI5.
 
While Al-Jazeera America has aired numerous reports beginning on Jan. 17, 2016 regarding protests concerning the detention by Israeli authorities of Palestinian reporter al-QeQ, unsurprisingly there is not a single Al-Jazeera report about Hamas' imprisonment of Ayman al-Aloul, a Palestinian Arab journalist, who said in an Associated Press interview on Jan. 12, 2016 that he was kidnapped and tortured by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, foreign reporters working in Gaza are regularly harassed, threatened and subjected to forceful measures by Hamas, none of which are reported by Al-Jazeera America. This failure is not surprising considering the network's alliance with Hamas through its owner/operator the government of Qatar.
 

Feb. 3, 2016 – 9:02 a.m. (Eastern) four-minute report during Al-Jazeera America news hour.

Host: Unidentified female from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Correspondent: Imtiaz Tyab, Al-Jazeera English correspondent covering Palestinian territories and Israel.
 
Note: In this one-sided report of a shooting at Jerusalem's Damascus Gate, somehow the Al-Jazeera report, failed to note that Israeli Border Policewoman Hadar Cohen was killed and another policewoman injured by the three Palestinians.

Host: “Three Palestinians have been shot and killed by Israeli police. Israeli police say the Palestinians opened fire at the Damascus Gate in occupied east Jerusalem. Let's get the latest from Imtiaz Tyab in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. What's the latest Imtiaz?”

Correspondent: “A very dramatic and violent scene just outside the Damascus Gate of the Old City in occupied east Jerusalem. According to Israeli police, around an hour and a half ago, three young Palestinian men who are around 20 years old approached an Israeli police officer. They were asked for their I.D. And that's when at least one of them opened fire. Now again, according to Israeli police, they shot dead all three of these young Palestinian men. Police said they were not only carrying guns on them, but also knives, explosive devices, and … pipe bombs. It underscores this wave of violence that we've seen since October of this past year, which has claimed the lives of over 170 Palestinians and 26 Israelis. Israeli police have said they secured the area and continued searching not only in occupied east Jerusalem but the occupied West Bank where these men are said to be from, trying to find whether or not these men were acting on their own or if this was part of a bigger plot.”

Host: “A wave of violence there since October and the protests against Israel's ongoing occupation continue every day.”

Correspondent: “Indeed, protests which often turn violent. 170 Palestinians have been killed since October. Around half of them have been in these protests, and it really just underscores the despair that we see across the occupied Palestinian territories, not only here in the occupied West Bank, but also Gaza, as well. When you speak to young Palestinians, they say that this violence that we're seeing and these protests that we've seen are really a response to what they say is decades of Israel's occupation, an occupation they say is getting only more brutal, the fact that settlements are only expanding rapidly and the fact that they don't see hope or any future. If you speak to Israelis and Israeli leadership, they say it's the Palestinian leadership to blame, that they are inciting young people on to the streets and that social media is also to blame, as well. As we've heard from young Palestinians, they say that's nonsense and the reason we are seeing all this unrest is because of Israeli's occupation.”

Host: “Thank you very much for that update, live from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.”

NOTE: The Al-Jazeera network, virtually a Palestinian propaganda platform, here typically downplays the Israeli view regarding the current Palestinian violence in favor of the Palestinian narrative which here attributes “all this unrest” to “Israel's occupation.” The correspondent and host use the word “occupied” or "occupation" nine times in 17 sentences. They sound like they're reading from Palestinian Authority talking points. Omitted is the fact that Israel is the obligatory and legal military occupational authority of the West Bank, having taken the territory from Jordanian occupation in self-defense in the 1967 Six-Day War. But the land is not "Palestinian." It is disputed. Hence the need for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations according to U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian interim agreement. The “occupation” exists mostly due to repeated Palestinian rejection of Israeli-U.S. proposals for a "two-state solution" and coexistence. Al-Jazeera English also fails to mention that Palestinian leaders rejected a two-state solution and peace with Israel in 2000, 2001 and 2008, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's 2014 "framework" to resume negotiations.

The reporter, in describing the events at Damascus Gate, refers to "these protests." Arabs opening fire on police when asked for their I.D.'s, at a spot where previous terrorist attacks against Israeli Jews have taken place, is not a "protest." It's murder. And the large majority of Arabs killed by Israeli police, soldiers and civilians since the current "stabbing intifada" began last September, died attempting or committing terrorist attacks. Regardless of what Al-Jazeera English says it's been told by young Palestinian Arabs regarding "the occupation" as the cause of the current violence, evidence abounds that lethal incitement, official and unofficial, from Palestinian Authority and Hamas communications outlets and social media, is playing a major role (recent examples here, here and here).
 
The reporter also editorializes that Israeli West Bank settlements have been "expanding rapidly." Very little territorial expansion of settlements has occurred for nearly a decade. Building and population growth has taken place largely inside existing boundaries of the communities. If young Palestinian Arabs see little hope for the future, as the correspondent claims, perhaps Hamas' brutal Islamic fundamentalist rule of the Gaza Strip and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority's repressive administration of the West Bank has something to do with it. But maybe, since they cannot with much hope or social approval attack those institutions, they strike at Israelis.

A continuing reminder of the network's slavish adherence to the Palestinian propaganda narrative is hosts and correspondents dutifully parroting the misleading “occupied” mantra as a prefix to virtually every mention of Jerusalem and the West Bank. This segment is one of many Al-Jazeera reports that, with an anchorman in the studio and reporter in the field, looks like television news but sounds like what it is, one-sided Israel-bashing.

Jan. 1, 2016 – 10:06 p.m. (Eastern) report during Al-Jazeera America news hour.

Host: Jonathan Betz from Al-Jazeera America headquarters in New York City.

Correspondent: Bernard Smith for Al Jazeera English based in Doha, Qatar.

Host: "A manhunt is on now on in Israel for the gunman who opened fire outside a popular bar in Tel Aviv, killing two people. In the surveillance video you can see there, it shows the man spraying the street with gunfire from an automatic weapon..Al-Jazeera's Bernard Smith has the report."

Correspondent: "Browsing in a small supermarket in central Tel Aviv, the gunman appears to be waiting or checking out his target. Then, lifting off his backpack he pulls out a semi automatic machine gun and opens fire. Customers celebrating a birthday party in a neighboring café bar, dive for cover as they are sprayed with bullets."

Israeli woman: "Oh, I don't know, I -- but ... I was afraid for my mother – for everyone it was horrible."

Correspondent: "Israeli security forces identified the gunman as a 29-year-old Palestinian Israeli from a village in central Israel. Israeli media reported that the gunman's father contacted the police after recognizing his son from the footage shown on television. Since the beginning of October, there's been a rise in tensions that has seen 23 Israelis and 124 Palestinians killed. Israeli intelligence has researched the motives for the other incidents where Palestinians have attacked Israelis and found that the attackers have been provoked by national, economic and personal deprivation. But the motive for this attack remains unclear. Bernard Smith, Al-Jazeera, West Jerusalem."

NOTE: Correspondent Smith says "Israeli security forces identified the gunman as a 29-year-old Palestinian Israeli..." Israeli news media, citing official sources, identified him as an Israeli Arab, that is, an Arab citizen of Israel. While some Israeli Arabs identify with, and sometimes are related to Palestinian Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they are Israeli nationals, not "Palestinian Israelis." Americans of Mexican descent are not Mexicans or Mexican Americans, but rather U.S. citizens. Likewise, Americans whose ancestors immigrated from France are not "French Americans." Similarly, Israeli Arabs are not "Palestinian Israelis." Such usage intentionally or inadvertently diminishes Israeli nationality and sovereign claims; it is polemic wording journalists ought to avoid.

The Al-Jazeera reporter also claims that an Israeli intelligence agency determined that "The [Palestinian] attackers have been provoked by national economic and personal deprivation." Some Israeli police officials did ascribe such motivation to attackers early in the "stabbing intifada." The "personal deprivation" they referred to, unexplained by correspondent Smith, was the lack of personal freedom in patriarchical, increasingly religious (Islamic fundamentalist) Palestinian society. And "economic deprivation," to the extent it exists, has more to do with repeated Palestinian rejection of Israeli-U.S. proposals of a "two-state solution" and coexistence, including economic cooperation, than Israeli counter-terrorism measures. Note that Palestinian leaders rejected a two-state solution and peace with Israel in 2000, 2001 and 2008 and the current PA leadership insists on various conditions before peace negotiations can take place, including: Israel must accede to the demands that it accept heretofore unacceptable Palestinian pre-conditions such as refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and – "right of return" of millions of Arabs (nearly all of whom have never lived in Israel) which would result in engulfing Israel with Arab Muslims, effectively destroying it as a Jewish state and Western style democracy.

But in general, Smith's wording – which omits entirely the role of incessant anti-Israel, anti-Jewish incitement by Palestinian Authority leadership, communication and social media, mosques, and schools – sounds more like rationales provided by Palestinian apologists. A recent example out of the countless acts of incitement: On Sept. 16, 2015, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Palestinian Television, declared, "We won't allow Jews with their filthy feet… to defile our Al-Aqsa mosque… we bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem…" (see Youtube video provided by Palestinian Media Watch). There is nothing comparable anywhere in Jewish society to this kind of indoctrination. Such apologia amount to the characterization, a form of "bigotry of low expectations," that implies or says, "Due to their sense of frustration, it's to be expected that they would start stabbing, shooting and car-ramming Jews." The lack of balance, long documented by CAMERA's "Al-Jazeera America Watch, in this report is unsurprising given the anti-Israel policies (including past financial support of the Hamas terrorist rulers of the Gaza Strip) of Al-Jazeera's owner/operator, the ruling family of oil/natural gas-rich Qatar.


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