The murder of five Israelis, including an infant, a toddler and an 11-year-old, was unspeakably horrific. In its own way, so was Time magazine’s reporting in the wake of the attack.
In his March 13 piece, “Slaughter of the Fogels: After the West Bank Killings,” Time‘s correspondent in Israel yet again reveals he is incapable of, or simply uninterested in, impartial reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The correspondent, Karl Vick, does not let the shocking attack get in the way of his predictable anti-Israel animus. His discussion of the incident, published online two days after a terrorist slit the throats of five members of the Fogel family, strains to recast Palestinians as the victims of the murders and the Israelis as the offending party.
Most of the piece is dedicated to portraying Israelis as cynically using the incident as an excuse to violate international law, “steal” land, and even raise money. While Israeli officials are, as usual, the targets of Vick’s implicit condemnation, Mahmoud Abbas is described gently as one who “preaches nonviolence,” and his Palestinian Authority as cooperative friends of Israel (even though Israel, the story makes it appear, does not deserve their benevolence).
Worse than ignoring Palestinian incitement, Vick seems to mock the very idea, depicting Israel’s purported concerns about Palestinian hate education and calls to violence as a desperate and unjustified excuse to condemn the Palestinians.
Paragraph five promotes the partisan view that settlements are illegal.
In paragraph seven, the reporter deems it important to note that a nonprofit cited the attack in “solicit[ing] funds” — an echo of Vick’s earlier story that had cast Israeli Jews as interested, above all else, in economic concerns.
Only in the eighth paragraph does the reporter briefly flash a sentence or two that humanizes the Israeli family. But presumably for “balance,” Vick immediately goes out of his way to point out that among the 20 Palestinians Israel detained in connection with the incident were “reportedly … relatives of two Palestinians recently killed.”
The ninth paragraph describes settlers who attack Palestinians as “extremists,” though the same passage avoids any such pejorative adjectives to describe Palestinians who killed Israelis.
Finally, the author indicates that Palestinian incitement is not a real issue deserving of thoughtful consideration — he puts the word in scare quotes — but merely an excuse for Israel to blame the innocent West Bank Palestinians:
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas preaches nonviolence, and PA security forces coordinate discreetly with Israeli authorities to suppress attacks . . .
But Netanyahu found grounds to blame the Palestinian Authority, repeatedly calling on Abbas to cease “incitement” against Israel.
In fact, Palestinian incitement, including the glorification of suicide bombers, is very real, and any fair-minded assessment of Middle East violence and peace-making must take this phenomenon into account, perhaps more than anything else. Just a week before the brutal murder in Itamar, a West Bank soccer tournament was named after Wafa Idris, the first female Palestinian suicide bomber. It was yet another clear signal that those who target Jewish civilians for death will be celebrated as heroes. (Idris killed an 81-year-old man and injured scores of others.)
A list of recent examples of Palestinian Authority incitement can be found here.