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, entitled “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 term. Unless, of course, its Palestinian nationalism. And the attempt to tie the Jerusalem march to the 2021 Israel-Hamas War is revealing, as well.
Marchers are 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.
Indeed, the 2021 Israel-Hamas War was launched at the behest of Hamas’s patron, the Islamic Republic of Iran. 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 the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, which has trained and equipped operatives from Hamas, Hezbollah, PIJ, and other terrorist groups. Summarizing his remarks, MEMRI reported that “General Emami explained that Iran can easily tighten its grip around ‘the throat of the Zionist regime’ in order to extract 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 a 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 (“Hamas and the terror group double standard”).
Similarly, recent Israeli efforts to deter and prevent an increase in terrorist attacks were described as a “supercharged crackdown.” These counterterror 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 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as a credible source. OCHA, the Post says, claims that Israel’s counterterrorist operations “resulted in the deaths of 14 Palestinians.” Yet, the majority of these have been 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 also fails to note that Islamist terrorists tend to use human shields—a documented fact which even Hamas itself has admitted. The Post even 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 which has vowed to continue paying tax-deductible salaries to terrorists.
Although the Post’s report contains important and useful information, such as on civilian defense patrols that are meant to deter terrorism, it fails, from beginning through end, to identify the very core of the problem: a 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 a staple of the worst brand of Palestinian nationalism. And the Post missed an important opportunity to note as much.