LA Times Accuses Israeli Government Of Involvement in Shireen Abu Akleh’s Killing

The Los Angeles Times has outflanked CNN as the mainstream Western media which has adopted the most fantastical, most journalistically-challenged conclusion about the unsolved fatal shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Facing a shortage of objective evidence, CNN’s farcical “investigation” relied on the feelings of biased eyewitnesses to outrageously conclude that Israeli troops deliberately shot to death the Palestinian-American journalist during a Jenin gunbattle last month.

Al Jazeera’a Shireen Abu Aqleh (Abu Aqleh’s Twitter account)

Relying on nothing at all, The Los Angeles Times  has concluded — and thus far failed to correct — the even more unhinged and unfounded libel that the Israeli government played a role in Abu Akleh’s killing, akin to the Saudi monarchy’s involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Thus, in a report about President Biden’s appearance at the Summit of the Americas, Times reporters Tracy Wilkinson and Courtney Subramanian plunged into new depths of conspiracy, stating (“Free press, women’s empowerment key issues as summit moves into full throttle“):

A woman stood to challenge U.S. support for Israel and Saudi Arabia, two governments involved in recent killings of journalists.

In one case, a well-known Palestinian journalist was shot and killed during an Israeli raid on a West Bank city; the case has not been resolved, but some Palestinians blame Israel for the killing.

In the other case, a prominent Saudi journalist and U.S. resident, Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey, and U.S. intelligence officials believe Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the killing. (Emphasis added.)

CAMERA last week contacted senior Times  editors pointing out that — as their own reporters acknowledge — Abu Akleh’s case has not been solved. So long as the Palestinian government continues to refuse to relinquish the bullet for ballistic analysis, it cannot even be established with an Israeli soldier or a Palestinian gunman fired the fatal shot. Given that the case is not resolved, on what basis does The Times impugn the Israeli government?

The Times has failed to retract the libelous and completely baseless accusation, suggesting the paper’s drift into full throttle conspiracy.

Tracy Wilkinson, a veteran Times reporter, and Courtney Subramanian, also of the DC bureau, establish the Israeli government as suspected murderers already in the second paragraph:
Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken, completing a round of speeches, addressed a symposium for student journalists to defend press freedoms. But he quickly found himself battling back difficult questions, like why he U.S. deals with governments that allegedly kill journalists while condemning others.
Seven paragraphs later, the duo identify Israel, along with Saudi Arabia, as the governments which allegedly kill journalists.
It should be needless to state that the fact that “some Palestinians blame Israel for the killing,” as the article accurately notes, does not amount to Israeli government involvement in the killing. Nor does the baseless assumption of a student journalist — even if she is happens to question the Secretary of State at a prestigious international summit — of Israeli government culpability establish Israeli government culpability.
 
Moreover, if the elusive ballistics test does end up one day establishing that an Israeli soldier did fire the gun, how would that implicate the Israeli government? A bullet could have ricocheted; a soldier could have misfired; or something else could have gone wrong. Even in the highly unlikely case that the soldier deliberately disobeyed all orders and targeted an unarmed civilian, a journalist, then the Israeli government involvement is still not established.
 
How would The Times establish that the soldier received orders to murder Abu Akleh, and that the government commanded the army to carry out this mission? Was there a cabinet meeting in which the government approved this murder? If not, what exactly constituted Israeli government involvement?
 
The Associated PressAgence France Presseand the Guardian have all previously commendably corrected after reporting as fact the unsubstantiated allegation that Israeli soldiers killed Abu Akleh.
 
Why hasn’t The Los Angeles Times corrected the even more outrageous conspiracy that the Israeli government played a role in Abu Akleh’s killing, as if the Israeli government ordered the army to kill a journalist during a gun battle to capture terrorists?  And if the Times is going to stand by that fabrication, what’s next?
 
The Times’ allegation is as tethered to reality as the following make-believe scenario: the Israeli government was involved in the murders of Israeli civilians in Bnai Brak, Tel Aviv and Beersheba. The endgame was to establish a pretext for a counter-terror operation in Jenin, thereby creating an opportunity to knock off public enemy number one: Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
 
Is this the kind of exercise that passes as “press freedom” at The Los Angeles Times? Freedom from the facts?