In recent months, Palestinian leaders
and social media
have poisoned minds and whipped up violence by charging that Israel summarily executes innocent Palestinians, especially children. Two days ago, a broadcast by Public Radio International, while not explicitly making such vitriolic charges, nevertheless has the dangerous potential to leave uninformed listeners with the same impression: Israelis, like the Palestinians, are wantonly killing innocents.
The maternity ward of Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital, a “symbol of coexistence, was “nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize a few years ago but things have not been the same since October,” said Mark Werman, host for PRI’s “The World,” introducing the Feb. 29 segment
. “That’s when violence began escalating outside the hospital walls with Palestinian stabbings and running over Israelis with cars and the Israeli military shooting at Palestinians. Now there’s tension inside the hospital.”
There is no mention of under what circumstances the Israeli military is “shooting at Palestinians.” Unlike innocent Israelis, both civilian and security forces, killed in Palestinian ramming, stabbing and shooting attacks, most of the Palestinians killed in recent months were killed as they were perpetrating, or trying to perpetrate, attacks. The rest were killed in violent clashes with Israeli troops. As the Associated Press reported yesterday:
Tuesday’s violence was the latest in over five months of near-daily Palestinian attacks on civilians and security forces that have killed 28 Israelis, mostly in stabbings, shootings and attacks where Palestinians used vehicles as weapons to ram into Israeli soldiers or civilians.
During the same time — since mid-September — at least 168 Palestinians have also been killed, most of them said by Israel to have been attackers. The rest died in clashes with troops.
Reporter Shaina Shealy reinforces the false notion that innocent Palestinians are being randomly shot dead when she elliptically reports:
Shama is another new mother. She went into labor hours after Israeli forces shot her brother.
Why exactly did Israeli forces shoot Shama’s brother dead? Shealy doesn’t say, and she does not provide any identifying information to track down the particulars of this case. But given that the majority of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces were either carrying out attacks, or attempting to attack, and the rest were killed during violent clashes with Israeli troops, it seems impossible that her brother was an innocent shot dead for no reason at all.
Nevertheless, by selectively reporting on the shooting of Shama’s brother, listeners who don’t know better would surely understand Shama who, according to Shealy, says she “doesn’t trust Israeli hospitals. She even feared Israeli doctors might secretly harm her newborn daughter.”
But anti-Israel messages including outrageous allegations that Israel harvested
Palestinian organs, carried
out the Paris terror attacks, and executed children
routinely conveyed to Palestinian women like Shama may also have something to do with her lack of trust of Israeli doctors. But Shealy never mentions the pervasive incitement which nurture such fears.
Indeed, after the misleading references to “the Israeli military shooting at Palestinians,” and to Israeli forces shooting dead Shama’s brother, listeners would surely think the fears of Hadeel, another new Palestinian mother, are justified. Shealy reports:
There’s no safety. There’s no trust also.” Hadeel is scared too. She’s a Palestinian from East Jerusalem and she also delivered her first two kids at Mount Scopus. Her third was born in February. This time Hadeel felt she had to choose between the best health care at an Israeli hospital and personal safety at a Palestinian hospital. “It was really, really hard decision. Really.” She chose personal safety.
Although Hadeel may genuinely believe she is making a “choice” between superior Israeli care versus personal safety in a Palestinian hospital, it is not a real choice, a fact that Shealy should have, but didn’t, note. In the last five months of Palestinian violence, there has been not a single case in which an innocent Palestinian woman was attacked, despite the incessant claims on Palestinian social media to the contrary. Shealy provides not a word of context making clear that Hadeel’s fears are baseless. Hadel states:
You know, I have some tests I need to do for pregnancy. And I didn’t do it because they are available just in the Israeli parts, you can say. I didn’t do. I can’t. I can’t. They can see me in scarf. They will know me. You don’t know. A crazy man will come and kill me.
Shealy closes by quoted Dr. Drorit Hochner, who says she is not optimistic that the hospital’s vision of coexistence is the future. “I believe in this bridge to peace, but listen, we’re doing it for 50 years and nothing happens,” Hochner is quoted. “It’s very sad what’s happening here.”
By conveying the misimpression that Israel is killing innocent Palestinians, and that Arab women coming to deliver or receive medical care at Hadassah are in danger, PRI adds fuel to the fire, generating more fear and hatred. As Dr. Hochner notes, it’s very sad what’s happening here.