The MSM’s Inversion of Reality

“Who’s more ‘far-right?” CAMERA-affiliated CIF Watch asks in a post today, “Yehuda Glick or the Palestinian who tried to murder him?”

Yehuda Glick is a non-violent Israeli activist, director of the Libah organization that advocates freedom of worship and civil rights for Jews on the Temple Mount. On Wednesday evening, following a lecture he gave on the topic at the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, he was shot several times at point blank range by a Palestinian terrorist. Glick is fighting for his life in Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek Hospital.

Muataz Hijazi is the Palestinian presumed to have shot Glick in an assassination attempt. A restaurant worker at the Begin Center and resident of nearby Abu Tor, Hijazi was a member of the Islamic Jihad who served more than 10 years in an Israeli prison for terrorist activities. Upon his release from prison in 2012, he told the Ramallah-based Al-Quds News outlet that he hoped to be “a thorn in the side of the Zionist project of Judaizing Jerusalem.” When police came to arrest hin for the shooting, he opened fire at them and was killed in the return fire. His gun and motorcycle were found at the arrest scene.

Yet it is the non-violent Glick whom the media labels pejoratively as a “far-right” provocateur while the Palestinian terrorist who tried to kill him and Palestinian rioters on the Temple Mount who engage in violence against Israelis escape any such designations.

CIF-Watch counted seven times that London’s Guardian newspaper referred to Glick as “far-right” while “no similarly ideologically pejorative term was used” to describe the shooter.

And it is not just the Guardian newspaper that selectively dispenses the pejoratives. One Reuters article used the same epithet five times to describe Glick or his followers, but no negative descriptors to describe Hijazi.
The New York Times branded Glick an “agitator” and “a provocative figure who has exacerbated tensions between Muslims and Jews.” Hijazi, by contrast, was described simply as “a Palestinian man” suspected of “involvement in an assassination attempt on a leading agitator.” And while it was noted that Hijazi had spent 10 years in Israeli prison, the article concealed the fact that he had been jailed for previous involvement in terrorism, that he was a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group, or that he is on record asserting that he would stop Zionists from Judaizing Jerusalem.

How is it that the non-violent Glick is portrayed as the troublemaker while violent Palestinians escape such characterizations?

The Background

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest site in Islam.  During Jordan’s occupation of the area (1948-1967) following Israel’s War of Independence, Jewish religious sites were destroyed, their contents looted and desecrated. Jews were prevented access to their holy sites and cemetery in contravention of the 1949 Armistice Agreement, and despite numerous requests by Israeli officials and Jewish groups to the UN.

Upon its recapture by Israel in 1967, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol immediately issued a declaration of peace, promising that all holy sites would be protected and that all faiths would be free to worship at their holy sites in Jerusalem. Defense Minister Dayan, in a show of good faith, ceded internal administrative control of the Temple Mount compound to the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust) while overall security control of the area was maintained by Israel. He announced that Jews would be allowed to visit the Temple Mount, but not to hold religious services there. Despite Supreme Court rulings upholding Jewish freedom to worship on the Temple Mount, the police have not allowed it, citing security concerns.

In an interview last year with the Forward, Glick explained his advocacy and vision for the Temple Mount:

While Israel’s Supreme Court has recognized the right of Jewish worship on the Temple Mount, it has left the implementation of those basic civil and religious rights to police discretion…The restriction of Jewish presence as a way of keeping “peace” actually undercuts the prospects for peaceful co-existence in Israel and in the region as a whole. How can we expect to have any kind of peaceful co-existence if there is not the mutual respect that would allow all peoples, and especially Muslims and Jews, to share space that is of vital import and concern to each? Real, meaningful, durable peace begins on the Temple Mount.

Palestinian rioters who oppose Jewish prayer and visits to the Temple Mount have recently used rocks and firebombs in recent violent clashes with police who have tried to stop them from attacking Jewish visitors there.

Yet in New York Times parlance it is Glick’s advocacy for the Jewish right to worship on the Temple Mount and his promotion of its centrality to Judaism by bringing groups to the contested area, educating them about Jewish history there and occasionally uttering a prayer there that “exacerbates tensions” rather than the  Muslims who violently try to stop them. They, by contrast, are referred to simply as “Muslim worshipers and protesters”– with no pejorative characterization.

Since 1929, Arab leaders have repeatedly used the call to “defend Muslim holy sites” from the Jews as a call to violent jihad. This specious anti-Jewish call has resulted in repeated attacks and massacres of Jews in the Holy Land. Just days before the Islamic Jihad member tried to murder Yehuda Glick, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated the inflammatory false alarm that Jews are trying to destroy Muslim holy sites and called upon Palestinians to defend Muslim holy sites from the Jews “by any means.”

Was this characterized as incitement by the mainstream media?

Far from it. The AP simply called it “heightened rhetoric” – that was a “sign” of Abbas’ “desperation.” And the New York Times attributed to an “accusation” by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that Abbas’ words constituted incitement. As for the rest of the media, they did not even bother to mention it.

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