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WSJ: Media aims at Israel and misses

  |   By Polling+ Staff

The media screwed up. Or is it worse than that?

Here’s the headline from the Op-Ed page of The Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-media-like-the-terrorists-aim-at-israel-and-miss-447e9ce1?mod=opinion_lead_pos6

The Media, Like the Terrorists, Aim at Israel and Miss 

The Arab street has a new blood libel: that Jews slaughter Palestinians in their hospitals.

Writes Elliot Kaufman, the WSJ’s Letters Editor:

“It was a lie. Hamas said Tuesday that an Israeli airstrike on a Gaza City hospital killed at least 500 Palestinians. Turns out it wasn’t Israeli, it wasn’t an airstrike, it didn’t hit the hospital, nowhere close to 500 people were killed, and Hamas knew it. 

This has been confirmed independently by the Pentagon, according to President Biden and the National Security Council; by an intercept and drone and radar footage released by the Israeli military; and perhaps most persuasively by looking at the hospital in daylight. The evidence indicates that a rocket launched by Palestinian Islamic Jihad is the likely culprit.

The question is why the media and so many others ran with the story of Israeli war crimes. They did so on nothing but the word of the jihadist group that committed the largest mass slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust. 

‘Israeli Strike Kills Hundreds in Hospital, Palestinians Say,’ read the initial New York Times headline. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) announced on Twitter: ‘Bombing a hospital is among the gravest of war crimes. The IDF reportedly blowing up one of the few places the injured and wounded can seek medical treatment and shelter during a war is horrific. @POTUS needs to push for an immediate ceasefire to end this slaughter.’ 

The trend everywhere was to let Hamas drive the story, leading readers astray. “BREAKING: The Gaza Health Ministry says at least 500 people killed in an explosion at a hospital that it says was caused by an Israeli airstrike,” the Associated Press wrote in a tweet seen 13 million times. The Gaza Health Ministry is controlled by Hamas. The AP’s subsequent clarification that Israel attributed the strike to a Palestinian rocket has fewer than 200,000 views. But the friendly-fire explanation should always have been plausible and held out as a possibility. Israel doesn’t target hospitals, and it had already counted some 450 Palestinian rockets that fell inside Gaza.

What actually happened? The Israel Defense Forces say that Palestinian Islamic Jihad began a barrage of 10 rockets at Israeli cities at 6:50 p.m. local time Tuesday. This is confirmed by live video, including on Al Jazeera, which shows one rocket malfunctioning and crashing in Gaza at 6:59 p.m.—the same time reports emerged of a blast near the hospital. Israel’s Channel 12, an independent commercial station, caught it on video, too. Israel says it carried out no attacks at that time. Gazans near the hospital reportedly complained about the distinct shriek of rocket launches.”

The obvious question here is….why? Why in the world would allegedly responsible media like – of all places – the New York Times not take the time to get the facts straight?

The decidedly obvious answer is that even with a major paper famously owned by a Jewish family there is a quick, instant, urge to blame Israel for just about anything.

Elliot Kaufman goes on to note that some Hamas fighters were captured on an intercepted phone call admitting the rocket was from Hamas.

Well aside from the hour-by-hour specifics of what is happening in this war, the decidedly serious problem here is that there is in fact a serious anti-Israeli, anti-Semitism streak in the media that instantly moves to blame Israel first for any bad thing.

And that is a serious problem.