Int'l media has once again shown its true colors toward Israel - opinion

Where Palestinian claims are taken as fact, even when they come from terrorist organizations, Israeli claims – with evidence – are taken with skepticism.

 RELATIVES MOURN during the funeral of four teenage Palestinian cousins in Jabaliya. Al Jazeera blamed Israel for the death of children in Jabaliya, without mentioning that it was the result of an errant Islamic Jihad rocket, says the writer.  (photo credit: SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS)
RELATIVES MOURN during the funeral of four teenage Palestinian cousins in Jabaliya. Al Jazeera blamed Israel for the death of children in Jabaliya, without mentioning that it was the result of an errant Islamic Jihad rocket, says the writer.
(photo credit: SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS)

Unlike previous operations with terrorist organizations in Gaza, Operation Breaking Dawn was a decisive victory for the IDF and Israel militarily and in terms of public diplomacy. Israel was able to successfully carry out actions against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization to investigate reported incidents quickly and to provide answers in real time – the most obvious of incidents being the attack near Jabaliya, Gaza, in which Palestinian civilians, including children, were killed.

Yet this effort to provide accurate information also exposed to the world that some media sources, such as Al Jazeera, aren’t concerned at all with the facts, only with the narrative of Israel being the aggressor and Palestinians being the victim. Where Palestinian claims are taken as fact, even when they come from terrorist organizations, Israeli claims – with evidence – are taken with skepticism.

In the immediate aftermath of the explosions near Jabaliya refugee camp, Palestinian sources and social media claimed that the IDF had bombed children, sharing disturbing photos of injured and bloodied children across social media channels. The news immediately was picked up by multiple sources in the international media.

The IDF, however, hadn’t operated in that area for hours meaning it couldn’t possibly have been Israel responsible for these casualties. The Israeli government and the IDF quickly issued a statement and even provided aerial video footage of the Islamic Jihad rocket barrage that targeted Israeli civilians. In the video, rockets misfiring and falling short are clearly shown, as is their impact in Gaza.

Additionally, at the time of the rocket barrage, which ended up killing Palestinians in Jabaliya, Palestinian journalist Anas Al Sheriff covered the events on his Telegram channel, explicitly stating in Arabic that a rocket had misfired and landed in the residential neighborhood of Jabaliya.

 Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants gather at a mourning house for Palestinians who were killed during Israel-Gaza fighting, as a ceasefire holds, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 8, 2022.  (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA) Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants gather at a mourning house for Palestinians who were killed during Israel-Gaza fighting, as a ceasefire holds, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 8, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)

After the truth was revealed, several media sources updated their information, while most sources didn’t cover the story at all or the fact that hundreds of rockets fell short killing an estimated 16 Palestinian civilians over the weekend (incidentally more civilian casualties than Israel was responsible for in all of their airstrikes against Islamic Jihad targets).

Late to the game

FOR EXAMPLE, The New York Times didn’t initially report on the story, and while both CNN and BBC mentioned the Jabaliya attack within larger articles about the entire operation, both of them reported it as a claim of Israel that’s disputed. The BBC article stated that Israel accused PIJ militants of accidentally causing at least some of those deaths, adding that the BBC has not been able to independently verify this claim.

Interestingly, no such disclaimer is mentioned when it comes to the death toll statistics provided by Gaza terrorist groups. Why is that Palestinian claims are taken as fact while Israeli claims that are put forth with transparency and even with evidence are cast in a negative, skeptical light?

On Al Jazeera Arabic and English, the poor journalism was even more pronounced with the network flat out blaming Israel for the death of children in Jabaliya, without even a mention of the fact it was the result of an errant Islamic Jihad rocket.

Al Jazeera Arabic shared an image of children in body bags and claimed it was an Israeli massacre in Jabaliya. In English, they claimed that Israel killed five Palestinians, including three children. At the time of this article, Al Jazeera has not issued a correction or apology.

Beyond the media’s poor coverage of this incident, there were numerous officials who came out against Israel even accusing the IDF of massacres, including UN officials, members of the Joint List in Israel and the African National Congress. Naturally, none of these same individuals spoke about how hundreds of rockets fell on Palestinians as a result of Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s misfires.

Whether in the international media or as leaders in the UN or other bodies, it is impossible to speak about the mistakes that Israel and the IDF make in conflict without also mentioning the war crimes of terror organizations like Palestinian Islamic Jihad. On the part of the press, this is an inexcusable failure because it completely misrepresents the story of this operation, which is that PIJ is responsible for more Palestinian civilian casualties than the IDF and that they committed war crimes not only against Israelis but against their own people.

This lack of intellectual honesty damages the credibility of news organizations, as well as the UN, and while Israel was successful in providing the real information behind libelous accusations, Israel and its allies must also work to call out the media for explicit bias and disinformation, such as in the case of Al Jazeera on the Jabaliya incident.

The writer is the CEO of Social Lite Creative LLC and a human rights activist.