The Times of Israel is giving 800 words and pictures to the family of the Jerusalem truck terrorist and the same 800 words to all four of his young Jewish victims. Just like the BBC.
The Times of Israel published an 800-word piece of original reporting by their Arab speaking journalist and opinion writer, Avi Issacharoff:
We knew nothing, don’t blame us, say relatives of Jerusalem truck terrorist. – At family’s mourning gathering for Ibrahim Fadi al-Qunbar, the East Jerusalemite who plowed into a group of soldiers on Sunday, killing four of them, all is mystification
You may recognise his name: Avi Issacharoff is credited with co-developing the hit series Fauda which has recently gone out on Netflix world wide.
It’s clear from the reporting Avi Issacharoff (who speaks Arabic) took the time to go and visit the mourning family. He took pictures and interviewed numerous relatives and translates them for you (from Arabic), all in his long piece. He managed to find some obligatory (Arabic) quotes that proclaim not to hate all Jews or all Israelis and profess a desire to live in “peace”.
The overall thrust of the piece is to engender sympathy for what is now to happen to this “peaceful” family of Arabs.
The problem is not the piece in and of itself (though I’ll give some of the problems with it below). Yesterday, at the same time as this piece was being tweeted out, I went to see what the Times of Israel has on the real victims.
In contrast to the hagiography of the terrorist’s family, for the murdered Jews there is one boilerplate article by anonymous “Times of Israel Staff” which means stuff they scraped off the news wires. It’s the same 800 word length given to the terrorist’s family, this time for all four murdered Jews with the following headline and lede:
Families, friends mourn 4 soldiers killed in Jerusalem terror attack – Yael Yekutiel, 20, Shir Hajaj, 22, Shira Tzur, 20, Erez Orbach, 20, being laid to rest on Monday in funerals across country.
Nobody from the Times of Israel did any original reporting, they didn’t take any pictures, they didn’t travel to sit shiva with the families. Nothing. They sat at a desk in Jerusalem and pulled quotes from the web and wires.
As of this morning you can’t even find that story about the mourning families on the front page, except in – and this is highly significant – the automatically generated “Most Read” section. The story has dropped off the front page editorially but remains there only because it is popular.
And here is where you can read all about the poor terrorist’s family:
The only good news? As of this morning, the terrorist sob story has 225 shares on Facebook and a bunch of negative comments. The story about the young Jewish victims of this Islamic terrorist has 25,000 shares. It would seem the Times of Israel’s readers still have a working moral compass even if the editor doesn’t.
Update: Orit Arfa asked me, on Facebook, “Do you not think there is value of a reporter going there to at least know what they’re thinking?”
I do believe there could be value, however, only if the reporter is undercover and not known. I wouldn’t trust a word these people say to a celebrity Jewish reporter who has been all over the news for over a year. How can we trust anything they told him? The only useful reporting he did was the comment from the child.
As promised, here are some of the specific problems with Avi’s piece.
Obviously the motive of this murderous Islamic terrorist is not to be explored because “all is mystification”. One thing’s for sure, the family know he wasn’t with ISIS, oh no. Because they know their man so well. So well, indeed, that they “cannot fathom what Qunbar was thinking” even though one of the children of the murderer does indicate he knows the correct Islamic prognosis for one who dies in the act of Jihad against the infidel:
“Asked if he knows what happened with his father, Izz answers: “Father is in paradise.”
So motive isn’t such a mystery for his son. Apparently. And the sharp and clear distinction between killing and murder that we Jews have doesn’t seem replicated in this family.
The main thrust of the piece, however, is to generate sympathy for the terrorist’s family because they are now having their Israeli residency revoked. They may rail against the terrible “occupation” but they sure has heck don’t want to be thrown out of Israel and into the arms of the Palestinian Authority.
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