It’s The Demographics, Stoopid

In recent days we’ve seen an increase of horrible cases of assaults on minors in Israel, and even though it is crucial these cases are exposed and publicly condemned, you can’t overlook the different way some of these cases are reported by Ynet, Israel’s biggest on-line news site.

The first one, Beitar Illit man suspected of molesting children:

A 26-year-old resident of Beitar Illit was arrested Tuesday on suspicion he molested children multiple times. The suspect, an educator employed at one of the town’s institutions, confessed to some of the allegations and has been remanded in custody.

The details given: age, location and crime.

And the proverbial out of context filler:

Earlier this week, the Judea and Samaria District Police closed the case involving suspicions of rape of a five-year-old girl in the haredi settlement of Modiin Illit.

The story for which Ynet published this article comprises just 61% of the 148 word article, with the rest being filled up by another unrelated case that has been closed due to false charges. The only connection being the place where it happened, which Ynet emphasize as “haredi settlement of Modiin Illit”

The other appalling event a couple of days back, Man arrested for pouring acid on 16-year-old’s face.

A 50-year-old Nazareth resident was arrested Tuesday morning for allegedly pouring acid on a 16-year-old girl’s face after she refused to be betrothed to a man of his family. He was remanded in custody for five additional days.

Once again we get the same details in the first paragraph: age, location and crime.


Sex Offenders

However this article is different, it neglects to mention the demographics. You see, everyone knows Modi’in Illit is a Haredi town, and everyone knows Nazareth is an Arab town, yet the writers only mentioned it in the first case, as an oh-by-the-way kind of reporting on the specific demographics of Modi’in Illit.

I staunchly condemn every kind of violence and assault on minors, including under-age marriage, by any section of the population. I may not agree with the Haredi way of life, but I won’t claim they are all offenders by the actions of a few.

I’m also not advocating to shame the entire Arab population of Israel with banners pronouncing such acid throwing cases, the likes of we’ve seen in despotic regimes like Iran and Pakistan and the UK.



The overt mentioning of the demographics of events that have to do with Arabs, as opposed to the up front “Haredi”, must stop. Israeli media in general, and Ynet specifically, have conjured quite a few words to describe Arabs, like “youths”, “adolescents”, “minorities” and my personal favourite, “resident of the north”.

Here’s another example, Teen arrested for pelting Iron Dome battery with stones.

A 14-year-old youth from the Nazareth area was arrested on Wednesday for throwing a stone at an Iron Dome battery deployed in the Jezreel Valley.

Other news sites, like ToI, did report he was Arab.

If Ynet wants to be balanced, they have two options; either drop the demography altogether, or specify it every time. Otherwise, they’re just hypocrites.


Judge Dan

Dan Smith has been exposing anti-Israel fallacies since the first time he opened the world wide web on Netscape Navigator, sometime in the late 90's. His lack of formal journalistic, political and sociological education means he is still capable of objective, unbiased views and opinions. A judge of media, pundits and media pundits.

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