Psagot Reportage In TOI, HaAretz Slanted Leftward

Saturday night in my home is about catching up with email and the news after a day’s Sabbath hiatus. Last night I was upset to learn that a nine-year-old girl from Psagot had been shot at close range through the neck. At first, it was thought she had been shot by a sniper, but later reports clarified the matter. The girl, (whose name hasn’t been reported at the time of this writing, though prayer requests have been circulating for Noam bat Michal Rachel) reported that she saw her attacker’s balaclava; that he attacked her while she was at play in her yard.

I learned the news as always, in bits and pieces. Each news story added something until I had a fairly clear picture of what had happened. I saw pieces from TLVFaces, the Jewish Press, Israel National News, Ynet, and the Jerusalem Post. Only this morning did I see the piece by the Times of Israel, which made my gut clench. The reason? The use of the word “settlement” in the title: “Israeli girl, 9, hurt in suspected terror attack at settlement.”


The title’s designation of Psagot as a settlement seemed more a political statement than an issue of delineating the location of the attack, since “Psagot” is more specific than “settlement.”

This perspective is lent strength on examination of the URL for the piece: As a blogger at TOI, I sometimes decide to change the title of a piece after it has been published, but the URL is immutable and remains the same, no matter how many times I update the title display.

I did a little sleuthing on Google and found that HaAretz had also used the term “settlement” in the title of its story on the Psagot attack, Nine-year-old girl hurt in settlement terror attack; IDF: suspect got away. The reporting in HaAretz is known to be firmly to the left of the Israeli political spectrum.


The Times of Israel is the new kid on the block. Readers have been watching to see how things play out: to see what slant this news outlet would have. This latest example of news presentation would suggest that the Times of Israel is veering in a leftward direction.

The use of the term “settlement” in the title cannot be meant to orient the reader to the location of the attack, since the name of the “settlement” is not referenced at this point in the story. A more balanced approach would have been to state that the attack happened in Psagot and within the body of the story itself, to explain that Psagot is a settlement in the “disputed territories” (the centrist term) or in “Judea and Samaria” (the right wing term). But highlighting the location of the attack as a settlement in the title, without mentioning the name of the actual settlement suggests a point of view which is this:

Noam, the nine-year-old victim of this attack, got what she deserved for illegally occupying someone else’s land.

One talkbacker got the point alright:

Matt Comment

From my admittedly right wing perspective, when a nine-year-old child is shot for being a Jew who lives in land someone covets for himself, this is a tragedy.

The terrorist who shot her (note that I have not characterized him as “suspected terrorist”) is not a “freedom fighter” whose acts are legitimate because someone stole his land.

He’s a coward who shot a little girl because she is Jewish.

All the spin in the world will not change that absolute fact.



Varda Epstein

A third-generation-born Pittsburgher on her mother’s mother’s side, Varda moved to Israel 36 years ago and is a crazy political animal who spams people with right wing political articles on Facebook in between raising her 12 children and writing about education as the communications writer at Kars for Kids a Guidestar gold medal charity.