The Ongoing Failure Of Global Journalism
A few weeks ago the Varkey foundation announced that a Palestinian Arab teacher had won the “Global Teacher Award” at a ceremony in Dubai. That should have set off alarm bells. Even if an Israeli had been in the running to win, would an Israeli have been granted a visa to attend?
This was obviously announced to the press, the news wires all carried it and, because ANY story that doesn’t mention terrorist next to Palestinian is obviously in short supply, this got huge world wide coverage.
Local (to Israel) websites like Times of Israel obviously ran boilerplate wire pieces with barely any modification. Certainly no actual journalism.
Ha’aretz ran an editorial with this headline against anyone who may have raised an eyebrow over how this award was decided:
The Nerve! Rewarding a Palestinian Teacher Who Incites to Nonviolence!
How dare they give the Global Teacher Prize to a Palestinian who’s showing her students how to endure Israel’s occupation in peace?
So who gets the prize for actually doing “journalism”. Well William Booth in the Washington Post actually went a little way beyond the reprinting of a press release via AFP, AP, Reuters or any of the other usual suspects. Here’s what they put in their newspaper on 23rd March. Quite an impressive spread. The online hagiography is here.
To be honest there’s not really much more in there than in the wire service pieces but there is this:
Today she lives with her husband, a lawyer, and their five children in a Ramallah apartment. Her children are studying architecture, law and accounting. One son wants to be a chef.
She decided to go into teaching the day her husband was shot at by Israeli forces while driving their children home from school in October 2000, the beginning of the second intifada, which was marked by Palestinian suicide bomb attacks.
And that’s it. Just a brief mention of her husband and specifically a mention that marks HIM as a victim of Israeli violence! Now we switch from the Washington Post to the efforts of Aussie Dave here on this blog. Five days before on March 18 he posted this piece: Hanan Al Hroub, Winner Of Global Teacher Prize, Married A Terrorist.
Oh, that’s interesting, the Washington Post didn’t mention that her “lawyer” husband has a terrorist past. I wonder how that slipped past them.
But this also piqued the interest of another Israellycool contributor (JPF) and he did some more investigative journalism: also known as searching for stuff in Google. He published on March 29 and also included based on the Palestine Chronicle (which is an English translation from the Arabic source Al-Araby Al-Jadeed) from March 17. He found that this Global Award teacher had the following in her biography:
Hanan Al-Hroub was born and raised in the alleys of Dheisheh refugee camp… She married a Palestinian freedom fighter, Omar Al-Hroub, who took part in one of the most daring guerrilla operations in the occupied territories, the Dabboya operation, in Hebron in May 1980. When the guerrillas were being pursued in the mountains they attacked a group of settlers going from the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement to the Dabboya building near the Ibrahimi Mosque. Thirteen settlers were killed, including their military leader in Hebron, and dozens were injured. Months after the operation, the guerrillas were captured; Omar was imprisoned and spent many years in Israeli prisons before being released. It was then that he met and married his life partner who became the best teacher in the world.
JPF published, here on Israellycool, the full identities and stories of the Jews murdered by this glorious teacher’s husband. Something the main stream media will always cover up.
You see when you look at the Palestinian media, they’re PROUD of the fact her husband murdered Jews. This husband wasn’t released from prison because he was remorseful (of course) he was released in a prisoner exchange. A journalist might want to ask her and her husband directly how they feel about this. What messages does she convey to her students about “guerrilla operations” that kill Jews? But we don’t have many journalists any more.
I’m not sure if her husband still receives his terrorist salary/pension. He’d be in line for quite a high salary, these things increase with the number of Jews killed. You can certainly learn something about the relative values of Palestinian society by the comparison of the salary between terrorist and teacher.
Israellycool published the names and faces of the Jews and the story behind their murder. This is the “peace loving” teacher’s “daring guerrilla operation” by her dearly beloved “freedom fighter” life partner.
It’s all about context. Everything necessary to report this story properly is online and it’s even in English. No need to read Arabic. Reprinting press releases is nothing more than propaganda and the world’s media is failing all the time.
Updated Friday morning: clarified the chain of reporting at Israellycool.