Jenin Background 101
The Palestinian street is controlled by powerful clans and these armed groups are jostling for power amongst themselves. This creates areas in which the Palestinian Authority have been left with little or no control. Jenin is one such town.
In just the last few months there have been over 50 recorded shooting attacks against Israelis that were carried out by terrorists holed up in Jenin. These include the brutal murder in March of two Israeli brothers in Huwara. An Israeli raid on Jenin in January, was to stop an imminent attack being carried out by Islamic Jihad.
Just last month, rockets were fired from the Jenin area at a local Israeli community. Given the deadly intentions of Palestinian terror groups, Israel cannot sit idly by as these groups arm themselves and plan attacks on Israeli civilians. Islamist ideology, a growing arsenal of weapons, a desire to kill, and an ability to carry out the threat – there is not a nation in the west that would allow this toxic cocktail to ferment unchallenged.
The terrorist recruitment of minors
For decades intelligence services and governments in the west have been fully aware that radical Islamic terror groups recruit children (under 18 years of age). From Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan to the Afghani Shia Fatemiyoun Brigade, hundreds of Islamic forces across the globe bolster their numbers and capabilities by using children.
The recruitment can have devastating results, especially as potential victims may be less suspicious when a child approaches. Here are some recent attacks carried out by young terrorists against Israelis:
- March 2023 – Muhammad Bassel Fathi Zalbani, 13 years old. Killed a security guard.
- February 2023 – Jaffar Matour, 14 years old. Stabbed 17-year-old Israeli child.
- January 2023 – Mahmoud Muhammad Aliwat, 13 yearsold. Shot and wounded two Israelis in Jerusalem.
The list above contains just a few recent examples. In 2015/6 many of the attackers in the ‘Knife Intifada’ were minors, and minors-as suicide-bombers were used dozens of times during the second Intifada. For example, on 1 November 2004, a 16-year-old terrorist killed three Israelis and wounded 30 when in the middle of the crowded Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, he detonated the suicide vest he was wearing underneath his clothes.
BBC and the skewing of news
The BBC, like all western media, is fully aware of the truth. Yet what we witness when it comes to reporting on Israel is a reversal of causality. When children die waving the flag of ISIS, Al Qaeda or Boko Haram, the BBC always points the finger of blame at the recruiting terrorist groups. When a Palestinian terrorist is a minor, the BBC points the finger of blame at Israel. Instead of blaming the terrorist groups for the recruitment and indoctrination of children, the BBC ask the question ‘what has Israel done to make this child so desperate’? And ONLY when it comes to Israel, do the media organisations (the BBC is far from alone in this) use this line.
This is part of a 2015 report from the BBC that discusses an attack on ISIL by the French which killed 12 children. Nowhere in the article is there any criticism of the French forces at all. Rather the opposite is true. The entire article focuses on how awful ISIS is for indoctrinating children.
This next BBC report is about a recent attack by US forces against Al Shabab terrorists that killed 30 terrorists. It does not mention the issue of age anywhere. Yet we know that Al-Shabab’s recruitment campaign is dependent on the indoctrination of children – even opening their own schools to maintain a steady supply. 10,000s of children have been recruited – which makes it highly likely that terrorists under the age of 18 were killed in the attack. It seems the BBC journalist did not care about this issue at all when writing this report:
And in a 2017 BBC article that reports on 1300 ‘militants’ killed by UK forces in just 12 months, there is also no mention at all by the journalist of the fact that children were undoubtedly some of the many victims.
There seems to be a simple rule. If child terrorists die in attacks carried out by US, UK or French forces, it is the fault of the terrorist groups that recruited them. If Israel is involved – then it is not just Israel’s fault, but it is also in some way ‘deliberate’.
The BBC mindset
On November 29 2021, a group of Jewish youth were celebrating the first night of Chanukah on Oxford Street in London, when they were attacked by a group of Muslim antisemites. The BBC report on the incident invented an ‘anti-Muslim slur’ in order to blame the Jewish victims.
These two incidents, the invented Muslim slur, and the more recent ‘happy to kill children’ comment are not accidents. They emerge from a mindset within the BBC that sees the conflict in a very skewed way. On the ground, BBC News and BBC Arabic share the same offices in Jerusalem. The BBC Journalists – like most journalists in Israel, become entirely reliant on Arab runners and fixers – who are in turn an embedded part of the Palestinian propaganda machine. Instead of impartial reporting, over time these correspondents become little more than mouthpieces for Palestinian lies.
Today we seem to be in an unacceptable position of accepting the bias as ‘the norm’ and only complaining when it crosses the line in to blatant antisemitism. At no point has the British Jewish community signalled to our communal bodies that this is an acceptable approach.
Across the media landscape
Reporting on Israel across the media landscape is awful – but perhaps it is no surprise if the BOD, JLC, and so on do not seem to want to rock the boat.
Take Secunder Kerami, the Foreign Correspondent for Channel 4 who was reporting on the ground in Jenin. Kerami was until recently the Pakistan and Afghanistan Correspondent for the BBC. In 2009 he was actively sharing material in hard-core anti-Israel propaganda groups on Facebook. The video he shared compared Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto:
Does this man really have the background to give an impartial account of news from Jenin? The 15-minute report aired on Channel 4 says not. For example, when the journalist questions whether all those killed were actually militants (timestamp 2:05) – in the footage we literally see two bodies carried at the funeral – one wrapped in a Hamas flag, the other Islamic Jihad.
If Secunder wishes to raise doubts about one who was allegedly ‘unarmed’ (timestamp 2:09) then it his duty to also inform viewers that most we see being buried, were most certainly affiliated with terror groups. This isn’t semantics, both Hamas and IJ are proscribed terror groups in the UK.
Most importantly though is what is missing – given his years of reporting about Jihadi groups, he should see similarities in much of what is taking place – Islamist supremacy, the worship of martyrdom, the glorification of death, and the desire to kill Jews. This is what Israel is fighting. Not a word of this appears in his report. And his report was one of the better ones.
The Sunday times ran a headline suggesting one of those killed was unarmed.
In the article the journalist Catherine Philp repeats claims that the boy was going to donate blood at the local hospital when he was shot. This falls in line with the ‘Law of the Palestinian Victim’. This law states that every Palestinian shot is either a medic, a journalist, or was on a mission to do some virtuous act at the time of the shooting. It is legitimate to question this story as the Palestinian Ministry of Health – like many – has a minimum age of 18 on blood donations.
And let us not forget the social media images of the victim carrying a weapon and glorifying martyrdom.
The Sunday Times article was written by Catherine Philp, who openly stands in solidarity with the Palestinians:
Philp has long been hostile to Israel, and is clearly blinded by her bias – even to the point of it ‘infuriating’ her:
Her concern is not that Iran, Nth Korea, Pakistan, the DRC, Syria and so on can gang up on the Jewish state – nor that despotic UN member states obsess about Israel – but rather that the US acts as a defence mechanism and protects Israel from the antisemitic, obsessive whim of these despotic nations. She would clearly be a much happier soul if there was nobody to protect Israel at all.
In reality this Times article is just part of an obsessive fetish. Turning discussion over what was clearly a relatively successful operation – into an argument about the death of Abdulrahman Hardan. This just takes everyone down a rabbit hole. No army in the world takes the care that the Israeli army takes to avoid civilian casualties – and no army in the world is operating with 50,000 cameras following its every move. That is the relevant context here.
Enough is enough
The low casualty count – and the fact we can be positive almost all those killed belonged to proscribed terror groups – completely undermines the details of the anti-Israel reporting.
These journalists are not on the ground to tell the truth – far from it – because we can see that much of the truth is never told. Instead they are there to amplify an anti-Israel narrative. Their eyes are not on the terror groups, tearing Palestinian society apart, holding it back in the dark ages – and perpetuating a needless conflict – oh no, all their eyes are on Israel, and how it tries to defend its citizens in a completely impossible situation. Each mistake, every possible error, becomes a headline.
In addition, while every comment from an Israeli is questioned – every statement from a Palestinian, such as the ‘blood donation’ example above, is regurgitated as truth. This is not news, nor is it acceptable commentary – it is rank bias that has nothing to do with true journalism.
But the bottom line is this – if we only object when rank bias that demonises the Jewish state crosses into blatant antisemitism, then British Jews can expect a lot of things around us to get progressively worse.
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