The majority of Israeli journalists simply copied the official police version of the deadly events in Umm el-Hiran last week, effectively painting 20 percent of Israeli citizens as terrorists.
Kudos to the state: the Israeli media is now taking an active part in the government’s incitement.
Last week we were lucky enough to read news reports so ludicrous that they actually posed a danger to the average thinking mind. It was clear that aside from those who were present at Umm el-Hiran when Yaqub Abu Al-Qi’an was shot to death by police, no one actually knows what exactly happened. Thus, the majority of the public must rely on the media.
As a result, we ended up with two contrasting narratives about what exactly occurred. On the one hand we had citizens and activists who are connected to the Bedouin struggle in various ways, and who were watching the impending demolitions on Facebook Live. On the other are those who depend on news outlets whose journalists are not necessarily present at the scene itself, and thus rely on the police’s version of the events when writing their reports.
That is why we started off the morning with headlines such as “ISIS attack against security forces,” or “Vehicle attack by member of the Islamic Movement during evacuation of illegal structures in the Negev.” Yes, the media reached a new level of disconnect in its coverage of the events at Umm el-Hiran, with the majority of reporters siding with the official versions (even if they often contradicted one another).
By the afternoon, the police released edited aerial footage of the shooting — which did not support its initial version — thus undermining its own narrative. One cannot watch Abu Al-Qi’an’s car slowly driving along — before he is shot a number of times and suddenly speeds up — without calling into question the official version.
The same goes for the story of Joint List head Ayman Odeh, who was shot by a sponge-tipped bullet fired by the police. The media was quick to claim that Odeh was struck by stones thrown by locals, despite the fact that there were no stones being thrown at the time. Hours later, news outlets stitched together photos of Odeh lying near the police alongside shots of youth throwing stones, which took place hours after — at which point Odeh was already in the hospital.
Slowly, more distortions continued to roll out — part of a policy of “lie now, fix later,” which has...Read More