Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known and much-loved Al Jazeera reporter who covered Palestine for two decades, was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper May 11 while documenting an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the Occupied West Bank.
Footage of the moments after her death show Abu Akleh, still wearing her press vest and helmet, lying face down on the ground below a tree, as Shatha Hanaysha, another Palestinian journalist and writer for Mondoweiss, sits by her side and attempts to reach out to her. Writing for Mondoweiss (5/11/22), Yumna Patel described the video:
A young Palestinian man is then seen jumping over a wall behind Abu Akleh and Hanaysha. When he attempts to retrieve Abu Akleh’s body, another round of sniper fire can be heard, and he quickly takes cover behind the tree.
No armed combatants are there. Journalists are shouting for an ambulance. The young man tries a second time to remove Abu Akleh, but fails. He manages to help a shaken Hanaysha hide behind the tree. The footage is harrowing.
The National Director Emeritus for the Anti-Defamation League has announced on Twitter that he is cancelling his subscription to The New York Times, claiming that a front-page story featuring the photos of children killed in Israel’s assault on Gaza this month constitutes “blood libel” against Jews.
“I am cancelling my subscription to NYTimes,” tweeted Abraham Foxman. “I grew up in America on the NYT- I delivered the NYT to my classmates- I learned civics- democracy and all the news ‘fit to print’ for 65 years but no more. Today’s blood libel of Israel and the Jewish people on the front page is enough.”
Foxman’s statement drew criticism from all corners, including from loyal establishment pundits like Jonathan Chait, for his ridiculous assertion that merely humanizing Palestinian children killed by Israel is the same as promoting the ancient antisemitic canard known as blood libel.
Supporters of Israeli apartheid and mass murder are losing control of the narrative, which has led to redoubled perception management efforts ranging from the cringey to the iron-fisted. In the former category we’re seeing them pen entire articles attacking Seth Rogen for tweeting a fart emoji at virulent Israel apologist Eve Barlow and claiming that putting “fart” in Barlow’s name is the same as a literal pogrom. In the latter category they’re blowing up entire press offices and arresting Palestinian journalists. This is narrative management at its least subtle.
Activists reported that social media companies have been removing their content, stating it violated community guidelines or deeming it “hate speech.” Reports also included suspended and deactivated accounts and text-only content labeled “sensitive,” a designation usually reserved for photos and videos containing violence, gore or derogatory images. The “Save Sheikh Jarrah” Facebook group was also deactivated, according to Mohammed El-Kurd.
Reports were largely centered on Instagram and Twitter, with some restrictive behaviors conducted by Facebook and even TikTok.
The mass media are working furiously to spin this in a way that rivals my satire piece from the other day. The New York Times has been cartoonishly re-writing its own reporting in a desperate attempt to make Israel look like an innocent victim of unprovoked attacks instead of the obvious aggressor against people protesting a brutal apartheid regime backed by an entire empire. The New York Post falsely reported that the deaths on Monday were caused by “Airstrikes from Hamas militants” (when did Hamas get an air force?) when sharing an article which falsely implied that those fatalities were inflicted by both sides. DW News framed its headline in a way that suggested the nine children killed had been involved in “fighting” against Israeli forces, and the word “clashes” is being thrown about willy nilly to describe a very one-sided assault.
But it isn’t working.
Social media is teeming with viral video footage of police assaulting peaceful worshippers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, of Israelis cheering and chanting “Yimach shemam (may their names be erased)” at the sight of a fire near the mosque, of Israeli soldiers arresting Palestinian protesters using the signature knee-on-neck maneuver made famous by the murder of George Floyd, many of which have millions of views. Mainstream politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are putting out statements explicitly condemning Israel as the aggressor in these attacks, and the White House is facing some actual adversarial journalism for once regarding its refusal to denounce the killing of Palestinian children and its absurd position that Palestinians have no right to defend themselves.
President Joe Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki worked for an Israeli firm accused of involvement in surveillance of Palestinians under Israeli military occupation.
Psaki’s public financial disclosures show that she earned at least $5,000 as a “crisis communications consultant” for AnyVision.
The disclosure forms for executive branch officials can be requested from the White House. Psaki’s disclosure obtained by The Electronic Intifada is included below this article.
The exact date of the work is not specified, but it occurred between the time Psaki left the Obama administration in 2017 and her new role in the Biden White House.
Psaki has operated a communications firm called Evergreen Consulting since a month after President Barack Obama left office.
This covers the period when AnyVision faced a public relations crisis over its alleged complicity in Israel’s abuses of Palestinian rights.
Saturday Night Live (SNL) has come in for a storm of criticism after airing a joke critical of Israel’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout policy. The show’s anchor Michael Che quipped that “Israel is reporting that they vaccinated half of their population. And I’m going to guess it is the Jewish half.” Despite addressing the topic for fewer than seven seconds before moving on, Che’s words sparked a chorus of denunciations from conservative Jewish groups and supporters of the Middle Eastern nation.
“We find the use of age-old anti-Semitic tropes on last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live to be deeply troubling,” wrote the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, who accused the show of “propagating Jew hatred under the guise of comedy.” The American Jewish Committee claimed that Che’s words were “a modern twist on a classic antisemitic trope that has inspired the mass murder of Jews.” Meanwhile New York radio host and pro-Israel activist Dov Hikind claimed that SNL has a “long record of anti-Semitism” and that Israel was vaccinating its Arab citizens at the same rate as its Jewish ones.
Even progressive figures expressed their unease with the joke. “I watched that and cringed. Enough that the Israeli govt does is worthy of legitimate criticism; lying about what they do is just as bad,” reacted Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson.