The Politicized Death of a Journalist in Jenin

June 22 2022

On the morning of May 11, the Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh was killed during an IDF incursion in the West Bank, the aim of which was to apprehend a terrorist. It remains unclear whether Abu Akleh was killed by Palestinian gunmen or by Israelis returning fire. Israel immediately called for an investigation into the shooting, but the Palestinian Authority has refused to hand over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh for a ballistics test, or to cooperate in virtually any other way. The U.S. has also refused to assist, despite the fact that Abu Akleh was a dual American-Israeli citizen.

Ruthie Blum provides a detailed report on the circumstances of Abu Akleh’s death and funeral—which was violently disrupted by Palestinian activists who wished to claim the Christian woman as an Islamic martyr—as well as responses by leading media and government figures.

The context for the IDF entry into Jenin on the Wednesday that Abu Akleh lost her life has been glossed over by left-wing media outlets, if not altogether excluded from the coverage of those with an openly anti-Israel slant. [However], the Internet platforms enabling the rapid dissemination of demonization also allow for swift rebuttal.

The actress and author Noa Tishby, Israel’s first-ever special envoy for combating anti-Semitism and delegitimization, is a prime example.

“Here are some facts you may not know,” she begins [in a recent TikTok video]. “The International Federation of Journalists . . . conducted a report about the number of death cases of journalists in war zones between 1990 and 2020. According to the report, 2,658 journalists have been killed in that period of time. Three-hundred-forty were killed in Iraq, 178 in Mexico, 160 in the Philippines, 138 in Pakistan, and 116 in India. Twelve of the cases were Al Jazeera journalists. Seven of them were killed in Syria, two in Iraq, one in Yemen, one in Libya, and one last week.”

She goes on: “Each one of these deaths is horrific, but you can’t name the other 2,657 journalists. You can only name the one [who] was killed in clashes between Palestinian terrorists and the Israeli army.”

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Journalism, US-Israel relations, West Bank

The End of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and the Rise of the Arab-Israeli Coalition

Nov. 30 2022

After analyzing the struggle between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors since 1949, Dan Schueftan explains the current geopolitical alignment and what it means for Jerusalem:

Using an outdated vocabulary of Middle Eastern affairs, recent relations between Israel and most Arab states are often discussed in terms of peace and normalization. What is happening recently is far more significant than the willingness to live together and overshadow old grievances and animosities. It is about strategic interdependence with a senior Israeli partner. The historic all-Arab coalition against Israel has been replaced by a de-facto Arab-Israeli coalition against the radical forces that threaten them both. Iran is the immediate and outstanding among those radicals, but Erdogan’s Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean, Syria—and, in a different way, its allies in the Muslim Brotherhood—are not very far behind.

For Israel, the result of these new alignments is a transformational change in its regional standing, as well as a major upgrade of its position on the global stage. In the Middle East, Israel can, for the first time, act as a full-fledged regional power. . . . On the international scene, global powers and other states no longer have to weigh the advantages of cooperation with Israel against its prohibitive costs in “the Arab World. . . . By far the most significant effect of this transformation is on the American strategic calculus of its relations with Israel.

In some important ways, then, the “New Middle East” has arrived. Not, of course, in the surreal Shimon Peres vision of regional democracy, peace, and prosperity, but in terms of a balance of power and hard strategic realities that can guardrail a somewhat less unstable and dangerous region, where the radicals are isolated and the others cooperate to keep them at bay.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Abraham Accords, Israel-Arab relations, Middle East, Shimon Peres, U.S.-Israel relationship