The Politicized Death of a Journalist in Jenin

June 22, 2022 | Ruthie Blum
About the author:

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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