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Daily Mail vs. Israel

Someone told me the Daily Mail (UK newspaper) is right wing (to a comparable extent to US right wing thinking), BDS is small in the UK, and the UK isn't majorly anti-Israel. (I consider anti-Israel a smokescreen for anti-semitism).

I Googled for "daily mail israel" (no quotes) and clicked one single front page article that caught my eye. I didn't have to go hunting for this.

Israel demolishes home of Palestinian who killed a woman and baby by ramming into a tram stop in Jerusalem

The article begins by blaming Israel's policy of self-defense – which includes retaliation for violent attacks – for inflaming tensions. Then:
Violence in Jerusalem and other areas of Israel and the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories has surged since July when a Palestinian teenager was burned to death by Jewish assailants, an alleged revenge attack for the abduction and killing of three Jewish teens by Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank.
This attributes a surge in violence to Jews assaulting a Palestinian teenager. That's not a neutral or evenhanded conception of the causes of violence in the region. It's anti-Israel.

The Jews' motive of revenge is merely "alleged". Biased articles routinely question pro-Israel statements like that, while treating anti-Israel sources by a different standard. The anti-Israel organization Amnesty International (which is presented as neutral) accused Israel's actions of being, "collective punishment and is prohibited by international law". The article did not say Amnesty "alleged" that it's collective punishment or "alleged" that Israel violates international law.

Now read the quote again and stop at the comma. See how bad for Israel that sounds? That's not an accident, it's a common tactic of biased writing. It tries to form an initial impression one way, then to appear more neutral it puts information for the other side in a later clause. (If it was just done once, and sometimes went the other way, it wouldn't be a big deal. But I've read sentences structured like this over and over and over in reporting on Israel, and they consistently go against Israel.)

That's just a few ways the article is anti-Israel. See if you can spot more and post them in comments.

Elliot Temple on June 10, 2015


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