I love Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv. Several friends live on it, and I’ve drunk in its bars on many a warm evening. Had I, or one of my friends, or their parents, some of whom are Holocaust survivors, been doing the same thing on Thursday night, when an Arab-Israeli gunman opened fire on an open-air bar, they or I might be dead now – murdered in cold blood, just for being Jews. Jews who also had the audacity to be in Israel.
The attacks on Thursday were merely the latest in the worst wave of terror Israel has faced since 2006, which has now left 13 dead and dozens more in hospital. But if you relied on The Guardian for your news, I wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t read about this atrocity, or the ones that came before it. Hours after the story of the latest shooting broke, even the BBC had mustered a small piece in its World section online, but The Guardian? Its report seemed to be buried on its homepage.
But then, The Guardian’s view of the conflict appears to be that Israelis deserve everything they get. Indeed, to swathes of the Left, Israel can only ever be the nasty aggressor against a perennially innocent victim. Any military action, any response to the barrage of terrorism and attempted terrorism Israel faces? Now that is apparently the real terror, the real outrage.
Even the Left-leaning Board of Deputies of British Jews was appalled by what The Guardian did eventually produce: a headline that made it sound as if, in going after the Dizengoff St gunman, it was the Israelis that were to blame: “Israeli forces kill Palestinian after Tel Aviv shooting leaves two dead”. A headline that was later updated following complaints. Too little too late.
As the Board of Deputies tweeted: “A Palestinian terrorist murdered two people and injured many others. He was subsequently apprehended and shot in an exchange of gunfire with Israeli police. How can any self-respecting publication invert the story to imply that Israel is at fault here?”
Jews in Britain will be hurt but not surprised by this latest failure to fairly report the news. Sadly, it’s unlikely to be the last time it happens, either.