When the U.S. embassy opened Monday in Jerusalem, President Donald Trump heralded it as the fulfillment of his campaign promise to recognize the eternal city officially as Israel’s capital. But that’s not at all how many members of the mainstream media viewed the event.
Deadly protests across the Israel-Gaza border that left dozens of Palestinians dead and more than 2,000 injured marred the day. Many of the protesters were violent and threw rocks and incendiary devices across the border. Many shouted, “Death to Israel” and brought knives and fence-cutting tools to breach the border.
Israeli officials said that many protesters belong to Hamas and other radical Islamic terrorist groups, claiming that “at least 24 terrorists with documented terror background” were killed by Israeli fire, the BBC reported. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that “every country has an obligation to defend its borders.”
The violence continued Tuesday as clashes between protesters and Israeli troops recurred. Protesters hurled stones and burning objects at the troops, while the troops used tear gas.
But many mainstream media members instead chose to focus on and condemn the protesters’ deaths at the hands of Israeli troops while bashing Trump’s decision to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem — a city that both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capitals.
“The liberal media have consistently shown that they’re anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian, and Monday just marked the latest chapter,” Curtis Houck, the Media Research Center’s (MRC) managing editor, told LifeZette Tuesday.
“Yesterday alone, there was an MSNBC guest who argued that ‘all of those babies are dead’ [referring to Palestinians] because of the Jewish people and White House reporters’ demanding that Israel show ‘restraint,'” Houck added. “NBC’s Peter Alexander even wondered if Israelis had the approval to ‘just kill at will’ — suggesting that Israeli forces were emotionless killing machines.”
Reporters indeed bombarded White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah with questions heavily skewed toward protesters and against Israel during Monday’s press briefing. One reporter asked if the U.S. would be “calling on Israel to use restraint in dealing with these protests” and wondered if “there’s no burden on Israel to do something to, sort of, rein it in.”
Another reporter asked if “there’s no responsibility beyond that on the Israeli authorities,” if they are allowed to “kill at will.”
Another reporter wondered when “was the last time the White House reached out to Palestinian leadership,” asking when, “given the high numbers of casualties, Palestinians calling what has happened today a ‘massacre,’ will the White House be reaching out?”
Shah was adamant that Trump and his administration officials believe “the responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas.”
“Hamas is intentionally and cynically provoking this response,” Shah said, noting that Israel “has the right to defend itself.”
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Tuesday during a Security Council meeting that “those who suggest the Gaza violence has anything to do with the location of the American embassy are sorely mistaken. Rather, the violence comes from those who reject the existence of the State of Israel in any location. Who among us would accept this type of activity on your border?”
But MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell complained Tuesday that Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy was “appalling” because Israel made no concessions.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Mitchell said. “Even the strongest supporters of Israel in administrations Republican and Democratic would at that point say, ‘Be proportional and be cautionary.'”
“Israel is now so empowered because of the administration’s enmity with Iran that they now feel, clearly, that they can do anything,” Mitchell added. “It’s just, to me, appalling that we have no vision at all, we got nothing for it, no pullback on settlements. There’s no balancing act here.
The New York Times ran a headline Tuesday declaring, “Israelis Kill Dozens in Gaza.” Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer highlighted the article in a tweet with a picture.
“No violence in the West Bank. No violence in Jordan. No protests in the Arab Street. Only Hamas. Only a terrorist group that urged its militants to attack Israel. Terrorists who refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. And this is how the NYT covers it. Shame,” Fleischer tweeted.
No violence in the West Bank. No violence in Jordan. No protests in the Arab Street. Only Hamas. Only a terrorist group that urged its militants to attack Israel. Terrorists who refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. And this is how the NYT covers it. Shame. pic.twitter.com/5UFHiPP8va
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) May 15, 2018
The Washington Post published a piece Tuesday with the headline, “Israelis kill more than 50 Palestinians in Gaza protests, health officials say.” The piece citied only Palestinian health officials.
“Israeli forces killed 58 Palestinians at the boundary fence with Gaza on Monday, local health officials said, a level of bloodshed not seen since the most violent days of Israel’s 2014 war in the territory,” the piece read.
“Tens of thousands of Palestinians had gathered on the edges of the fenced-off and blockaded territory from midmorning. Many came to peacefully demonstrate, bringing their children and carrying flags. Food stalls sold snacks and music blared,” the Post said.
The New York Daily News ran a picture of Trump’s daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, attending the embassy’s opening ceremony with the headline, “Daddy’s Little Ghoul.” The publication ripped Ivanka Trump for being “all smiles” while dozens were killed in Gaza and made it appear that she was pointing at a picture of a bloodied child while smiling.
Houck noted that CBS Evening News proclaimed Monday “that the Palestinians were ‘dancing with death’ and put their hardships squarely on Israel.” The MRC has documented the media’s pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli bias meticulously.
“Dating back to the 2014 Israel-Gaza war and years prior to that, the liberal media have a shameless penchant for drawing a moral equivalency between the Israelis and Palestinians, and this week is just the latest example,” Houck said.