TEL AVIV – An article published in The New York Times equates an Israeli children’s game in which the object is to beat armed terrorists to a Palestinian television show’s praise of a woman who attempted to murder an Israeli civilian. The Times charges that both are cases of incitement.
In a report on Hamas-run satellite channel Al Aqsa TV, Gaza-based journalists Diaa Hadid and Majd Al Waheidi state that the TV channel has become more influential because Palestinian broadcasters in the West Bank have been told to tone down the vitriol.
Citing cases of incitement against Israelis, the Times article notes, “Presenters tried to keep the drumbeat of war fresh as they broadcast from the new set, which shows a masked Palestinian holding a knife dripping blood over a Star of David.”
In another instance, studio guests praise a video clip in which a Palestinian woman attempts to stab an Israeli security guard in East Jerusalem. A Quaranic verse encouraging Muslims to fight also appears on the screen.
The Times reports that Mohammed Hamza, who is ostensibly a talk show host, appeared on a panel called, “How can the Intifada be supported?”:
“This occupation can be fought with a rock, a knife, a bomb, a rocket — all that,’ Mr. Hamza said as a red banner flashed across the screen with the news that a Palestinian who tried to run over an Israeli police officer in the West Bank city of Hebron had been shot dead. ‘And all who can resist, even with their words, in all ways, that is a holy struggle against this occupation.'”
In an attempt to bring balance to the article, the Times asserted, “Incitement, of course, is not a one-way street.” The example given is a game posted on Israeli nationalist news outlet Arutz 7 called “Beat the Terrorists.” Players are given nunchucks, umbrellas, and selfie sticks – all “weapons” used against Palestinian terrorists over the past two months – and instructed to beat back attackers. The Times admits that the attackers are dressed in Hamas green and are carrying knives, rifles and fire bombs.
When more centrist Israeli outlets picked up on the game, Arutz 7 took it down, but as the Times points out, it can still be found elsewhere.
This was the only case of Israeli “incitement” cited.
Honest Reporting author Yarden Frankl asked: “Is a crude game, only currently available on obscure websites, really comparable to popular news shows in which glory is heaped on those who commit murder?”
Frankl writes that even though the game does not depict violence against innocent Palestinians, the Times article suggests that Israeli children who play the game might end up wanting to kill armed terrorists.
“The Times is obsessed with a narrative that shows the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is simply a cycle of violence with both sides equally guilty of continuing the conflict,” wrote Frankl.