TEL AVIV – Pro-Israel groups slammed CNN over a headline that failed to mention that a bus explosion in Jerusalem was a terrorist attack.
“Bus fire in Jerusalem injures at least 21, police say,” the headline read.
Dexter Van Zile, a fellow at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), said, “It’s universally understood that this was a terrorist attack. CNN needs to get on the shtick and change the headline.”
At least 21 people were wounded, two of them critically, when a massive blast ripped through a bus driving through the city during rush hour on Monday evening.
Initially, there was confusion regarding the nature of the incident, with some reports saying it was a criminal and not a terrorist act. However, Jerusalem Police Chief Yoram Levy confirmed, “There is no doubt that this is a terror attack,” – a message reiterated by both the president and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“CNN is an important news organization and it owes its readership, the victims, and itself to get the story right,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Algemeiner.
“I hope it updates this story, as it has done for others in the past, in a timely fashion,” Cooper added.
Simon Plosker, managing editor of the media watchdog HonestReporting, told the Algemeiner, “CNN’s headline implies that the bus spontaneously combusted. The bus did not simply catch fire – it was a deliberate act and CNN fails to acknowledge this. That the headline is still online hours after terrorism has been confirmed as the cause of the blaze is absolutely appalling.”
Rabbi Cooper called on the United Nations’ Security Council members to condemn Hamas as a terrorist group as well as “all elements of the Palestinian Authority [that are] validating and promoting terrorism 24/7.”
A video posted on Twitter showed residents of Gaza celebrating the explosion by handing out candy – in keeping with the tradition in Palestinian-ruled areas following terror attacks against Israelis.
“Events like today are what’s blocking peace,” Cooper told the Algemeiner. “Terrorism and hatred are what’s blocking peace. We need to finally call out the terrorists for what they are. CNN may be slow in recognizing this as a terrorist attack. The Security Council has been a little bit slow for a longer period of time.”