Supporters of Israel will be aware of the frequent misleading headlines that report Palestinian terrorism. On many occasions CUFI-UK has reported on how headlines carelessly place the perpetrator as the victim or avoid describing such attacks as terrorism. Now it seems the same problem has reached Europe.
Over the past few weeks, Europe has suffered a series of tragic terror attacks. Headlines are important, not only because in the social media age it is the way many learn of events, but also because truth and accuracy matter if we are to ever understand and address the root of the terrorism.
For example, the following is an example of a terror attack in Jerusalem in October 2015:
The BBC headline should have read something like, “Palestinian terrorist kills two, injures two in Jerusalem”, but instead, the BBC chose to twist the story to give the impression that a Palestinian had been the victim of Israeli aggression.
Now compare with the following BBC headline reporting on the suicide bombing in Ansbach, Germany, on 24 June, which uses the misleading headline “Syrian migrant dies in German blast” even though, as the sub-heading shows, the BBC was well aware of the fact that the “German blast” had been caused by the “Syrian migrant”. The headline was later changed to read “Syrian blows himself up in Germany”
The problem doesn’t only lie with UK media. In France, for example, Le Monde reported: “Germany: A Syrian Refugee Dies While Causing an Explosion in Front of a Restaurant in Bavaria” The headline (which has since been changed) is not about the diners in the restaurant who were targeted by the suicide bomber. The headline is about a victim, who is “the author of the explosion”.
The world has looked on at Palestinian terrorism in Israel, often without condemnation, partly because the media has failed to correctly report the events. There is danger of doing the same in Europe, unless we report the facts. Whether on the streets of Jerusalem, Nice or Munich, terrorism is terrorism and it is never right to portray the terrorist as the victim and be in denial of the root of the terror.
Christians United for Israel UK