Media Bias Twists Rock-Throwing Injuries into Hit-and-Run
The false report, known as the Al-Dura incident, that hit international headlines in 2000 claiming that the IDF killed an innocent Arab boy—later proven to be false—has replayed itself in this week’s reportage of a Jerusalem youth hit by the same car he was attacking.
Video footage clearly shows that Arabs ran toward the approaching car and hurled rocks at it, similar to increasingly frequent attacks that often have ended up in severe beatings of trapped drivers. It also shows that another, younger boy was approaching from the driver's right side and that he probably swerved to avoid hitting him.
Instead, international media termed the accident a “hit-and-run” and blamed the Jewish driver for ”plowing into” the attackers.
“Israeli committee meets in wake of hit-and-run of Palestinian boys,” CNN headlined this week. Its report told viewers and website readers that the Jewish driver "came upon a group of Palestinian children who were throwing stones at passing cars.” In fact, the video shows youths, their faces covered, throwing rocks at Be'eri's vehicle.
The Chinese news agency Xinhua headlined its article “Palestinian youth run down by Israeli motorist in E Jerusalem.”
Israel National News reported the event under the headline “Rock Attack in J'lem Leads to Attackers' Injury,” but the Jerusalem Post wrote, “Settler leader runs over rock throwing youths in Silwan.”
Similarly, the French news agency AFP told its readers, “A Jewish settler leader ran over two stone-throwing Palestinian boys.”
According to the report, the video shows that the driver, David Be’eri, who is the well known founder and director of Ir David (City of David), “knocked down and injured the two boys as they threw stones at his car". The report did not note that the boys were running toward the car in the middle of the street.
None of the foreign media speculated what might have happened to the driver and his son, who was passenger, had he stopped the car. Last week, an Arab mob attacked a car driven by the elderly Meir Indor, head of a terror victims association. They used metal clubs and rocks to attack the car and beat him severely before his vehicle was able to escape and Indor was rushed to a nearby hospital.
In the YouTube video of the incident, the horn of Beeri’s car is clearly heard before the accident, in which an 11-year-old jumped on the hood and then the roof of the car to avoid it. The BBC wrote that “the incident appears to show Mr. Be'eri's car swerving to the wrong side of the road and accelerating towards the boys". However, the car was approaching from a curve in the narrow road, where there is no dividing line, and navigated while being pelted with rocks.
The video footage also raises questions that recall the staged “attacks” that were blamed on Israel in Gaza several years ago. More than half a dozen photographers were on hand for the rock-throwing incident, although no more than one or two attacks are reported during a 24-hour period. Moreover, the photographers kept snapping pictures after the boy was injured instead of helping him.
Another question raised is whether the Arab vehicle that approached—exactly 23 seconds after the boy was hurt—was standing by for a staged event or whether it coincidentally arrived at the scene almost simultaneously with the accident.
The video ends abruptly, without photo evidence of several reports that the vehicle was an ambulance, which would virtually certify it was waiting near by for a staged attack.