Daily Israel Report

Israel Complains Over CNN Coverage of Itamar Murders

GPO Director sends complaint letter to CNN, after the network reported on the massacre in Itamar using quotes around the words "terror attack".
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/14/2011, 4:39 AM / Last Update: 3/14/2011, 8:42 AM

CNN.com

Israel’s Government Press Office Director, Oren Helman, sent a letter of complaint on Sunday to the management of the CNN television network and asked them to issue an apology and clarify claims the network made in a report about Friday’s brutal murder of the Fogel family in Itamar.

Earlier, Israel National News reporters had reported the lack of coverage and minimalization of the barbaric slaughter on CNN, BBC and even the usually objective FoxNews in an article entitled "Dead Jews, Not News".

The report by Kevin Flower, which appeared on CNN’s website, was titled ‘Israeli family of 5 killed in ‘terror attack’, military says’. The quotes around the words “terror attack” suggested that there is a doubt that the massacre in Itamar was indeed an act of terrorism.

The body of the report said: “Five members of an Israeli family were killed in the West Bank early Saturday morning in what the Israeli military is calling a ‘terror attack.’

“According to a military spokeswoman, an intruder entered the Israeli settlement of Itamar near the northern West Bank city of Nablus around 1 am, made his way into a family home and killed two parents and their three children.”

In his letter, Helman wrote that he was shocked to see a report that distorts the harsh reality so much.

“Only you decided to use the term terrorist attack in quotation marks, as if this were not necessarily the case,” Helman wrote. “There is a limit to the extent of objectivity regarding such a horrific deed.”

Helman also demanded an apology from CNN executives over the incident.

This would certainly not be the first time that CNN distorts reports related to Israel. In November, a CNN report on a three-year-old girl from Gaza, who was suffering from a disease caused by kidney failure, was turned by the network into an article that is uncomplimentary to Israel. Instead of praising Israel for accepting Arab patients from Gaza, CNN led the reader to think that Israel is the villain.

Previously, CNN's senior editor Octavia Nasr posted a comment on Twitter, calling Hizbullah cleric Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah who had passed away, “one of Hezbollah's giants [whom] I respect a lot.”

Nasr was subsequently fired from the network after Israel National News reported of her support for the cleric.

For a report on what worried the Israeli daily Haaretz on the day of the funerals, click here.