A Wall Street Journal report Monday that underplayed the savagery of the current Arab murder campaign against Israelis, and focused instead on alleged Jewish "racism," was engineered by a New Israel Fund-financed NGO, according to an Israeli media expert.
The report highlighted the tragic event that played out when a Bedouin security guard mistook an Eritrean national for a terrorist in the course of Sunday's savage terror attack in Be'er Sheva, and shot him. The mistake appears to have been made because the real terrorist, also a Bedouin Arab, had a dark complexion.
Media expert Nisan Ze'evi provided a behind-the-scenes account of the preparations for the WSJ report on his Facebook age Monday, hours before the report aired.
"In the morning hours," Ze'evi related, "I am contacted by a Wall Street Journal reporter. Let's call him Rudy. Rudy is the Middle East reporter, and is usually stationed in Dubai."
Ze'evi was referring to the WSJ's Rory Jones.
"The editorial staff decided to send him to Israel, in the wake of the events, to cover what is going on here, with a focus on Jerusalem, and the refugee camps from which 95% of the terrorists emerged," Ze'evi wrote. "He spoke with Palestinians, spoke with Israelis. Wanted to focus on the [protective] walls [being put up] in Jerusalem, wanted to know more about the social media incitement campaign calling to stab Jews. He spoke with the police's cyber unit and other spokesmen. I said to myself, okay, at least the Wall Street Journal will provide no-nonsense coverage of what is going on here."
"And then the phone rings and Rudy is on the line. 'Listen, we've decided to go for a different angle on this week's story.' Okay, I said, what's the angle? 'Jewish racism toward black people and the murder of the Eritrean refugee.'
"It took me a while to take in what he had said. Rudy argued that Jews murdering someone just because of his skin color is a more interesting story. I asked him where this argument is coming from, since I am not aware that people are murdered because of the color of their skin here."
"And then Rudy told me that the ASSAF organization put out a statement to the foreign press, according to which the Eritrean was 'murdered only because of the color of his skin.' Truth be told, I did not know what to say. Does he know that I am more or less the same color? Is he aware of the Ethiopian-Jewish community? Does he really think that a bunch of 'Jews' who were in the middle of a terror attack suddenly decided, 'Hey, there's a black guy here, let's murder him'?"
"Does he know that the guard who mistakenly shot him is not even Jewish, but a Bedouin? Does he even understand the tension which all of the nation's citizens are under, for fear that they will be stabbed for being Jewish? Does he even know that this NGO will do everything to appear in the press, in order to assuage the donors from overseas? Does he know the New Israel Fund?
"A maze of questions, that I am certain will utterly confuse the reporter," Ze'evi ruminated.
"I tried to understand why he thinks that this is the story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He explained to me that according to the NGO, Israel is a racist society, which doesn't like black people, and that people who look like Arabs suffer and are murdered. That simple. I guess I also need to fear, according to this argument… tens of thousands of Ethiopians should also fear that a Jew will come and murder them for their skin color."
"In short," he summed up bitterly, "that will be this week's Wall Street Journal Middle East story this week – courtesy of ASSAF, the organization for assisting refugees and asylum seekers in Israel. Jews hate blacks and murder them like the Arabs and anyone who looks like them."
The WSJ piece did indeed place much of its focus on allegations of Jewish racism. It quoted a headline in the Yediot Aharonotnewspaper that says Zarhum died "just because of his skin color."
Michal Pinchuk, director of Assaf, told the WSJ Zarhum "was brutally attacked because of his skin color and his life ended tragically." Similar accusations were cited from a leftist MK: “That we would lynch a man who was shot and unconscious, who laid on the floor and wasn’t endangering anyone, just because he’s black?” lawmaker Merav Michaeli of the Zionist Union said on her Facebook page. “We will have to live with ourselves.”
The report said that "weeks of bloodshed that have left eight Israelis dead since mid-September. Palestinian health authorities say 44 Palestinians have been killed and Israel police say 18 of those were suspected assailants."
ASSAF did not respond to a request by Arutz Sheva for comment.
The Wall Street Journal declined to comment.