Translated from the Hebrew Makor Rishon newpaper by Rochel Sylvetsky
International news agency Associated Press (AP) has been accused of anti-Israel bias before, but this time the agency has surpassed even itself in reporting the Jerusalem terror attack in which 3-month-old Chaya Zisel Braun was murdered.
Its headline reporting the attack was "Israeli Police Shoot Man in East Jerusalem", referring to the terrorist (!) who was driving the car that drove into people waiting at a light rail station. The original article (later changed), began with the words: "Israeli police say they have shot a man whose car slammed into a crowded train stop in east Jerusalem, in what they suspect was an intentional attack".
Jerusalem Post writer Lahav Harkov reacted to the disgusting headline on Twitter: "An infant was killed and eight people injured, two of them critically, but the AP headline is 'Israeli Police Shoot Man in East Jerusalem'".
Harkov's criticism spread rapidly on social media and the news agency changed its headline a bit to "A Car hit a Train Station in East Jerusalem". This biased headline was also severely criticized by browsers. Within an hour, the agency changed its headline (and the beginning of the article) once again to "“Palestinian Kills Baby at Jerusalem Station."
AP is the most powerful news agency in the world, especially when it comes to reports from the Middle East. The information it sends out is reported word for word on thousands of media locations and reaches millions of online readers worldwide.
Recently, a former senior writer at AP, Matti Friedman,wrote that the agency has an ideological axe to grind and that its reports are routinely anti-Israel. "It is almost impossible to post anything negative about the Palestinians, and one must remember that this is the media source that provides, among other things, photos to about 10,000 media outlets worldwide. It censorship has enormous effect," he said in an interview for Makor Rishon, following an article in Tabletthat went viral, .
AP is not the only one attacked on social media for false reporting. The New York Times, which some call the most important newspaper in the world, reported: "Driver Plows Into Group at Jerusalem Train Station, Killing Baby, Police Say".
On the front page of the printed edition, the attack wasn't even mentioned and the internet edition stayed unchanged. Judy Rudoren, NY Times Jerusalem bureau chief, tweeted the headline and was heavily criticized by users including reporters from Israeli and international media. Haaretz reporter Barak Ravid replied to Rudoren: "This is a weird headline that takes the incident out of context and presents it as a road accident."
Channel 10's Moav Vardi added sarcastically: "It's not certain that the driver killed the infant – that is just the police version."
And the spokesperson at Israel's UK Embassy in London, Yiftach Curiel, tweeted: "It's better than the Telegraph's headline, which said : 'A three year old infant died in a 'terror' incident (quotations marks in the original)'"