Yesterday, Israeli activist Ari Flud was murdered in the Efrat community by a Palestinian terrorist. According to a press release put out by the Islamic Theology on Counter-Terrorism, which is led by Pakistani dissident Noor Dahri, “Ari was a brave man, loving husband and a caring father. He always stood against terrorism and extremism. He was a vocal voice for the nation of Israel and he cannot be replaced.”
Dahri proclaimed, “Terrorists cannot beat us and stop our voice for peace. Even our brave heroes in their daily life of action against terror, they win. Terrorism will be defeated by our brave heroes like Ari Flud.”
Given these facts, one must ponder, how is Israel and the Palestinian Authority responding to this horrific murder of Ari Flud? And how is the international media responding to the recent terror attack in Efrat?
According to a Shin Bet report that the Islamic Theology on Counter-Terrorism obtained, the knife that the terrorist used to murder Ari was hidden inside a toilet booth at the center. A security guard at the mall searched the body of the terrorist, who has been identified as 17-year-old Khalil Jabareen, but found nothing on him. Before the terror attack was implemented, the terrorist spent about an hour at the scene of the crime and aroused the suspicion of the security guards.
According to the family and friends of the terrorist, he acted alone and the terrorists’ mother reported before the attack that her son was about to implement a terror attack. His father said that he knew nothing of his sons’ intentions to implement a terror attack.
The Israeli and American political establishment is in shock over the murder of Ari Flud. On twitter, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman called him “a passionate defender of Israel and an American patriot.” On Facebook, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed, “We live thanks to heroes like Ari. We will remember him always.”
According to Israeli investigative journalist David Bedein, who heads the Center for Near East Policy Research, the Palestinian Authority has provided an award to the family of the Arab who murdered Flud.
According to Arutz Sheva, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Wafa featured the story of the terror attack with the following headline: “Israeli forces injure Palestinian near Bethlehem.” To Wafa, Ari was merely a settler and it was a stabbing attack rather than a terror attack.
Al Jazeera was not much better.
In the Al Jazeera article, “A Palestinian teenager was shot and wounded after carrying out the alleged stabbing attack near illegal Gush Etzion settlement.” Lebanon’s Daily Star was a bit better, describing Flud as an “Israeli-American man” rather than as a settler but they also emphasized that the incident occurred inside of a settlement that was occupied.
Even though the terror attack was widely covered in the Israeli and Jewish media, because the terror attack occurred over the green line, many Western media outlets were virtually silent on the incident. By the time of publication, the New York Times, the BBC, Le Monde and numerous other mainstream media outlets have failed to cover the story. Also, the story was not mentioned on the Iranian Press TV or on Turkey’s TRT World.
However, the Washington Post did cover the story but for them, he was still the “settler” who was killed and thus was dehumanized for having what they described as a “hard line nationalist ideology and strong support for the Israeli military.” They also accused him of getting into verbal clashes with Palestinians and critics of Israel, which resulted in landing him in Facebook jail. The Washington Post would not have been so negative towards him had he been an American who was murdered in a terror attack perpetrated by ISIS within the US rather than a terror attack perpetrated by a Palestinian in the West Bank against a dual Israeli-American citizen.
While some may argue that this is merely semantics and not so important, Eric Rozenman argued the opposite in the book Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media. He implied that it is highly problematic to treat an Israeli American murdered in the West Bank by a Palestinian terrorist differently from an American murdered by ISIS in the US: “George Orwell wrote a famous essay on Politics and the English Language written in 1946 toward the end of which he spoke of how sloppy language leads to sloppy thinking. Orwell said that the political choice of words, in the end, is used to make murder acceptable and that is why this is so important.
It is so important because, at the deep level, it implies that the murder of Israelis is somehow excusable because the Palestinians have real frustrations and grievances; therefore, it’s just killing and not murder.” For this reason, Rozenman argued that media coverage should be altered so that it is not utilized to justify wanton acts of terror.