Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO) sent furious letters of complaint to CNN and CBS to protest their coverage of Palestinian terror attacks that took place on Wednesday.
GPO director Nitzan Chen wrote to CNN, castigating it for equating terrorists and their victims. A CNN reporter said: “In Jerusalem, four people are dead in the wake of a stabbing attack in a very popular tourist area. It happened at the Jaffa Gate to the Old City.”
“We believe that combining the two murderers with the two victims into ‘four dead’ – is not only dishonest and unethical journalism, but also borders on incitement since the viewer can easily misinterpret it,” Chen said.
CNN has so far made no comment.
In a separate letter to CBS, which initially published the headline “2 Palestinians killed after stabbing attack in Jerusalem,” the GPO director wrote: “We cannot think of a worse example of anti-Israel bias than the unfortunate headline that appeared on your website yesterday, even if it was only for a short time.”
The headline was later changed to “2 Israelis dead after stabbing attack in Jerusalem; 2 Palestinian assailants killed.”
“The first headline is clearly turning the murderers into victims in the most inflammatory way possible,” Chen wrote. “There can be no justification for this. Beyond the immediate risk it poses to Israelis from possible Arab revenge attacks, it is simply dishonest and unethical journalism.”
The New York Times was also under fire, by SSI (Students Supporting Israel) for its headline, “2 Palestinian Attackers Killed, 2 Israelis Die in Jerusalem.”
“Terrorists are killed, but innocent Israelis DIE?” SSI asked.
“Time after time we are shocked and saddened by the choice of western media to cover terror acts against Israelis in a different way than acts against other people around the world,” SSI said in an online posting.
Eight hours after the story went online, the headline was changed to “Palestinian Stabbers Kill Israeli, Assailants Shot Dead.”