Palestine-Israel: NYT, BBC and AFP have slammed the “shamelessly” inaccurate portrayal of clashes at journalist Abu Akleh’s funeral
LONDON: Analysts, journalists and more have criticized “inaccurate” and “misleading” headlines and tweets published by Western media including the New York Times, BBC and AFP about slain Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the clashes at her funeral Procession.
Shocking scenes of violence erupted at Abu Akleh’s funeral when Israeli police officers took action against mourners who were carrying the journalist’s coffin through Jerusalem’s Old City. Police forces rushed towards the crowd carrying the coffin, kicking and beating the pallbearers with batons.
Tear gas grenades and rubber bullets were hurled at singing mourners to discourage them from raising Palestinian flags in the old city.
“Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian mourners in Jerusalem at Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral,” read a Friday New York Times headline, which was criticized for “shamelessly equating victims with attackers.” , journalist and commentator Eyad Abu Chakra tweeted.
Shamelessly equating the victims with the aggressors!!!! https://t.co/LVXihRA3n1
— Iyad Abu Shakra (@eyad1949) May 14, 2022
And the New York Times wasn’t the only publication to be criticized. The BBC tweeted that at the funeral of the slain Al Jazeera journalist, “violence erupted” when her coffin “was jostled as Israeli police and Palestinians clashed as she exited the hospital.
“Israeli occupation forces attacked the funeral procession, beating mourners, dropping their coffin on the ground and the BBC tweeted one of the worst cover-ups of Israeli violence yet,” tweeted AJ+’s Sana Saeed.
“Violence Breaks Out”
“Israeli police and Palestinians have clashed”
Her coffin was ‘bumped’
Israeli occupying forces attacked the funeral procession, beating mourners, dropping their coffin on the ground and the BBC tweeted one of the worst covers of Israeli violence yet. pic.twitter.com/tW61Bj9oNE
— Sana Saeed (@SanaSaeed) May 13, 2022
Bassam Khawaja, co-director of the Human Rights and Privatization Project at NYU’s School of Law, called the tweet “essentially misinformation from the BBC.
“I don’t know how to go from what is widely recognized as a one-sided attack on a funeral procession to ‘outbursts of violence’.”
This is essentially misinformation from the BBC.
I don’t know how to go from what is widely considered a one-sided attack on a funeral procession to “outbursts of violence”. https://t.co/kwhLKTmXQ3
— Bassam Khawaja (@Bassam_Khawaja) May 13, 2022
Another tweeter, Kira Davidson, wrote: “The Western media really did tell themselves during their coverage of the murder and funeral of Shireen Abu Akleh. To call this anything but violent repression in support of apartheid is a grave injustice to her memory and work as a journalist and a failure in reporting.”
The Western media really talked themselves into it during their coverage of Shireen Abu Akleh’s murder and funeral. To call this anything but violent repression in support of apartheid is a grave injustice to her memory and work as a journalist and a failure in reporting. https://t.co/8P9LOkK4u7
— Kira Davidson (@kiradvds) May 14, 2022
Even Western news media coverage of Abu Akleh’s cold-blooded murder was grossly inaccurate.
“Shireen Abu Akleh, pioneering Palestinian journalist, dies aged 51,” the New York Times article said of her death. Abu Akleh was shot in the head while covering an Israeli raid in Jenin; She was wearing a press jacket.
Hey @NYTimes, “Dies at 51” is a really weird way of saying a journalist was shot in the head. pic.twitter.com/YoqzHRoDsS
— Bassam Khawaja (@Bassam_Khawaja) May 11, 2022
“This reads like an obituary headline for someone who died in their bed. There is no world where this is acceptable and it happens over and over again,” Khawaja wrote in another tweet.
“I understand that we don’t have all the facts yet. And remember, editors, not reporters, make headlines. But that wording was a deliberate choice and blatantly misrepresents what happened today.”
Jewish Voice for Peace, a human rights organization, posted a more accurate rephrasing of the caption on its Instagram account – “Shireen Abu Akleh, pioneering Palestinian journalist, murdered by an Israeli sniper while wearing a press vest and covering Israeli military violence.”