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Hatred for the hunter

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Imagine that the story began with the wolf lying peacefully in bed. Perhaps he’s reading a story, flipping channels, or mindlessly scrolling through his Instagram account. It’s a tranquil scene. All of a sudden, the night’s calm is shattered as a door bursts open. A silhouette of a red faced angry hunter blocks the doorway. He’s large, threatening, and armed, locked and loaded, and ready for a fight. Before the wolf has time to react, the hunter rushes over to the wolf who is now cowering under the duvet. And there the hunter slaughters. If that wasn’t brutal enough, he then proceeds to rip open its stomach with his hunting knife.

Imagine that’s where the story of Little Red Riding Hood begins and ends.

That, for the most part is the South African media’s approach to Israel. And that’s what explains the hatred for the hunter.

The spate of terror attacks over the past few months have largely gone unreported. So much so that South Africans would be surprised to hear that five people were killed in Bnei Brak at the end of May, three were murdered in central Tel Aviv in Dizengoff Street, a Jew was murdered in Ariel, and a further three souls lost their lives in a terror attack in Elad on 5 May. South Africans will be unaware that the terrorists used guns, knives, and axes and that the murders were agnostic in terms of the geography and cared little if they were within or without the “disputed” territories.

Without this context, Israel’s operation in Jenin seems random and without cause, and adds to the narrative. This undoubtedly contributed to the reaction to the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, the Al Jazeera reporter killed in the crossfire.

Supporters of Israel have noted the fact that whereas there’s been little reaction to the death of many other journalists in Ukraine, the death of a reporter in Israel has captured the world’s attention. Whereas this might signify an anti-Israel bias, I believe that it also speaks to a lack of context. No one is shocked (sadly) when a member of the media is killed in war-torn Ukraine, but it makes no sense in Israel where, because of a gap in reporting, it appears that Israel is indiscriminately marching into Jenin. There seems to be no reason for it, and that makes the death so much more perplexing and seemingly outrageous.

To this information vacuum add the visuals of the funeral, in which Israeli police are seen attacking mourners. Few viewers have insight into the trauma and stress experienced by the nation and the police responsible for their safety. Most are unaware what would happen if they were to lose control over the event. All they see is the hunter bursting into the room and hacking the wolf as though in a fit of hatred and rage. And whereas I might be at a loss to explain what happened at the funeral, I can hardly imagine what someone less exposed to the facts might think.

South African media needs to tell the story. They have the responsibility to check their sources and to note when publishing an article submitted by a partisan entity. By not doing so and by focusing on only parts of a complicated story, they become complicit in misleading their readers and peddling half-truths. Only when media houses are held to account do we stand a chance of living happily forever after.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Wendy kaplan Lewis

    May 19, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    Wow what a powerful article

  2. Larry Jasven

    May 22, 2022 at 2:40 pm

    And that’s why I hate main stream media.
    Always an agenda. Pushing what they want you to see. 🙄

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