Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Friggin' Times of Israel

In general, I have never found that four letter words are more effective than...let's say five letter words or six or seven. It's always been how you use them, what meaning you create with them and yet, I wouldn't be surprised to find that the Times of Israel's best recorded hits will go to those that use four letter words. It seems to be a measure of their journalistic talents...or perhaps a failure of it.

I met a friend in the supermarket today. We spoke of the tragedy in Kiryat Arba today. There are no good attacks, but there are sometimes particularly bad ones. It happened the day after you were in one place, the very day you planned to be there until something changed. You have a child the same age, or with the same name. Somehow, there are attacks that make us bleed more deeply, cry from the depths of pain.

This morning, I heard the first announcements. A terrorist jumped the fence into the Harsina neighborhood in Kiryat Arba and stabbed a girl - aged 16, they reported (she was only thirteen and a half...she'll never get to be 16). "Oh God, oh God, oh God," I said aloud in my empty car. I started to cry...I have to call Aliza.

Aliza is my youngest daughter. She is 16 years old. She studies in Kiryat Arba. I wasn't worried about her. She was safe at home, in bed. My hands were already shaking as I pressed the numbers. By then, I knew the girls name, Hallel Yaffa, daughter of Rena. Aliza told me she was at least a year younger and not in her grade; I told her she was badly wounded. "Her mother is asking people to pray for her. She doesn't have a pulse," Aliza told me when she called back after speaking to her friends.

"I'll pray for her," Aliza said, "and I'll pray for you." Through tears and a broken voice, I told her I was fine and she didn't have to pray for me. I had to go to a meeting. I had to pull myself together enough to smile and pretend. "I want to pray for you," she answered, assuring me that she was fine. She knows me, my beautiful daughter and her calm voice helped me in more ways that I could ever write.

After the meeting, I drove to do a quick shopping and there my friend told me about the obscene headlines in the Times of Israel. Why was I surprised by their f*****g apathy to a young Jewish child who was murdered in cold blood in her bedroom?

Ah, her bedroom. You see, according to the Times of Israel, it's really important to tell you where that bedroom is because, naturally, you can calm down. It only happened in a West Bank bedroom.

And she died. Did you know that? Apparently writing that she was murdered took up too much space. Or worse, it might get you to feel the tragedy more. She died. And anyway, she was in a West Bank bedroom, so really, she probably deserved it, right David Horovitz? Right, Sarah Tuttle-Singer? Right Miriam Hershlag?

In one stinking article, to make sure you really understand where this terror attack took, I'm sorry, it wasn't a terror attack, it was a "stabbing attack", these are the words they use:
  • West Bank settlement home 
  • into the settlement 
  • her bedroom in the West Bank settlement
And, if that isn't enough, the Times of Israel wants to add some perspective. There have been 34 Israelis murdered since October 1. And then, wait for it, lest they be thrown out of the left-wing media consortium, they rush to point out, that "Over 200 Palestinians have also been killed over that same time frame, the majority of them while carrying out terror attacks, according to Israeli authorities."

Well, I'm happy the Israeli authorities took the time to point out that a [VAST] majority of those 200 Palestinian were terrorists. Of course, if there were some that were not terrorists, it is interesting that the Times of Israel doesn't bother to explain the important detail that the vast majority of those few who were not involved in terror attacks were in close proximity to an attack, but never mind. Integrity and fact have little presence on the webpages of the Times of Israel.

You know, there are days that the anger chokes you. Well, to the Times of Israel Staff, congratulations. I can only pray and hope that Hallel's parents are smart enough not to waste their time reading the Times of Israel.

Times of Israel? Israel? You know, now that I think about it, you really should consider changing your name. You have no right to use "Israel" - you do not represent this country; you do not speak for it. You don't even report about it.

A child was murdered today. In her bedroom. In a place she should have been safe. She was murdered by a 17 year old Palestinian. The news was wrong. She wasn't my daughter's age, but the murderer was. This morning, Hallel was murdered once by Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah and then she was casually dismissed by the "Times of Israel Staff" who wanted to make sure that you know that had Hallel been in Tel Aviv, Afula, Beersheva, Beit Shemesh, Raanana, and all the other cities and places that were hit by terror in the last few months, they'd care a bit more.

But she was a settler, Hallel Yaffa, daughter of Rena, who will be buried in a few hours. It is rare that I feel physically sick from reading the Times of Israel. It happens often when I read BBC, The Guardian, Reuters, etc. And I bet the Times of "Israel" would just love that because in their self-centered world they probably dream of being that big. But really, a body without a soul is worthless and a media outlet without truth isn't much better.

The friggin' Times of Israel deserves all the four letter words it can think to use. And most should be used today, for the staff of the Times of Israel.

As for the real Israel, today we mourn a beautiful girl who was murdered - not because she was in Kiryat Arba, but because she was Jewish. Where her bedroom was is not relevant; that she was in her bedroom, a place where she should have been safe, is what matters.

Today, a Jewish girl of only 13 years was brutally murdered in her bed, in her room, in her home. The nation of Israel and those who speak for us, those who report what is happening here, mourn for the loss of Hallel Yaffa and pray that her memory will be blessed.


Rob Davis said...

Paula writes from the heart, and gets it 100% right. David Horowitz, you and your staff should do some serious soul_searching. There comes a time when even in wraps should recognize pure evil, and put away their sanctimonious "centeredness". FOR SHAME!!

Seby Andrew said...

Thanks Paula

Anonymous said...

Paula, you only got one thing wrong in your entire article. You wrote "right David Horovitz? Right, Sarah Tuttle-Singer? Right Miriam Hershlag?" There's nothing "right" about these people.... they're dead wrong and they're lefties of the first order.

Lynne Marton said...

Paula, you know you got it right. I have not gone to the TOI page in ages - and I am not planning to either.
They will never learn, they don't have the capacity to feel what we feel - they're too busy looking for "balance" in their reporting - so instead of concentrating on the tragedies, they will bring in some inconsequential crap. THAT's going to be their downfall - and it can't happen soon enough for me.
And that 12 year-old angel, Hallel Yaffa is dead - murdered by that 17 year-old arab moslem terrorist - and they have no idea of how we - the people feel - because they're too busy balancing - and honestly - in these tragedies, there is never a balance to be found.
I think the term they used was "moral equivalence". All the balanced reports will never be right - it's impossible to balance.
Yes, I am rambling - sorry - it's late here but I HAD to say something.
The pain is here to stay - at least for a while - for some reason, this one hit me more than most of the others - and it's impossible to balance.
David Horowitz - you can't find a moral equivalence or justification for the brutal slaughter of Hallel Yaffa in this - no matter how hard you try - it's impossible to balance.
Sarah Tuttle-Singer - you throw in all kinds of totally irrelevant crap - has nothing to do with Hallel Yaffa - and you also try to balance - too bad - THIS is IMPOSSIBLE to balance.
Hallel Yaffa was murdered by a moslem terrorist in HER BEDROOM, in HER HOUSE - HOW DARE ANYONE TRY TO FIND A "MORAL EQUIVALENCE"!!!! It DOESN'T EXIST! NOTHING on G_d's good earth could EVER justify this - NOTHING!
And yes - I am VERY angry!!!!
A Beautiful bright light has been extinguished - because that Beautiful bright light was JEWISH - and nothing could EVER balance that!!

Netivotgirl said...

BRILLIANT as usual. **sigh**

what's next said...

Im left wondering how these so-called balanced journalists would feel if such tragedies affected them in quote the same personal way. How would they feel? What would they write? Would they be still be striving for the same level of sophisticated balance manifested in the urge to dismiss or trivialise life and death.

Anonymous said...

AN OUTRAGE BY THE MEDIA!!! Shame on them! Our hearts are broken for the family of this beautiful princess....and for all the tragic victims of these vermin. Jan

Reb Mordechai said...

What a strange series of blogs printed all over the Internet. Firstly, I find it very strange that out of the (at least) four blogs that I have found which talk about the original blog, only one (as far as I can tell) mentions the original Blog author's namee, that is Rav Zev Shandalov. I then went in search of his article which sparked all this and it seemd it has disappeared from the TimesOfIsraelSite. However, I did track it down here at The Jewish Press and I assume this is a reproduction of the original Blog post?

Why isn't the original author mentioned by the Arutz 7 blog or Paula's own blog, or by Aliza Lipkin? Both of you refer to him as "a blogger"....???

How strange.

Thank you Paula for including a graphics of the headline which sparked Rav Zev Shandalov outrage. Everyone seems to have misquoted it. The actual headline reads:

"Girl, 13, dies of wounds after stabbing attack in West Bank bedroom"

Even the original blog misquoted it by adding "in her West bank bedroom". That mistake was then copied to all subsequent blog posts.

In my opinion, the true headline without the "her" makes it even worse!

In general, I agree with Paula's (and Zev Shandalov's) critisism.

"dies of wounds" is an immorally sanitised phrase for “brutally butchered” or “hacked” to death.
“after stabbing attack” this was a bit more than a stabbing attack. More like a frenzy of hate.
“in West Bank bedroom” – this is truly a despicable phrase and I agree, the headline author’s intention does seem to be to try and put into context what he/she feels might be misinterpreted as a plain and simple brutal murder of a child by terrorist murderer, when in fact it has a political motive….

Am I reading too much into this, as Aliza Lipkin writes? I don’t think so. Her example of “Orlando Gunman Attacks Gay Nightclub” is invalid because the context of that murder was the guy’s fanatical hatred for gays whereas this terrorist’s motive was not that the girl was living in the West Bank, Kiryat Arba or anywhere else, whether she was religious or secular, left or right wing. The reason she was murdered was because she was a Jew. FULLSTOP! Oh, and I find it strange that Aliza Lipkin doesn’t think labels are that important seeing as her previous blog was all about her being proud of her religious label.?

Something doesn’t add up here.

Regarding newspaper censorship. I have been banned from The Jewish [London] News for daring to confront authors of articles written about Reform Judaism with inconvenient facts, so I know how it feels. I have the original comments and the BIG RED “REMOVED” badge to prove it!

Reb Mordechai said...

Oh, and the reason why I have not commented in the Arutz 7 blog is that they insist on a Facebook account which I don't have.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mordechai - This is Jonathan -- I will try as best to answer your comment for Aliza as she is unavailable --

Aliza really did not want to make it personal or about the author, just about the quote that she pulled.

here is a link to the original article.

As you see it says in the headline that she was stabbed to death.

Also this is the byline of the article---

"Hallel Yaffa Ariel killed by terrorist who entered her home in Kiryat Arba; civilian guard also injured responding to incident; attacker killed"

Clearly stating that she was killed by a terrorist in Kiryat Arbah.

The editor used West Bank in the headline because he/she felt that it was the most recognized name for the area and as Aliza's blog points out virtually every Terror attack headline mentions a location (in fact I have spoken to other editors who say that it is standard).

The use of the headline for the NYT article is valid because in the first hours of the attack motive wasn't known.

The issue here I think and it was expressed beautifully by Yossie Bloch in his blog is that we are so quick to think the worst of others. To look into the hearts and minds of the editors of the Times of Israel and to assume that they felt in some way her murder was "understandable" because of her location is problematic.

In terms of the Label thing. If you want to identify with a religious affiliation, culture whatever that's fine and great, but labeling others not so much.

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