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Here's the rules for woke Israel reporting
How does it even feel to subtly weave lies and propaganda into every story?
There are rules. Lots of rules. Like don’t fart in church, or don’t wear a Yankees cap to a Red Sox game, or don’t directly call Hamas a terrorist group. The rules required of woke Israeli reporting frame every report by much of the mainstream media. And those rules are built on some base assumptions, a worldview that has wrapped itself around academia like a python, deconstructing, replacing, and reordering the moral fabric of chunks of society.
Bari Weiss, a Jewish woman with a wife and kids, formerly of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, delivered an important speech (please read the whole thing), to the Federalist Society, by the group’s own invitation. That’s about as unlikely a pairing as anyone could imagine (a point that was not lost of Weiss). The speech she made detailed “the ideology that drives the people who tear down the posters” of kidnapped Israeli children being held in Hamas tunnels.
It replaces basic ideas of good and evil with a new rubric: the powerless (good) and the powerful (bad). It replaced lots of things. Color blindness with race obsession. Ideas with identity. Debate with denunciation. Persuasion with public shaming. The rule of law with the fury of the mob.
It is this worldview that defines how modern reporters in the mainstream media view what they believe innate characteristics of Israel’s current war. The Palestinians are powerless, and therefore good. Israel is powerful, and therefore bad. White American Christians have enjoyed power for many generations, and are therefore immutably bad. Most of these Christians (these days) are Republicans, and therefore Republicans are not just wrong, they are evil. And anytime one of these groups does something wrong, they crow in unified glee that their worldview is proven right once again!
In fact, the “woke” worldview, or what Elon Musk calls the “woke mind virus,” is horribly wrong and flawed. Yet this is the steady diet of how major media reports the war in Israel. Weiss charged her audience to do three things: look (especially look for the good, and look for unlikely allies), enforce the law, and lastly, end the double-standards for speech on campus. As for me, I believe there’s a fourth thing, and it should be done before any of the others, and unfailingly, without pause: call out the deconstruction and the lies when you see them.
I could go through each article about today’s latest phase of the war, in which Israel entered the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. But The Washington Post, AP, The Guardian, and the New York Times stories are all so similar, to save time I am just going to hit the highlights.
To write woke about Israel, these rules must be observed:
Attribute anything Israel does to “Israel says” or “the IDF says.” Never report any action of Israel as a plain fact that they did it, always attribute to “Netanyahu” or “Israel.” This way, doubt can be cast on the truthfulness of the report without blaming the reporter for writing what might cast Israel in a positive light.
The exception to the above is when something Israel does is attributed to a Palestinian eyewitness report, or to Hamas. So when the New York Times reports “Evidence Points to Israeli Shells in Strikes on Gaza’s Largest Hospital,” that evidence is a Palestinian “social media personality.”
Never report Israeli assertions like the hospital in Gaza is sitting atop a giant Hamas command post, without offering rebuttals from Hamas or Palestinians. But be careful not to name the people rebutting, just “doctors and nurses” say it’s not true. Also give Hamas’ rebuttal the same weight as Israel’s assertions, even when Israel brings receipts in mountains of evidence.
Always repeat old lies that are settled, but report that they are not resolved as if there’s still doubt. Like “Israel’s assertion that Al-Shifa was actually hit by a Palestinian projectile echoed similar — and unresolved — claims and counterclaims following munitions that hit the courtyard of another Gaza hospital, Al-Ahli, nearly a month ago.” In fact, Israel and the U.S. positively established that the Al-Ahli hospital was hit by a Palestinian rocket.
Never call Hamas a terrorist organization. If the word must be used, frame it as “Israel says” or the “Israeli military has said that 239 people who were taken from Israel during the Hamas-led Oct. 7 terrorist attack remain hostages.” Or say that the U.S. government considers Hamas a terrorist group. Call Hamas “the armed group that controls Gaza” or something that lends authority to them.
Always look for ways that Israel might have violated “international law” and call them out. But don’t mention the depths of barbarism of the genocidal pogrom that Hamas carefully planned and executed on October 7th, or that such kinds of savagery are considered crimes against humanity.
When reporting on Jew hatred (Judenhesse) in America, always say the attack is “alleged,” like the Boston Globe did reporting on U. Mass violence against Jewish students. In three paragraphs, “alleged” or “allegedly” were used three times, and once “according to police.” Mix “allegedly” with “reportedly” and use both when possible.
The woke worldview does not allow Israel to do exactly what it must do in defense of its nation and citizens. It must root out, tunnel by tunnel, every Hamas member responsible for October 7th and bring them to justice, shoot to kill. Israel did offer fuel and is giving medical aid to the al-Shifah Hospital. And it wasn’t in response to President Biden saying that “hospitals must be protected” (duh). Israel offered both fuel and medical aid but Hamas prevented it from being used. Now that the IDF has entered the hospital, it’s likely Israeli doctors and medics will help. I wouldn’t put it past Hamas to destroy the hospital’s own generators and blame it on Israel.
The final rule in woke reporting Israel is that Israel must always be doubted, and the Palestinians must always be believed without question. Because Israel, in the woke worldview, is evil, even if it is taking ever possible measure to preserve life while executing the grim task of destroying Hamas. And Hamas must be justified, even if it roasts babies in ovens, kills parents in front of children, and indeed does place its command posts under hospitals, while preventing aid from entering while its own babies die.
It must be exhausting to follow all these rules. And even harder to sleep at night. But our educational institutions have been churning out people who ignore good and evil for some years now. I hope they can’t sleep.