As part of its comprehensive global coverage AntiSemitismWatch.com today posted about the latest Antisemitic attacks in France. One was the reported assault on two young Jewish males by a mob of up to 40 people associated with the BDS movement.
However, in an interesting and potentially valuable experiment we have also examined how others have chosen to cover the same subject.
ElectronicIntifada.net in its report of the incident provides a strong hint of its chosen steer through its headline, ‘Eyewitness debunks claim of “attack” on Paris Jews by BDS activists’.
In its opening paragraph it wrongly implies that the report of the attack has been disseminated by anti-Palestinian groups and Israeli media. The reality, of course, is that it has been covered by a wide range of French and global formal and social media (including ASW.com) as a reflection of its contribution to the increasing European Antisemitic dialogue. In doing so there is an absolute attempt to link any negative coverage of potential BDS involvement to pro-Israel / anti-Palestinian sentiment, a classic deflection tactic.
Indeed, ElectronicIntifada.net continually makes reference to any coverage of the original report as being conducted by pro-Israel groups or media.
In terms of its ‘eye witness’ testimony there is no such person. The report does refer to a mysterious Michael (no surname given due to unspecified “security reasons”). However, while Michael does provide some basic description of the surrounding events of the day there is absolutely nothing whatsoever provided to either prove or disprove the assaults on the Jewish youths. Rather, Michael is concerned with his commentary on the conduct of the police and the Ligue de Défense Juive (LDJ).
ElectronicIntifada.net even tries to rely on a statement from Géneration Palestine suggesting that any situation arose out of the actions of LDJ saying, “Attacks and provocations are the modus operandi of the extreme right Zionist militias.”
The post continues with its attempt to create deflection away from the potential of BDS involvement with an Antisemitic attack by suggesting, “Israel has long sought to exaggerate and exploit reports of anti-Semitism in Europe, particularly in France, both to demonize Palestine solidarity activism and to spark an exodus of Jews.”
In short, while the community and the wider population rightly need to concern themselves with understanding the increase in Antisemitism across Europe and further afield, there is also an important need to understand how some are trying to potentially manipulate the media coverage to support their own agendas.