That’s not good enough, dear ZDF!

Dear editor of heuteplus,

After a report on Israel which assumed that the murder of Palestinian children was being taught in Israeli schools caused extensive repercussions worldwide, which the blog, Tapfer im Nirgendwo, defined as one of the worst slanders of Jews by German public television in recent years, I sent you these three questions:

1. What reasons led heuteplus to assert that children are taught in Israeli schools to kill Palestinians?

2. Does heuteplus equate the slaughter of Jews with a drawing of a Bedouin on a camel? (Many Bedouins ride camels.)

3. Does heuteplus define neutrality in reporting by equating within the same documentary governmental instigation to slaughter Jews and children being taught to kill Jews with such things as Israelis drawing people sitting on camels?

On July 11, 2016 I received this answer:

„Dear Mr Buurman,

Thank you for your letter. We take your criticism of the “heuteplus“ report very seriously.

We had removed the inappropriately shortened formulation which led to misunderstandings from our Facebook page and from the description in our online media center. Of course, we are very sorry if anyone felt offended by the original formulation.

The correction was especially necessary because of the inappropriate equivalency in the report. The author did cover how Palestinian children are encouraged in television programs to carry out knife attacks and how Gazan children’s theater propagates tunnel construction, hatred and war against Israel. But, the film also describes how for young Israelis, Palestinians are sometimes shown as a problem, as refugees, farmers and people with whom no peace can be made.

At the end of June, our correspondent reported extensively on the death of a 13-year-old Israeli girl who was stabbed to death by a young Palestinian. That report dealt with the deliberately fomented hatred on the part of the Palestinians.“

Not one of my three questions was answered. You speak of an „inappropriately shortened formulation which led to misunderstandings“. No! Those weren’t merely false formulations; the entire report is false, i.e. the opposite of correct! In Israeli schools no one is being systematically taught to kill people as is being taught in Palestinian schools! You say that you regret formulations that may have hurt someone. The formulations hurt not merely feelings, but moreover fomented prejudice and hatred. Do you regret that?

Regardless of regrets, damage has been done! In July 2016, you claimed Jewish children in Israel are being trained to kill Palestinians:

„Trained to hate? How Israeli and Palestinian children are made to mutually despise -. and to kill“

However, you offered not one shred of evidence for that claim, but instead deleted the allegation after it had poisoned everything for days.

The report didn’t show a single example whereby Israeli students are educated to hate and kill people. No wonder, there is no such form of state-sponsored hate propaganda in Israel. But, in the Arab neighborhood there is. Therefore, you reported on exclusively Arab children, who with knives in their hands, are shouting to stab Jews, and are being taught in school why they should hate Jews and the best ways to murder them. The worst accusation against Israel in your report was a textbook containing a drawing of an Arab who is riding a camel. That was sufficient for the report to be titled:

„Trained to hate? How Israeli and Palestinian children are taught to despise each other.“

That just made things a lot worse! Instead of just reporting that children in Israel are not educated as in Gazan schools to murder and admit as a publicly funded television station that you spread one of the worst lies about Jews. A headline stating that in Gazan schools children are taught to murder was deleted and replaced with a line denoting both Israeli and Palestinian are taught to despise each other. By placing the word „Israeli“ at the beginning of the title, you insinuate that a Jew, who draws a picture of an Arab on a camel, is comparable to an Arab with a knife in his hand, shouting, „kill the Jews!“

I therefore ask you again to answer the following three questions:

1. What reasons led heuteplus to assert that children are taught in Israeli schools to kill Palestinians?

2. Does heuteplus equate the slaughter of Jews with a drawing of a Bedouin on a camel? (Many Bedouins ride camels.)

3. Does heuteplus define neutrality in reporting by equating within the same documentary governmental instigation to slaughter Jews and children being taught to kill Jews with such things as Israelis drawing people sitting on camels?

(Translation: William Wires)

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