Lahav Harkov, the Knesset reporter for the Jerusalem Post, took to Twitter to publish lies in response to my criticism of her opinion column, published in the New York Post.
By Ray Hanania
I have been attacked by a lot of fanatics on both sides of the fence. Arab extremists and Israeli extremists, and rightwing American fanatics, too. They all have one thing in common, they hate.
So when I read a column recently by Lahav Harkov, the Jerusalem Post’s Knesset correspondent, I cited it in my Creators Syndicate column as an example of the viciousness by Israelis who work with American newspapers with a history anti-Arab racism to twist the facts and deceive their readers by presenting an unjournalistic imbalance of facts.
My column focused on the wildly imbalanced coverage of the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians. The mainstream American news media is focused mainly on violence by Palestinians against Israelis — many ugly and vicious attacks that are unjustified for sure. But the same media, including Harkov and the New York Post, ignore the equally vicious attacks and violence by Israeli soldiers, the armed Israelis settlers and extremist Israelis against Palestinian civilians.
Most never print Palestinian victim names. Front Page Magazine complains that the mainstream news media is not blaming Palestinians enough for the terrorism. Only The Houston Chronicle and The New York Times mention the victim by name, in passing, as a part of a story on the rising violence.
Neither does a particularly vicious op-ed in the notoriously anti-Arab newspaper, the New York Post, written by the Jerusalem Post’s Senior Knesset Correspondent Lahav Harkov.
It’s another example of how the Israeli and mainstream American news media partner up. It’s not enough to write with bias in the Israeli press, as Harkov does. The New York Post gives him a platform to twist facts in America, too.
Very little detail is published about the killing of Palestinians, like Noor Hassan. She was 5 months pregnant and her daughter was killed with her. Several of her children were injured when Israel bombed her home.
The Israelis have make a big case that knife-wielding Palestinians are the danger, and the media has bought it. But firing a missile at a pregnant woman in her home might be worse. It’s something the media excuses, because the missile was fired by Israel.
This is how the American news media stokes the flames of violence. Israelis are accepting of the violence, as Harkov explains, calling it “daily life.” But that’s only because the media has sided with them and they downplay or ignore Israeli terrorism against Palestinians.
The attacks are gruesome on both sides.
Harkov wrote in the anti-Arab New York Post column:
“As I write, in addition to the countless rock-throwing and firebombing incidents in the West Bank, this week there have been 13 stabbing or shooting attacks, with four killed and dozens injured — though today there seems to be a new attack every hour.
“At the same time, Israelis are nothing if not defiant. I’ll be damned if a bunch of anti-Semites keep me from going to work, or to pray at the Western Wall, or to the movies or anywhere else. Allowing my life to be seriously disrupted would be, as the cliché goes, letting the terrorists win.”
Of course, Harkov ignored all of the incidents of Israeli attacks against and killings of Palestinian civilians. There is a long list of them, some of which I published in the Creators Syndicate column.
And on Twitter, she lies in her writings:
Ex-JPost columnist @rayhanania says its “particularly vicious” 4 Israelis 2 not want 2b stabbed in hit piece on this http://nypost.com/2015/10/08/in-israel-were-defying-terror-by-living-our-lives/ …
Not even Close Lahav. I did not write that your column is “particularly vicious” for Israelis to not want to be stabbed as you falsely claim and twist in typical hateful style. I wrote that your column was particularly vicious, because you intentionally closed your eyes and never mentioned the violence by Israelis against Palestinian civilians. You pretend that the violence is just by Palestinians against Israelis, and that’s just not true. It’s a lie.
Lahav’s column also represented the close, cozy relationship between the Israeli news media and the mainstream American newspaper, how easy it for an Israeli to distort facts not just in an Israeli newspaper but also in an American newspaper, granted this one notorious for its anti-Arab hatred.
In fact, I am against ALL of the violence on both sides. But Lahav’s writing clearly shows support for ignoring Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians. She completely fails to acknowledge it, which was the real point of my column criticizing her. And that is not just “particularly vicious” but it must be pure hate. It’s clearly not journalism. Maybe it was a “hit piece,” but only because it hit the nail on the head.
Harkov later challenges my existence, claiming I am not a real Palestinian because I was born in the United States of a Palestinian father and mother (whose homes and lands were taken by Israel’s government — my dad’s family was chased out of Jerusalem, where Harkov immigrated to after leaving New Jersey.)
Harkov represents a dark side of Israel. There are a lot of good Israelis who recognize that the violence is the result of extremist haters and killers who exist on both sides, Palestinian and Israeli. But, like many Israelis who are extremist, Harkov can’t get herself to recognize and acknowledge the truth that many Israelis are just as bad or even worse than the Palestinians she demonizes as “terrorists” and anti-Semites.
She has to lie. And she attacks me not by addressing the facts of what I wrote, but rather by distorting my views and then attacking the distorted views to make herself look like she is the victim of my column, which she calls a “hit piece.” It shows how she is not even near a real journalist at all.
Harkov receives a handful of pats on her back from other fanatics on her Twitter list who believe her twisted lies, but that’s all a part of the deception of extremists and haters. That’s how they justify their hate. They never see their own victims as human beings, just animals. They demonize in order to justify the violence that their side commits and it allows them to pretend it never happens.
Lahav represents the growing trend of Israelis turning to hatred and justifying of violence against civilians who are non-Jews. Israeli soldiers and settlers can attack and kill Palestinian civilians without ever having to worry about Lahav Harkov writing criticism of their war crimes.
And that’s her shame, not mine.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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