Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Censored by Facebook Again

 When the Associated Press wrote about the announcement by the Israeli army about its investigation of the death of the Al Jazeera propagandist - er, "reporter" - Shireen Abu Akleh, an announcement that its conclusion was that there was a high probability that she was killed accidentally by fire from an Israeli soldier rather than from all those wild shots from Palestinian Arab terrorists, rather than straight reporting or, if it was going to insert opinion and/or analysis, noting there really was no evidence to back that up and it seemed far more likely the fatal bullet was shot by one of the terrorists, the AP article was written as if it was a propaganda piece coming from the organization whose initials are the transposition of those of the Associated Press.

I wrote a letter to the AP and posted it to the AP monitor Facebook group <>. Within minutes, Facebook's AI (Artificially Idiotic) bot had  absurdly deleted it as spam.

I have, of course, appealed that decision, but not only don't expect anything to come of that appeal, but don't expect it to even be acknowledged.

In any case, since Facebook censored it, I'm posting the letter here.

I'm also including, after the letter itself, screenshots of the messages from Facebook informing me of their bot's idiocy.

The letter sent to the Associated Press with the subject September 6 Article "Israeli army: ‘High probability’ soldier killed reporter":

Dear Editor, Mr. Daniszewski, Mr. Federman, Ms. Goldenberg and Mr. Krauss:

The September 6 article ""Israeli army: ‘High probability’ soldier killed reporter" ( takes the results of an Israeli investigation which, if reported on honestly and objectively, would make clear the stark contrast between the morality and integrity shown by the Israeli government and its military and the mendaciousness of the Palestinian Authority and its leadership.

The essence of what happened was that after a rash of terror attacks by Palestinian Arabs who killed at least 19 civilians, including several Americans (something that is downplayed by the Associated Press, as is always the case when Arab terrorists murder Americans), Israel was forced to go into the Palestinian Authority-governed areas, particularly Jenin, to capture perpetrators and to stop additional attacks.

This context was missing from the AP story, but that's just the beginning.

During the course of one operation trying to arrest terrorists in Jenin, the Israeli forces came under constant fire and, during those firefights, a reporter got hit by a bullet and died.

What happened was analogous to a not-terribly-uncommon situation where crimes are committed, police come under fire when they try to arrest the criminals and bystanders get caught in the crossfire. Under those circumstances, it is understood and accepted that, regardless of the source of the bullet, ultimate blame lies with the criminals, not the police.

Analogously, regardless of the source of the bullet, ultimate blame for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh lies with the terrorists, not the Israeli forces trying to arrest them. Yet not once in the myriad articles written by the Associated Press about this incident, has that basic fact been even hinted at!

Immediately after her death, clearly without even a scintilla of evidence, the Palestinian Authority insisted not only that Abu Akleh was hit by an Israeli bullet, but against all reason that she was deliberately targeted. This nonsensical insistence was repeated by the media, including by the AP, which repeatedly treated the unreliable testimony of alleged witnesses as if it was trustworthy while using loaded language to cast aspersions against the very reasoned statements coming from Israelis, who did not jump to baseless conclusions.

The AP repeated that irresponsible "reporting" in this article, for example opining that "the military revealed no new evidence to back its claim that the Palestinian-American journalist might have been killed by Palestinian fire." That "claim" is rather obviously true, while the AP has never pointed out the Palestinian Arab sources have never revealed any evidence to back their insistence that she was hit by an Israeli bullet.

What a double standard!

The article reports "Both Palestinian officials and Abu Akleh’s family accused the army of evading responsibility for her killing," but fails to mention that Palestinian Arab officials repeatedly deliberately make blatantly false accusations or that Jenin is famous for being the site of the massacre that never was, with Saeb Erekat telling CNN that Israel "massacred" 500 people in a refugee camp there.

In the Abu Akleh incident, rather than making irresponsible and baseless accusations, the Israeli army acted extremely responsibly, investigating what happened for four months, handicapped by the very suspicious way the Palestinian Authority hid all the forensic evidence, and did something that the Palestinian Authority would never do: announce that it appeared she was probably hit by a bullet fired by an Israeli.

Given the lack of any forensic evidence and the explanations included in the AP article, it would appear the main basis for that conclusion was that a soldier reported he had shot in that direction at the time she was apparently hit, while - not very surprisingly - none of the terrorists reported firing in that direction at that time. Of course, none of the terrorists would report doing that, even if they deliberately killed her.

Perhaps, in straight reporting, it might be assumed that latter reality would be understood by the reader and omitted. However, given all the gratuitous commentary that infuses AP reporting about Israel, to leave out any reference to that reality compounds the irresponsibility.

Later, the article again casts doubt on clearly responsibility statements from Israeli sources and gives undeserved credibility to unreliable sources, the article pretends "the military provided no evidence to support its claim that a fierce gunbattle was under way at the time that Abu Akleh was shot" while writing "amateur videos as well as witness accounts have shown no evidence of militants in the vicinity and the area appeared to be quiet for several minutes before she was shot." Of course, if anyone in Jenin produced a video showing what the AP euphemistically calls "militants" (being afraid to accurately referring to Palestinian terrorists) in the vicinity or gave testimony to that effect, that person would almost certainly find his or her life suddenly became very difficult, to put it euphemistically.

Although I've never served in the military myself, it seems pretty obvious that it would be very possible for a soldier under fire to not notice a potential threat suddenly coming into view was "wearing a helmet and vest marked 'press.'" It would also have been responsible for the Associated Press to note that Palestinian Arab terrorists are known to disguise themselves as members of the press and thus it can be dangerous for an Israeli soldier, in a violent situation, to assume someone "wearing a helmet and vest marked 'press'" is not going to attack.

In contrast to casting doubt on just about anything from an Israeli source, the AP repeatedly quotes unreliable sources, such as a spokesperson for Holocaust denier Manhoud Abbas dismissing Israel's report as "another Israeli attempt to evade responsibility" and saying "all evidence process that 'Israel is the culprit, that it killed'" Abu Akleh, despite the fact no such evidence has ever been produced or the obvious fact that the Palestinian Authority has kept all the forensic evidence to itself (except for the bullet it claimed was responsible but which, curiously, was too damaged to prove anything) if that evidence backed up his accusation the PA certainly would have shared it.

The article repeats something the AP has included in many earlier articles, a statement that investigations by the AP and other organizations have found that "Israeli troops most likely fired the fatal bullet," but again failed to mention that all those conclusions were based on testimony from highly unreliable sources. In contrast, it unreasonably casts doubt on the obvious conclusion by the United States that if she was hit by an Israeli bullet, there was no evidence that it was anything other than a mistake. The AP does that by adding a statement that "it did not explain how it reached that conclusion."

The article continued in that irresponsible vein and then finished by stating Israeli police "beat mourners and pallbearers" at Abu Akleh's funeral without pointing out the supposed mourners both hijacked the casket and attacked the Israeli police trying to restore order.

It then concludes by opining "the Palestinians want the territory [Judea and Samaria] to form the main part of a future state."

Curiously, to use the AP's own language, the article "did not explain how it reached that conclusion," despite the fact that, given their repeated rejection of proposals that would have given them just that and that it conflicts with the content of the charters of the main Palestinian Arab groups, including the PLO, Fatah and Hamas, the evidence strongly indicates that statement is grossly incorrect.

One should be able to expect better of the Associated Press.


Alan Stein

The screenshots from Facebook's censorship and threat: