All of Israel is reeling with shock at the news of the firebombing of the Dawabshe family’s home in the Palestinian village of Duma, in which 1 year old baby Ali Saad was killed and his parents and siblings very severely injured.

Prof. Jacobson covered the story in his post which also covered the 2011 stabbing death of Hadas Fogel in her crib by Palestinian terrorists.

[Ali Dawabsheh and Hadas Fogel]

[Ali Dawabsheh and Hadas Fogel]

I covered baby Ali’s story, the stabbing attack by an ultra-Orthodox man on the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade (in which one Israeli girl was killed and 5 others injured) and the reaction in Israel to these terrible attacks in my post on my own blog.

The reality is that firebomb (Molotov cocktail) attacks are frequent, and almost always by Palestinians against Israelis. In fact, barely a day goes by without such firebombings.

You may not remember, but last December another child was dreadfully injured in another firebombing – one which you may have heard of but which most people have probably forgotten because it was ignored by most of the media.  The child in question was an Israeli, one who lives in Samaria (what the MSM and anti-Israel NGOs and activists would consider an “evil settler” and therefore somehow a legitimate target).

11 year-old Ayala Shapira was travelling in the car with her father Avner late at night on her way home from a class for gifted children to their home in the settlement of Maale Shomron in Samaria.

A firebomb thrown by two Palestinians hiding at the side of the road not only hit the car, but smashed through the window and landed directly on Ayala, causing her to catch fire. Her father stopped the car and Ayala had the presence of mind to throw herself on the ground and roll on the floor to put out the flames. They were in a deserted spot about a kilometer from their home and help was slow in coming so Avner picked Ayala up in his arms and carried her home to wait for the emergency services.

Ayala was critically injured and fought for her life for several days. Miraculously, she began to recover and within a relatively short time she was transferred from the ICU to a regular ward and then to rehab, which is where she still is even now, over 6 months later.  She is allowed home for weekends and for bat mitzvah parties since she is in her batmitzvah year.

Her wounds are horrific and unbelievably painful but she bears her injuries stoically.

I have seen Ayala “up close and personal” since she is a very good friend of my granddaughter Noa. She and Noa had planned to make a joint batmitzvah this summer, but in the circumstances it was decided to celebrate separately.

Ayala celebrated her own batmitzvah a couple of months ago and Noa was one of the guests.

[Ayala’s class at her Bat Mitzvah]

Then just a month ago Noa celebrated her own batmitzvah and Ayala was one of the guests.  She wore a complete face mask but even when she took it off she did not resemble how she used to look like. And her hands… it was awful. My heart went out to her.


[Ayala at Noa’s batmitzvah. Credit: Tzuriel Zoldan]

Ayala shied away from the dancing so that she shouldn’t be touched or shoved. But at all times one or other of her classmates was with her so that she shouldn’t be on her own which greatly impressed me.

So this story has a relatively happy ending although Ayala is going to have to endure years of skin grafts, plastic surgery and physiotherapy in order to resume a normal life.

Ayala is not the first Israeli child to suffer horrific burns from firebomb attacks on cars, as this 2006 report shows:

In his post, Prof. Jacobson mentioned the dreadful murders of the Fogel family in Itamar in March 2011.  It is interesting to compare the media coverage of those murders to the media reporting of the murder of Ali Dawabshe.

Regarding the Fogel murders, contrary to the PA’s lip-service condemnation, Palestinian TV praised the murders; the BBC did not report it at all; Israel’s extreme-left Haaretz paper gave more prominence to the Japanese tsunami than the murders; and the rest of the MSM were not much better.

Ayala Shapira’s terrible injuries were barely reported either. Let’s have a look at some major media outlets:

  • The BBC did not produce even one single report on the attack as BBC Watch reported at the time.
  • The Guardian had one report in which the headline was “Israel hit back first”: “Palestinians arrested after firebomb attack injures girl“. Ayala Shapira’s name was never mentioned in the article, unlike Ali Dawabshe.
  • Searching The Independent brought up nothing although their search function was not operating properly.
  • The New York Times had one article describing the attack in neutral terms although they mentioned Ayala’s name and her father was quoted, this despite the fact that her grandfather is American.

But when it comes to Ali Dawabshe’s murder, the international coverage was extensive. A Jewish terror attack is exploited by  anti-Israel activists and in their own minds vindicates their anti-Jewish feelings. Here are some numbers (without commentary on their content or bias) from similar widely read media outlets:

  • The BBC had no less than three articles about the firebombing, here, here and here.
  • The UK’s Guardian also published 3 articles about the firebombing, here, here and here, as well as an op-ed.
  • The Guardian also helpfully brings us the White House’s condemnation of the murder in which they bossily instruct the Israelis “to use all means possible” to apprehend the perpetrators – as if Israel wasn’t going to do that anyway.
  • The Independent also has three articles on the firebombing, here, here and here, as well as a couple on the gay pride parade stabbing.
  • The New York Times has two articles on the firebombing, here and here.

The double standards in the media reporting of these three attacks, each one horrific and murderous in their own way, are blatant and breathtaking. All should be heavily reported.

This Ongoing War, a blog by the Roth family whose daughter Malki was murdered in the Sbarro suicide bombing exactly 14 years ago, wrote about the double standards back when Ayala Shapira’s car was targeted in December, comparing the reporting to the tendentious reports of Israel’s treatment of a sick Palestinian child:

PS: If, like us, you have tried to find published Arabic-language condemnations of the firebomb attack on the eleven year-old Israeli girl (and no, we don’t count statements of the “we oppose all acts of violence blah blah” since their insincerity is so obvious), and failed, then you already know how thoroughly invested their world is in its addiction to terror.

Arutz Sheva also reported on the media’s bias back in December, focusing this time on the Forward, a Jewish left-liberal newspaper, and noting how the mention that the victims are settlers somehow makes the attack acceptable:

As we prayed and continue to pray for Ayala’s speedy and complete recovery, The Forward ran with Reuters, so forget tears and compassion and an understanding heart. Forget a moment to pause and reflect. Instead they used the incident to rush their politics, always to the most extreme detriment of the Jewish State.

The Israellycool website provides a more rounded account of how The Forward ran the story courtesy of Reuters. But I choose to focus on two passages, this first: “The [Israeli] military did not say whether the victims of the attack were settlers, who are bitterly resented by many Palestinians.”

Really? So if the victims were settlers, implies The Forward, it’s okay. It’s open season. Jews are fair game. Moreover, this sort of gutter journalism does not trouble itself from separating fact from opinion, as in “bitterly resented by many Palestinians.”

Who asked for the editorial — and can it be that the “bitter resentment” more accurately expresses the view of Reuters and The Forward?

Sounds like it when we read what comes next:

“Palestinians want to establish a state in East Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and Gaza, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.”

Notice each word dipped in poison – “occupied” and “captured” and the most reliable phrasing of all, “Palestinians WANT.”

Yes they want and if Israel is reluctant to give them what they want the news media is always ready to be of service.

We must always keep in mind the media’s lack of balance in reporting on Israel, and hold them to their own standards when their bias is showing.

It must also be pointed out over and over that their lack of reporting on attacks against Israelis. whether firebombs or stabbings or even rockets and missiles not only minimizes Israelis’ suffering but makes the Israeli response, when it finally comes, appear out of the blue and – that favourite word of the media when it comes to Israel – disproportionate.

UPDATE (by WAJ): Soon after this post was published, there was another Palestinian firebombing of an Israeli vehicle, causing injuries:


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