By Adam Levick
The Guardian tradition of tendentious, misleading editing in stories involving Israelis and Palestinians is again revealed in a comparison between a December 9 Associated Press (AP) story on an American Christian indicted in Israel on charges of trying to blow up Muslim holy sites, and the Guardian version of that same story.
The suspect, Adam Everett Livix, allegedly conspired with his Israeli roommate “to obtain 1.4 kilograms (3 pounds) of explosive material to blow up the unidentified Jerusalem holy sites.”
However, that’s far from the only dramatic information in the Israeli indictment, as the second paragraph of the original AP story (Israel indicts American in plot to bomb Muslims) reveals:
Israeli police and the Justice Ministry identified the man as Adam Everett Livix, 30. Police said he faces drug charges back in the U.S. and that he once turned down an offer from a Palestinian to assassinate U.S. President Barack Obama during the leader’s visit to the Holy Land in 2013.
The Guardian’s version of the AP story (Israel indicts Texas Christian for plot to attack Muslim sites in Jerusalem) completely omitted the shocking news about the alleged plot to assassinate Obama.
Further, as you can see by this screenshot of a Google search using words about the plot against Obama from the AP story, other news sites – including MSNBC and Al Arabiya – included information about the planned assassination.
So, why did the Guardian editors omit this from their report?
Well, while anyone who follows this blog wouldn’t of course be surprised by such an egregious example of the media group’s bias, former AP Jerusalem correspondent Matti Friedman argued that such selective coverage reflects a larger pattern by which stories are used by journalists as a “weapon to be placed at the disposal of the side they like.” While every Israeli action is analyzed, criticized, and “aggressively reported,” Friedman added, “Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate”.
If anyone can think of an alternative explanation for the determination by Guardian editors that a reported Palestinian plot to murder a sitting U.S. President isn’t newsworthy, we’re all ears.
Adam Levick is the managing editor of CiF Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).