water is essential to all life, for many people around the world, access to
clean drinking water is still a luxury they cannot afford. As of 2018, 785
million people worldwide do not have access to clean water, according to the
United Nations’ water security organization WaterAid. According to the World
Health Organization, every minute a newborn dies somewhere in the world from an
infection affiliated with a lack of access to safe water.
extracting safe drinking water out of thin, yet humid, air to turning rain into
drinkable water, below are five Israeli startups trying to minimize the world’s
Note the founders of WATA Solutions below - is this apartheid?
Arye Kohavi, Avi Peretz, - Based in Rishon LeZion
develops atmospheric water generators (AWG) that are able to extract clean and
safe drinking water from the naturally occurring humidity in the air.
Watergen’s technology can be used to provide safe water to places suffering
from water shortage or lacking water infrastructure.
Kfar Giladi in northern Israel
designs and operates customized filtration systems engineered to remove certain
chemical contaminants from wastewater, making it clean enough to drink. The
company also cleans polluted water for industrial and agricultural purposes.
Mino Negrin - Based in Caesarea, south
manufactures and distributes water and wastewater treatment systems using
medical filtration devices. The company’s technology is used in greenhouses to
recycle drain water by removing pathogens, viruses, and other microbiological
pollutants while leaving micronutrient levels unchanged.
Muhanad Alkharaz, Bar Horowitz - Based in Jerusalem
Solution’s technology uses sensors to provide households, water companies, and
municipalities with real-time data on their water, including purity levels and
Moshe Belilty, Eyal Yassky-Weiss - Based in Ramat Gan
Off-Grid Solutions develops a portable lightweight rain-harvesting device
designed to sustainably provide clean drinking water to off-grid communities
and disaster-stricken areas.
Below, a friend who blogs in "Grandma's Army" relates of the pride felt with the advancement of her grandchildren in the IDF
four grandchildren still serving in the IDF are advancing in their particular
fields. We are very proud of my granddaughter who just finished an officer’s
course. Also of my grandson, serving in the armoured corps, who has just
finished a preliminary officer’s course. The two army celebrations took place
last month on the same day.
who is one of triplets, gave me a brief account of his activities in the
armoured corps. He began his army training a year ago. He admits that it was
hard for him to adjust to army discipline and in the many pressures involved in
army life - especially since he had previously been studying in a
Yeshiva (Talmudical college) for over a year. However, the congenial
atmosphere and the comradeship of his fellow soldiers helped to overcome the
difficulties. Spending hours together in a very confined space turned them
almost into a family unit . Although they were very strict, he felt
only respect for his excellent commanding officers. In particular, the
commander of the corps who dealt with each request with understanding and
even enjoyed the advanced training course which was very interesting. Although
some of the crew found it difficult to spend weeks-on-end
training in the field, Amitai even enjoyed the experience, since he
was used to being out of doors. The work on the tanks is
sometimes very hard and there were times when the crews were up all night in
order to finish up the work involved. At least he is set for life when it comes
to handling hammers, spanners, screwdrivers and other various gadgets. His
training has also taught him perseverance and how to work as a team.
decided to continue afterwards in the officer’s course because many commanders
are needed in the armoured corps and he felt it important to contribute
whatever he could. He has become more mature and responsible since he joined
the IDF and more aware of the importance of defending one’s country.
is the youngest of five children and, apart from the moral suppport she enjoys
from her family, her father and brothers help her on various assignments and
from their experience in the IDF. One of her brothers is still serving as a
soldiers who participated in the officer’s course came from all segments of the
IDF. They hailed from all over the country and from very different
backgrounds. The company was divided into teams, which enabled her
to become familiar with the various corps and the tasks involved –
to picture the IDF as a whole.
officer’s course was interesting and more theoretical than practical, according
to Adi. They learned a lot about leadership and the ability of commanding
I asked her if she envies Jewish youth from the diaspora who are
free to do their own thing after high school, the answer was categorically in
the negative. She feels that they are missing out on a lot. The army enables
her to get to know all sectors of the population. It offers challenges that she
wouldn’t experience in civilian life. To understand that you are capable of
much more than you believed of yourself. Above all, it places considerable
responsibility on one’s shoulders which can be very satisfying and
By World Israel News Staff Despite a case of poisoning earlier this year and fears of extinction, 2019 was a productive year for vultures in Israel, reports Maariv Online, citing figures issued by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. In fact, a new record was set, says the report. Twenty-four vulture eggs were hatched in breeding programs in 2019 compared to 19 in each of the years 2016-2018, according to the figures. The incubating process takes place as part of a special project called “Spreading Wings.” Ten vultures were poisoned on the Golan Heights in May. The intention of the assailant was apparently to carry out an extermination to protect his own farm. However, in the process, he poisoned the vultures and eight of them, half of the total population, did not survive, according to reports. Therefore, this year’s productivity is considered especially encouraging. The breeding in the Spreading Wings project takes place in the Mount Carmel area in northern Israel. The fears of extinction of vultures have prevailed for years, says Maariv Online. The counter-effort is said to include veterinary research, taking measures against poisoning, preserving nests, preventing electrocution, greater supervision of feeding, and educating the public. Spreading Wings began in 1996 but was less successful in its first years in “revitalizing” the vulture population, according to Ohad Hazofeh, an ecologist at the Nature and Parks Authority, cited by the news outlet. Vultures have since been “imported” from Cyprus, Armenia, and Spain, he says, in an effort to enlarge the seed supply. Even as he speaks optimistically of the future, Hazofeh calls on the Israeli government to continue aggressively with law enforcement, legislation, and stricter penalties in acting to protect the vultures and the animal world in general.
WASHINGTON - The United Nations General Assembly
adopted an Israeli-led resolution this week.
Some 147 countries voted in favor. Arab League
countries, who usually automatically vote against Israeli-led resolutions,
decided to abstain.
The Israeli resolution, titled "Agricultural
Technologies for Development," is intended to help improve access to
agricultural technology capabilities for developing countries, helping fulfill
the secretary-general's goal of promoting sustainable development, the Israeli
Mission to the UN said in a statement.
"The resolution speaks to Israel's strong
capabilities in agriculture, irrigation and water management practices [and in]
youth job creation in agriculture, and is consistent with Israel's longstanding
cooperation with other countries, especially in Africa," the statement
reads. "The overwhelming support the resolution received indicates its
importance for many nations around the world, especially developing
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny
Danon, said he is satisfied with the passage of the Israeli initiative.
"Israeli technologies have made the State of
Israel a global power of knowledge and innovation that contributes to the
global development effort," he said. "The countries that chose not to
support us are the very ones that need to implement this resolution the most. Their
decision to stick to their political biases only ends up harming their
citizens, who are thirsty for the technology and advancement opportunities
outlined in the resolution."
The subject of “settlements”
has been made a top factor in the Palestinian fight to discredit and eventually
overcome Israel. It is discussed constantly in the media, and has been made
into a big political issue in Europe, America, generally. You’d think the
matter concerned at least China or Russia and was of world-wide importance. But
it does concern the Jews, so the facts are that it concerns only one out of about
200 cases of building in “occupied” land by other nations worldwide, and then it is only on a dot on the map.
I'd class the supporters of
the Palestinian narrative - that the "settlements" are illegal and
are preventing peace in the M.E. - including representatives of many countries,
large numbers of students and others – into two categories:
a) those who are
influenced by antisemitism and
b) those who are ignorant of the facts and have
accepted blindly what they’ve heard from spokesmen or the media.
I'm sure that 95% of
them haven’t the time or the interest, so haven’t checked the true legal
situation via reliable sources. This probably applies to Jewish people as well,
since most people can’t start reading legal opinions about everything that’s
going on. I have made the effort, however, as it’s so important to us living
I came across a fairly short article in the papers today. It gives, what I think is a
very good summary of the important facts of the matter, and so a basic
understanding of what we Israelis see as the true situation, and the flaws in
the situation as it is broadcast and accepted by a huge majority world wide
(for the two reasons mentioned above).
There is one more relatively
minor factor, regularly used in discussions on the matter, which is not
mentioned in the article. So just to add this to your ammunition if needed:
Another clause in the Geneva
Convention (after WWII) on which most arguments are based, states that one
state can’t occupy land captured from another state in a war. The
Israeli (and now apparently also American) position is that the so-called West
Bank was taken back from Jordan in the war they started in order to destroy the
new Israeli state, but was never recognized as part of Jordan i.e. it was never
part of another state. All the opposition choose to ignore that small
problem, while accepting and relying absolutely on another clause !!
Last note before you read the short article: Just to remind, once again, that the whole subject is a total red
herring, since the one and only factor actually preventing any progress in the
non-existent “peace process” is the absolute refusal of the Palestinians
to EVER consider acceptance of any Jewish independent state in the M.E. All the
rest could be settled in no time if they dropped that eternal brick wall.
The Foreign Ministry hosted a delegation of Arab
journalists last week – including from countries with which Israel has no
diplomatic relations – in an attempt to chip away at Israel-hatred in the
“My goal is to bring people here to get to know the
real Israel, to see it first hand, and not through television or social media,
and see how Israel is unjustly slandered,” said Hassan Kaabia, the Foreign
Ministry’s spokesman for the Arabic media who organized and accompanied the
This is the second such delegation in four months.
The delegation, which toured the country for five
days, included senior journalists from Saud Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Egypt, as
well as two musicians from Iraq.
Israel has no ties with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Iraq,
and Kaabia said he did not know whether the governments of those countries knew
about the visits.
“I deal with people, not governments,” he said,
adding that he knows the members of the delegation from interactions he has had
with them on social media. The Foreign Ministry has an active Arabic Facebook
and Twitter pages.
Unlike the six person delegation that came in July,
where one member – Saudi blogger Mahmoud Saud – was willing to be identified
and go public, none of the members of the current delegation would identify
themselves. Saud was cursed, jeered and spat upon by Palestinians when he
visited the Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount during his visit here. He
frequently posts pro-Netanyahu items on social media.
The Saudi journalist in the most recent group, whom
Kaabia said was very well known in his home country, said in reference to the
Palestinians in an interview with Army Radio’s Jacky Hugi that he did not
understand why there had to be problems with Israel because of a “small
minority” who had refused the opportunity to create a state in 1947 because
they were busy asking why Jews should have an independent state.
Faced with a sea of hatred toward Israel in the Arab
world, Kaabia said that these delegations – though small – can have a major
impact. He said that the members of the current delegation are well known in
their countries – with a YouTube release of one of the Iraqi musicians songs
garnering 24 million views – and that they will all write about their visit, as
well as talk about it with their family and friends.
The delegation met for two hours with Foreign
Minister Israel Katz, as well as other Foreign Ministry officials and Knesset
members from across the political spectrum. They also toured Jerusalem, Tel
Aviv and other parts of the country.
As to why they were not willing to go public, Kaabia
said that their reply was that the Arab street is not yet ready for open ties
with Israel, “So let’s do it slowly.”
The delegation’s visit came the same week that an
organization called the Arab Council for Regional Integration held an inaugural
meeting in London and supported engagement with Israel.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday posted a
link to a New York Times story on the conference, and wrote: “It’s time for
Arab countries to abandon boycotts and engage #Israel.” Pompeo added that “Arab
thinkers who risk their lives to bravely advocate a regional vision of peace
and coexistence shouldn’t face retribution. We need dialogue.”
Israel struck tens of Iranian targets in Syria
following rocket attacks on the Jewish state earlier the day.
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday night carried
out a series of strikes against tens of Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria in
response to a rocket attack by
Iranian-backed militia on Israel earlier in the day.
The IDF stated that it carried out “wide-scale strikes
on Iranian Quds Force and Syrian Armed Forces targets in Syria in response to
the rockets fired at Israel by an Iranian force in Syria” early Tuesday
The targets included surface-to-air missiles,
headquarters, weapons caches and military bases in Syria, the IDF stated, while
providing a detailed map of the locations of the attacks.
During the IAF’s strike, the Syrian air defense fired missiles
at the IAF fighters, despite “clear warnings” by Israel to Syria to refrain
from such fire. The IAF responded by destroying a number of Syrian aerial
defense batteries, the IDF said.
While Syria’s official SANA news reported that two
people were killed in the attack and another two were injured, a Britain-based
war monitoring group reported that 11 people were killed, with seven of the
casualties assumed to be Iranians, according to the Associated
The Israeli attack was conducted from the Golan Heights
and from Lebanese airspace, and the “majority” of the Israeli missiles were
intercepted by Syria’s air defense system, the report claimed.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which
has assets on the ground in Syria, reported that the Israeli strike generated
explosions that were heard in the capital Damascus and its vicinity.
The SOHR noted that the Israeli attacks were conducted
in areas “where the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian militias are active,” and
that the strike targeted “sites from which the four missiles were
launched from inside the Syrian territory” on the Golan Heights earlier in the
Let’s be clear where we stand vis
a vis International Law
"The most important
distinction in international law and specifically about the rules of war is
that here is a dividing line. On one side are combatants; on the other side are
non-combatants. He added that one "cannot fight people who are innocent
civilians. You can cross that line accidentally, but you can’t cross it
deliberately. If you deliberately target civilians, that’s a war crime." –
stated the Prime Minister
However, he continued,
"Terrorists, including the terrorists in Gaza do something entirely
different. They target civilians deliberately. They target our cities; they
target Ashkelon, as they did today. They target the communities around Gaza.
They target Tel Aviv. They target Jerusalem. They deliberately target
civilians. That’s a war crime. Now, they commit a second war crime. They not
only target civilians, they hide behind civilians in civilian areas, so that
they know that we, who are trying to avoid hitting civilians, will not hit them
in their places of hiding. So they’re committing a double war crime. They’re
targeting civilians and they’re hiding behind civilians, trying to basically
receive a safe situation where they can keep on doing this."
Meanwhile, the ruling of the European Union court against
Israel re labelling of products that while the EU chooses not to join the
sanctions on Iran, it imposes economic-diplomatic restrictions on Israel . The hypocrisy
The European Court of
Justice has just published its interpretation of “the underlying rules
concerning indication of origin in connection to the matter of labeling
agricultural products” in response to the case brought by the Psagot Winery (a
case that former Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has now termed
The main thrust of the judgment—despite all the denials and obfuscation by the
European Union—is to enable a boycott of those wines as well as other grown,
produced and manufactured foodstuffs and items in the Jewish communities of
Judea and Samaria, the Jordan Valley and parts of Jerusalem:
Point 1 -“Foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the State of
Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin, accompanied,
where those foodstuffs come from an Israeli settlement within that territory.”
Veiled by a humanitarian concern for freedom of information and in taking a
stand that there is illegality in the existence of the “settlements,” the
European Union has now redoubled its political efforts to ethnically cleanse
the heart of the Jewish homeland of Jews.
In claiming that there is a failure to indicate the country of origin which
then “might mislead consumers into believing that that foodstuff has a country
of origin or a place of provenance different from its true country of origin”
is itself a misleading claim.
After all, foodstuffs produced by Arabs in the same area, if labeled as
“Palestine” (as, for example, the Taybeh Brewing Company does) would be quite
misleading as there is no country or state by that name. It is a geographical
name of a region. In fact, it became “Palestine” in the modern era, sanctioned
by international law, only because of Zionism and the just goal to
reconstituting in that area the Jewish national home.
Moreover, Israel legally maintains a belligerent occupation—that is, one whose
origin is as a result of hostilities. The hostilities themselves—namely, the
1967 Six-Day War—were of a self-defense nature against aggression. As the court
notes, the relevant regulation refers equally to a “territory” and a “state.”
To label the wine as made in “Judea” or “Binyamin” or “Samaria” should suffice.
Israel surely exercises its “full range of powers recognized by international
law” in those territories.
Moreover, as the court notes:
Point 2 - it follows from the very wording of the Union Customs Code that that
term [the concept of ‘country of origin’] refers to entities other than
‘countries’ and, therefore, other than ‘States.’ ”
It would logically follow from all that verbiage that labeling a bottle of
Psagot wine or dates from the Jordan Valley as “Binyamin, State of Israel” or
“Jordan Valley, State of Israel” is not misleading and falls within the
geographic definition required. After all, the court, as I understand, agrees
with this as so:
Point 3 - “the indication that a foodstuff comes from an ‘Israeli settlement’
located in one of the ‘territories occupied by the State of Israel’ may be
regarded as an indication of the ‘place of provenance,’ provided that the term
‘settlement’ refers to a specific geographical area.”
But no, the court insists that its judgment is intended “to prevent consumers
from being misled as to the fact that the State of Israel is present in the
territories concerned as an occupying power and not as a sovereign entity.” But
Israel does exercise its legal sovereign power in being the legitimate occupier
of those areas in accordance with international law. Occupation per se is not
Point 4 - “first of all underlined that the settlements established in some of
the territories occupied by the State of Israel are characterised by the fact
that they give concrete expression to a policy of population transfer conducted
by that State outside its territory, in violation of the rules of general
international humanitarian law.”
That “characterization” ensues from the label and an “omission of that
indication … might mislead consumers. Consumers have no way of knowing, in the
absence of any information capable of enlightening them in that respect.”
But why should consumers need to know about a supposed “violation” of
humanitarian law”? I can only guess, despite E.U. protestations otherwise, that
it wishes to point the consumers in the direction of boycott. There can be no
other reason. As the court makes explicit:
the provision of information to consumers must enable them to make informed
choices, with regard not only to health, economic, environmental and social
considerations, but also to ethical considerations and considerations relating
to the observance of international law. The Court underlined in that respect
that such considerations could influence consumers’ purchasing decisions.
Quite clearly, they intend to educate consumers to take “ethical
considerations” that can only lead to conclusions for the practice of boycott.
Moreover, the court’s reasoning is quite shakey.
The official response from the E.U. Spokesperson’s Office in Tel Aviv states : The
E.U. does not support any form of boycott or sanctions against Israel. The E.U.
rejects attempts by the campaigns of the so-called “Boycott, Divestment,
Sanctions” (BDS) movement to isolate Israel.
I beg to differ with that assertion.
NGO-Monitor detailed on Tuesday the corrosive financial and political backdrop
to the decision, which includes that fact that NGOs, as a stepping-stone to
boycotts, pushed for labeling and, ironically, receive large funds from these
same E.U. governments. There is a lot more.
Of course, there is another way out.
Why not initiate direct marketing to Europe, which, I think, is already done on
a small scale? Internet sales. It could be, facetiously but advantageously,
marketed as “The Wine Banned By Brussels.” It would tell the consumer that the
E.U. bureaucracy wants to prevent him from making quality purchases based on a
political outlook. As a friend suggested, for Judea and Samaria-friendly
people, “the E.U. wants you not to purchase this wine because they are made by
Jews in places the E.U. forbids Jews to live.”
Jews are by right in Judea and Samaria. The League of Nations confirmed our
historical connection to these territories. In the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan,
the terms “Judea” and “Samaria” are employed. Jews were not in Judea and
Samaria between 1948-1967 due to an inhumanitarian and illegal ethnic-cleansing
operation conducted by Arabs between 1920 and 1948. Our presence there
post-1967 is a result of Arab terror and aggression.
views with great concern the recently published findings of the Office of
Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) investigation into UNRWA and calls for the
full and transparent release of all findings of the investigation. These
findings strengthen Israel's claims that deep and comprehensive change in the
operational model of the agency is required.
the leadership of UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl over the past
several years, the politicization of UNRWA has expanded, the budget deficit has
inflated, and the operational model has become unsustainable. The stepping
aside of Krähenbühl is but the first step in a long process that is needed to
eliminate corruption, increase transparency, and prevent politicization of the
calls on the international community and all contributing countries to take
part in an evaluation process to create a new and more effective operational
recent developments prove that the automatic renewal of UNRWA's mandate for
three more years is absolutely absurd, immoral, and unreasonable.
of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz stated: "UNRWA's conduct illustrates that
the agency is part of the problem, and not part of the solution. The agency
perpetuates the refugee issue in a political manner, and in doing so distances
any possibility for a future resolution. The international community needs to
find a new model that will provide humanitarian assistance to those who truly
need it, and must remove from the agenda the futile idea of the return of the
United Nations has begun exploring alternatives to the mandate of UNRWA, the
relief agency it created in 1949 to specifically cater to Palestinian refugees.
latest steps come against the backdrop of allegations that the agency’s actions
are tainted by corruption. UNRWA directors have been accused of abusing authority for
their personal gain and suppressing legitimate dissent “to otherwise achieve
their personal objectives.”
years Israel has accused UNRWA of being grossly one-sided in favor of the
Palestinians, while UNRWA-sponsored schools for Palestinian children have also
come under criticism for using textbooks that blatantly incite against and
A local newspaper, Israel
Hayom learned, meanwhile, that the office of UN Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres has asked pro-Israel non-governmental organizations to submit
proposals for UNRWA operations.
the NGO’s approached by Guterres’ office is the Center for Near East Policy
Research – headed by journalist David Bedein – which has long-been been a vocal
critic of UNRWA. Decades ago, Bedein was among the first to shine a light the
severe deficiencies within UNRWA’s operations and is a respected voice on the
initially met personally with Bedein and his associate, Rabbi Abraham Cooper,
the Director of Global Social Action Agenda of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in
Los Angeles. Cooper is a leading voice in the fight against anti-Semitism, and
has also been seeking reforms in UNRWA for years. Following their meeting, the
UN chief tasked one of his advisers with continuing to hold consultations with
Bedein and Cooper.
not against UNRWA, and not against the Palestinians,” Bedein told Israel Hayom.
“I approached this issue because in my training I’m a
social worker and I wanted to help rehabilitate the refugees. But from the
moment I discovered that UNRWA adopted the principles of the Palestinian
Liberation Organization – which aspires to destroy the State of Israel, and not
the values of the UN, which aspires to resolve conflicts and strive for peace –
I understood that the refugees cannot be rehabilitated in a professional
the extension of UNRWA’s mandate, which is planned for the near future, needs
to be conditioned on transparency and a fundamental change of [UNRWA’s] educational
system,” said Bedein.
added that he was particularly incredulous over Germany and Japan turning a
blind eye to the issue.
two countries decided to insert themselves… and supplement the budget and
donations the American administration stopped paying. Even if I disagree I can
understand it. What I can’t understand, however, is why these countries agree
to donate tens of millions of dollars without oversight and no transparency?!
I’ve never heard of such a thing,” Cooper said.
sides have thus far held four meetings on the matter, with another one
scheduled for mid-November.
meetings, Cooper, Bedein and other researchers presented Guterres’
representative with their findings into UNRWA’s severe deficiencies. They put
an emphasis on the rampant incitement against Israel and Jews in UNRWA-run
schools in east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, Gaza, Jordan and Lebanon.
official was also shown the stark difference between the mandate given to UNRWA
by the UN, and the mandate it has given to The United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees agency, which handles all the other refugees in the world. For
example, the UNHCR is required to rehabilitate the refugees under its purview,
while UNRWA perpetuates the plight of Palestinian refugees.
the Palestinians are the only ones permitted to hand down their refugee status
from generation to generation in perpetuity, while others across the globe lose
their refugee status after a generation or two. As a consequence, the hundreds
of thousands of Arabs who fled Israel during the 1948 War of Independence have
since ballooned to nearly 5 million Palestinian refugees – a phenomenon without
parallel in the world.
The most urgent step required to properly manage
UNRWA, Bedein and Cooper told the UN official, is to increase oversight and
transparency over the agency, as donor countries are also in the dark over how
their money is spent. The UN official requested more detailed proposals
and the sides agreed that the alternatives would be presented at the fifth
meeting in around a week and a half.
What do these headlines
about the conflict with the Palestinians have in common?
waves of strikes across Gaza after soldier killed.”
b)“Israel carries out
Gaza strikes as soldier dies from gunshot.”
c)“Israel carries out
deadly air strikes in Gaza after one of its soldiers is killed.”
pound Gaza in response to burned fields.”
kindergarten yard hit by flaming balloon.”
The answer is simple
for anyone who has taken basic English or Intro to Journalism: All actions by
Israelis are in the active voice while all actions by Hamas are in the passive
voice. The difference is not merely a minor rhetorical point. When we use the
active voice, for example “Israel attacked,” we know who committed the action.
In the passive voice, “Israeli killed” or “fields are burned,” the agent lurks
When a journalist
presents all violence committed by Hamas in the passive voice – “Israel hit by rockets” – it leaves the impression
that there was no perpetrator. When the same journalist uses the active voice –
“Israel carries out strikes” – to describe Israel’s response, it attributes
blame to Israel and portrays Israel as the aggressor. Headlining “Soldier dies
from gunshot” omits the shooter and implies that no one pulled the trigger. Too
many headlines and articles lack explicit reference to an actor unless the
actor is Jewish/Israeli.
passive voice is useful when you don’t know who the agent is. The mayor was
arrested. We don’t know the officer who arrested him, nor do we need to.
However, it is clear to every journalist exactly who fired the weapons that
targeted Israelis and who launched the burning kites that destroyed Israeli
land and crops. They are just not saying who.
Culprits who use
this technique frequently employ the passive voice to blunt criticism. A new
company executive who has just fired a significant number of employees may hope
to direct blame away from himself with, “The workforce has been downsized.” In
Washington, a hundred million dollar misallocation of funds might be explained
as “A mistake was made.” Using the passive voice seeks to evade accusation of
To test the
aggressive use of passive language in reporting about Israel, flip the voices.
Instead of “Israel carries out deadly air strikes in Gaza after one of its
soldiers is killed,” let the headline read, “Following Hamas deadly attack on
Israel, Gaza is hit by air strikes.” Change “Israeli kindergarten yard hit by
deadly flaming balloon” to “Hamas targets kindergarten with deadly flaming
that one of the most egregious uses of the passive voice is to hide blame or
obscure responsibility, yet some do exactly that when it comes to attacks