How Reuters covered terrorist Mahmoud Alawat

Reuters, the world’s largest wire agency, has set a record of deep antipathy toward Israel. It recently prided itself on a report by Henriette Chakar, featuring the story of 13-year-old Mahmoud Alewat, who tried to kill an Israeli father and son at the City of David archaeological site in Jerusalem. More on this story can be found here: “Reuters Glowingly Describes Palestine Terror Teen as Wannabe Chef Who Loves Football,” by Rachel O’Donoghue, Algemeiner, February 7, 2023:

In the wake of the horrific attack perpetrated by 13-year-old Palestinian terrorist Mahmoud Alewat on January 28 at the David archeological site in Jerusalem, it is not disturbing that Reuters has chosen and sought to publish a piece that glorifies Alewat. He even suggested he might be innocent.

The Wire Agency’s Henriette Chakar’s story, “Palestinian teen dreamed of becoming a chef before attack, teachers say,” opens:

In the middle of last week, 13-year-old Palestinian Mahmoud Aleiwat was pressing his teachers for school reports so he could train as a chef at a college in Jerusalem….

There he was, young Master Alewat, eagerly planning his training as a chef, a career that had long been his dream. So what happened? We are not supposed to understand the suffering he endured – that his people endured – under the tyrannical rule of the Israelites. He fell, and felt impelled to attack the oppressors; He managed to shoot two of them.

He dreamed of becoming a chef. Yes, and Adolf Hitler dreamed of becoming a painter. But we should judge Mahmoud Alawat not by his dreams, but by what he actually did, which was to try to kill an Israeli father and son.

Three days later, he lay unconscious in hospital after allegedly shooting a group of Israeli pedestrians in Jerusalem’s Silwan district.

Why did Reuters focus on Alewat lying in a hospital, when there is still no mention of the current condition of his victims, also lying in hospital beds in critical condition? And why does the Reuters report describe him only as an “accused” when there is no doubt about his guilt?

Reuters should have described the hospitalization of his two victims and then their assailant, thus: “The Israeli father and son remain hospitalized in critical condition, while their assailant lies unconscious in a hospital bed.” Surely the condition of the two victims is more important than the “lying unconscious in the hospital” of the man who tried to kill them.

Two were seriously injured and one of the Alawat group sustained bullet injuries. Police have not publicly named a suspect, but his lawyer said they have charged Alawat with the shooting and attempted murder, charges his family has denied.

While it’s a mystery why Chakar decided to write this piece at all, it’s even more puzzling that he tries to humanize a terrorist who tried to kill innocent people by quoting his teachers, who claim Alewat had ambitions to become a chef.

The article is an unnecessary puff piece for Alewat. In Chakar’s statement he is merely “accused”, although there is not the slightest doubt of his guilt. Many Israelis witnessed the shooting. And why tell us about Alewat’s dream of becoming a chef? How often does the news about murderers or other criminals tell us about their innocent “dreams”? I don’t remember ever seeing it.

Furthermore, the way Alawat’s involvement in the atrocity, including the word “accused”, is dismissed and led to his family’s denial of his involvement, is simply callous.

this [denial by his family of his involvement] After Alawat allegedly hinted at his terrorist plans, he wrote to his mother in a Facebook message shortly before, “Mom, please don’t be angry with me,” but promised that he would eventually be proud of her.

Also, footage of Alewat during his arrest and his confession in his own notebook that he wanted “martyrdom” have been widely circulated online:

Aliwat knew that his mother would “eventually be proud of him,” as he had hoped, for killing several Israelis and then dying as a martyr. His family knew he planned this because he posted his goodbye as a Facebook message to his mother; When his family denies he could be the shooter, they are lying.

Also, footage of Alewat during his arrest and his confession in his own notebook that he wanted “martyrdom” have been widely circulated online:

The eccentric terror puff piece quoted people who knew the teenager as “confused as to what could have motivated him to do such an act.”

Perhaps Chakar should have investigated this allegation of disbelief in Alawat’s motivations, considering the Palestinian Authority’s “pay-for-sale” fund that provides financial rewards to Palestinian terrorists, and the textbook Alawat studied, has few incentives to influence the young man who committed suicide. Glorifies bombing.

The Reuters reporter didn’t mention Chakar outright: No one who knew Alawat should have been confused by his actions – and indeed no one was, but only claimed to be a credible Chakar. Aleiwat knew – all Palestinians, from a young age, did – about the “pay-for-slay” program, through which the PA pays large monthly payments to terrorists captured by the PA and to the families of terrorists who die while terrorizing them. Attack He knew, if not the exact amount of these payments, that they were many times the average Palestinian wage. He may have wanted to qualify – either by being “martyred” or imprisoned – for such a large sum of money to help his family. He also knew that terrorists had become enthroned in Palestinian society; Schools and streets and squares were named after them. He may have been 13 years old, imagining that in some posthumous and glorious future, there would be an Alewat Street or an Alewat School to admire his relatives.

Alewat was also raised in school textbooks filled with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic venom. He watched children’s television programs broadcast by the Palestinian Authority, showing young children clutching small knives and stabbing themselves while declaring, “I want to kill a Jew.” Those shows also, of course, had a great influence on the impressionable young man, Mahmoud Alewat.

But Chakar doesn’t devote any of her report to why the 13-year-old did what she did. He wants us to feel sorry for him, not to understand him, because to understand it is essential to see how the Palestinian Authority, in his school books and on his television show, promotes anti-Semitism among young people, while his “pay-for-” Slay program rewards past and encourages future terrorism. His purpose is to convince us that the murderous behavior of the Alawat, not predictable due to his upbringing, comes as an inexplicable “shock”.

In fact, Chakar even had the audacity to include comments from Sohair Mikaoui, 57, the principal of Alawat’s school, who expressed his surprise at the “amazing” news.

We are likely to believe that Mikao was unaware that the books issued at his school encouraged impressionable youngsters to “cut the throats of enemy soldiers” and “give explosive belts”.

Chakar’s efforts to redeem Alewat continue with the inclusion of exotic and heartfelt details about his innocent interests, such as his “passion for football” and desire to work in a professional kitchen.

Why does Reuters allow Chakar’s attempt to generate sympathy for the youth-turned-killer? Alewat has a “passion for football” – so what? Is he somehow less guilty as a result? Does his now shattered dream of becoming a chef make us sympathize with him? I hope not. He is more, the uncle wants us to understand, than a terrorist. He has dreams and passions like any other 13-year-old.

An implied justification for the attack is also conveniently given midway through the article:

Many Jews believe that the ancient City of David stood on the site of Silwan, and that Jewish settlers bought property there, which Palestinians see as part of a policy to drive them out.

According to Aviv Tatarsky of Ir Amim, an Israeli organization that monitors Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, Silwan is now home to about 600 settlers out of 50,000 Palestinians.

With only 600 Jews living among the 50,000 Palestinians, one cannot seriously believe that there is an Israeli policy of “driving the Palestinians” out of Silwan. It is an absurdity.

The mother of Wadi’ Abu Ramuz, a 17-year-old wielding a Hamas flag and a knife when he was shot dead during a riot in which Israeli police were hurled firebombs and Molotov cocktails, has claimed that her son was not even involved in the clashes but only ” Trying to pull an injured friend to safety.” …

Reuters quoted the mother of Wadi’ Abu Ramuz, a 17-year-old shot dead during riots in which firebombs and Molotov cocktails were thrown at Israeli police, as claiming her son was not involved in the riots; He was only there “trying to drag an injured friend to safety.” Reuters failed to mention – why so? Ramuz was carrying a Hamas flag and a knife when he was shot. This does not suggest that he was an innocent bystander, merely trying to save a friend’s life. He was out for Jewish blood.

Reuters should ask itself the following questions:

Why did its reporter, Henriette Chaker, find reference to Alawat’s “passion for football” relevant to the story of an Israeli father and his son being shot?

Why did Chakar think that mentioning Alewat’s hope to one day become a chef was relevant to the shooting of that father and his son?

Why did Reuters describe Mahmoud Alawat as the only “accused” of shooting an Israeli father and son, when a group of people witnessed the shooting and Alawat hinted at future exploits on social media that would “make his mother proud”?

Why did Reuters neglect to inform readers that another young Palestinian, would-be assassin Wadi’ Abu Ramuz, was shot dead in the middle of a riot, in which rioters were hurling firebombs and Molotov cocktails at Israeli police? And why did Reuters also fail to mention that Ramouz was carrying a Hamas flag and a knife at the time?

Why is Reuters doing PR work for Palestinian terrorists? Explain it, please.

We will wait here for your reply.