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‘Settler Violence’ and what Every Politician and Journalist Should Memorize

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Important questions regarding the currently fashionable trial-by-social-and-mainstream-media trend are raised with the outcome of the American Kyle Rittenhouse case whether or not you agree with the verdict. The 18-year-old was found not guilty of the serious charges against him in spite of the character assassination that went on in the media for the year before the verdict came down.

Another example of trial-by-media was showcased by the latest episode on Cold Justice. In this case, rumours had implicated the police in the 2006 murder of a 17-year-old adolescent based on family and community members’ interpretations of facts that all had a basic thread of truth but did not hold together when examined by Kelly and Abby, the professionals brought in to make sense of it all. The unconfirmed suspicions wreaked havoc on all those involved.

This has weighty implications for Israel whereby the settler movement stands accused of horrific crimes against their Arab neighbours in Judea-Samaria without any chance of having their day in court.

I am constantly dismayed to find the articles that regurgitate the Arab and Jewish-leftist narratives of settler violence for each new incident as if these were all the truth and nothing but the truth.

Then, while researching a totally different topic, I found the following statement at the end of an article published in Globes in 2018 when allegations against the prison service in Gilboa Prison were first reported [bold type in the original]:

חזקת החפות: מפקד וקצין המודיעין של כלא גלבוע הם חשודים בלבד. ההכרעה האם להעמידם לדין הועברה להכרעת הפרקליטות. מדובר בשלב ראשוני של ההליך המשפטי ושמורה להם חזקת החפות.

Translated, this means:

Presumption of Innocence: The commander and intelligence officer of Gilboa Prison are merely suspects. The decision on whether to prosecute them was transferred to the prosecutor’s office. The legal process is in its initial stage and the presumption of innocence is maintained for them.

Recognition of presumption of innocence should be automatic and uppermost in the minds of journalists, editors, politicians and the general readership. However, we generally see the social and mainstream news media raise allegations as if they were self-evident truths not requiring testing in a court of law. This is most obvious in the past few months regarding accusations of settler violence and characterization of Jews living in Judea and Samaria as if they go out looking for Arabs to assault and harass for entertainment. English beneath the Facebook post.........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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