GE-Sponsored Site Accuses Israel of War Crimes

Israeli army soldiers take positions during clashes with Palestinians in the early morning in the West Bank city of Jenin on July 2

Israeli army soldiers take positions during clashes with Palestinians in the early morning in the West Bank city of Jenin on July 2 / AP

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The General Electric-sponsored explanatory website Vox.com is again facing criticism for biased and hostile reporting about Israel following a Wednesday article that accused the Jewish state of committing war crimes against the Palestinians following the murder by Hamas of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers earlier this week.

Vox writer Max Fisher accused Israel of waging “collective punishment” against the Palestinians and preferring war to peace following Israel’s targeted military strikes on Hamas terrorists responsible for murdering the children and launching rocket attacks on citizens.

Fisher argued that air strikes against Hamas are not justified because the killings were carried out by a “few rogue militants.”

“The Hamas political leaders based in Gaza seem unlikely to have participated in a kidnapping in the West Bank committed by rogue Hamas militants, so it’s not clear that air strikes on Hamas political leaders in Gaza are an appropriate or justified response,” he wrote.

The Netanyahu government prefers war to peace, Fisher added.

“Netanyahu’s government is launching attacks against Hamas, which Netanyahu insists is collectively responsible for a kidnapping that appears to have been conducted by rogue members,” he wrote. “This makes it far more likely that full-on conflict will resume between Israel and Hamas, a dynamic that Netanyahu seems to prefer, because it favors Israel’s overwhelming military strength and marginalizes Hamas politically.”

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which works to combat global anti-Semitism, described Vox’s coverage as a “shonda,” a Yiddish term for “a shame.”

“I would call it the boilerplate criticism of Israel, meaning that when Israelis are butchered like what happened with these three boys, many of the critics didn’t give a damn and didn’t say a thing but were standing on the sidelines waiting to go to for boilerplate critique of Israel,” said Cooper, describing the article as “nonsense.”

“For anyone, now, to unleash criticism of Israel’s behavior during those past 18 days, it’s simply coming from people who are incapable about doing anything about Israel except be silent when Israelis are murdered, and then be in the front line of the chorus to attack Israel when she takes steps to defend herself,” said Cooper, whose organization is urging the White House to cut funding to the Palestinian government.

The highly critical piece comes just weeks after Vox.com founder Ezra Klein ran a lengthy interview with former U.S. diplomat Chas Freeman, a longtime Israel critic who has been accused of anti-Semitism due to past comments claiming that the so-called Israel lobby manipulates U.S. foreign policy.

The continued publication of articles and interviews taking aim at Israel has fueled ongoing questions about GE’s investment in Vox.com.

Fisher and Vox were roundly criticized on Twitter and elsewhere for the article, which was characterized as, “moronic,” hateful, and a “blood libel.”

Others wondered is Fisher’s piece was meant to generate page views from those who hate Israel.

“I don’t think they do it for clicks. I think a lot of them just hate Israel,” tweeted Federalist cofounder Sean Davis.

Multiple GE spokesmen did not respond to a Washington Free Beacon request for comment on Fisher’s piece and Vox’s other writings about Israel.

A GE spokesman told the Free Beacon in June after publication of the Freeman interview that the company is not responsible for Vox’s editorial decisions.

“GE is sponsoring #Pressing, which aggregates independently reported content on important policy issues into a continuously updated dynamic display,” the spokesman told the Free Beacon at the time. “GE has no editorial input on partner content.”

The GE logo appears at the top of every page of Vox.com. It is the only discernible corporate sponsor of the site.

Adam Kredo   Email Adam | Full Bio | RSS
Adam Kredo is senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Formerly an award-winning political reporter for the Washington Jewish Week, where he frequently broke national news, Kredo’s work has been featured in outlets such as the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and Politico, among others. He lives in Maryland with his comic books. His Twitter handle is @Kredo0. His email address is kredo@freebeacon.com.