What do you read?

Who informs your views?

Many of us have heard the horrific news coming out of Israel today: four rabbis, praying during Shacharit (morning) services on Friday morning in their neighborhood synagogue, were murdered by two assailants. 

The assumption is that this act of violence is but one more expression of either hatred or frustration (or both) on the part of Palestinians. Some have suggested that the escalation of violence (including recent car attacks on pedestrians) is because Israel is suggesting “changing the status quo” regarding who can go up and who can pray on (what Jews call) the Temple Mount and (what Muslims call) the Noble Sanctuary.

Clearly, what is most painful about today’s events is that four innocent souls were murdered for no reason other than they were Jews. (And we, here in the Kansas City area, now understand that more than ever, since the murder of 3 last April outside of the Jewish Community Campus and Village Shalom.)

For us, that is the horror. And that is the pain. And that is why we mourn.

And yet….

Look how some in the international media have chosen to portray the events from this morning in Israel:

CNN states: “Police shot, killed 2 Palestinians”

CNN continues: “4 Israelis, 2 Palestinians dead in Jerusalem” 

CBC (Canada) writes:“Jerusalem police fatally shoot 2 after apparent synagogue attack”

Each of these headlines is accurate. And all demonstrate a bias (and prejudice) regarding the events.

When less-involved, less-informed individuals read these headlines, what (I assume) they process is something like: “Here the Jews go again…killing more innocent Palestinians. They are aggressors. They are occupiers.” And for those who may be mildly to virulently anti-Semitic (or are even just comfortable around anti-Semitic statements), these headlines are merely fuel for the fire of hatred.

Did police shoot and kill 2 Palestinians? Absolutely. But the real story – 4 innocentrabbis, praying to God, are murdered for no reason other than the fact that they are Jews living in Israel – that story does not get told in the headlines.


No one knows what will happen in Israel over the coming weeks. Some are warning of a third intifada, a prolonged period of Palestinian attacks against Jewish Israeli civilians. Some say this is “posturing” by the Palestinians, as they negotiate for better conditions / access to the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary compound.

But what we do know is this: Who we listen to…who we read….who we watch… determines what images are formed inside us, determines how we view events that occur beyond our own personal experiences.

And so, we ask: Who do you want to read or watch or listen to?