6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume

Media whitewashes own role in killing of Palestinian-American child

The New York Times surreptitiously edited its article on the politically motivated murder of a Muslim American child to remove a lawmaker’s condemnation of the media’s role in the lethal hate crime. And after inciting a wave of anti-Palestinian hysteria, Biden and corporate media pundits feigned sorrow.

The New York Times has quietly abridged a quote by a Palestinian-American legislator and removed his condemnation of mainstream US politicians and media organizations like the New York Times, which he blamed for the gruesome stabbing death of a young Muslim child outside Chicago.

On Saturday, a six-year old Palestinian-American boy was murdered by a Chicago-area landlord in a stabbing attack. According to local police, 71-year-old Joseph M. Czuba brutally killed young Wadea Al-Fayoume by stabbing the boy 26 times, police say, in an attack that also left his Palestinian-American mother hospitalized and in serious condition.

A statement from the Will County Sheriff’s Office revealed that “detectives were able to determine that both victims in this brutal attack were targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis.”

“[Czuba] was angry at her for what was going on in Jerusalem,” Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Fitzgerald told media. “She responded to him, ‘Let’s pray for peace.’ … Czuba then attacked her with a knife.”

While corporate media and establishment politicians deliver performative displays of sadness over the lethal hate crime, Illinois State Rep. Abdelnasser Rashid, has pointed a finger directly at legacy media and US politicians for inciting the killing.

“Let’s be clear: This was directly connected to dehumanizing of Palestinians that has been allowed over the last week by our media and by elected officials who lacked a moral compass and courage to call for something as simple as de-escalation, as peace,” the Palestinian-American legislator told the New York Times.

But just a few hours later, the quote had been heavily redacted. “This was directly connected to dehumanizing of Palestinians,” the new statement read — a rewriting which effectively erased Rashid’s condemnation of establishment lawmakers and media figures.

That very same day, the editorial board of America’s so-called ‘paper of record’ published a piece originally titled “Israel Is Fighting to Defend a Society That Values Human Life” — a headline which was subsequently massaged to the less-hallucinatory “Israel Can Defend Itself and Uphold its Values.”

While the Times attempted to avoid accountability, the corporate media hacks and lawmakers who spread inflammatory misinformation about Hamas beheading and even raping Israeli babies seemed entirely incapable of self-reflection.

Days after falsely claiming to have seen photographs showing Hamas beheading 40 Jewish Israeli babies – a claim the White House had to disown hours later – President Joe Biden claimed he was “shocked and sickened” by the young Palestinian-American child’s “horrific” killing. He avoided naming the child, however, and did not bother to meet his family.

Meanwhile, CNN anchor Abby Phillip took to social media to call the racially-motivated killing of the 6-year-old “awful and sickening.” Five days days prior, Phillip was seen on camera nodding along unquestioningly as Israeli army soldier Betzalel Taljah declared that Israel’s “war is not just with Hamas, the war is with all the civilians that cannot see us as human beings.”

Cast against the backdrop of the wall-to-wall anti-Palestinian coverage at CNN, Phillips drone-like approval of genocidal Israeli rhetoric was hardly an anomaly.

As Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal noted on October 15, CNN “went 2 hours… without showing any video of Gaza destruction, and did not include a single non-Jew in studio for 1.5 hours. The network made sure everyone in studio was a committed Zionist.”

After a fawning interview of Israeli President Isaac Herzog by CNN anchor and former AIPAC research Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s Dana Bash gushed, “The way that [Herzog] framed this as nothing more important that good versus evil was really telling, I thought.”

A day before, Herzog declared that all Palestinians were collectively responsible for Hamas attacks, and that civilians in Gaza were therefore legitimate targets.

When CNN welcomed its first non-Jewish personality into the studio on the afternoon of the 15th, it was former DHS flack Juliette Kayyem, a neoconservative Christian Arab who has boasted that she was raising her children Jewish with her husband, former Obama administration legal counsel David Barron. In fact, Kayyem has advised the Israeli spyware firm, NSO Group, whose Pegasus malware has been used to spy on journalists and human rights activists around the world.

While CNN functioned as Netanyahu’s de facto US press office, right-wing media conjured up irrational fears of Hamas “sleeper cells” crossing the Mexico border to infiltrate US communities and slaughter Americans during a so-called “Day of Rage.”

From within his gated community in suburban Florida, Fox News pundit and former NYPD cop Dan Bongino issued a bold message of defiance to Hamas, declaring on Twitter, “Fuck the savages. If they’re going to have their day of rage or whatever they call it, then I’m going to have my day of go fuck yourself.'”

As Bongino fantasized about facing down Hamas gunmen, a Chicago-area man similarly intoxicated by anti-Palestinian hysteria was plotting to butcher his Muslim tenant and her 6-year-old son.