Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

( The adjective “Alleged” bears two concurrent meanings: declared or stated to be as described, and at the same time doubtful and suspect. In the burgeoning archives of Palestinian Autority/Arab reports on violence perpetrated by Arabs against Jews, the word “alleged” has been used in industrial proportions. The reason for this phenomenon is mostly to take care of a dilemma the Arab news sites are facing: they want very much to report on the dozens of Arabs of mostly young ages who have been shot by Israeli security forces—the problem is that, in virtually all cases, just before those Arabs were slain in broad day light, they had been actively involved in trying to murder their Jewish victims.

Enter the word “allegedly.” In their reports, the Arab was killed after having been allegedly trying or succeeding to pursue killing others. In fact, by now the use of “allegedly” is so prevalent, it really reads like “supposedly.” An Arab kid was killed after supposedly stabbing Jews.


That euphemistic word, “allegedly,” is what enabled PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and dozens of other Arab officials on either side of the green line, to brazenly condemn what they see as a wave of Israeli executions of innocent Arab children. Because if the child in question is lying dead in the street, and what he had done to earn him this death only happened “allegedly,” his martyrdom is unblemished.

Here are some choices from the archives of the Ma’an news agency. The cumulative impression is that Ma’an reporters have yet to see any real attack perpetrated by Arabs against Israelis, they all took place supposedly.

Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Jerusalem after alleged attack – May 20, 2015

Family of alleged ‘attacker’ receives body, mourns his death – May 21, 2015

Israeli forces shoot dead Palestinian after alleged stabbing attack – Aug. 9, 2015

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian after alleged stabbing attack – Aug. 15, 2015

Israeli forces shoot, kill teen in Jerusalem after 2nd alleged attack – Oct. 4, 2015

Palestinian shot, killed in East Jerusalem after alleged stab attack – Oct. 12, 2015

Israeli police shoot, injure Palestinian teen after alleged stabbing – Oct. 12, 2015

Palestinian beaten, detained after allegedly stabbing Israeli – Oct. 13, 2015

Palestinian, 20, shot dead after alleged attack at Damascus Gate – Oct. 14, 2015

Palestinian shot dead in Hebron after alleged stabbing attempt – Oct. 20, 2015 Mind you, these are the stories where editors elevated the “allegedly” to headline status. But in almost all the reports of these events where the doubting term is not used in the headline, it is sure to be used in the body of the text.

And so the competing narratives of Jews and Arabs continue to race to the finish, when the latter’s inability to concede even the most elementary component of a news report, namely that the ‘victim’ did something before they got shot, virtually guarantees that these violent vignettes will continue unabated. Allegedly.

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