Alexander Levlovich: turning a Jewish man’s death into a word game
The New York Times tells readers about the death of Alexander Levlovich, 64.
Jewish Man Dies as Rocks Pelt His Car in East Jerusalem
The headline originally stated another location:
Diaa Hadid continues – her emphasis continues to be on the dead man’s race (he is not just any man; he is a ‘Jewish man’):
A Jewish man died early Monday morning after attackers pelted the road he was driving on with rocks as he was returning home from a dinner celebrating Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, the Israeli authorities said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an emergency meeting to discuss rock-throwing, mostly by Palestinian youths.
But who tossed the stones at the Jewish man’s car? Is their ethnicity as important as it was in defining the man’s death?
Words matter in a place where nuances and context are important. Is Hadid guilty of telling and not showing?
Kevin D Williamson muses:
MEMO FROM: Copy desk
TO: New York Times Foreign desk
RE: Diaa Hadid for AM international; mark-up attached
HEAD: Jewish Man Dies as Rocks Pelt His Car in East Jerusalem [ED: “As rocks pelt his car”? How exactly did the rocks go about doing this? Are these special angry Palestinian rocks that get up off the ground and hurl themselves at Jews? Unless we’re talking about The Rock, in which case he’s going by “Dwayne Johnson” these days, I don’t think a rock is capable of committing an act of violence on its own.]
BYLINE: Diaa Hadid DATELINE: Ramallah, West Bank, 14 September 2015
COPY: A Jewish man died [ED: “was killed.”] early Monday morning after attackers pelted the road [ED: “pelted the road”? They were aiming at the pavement? Please clarify.] he was driving on with rocks as he was returning home from a dinner celebrating Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, the Israeli authorities said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an emergency meeting to discuss rock-throwing, mostly [ED: “mostly”? Which other rock-throwers were discussed at the emergency meeting?] by Palestinian youths.
Neither reports are unweighted – although, unlike Hadid, Williamson is not presenting himself as a impartial reporter. Both are practising the journalism of attachment, the trend to present everything in terms of black and white, good and bad, right and wrong. And the journalist of a attachment is always on the side of the good.
An official version of event is told by the Israeli government:
Alexander Levlovich, 64, was returning home to the Armon Hanetziv neighborhood in Jerusalem at approximately 11 p.m. after a Rosh Hashana holiday dinner when his car was struck by rocks thrown by Arab youths on Asher Viner Street. He lost control of his vehicle, apparently also suffering a heart attack, and was critically injured when it struck a pole. Two passengers in the car were lightly injured. Alexander was evacuated to hospital and died shortly afterwards.
Levlovich, a divorced father of three, was born in Jerusalem and lived in the city his entire life. He was the manager of a residence for disabled people in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood. Shimon Zurieli, Director General of ILAN, the Israeli Foundation for Handicapped Children, said: “He was a man of gold, with hands of gold and a heart of gold” who, with virtually no budget, found ways to make life easier for the residents. He was also an avid van of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team.
Facts. When an issue is emotive, it’s always useful to stick to them.