AP’s Rockets and VictimsMarch 9, 2003 12:00 by ManagingTeam
In recent days the IDF has stepped up activity in Gaza, launching strikes against known Hamas terrorist leaders. On Saturday, Ibrahim al-Maqadma, 51, a Hamas founder and active head of its “military wing,” was eliminated by a pinpoint helicopter strike against his vehicle.
The Associated Press — the world’s most broadly syndicated news agency — employs reporters Hassan Fattah and Ibrahim Barzak to cover activities in Gaza. The following AP dispatch reveals a palpable bias:
? On March 6, AP tried to downplay the necessity of IDF activity in Gaza:
“One of the Israeli goals is to stop the rocket fire. Palestinians have been firing primitive, homemade Qassam rockets from northern Gaza at the Israeli town of Sderot. Most of them miss their target, and those that land cause little damage with their small explosive warheads. No one has been seriously injured by a Qassam rocket, but Israel’s government is determined to stop the attacks.”
Yet as illustrated on the CNN website, the Qassam 2 rocket is anything but primitive. With a payload of up to 11 pounds of explosives, a range of over 6 miles, high mobility, and the potential to deliver non-conventional warheads, the missile constitutes an extremely serious threat. Given the close proximity of many Palestinian regions to Israeli citizens, the proliferation and deployment of the Qassam 2 must be addressed with utmost seriousness by any responsible Israeli government.
The ongoing, unhampered firing of Qassams into Israel breaches a fundamental defensive barrier, regardless of the low accuracy that presently characterizes a Qassam salvo. To suggest, as AP does, that Israel is unwarranted in defending itself against this new airborne threat, is at the very least an unwelcome insertion of the author’s opinion into an ostensibly objective report.
Regarding the innocuous nature of the Qassam 2, perhaps AP would profit from a discussion with Sderot’s Sima Naamat, the mother of one-year-old Shilo Naamat, who sustained injuries from a Qassam rocket that required two surgical procedures to repair broken bones this past Wednesday night. As Ms. Naamat stated regarding her infant son, “I found him lying in blood, full of pieces of shrapnel.”. This latest attack was by no means an isolated incident: For over eight months, residents of the Negev town of Sderot — which lies inside the Green Line — have been the target of ongoing Palestinian mortar shelling and rockets.
The fact that the Qassam rocket may be assembled in a residential building — thereby rendering it “homemade” — in no way lessens its deadliness, or the escalation it threatens to bring to the conflict. AP’s Hassan Fattah would have the world believe otherwise.
Read the AP article here.
? Two major events occurred in the 24-hour period between Friday evening and Saturday evening: the aforementioned IDF helicopter strike against Hamas leader Ibrahim al-Maqadma, and a deadly terrorist attack against Jewish residents of Kiryat Arba that left the parents of four children dead at their Shabbat table.
In a not-so-subtle imbalance, Reuters reporter Nidal al-Mughrabi allots the first 780 of his 890 words to the IDF strike and its political implications, stressing continually the revenge demanded by local Palestinians for the elimination of the Hamas leader. No fewer than six irate Palestinian responses are quoted, including condemnations from the Palestinian Authority, Hamas spokesmen, and Gaza street demonstrators.
Only those readers who wade through to the end of the piece are informed — inaccurately and without meriting even the devotion of a complete sentence — that “on Friday Hamas gunmen killed two Jewish settlers when they infiltrated the West Bank settlement Kiryat Arba and opened fire on settlers gathering for prayers.”
In fact, American-born Eli and Dina Horowitz were gunned down while quietly enjoying their Shabbat evening meal in their own home. Five others were injured — including a woman who remains in serious but stable condition — by the Horowitz’ murderers, who dressed up as Jewish yeshiva students to gain entry to the area.
In addition, Reuters attaches gruesome details only to the Hamas leader’s death, which turned his car “into a smoking skeleton and scatter[ed] body parts along a Gaza road.” An earlier version of the AP story adds a macabre eyewitness quotation: “‘I was about to open my shop when suddenly a helicopter came from the sky,’ said Abdullah Ali, 60, a grocery shop owner who was covered with blood from the strike. ‘I saw legs and hands fly in the air and then suddenly I fell down on the ground.’”
No such dramatics accompany the coverage of the anonymous Horowitzes, who receive merely the deprecating modifier “settlers” twice. We can assume there was no shortage of witnesses to the post-shooting scene at the Horowitz home.
To the eyes of the world, Jewish terror victims are left faceless, and the Israeli army is a provocative instigator of the fuming Palestinian mass. Such were the past 24 hours in Israel, in the AP’s official account.
Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.
===== PILGER STRIKES U.S. AIRWAVES =====
American viewers will finally be able to see John Pilger’s controversial documentary, “Palestine is Still the Issue,” to be aired March 9-10 on a channel called WorldLink TV. See the broadcast schedule here.
The documentary is filled with selective omissions and distortions of fact. For example, referring to Israel’s War of Independence, Pilger’s documentary simply stated: “In 1948 the Arab world rose up, when Palestinians were forced to flee from their homes in a blitz of fear and terror.” In other words, Pilger suggests that the 5-nation Arab attack was in response to Israeli aggression.
Pilger also categorizes at least 3 Israeli prime ministers as “terrorists.”
Read HonestReporting’s critique of the documentary.
Comments can be emailed to: