Cruelty to Palestinian children

Remember Mohammed al-Dura? He was the Palestinian boy who, crouched under his father’s protective arms while dodging hostile fire in September 2000, became the most recognizable global symbol of supposed ‘Israeli cruelty’ to Palestinian children:

(Some serious questions have since been posed regarding the actual source of al Dura’s death.)

Now, with Palestinian children cynically used for terrorist efforts three times in the past three weeks, the world is seeing quite another perspective. Yes, Palestinian children are the victims of cruel violence — but it seems their own adult guardians are the reprehensible culprits:

March 25, 2004 21:42 By Category : Backspin

Born to Die

From John Cole at the North Carolina Herald-Sun.

March 25, 2004 14:56 By Category : Backspin

14-year old terrorist

The third time in the past month that Palestinian children were apprehended after attempting terrorist acts:

From Haaretz:

A 14-year-old Palestinian boy was detained yesterday near Nablus, carrying an explosive belt. He is the youngest suicide bomber ever to be caught…Abdu told the soldiers he had dreamt of meeting 70 virgins in heaven, as his dispatchers had promised him, and said he had been tempted by the promise of sexual relations with the virgins.

UPDATE: The IDF has arrested some of his schoolmates.

March 25, 2004 13:39 By Category : Backspin

Yassin as Jesus

The Brazilian cartoonist Osmani Simanca rehashes the ancient deicide charge against the Jewish people:

The insult here to Christians is at least as great as the insult to Jews.

March 24, 2004 20:09 By Category : Backspin

Defending yourself

It’s truly remarkable that on the very same day that US officials were being grilled for not eliminating Bin Laden before 9/11, Israel’s elimination of a Hamas leader was criticized from coast to coast. Just a few of the efforts to whitewash Yassin and castigate Israel:

? LA Times:

The Hamas cleric had a moral authority that motivated many to give their lives to kill others.

One shudders to think of the moral order proposed by the Times in this statement.

? Knight Ridder (printed in all their papers):

Yassin called for violent resistance to Israeli occupation, but he wasn’t simply a Palestinian Osama bin Laden, as Israeli leaders prefer to cast him. The elderly, partially blind quadriplegic was the beloved leader of a popular movement to create an Islamic Palestinian state.

This was in a “news” article, not an editorial! Here’s what Hamas’ idea of a ‘Palestinian state’ includes (from Hamas Covenant):

Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.

? Wilmington (DE) News-Journal:

Israel’s sin is a political, not a moral one. It is foolish to repeat the same action time and again expecting a different result … Israel strays very close to the line separating peace lovers and those who kill when it refuses to take the moral high ground.

Note that Israel, not the one who ordered the cold-blooded murder of hundreds of civilians, is the ‘sinner.’ Note also that, according to this, ‘peace lovers’ simply don’t ‘kill’. So News-Journal editors are pacifists…and we’re waiting for their next editorial to call for the dismantling of the United States Armed Forces.

On the other hand, editorials in support of Israel’s removal of Yassin were published in the Times of London, Detroit News, UK’s Sun, New York Post, Providence Journal, Canada’s National Journal, The Australian, and Access Middle East.

March 24, 2004 14:12 By Category : Backspin

HonestReporting obtains correction from BBC

In response to the HonestReporting communique on skewed children’s primers on the Mideast conflict, BBC has changed the wording in two sections of their kids’ website: The lead page no longer claims that “Arab Muslims used to own the land Israel now controls,” but rather that “at the heart of the conflict is a dispute over land and borders.” And the “peace progress” page has eliminated the previous reference to Jerusalem as the source of the 2000 peace talks breakdown.

Neither section became fully accurate, even after the changes, but it’s certainly an improvement.

March 23, 2004 23:33 By Category : Backspin

T-shirt protests

The Governor of West Virginia has demanded that the clothes company Abercrombie and Fitch stop selling a popular T-shirt that plays off on the stereotype of that region as a haven for incest.


Their idea of Palestinian ‘freedom’ apparently includes the elimination of the State of Israel.

March 23, 2004 11:38 By Category : Backspin

Wash Post ombud on ‘T-word’

In the March 17 HonestReporting communique, we critiqued the ongoing double standard at news outlets such as the Washington Post, which described the Madrid bombing as “the worst terror attack in modern Spanish history,” but insisted on calling the nearly-simultaneous (and nearly-identical) Ashdod bombing as the work of Palestinian “militants.”

In apparent response to this HonestReporting alert, Washington Post ombudsman Michael Getler maintains his position (first articulated on 9/21/03) that the double standard against Israeli terror victims is justified, in his weekly column:

A couple of readers last week, noting Post news reporting from Madrid about “the worst terrorist attack in modern Spanish history,” once again challenged The Post’s use of language when reporting Palestinian suicide bomber attacks against, for example, an Israeli bus or cafe. These are usually not described as terrorist attacks in The Post, except in the words of Israeli or other officials. This issue has come up before and has been discussed in this column before. But the initial stories from Madrid provide a new challenge.


March 23, 2004 9:27 By Category : Backspin

Nothing Left to Lose

Allison Kaplan Sommer on the Israeli man-on-the-street’s reaction to downing Yassin:

Whenever I challenged someone with the old arguments, by saying, “But aren’t you worried about the retaliation? Don’t you think this is going to provoke some terrible terror attacks? Isn’t it just going to make things worse?” the response was the same: “And you think that if we DIDN’T kill Yassin there wouldn’t be terror attacks? What exactly has been happening up till now? Every day they are trying to attack us? How exactly could it GET any worse?”

That is what these three-plus years of Intifada have done to the Israeli public.

Following the generous offer of a Palestinian state in 97% of West Bank and Gaza, we’ll add. There’s a sense of having tried everything, but receiving only more terror in return.

March 22, 2004 21:13 By Category : Backspin

Sheikh Yassin’s ‘Happiest Day’

HonestReporting has just released a communique on coverage of the targeted killing of Ahmad Yassin — view it here.

To receive HR communiques by email, simply sign up above.

See also:

- Why Israel Targeted Ahmad Yassin, by the Israeli Foreign Ministry

- Targeted Killings Can Save Lives, by Tuvia Blumenthal

March 22, 2004 16:32 By Category : Backspin