AFP Acknowledges Attempted Terror

In our communique of Dec. 11, Why the “Calm”? , we noted that the major news agencies have largely disregarded the recent wave of attempted Paalestinian terror that’s been successfully stopped by the IDF. We hear only of a “period of relative calm.”

Credit where it’s due: AFP has a report today recognizing that Israel has thwarted 22 attempted suicide bombings since the October bombing of Haifa’s “Maxim.” The IDF said there have been 25, but we’re pleased by AFP’s recognition nonetheless.

December 15, 2003 20:54 By Category : Backspin

Reuters – 2003 Dishonest Reporting “Award” Winner

The 2003 Dishonest Reporting “Award” – granted annually to the news agency that demonstrated the most egregious anti-Israel bias – was announced in today’s mailing to HonestReporting subscribers: It goes to Reuters, the London-based news agency whose skewed coverage reached new heights of irresponsibility this year.

Dishonorable Mention: Associated Press, BBC, The Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, The Independent, Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, and The Washington Post.

To see the full text of the 2003 “Award,” click here.

To subscribe to HonestReporting (it’s free), signup from the HR homepage.

December 15, 2003 20:23 By Category : Backspin

“The Tyrant is a Prisoner”

While there’s celebration on Baghdad’s streets, here’s the reaction among Palestinians:

For many ordinary Palestinians, the TV footage of a disheveled Saddam obediently submitting to a medical exam by his U.S. captors was painful to watch: it sealed the defeat of the one Arab leader they felt always stood by them.

Saddam should have put up a fight or committed suicide, they said, and his surrender is a stain on Arab honor. “It is a big defeat for all Arabs and Muslims,” said Raji Hassan, 29, watching TV with friends in a Gaza City coffee shop.

The Palestinian Authority declined to comment on the arrest of Saddam, but a senior PA official in Ramallah said Yasser Arafat was “saddened” by the news from Baghdad. “President Arafat was sad to see an Arab leader in an humiliating position,” said the official.

Especially one Arafat’s been quite close with:

Reuters reports “Palestinians Mark ‘Black Day’ of Saddam’s Capture”:

Disbelief and gloom seized many Palestinians on Sunday at news of Saddam Hussein’s capture while Israel, which came under Iraqi Scud missile attack in the 1991 Gulf War, hailed the United States for capturing Saddam.

The former Iraqi ruler was a hero to many Palestinians for his stand against Israel and its U.S. ally, as well as for giving financial aid to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers and others who died in a three-year-old uprising…

“It’s a black day in history,” said Sadiq Husam, 33, a taxi driver in Ramallah, West Bank seat of the Palestinian Authority.

AFP reports from Jenin:

PALESTINIANS today accused former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein of cowardice after the long-time hero to many in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was captured without a struggle by US troops near his hometown.

Saddam’s support and financial aid to the tune of thousands of dollars for the families of Palestinian suicide bombers during the three-year intifada made the former Iraqi strongman a popular figure in the occupied territories.

Palestinians celebrated during the 1991 Gulf War when Saddam’s forces fired dozens of Scud missiles at Israel.

But today many were quick to draw a contrast between Saddam’s meek surrender and their own leader Yasser Arafat, who has been confined to his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah by the Israeli army for more than two years.

And then there’s this comment from one bitter (and clear-seeing) Palestinian woman:

A nurse from the West Bank town of Bethlehem said Saddam’s behaviour was reminiscent of the leaders of hardline Palestinian groups who dispatched young men and women to their death in suicide bombing missions, but were not prepared to sacrifice themselves…

“I expected that he would kill himself, but he is similar to the recruiters of the suicide bombers in our country, sending people to their martyrdom, but whenever the army comes to arrest them they give themselves up easily because these people are not prepared to die.”

Interesting, that.
Caroline Glick comments on this very point:

The psychological impact on Saddam’s loyalists and on terrorists around the world of the picture of the tyrant’s dirty, mired face and meek complicity during his medical examination by a US army doctor is immeasurable. Today they are forced to ask the question, “Why should we die when Saddam surrendered so abjectly?”


December 15, 2003 0:03 By Category : Backspin

Worth Reading Today

* Mark Levin in the National Review about the security fence and US operations in Iraq. Succinctly written and very clear.

The wall is about Israel’s self-defense, and nothing more. The wall can be moved if future agreements require it. The problem has never been Israel’s unwillingness to exchange land for Palestinian promises of peace: It has always been the Palestinians’ unwillingness to keep their promises. This is just one more example of a double standard that devalues Israeli security and the lives of Israeli citizens.

* Rachel Ehrenfeld in the National Review – EuroCash:

How is it possible that the International Monetary Fund, CBS, the BBC, and even the PA itself were all able to document the PA’s misuse of funds while the EU failed to acknowledge it? Further aid payments should cease until the PA explains how it spent more than $6 billion in aid during the last decade, and returns the missing funds to the Palestinian people. History gives us little reason to think the PA will stop funding terrorism. Maybe it’s time to hold European donors legally accountable for the return on their investment.

* A Washington Times editor makes a strong case for the security fence by looking at a larger historical context.

* Molly Moore of the Washington Post reports on how the Israel is sparking tourism by marketing solidarity trips and tours, featuring visits with terror victims, trips to checkpoints, security briefings. Moore quotes the director of Shurat HaDin:”It is not Grandma’s trip to Israel.”

* Steve Chawkins in the LA Times on a trip for Israeli terror victims:

The two dozen young Israelis were on a two-week U.S. tour organized by the Southern California Jewish Center, an educational group based in Los Angeles. There was the young girl who was severely burned in a 2002 terrorist attack on a hotel in Kenya frequented by Israelis. Fire engulfed her as she tried to drag her mother’s flaming body to a swimming pool. There was the 14-year-old boy with permanent brain damage from rocks hurled at him on the street. There was Leor Thaler, 16, who still carries a hunk of shrapnel and a few steel nails inside him. In February 2002 he went out for pizza with his sister, Rachel, and friends when a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing Rachel and two other teenagers, including Leor’s best friend.

December 11, 2003 20:22 By Category : Backspin

A Quiz

The “Soldiers of Allah” are:

a) a Palestinian terror organization
b) a shadowy Al-Qaida offshoot
c) a banned Saudi charity
d) a Muslim football team in Orange County that competes with teams nicknamed “Mujahadeen” and “Intifada”

The LA Times has the answer.

December 11, 2003 12:42 By Category : Backspin

Indymedia Israel Under Investigation

An organization called “Indymedia Israel” is being investigated by Israeli police for incitement. Their web site was recently shut down when managers at Actcom (which hosted the site) were inundated with complaints.

The complaints began in earnest after Indymedia Israel published a cartoon depicting Prime Minister Sharon kissing Adolph Hitler: see the cartoon here.

December 11, 2003 12:38 By Category : Backspin

Palestinian Schoolbooks Deny Israel

Stefan Sharkansky points out some of the more disturbing aspects of current Palestinian schoolbooks, which deny the very existence of the State of Israel – in graphics and through the air-brushing of historical documents.

See Sharkansky’s postings here and here.

The study that Sharkansky draws from was performed by

December 11, 2003 12:17 By Category : Backspin

Border Fence

An HonestReporting reader submits:

The border security fence is comprised of many sections totaling scores of miles. Some sections are concrete, others sheet metal.

The barrier is three layers deep in parts, fifteen feet high and surrounded by razor wire. The area around it is lit by spotlights, monitored by cameras, motion detectors and magnetic sensors, and patrolled by armed guards with attack dogs.

But enough about the USA border with Mexico, let’s talk about Israel….

And remember, the US/Mexico security fence has been meant only to keep out “financial” immigrants, not suicide bombers and other terrorist murderers. One wonders about the lack of hue and cry from international “human rights” organizations, the UN, and the EU regarding the fence between two countries at peace with each other.

December 10, 2003 16:04 By Category : Backspin

Ramirez’ Warped Sight

LA Times cartoonist Michael Ramirez with some moral equivalence between dwelling on disputed real estate and mass murder of innocents:

The caption says: “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the biggest impediment to peace of them all?”

Comments to LA Times:

December 10, 2003 15:29 By Category : Backspin

Family Values

News that has not (for some reason) hit the major news wires today:

Israeli security agencies foiled a planned suicide bombing in Rosh Ha’ayin on Monday in which a Palestinian mother of seven was involved.

Fatah’s military wing in Nablus sent Latifa Abu Dar’a, 40, of Balata, to pass through IDF roadblocks wearing an explosives belt around her waist, since IDF soldiers very rarely do body searches on women.

She crossed into Israel near Kafr Qasem and then handed over the explosives belt to the bomber, Suliman Abu Awis, 20, also of Balata.

Due to intelligence information, Israeli security forces arrested the bomber and, shortly thereafter, Abu Dar’a.

The bomber’s goal was a shopping center in Rosh Ha’ayin – the same mall where another Fatah bomber blew himself up in August, killing one Israeli.

A mother of seven!

So why are images like this all we see or hear about Palestinian women in the media?:

(AP, 12/4)

(AFP, 12/9)

(AP, 12/1)

BackSpin, bringing you an entirely different type of “Images of Women” criticism

Send the article above to your local paper and encourage them to provide readers with the full story on Palestinian women’s role in terrorism.

December 10, 2003 15:17 By Category : Backspin