Bali Bombing

The civilized world is reeling from yet another terrorist atrocity, the bombing of a Bali disco that has claimed the lives of 180 people.

Much of the European media is using very different language to describe the Bali bombing, than it has used to describe the bombings of discos, pizzerias, cafes, markets, buses, and religious events in Israel.

As Steve Plaut of the University of Haifa writes:

I certainly do not mean to detract for an instant from the horror and outrage over the Bali bombing, but at the same time I cannot leave without comment the dramatic differences in the reactions of the world to the Bali bombing and the countless Arab atrocities against Jews.

Not a single media outfit has referred to the perpetrators of the Bali bombings as “activists” or “militants.”

Not a single commentator has been insisting that if the terrorists resorted to such violence, then surely they must have legitimate grievances and are fighting for a just cause.

Not a single commentator has demanded that Australia ask itself what it has done wrong to earn such hatred.

Not a single commentator has been insisting that Indonesia and Australia need to open dialogue and negotiations with the terrorists because — after all — there is no military solution to the problems of terrorism.

The Nobel Prize Committee has not suggested that the perpetrators of the bombing be awarded a Peace Prize.

Student demonstrators in Berkeley did not stage mock street theater representations of the bombings, showing the Australians as villains, nor organize Solidarity with the Bali Bombers Conferences.

No one has yet proposed allowing the terrorists to set up their own state in New South Wales.


Opines the Guardian about the Bali atrocity (“In the Shadow of Terror” – October 14): “”This was a crime against all humanity… Its victims were Muslims, Hindus and Christians.”

Why does the Guardian omit that Jews may be among the victims?

(Incidentally, the UK Daily Telegraph article, “33 Britons Died in Club Bombing,” includes the photo of a bandaged woman with burns, with the caption: “Melanie Cohen, a survivor of the Bali attack, arrives back at London’s Gatwick airport.”

The Guardian also refers to “the killing of German tourists in Tunisia” — failing to mention that the Tunisia attack was actually aimed against Jews in a synagogue.

Read the Guardian editorial at:,3604,811347,00.html

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Letters to the editor should always include full name, address, and phone number.

HonestReporting encourages members to monitor your local media to see how they reported this issue.


At the risk of giving publicity to a web-rag, here’s something so wacko that we can’t let it pass. reports that the Israeli Mossad is a prime suspect behind the string of sniper killings in the Washington, D.C. area.

Another “report” on claims that the bombing of the Bali nightclub was “a Mossad terror operation.”

Indymedia describes itself as “a network of collectively run media outlets for the creation of radical, objective, and passionate tellings of the truth.”

Perhaps the consumer public could be a better judge of that.

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This week, Muhammed Abayet of the Palestinian terrorist group al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, was killed when the public telephone he was using exploded. During Abayet’s funeral the next day, Palestinians attacked Reuters photographer Mahfouz Abu Turk, who had to be treated for head and back injuries. Another photographer had his camera smashed. See the Jerusalem Post report at:

Many major news agencies noted the funeral but omitted mention of the attack. Associated Press presents the funeral as peaceful: “Unlike many funerals for Palestinian militants, there were no cries for revenge or gunmen shooting in the air at Abayat’s funeral.”

Even the victimized news agency, Reuters, itself makes scant mention of the Palestinian attack:

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In the past, journalists have been threatened with violence for covering stories that are unflattering of Palestinian groups. Recall the Sept. 11 street celebrations, which prompted the (Israeli) Foreign Press Association to declare:

“We call on the PA to ensure freedom of the press and the free flow of information, and to prevent elements operating within PA jurisdiction from making or carrying out threats that aim to impede this and effectively impose censorship. We hold the PA fully responsible for the safety of each and every journalist operating within their areas…”

HonestReporting wonders: Where is the outcry this week from the Foreign Press Association and other media rights groups like Reporters Without Borders

==== OUT OF CONTEXT =====

Here’s a piece of diligent media monitoring from HonestReporting member Mike S. of Cincinnati:

BBC published a piece on the decreased Palestinian olive harvest, placing the blame squarely on Israel. The article’s main photo caption read: “Olive groves have been bulldozed to build settlements.” This accusation does not appear in the article itself; it is only in the caption without any source cited.

Mike wrote to complain, and received the following reply from Bob Trevelyan, duty editor of BBC News Online:

“Thanks for your email concerning our story on the Palestinian olive harvest. I regret that you found the picture caption unsatisfactory. I accept that it is ambiguous and have changed it.”

The caption now reads “Olive groves have been bulldozed by the Israeli army.” Though factu
ally accurate, this BBC caption gives no context for the idea that Palestinian snipers have frequently used olive groves to conduct ambushes of Israeli citizens.

See the article and caption at:

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