Defending the Murder of Children

More topics in this e-mail:
Pack Journalism or Plagiarism?
Follow-Up on Quneitra

Dear HonestReporting Member,

Phil Reeves of the British Independent visited Tekoa last week, the scene of the horrific murder of two Israeli boys bludgeoned so badly that identification had to done by fingerprints.

Reeves, incredibly, offered justification for the horrific murders:

“But, hard though it is to say amid such brutality and human misery, the fact remains that the two boys were living in a Jewish settlement illegally built on occupied land,” Reeves wrote.

Reeves labeled the murders as an “atrocity” and “brutality,” but then summed up the attack this way: “Another entry was logged into the list of atrocities generated by Israel’s dispute with the Palestinians.” Wasn’t the killing of Kobi Mandell and Yosef Ishran a case of “Palestinians’ dispute with Israel”? Who were the victims, after all?

By suggesting that Israel is to be blamed for Palestinian atrocities, Reeves only encourages future Palestinian bombings, murders and terrorism.

Along the way, Reeves presented various rationalizations to explain the murders. First he found a Tekoa resident who suggested that the crime may have been criminal in nature, and not a nationalist terrorist act. Then Reeves cited unnamed Palestinians that “settlers living in occupied Arab lands are legitimate targets.” Reeves repeated the Palestinian claim that “the settlers have committed their share of the violence over the past seven months.” And then the reporter was quick to point out that “75 Palestinians under the age of 15 have also been killed in this conflict, mostly by Israel’s army.”

Disingenuously, Reeves wrote that these facts “do not justify yesterday’s events [the gruesome murders], or mitigate the revulsion which they were greeted around the world.” But that is precisely what Reeves did by concluding: “But, hard though it is to say amid such brutality and human misery, the fact remains that the two boys were living in a Jewish settlement illegally built on occupied land.”

If you believe the article is biased, send your complaints to:
newseditor@independent.co.uk
feedback@inuk.co.uk

The most effective method is to write a letter in your own words. Otherwise, cut-and-paste the critique below. Please do not forward this page directly with HonestReporting’s comments.

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias. And may the Guardian of Israel comfort the families of Kobi Mandell and Yosef Ishran.

HonestReporting.com

========== SAMPLE LETTER OF COMPLAINT ============

To the Editor:

Phil Reeves’ May 10 story on the brutal murder of two Israeli boys was a twisted distortion that, incredibly, offered justification for the horrific murders:

“But, hard though it is to say amid such brutality and human misery, the fact remains that the two boys were living in a Jewish settlement illegally built on occupied land,” Reeves wrote.

Reeves refers to the attack: “Another entry was logged into the list of atrocities generated by Israel’s dispute with the Palestinians.” Wasn’t the killing of Kobi Mandell and Yosef Ishran a case of “Palestinians’ dispute with Israel”? Who were the victims, after all?

How does The Independent explain this twisted distortion? I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply.

======================================

PACK JOURNALISM OR PLAGIARISM?

We invite HonestReporting members to read and compare these two news stories:

“…Settlers have committed their share of the violence over the past seven months by stoning Palestinian cars, and had rampaged through their streets, setting fire to buildings. A recent report by the Israel’s B’Tselem human rights group found that settlers, who are often armed, killed six Arabs between September and March.”

– The UK Independent, 10 May 2001

“But settlers, too, have committed their share of the violence that erupted in September by stoning Palestinian cars, holding violent demonstrations and setting fire to buildings. A recent report by the Israel’s B’Tselem human rights group found that settlers, who are often armed, killed six Arabs between September and March.”

– BBC News Online, 10 May 2001
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_981000/981554.stm

======================================

FOLLOW-UP ON QUNEITRA

Hundreds of HonestReporting members responded to The new York Times’ charge that Israel was responsible for the destruction of Quneitra in Syria. On May 9, The Times printed the following correction:

“An article on Monday about the visit of Pope John Paul II to Syria referred imprecisely to the destruction in the Golan Heights city of Quneitra, where he has since delivered a prayer for peace. The city was captured by Israel during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It is the Syrians who contend that the Israelis used dynamite and bulldozers to level the town before they left in 1974. Israel says the damage was a byproduct of fighting in the wars of 1967 and 1973.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/09/pageoneplus/corrections.html?searchpv=site04

HonestReporting would like to thank Camera.org for the excellent background research on the Quneitra issue. We inadvertently omitted credit to Camera in our last communique.

======================================

Read “No Escape, No More To Give,” a moving essay by Sherri Lederman Mandell, the mother of 14-year-old Kobi Mandell.

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