From the Post to the Coast

The Washington Post’s editorial “Terrorism and Nationalism” (April 24) is a specious attempt to differentiate between the wars against terrorism conducted by the United States and Israel. The Post admits to some “valid comparison,” but accuses Israel of attempting to destroy the “Palestinian national movement, which aims at ending the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and creating a Palestinian state in its place.”

In a message directed at the Bush Administration, The Post warns: “If counter-terrorism is to remain an effective cause, the administration must discriminate between terrorism and the sometimes legitimate political causes it is used for; and it must also differentiate between legitimate defenses against terrorism and attempts to use counter-terrorism to justify unacceptable aims.”

The Post errs on two accounts. The Palestinian campaign of human missiles blowing up pizzerias, buses, cafes and discos throughout Israel has long since crossed the line of “legitimate national movement.” A cause forfeits its legitimacy when it defends, supports, and encourages terrorism. The ends do not legitimize terrorist means.

Second, by continuing to defend the Arafat regime, The Post editorial actually discourages the emergence of a responsible Palestinian leadership that seeks true peace and a better future for all children of the region. At present, Palestinians are raised in a twisted, abusive system that funds and promotes violent jihad in schools, broadcasts, and mosques.

Read The Washington Post editorial at:

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To put the Washington Post’s warped views into perspective, consider the interview on Israeli TV last week with a terrified 14-year-old Gaza boy who told this story:

Sent on a suicide mission against an Israeli military position, he set out with another boy in the dark of night. Halfway there, he stopped. “I didn’t want to die,” he said, tears rolling down his face.

In the interview, the boy’s mother said: “They take our children when they are too young to understand, to decide if they want to die. Why don’t the take the louts hanging round the markets? My boy is in shock. He can’t stop weeping. He doesn’t know whether he did right or wrong. We don’t let him out of the house without his father — in case he changes his mind again, or they catch him. We are all in shock.”


Also attacking Israel’s counter-terrorism campaign was the San Diego Union Tribune (April 23) in an editorial, “The Jenin Facts”:

“…It won’t be clear until the rubble is cleared how many civilians died in Jenin. It happens that civilians are killed in combat, and guerrilla-partisan wars often blur the lines between soldiers and civilians. But when civilians die, the onus is on the attacker to show that every effort was made to spare them. As [a UN envoy] said, fighting terrorism does not confer the right to kill civilians. The Palestinians claim that a massacre took place. Israel denies this. What cannot be denied is the physical evidence. Israel used bulldozers to crush whole blocks of houses. It used sophisticated war weapons to destroy the camp.”

The Union Tribune sounds like the United Nations’ court reporter, with Israel “guilty until proven innocent.” A large body of evidence and Palestinian testimony has already emerged showing that Palestinian gunmen raged throughout the camp placing bombs everywhere. They were aided by Jenin civilians who often ignored Israeli warnings to flee the section of the camp where the fighting was concentrated.

As a response to the Union Tribune, HonestReporting members may want to share the testimony of Palestinian bomb-maker Omar, quoted extensively in Al-Ahram (Egypt) Weekly:

“We had more than 50 houses booby-trapped around the [Jenin] camp. We chose old and empty buildings and the houses of men who were wanted by Israel because we knew the soldiers would search for them,” he said. “We cut off lengths of mains water pipes and packed them with explosives and nails. Then we placed them about four meters apart throughout the houses — in cupboards, under sinks, in sofas… the women went out to tell the soldiers that we had run out of bullets and were leaving. The women alerted the fighters as the soldiers reached the booby-trapped area…”

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While we’re on the Union Tribune, columnist James Goldsborough is back with another screed drawing a correlation between suicide bombings and Israeli policy. His analysis: Whenever Israel doesn’t give the Palestinians what they want, suicide bombs increase. Therefore, the solution is to give the Palestinians what they want.

Goldsborough forgets about the spate of 17 separate suicide bombings that killed 155 Israelis during 1994-98 when Israel continued handing over territory.

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The Jerusalem Post reports that 3 Armenian monks, held hostage by the Palestinian gunmen inside the Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, fleed the church and were rescued by Israeli soldiers, after holding aloft a white cloth banner with the words “Please help.”

One of the monks, Narkiss Korasian, told reporters: “They stole everything, they opened the doors one by one and stole everything… they stole our prayer books and four [gold] crosses… they didn’t leave anything.” Israeli officials quoted the monks as saying that Palestinian gunmen had also begun beating and attacking clergymen.

Did your local media report this revelation at the Church?

===== MORE BIG LIES =====

Robert Plotkin, a New York journalism student, reports on a Palestinian effort to fabricate evidence:

One camp resident wanted me to stage a photograph. He pulled me into a home on the perimeter of the destruction. The front of the house was peeled away like a thin veneer. The floor was buckled, and the few pictures that remained on the walls were tilted at a distressing angle. But then the man lay face down on a mattress, splayed out his arms, and closed his eyes. When I didn’t take his picture he looked up at me and said, “You take picture now.” I declined.

===== KUDOS! =====

— Veteran reporter Oriana Fallaci is probably Italy’s most senior and well-known journalist, and a long-time icon of leftist causes. Her article “On Jew-Hatred in Europe,” therefore, was an important statement (Corriere della Sera, April 17, 2002.) Fallaci expresses her shame at European anti-Semites, the politic
al Left, the Church, and the press for their one-sided, anti-Israel stance. One day, Fallaci’s “Shame” may join Zola’s “J’accuse” in the annals of historical journalism.

— In the last two weeks, CNN’s anchors have repeatedly challenged specious and inaccurate claims made by Palestinian spokesmen, particularly the charges of massacres. On April 14, Saeb Erekat was challenged by Bill Hemmer: “You said specifically, and others said 500 in Jenin… Where are you getting evidence that shows 500 people were killed there? …If [Israel’s] numbers are right and your initial numbers are wrong, will you come back here on our network and retract what you said?”

Erekat: “Absolutely.”

On April 16, Zain Vergee (International Broadcast “Q & A”) challenged the PLO’s Hassan Abdel Rahman, saying “…you’re making these allegation, but you have no proof. There are no bodies. You haven’t done any of that, and this is a serious accusation.”

====== ACTIVISM UPDATE =====

Natalie Portman, who stars in the upcoming motion picture “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” has joined the ranks of pro-Israel media activists. Portman, who was born in Israel and now attends Harvard, had a letter published in the Harvard Crimson, objecting to law student Faisal Chaudhry’s April 11 essay on U.S. policy concerning Israel and the Palestinians.

And on FoxNews, Geraldo Rivera said he received 18,000 emails in response to his comment about being a “Palestinian-ist.” See background at: