Praising the Devil’s Disciples

Dear Honest Reporting Member,

Dear HonestReporting Member,

Help stamp out media madness!

In recent weeks, “pack journalists” have been sniffing up the wrong trail and filing stories sympathetic to suicide bombers. Consider this praise for the devil’s disciples:

1. Newsweek’s Joshua Hammer – “The Making of a Martyr – How a young policeman became a suicide bomber.” (August 27, 2001)

2. The Chicago Tribune’s E.A. Torriero – “No room for mistakes – radicals lament rash of thwarted suicide bombings.” (August 24, 2001)

3. Daily Mirror (UK) – “When I grow up I want to be a suicide bomber.” (August 22, 2001) (not posted online)

Here are some examples of the distortions, and how you can respond to them:

* * *

[DISTORTION 1] – Reporters bemoan the sagging Palestinian economy, and suggest it is the catalyst for suicide bombs.

Newsweek: “Jenin has experienced plenty of suffering of its own recently. A hardscrabble town of 30,000 at the northern edge of the West Bank, it once enjoyed close commercial ties to Arab Israelis in the nearby Galilee region. But the intifada plunged Jenin into economic ruin. Clashes with the Israeli Army claimed the lives of 60 people and fed resentment.”

Daily Mirror: “Like most suicide bombers, his path to martyrdom was bred into him from birth. There is no hope on the mean and crowded streets of Gaza City where the Masawbis have lived as refugees for 53 years after fleeing their village from the advancing Israeli army in 1948.”

Response: Reporters ignore the fact that prior to the intifada, more than 100,000 Palestinians enjoyed steady employment in Israel. Palestinian violence has directly led to the loss of Palestinian jobs.

Furthermore, who is at fault for the lack of a solid economic infrastructure in the PA-controlled territories? Consider: The PA has full civil and military rule over 97 percent of Palestinians in the territories. The PA has received millions of dollars in international aid to build up the infrastructure. The primary reason why Palestinians continue to live in squalor is because Arafat is perpetuating his people’s misery as a political pawn, a thorn in Israel’s side.

* * *

[DISTORTION 2] – Reporters blame Israel for all the region’s ills:

Daily Mirror: “According to the 1993 Oslo accord between Israel and PLO leader Yasser Arafat, the Gaza Strip should be the Palestinian homeland. Instead it has become a Palestinian prison. Every border, entrance and exit is manned by Israeli soldiers.”

Response: The Palestinian “homeland” would have been close to formation by now, encompassing almost all of the West Bank and Gaza, had Arafat not chosen violence and rejected negotiations. If a reporter wants to mention aspects of Oslo that have not been implemented, it is only fair to also mention the many provisions that Arafat has violated: he promised to forsake violence and solve all disputes through negotiations, he promised to protect Jewish holy sites, he promised to extradite terrorists, he promised to confiscate illegal weapons. Arafat has repeatedly broken each of these essential commitments.

* * *

[DISTORTION 3] – Reporters quote relatives of suicide bombers who glorify the act of blowing up Jews.

Chicago Tribune: “Abdel-Fatah Toubassi wishes his son would have blown himself up and taken Israelis to their deaths too.”

Daily Mirror: “Four-year-old Ahmed Masawbi has only one ambition in life, to follow his uncle Ismail and become a suicide bomber in Palestine’s bloody intifada against Israel… They are as proud of Ismail as another family would be at a son’s college graduation.”

Response: Death, be not proud. The terrible carnage brought on by suicide bombers is a terrorist act and a crime against humanity, nothing less. In the name of human decency, we protest the uncritical recitation of praise for the bombers and the attempt to find mitigating circumstances for these heinous crimes.

* * *

[DISTORTION 4] – Reporters refuse to recognize the Palestinian Authority’s role in inciting violence.

Newsweek: “The Palestinian Authority, which once kept a lid on Islamic terrorists in Jenin, now looks the other way.”

Response: The Palestinian Authority, in school textbooks and in the media, has carried out a nonstop campaign of incitement to kill Jews. Further, the hate-filled words of PA-appointed Islamic leaders are broadcast live on official PA television, as a recent sermon from a Gaza mosque preached: “We blow up Jews in Hadera, we blow them up in Tel Aviv and in Netanya, and in this way, Allah establishes us as rulers over these gangs of vagabonds.”

If you find these stories biased, respond to:

FAX: (212) 445-5068
Surface mail: Newsweek, 251 W. 57th St., New York NY 10019

FAX: (312) 222-2598
Surface mail: Voice of the People, Chicago Tribune, 435 N.
Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60611

– click “Contact Us”
Phone: (+44) 0171-293-3000
Surface mail: Daily Mirror, One Canada Square, London E14 SAP

The most effective method is to write a letter in your own words. Otherwise, cut-and-paste from the above responses. These points are appropriate for responding to other publications as well.

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.

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