Scapegoating Israel – Part 2

Dear Honest Reporting Member,

Around the Western world, political, civic and religious leaders are urging citizens to avoid blaming innocent Moslems for the heinous crimes committed by Bin Laden’s fanatics.

It is good advice.

At the same time, editors and publishers should be reminded that Israel was also not responsible for last week’s mega-terror. Some reporters are opportunistically using the WTC attacks to call for Israeli territorial concessions, and for elimination of American aid to Israel.

HonestReporting presents 4 recent articles dealing with this issue: Two egregious examples of scapegoating Israel, as well as two articles that effectively responded to the canards.

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(1) Salon.Com is one of the Internet’s leading magazines. Its executive editor, Gary Kamiya, posted a Sept. 17 essay entitled, “The bloody Jordan river now flows through America — There will be no peace for the U.S. until we convince Israel to make peace with the Palestinians.” He writes:

“One specific grievance rankles in the breasts of millions of Arab and Islamic people in the world… And until that grievance is resolved, there is a greater possibility that one of those people will decide to strike a terrible blow at the United States… The critical issue is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict… We must pressure Israel to take the concrete steps necessary to provide justice for the Palestinian people.”

Kamiya suggests cutting U.S. aid to Israel: “There should be no great difficulty in getting the Israelis to do what we want: Just tell them that if they don’t, we won’t give them any more money. It’s remarkable how persuasive $3 billion a year can be.”

Read the article at:

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(2) BBC’s Tehran correspondent Jim Muir, posted a Sept. 19 screed, “Explaining Arab Anger.” According to Muir, “Although there are many other issues, Washington’s enabling alliance with Israel may be the biggest element in the Arab and Muslim anger, hatred and despair which are focused on America.”

Muir began his assault on Israel with a reminder of the 1982 Lebanese war and the Arab casualties who “died unmourned and largely unnoticed by the American public, whose largesse [to Israel] — financial, military and political — made it all possible. The same formula has held true for the Palestinians practically since Israel’s creation in 1948.”

Read Muir’s BBC article at:

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(3) Norman Podhoretz, an editor at Commentary magazine, wrote a masterpiece in the Sept. 20 Wall Street Journal: “Israel isn’t the issue – Islamic fanatics hate America in its own right.” Podhoretz writes:

“The point is that if Israel had never come into existence, or if it were magically to disappear, the United States would still stand as an embodiment of everything that most of these Arabs consider evil. Indeed, the hatred of Israel is in large part a surrogate for anti-Americanism.”

Podhoretz’ essay is an excellent primer on this topic, and we are sending the entire text as a separate e-mail to HonestReporting members.

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(4) The Washington Post’s Michael Dobbs, in a Sept. 19 analysis, “Inside the Mind of Osama Bin Laden,” writes that Israel ranks way down on Bin Laden’s list of grievances.

“In bin Laden’s war, the goal of expelling the “Judeo-Christian enemy’ from the holy lands of Islam should be met first on the Arabian peninsula. His next priority is Iraq, which for 500 years was the seat of the most powerful Islamic state, or caliphate. A distant third on this agenda is Palestine, site of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.”

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The most effective method is to write a letter in your own words. Otherwise, cut-and-paste the sample letter below.

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

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

To the Editor of Salon.Com:

Gary Kamiya’s article, “The bloody Jordan river now flows through America,” is so replete with bias and errors of facts that needs to investigate if a malevolent virus has invaded its site.

First, even assuming Kamiya’s erroneous assumption that Israel is the basis for the Arab world’s hatred of America, surrendering to the terrorists’ demands is precisely the opposite of what should be done.

Kamiya claims that the U.S. has the power to “broker a deal” between the Israel and the Palestinians, but “hitherto, we have lacked the will to do so.” Did Kamiya sleep through last year’s negotiations at Camp David where an American president brokered a deal, and where Israel offered the Palestinians virtually all the territories as well as shared sovereignty of Jerusalem? Arafat rejected the deal, refused to present a counteroffer, and instead orchestrated a campaign of violence.


To the Editor of

Jim Muir’s attempts at “Explaining Arab anger” are sorrowful apologia for Arab and Moslem radicalism and terrorism against the West.

Muir’s reference to fighting in Beirut 20 years ago and to Ariel Sharon’s election is irrelevant to the anti-American attacks. Bin Laden began his attacks as a protest to American troops on the Arabian Peninsula. His attacks on New York and Washington were planned over a year ago, long before Sharon was elected to office, and at a time when Ehud Barak was offering to surrender almost all of the Palestinian territories and joint sovereignty of Jerusalem.

Only as an afterthought does Muir discuss Arab and Moslem dissatisfaction over the Iraqi sanctions, American presence in Saudi Arabia, and American suppor
t for corrupt regimes. Instead, one-third of Muir’s article is devoted to military events in Lebanon 20 years ago. His accusations of Israeli terrorism and gangsterism sound straight from the Ayatollah’s palace, where Muir has obviously been spending too much of his time.


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