‘Shocking’ Omission by AP

On Feb. 26, the IDF arrested three Palestinian boys ? aged 12, 13, and 15 ? armed with homemade weapons and attempting to infiltrate Israel from the West Bank. The boys told police that they were trying to reach the Israeli town of Afula, where they were planning to open fire on civilians, then die as “martyrs.”

No observer of Palestinian society could be surprised by this event. Besides being regularly used as guinea pigs by terrorist groups, Palestinian children are raised in a culture that glamorizes violence at every turn, encouraging active participation in suicide terror from the youngest age.

Yet in covering the arrest of these three young boys, Associated Press includes no reference whatsoever to Palestinian cultural encouragement of child terrorism ? and actually goes a step further, describing the boys’ act as “sparking horror” and “shock” among Palestinians that such a thing could occur:

In an article headlined “Use of Young Recruits Upsets Palestinians, AP reports that

[13-year old] Tarek’s parents were outraged and criticized Islamic Jihad for recruiting youngsters for an attack that would likely lead to their deaths… the ages of the Tubas youths was especially shocking for many… [they] found it hard to reconcile their image of their children with that of militants.

Then AP quotes the official PA position:

“That’s absolutely unacceptable,” said Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat. “Our children should have hope and a future and should not be suicide bombers. We want them to be doctors and engineers.”

Does AP seriously believe that an intelligent reader is convinced that Palestinian parents and officials are “shocked” by child violence?

While American kids collect baseball cards, Palestinian kids eagerly collect “terrorist cards.” MEMRI documents regular PA sermons urging children to blow themselves up while “plunging into the midst of the Jews.” And Itamar Marcus recently testified to the US Senate on the systematic indoctrination of young Palestinian children ? through official PA schoolbooks, public events, television, and even music videos ? to become suicide terrorists “for the sake of Allah.”

What conclusion can be drawn? Perhaps AP is woefully ignorant of the constant brainwashing of Palestinian children to seek religious “martyrdom” through suicide terror. Alternatively, AP’s complete omission of key context ? while presenting the child violence as a shocking surprise for Palestinian parents and officials ? is a blatant violation of media objectivity, effectively covering up for Palestinian society’s appalling mistreatment of children.

Interesting, isn’t it, that on the wall of the home of the 12-year old arrested in this incident were posters glorifying armed Palestinian thugs:

Palestinian Qadar Dababaat, 38, mother of Jaffar, 12, who was arrested by Israeli security forces, looks at pictures of her late brothers Kasem, right, and Ayman, left, both militants killed during the recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at the family house in the northern West Bank village of Tubas, Sunday, Feb. 29, 2004. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)

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