Terror Continues; Media Responds

The terror war against Israel escalated to a shocking and repugnant new level this week. Is there a more heinous crime than a “homicide bomber” deliberately blowing up, burning, and maiming women, children, and babies in their carriages as they waited outside of a Jerusalem synagogue? In the past few hours, Iszraelis have been murdered at a Tel Aviv restaurant, on the Jerusalem Tunnel Road, and at the Afula Bus Station.

Despite the horrors of the terror, some reporters and correspondents continue to equate Palestinian terror and Israeli defense. Some media sources even blamed the terror attacks on Israel’s military actions against terrorist concentrations in Palestinian refugee camps.

BBC’s web site reported: “The latest upsurge in violence follows Israel’s unprecedented assault on two West Bank refugee camps which left more than 20 Palestinians dead.”

BBC assumes that acts of terror, such as the attack on Saturday night on the women and children, are spontaneous outbursts.

In fact, terrorist acts such as the Saturday night massacre take extensive planning and coordination. The terrorists are supported by an infrastructure involving commanders, intelligence gatherers, bomb-makers, drivers, “social service organizations” that aid the terrorist’s family, and cameramen who film the homicide bomber on the eve of the attack.

In monitoring the media, it is important to point out that in the Balata camp, IDF forces discovered caches of illegal weapons, a laboratory for the production of “Kassam” rockets and bombs, and seven explosive belts ready to be used by homicide bombers.

Read BBC’s coverage at:

Complaints to:

Meanwhile, in a gross attempt at moral equivalence, MSNBC summed up the recent violence as follows:

“In the past 17 months of fighting, Israel has killed dozens of suspected Palestinian militants in targeted attacks, including by firing missiles at their vehicles from helicopter gunships. Several bystanders have been killed in such attacks.

“Hamas has carried out numerous suicide attacks that have killed dozens of Israelis since the start of the uprising.”

Wrong. MSNBC. There is no moral equivalence. Has any Arab been killed at a pizzeria or discotheque? Have any Israelis erupted in celebration upon hearing of the deaths of innocent people?

Complaints to:

Meanwhile, Reuters continues to present some of the most lopsided coverage anywhere to be found. This week, Reuters cited Palestinian sources as saying that IDF actions “were intended to sabotage a Saudi peace bid,” and cited Yasser Arafat who “urged international action to halt what he described as a massacre.”

According to Reuters, the Israelis had no comment.

Complaints to:

========== CNN RESPONDS ===========

We have seen many recent examples of HonestReporting members effectively responding to the biased, incorrect and insensitive reporting.

This week, HonestReporting members received an unusual response from CNN regarding coverage of the Karnei Shomron homicide bombing — in which CNN reported personal details about the bomber, but the Israeli teenaged victims were left anonymous. CNN did admit in its letters and in discussions with HonestReporting.com that it erred in some of the coverage and “should have updated those stories with the additional information.”

In its letter, CNN discussed the “horrors of terrorism and of terrorist groups,” a departure from the morally corrupt term, “militant.” CNN also insisted that there was no bias in its reporting.

HonestReporting will continue to monitor CNN closely. There is a very thin line between biased reporting and bad, unprofessional reporting.

========= UPDATE: THE SAUDI PLAN ===========

Some HonestReporting members asked about last week’s communique on Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah’s peace proposal. “Was HonestReporting taking a partisan position?” one member asked.

To explain: The HonestReporting communique was in response to some naive and simplistic editorial comments about the Prince’s plan. As articulated by Smartertimes.com, the Saudi call for “total withdrawal by Israel to the June 4, 1967, lines” means not only an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but also from the Golan Heights and from eastern Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives. By minimizing the Israeli territorial concessions involved, the media makes the Saudi plan sound more feasible than it actually is.

This week, editorials across the nation agreed with HonestReporting’s skepticism about the Saudi plan:

— THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, usually considered sympathetic to the Arab positions, suggested (March 1) that the plan was “A Saudi Smokescreen.” The Monitor argued, “Despite a need to end a 17-month-long war between Israel and the Palestinians, it’s difficult to take seriously a surprise peace plan from Saudi Arabia. The plan is vague and sketchy, and was only casually mentioned last month to a visiting American. The interview itself was part of a massive public-relations campaign by Saudi Arabia after Sept. 11, to clear its name in the United States. Skepticism (but not cynicism) toward Saudi motives is justified. But with no options for peace now, it’s worth probing the sincerity and the details of the Saudi vision.”

— THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL (March 1) pointed out that, “Apart from its source, the Saudi proposal is about the same as many other plans that have been proposed and then rejected. In any event, the idea of Israel relinquishing every inch of the territories it conquered in the 1967 war has long been superseded by U.N. Security Resolution 242, the basis for all subsequent Arab-Israeli negotiations, under which Israel would try to negotiate secure boundaries for itself. The Saudi plan may well be just a gambit aimed at buying time while inflating its influence and assuaging an America angry about Saudis’ very active (if indirect) promotion of terrorism and especially their role, passive or active, in Sept. 11.”

— A KANSAS CITY STAR editorial (March 1), entitled “Vague Saudi proposals should not sidetrack fight against terrorism,” pointed out that “The recent musings of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdullah on the Arab-Israeli conflict mar
k a return to an old idea: the Jewish state should trade land for Arab promises of peace. This broad suggestion hardly qualifies as a great diplomatic breakthrough, particularly when the Saudi regime has failed to adequately explain what it really has in mind. It remains unclear, for example, whether he and other Arab leaders have finally abandoned their unreasonable demand that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians be allowed to move into Israel even if the Palestinians have their own state. This would kill any peace deal… [T]here is good reason to suspect the current peace talk in Saudi Arabia might be nothing more than an insincere PR effort. Abdullah desperately wants to distract Americans from the growing realization that his regime has not been as helpful as it could have been in the fight against terrorism.”

(No online version of the editorial was available.)