The recent spate of Hamas op-eds in mainstream newspapers, including the Washington Post, New York Times and LA Times, rightly elicited many protests against giving free propaganda to terrorists. Your correspondence with the LA Times paid off as the paper published two responses to Mousa Abu Marzouk’s recent piece.
Comedy writer Jeff Astrof offered his own unique take:
“The piece, “Hamas’ stand,” written by Hamas politico Mousa Abu Marzook, contains all the elements of a good comedy. First, the premise: A terrorist organization violently opposed to Western culture uses the media of one of its sworn enemies – in May, a top Hamas official called for death to all Americans – to try to explain itself to the same Americans it wishes to kill! Move over Oscar and Felix, we have Mousa and Uncle Sam.”
Offering a more serious tone, Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper from the Simon Wiesenthal Center were also given op-ed space:
“Let’s be clear: This issue is not about giving ink to Hamas’ views. Their statements and actions deserve real-time coverage, just the way the statements and actions of Hitler and Stalin received coverage by the most prestigious newspapers in the world’s most important democracy. But such people do not deserve the status of a sagely byline, because that destroys the distinction between honorable men and women bound by basic principles of humanity and the despots and terrorists eager to destroy those values.
If the criteria is simply because “it is an important story,” then would the editors have welcomed articles by Auschwitz’s Dr. Josef Mengele justifying his gruesome medical experiments, or by the Virginia Tech killer explaining why he committed mass murder? Of course, newspapers have the right and responsibility to inform their readers about dictators and purveyors of terror. But they don’t have the right to bestow editorial credibility on those bent on genocide.”
Despite these very relevant arguments, the Washington Post has, once again given a soapbox to terror. In a religious issues section, Sheik Muhammed Hussein Fadlallah gets the opportunity to spin jihad as “no different than any human and civilized concept of self-defense.”
Fadlallah is one of Hezbollah’s senior “spiritual leaders” and in the 80s , was the organization’s most prominent spokesman. The Washington Post/Newsweek describes him as “the leading Shi’ite Muslim Intellectual in Lebanon.”
The Counterterrorism Blog points out that Fadlallah is on the US Treasury Department’s Specifically Designated Nationals list. According to Newsweek, in 1983, US officials accused Fadlallah of issuing a religious ruling condoning a suicide attack on US barracks that killed 241 Marines, soldiers and sailors.
Letters to the Washington Post – firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC: MORE SUBTLE BIAS
Our exclusive analysis of the BBC revealed, amongst the general bias, that greater attention is paid to Palestinian voices and opinions than Israeli ones. So we have to ask why the BBC has given prominence to a feature “In pictures: The work of Naji al-Ali“. According to the BBC: “It is 20 years since the fatal shooting of the Arab world’s foremost political cartoonist, Naji Ali, creator of the character Handhala, child of the Palestinian refugee camps…. Born in Palestine in 1938, he became a refugee at the age of 10 when Israel came into being. Images of Palestinian struggle and suffering dominated his work.”
Does the BBC pay as much attention to prominent Israeli cultural figures, scientists, musicians, innovators and Nobel Prize winners? Why then does Naji al-Ali warrant the BBC’s attention other than to promote his political cartoons (which may fit the BBC’s political worldview)?
And on the subject of the BBC, we were amused to see, that in response to recent editorial lapses, BBC staff will be required to go on a mandatory new training program to teach honesty.
NUJ ABANDONS ISRAEL BOYCOTT
As reported in The Guardian, the British National Union of Journalists will take “no further action” on implementing the controversial resolution by its members to boycott Israeli goods and services. The NUJ’s national executive council unanimously backed a motion that recognised the NUJ would take no further action on the call for an Israeli boycott because the Trades Union Congress has rejected it.
It recognised the concerns expressed by some members, chapels and branches about the proposed boycott and said that it had met the terms of the original delegate vote in favour of the boycott at its annual meeting earlier this year by informing the TUC of the conference vote.
We applaud those journalists and NUJ members who expressed their outrage at the boycott vote, including many from the BBC and other major UK news organizations who took a leading role in opposing the boycott. Sadly, the boycott campaign continues in other UK trade union organizations.
AND THE WINNER IS…
We’re pleased to announce the winner of our 2007 Israel Trip Giveaway, Judith Golub, of Kingston, NY. Judith teaches remedial math at a local community college. She also directs the religious school at Temple Emanuel, where she sometimes uses HonestReporting material when talking to her grade 9 and 10 classes. We are sure that Judith will enjoy her free round-trip airfare and stay in a luxury Jerusalem hotel courtesy of HonestReporting.
Congratulations also to our other winners of Judaica items and a video I-Pod and our appreciation to the thousands of you who participated. A big welcome to
all of our new readers who have helped to push our subscriber list beyond the 150,000 mark – ensuring that more people than ever before are taking action to address anti-Israel bias and holding the media to account.