The Grand Pooh-Bah Of Ramallah

Dear HonestReporting Member,

As the civilized world reels from another heinous shooting spree in downtown Jerusalem, Palestinian factions are declaring “all-out war” against the Jewish state.

In the meantime, Yasser Arafat’s world has effectively shrunk to a fiefdom of 100 meters in Ramallah, earning him the title of Grand Pooh-Bah — “a pompous ostentatious official, especially one who, holding many offices, fulfills none of them” (as defined on

Nevertheless, reporters continue to make pilgrimage to Arafat, to pay homage and to propagate the myth of Arafat’s “ceasefire” — despite the ongoing carnage against Israeli civilians.

HonestReporting cites three egregious examples:

—- (1) NEWSWEEK —-

Dan Ephron delivers a fawning interview with Arafat in Newsweek (January 28). Excerpts:

“Though [Arafat] is the smallest man in the room-nearly cartoonish in his oversize glasses — his presence is colossal… Even when Arafat kept things quiet during a 24-day stretch beginning last month — creating possibly the best climate in more than a year for a return to the bargaining table — Sharon brushed it off as a trick. To back up his charges of duplicity, he cited a weapons-laden ship apparently headed for Palestinian territory…

“Despite his limited range of movement, Arafat told Newsweek he is still a player — that he is using all the resources at his disposal to effect a ceasefire. ‘I’ll do my best to sustain it,’ he insisted.”

Newsweek fails to make clear that Arafat’s various terrorist organizations, including Fatah and Tanzim, have never stopped arming and planning new terrorist attacks under his direct control. Nor does Newsweek mention how the ceasefire was a tactical lull while Arafat attempted to rearm with new terror weapons from Iran.

Comments to:

—- (2) MSNBC.COM —-

MSNBC’s report on the recent Tulkarem raid gives Yasser Arafat the soapbox and portrays him as a heroic seeker of peace — despite the mountain of evidence against him. MSNBC refers to “a defiant Arafat, who called a truce with Israel last month,” and quotes Arafat as saying “We extend our hand to make the peace of the brave.”

In one article, MSNBC quotes Arafat no less than 6 times, including provocations such as: “This [raid] is an implementation of the Israeli plan of aggression… They have crossed all red lines…”

Throughout the entire report, no direct quote was presented from any Israeli official, and MSNBC allows Arafat’s outrageous incitements to stand unchallenged.

Comments to MSNBC ombudsman Dan Fisher at:


The weekly Economist pushed the myth of Arafat’s ceasefire when it claimed that the January 17 murder of six Israelis at a Hadera bat mitzvah was “the first Palestinian attack on civilians since Mr. Arafat’s call on December 16 for a ceasefire.”

Why would the Economist ignore the January 15 murder of Yoela Chen (age 45 and mother of two), who was shot and killed by Palestinian terrorists as she filled up at the gas station? And why would the Economist ignore the January 15 murder of US citizen Avi Boaz, age 72, who was kidnapped under the eyes of Palestinian police and brutally murdered by Palestinians near Bethlehem.

The Economist blamed Israel for the armed escalation: “The return to arms was spurred by Israel’s (unacknowledged) assassination of Raed Karmi, a leader of the Brigades in Tulkarm… Fatah insisted that Mr Karmi had observed Mr Arafat’s ceasefire call, and that so, until now, had the Brigades.”

In truth, Karmi was directly responsible for the murder of 9 Israeli civilians, and was actively engaged in planning to kill more. The responsibility for his death does not lie with the Israelis, but with Arafat who had issued assurances that Karmi was under arrest.

Comments to:

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


The prestigious Columbia Journalism Review has published, “Letter from Jerusalem, Caught in the Middle,” by Steve McNally, who reports for NPR’s Marketplace, ABC Radio, and the Canadian Broadcasting Company. McNally describes how he, as a Westerner, tries to “compensate” by leaning in favor of the Palestinian side.

McNally describes covering the Palestinian-Israel conflict as a “job rife with tension, made worse by the fact that your every effort to deal with this complex and seemingly irresolvable conflict brings close scrutiny from interest groups… Another kind of pressure on journalists comes from advocacy groups for both sides based in the U.S. and elsewhere. They dissect reports, do ‘studies’ in search of bias, organize letter-writing campaigns…”

McNally continued: “But there was one letter [from a pro-Arab advocate, Ali Abunimah] that gave me pause. I can’t remember the specific point, but it got me asking myself whether I actually had an unconscious bias that I wasn’t aware of: I live on the Israeli side of Jerusalem… a lot of the Jewish reality has become my reality… I try to compensate by mentally changing one hat for the other, but it’s only a partial solution.”