The Re-cycled DistortionJanuary 13, 2005 12:00 by ManagingTeam
Palestinian terrorists ? launching numerous rocket, mortar, and bombing attacks on Israeli civilians in Gaza over the past few days ? are doing their best to spoil the positive atmosphere engendered by the Palestinian elections.Though the terrorists are clearly the single obstacle to moving forward, some media outlets have shown an inability to extract themselves from their four year-old narrative that blames either Israel, or a vague ‘cycle of violence’ for all troubles. The Scotsman, for example, took a wholly innocent gesture from Ariel Sharon and spun it as a provocative act ? note the Scotsman’s headline to this Reuters report (Jan. 12):
The Scotsman assigns to Sharon’s phone call some causal effect on Hamas’ attack, though there’s not a shred of evidence Hamas was even aware of this call. It’s one thing for the media to falsely accuse Sharon of ‘sparking’ the last intifada, but will even his peace overtures be blamed for ongoing terrorist violence?
Comments to The Scotsman: click here
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Reuters, meanwhile, seems stuck in ‘cycle of violence’ mode.
On Wednesday (Jan. 12), one Israeli civilian and two Palestinians were killed in Gaza and the West Bank. Though the three died on the same day, the circumstances of their deaths could not have differed more:
? Gideon Rivlin (pictured, with son and wife) fell victim to an Islamic Jihad bomb placed inside his Gaza residential community. Islamic Jihad released a statement that this terror attack was a direct message to newly-elected PA president Mahmoud Abbas that his recent overtures on Israeli-Palestinian co-existence are unacceptable to them.
? Meanwhile, two Hamas men fell near Ramallah after a concerted IDF effort to avoid any violence:
Soldiers of the Nahal Brigade reached a house in the village to arrest the wanted men. After surrounding the house, soldiers called out to residents to leave the building. When the fugitives failed to surrender, soldiers began demolishing the house in an attempt to force them out. When that failed, soldiers stormed the building, and the two fugitives… opened fire on the soldiers. The soldiers returned fire, killing them. (Jerusalem Post)
Yet in reporting the three deaths, Reuters employed the same ‘neutral’ terminology that news agencies have favored for the past four years:
Wednesday’s killings threatened a relapse into what has been an intractable cycle of violence that, unless quickly checked, could stall fresh internationally backed momentum toward Middle East peace negotiations, frozen since 2000.
In truth, the current situation ? with Abu Mazen reaching out to Israel and (to some extent) challenging the terrorists ? clearly demonstrates just how inaccurate the ‘cycle of violence’ description is. The ‘momentum toward Middle East peace negotiations’ that Reuters refers to is threatened by one thing only ? Islamist terrorists who, by their own admission, are not interested in peace.
So the conflict is, now more than ever, a linear one, not circular: Palestinian terrorists strike, the IDF attempts to halt them. The terrorists are motivated not by Israeli acts (as the term ‘cycle’ suggests), but rather by an ideology that even Reuters acknowledges in this very article: ‘Islamists seek to destroy Israel itself and pose Abbas’s main opposition.’
In an apparent effort to maintain neutrality, Reuters continues to employ the term ‘cycle of violence’ to describe the conflict. But in doing so, they distort the basic facts of reality ? a far from ‘neutral’ position.
Comments to Reuters: firstname.lastname@example.org
HonestReporting encourages subscribers to monitor your local media for ongoing use of the term ‘cycle of violence’ to describe the linear dynamic of Palestinian terrorists, thwarting those who seek peace.
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