The Rest of the StoryJune 3, 2004 12:00 by ManagingTeam
Israeli anti-terror efforts function through a two-stage process: In stage one, the IDF acts e.g. entering Jenin, building the security fence, or targeting Gaza terrorist cells. In stage two, the terrorism abates enabling Israelis to proceed with normal civilian life, fostering positive reform among Palestinians, and creating a broader hope for reconciliation.
Though this well-established pattern characterizes the recent history of this conflict, Western media focus almost exclusively upon the dramatic and painful first stage, ignoring its fruits in stage two. Here are some recent examples of ‘stage two’ that you most likely didn’t hear about:
ISRAEL IS BECOMING SAFER: An Israeli official from the northern Gilboa region relates:
Instead of 600 terrorist incidents per year around here, in the last five months we’ve had zero. Tens of thousands of illegal Palestinian workers would cross through here every year; in the past five months, you’ve got it, zero. And guess what? Theft is way down too.
This fine chart from Josh Harvey indicates how increased IDF pressure thwarts the great majority of Palestinian suicide-terror attacks. The army’s tireless efforts have paid clear dividends in reducing terrorism.
The Wall Street Journal editorializes:
It appears Israel has won this round of the war against Hamas, heralding what might be the end of the second “intifada.” There has been no successful suicide attack in over three months. Israel has all but decapitated Hamas, greatly crippling its operational capabilities. And the security barrier has made it infinitely more difficult for suicide bombers to reach their targets. (6/11)
PALESTINIANS ARE REJECTING THE TERRORISTS: In the West Bank Palestinian town of Tulkarm, where once
the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades would have been swaggering through the streets…with their AK-47s, inspiring admiration in some residents, terrorizing others, and plotting what they call ‘military operations’ against nearby Jewish settlements or Israeli cities…the armed men are not walking around anymore, certainly not in broad daylight. The few of them left after the army’s frequent raids are said to be feeling hunted and alone. Many in the town are already declaring Tulkarm’s intifada over.
Residents of Tulkarm are no longer willing to provide refuge for the armed men in their houses, local sources say, for fear of ending up on the army’s demolition list. (via Jerusalem Report)
In Gaza, Palestinians are turning on those who want to build more weapons-smuggling tunnels:
“Many people now oppose our work. I know of cases where people have noticed others digging a tunnel and they have assaulted them,” said Mustafa, a veteran Rafah tunnel builder.
And in Jenin, life is improving:
According to Hader Abu Sheikh, an official of the Palestinian Legislative Council, “there is 70% more nightlife in Jenin than a year ago.” “We are talking about the resumption of traditional Palestinian nightlife,” explains Abu Sheikh. “Weddings, men sitting in cafes late at night, women visiting each other...”
“There are positive business indicators, as people are starting to think of capital and investment and commerce again,” said Ziad Mifleh, director-general of the Jenin Chamber of Commerce. Even Palestinian Legislative Council member Sakhri Turkuman, a Fatah official, concedes that the security fence has “created some stability in Jenin.”
ARABS ARE FED UP WITH ARAFAT: Yassir Arafat, whose removal from power is a cornerstone of the Quartet’s ‘road map’ to peace, is under pressure from within:
The growing dissatisfaction within the Palestinian population over the rampant corruption and incompetence of the PA has infiltrated its security services, some of which have begun to mutiny…(Maariv)
And also from without:
Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman, who visited Ramallah last week, warned Arafat to relax his grip on the reins of power or face the possibility that Egypt and the US will cease to block Sharon from carrying out his threat to “remove” him. (Al-Quds Al-Arabi, via Jerusalem Post)
A survey of the major media shows a conspicuous absence of articles that convey these positive outcomes of Israeli anti-terror actions. Media outlets, therefore, are presenting a skewed and partial picture: ‘Israeli aggression, Palestinian suffering’, end of story.
Moreover, while Israel is in the midst of a ‘stage one’ action i.e. the current IDF search for smuggling tunnels in Gaza the media have been focusing almost exclusively on the immediate damage, without adding important context of how similar actions have yielded positive results. This is part of a larger problem of news stories framing IDF actions in a narrow context, with the terrorism that necessitated them also downplayed.
HonestReporting encourages subscribers to contact your local editors, calling on them to publish the rest of the story the positive outcome of IDF actions, and why they are needed in the first place.
Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.