Two-Faced Response to Gaza Bombing


Yesterday (Oct. 15), Palestinian terrorists bombed a U.S. convoy in the Gaza strip, killing three Americans. The convoy had been on its way to interview potential Palestinian recipients of the American Fulbright Scholarship.

The news media were quick to report the blanket PA denunciation of the attack, dismissing the perpetrators as “a small breakaway faction.” Virtually every agency in the world quoted Yasser Arafat condemning “this ugly crime targeting American observers as they were on a mission for security and peace,” as well as PA spokesman Saeb Erakat’s lament, “These are American monitors that have come here at our request…these people were here to help us,” and Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei’s statement, “We strongly condemn this incident and we will conduct an investigation and we will follow it to find the source of this attack.”

Yet, while expressing remorse and conciliation to a Western audience, the PA leadership expressed only irrational vilification of Israel to their own public ? a recurring problem before, during and after the Oslo period. Pictured here is the cartoon that appeared today (Oct. 16) in the official PA-sponsored and controlled daily newspaper, Al-Hayat-Al-Jadeeda (The road sign reads “Gaza”):


While acknowledging Palestinian responsibility to Western reporters, the PA is communicating to its own people that the bomb was planted by Israel; moreover, the Americans themselves are portrayed with a long hooked-nose ? the classic characterization of Jewishness. The official PA organ, therefore, not only denies Palestinian responsibility for the act (blaming Israel instead), but even promotes to the Palestinian public the wild idea that the Americans themselves are part of some vast Jewish movement or conspiracy.

The message of the cartoon was supported by commentaries throughout the Palestinian press. In Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda (where the cartoon was printed), Fuad Abu Hijleh stated “Israel benefits from this explosion…Perhaps American citizens are so naive to believe the Israeli accusations against us, but…we know that the crime against the American citizens is an Israeli plot masterminded by the minds in the Mossad.” The editor-in-chief of Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda claimed, “It’s possible that the explosive device was part of a pure Israeli operation designed to accuse the Palestinians of being hostile to the Americans and to create the false impression that there are al-Qaida cells here,” and Basim Abu Samiah claimed in that paper not only that it’s “doubtful” that the perpetrator “was a Palestinian party,” but Americans weren’t even the target: “The explosion was not prepared for the Americans.” Commentator Talal Okal noted in Al-Ayyam that the PA has officially accused Israel of attacking the American convoy, and asked: “Why did Israel blow up the US security vehicle accompanying a US delegation to Gaza?”

Ignoring such material, major news outlets continue to accept, without due qualification, PA statements accepting blame for their internal terror problem. Such reporting facilitates the falsehood that Palestinian leaders have been foisting upon the Western world ? that they are allied with the U.S. and truly committed to peace with Israel. Meanwhile, those same leaders have been deluding the Palestinian people, in typical Mideast dictatorial fashion, that all of their own society’s problems are entirely the fault of Israel.

President Bush immediately held the Palestinian Authority responsible for the attack, uttering the mantra of Israeli spokesmen after their own terror attacks: “Palestinian authorities should have acted long ago to fight terror in all its forms. The failure to create effective Palestinian security forces dedicated to fighting terror continues to cost lives. “

Nonetheless, the two most influential American newspapers found it necessary to suggest that Israel and America are themselves responsible for the attacks:

Washington Post: “As Israel has demolished homes, assassinated suspected terrorists and established checkpoints and closures in the Palestinian territories in response to Palestinian suicide bombings, Palestinians ? particularly in the Gaza Strip, where sentiments are more strident and radical ? have grown increasingly angry with the U.S. government for offering no criticism of Israel.”

The New York Times: “Anger has crested to new heights in the last week in the wake of an Israeli crackdown in Rafah, a refugee camp on the Egyptian border south of Gaza City where hundreds of families have been left homeless after their houses were destroyed by Israeli troops searching for gun-smuggling tunnels.”

HonestReporting encourages subscribers to contact your local media to demand they cease facilitating a Palestinian duplicity that issues conciliatory statements to a Western audience, while fomenting hatred among their own Arab constituency.

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