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January 13, 2014

In Sharon Coverage, NPR Skews

NPR Ariel Sharon.jpg

In a Jan. 11 NPR Weekend Edition Saturday broadcast on Ariel Sharon, Mike Shuster whitewashes the relentless Palestinian attacks against Israel emanating from Lebanon leading up to the first Lebanon war. Shuster reported:

Sharon became defense minister in 1981, and from the moment he took that post, it appeared that he was planning Israel's next war. The Palestinians in Lebanon, to Israel's north, were threatening Israeli territory, and Sharon wanted to end it. (Emphasis added.)

Palestinians in Lebanon did more than "threaten" Israeli territory. They also frequently attacked Israeli territory, killing civilians, including many children. For instance, Palestinian terrorists from Lebanon carried out the massacre of Maalot school children in 1974, murdering 22 children; the May 20, 1970 assault on a school bus in Avivim near the Lebanon border, killing 12 Israeli civilians, including nine children; and the March 11, 1978 attack of a tour bus on the coast south of Haifa, killing 34, including mothers and children; in addition to the ongoing bombardment of the Galilee. In the week of July 14-21, 1981, 33 towns and villages in northern Israel were hit by more than 1,000 shells and rockets, forcing residents of Kiryat Shemona, Metulla, Nahariya, and Kibbutz Dan, and dozens of other communities, to live in shelters for days on end. (Ariel Sharon, "Warrior," p 430-431).

In a separate NPR broadcast on Sharon, Jan. 11 edition of NPR's "All Things Considered," Emily Harris grossly misleads:

Palestinians remember Sharon's visit to Islam's holiest spot in Jerusalem, widely credited with triggering the second intifada, his building of the separation barrier in and around the West Bank, and Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon led by Sharon, which included massacres in two Palestinian refugee camps.

While Palestinians, who routinely deny Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, likely view events through that lens, NPR has an obligation to inform listeners that, in fact, the site in question is also Judaism's holiest site in the world.

Secondly, uninformed listeners would reasonably, and erroneously, understand from Harris' report that the massacres in two Palestinian refugee camps were carried out by Israeli forces, and not the Christian Lebanese Phanlange militia.

Posted by TS at January 13, 2014 05:42 AM


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