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August 31, 2005

More on Palestinian Incitement

The Palestinian response to Israel's withdrawal from Gaza—both official and otherwise— has been to incite the Palestinian public to more violence against Israel. U.S. News & World Report Editor-in-Chief Mortimer Zuckerman comments on this phenomenon in his most recent editorial:

The response of the Palestinians to a heroic act of statesmanship is contemptible. Not only have their leaders been demanding more, but they have endorsed the baldfaced lie of the extremist Hamas group that "the blood of our martyrs" drove the Israelis out of the Gaza settlements.

While much of the media has been lauding Mahmoud Abbas' stated opposition to violence while ignoring or whitewashing his crediting Palestinian "martyrs" for Israel's withdrawal, Zuckerman correctly indicates that this credit

is not just false. It is an incitement to more violence and terrorism.

Zuckerman recalls past statements by the Palestinian leader which raise doubts about his ultimate agenda:

Since all this poison passes largely unnoticed in the West, it is necessary to spell out a few declarations of intent. Abbas himself, on the occasion of Israel's 57th birthday, proclaimed that the creation of the Jewish state was the "greatest crime in human history." More recently, he said: "Today we are beginning the march of the fishermen towards freedom. Soon you will be able to fish along the whole coast of Palestine." What could he mean when the rest of the coast of Palestine is Israel?

The editorial also questions Abbas' stated intent of bringing terrorists into the political process instead of disarming them, and points out that "in the five months between the February cease-fire and July, Palestinians carried out 812 attacks on Israeli targets."

Read the entire column here.

Posted by RH at 02:26 PM |  Comments (0)

August 30, 2005

Palestinian Terrorism Increases

As Palestinians from across the spectrum—terrorists, imams, and the Palestinian leader—credit "martyrs", i.e. terrorists with forcing Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, the quest to follow in their footsteps appears to be growing. Since the withdrawal, terrorism against Israelis has increased.

On Wednesday August 24, Shmuel Matt, a seminary student from England was stabbed to death near Jaffa Gate. His American friend, Sammy Weissbard was wounded in the same attack.

The following day, Palestinians fired two Qassam rockets from the Gaza Strip into Sderot.
That same day, a high alert was declared in the North after a rocket from Lebanon was lobbed into the northern community of Margaliot.

During the Sunday rush hour, an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber blew himself up at the Central bus station in Be'er Sheva, severely wounding two security guards, and injuring 50 other Israeli citizens.

On Monday, another 14-year-old Palestinian boy was arrested at the Hawara checkpoint north of Nablus, attempting to smuggle three pipe bombs.

Meanwhile, violence has increased in the Gaza Strip:

A soldier was lightly wounded by shots fired at his vehicle near Morag in southern Gaza. The soldier, who suffered shrapnel wounds, was treated by medics at the site. Shots were fired at an IDF post at the Karni-Netzarim road in northern Gaza and at an IDF position near the Kissufim crossing in southern Gaza. Late Sunday night a mortar shell was fired at an IDF post in central Gush Katif. No one was wounded and no damage reported...

...Palestinian security officials uncovered an unspecified number of rockets on Monday that were aimed at the Karni crossing in northern Gaza, apparently in preparation for a terror attack on IDF soldiers. The officials informed the IDF of the find, but have yet to lay their hands on the terrorists who were to launch the attack.

An August 28 article in the New York Times indicates the eagerness among Palestinians to follow their heroes and take the path of violence against Israel.

One of Israel's most wanted men, the Hamas military leader Muhammad Deif, issued a video on Saturday in which he warns the Palestinian Authority not to try to confiscate Hamas's weapons and promises Israelis that "all of Palestine will become a hell" for them...

...New posters showed a Rambo-like masked Hamas fighter stepping on the red-tile roofs of Israeli settlement homes while small, black-clad settlers in side-curls fled in terror.

There were also many women marching, a number of them wearing full covering - swathed in black, including the hands, with slits to see through, and topped by the green Hamas caps. Some carried or led young boys and girls dressed in military uniforms, carrying plastic guns.

One mother, Naima Abdullah, 35, called herself "a daughter of Hamas" and said that she had "chosen the path of God." Hamas, she said, "played the largest role in the resistance," and she added, "Now it's time for Hamas to participate in the government of Palestine."

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Palestinian terrorists from Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades train in Gaza City.

Posted by RH at 03:44 PM |  Comments (1)

NPR Caller Perpetuates Misinformation About U.S. Aid to Israel

It's a staple of anti-Israel propaganda to manipulatively overstate U.S. foreign aid to Israel.

Such misinformation was perpetuated by "Carla from Sacramento," a caller to NPR's All Things Considered on Aug. 24.

Without being challenged or corrected by host Neal Conan or any of the guests on the program, Carla overstated U.S. aid to Israel by billions of dollars:

We've been enormously generous with the state of Israel, giving them over $100 billon in foreign aid alone, and another several hundred billion in military aid to facilitate their occupation.

... our foreign aid to Israel, not including military and so forth, this year, is $5 billion, with a 'B.'

When asked later why these erroneous comments were allowed to pass without challenge, an All Things Considered employee explained that the topic was "outside the realm of the guests' expertise." (The featured guest at the time was Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.)

The employee asserted that NPR would not correct Carla's severely overstated figures because, she said, listeners don't expect people calling in to be experts.

NPR has not corrected the error. So for those who want the facts:

According to numbers from the Congressional Research Service, the U.S. has provided Israel with about $36.5 billion—not "over $100 billon"—in non-military assistance since 1949; another approximately $60 billion in loans and grants—not "several hundred billion"—has been provided for military aid.

This year, not including military aid, the U.S. is slated provide Israel with $410 million—not "$5 billion with a 'B.' "

Posted by GI at 10:56 AM |  Comments (0)

August 27, 2005

Reuters' Editorial Policy

The Reuters editorial policy notes:

We ... pay particular attention to all our coverage in extremely sensitive regions.

We do not take sides and attempt to reflect in our stories ... the views of all sides.

And states:

Reuters has strict policies in place to ensure adherence to these principles.

Judging by one Aug. 27 news report, the media giant might want to re-examine these "strict policies" which profess to ensure "the views off all sides" are reflected in its stories. The article, about the Palestinians' next step after Israel's Gaza pullout, does not relay the Israeli view at all.

Maybe there just wasn't any more room after quoting "a spokesman for Hamas," the "Palestinian chief negotiator," and "an adviser to the Palestinian Authority," a Council on Foreign Relations director arguing against immediately dismantling Hamas, unnamed U.S. officials, and President Bush.

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An Israeli perspective: "The Palestinian Authority can put an end to terror in '48 to 72 hours' by arresting militants and seizing their weapons, says Dan Gillerman [pictured above], Israel's ambassador to the United Nations." (Montreal Gazette, Aug. 19, 2005)

Posted by GI at 02:34 PM |  Comments (0)

August 26, 2005

AFP Story Reports on Palestinian Violence; Paints Only Israel as Violating Road Map

An earlier Snapshots entry pointed out an Agence France Presse double standard regarding the Road Map peace plan. This entry does too.

This AFP dispatch today described a recent surge in Palestinian violence:

An Israeli border policeman was stabbed and wounded by a Palestinian near a disputed religious site venerated by both Jews and Muslims in Hebron, one day after Israeli troops shot dead five militants in the northern West Bank.

Palestinians threw stones at an off-duty army officer in the West Bank, lightly injuring him in the head, and stole his M16 rifle.

In southern Gaza, militants detonated an explosive device as an army force was patrolling in the area, damaging a security fence.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, loosely affiliated to Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas's Fatah party, said the attack was to avenge the killing of the five militants on Wednesday.

Thousands of Hamas supporters rallied in northern Gaza to celebrate "the victory of the resistance" after the eviction of all Jewish settlers from the territory with masked gunmen brandishing M16s and anti-tank missiles.

Despite these clear Palestinian violations of the Road Map, the article mentions the peace plan only in relation to Israeli obligations. Then the writer makes sure to note that Israeli officials have "plans" which contradict those obligations:

The blueprint obliges Israel to freeze all settlement activity but officials have announced plans for expanding Maale Adumim, the largest West Bank enclave.

Posted by GI at 04:35 PM |  Comments (0)

Saudi Columnist Attacks Israel, Hinderaker; Praises Lutheran Church

Powerline's John Hinderaker was blasted in the Saudi paper Dar Al-Hayat for criticizing the anti-Israel vote by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Hinderaker pondered:

I do wonder, though, how the leaders of the ELCA feel about being praised by the likes of Jihad el Khazen for their "peaceful" denunciation of Israel.

Click here to read the rest of Hinderaker's blog entry.


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Before the Lutheran vote, CAMERA ran an ad in the USA Today urging fair treatment of Israel. Click on the above image to see a close up of the ad.

Posted by GI at 01:34 PM |  Comments (0)

August 25, 2005

Settlements and Security

In the first few sentences of his piece in the Aug. 29 New Yorker magazine, editor David Remnick captures what much of the media, in hundreds of in-depth stories about the disengagement and the settlement movement, failed to convey:

While religious and historic motivations certainly helped fuel the settlement movement, a central reason behind the building of settlements was national security in a country threatened by bellicose neighbors.

Remnick wrote:

After the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973, the Israeli political establishment vowed that the existence of the state would never again be in doubt. Eventually, one bulwark of its strategic defense would be the construction of dozens of settlements in the newly occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip—first as small, stealthily built outposts, then as larger, more established “facts on the ground.” As the rationale evolved, these settlements were intended to buffer a tiny state from foreign attack, to shift some population away from the coastal plain ...

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Precarious Boundaries
Israeli governments felt that settlements could provide strategic depth lacking in pre-1967 Israel

Posted by GI at 02:55 PM |  Comments (1)

USA Today's One Large Omission

A single omission invalidates an entire August 25 USA Today feature article. "Palestinians won't miss long lines at Gaza checkpoint; Thousands often wait for hours to clear notorious Israeli gateway to settlements" never mentions why the checkpoints existed in the first place.

Misleadingly one-sided

Reporter Martin Patience writes of the Abu Houli Checkpoint, which "became a symbol of humiliation for Palestinians, a notorious bottleneck ...", of "thousands of fuming Palestinians waiting to clear the checkpoint," and about "painful memories [that] will last long after the lines of travelers are gone."

Readers never learn basic facts. Among them:

1) The checkpoints exist in response to the Palestinian terrorism war -- "the al-Aqsa intifada" -- launched in September 2000 after Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority rejected an Israeli-U.S. offer of a state on more than 97 percent of the Gaza Strip and West Bank in exchange for peace;

2) In the past five years, more than 1000 Israelis -- more than three-fourths of them non-combatants -- have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists, more than 5,000 wounded or maimed, of Israel's population of 6 million-plus. A similar proportion of casualties in the United States would mean roughly 290,000 Americans murdered or wounded by terrorists. In such circumstances, the context of long delays at checkpoints would be reported and understood;

3) Palestinian terrorist attempts continued even during the Israeli disengagement, which began on August 15. For example, as Patience's Gaza checkpoint article appeared, the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Ahronoth was reporting on its English-language Web site (Ynet News) that "the Ministry of Defense said there has been a sharp rise in the number of daily terror warnings in recent weeks, with about 45 concrete warnings per day. 'The warnings include attempts to strike the heart of Israel proper, as well as the West Bank,' a source said.", and;

4) Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip have launched rockets both at Jewish settlements in Gaza and from the Strip into Israel even during the "calm" agreed to in February by the terrorist group Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) with the Palestinian Authority. Efforts to smuggle in weapons also have continued. Checkpoints long have helped Israeli security forces monitor and restrict movement of terrorists, their supporters, and weaponry. Numerous terrorists have been caught at checkpoints, preventing them from murdering Israeli civilians.

The article's omission of why the checkpoints existed violates one of the key requires of basic journalism -- the why is conspicuously missing from the article's "who, what, when, where, why, and how." As a result, "Palestinians won't miss long lines at Gaza checkpoint" is not objective reporting but tendentious criticism. USA Today's readers deserve better, beginning with coverage that includes basic context.

Posted by ER at 12:50 PM |  Comments (0)

August 24, 2005

Mystery About Henry Siegman Solved

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Ever wonder why Henry Siegman—Senior Fellow and Director of the U.S./Middle East Project for the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and former director of the American Jewish Congress—is such an ardent supporter of the Palestinian narrative? In fact, he so rigidly anti-Israel that he frequently misrepresents the facts in order to support his political positions. Ever wonder what factors motivate the man to publish consistently anti-Israel articles? Well, wonder no more. The mystery has been solved.

It turns out that much of the funding for the Council's "U.S./Middle East Project" comes from overseas, including the European Commission, the government of Norway, Kuwaiti and Saudi businessmen, a Lebanese politician, and, for one year, an official of the commercial arm of the Palestinian Authority, Munib Masri.

An even more disturbing question is why the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, and New York Review of Books do not bother to disclose to their readers the source of Siegman's funding when publishing his anti-Israel attacks in their newspapers. The New York Sun editorial that solved the mystery correctly points out:

The Times itself has an integrity policy requiring freelance contributors to "avoid conflicts of interest, real or apparent," yet the Times ran an op-ed piece by Mr. Siegman in 2002 identifying him only as "a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations." If the publications had made the disclosure, their readers could draw their own conclusions.

Posted by RH at 04:06 PM |  Comments (0)

Palestinian Cleric Calls on Muslims to Wage Violent Jihad Against Israel

The message on the Palestinian Street in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza is that Palestinian terrorism has won and Jihad against Israel will continue.

Now MEMRI documents an interview on Hizballah's Al Manar TV with Palestinian Clerics Association Deputy Director Sheikh Muhammad Ali expanding the Jihad message.

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The interview, aired on August 19 included Ali's call to Muslims to wage Jihad against Israel:

Any land, any piece of land, over which flies the banner of 'There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger,' and which at a certain point belonged to the Muslims – as far as we are concerned, plundering and occupying such land is forbidden, and it is the duty of all Muslims to do what they can to liberate this land, wherever it may be...

...When a piece of Muslim land is occupied, the duty of liberating it falls, first of all, upon the local residents, as decreed by the religious rulers. It is, first of all, the duty of the local residents...

...They [local Muslims] are the spearhead of the liberation effort. But when they are too few, or they cannot – it is the duty of the next in line to liberate this land...

...if they are unable to do it either, it becomes the duty of all Muslims to do what they can to liberate it. According to the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad, not only when an entire homeland is occupied, but when 'even an inch of Muslim land is occupied, Jihad is a personal duty, a religious obligation incumbent upon everyone. A wife must go, even without her husband's permission, and a slave must go – if there are slaves – without his master's permission.' They must liberate this land – and this is when only an inch is occupied, let alone when it is Palestine, Jerusalem, and Al-Aqsa that are occupied."

And lest one mistakenly believe that Jihad can be achieved peacefully, Ali emphasizes that Jihad is necessarily violent:

Allah willing, we will enter [Palestine] as conquerors and liberators, not through negotiations, but through Jihad and resistance, because the hadith goes: 'And the Muslims would kill the Jews' – there is killing involved.

Watch the entire clip.

Makes one wonder how Palestinians will be prepared to negotiate and compromise with such a steady diet of incitement.

Posted by RH at 10:46 AM |  Comments (1)

August 22, 2005

AP Suddenly Notices People Playing to TV Cameras

An Associated Press dispatch today, headlined "Israeli army, settlers fighting media war as they battle to dominate public opinion," notes:

As Israeli soldiers dragged Jewish settlers from their homes, one settler walked in front of about a dozen television cameras and began wailing "How could they do this? This the land of Israel." When the cameras were turned off, he stopped crying and walked away.

Another family invited a television crew into their homes and then insisted that soldiers drag them out.

There's no question that settlers were genuinely grieving over the loss of their homes, their livelihood and their dreams. But they were also keenly aware that their struggle was being broadcast across the world ...

It is interesting that the AP has suddenly discovered people being "keenly aware" of the camera — when it is Israelis who are aware.

The wire service never seemed too concerned with allegations that play-acting for the cameras has long been a staple of the Palestinian PR war. Even the authenticity of the infamous footage of Muhammed al-Dura hiding behind his father amid a hail of bullets has aroused doubts.

Other media outlets have taken note, including the New York Times and International Herald Tribune which have quoted Boston University professor Richard Landes saying:

"I came to the realization that Palestinian cameramen, especially when there are no Westerners around, engage in the systematic staging of action scenes," he said, calling the footage Pallywood cinema.

James Fallows, writing in the Atlantic Monthly, described some of these suspicious scenes...

At one dramatic moment a Palestinian man dives forward clutching his leg, as if shot in the thigh. An ambulance somehow arrives to collect him exactly two seconds later, before he has stopped rolling from the momentum of his fall. Another man is loaded into an ambulance—and, in footage from a different TV camera, appears to jump out of it again some minutes later.

... as did Denis Jeambar, editor of the French news magazine L'Expresse, who said he saw

young Palestinians are performing for the television cameras. They fall and when they think that no one is around, they get up.

AP appears to have never taken notice of "Pallywood." But when an Israeli is allegedly acting for a camera, it gets headline coverage.

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Posted by GI at 06:43 PM |  Comments (2)

August 21, 2005

What About the "Martyrs"?

RH pointed out in her recent Snapshots entry that Palestinian terrorist groups, imams, and even PA leader Mahmoud Abbas have celebrated "martyrs" — a term used to describe suicide bombers and other terrorists killed in action — for causing Israel's pullout from Gaza. But some news reports have covered up Abbas' lauding of martyrdom, preferring, it seems, to show a dichotomy between terrorist groups who speak of suicide bombers and "armed struggle," and Abbas, who is quoted only as talking about "responsibility" and "patience."

Today's Boston Globe states:

Hamas and Islamic Jihad celebrated the pullout as what they consider the first of many victories to come against the Jewish state, won by armed resistance, suicide bombers, and rockets fired into the Gaza settlements.

But Abbas has been careful to speak of the Palestinian opportunity and responsibility to capitalize on the new status of Gaza, and he has avoided casting the pullout as a military win for Palestinians.

"This pullout is a result of our sacrifice, of our patience, the sacrifice of our people, the steadfastness, and the wise people of our nation," Abbas told a rally after Friday prayers in Rafah.

A Saturday Associated Press dispatch made a similar distinction:

On Friday Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Israel was quitting Gaza because of Palestinian "sacrifices" and "patience," and he promised the withdrawal would lead to further pullouts from the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Hamas, which has carried out dozens of attacks and suicide bombings against Israeli targets during the more than four years of violence, said it would continue the armed struggle until these goals are achieved.

While there are, it is hoped, many differences between Abbas and Hamas, willingness to credit "martyrs" with causing Israel's pullout is not one of those differences.

The Washington Post yesterday relayed a more complete version of Abbas' speech:

"This exit of the settlers is one of the fruits of your sacrifices," Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, said Friday at a raucous twilight rally in the Gaza Strip city of Rafah. "This step is only the first step that will be completed in the West Bank and in Jerusalem. But the step has come as a result of patience and sacrifices of our people, of martyrs, of wounded, of houses destroyed. All of those have brought us the fruit we are celebrating today."

CNN showed video of the Friday rally, and also noted that Abbas credited "martyrs" for the pullout:

MAHMOUD ABBAS, PRES., PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY (through translator): But these steps have come as a result of patience and sacrifices of our people, the martyrs, wounded, houses that were destroyed bulldozed have together brought us the fruit that we are celebrating today.

A news report cannot provide the full text of Abbas' speech. Yet selectively editing Abbas' speech can mislead the public.

As Dr. Roy Peter Clark, vice president of the Poynter Institue, once wrote: "If you gather 10 facts but wind up using nine, subjectivity sets in. This process of subtraction can lead to distortion."

In the case of the Globe and AP's subtraction of Abbas' reference to "martyrs," it did.

Posted by GI at 04:39 PM |  Comments (0)

Palestinian Leader Credits Terrorists for Israel's Gaza Withdrawal and Vows Larger Jihad

It is no surprise that Palestinian terrorist groups have claimed responsibility for chasing Israel out of Gaza. Imams are getting in on the picture too, calling on their flocks to continue the work of the terrorists. For example, at the Caliph mosque in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza, the imam had this to say:

He called the Israeli withdrawal an "achievement of resistance," praised prominent "martyrs of Hamas" and declared, "God knows that when we offer up our children, it is much better than choosing the road of humiliation and negotiation."

And now Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas—portrayed by the New York Times as a reasonable and peaceable negotiating partner for Israel—is crediting Palestinian "martyrs" for doing the job while his audience takes up the battle cry.

In his remarks, Mr. Abbas said, "What has been achieved here is due to the martyrs"...

...At the one point, a handful of young men in the audience chanted, "To Jerusalem we are going as martyrs in our millions."

Yet the Times, continuing its pattern of ignoring Palestinian incitement or spinning it as something else, insists that Abbas' praise of martyrdom is somehow different than Arafat's:

Yasir Arafat, Mr. Abbas's predecessor, had used this theme at times. By contrast, Mr. Abbas on Saturday looked down at the papers on his desk, and the young men fell silent.

The Times describes "jihad" terminology by Abbas as a mere co-opting of militant words for peaceful purposes:

In a speech here, Mr. Abbas appropriated the language of Hamas for his peaceful purpose of rebuilding Gaza, declaring, "the little jihad is over, and now we have the bigger jihad - the bigger battle is achieving security and economic growth."

It then contrasts Abbas' use of "jihad" with the message of Hamas members:

But at the same time, a few blocks away, Hamas gunmen in black masks held a news conference. For them, the jihad was not little and not over. Into a bouquet of microphones, one of them praised "the choice of jihad, which caused Israel's security theory to fail."

"We're going to keep our weapons, because the battle with the enemy is a long one," he said.

What is clear—regardless of the New York Times spin—is that the message reaching the Palestinian street from terrorist groups,imams and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is the same: Palestinian terrorism has won and Jihad against Israel will continue.

Posted by RH at 12:02 PM |  Comments (1)

August 19, 2005

Interview with Hamas Leader: "Let Israel die."

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Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar

CameraBlog pointed out that in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, Palestinian terrorist groups are voicing their intent to continue "armed struggle" against Israel until there is no longer a Jewish state.

Now, MEMRI brings us further evidence, with excerpts from an interview with Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar published in Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday.

On the future of Gaza:

Q: "Israelis fear that Gaza could become the land of Hamas after the withdrawal."

A: "Let Israel die."

Q: "Is this an encouragement for the Palestinian Authority to clamp down on Hamas with an iron fist?"

A: "No one can crackdown on us with either an iron fist or a golden fist."

Q: "Have you prepared to enter the settlements?"

A: "We will enter the settlements and sully the dignity of Israel with our feet. We will stand on the ruins of the Israeli settlements and tell our people we have prevailed. This is nonnegotiable. We will secure the Gaza Strip and prevent anyone from occupying it again. In past experiences, government land was stolen.

On future "operations":

Q: "Will Hamas resume its operations in Israeli towns after the withdrawal?"

A: "Firstly, there are no Israeli towns. These are settlements. If the aggression and occupation continue, the Palestinian people will have no alternative but to defend themselves. The Palestinian people are not killing the occupiers or being killed out of fun or madness. The life spent by our generation in killing, imprisonment, and exile is not the life that we want for our sons. We want them to live in security and peace and to live in a homeland in which they are able to move and not to live as slaves of the Israeli enemy."

Q: "In other words, the resistance of Hamas in the future will be in response to Israeli actions."

A: "No, our position depends on two things: the withdrawal from the Palestinian territories and the extent of the aggression against the Palestinian people."

Posted by RH at 03:46 PM |  Comments (0)

AP's Warped Rendition of History

The media all too often fail to explain why no Palestinian state was established alongside Israel in 1948. An Aug. 15 AP story took a step towards relaying this context... and failed miserably.

AP's Edith Lederer wrote:

The United Nations was created in the wake of the Holocaust. It voted soon after, in 1947, to carve out two countries in Palestine, one Jewish, the other Arab, but the Palestinians' share was lost in the 1948 Mideast war with parts divvied up among Israel, Jordan and Egypt.

What really happened in 1947/48? In the words of a 1949 United Nations working brief:

The next proposal for the solution of the Palestine problem ... was the Partition Plan adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 29 November 1947. Under this plan Palestine was to be divided into three parts: an independent Arab State, and independent Jewish State, and the international City of Jerusalem. ...

In accepting the Partition Plan, the Jews accepted indirectly the status of a future independent Arab State of Palestine to be its partner in an economic union. ...

The Arabs rejected the United Nations Partition Plan ...

Arab rejection of the partion plan was not limited to rhetoric. According to historian Martin Gilbert, "In the twelve days following the United Nations Partition Plan, 79 Jews were killed by Arabs throughout Palestine." Eventually, "Arab military units from Syria, Iraq and Egypt increased their efforts to drive the Jews from the Galillee and the Negev." After Israel declared its independence, "six Arab armies ... invaded Israel." Egypt occupied what is now the Gaza Strip. Jordan occupied the West Bank.


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Arabs invade Israel after rejecting partition plan.

In the AP summary of events, there was no Israeli acceptance of partition, no Arab rejection, no Arab attack.

Posted by GI at 02:56 PM |  Comments (1)

Palestinian "Militiamen" Celebrate Israeli Pullout from Gaza

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Armed Palestinians from Islamic Jihad celebrate Israeli pullout from Gaza

Palestinian "militiamen" have reacted to the Gaza disengagement. From Islamic Jihad:

Hundreds of militiamen from Islamic Jihad marched in formation and fired in the air at a rally on a Gaza City beach, while a flotilla of boats flying the organization's black flags circled in the water.

"Our enemy should understand that the state of Palestine is not just Gaza, it stretches from the river to the sea," said Abu Walid, a senior military commander in Islamic Jihad, as 300 men masked in black balaclavas prayed on the beach, then rehearsed with rifles and grenade launchers. "The Palestinians now have the momentum to seize all of Israel."

And from Hamas:

Asked about Hamas's future plans, Zahar said: "Neither the liberation of the Gaza Strip, nor the liberation of the West Bank or even Jerusalem will suffice us. Hamas will pursue the armed struggle until the liberation of all our lands. We don't recognize the state of Israel or its right to hold onto one inch of Palestine. Palestine is an Islamic land belonging to all the Muslims."

More cause for concern.

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Islamic Jihad training in the Gaza Strip, Aug. 13, 2005

Posted by CameraBlog at 02:51 PM |  Comments (1)

Martin Fletcher's "Dopey" Comments

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August 11, 2005 AFP photo of Young Israelis playing the guitar on the beach in the Gush Katif settlement of Shirat Hayam, in Gaza Strip. Are these some of the same "radical" Israeli youngsters "playing guitar " who Martin Fletcher from NBC considers "extremely violent" and "who probably smoke dope?"


On August 18, NBC's Martin Fletcher reported as news his own unsupported conjecture about young protesters. Fletcher opined:

These young radicals are like anti-globalization protesters or any other protesters all over the world; they are extremely violent and aggressive.

These youngsters who are living by themselves in these small settlements playing the guitar, singing songs, half of them are probably smoking dope, praying, and they are violent. They are very hostile and aggressive toward the press, threatening us all the time.

What evidence does Fletcher have that these youngsters are "extremely violent" or that "half of them are probably smoking dope?" How can the NBC reporter speculate about the drug habits of a group he knows little about? Since Fletcher did not support any of these defamatory comments with proof, he should have refrained from passing his own opinion off as fact.

(Hat Tip: J. Harris)

Posted by CameraBlog at 01:03 PM |  Comments (1)

Withdrawal Amnesia

Earlier, MK wrote about ABC reporter Terry Moran's amnesia concerning Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank and Gaza during the Oslo years.

It seems the editorial writers at the Los Angeles Times have been similarly impaired by a case of lapsed memory. Today's Op-Ed states:

This historic withdrawal is Israel's first from land on which Palestinians hope to build their state.

What about Israel's historic withdrawals during the Oslo years, when Israel withdrew from major Palestinian population areas, including Ramallah, Kalkilya, Jenin, Nablus, most of Hebron, Gaza City and Jericho, totaling 40 percent of the West Bank and much of Gaza?

This forgetfulness is reminiscent of an earlier LA Times news report. On May 2, 2004, correspondent Laura King stated in a news article:

If the withdrawal [from Gaza proposed by Sharon] takes place, it would be only the second time in Israel's history that the nation voluntarily gave up lands seized in the 1967 Middle East War -- the first being Israel's withdrawal from settlements in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Will Israel's "historic withdrawal" from Gaza today similarly be dropped from journalistic memory in coming years? Will we one day be reading LA Times accounts about future West Bank withdrawals as if they too are a first?

Posted by TS at 10:54 AM |  Comments (1)

August 18, 2005

UN Funds Palestinian Propaganda

The UN has long been criticized for anti-Israel bias. The Arab-Israeli conflict is the only global dispute in which one side’s position — the Arab side —is advanced through direct U.N. funding and support. U.N. Secretariat and General Assembly branches spend millions of dollars a year to advocate a pro-Palestinian agenda through conferences, publications and films that delegitimize the State of Israel.

The UN Development Program is now financing Palestinian propaganda materials including banners proclaiming: "Gaza Today. The West Bank and Jerusalem Tomorrow."

For more on the U.N.'s notorious anti-Israel bias, see CAMERA's full page ad that ran in the December 17, 2004 edition of the New York Times.

Posted by RH at 01:58 AM |  Comments (0)

August 17, 2005

Media Confused About History of Gaza Strip

Reporters should know the basics about a region — especially one which is the center of media attention — before they "inform" the public about that region. But some reporters just don't seem to know the elementary facts.

Referring to the Palestinians, Fox News' Mike Tobin said this morning:

You have to remember that this is land they lost in the 1967 war.

Last Friday, Michael Matza stated in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

One good indicator of whether Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip can be a catalyst for peace is whether Palestinian workers can make the land they reclaim bloom with prosperity.

The Palestinians, however, did not "lose" this land in 1967, and so they aren't "reclaiming" it now. While this region was slated to go from British to Palestinian rule as part of a 1947 United Nations compromise, Palestinians rejected that compromise. Egypt invaded the area during the 1948 war, and occupied the Strip almost continuously from then until 1967, when Israel captured the area from Egypt.

Before Israel, Egypt and the British, the area was ruled (starting with the most recent) by the Ottoman Empire (2nd round), Egyptians, the Ottoman Empire, the Mamelukes, the Byzantines, the Romans (and under them the Jewish King Herod), the Hasmonean Jews, the Greeks, the Persians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Philistines (sometimes under the control of the Jewish kingdoms of Solomon and David), and the Canaanites.

Posted by GI at 10:25 AM |  Comments (1)

August 16, 2005

ABC TV Ignores Context of Previous Israeli Concessions

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ABC's Terry Moran

In an August 14th ABC Sunday World News Tonight broadcast that dealt with the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, correspondent Terry Moran stated without qualification:

Never before has Israel returned land seized in war to Palestinians.

Similarly, the following day, on Good Morning America, Moran said:

Never before has Israel handed over land it seized in war to Palestinians for their future state.

This description fails to bring into context the fact that Israel had turned over large parts of the West Bank and practically the entire Gaza Strip to Palestinian control as part of the failed Oslo accords. (After repeated Palestinian terrorist attacks claimed numerous Israeli lives, Israel was forced Israel to reoccupy some of this land.)

Also unmentioned is the fact that while Palestinians have lived under many different regimes — Ottoman, British, Egyptian, Jordanian, Israeli — Israel is the only one to have turned land over to the Palestinians despite being the only one with deep historic roots and claim to the land.

Posted by MK at 05:33 PM |  Comments (0)

August 15, 2005

French Journalist Kidnapped

The PA is not known for freedom of the press — they have recently made clear what Palestinian journalists should and shouldn't cover.

Some Palestinians clearly strive to influence foreign journalists' reporting as well. The Jerusalem Post reports:

Unidentified gunmen on Sunday night kidnapped a French journalist who was in the Gaza Strip to cover the disengagement, prompting some foreign TV crews to leave the area out of fear for their lives. ...

Eyewitnesses said three kidnappers armed with rifles kidnapped him while he was walking back to his hotel in Gaza City. The three threatened Ouathi, pulled him into a white Subaru and drove away to an unknown destination.

This is by no means the first time journalists working in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been attacked and intimidated, and reporters certainly take heed of the "journalistic rules" enforced by these attackers.

Posted by GI at 05:20 PM |  Comments (0)

Two Views of the Gaza Disengagement

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An Israeli army officer comforting a Gaza settler evicted from his home

The Gaza disengagement, heart-wrenching to Israelis whatever their opinion of the decision itself, has divided the country and its advocates. Below are two different perspectives on the disengagement from Gaza. The first is a pro-Likud editorial in the New York Sun, which supports Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's judgement and the second is by Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes who opposes the decision.

The New York Sun editorialist views Sharon's decision to remove Israelis from Gaza as a necessary decision made by an experienced statesman:

The real world, however, is not always just, and even those with a just cause cannot always have all that is justly theirs - or have it when they want it. This is where the craft of statesmanship comes in: how and where to draw the lines, how and when to make one's stand, when to fight, when to negotiate, when to retreat.

Daniel Pipes views the decision by Sharon to remove Israeli citizens from Gaza as "as one of the worst errors ever made by a democracy." He criticizes Sharon for "reneging on his promises, betraying his supporters, and inflicting lasting damage on Israeli public life" and posits:

The harm will be three-fold: within Israel, in relations with the Palestinians, and internationally.

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An Israeli soldier embraces Gaza settler evicted from home.

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Israeli soldiers weep with Jewish settler as Gaza synagogue is dismantled.

The New York Times editorial, on the other hand, barely offers Sharon a half-hearted pat. Instead, it criticizes Israel for its "bankrupt" settlement policy, while gingerly admonishing Palestinian "militants" not to be "troublemakers" and "unneccessarily provoke" during the Israeli pullout. CAMERA has repeatedly documented the Times' editorial bias.

See: The Message at the New York Times: Blame the Victim
Editorial Double Standard Regarding Counterterrorism
The New York Times'Knee-Jerk Editorial Bias
New York Times Editorial: Sharon is Bad. Abbas is Good.
New York Times' Anti-Israel Bias in Editorials As Bad As Ever

Posted by RH at 03:49 PM |  Comments (0)

Boston Globe Criticizes Divestment

Sunday's editorial in the Boston Globe condemned the campaign by the Presbytarian and other churches to divest from Israel:

... some churches are planning to threaten divestment of stock in businesses that assist the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. This is counterproductive. ...

Jewish groups in the United States are outraged, and understandably so. Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles called the action "functionally anti-Semitic."

The divestment campaign by the American churches isn't prejudiced, but it is naive. Any action that implicitly compares Israel to apartheid South Africa is bound to cause offense among many Jews. It is also wrong.

On a related note, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently met to vote on an anti-Israel resolution, which attacked the Jewish State's right to self-defense by calling for Israel to halt construction of the "wall." In an attempt to counter misinformation spread by the church before the vote, CAMERA ran an ad in Florida (site of the convention), Chicago (home base of ELCA), and Minnesota (many church members) area editions of USA Today. See it here.

The resolution, which does not specifically threaten divestment but vaguely calls for "stewarding financial resources—both U.S. tax dollars and private funds—in ways that support the quest for a just peace in the Holy Land", passed 668-269.

Posted by GI at 03:11 PM |  Comments (0)

August 11, 2005

LGF Sets Up Gaza Photoblog

Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has set up a special photoblog focusing on the Gaza disengagement. He is featuring unedited photos of the disengagement sent to him by readers in the region.

Included are photos of the tens of thousands of participants in a massive prayer vigil at the Western Wall against the Gaza pullout, ongoing Palestinian attacks against Gush Katif inhabitants, and Israelis in Gaza awaiting the pullout. As contributions to the photo archive grow, viewers will gain a better understanding of the complexities and dangers of the situation.

Posted by RH at 07:20 PM |  Comments (0)

August 10, 2005

New York Times Raises Doubts on Jewish Connection to Jerusalem

Last week (Aug. 5), the New York Times published an article about the archeological discovery of King David's palace—a major find by a prominent archeologist. But Jerusalem bureau chief Steven Erlanger started right off the bat by suggesting the work may have been tainted by political motives and that Jerusalem's historical role as capital of the Jewish kingdom is disputed:

[The archeologist's] work has been sponsored by a conservative Israeli research institute and financed by an American Jewish investment banker who would like to prove that Jerusalem was indeed the capital of the Jewish kingdom described in the bible.

The International Herald Tribune version of the same article cast similar aspersions on the scholarly institute for which Eilat Mazar, the archeologist, worked, qualifying her finding as mere opinion by someone with a political motive. The opening paragraph began:

An Israeli archaelogist says she has uncovered in East Jerusalem what she believes may be the fabled palace of the biblical King David. Her work has been sponsored by the Shalem Center, a neoconservative think tank in Jerusalem, and funded by an American Jewish investment banker who would like to help provide scientific support for the Bible as a reflection of Jewish history.

Perhaps most disturbing was Erlanger's presentation of Judaism's bond to Jerusalem as a political claim equal in weight to Yasir Arafat's pronouncement that there is no Jewish connection to the holy city.

Historian Barry Rubin challenges the New York Times article:

Yet now Erlanger gives equal credence to the “expertise” of Arafat who, let’s face it was no archaeologist but the most important terrorist of modern times and a proven serial liar. {Having written a biography of Arafat I am well aware that even the statement that Arafat was a terrorist is highly controversial among the West’s cultural ruling class.} After all, Arafat also claimed that Israel carried out most of the terrorist attacks on itself, poisoned Palestinians with gas, water, and chewing gum, and aimed to rule the entire Middle East. Why should he only be given credence on the Jerusalem issue?

In contrast, when Arafat tried that nonsense about Jerusalem at the Camp David summit, President Bill Clinton rightly called him on it, saying, “I’m not a Jew, I’m a Christian. It’s well known this is where the Temple is.”

On the basis of this latest article, though, one can imagine a parallel Times article from an equivalent controversy of the previous century: “The claim by a Jewish writer, financed by those trying to prove this case, that his people have accurately recounted their history will become part of the debate over whether, as many Germans have said, including cabinet minister Joseph Goebbels, this story is a myth used to justify conquest and occupation.”


Posted by RH at 03:40 PM |  Comments (2)

Israeli Security Concerns Ignored...Again

If there is misunderstanding about why some Israelis are opposed to the upcoming disengagement plan, it is likely because a good portion of media coverage on the topic fails to accurately represent this opposition.

Many reporters note only the argument against disengagement based on the biblical promise of the land to the Jewish people, while ignoring the additional, more prevalent argument that disengagement is an inadvisable security risk. A recent poll shows that over 64% of those against to the pullout are opposed primarily for security reasons.

The downplaying of Israeli security concerns is common in media coverage of other issues as well (e.g. articles about the security fence that do not mention terrorism even once).

This AP story about opposition to disengagement is typical:

Thousands of troops began taking up positions in southern Israel on Tuesday, preparing to thwart an attempt by thousands of opponents of the upcoming Gaza withdrawal to march into the Gaza settlements. ...

Israel plans to pull out of all 21 Gaza Strip settlements and four West Bank enclaves in mid-August, uprooting about 9,000 settlers from their homes. The government says more than half of the settlers have agreed to leave voluntarily.

But some settler leaders and their supporters plan fierce resistance. More than 200,000 settlers live in other parts of the West Bank, and their leaders fear the Gaza pullout could be the beginning of further withdrawals from land claimed by the Palestinians. Observant Jews believe the West Bank is promised to them in the Bible.

Not one word in the story suggests that anyone might be opposed to the pullout for security reasons. Only the less convincing ideological reasons are cited.

The breakdown, according to the Peace Index poll:

...among opponents, the most common argument - 23 percent - is that the withdrawal from Gaza would be interpreted by the Palestinians as flight, and that they must not be allowed to see it as such since it strengthens them against Israel.

The second most common argument - 21.5 percent - is that the withdrawal will lead to an intensification of terror against Israel from the Strip, and the third argument - 20 percent - is that the withdrawal poses a strategic danger to Israeli security. Only 11 percent cite as a main factor that the withdrawal sets a dangerous precedent for the evacuation of West Bank settlements as well, and even fewer - 9 percent - ascribe most of their opposition to Gaza being part of the Promised Land of Israel.

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Hamas in Gaza

Posted by GI at 01:19 PM |  Comments (0)

August 09, 2005

Chicago Trib Doing PR for Presbyterian Church

Why does a Chicago Tribune news story about a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) divestment campaign against Israel read like a press release issued by the Church itself?

Because, Tribune staff reporter Manya A. Brachear used chunks of the Church’s August 5th press release as her news report; Brachear lifted, near verbatim, two entire paragraphs of the press release, including its partisan language and inaccurate information. For example, the Tribune reported that:

Caterpillar manufactures heavy equipment used for demolition of Palestinian homes, the uprooting of olive trees and construction of roads in the occupied territories limited for use by Israeli settlers.

The Presbyterian Church’s August 5 press release:

Caterpillar manufactures heavy equipment used for demolition of Palestinian homes, the uprooting of olive trees, construction of roads and infrastructure in the occupied territories for use only by Israeli settlers...

There are no “settlers-only-roads” in the territories (or, for that matter, in pre-1967 Israel). This is a common media distortion. In fact, foreigners, non-settler Israelis (including Arabs), and Palestinians with appropriate security clearance are free to use any road. Since the violent uprising against Israel, during which Palestinian vehicles were used in driveby shootings of Israelis, there have been restrictions of vehicles with Palestinian license plates on certain roads.

The Chicago Tribune should consider adopting Northwest Indiana Times ethics policy regarding use of press releases. It states that:

Information in press releases should be confirmed for accuracy before being included in a news story. Any information not independently confirmed must be attributed to the release or statement and its issuing organization.

Posted by CameraBlog at 04:45 PM |  Comments (0)

A Logic No One Understands

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For an example of convoluted, incomprehensible logic see the Op-Ed by Jack Miles, a senior fellow with the Pacific Council on International Policy, in the Los Angeles Times Saturday. Entitled "A peace no one wins," the column discusses population transfers and demographics, but what exactly he is saying is a mystery. He describes proposals to turn Arab population centers abutting the West Bank over to the Palestinians, and then this:

To enforce them [population transfers], Israel would be required, in Peretz's apt phrase, to "sit on the Arabs of the West Bank forever." It would merely have rearranged their civil status. Between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, the same three groups would continue to live as they now do under de facto Israeli governance: as first-class citizens, Jewish Israelis: as second-class citizens, (a reduced number of) Arab Israelis; and as third-class, stateless noncitizens under Israeli containment, Palestinians.

Why would turning over Arab towns to Palestinian control require Israel "to sit on the Arabs of the West Bank forever"? He doesn't say. Feel free to check out the Op-Ed in full. However, this reader has found that multiple re-reads were futile efforts to shed light on completely muddled thinking.

Posted by TS at 12:37 PM |  Comments (3)

August 07, 2005

CAMERA on Florida Radio Program

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Tamar Sternthal

Listeners from around the world can tune in to hear "The World From a Jewish Perspective," whose producer Shlomo Fleischmann this week interviews Tamar Sternthal, CAMERA's Israel director. Sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Brevard, the show can be listened to on the Internet all this week. The CAMERA interview begins just over 20 minutes into the broadcast.

Posted by CameraBlog at 04:48 PM |  Comments (5)

August 04, 2005

Sderot's "Settlers" Revisited

As mentioned in an earlier entry, AP's Ravi Nessman—along with the LA Times and other newspapers which ran Nessman's story—imprecisely referred to Tuesday's anti-disengagement demonstrators, who gathered in Sderot from both the territories and Israel, as "thousands of Israeli settlers protesting the upcoming Gaza Strip withdrawal."

In the opening paragraph of a story in the Aug. 3 Christian Science Monitor, correspondent Joshua Mitnick similarly described the rally-goers uniformly as "settlers":

In a last-ditch effort to stop the Israeli government from withdrawing from Gaza and portions of the West Bank later this month, tens of thousands of Jewish settlers gathered Tuesday ...

Only further on in the story does the reader discover that the tens of thousands of rally-goers whom Mitnick had dismissed as "settlers" also included large numbers of religiously observant Jews who do not live on Israeli settlements:

... the overwhelming majority of protesters hail from settlements in Gaza, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights, or are religiously observant Jews from inside Israel.

Interestingly, nowhere does the journalist explain how he determined that "the overwhelming majority of protesters" were settlers. Did he base this assessment on a scientific poll? He cited none in the article. Did he himself informally poll the demonstrators? Judging by the article's "Tel Aviv" dateline, no.

Posted by GI at 10:14 AM |  Comments (1)

August 03, 2005

Gaza News: Where Is It?

On Tuesday, a misfired rocket hit the home of a Palestinian family in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. The family’s 6-year-old son was killed by shrapnel, while other Palestinian civilians, including five children, were wounded. They included the wife and four children of former Palestinian Minister and PLC member, Hisham Abdel Raziq who were visiting at the time.

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The 4-year-old son of a senior official in the Fatah party in Gaza City after being wounded by a rocket strike by Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians in Sderot.

The incident did not make headlines. There were no editorials excoriating the perpetrators. In fact, the event received only passing mention in most of the Western media. Why? Because the rocket was fired by Palestinians.

Had an Israeli counter-terrorism operation in the Gaza Strip accidentally killed a Palestinian child and wounded 10 other people, including five children, especially from the family of a cabinet member, it very likely would have been a prominent news story spurring editorials critical of Israel. But inadvertent killings by Palestinian terrorists targeting civilians within Israel are deemed less newsworthy.

Other recent Palestinian attacks went similarly underreported. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR):

This incident came less than 24 hours following a similar incident, when a rocket hit Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 22:15 on Monday, 1 August 2005, a home-made rocket went astray and hit the reception department at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, damaging the water network and the solar energy system.

And from Reuters AlertNet:

On August 3, a bomb exploded at the Gaza City home of the PA’s chief justice, Zahir al-Surani. It caused no casualties.

And:

On Monday, Attorney-General Hussein Abu Asi was unhurt in an explosion which ripped off the door to his house in Gaza City and damaged an outer wall.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights condemned the acts, particularly the “repeated mistakes” resulting in Palestinian deaths. Invoking international law regarding protection of civilians, the human rights group called upon Palestinian “resistance groups”–- not to stop their targeting of Israeli civilians -- but merely to refrain from launching attacks in areas where Palestinian civilians could be hurt.

PCHR strongly condemns such acts and remains gravely concerned at repeated mistakes in firing those rockets hitting civilian areas and endangering civilians. PCHR also reminds the Palestinian resistance groups of their responsibilities with regard to protection of civilians in keeping with international law, and calls on them to abstain from launching any military activities from inside or near civilian areas.

(Hat tip: David Krusch)


Posted by RH at 05:50 PM |  Comments (1)

Sderot's 'Settlers'

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Israeli disengagement opponents gather in Sderot. Photo by AFP

AP correspondent Ravi Nessman, reporting from Sderot, could use a briefing from his Gaza colleague. In an article yesterday, reprinted today in the Los Angeles Times, he wrote:

Palestinians fired rockets Tuesday at thousands of Israeli settlers protesting the upcoming Gaza Strip withdrawal, but missed . . .

Witnesses said militants fired three rockets at the demonstration in the Israeli town of Sderot.

The thousands of Israelis in Sderot protesting the Gaza pullout weren't only "settlers"--they came from all over Israel.

Ironically, while the AP reporter on the scene at Sderot misreported this fact, AP's Gaza correspondent got it right. In reports today and yesterday, Ibrahim Barzak variously referred to the demonstrators as a "large gathering of Israeli pullout opponents" and "thousands of opponents of the planned Israeli withdrawal from Gaza."

Posted by TS at 01:50 PM |  Comments (0)

August 02, 2005

Rocket Strategy

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The Los Angeles Times, to its credit, yesterday reported on ongoing Palestinian mortar attacks. An editorial, entitled "Exodus Strategy," noted:

Israel has valid concerns about its security, demonstrated again in recent days by Gaza-based mortar attacks (by the militant Palestinian group Hamas) on Israelis inside and outside Gaza.

(Of course, the caveat to the praise for this momentary flash of recognition of Palestinian violence is that groups who launch mortars on civilians in Israel or in Gaza should not be considered "militants," but are terrorists.)

The editorial writer has a very bizarre sense of exactly what will diminish these attacks:

Such attacks could be diminished if Egypt helps patrol the southern Gaza border after the withdrawal, and Israel builds a rail line or highway with restricted access and side barriers to link Gaza more safely with the far larger West Bank.

Umm, how would these steps help? Mortars are fashioned inside the Gaza Strip; what would patrols along the border accomplish vis-a-vis mortars? Also, how will a West Bank-Gaza link help diminish mortar attacks? Will the Palestinian terrorists put down their mortars to go on a West Bank outing?

Posted by TS at 07:55 AM |  Comments (2)

August 01, 2005

What Rockets?

Palestinian mortar and rocket attacks on Israeli targets continue, not only endangering Israeli lives but also demonstrating the ineffectiveness of the so-called cease-fire and underscoring the need for Mahmoud Abbas to crack down on the infrastructure of terror, as called for in the road map peace plan.

Yet, unless you get your news from Israeli sources or China's Xinhua news service, you might not know about these continuing attacks.

Israel's Ynet reports:

Two Qassam rockets landed Friday afternoon in open areas near the southern town of Sderot, which has been repeatedly targeted by Palestinian terrorists in recent weeks. ...

Later, another Qassam rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists landed in a sunflower field near Sderot. No injuries were reported in that attack.

Thursday night, three Qassam rockets landed in open areas in the Sderot region. No injuries or damages were reported in that barrage either.

The Jerusalem Post and Xinhua published similar reports.

Although these attacks are violations of the road map peace plan and are certainly relevant in the days leading up to Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, the American press does not seem interested in alerting the public to this continued Palestinian terrorism. According to a news database, the attacks were altogether ignored, with few if any exceptions.

It should be noted that while UPI did not report on these specific attacks, the wire service did mention the ongoing barrages:

All this will not stop the rockets and mortar bombs that Palestinians have been sending over the fence. According to the army spokesman this month the Palestinians have fired 166 mortar bombs and 40 Qassam rockets into Israel proper.

Posted by GI at 02:46 PM |  Comments (1)

BBC Corrects: Blair Said No Excuse for Terror in Israel, Too

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Kudos to British activist Terry M. whose correspondence with the BBC prompted editors to amend a report about Tony Blair's statement regarding terror around the world.

The original version of the July 26 BBC report stated:

In a 75 minute media conference Mr Blair also said there was "no justification for suicide bombing whether in Palestine, Iraq, in London, in Egypt, in Turkey, anywhere. In the United States of America, there is no justification for it. Period."

What was the Prime Minister's full statement?

And one other thing I want to say whilst I am on this subject if I might, neither have they any justification for killing people in Israel either. Let us just get that out of the way as well. There is no justification for suicide bombing whether in Palestine, in Iraq, in London, in Egypt, in Turkey, anywhere, in the United States of America. There is no justification for it period and we will start to beat this when we stand up and confront the ideology of this evil.

Within two hours of Terry M's correspondence to the BBC, the report was modified:

In a 75 minute media conference Mr Blair said there was no justification for suicide bombing whether in Israel or in "Palestine, Iraq, in London, in Egypt, in Turkey, anywhere. In the United States of America, there is no justification for it. Period".

It seems that the media needs a little work on keeping Blair's statements straight.

Posted by TS at 04:02 AM |  Comments (0)