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April 02, 2006

Coddling Syria’s Dictator on PBS


Airing on PBS stations on March 27, Charlie Rose’s March 23 interview of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad indulged the Syrian dictator. While Rose did challenge Assad’s appalling ignorance of the true nature and extent of the Holocaust, he didn’t do nearly as well with Assad’s explanation of terrorism against Israel.

In reply to Rose’s question about Hamas terrorism, Assad blamed Hamas terrorism on “occupation of the Palestinian territory? and said:

If you want to see the picture you have to see the whole picture. If you talk about violence, let us talk about four thousand Palestinians killed during the last five years while on the other side, the Israeli side, few hundred are killed. So if you want to talk about the violence and you call this violence terrorism, Israel killed more Palestinians than the Palestinians killed Israelis.

Rose failed to mention that the Oslo agreements brought an end to nearly all Israeli military presence in the West Bank until the Palestinian suicide bombings required a reversal of Israeli policy.

As to Assad’s numbers game, Rose could have mentioned that the last five years or so of Palestinian violence claimed approximately a thousand Israeli lives (not a “few hundred?) of whom approximately 80% have been innocent civilians. Whereas on the other hand, the three thousand or so Palestinians killed through Israeli actions were mostly combatants (about 35% were non-combatants). (See ICT for details.)

That is, as these statistics show but as Rose failed to mention, Palestinian terrorists target innocent civilians while the Israeli Army targets terrorists only, with collateral casualties being unintended.

Rose also failed to correct Assad’s misstatement of the meaning of UN resolutions (passed just after the 1967 War) pertaining to Israel’s borders:

ASSAD: Security Council resolutions define the borders by June 1967.

Rose should have been aware that no Security Council resolution defines Israel's borders. Resolution 242, which calls only for undefined "secure and recognized boundaries," was carefully worded to call for the withdrawal “from territories,? not “the territories.? This language, leaving out “the,? was intentional, because it was not envisioned that Israel would withdraw from all the territories, thereby returning to the vulnerable pre-war boundaries. The resolution’s actual wording calls for “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.?

The British U.N. Ambassador at the time, Lord Caradon, who introduced the resolution to the Council, has stated that “It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial.? Likewise, the then American Ambassador to the U.N., former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, has stated that, “The notable omissions–which were not accidental–in regard to withdrawal are the words ‘the’ or ‘all’ and the ‘June 5, 1967 lines’ ... the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal.? This would encompass “less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territory, inasmuch as Israel’s prior frontiers had proved to be notably insecure.?

For more on Charlie Rose, click here.

Posted by MK at April 2, 2006 08:24 PM


I found your Camera Snapshots section most revealing, informative and concise in addressing the major distortions and propaganda that adversley affects Israel and Jewry worldwide.

In future, I look forward to reading your reports and hopefully, enlighten and inform those of my friends and family about Camera and it's mission.

Posted by: Arnold Kotick at April 11, 2006 05:37 PM

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