EyeOnThePost, Media Watch
About EyeOnThePost.Org Background Journalistic Ethics Resource Center Media Bias Community In The News Media Center Events Subscribe to Media Alerts

Home
About Us
How The Post Misreports Mideast News
Mission
Goals
Methods
Testimonials
Board of Directors
Opportunities
Strategic Alliances
Contributions
Feedback
Latest Middle East News
History
Archives of Media Alerts
Email Alerts, Click Here to Subscribe
Eye LogoARCHIVE MAY - JUNE, 2004

Sunday, June 27, 2004

  • Israel Kills Six Terrorist Leaders in Nablus and The Post's Headline Says Israel Kills Six Palestinian Leaders (Israeli Raid Kills Six Palestinian Leaders, Attack is One of Deadliest on Guerrillas, 6-27-04, A23) Well, at least the sub-headline calls them guerrillas, so we know Israel did not attack the PA's Legislative Council.

  • Someone At The Post Is Asleep At The Wheel: It's bad enough that The Post didn't report this story one week ago when it happened, but someone at The Post needs to tell John Ward Anderson and his editor at The Post that the PA has now admitted that Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades is a mainstream part of Fatah, and not just "an armed faction linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah political movement" as The Post  has been reporting for years and as Anderson is still reporting today. (Israeli Raid Kills Six Palestinian Leaders, Attack is One of Deadliest on Guerrillas, 6-27-04, A23). PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, on Sunday, June 20, 2004, in an interview with the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, said: " 'We have clearly declared that the Aksa Martyrs Brigades are part of Fatah ....We are committed to them and Fatah bears full responsibility for the group.' " (Fatah Committed to Aksa Martyrs, Jerusalem Post, 6-20-04). Could this be any clearer?


Saturday, June 26, 2004

The Washington Post in the Red
Are You Tired of Getting Only Half the News From Israel?
Here's The Half The Post Won't Report

  • The latest media outlet to report on the success to date of the Israeli security fence in reducing terrorism is the Washington Times. "The Israeli army reports a sharp drop in fatalities from Palestinian terror attacks in the first half of this year, giving much of the credit to the partially completed West Bank security barrier." (Mideast security barrier working, 6-25-04, Front Page) The Baltimore Sun, based on a report from the New York Times News Service, recently ran an article on the same topic. (Israel Says It Has Foiled a Series of Attacks, Baltimore Sun, 6-20-04) But The Post only gives its readers half the news from the Middle East, so this story didn't make the cut.


Friday, June 25, 2004

The Washington Post in the Red
Are You Tired of Getting Only Half the News From Israel?
Here's The Half The Post Won't Report

  • The Washington Post failed to report the 407 to 9 vote of the US House of Representatives strongly endorsing President Bush's April 14 letter to Prime Minister Sharon repudiating the Palestinian claim to a so-called right of return and affirming that the US considers a return to pre-1967 borders unrealistic. One can be sure that if the vote had gone the other way, The Post would have given it front page coverage. Click Here for Story.

  • Statistics The Post Refuses to Cite, Even Though Called To Their Attention:

    The latest figures and breakdowns from the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism provide the following picture of Palestinian fatalities since the start of the intifada. All figures are from Sept. 27, 2000, to May 1, 2004:

    TOTAL FIGURES (The only statistics ever mentioned by The Post)

    PALESTINIAN fatalities 2,806. ISRAELI fatalities 921.

    WHAT THE POST NEVER REPORTS:

    PALESTINIAN NON-COMBATANTS KILLED BY ISRAELI FORCES: 985 or 35 percent of the Palestinian fatality total.

    ISRAELI NON-COMBATANTS KILLED BY PALESTINIANS: 715 or 78 percent of the Israeli fatality total.

    In other words, on the Israeli side, 4 out of every 5 fatalities are non-combatants. On the Palestinian side, it's 1 out of every 3. This great disparity of a far greater Israeli casualty rate among innocent civilians is of course a direct result of the effects of Palestinian terrorism as contrasted with Israel's attempts to zero in on Palestinian gunmen, fighters and other assorted terrorists.

    Here are two other breakdowns that show what happens when terrorists go after civilians in buses, cafes, discos, etc. in terms of the random demographic breakdown of the ensuing carnage:

    PALESTINIAN FEMALE FATALITIES: 126 or 4 percent of the Palestinian total. ISRAELI FEMALE FATALITIES: 280 or 30 percent of the Israeli total. In other words, the rate of female casualties on the Israeli side is more than 7 TIMES AS HIGH as on the Palestinian side. In actual numbers, the fatality total of Israelis in this group is MORE THAN TWICE that on the Palestinian side -- 280 to 126.

    PALESTINIAN NON-COMBATANT FATALITIES AMONG VICTIMS AGED 45 OR OLDER: 82 or 3 percent of the Palestinian total.

    ISRAELI NON-COMBATANT FATALITIES AMONG VICTIMS AGED 45 OR OLDER: 226 or 24 percent of the Israeli total. In other words, the rate among older Israeli victims is 8 TIMES AS HIGH ON THE PALESTINIAN SIDE. In actual numbers, the fatality total of Israelis in this group is nearly 3 times as high as among Palestinians -- 226 to 82.

    by Leo Rennert


Thursday, June 24, 2004

Article About Exhibit of Photos Supposedly Showing Abuse of Palestinians by Soldiers and Settlers Grossly Exaggerates - Photos Don't Show Abuse

Post reporter Molly Moore returns from a several week absence with one of her characteristically biased anti-Israel articles about an exhibit of photographs by three IDF soldiers, allegedly showing abuse of Palestinians by Israeli troops and settlers in the West Bank. The words "abuse" and "mistreatment" are used in the headline and in the first seven paragraphs, without actually informing the reader of exactly what the photographs show. ('Breaking the Silence' on West Bank Abuse, Israeli Soldiers' Exhibit Depicts Mistreatment of Palestinians by Troops, Settlers in Hebron, 6-24-04, A17) Then, well into the article, beyond where most readers will long since have stopped reading, we learn that the photos are relatively innocuous. Here are some examples:

  • a photo showing graffiti saying "Arabs to the Gas Chambers." Needless to say, the article doesn't mention Arab graffiti against Israelis, including swastikas, throughout Israel and the disputed territories. 

  • soldiers lounging while what is claimed to be a 15 year old stone-throwing Palestinian who has been arrested is sitting handcuffed and blindfolded. Of course, photographs can't reveal age, and this photo doesn't show what this Palestinian did to get arrested... not to mention that stones can kill and maim.

  • Palestinian children playing a game holding sticks in which they pretend to be Israeli soldiers, while a real soldier stands by smiling. Seriously folks, this one is listed among the photos supposedly showing "abuse" and "mistreatment," and Molly Moore, the author of this biased piece, calls this "one of the most arresting pictures."

But as obvious as it seems that the above photographs don't show "mistreatment" or "abuse," it isn't until the 18th paragraph that the author concedes that "[p]hotographs that appeared benign took on an ominous edge when organizers described the events preceding or following the snap of the shutter." Stated more plainly, she concedes that these photographs themselves don't reveal anything, and you have to believe what the 3 biased and politically motivated narrators tell you about the photos... and even then their biased descriptions reveal only angry or spiteful behavior and cannot be said to rise to the level of abuse and mistreatment. And lest we forget, as the author did, there is an abundance of equivalent conduct (not to mention terrorist activity) by Palestinians toward the Jewish residents of Hebron, where the photos were taken, and it wasn't mentioned anywhere in this article. This is the type of shoddy journalism, created solely to vilify and defame Israel, that gives The Post the well earned reputation of having an anti-Israel bias.


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The Words "Terrorist" and "Terrorism" are Fine When Needed to Criticize Bush Administration for Underreporting 2003 Terrorism Rate, But Off Limits In Articles Reporting Same Acts In Israel

We know that The Post, in articles reporting on Palestinian terrorism in Israel, has a policy of refusal to call the terrorists as such. We've previously shown that The Post's unhesitating use of the terms "terrorist" and "terrorism" when referring to Saudi terrorists, Spanish terrorists, Turkish terrorists and Indonesian terrorists creates a double standard when reporting on Israel. Evidence of this double standard continues to mount. Add to it the front page article today reporting on the recent Bush administration mistake in tabulating the 2003 rate of world terrorism. The Post didn't hesitate to repeatedly use the words "terrorist" and "terrorism" in both the headline and body of the article in referring to an increase in terrorist attacks throughout the world in 2003, including a specific reference to Israel. (New 2003 Data: 625 Terrorism Deaths, Not 307, 6-23-04, A1). But anyone who read The Post's news reports about those same terrorist attacks in Israel throughout the year 2003 would not have seen them referred to as terrorism.


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The Washington Post in the Red
Are You Tired of Getting Only Half the News From Israel?
Here's The Half The Post Won't Report

  • After years of media reports describing only a loose association between the PA, Fatah and Al Aksa Martyr's Brigades, the PA has now announced that Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades are part of Fatah and that they accept full responsibility for them. It will be interesting to see how The Post describes Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in future reports. Click Here for Story.

  • A senior Tanzim terrorist official and two other terrorists were arrested Monday night at an Israeli checkpoint riding in an ambulance, clearly illustrating why Israel must stop and search ambulances. Click Here for Story.

  • Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, including Arafat's Fatah, tell Egypt to butt out, exposing breach between the PA and Egypt. Click Here for Story.

  • The United Nations held its first ever seminar on worldwide anti-Semitism, and Koffi Annan, acknowledging an "alarming resurgence," called on U.N. bodies to adopt resolutions and investigate the ancient scourge. What's most egregious about The Post's failure to report this news is that their own web site published a Reuters report on the event, but the paper edition was silent. Click Here for Story.


Monday, June 21, 2004

Post Fails to Report Anti-Semitic Incitement by Saudi Leadership

Another savage, terrorist beheading, this time in Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi leadership, rather than openly address and confront the true cause of the terrorism, chooses instead to feed the flames of the hatred responsible for that terrorism by claiming Zionists are behind it. Crown Prince Abdullah went on Saudi television on the 19th, and told his people the following:

"Zionism is behind it. It has become clear now. It has become clear to us. I don't say, I mean... It is not 100 percent, but 95 percent that the Zionist hands are behind what happened." 

The Post failed to report this statement. It echoes similar statements by the Saudi leadership within the past two weeks.  There is only one way the Saudi leadership will ever stop its support of Islamic extremism and its incitement of Arab hatred toward Israel, and that is if world opinion refuses to tolerate and accept it. This cannot happen if The Post continues to fail to report on the Saudi incitement.


Sunday, June 20, 2004

Israel Targets Terrorist Rocket Factories for Destruction and The Washington Post Calls Them "Empty Metal Workshops" 

On Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20, 2004 Israel  launched helicopter attacks on buildings in Gaza housing Kassam rocket factories, firing missiles into the buildings. This occurred after Hamas on Friday launched what the Israeli press calls an "advanced" Kassam rocket into the backyard of a home in the Israeli town of Sderot, doing some damage to the home and sending a family member to the hospital for treatment for shock. 

How does the Post report the Israeli effort to destroy these factories? It reports that Israel is firing missiles into "empty metal workshops." While The Post does note as an afterthought that Israel contends the "empty metal workshops" are being used to make weapons... not rockets, but merely "weapons," at the same time it fails to report the Hamas rocket strike Friday on Sderot, which would have placed the Israeli strikes in context.. (World in Brief, 6-20-04, A22)

Question 1: What makes an empty metal workshop "empty?" Does it become "empty" when the terrorists go home from work for the day or night)?

Question 2: Why would Israel waste time and resources shooting missiles into nothing more than "empty metal workshops?"


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Post Tries to Smear Israel With Front Page Article Tying Israel's Treatment of Palestinian Prisoners To Abu Ghraib

There is much that is malicious and misleading about The Post's front page article on what The Post wants its readers to believe is Israeli torture of Palestinian prisoners. (Prison Tactics A Longtime Dilemma For Israel, Nation Faced Issues Similar to Abu Ghraib, June 16, 2004, A1)

Front page placement itself was inappropriate. Israel has not been faced with a torture scandal, and although this piece is disguised as a feature article discussing Israeli handling of the issue of treatment of prisoners, it is a fairly blatant effort by The Post to smear Israel by tying it to Abu Ghraib. The Post has been criticized heavily for excessive and sensationalistic coverage of the Abu Ghraib issue, and now, rather than let that issue move off the front page, The Post kills two birds with one stone by tying Israel to it and at the same time keeping the issue front and center. 

The selection of interior photos with misleading captions was improper. The use of a large photo of a Palestinian paraplegic in a wheelchair with a caption saying "Palestinian Anan Labadeh, 31, a paraplegic, says he was abused in prison," implied that he was put in the wheelchair as a result of prison abuse by Israelis. In fact, as the article reveals to the careful reader, he became a paraplegic 15-20 years ago when he fell off a balcony during a chase. The article further reveals that his imprisonment last year in Israel involved terrorist activities in which he was believed to have helped set up bomb factories in Nablus, and the extent of his abuse allegations against Israel in connection with that imprisonment is that they deprived him of food and sleep. But the Post knows that the photo will, unfortunately, have by far the greatest effect on most of its readers.

The little Palestinian girl brandishing symbolic chains is, in the caption of the photo, said to be protesting Israeli detentions, but in reality, it would be a good bet that this is a file photo of a little girl at a more general protest of what Palestinians call the Israeli occupation.

Finally, it was a bit too pat that the first two sentences of the article, relying on the word of a terrorist without other substantiating evidence, attempted to draw a direct parallel to all of the features of the US-Abu Ghraib scandal, complete with a claim of "casual beatings ... humiliations ... [and] trophy photos taken by both male and female guards." The same informant, however, in the very next breath, backs off those exaggerated claims by noting that what the Israelis did to him was distinguishable from what the Americans did at Abu Ghraib, was much more sophisticated and consisted of "three days without food and without sleep." By contradicting himself, this informant bore the indicia of his own unreliability as a source, and it was irresponsible for The Post's reporter to knowingly quote exaggerations and unsubstantiated allegations from an unreliable source.

This is one more example of The Washington Post engaging in unethical and unfair reporting in a deliberate effort to taint Israel in the minds of its readers.


Sunday, June 13, 2004

Post's Glen Frankel Ignores 55 Year History of Arab Attacks Against Israel as a Contributing Cause of Israel's State of Perpetual Emergency 

Dear Mr. Frankel:

I must tell you that I was very disappointed in your article in Outlook on 6-13-04. [The Crisis Without End, Israel's Perpetual Emergency Has Become a Political Tool, 6-13-04, Outlook, B1] Some have said that your reporting is an improvement in terms of fairness and insight over the other Post reporters stationed in Israel. One would never know it from this article. It was disappointing for a number of reasons. 

First, I think both the headline and thesis expressed by you in the opening three paragraphs to the effect that some politicians in Israel are thriving on perpetuating a crisis or emergency situation were designed to give the impression to the reader that Israel and Israeli politicians are, in large part, responsible for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although there is no doubt that there are hard liners on the Israeli side, your article ignores the historic role that Arab conventional and terrorist attacks have played in keeping Israel in a war like or emergency stance. Granted, you give lip service to an Arab contribution to this ongoing emergency posture of Israel when you say: "But a number of historical factors -- including the enduring hostility of Arabs to the idea of a Jewish homeland in their midst, five wars and the fevered messianic dreams of an influential minority of Israelis -- marred that original vision and transformed Israel into a besieged garrison state." Arabs have repeatedly declared war on Israel, yet you don't say so. Arab terrorists continue to attack Israeli civilians over and over again, yet you don't say so. "Enduring hostility" certainly doesn't say the Arab nations surrounding Israel attacked Israel, and it certainly doesn't note many years of terrorism directed not only at its civilian population in Israel, but all over the world. "Five wars" certainly doesn't say those wars were fought due to Arab aggression designed to destroy Israel. You soft-pedal Arab aggression and its contribution to the perpetual Israeli emergency mode ... indeed you don't even mention Arab aggression or violence. Yet in the same sentence you talk of the "fevered messianic dreams of an influential minority of Israelis." It's obvious you're referring to the settlers, but since you're discussing an emergency state that you explicitly note goes back to 1948, please tell us, your readers, where the "fevered messianic dreams" contributed to that emergency mode prior to 1967.

You continue to soft-pedal the contribution of Arab aggression to the Israeli crisis mentality by not mentioning in your brief historical account of the history of Oslo Arafat's rejection of a peace agreement that would have created a Palestinian state and his return to violence following Camp David in 2000. You note, almost casually, the breakdown of Oslo by stating: "...when it all went wrong, both sides were sucked back into the whirlpool." When it all went wrong?!! Is that a quaint way of saying "when Arafat rejected Israel's offer of a genuine peace, started another intifada, released terrorists from Palestinian jails and launched a barrage of terror attacks against Israel?" 

Oh, excuse me. I forgot we must not use the word "terrorist" or any of its derivatives. I note your lengthy article doesn't use any of those words even one time, though it's hard to understand how any in depth treatment of the subject you sought to evaluate, Israel's perpetual emergency mode and what or who is responsible for it, could possibly avoid mentioning terrorism. While we're at it, you didn't use the words "bomb," "bombing," "suicide," "shooting," "killing," or even "violence." I guess that's because you're not willing to concede that Arab hostility and violence toward Israel historically have kept Israel in this emergency mode. And it's not as though your article doesn't deal with the subject of violence at all, because we do find in your discussion of the "dispirited" IDF the phrase "muscle-bound riot cop meting out rubber bullets and beatings to rebellious Palestinian youths." "Rebellious youths" was a nice touch too. The rebellious youth that I have living here in my house ignores curfew and pretends not to hear me when I tell him to clean up his room. He doesn't throw fire bombs. But I guess things are different over there.

You use buzz words and phrases in asserting that the state of emergency has "ground down" the Israeli political system and that Likud and Labor are "crumbling," all to give the reader the impression of decay, dissent and disfunction in Israel, but all you can offer in support is an analysis of political changes in the parties and in the personalities representing those parties, and one could certainly just as well point to those changes as reflecting the vitality, flexibility and fluidity of Israel's political system as anything else.

Finally, and perhaps most disturbing, is that after the one-sided headline and theme are set forth asserting that Israelis are using the perpetual state of emergency as a political tool and somehow profiting, you seemingly abandon your thesis and never tell us who they are or how they're benefiting. Who are they? You seem to concede that Ariel Sharon is not among them, because you note that he is fighting with his cabinet in seeking to remove Israelis from Gaza. Peres is an advocate of peace, so I doubt you would contend he's seeking to perpetuate an emergency mode. Who are you talking about? The settlers and the politicians who support them? If that's what you mean, why not just say so? Is it because the backdrop of your thesis is that Israel has been on this war footing since the War of Independence, and the West Bank settlers have only been influential in more modern times? That would leave at least the first 20 years of the perpetual emergency state unexplained. Then you might have to place the blame squarely where it belongs, on Arab aggression designed to destroy Israel. 

Think about this for a moment. How could anyone write a credible article about Israel's perpetual emergency posture without once mentioning 55 years of constant Arab declarations of an intention to drive Israel into the sea, without once mentioning four wars started against Israel by Arab countries surrounding it in its first 25 years of existence and without once mentioning a constant stream of terrorism directed against its civilian population? How could you?

Robert G. Samet
Potomac, Maryland

Friday, June 11, 2004

Post's Continuing Refusal to Call Terrorist Groups "Terrorists" and Its Selective Sanitization of Terrorist Groups in Articles Mentioning Israel

We noted and gave examples in an earlier "Media Alert" of how The Post will not, in the context of any mention of Israel, call Hamas a terrorist organization. When Israel isn't mentioned, The Post enthusiastically calls Hamas a terrorist organization. Yesterday, in a front page article about the prosecution of an American Moslem, Abdurahman Alamoudi, for smuggling cash, The Post reports that when Alamoudi was first arrested,  authorities thought the cash was destined for Hamas, who The Post then gently describes as "the Palestinian group ... that sponsors suicide bombings against Israelis." (Alleged Plot to Kill Saudi Ruler Detailed, Libyan Leader Behind It, Detainee Says, 6-11-04, A1

Sponsors? Hamas doesn't just "sponsor" suicide bombings or even terrorism. A sponsor is defined as "one that finances a project or an event carried out by another person or group" or "one who assumes responsibility for another person or a group during a period of instruction, apprenticeship, or probation." Hamas directly conducts terrorism through its own terrorist operatives. Furthermore, Hamas' terrorist activities are not limited to just suicide bombings, but include shootings, missile attacks and any other means available for killing innocent civilians. The Post's selective sanitization of Hamas only when Israel is mentioned is a shameful example of The Post's continuing double standard applied to Israel.


Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Slanted News Report Expresses Post Criticism of Israel for 
The Decision to Withdraw From Erez Industrial Zone in Gaza

There are numerous unethical journalistic techniques for expressing a publication's opinion in a news report without directly calling it an editorial. One of the ways is for the author to find and liberally quote others expressing the publication's opinion throughout the news article. The Post frequently engages in that type of unethical, opinionated and agenda driven reporting. In the article today entitled "Israelis to Quit Gaza Industrial Zone, Many Palestinians Will Lose Jobs at Border Site," 6-9-04, A17 The Post, after years of cheering the Palestinian effort to drive Israel out of Gaza,  does an about face and editorializes against Israel's decision to evacuate the Erez industrial zone. It does this by first highlighting in the headline and opening paragraph the loss of Palestinian jobs and by then going on to liberally sprinkle throughout the article quotes from Palestinians and Israelis willing to assert that the decision was precipitous, unwise, or not well thought out. The article even contains an unsupported opinion that Israel's decision was motivated by a desire to punish the Palestinians. Despite noting that Israel cites as its reason security concerns and failing businesses in the zone, and even after noting that 11 Israelis have been killed since November, 2001 and that "Palestinians and Israelis alike have said the security situation was intolerable in the Erez zone," the article then provides a flood of criticism of Israel. Here are some of the comments of the author of the article and some of the quotes in the article used to express The Post's opinion.

  • "Israeli analysts and Palestinian workers expressed surprise at the sudden decision"   

  • " ' We were all shocked by this hasty decision,' said Sami Abu Zarifa, an economic adviser to the Palestinian Authority"

  • "It is too easy to give up so quickly on such a huge project," said Yossi Beilin, a member of parliament [This is an error. Yossi Beilin is no longer in the Knesset] who heads the Economic Cooperation Foundation, through which he helped initiate the 1993 Oslo peace accords. "Who's going to pay for this?" Beilin said. "These people who become unemployed. These people will become our enemies in no time. And we will pay, too."

  • "Palestinian workers... said the closure of the nearly 100 Israeli companies there would mean disaster for them"

  • " ' They are going to destroy thousands of Palestinian families,' said Abu Musa, who owns a clothing factory. ' This is an unwise decision.' "

  • " ' There was supposed to have been continuity after the withdrawal,' said Zarifa, the Palestinian Authority adviser. 'A special mechanism was going to be established to maintain the rights of workers and the rights of businesses for the benefit of all parties.' "

  • "But Yosef Alpher, an Israeli strategic analyst, said the government's decision appeared to be motivated by something other than despair. 'At a certain level, it is punitive,' He added, "There is an attempt to release Israel of responsibility for the Palestinian population, which is nonsense, because as long as you control all the entries and exit points -- the land and air and sea -- even if there's no Israeli inside, you bear a certain responsibility for the welfare of people in there." 

This is par for the course for The Post. Israel is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't. The last quote by the so-called "strategic analyst" is the most noxious of all, because it is a virtual announcement that Palestinians, with The Post cheering them on through unethical, agenda-drive reporting, will hold Israel responsible for the fate of the Palestinians no matter what Israel does. That's the anti-Israel bias that so permeates all of The Post's reporting.


Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Washington Post Hypocrisy Continues In Its Refusal to Refer to Terrorists 
as "Terrorists" Only In Articles About Israel

In today's paper several articles refer to Saudi terrorists as "terrorists," and there is even an article referring to Hezbollah and Hamas as "terrorist" organizations, but only in an article devoid of any reference to Israel. 

In "For Saudi Arabia, Al Qaeda Threat Is Now Hitting Home," 6-8-04, A18, the word "terrorist" is mentioned 3 times, and the word "terrorism" is mentioned once in referring to the terrorists in Saudi Arabia who are shooting and bombing innocent civilians. Why are they not referred to as such in articles about Israel?

In "Pressure Builds on Key Pillar of Saudi Rule," 6-8-04, A18, there is at least one reference to fighting the "terrorists" in Saudi Arabia. Why are they not referred to as such in articles about Israel?

Finally, on the front page in "Cigarette Smuggling Linked to Terrorism", 6-8-04, A1, we find a grand total of 11 references to "terrorist" and "terrorists" and 4 references to "terrorism." And who exactly are the "terrorist" groups this Washington Post report says are being funded by cigarette smuggling? The article itself says they are Hamas and Hezbollah. Why are Hamas and Hezbollah not referred to as "terrorist" groups in articles about Israel? 

This refusal of the Post to call these exact same groups "terrorist" groups when referring to them in articles about Israel, while at the same time unhesitatingly referring to them as such in articles not directly involving events in Israel, is one of the clearest examples of the differing treatment The Post gives to Israel in all of its reporting. This is rank hypocrisy, plain and simple. It is evidence of The Post's anti-Israel bias.


Sunday, June 6, 2004

Washington Post Hides the Fact that Anti-Semitic Attack in Paris on
Yeshiva Student Was Probably Perpetrated by A Moslem

On Friday, June 4, in northern Paris a 17 year old Jewish student attending a local Jewish school was attacked by a man who eye witnesses said  yelled "Allahu Akbar!" before stabbing the victim. Today The Post reported the incident but deliberately attempted to sanitize the report of any suggestion that the perpetrator was an Arab by changing the Arabic "Allahu Akbar" to its English translation. The Post's report stated: "A Jewish teenager was stabbed in the chest by a man crying, 'God is great,' officials said." (World in Brief, Paris, 6-6-04, A23)

The truth was reported elsewhere, (Chirac Condemns Stabbing Of Yeshiva Student In Apparent Anti-Semitic Attack, Haaretz, 6-6-04)(Jewish Teen Stabbed by Muslim in Paris, Maariv, 6-7-04)(Yeshiva Student Stabbed In Paris, Arutz Sheva, 6-6-04).

Does this not clearly demonstrate The Post's willingness to twist the truth and hide facts in pursuit of its agenda?

 


Saturday, June 5, 2004

Another Story Not Reported by The Post About Palestinian Efforts to
Shed Their Corrupt Leadership

More than 100 lower level Palestinian security officers went on strike in Gaza to protest what they said was rampant corruption among senior Palestinian security officers. Some of these senior officers were alleged to have placed their wives and children on the payroll of the security services, already short on cash for vehicles and weapons. (Palestinian Security Officers on Strike in Gaza, Reuters, 6-3-04) The ability of the PA's security services to take over upon an Israeli pullout from Gaza is crucial to the future of peace efforts in the region.  The Post has often blamed Israel for weakening the PA's security forces, but has never adequately reported the PA leadership's own self-inflicted damage. It is clear that nascent movements within the Palestinian rank and file protesting corruption that is seriously weakening the PA's security services should be encouraged and should be reported, but it may be that The Post is loath to report any stories that might draw the ire of Arafat and his high level PA cronies.


Friday, June 4, 2004

Two More Stories Not Reported by The Post - One Favorable to Israel and
The Other Unfavorable to Palestinians


The Post is continuing its policy of silence when nothing negative can be said about Israel and nothing positive can be said about the Palestinians. How often have we all seen The Post report every little comment that has a negative nuance toward Israel made by President Bush, Secretary Powell or any other administration representative, even unnamed ones? For two days now US administration representatives have been making unfavorable comments about Yasser Arafat and positive comments about Prime Minister Sharon's disengagement plan. The Post has dealt with this news with stone cold silence.

Secretary of State Powell, in a television interview in France on June 2, called Yasser Arafat a disappointment and a hindrance to peace. He called on the Palestinians to reform their leadership. In response to the French interviewer prodding Secretary Powell to criticize Prime Minister Sharon, Powell not only declined, but praised Sharon's Gaza disengagement plan as a good start and an opportunity of which the Palestinians ought to avail themselves. (Powell Criticizes Arafat As A Problem, Hindrance To Peace Efforts, Associated Press/Haaretz, 6-3-04Powell: Arafat, Frankly, Has Been A Problem, Associated Press/Jerusalem Post, 6-3-04)

The Washington Post didn't report Secretary Powell's negative comments about the Palestinian leadership.

On the same day as Secretary Powell made his televised comments, President Bush, in an Air Force Academy commencement ceremony, praised Prime Minister Sharon's Gaza disengagement plan, calling it a "historic moment of opportunity" for the Palestinians that could "stimulate progress toward peace." (Bush Backs Gaza Withdrawal, Jerusalem Post, June 3, 2004)

Although The Post provided a lengthy report on President Bush's Air Force Academy speech, including its major themes of the current situation in Iraq and the War on terrorism, as well as his passing comments on such minutiae as last years Air Force Academy sexual harassment scandal, The Post conspicuously said nothing of President Bush's comments during the same speech favorable to Israel. (Bush Addresses Air Force Grads, Speech Aims to Counter Criticism, Boost Support for War on Terrorism, 6-3-04 A14)

Are we surprised? Not at all. Perhaps there is an innocent explanation, but it certainly appears that The Post is continuing a long standing pattern of failing to report any news favorable to Israel or unfavorable to the Palestinians.


Thursday, June 3, 2004

Update: As predicted last night, The Post upgraded and today published a lengthy story on Saudi efforts to cut off funding by supposed charities to terrorist groups (To Thwart Terrorism, Saudis Outline Controls on Charities,6-3-04 A16) but did not report the PLC's (Palestinian Legislative Council) complicity with  Palestinian NGOs in refusing to pledge to cut off funding by these so called charities of terrorist groups.

Washington Post Editorial Hypocrisy: In its news reports on the recent terrorism in Saudi Arabia we are now seeing the effect of The Post's unsupportable policy of refusing to call terrorists terrorists. In an effort to remain consistent with its ill advised policy of not using  the term "terrorist" in reports from Israel, The Post is now calling Saudi terrorists "gunmen," "Islamic militants," "attackers," "bombers" ... anything other than "terrorists." They've even borrowed from the lexicon of journalists in Iraq and have called the Saudi terrorists "insurgents," as in "[t]he Saudi government has struggled to contain the insurgents." (10 Killed In Attack On Saudi Complex, Dozens of Foreign Hostages Said to Be Freed in Raid, 5-30-04 A1). Perhaps we'll next see The Post calling members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbollah "insurgents." Why not? In the past they've shamelessly referred to them as "activists." But The Post's editors are hypocritical, because they, themselves, in their editorials, don't hesitate to call the so-called "insurgents" by what they really are, which are terrorists. (Editorial: Terrorism and Oil, 6-3-04, A18). Even editorials cannot ethically misrepresent facts, and what's good for the editors should be good for the reporters ... and, ultimately, the readers. It's about time The Post stopped steering clear of the truth in its news reporting.


Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Still More In the "News Not Reported By the Post" Category: Two Stories - Saudis Dissolve a Charity That Funnels Money to Terrorists - Palestinian Legislative Council Backs Refusal of NGO's to Pledge Non-Support of Terrorist Groups - Guess Which Story The Post Will Not Cover.

So predictable is The Post's refusal to report any news that casts a negative light on Palestinians, that occasionally we feel confident in predicting which stories The Post won't cover.

On its web site tonight The Post is carrying a story about Saudi Arabia dissolving a large charity that the US has accused of  funneling money to Al Qaeda. (Saudi Charity to Be Dissolved, Washington Post, 6-2-04). We assume this story will be in tomorrow morning's paper. It is important for readers of The Post to know who is working with us in the war against terrorism and who is working against us.

But at the same time a story is being reported out of Israel tonight that the PLC (Palestinian Legislative Council) is joining Palestinian NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in supporting their refusal of a US sponsored demand that they pledge to not transfer funds to terrorist organizations. (PLC Rejects Us Anti-Terror Pledge, Jerusalem Post, 6-2-04). Thirty (30) such Palestinian groups have refused to commit to not fund the terrorist organizations, and now the Palestinian Legislative Council is supporting that refusal. Isn't this a story The Post should cover as well? Wouldn't the two stories fit nicely together to show Washington Post readers the opposition and support the US is encountering in various Middle East venues in its effort to cut off terrorist funding?

Does anyone think The Post will cover the story casting a negative light on the Palestinians?


Monday, May 31, 2004

Another One for the "News Not Reported by The Post" file: The Post Fails To Report UN Ambulances Transporting Healthy Terrorist Fighters During Battle

We previously noted how quick The Post always is to report that ambulances transporting sick and wounded Palestinians are slowed by Israeli inspections but never adequately reports the reasons for these inspections. Only a week ago we noted that The Post failed to report Israel uncovering and making arrests in connection with a ring of fake ambulances outfitted with fake patients being used to ferry Palestinians through checkpoints into Israel. Now we learn The Post failed to report positive proof uncovered in Rafah of UN ambulances being used to ferry terrorists during battle. Video Footage by Reuters of Palestinian gunmen boarding a UN ambulance can be seen by clicking here [Windows Media format - 2.9 megabytes]. The incestuous relationship between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) and Palestinian terrorists has long been a strong objection of Israel, but The Post has failed to report it. This was a news story that should have been covered, not just because it clearly explains why Israeli forces must inspect Palestinian ambulances, but also because it illustrates the degree of intimacy between the UN's representatives in Israel and the disputed territories and Palestinian militants.


Sunday, May 30, 2004

Another One for the "News Not Reported by The Post" file: The Post Fails To Report Palestinian Human Rights Group's Issuance of Report About Palestinian Torture and Abuse of Other Palestinians.

As noted by one of our bloggers, the world's press, including The Washington Post, is ignoring a human rights report about torture and abuse of Palestinians at the hands of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority. The report includes episodes of torture of Palestinian prisoners by the PA and shooting of innocent Palestinian bystanders by the PA and its henchmen, events the press loves to report when the US or Israel is alleged to be at fault. Not only is the press ignoring this report, but the group issuing the report,  the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG),  long a critic of Israel, is losing its funding by the EU, because the EU, with its anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian agenda, doesn't want anyone to report anything negative about the Palestinian Authority. Details of the story were reported by a Scottish publication, but everyone else is silent. (Arafat at Heart of Rights Abuse Report, The Scotsman, 5-15-04).
 

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Post Publishes Lengthy Article on Death of Teenager in Gaza While Ignoring 2 Stories Showing PA Aiding Terrorism - Post Continues to Exaggerate in a Manner Reminiscent of Jenin

A lengthy article today was devoted exclusively to the death and mourning of a single teenager in Gaza shot last week. (Emerging From Fear To Bury A Son, Family in Rafah Details Killing of 13-Year-Old, 5-25-09, A10) No evidence exists that this death was at the hands of Israeli forces, other than the paraphrasing in the article of a supposed unnamed Israeli spokesman speculating that it was probably an Israeli sniper. On the other hand, according to IDF Gaza division commander Brigadier General Shmuel Zakai, the investigation by Israel of the deaths of seven Palestinian demonstrators last Wednesday that provoked widespread condemnation of Israel revealed that "Israeli soldiers spotted terrorists who were shooting at civilians." There is precedent for Palestinian terrorists murdering innocent Palestinian children solely for propaganda purposes, so The Post should exercise greater restraint in leveling such accusations without evidence.

There is no problem with The Post reporting human interest stories, but this type of extensive and sympathetic coverage has rarely, if ever, been given to Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism, not to mention that the express reason for this campaign in Gaza was to eliminate the tunnels used to smuggle the weapons the terrorists use to murder Israelis.

And in this instance, at least some of the column inches spent on the human interest story could and should have been devoted to reporting important news out of Israel showing that the PA is supplying Hamas and Islamic Jihad with weapons to fight the IDF in Gaza. This was reported by both The Jerusalem Post and Ha'Aretz. But we all know it's not really an issue of lack of space, as today's human interest story shows. News showing the PA's sponsorship of terror is precisely the type of news that The Post refuses to report, because it casts a negative light on the PA.

Another item of "news the Post will not report" is the uncovering of a Palestinian ring that transformed vehicles into fake ambulances, dressed Palestinians as sick patients, hooked the fake patients up to fake medical equipment and forged fake documents to smuggle them through checkpoints into Israel. This story was reported in both The Jerusalem Post and Ha'Aretz. In the human interest story above it is noted that delays in the movement of the ambulance were caused by Israeli forces insisting on inspecting the inside of the ambulance. There is a very good reason for such inspections, but if The Post continues its ongoing refusal to report stories such as this, its readers will never know.

Finally, some reporters at The Post, in an effort to evoke sympathy for Palestinians and condemnation of Israelis, continue to exaggerate the numbers of Palestinians rendered  homeless by the recent campaign. On Saturday, May 22, 2004 Robin Shulman of The Post's foreign service reported that according to UN officials 450 people have been rendered homeless. Today in the human interest story discussed above, Ms. Shulman relied upon Palestinian sources to inflate the figure to 1,000 people rendered homeless. She stated: "Palestinian officials said more than a thousand people have been rendered homeless by Israeli demolitions."  Yet as recently as today UNWRA reported only 575 people left homeless. Ms. Shulman must have known the figure she was repeating today from Palestinian sources was an exaggeration.  One is left to wonder why her editor wouldn't have caught the inflated figure.


Monday, May 24, 2004

Here's One For the "We'll Report Any Nonsense Told to Us by Palestinians" File:

The Post is either exceedingly gullible or is continuing to sanitize the image of Palestinian terrorists. Yesterday three Hamas members were blown up in their car in Nablus. Initial false reports by Palestinian witnesses attributed the blast to an Israeli rocket, but all now agree that Israel had nothing to do with it.  The likely cause was what is commonly called a "work accident," i.e., the terrorists blew themselves up with a bomb they were planning for Israelis. This is what the Israeli media is reporting. But the Post doesn't mention this version. The Post simply reports some unlikely silliness spoon fed to the media by Palestinians. Here's what The Post reports: "In the West Bank city of Nablus, three members of the Islamic Resistance Movement, known as Hamas, were killed when their car exploded. Witnesses at first said the car had been rocketed by an Israeli aircraft, but later accounts said explosives stored in an abandoned vehicle had detonated next to the car." Perhaps it was divine intervention or just an amazingly fortunate coincidence that terrorist leaders just happened to be whiling away some leisure time in their own car that just happened to be parked right next to an abandoned vehicle with explosives stored in it. But one has to wonder how often someone in a Palestinian town stores explosives in a vehicle and then abandons it. (Key Israeli Condemns Offensive In Gaza, Deputy Premier Says Images Evoke Holocaust Memories, 5-24-04 A14)


Sunday, May 23, 2004

After Reporting For Days That Israeli Forces Deliberately Fired
On Palestinian Protestors, Post Finally Acknowledges Two
Sides to the Story

For days Glenn Frankel has given only lip service to Israeli denials that the deaths of protestors was deliberate, all the while including statements of his own in his articles stating as fact that Israel fired "at" or "on" these protesters. See our notes for Thursday, May 20 and Friday May 21. One such article referred to them as having been "cut down when an Israeli helicopter gunship and tank fired on demonstrators." He seems to have finally come to  his senses today, where he devotes an entire article to the differing versions of events coming out of Rafah, and the indications that much of the Palestinian version may have been a Jenin-like (our description) exaggeration and orchestration to gain international condemnation of Israel. (New Rift in Mideast's Great Divide, Israelis, Palestinians Cling to Separate Accounts of Assault on March, 5-23-04 A18) But the acknowledgement is two days late and two dollars short. The damage has already been done.

Mr. Frankel, shouldn't journalists have learned from Jenin to critically question the credibility of their sources?


Saturday, May 22, 2004

Headline Falsely Suggests Israel Completed Mission
But is Refusing to Leave Rafah - Article Falsely Suggests Israeli Forces May Have Done Something To Family Whose House Was Destroyed

The headline of today's article on Operation Rainbow in Rafah reads: "Destruction Stuns Residents of Gaza, Siege Ends, but Israel Won't Pull Out." This headline, by use of the words "siege ends" and then "Israel won't pull out," falsely implies Israel is being obstinate in refusing to leave despite having completed its mission. In fact, the article itself reveals that the only thing that happened was a lull in the fighting and a repositioning of forces. The article even quotes a military leader during a briefing in Tel Aviv saying Israeli forces have not yet achieved all the targets of their mission. This misuse of words in the headline was a blatant effort to deceive readers.

Even more unprofessional was what may have been an attempt by the author to imply that something nefarious may have been done to a family who previously resided in a house that was leveled. This was what the article said: "Some residents of the neighborhood were nowhere to be found. A visitor from another part of this sprawling camp, which is home to nearly 100,000 Palestinians, pointed to a pile of rubble and asked: 'Where is the family that lived over there? My sister lived in that house.' "

Deliberately buried deep within this article, where many readers will never see it, is Israel's contention that the Palestinians exaggerated the impact of Operation Rainbow and manufactured a humanitarian crisis. "Zakai and army spokesmen said Palestinian officials had exaggerated the degree of hardship in the affected neighborhoods to increase international pressure on Israel to withdraw from the area. They said residents had regular access to food, water and medical care and had received 70 ambulances and more than 40 truckloads of food, water, medical supplies, mattresses and blankets. 'There is no humanitarian crisis in Rafah,' Zakai said." This denial by an Israeli military official of a humanitarian crisis is, in Israel, worthy of separate news coverage itself. (IDF: There Is No Humanitarian Disaster in Rafah, Jerusalem Post, 5-23-04)

But perhaps most egregious is the Post's failure throughout this entire Israeli military campaign to accurately portray the seriousness of the tunnel problem and the weapons pipeline they provide to terrorists. Photos are available to the media and have been used by other media outlets, but The Post hasn't used them. On the Egyptian side there are stockpiles of weapons backed up and waiting to be smuggled into Gaza. Weapons have become more sophisticated, and these tunnels are outfitted to roll missiles and rockets into Gaza. The Post is reporting only the impact upon Palestinians, but is not fairly reporting the reasons for the Israeli military operation. And not a word is being said about Palestinian refusal to do anything to staunch the flow of weapons to terrorists. (Destruction Stuns Residents of Gaza Siege Ends, but Israel Won't Pull Out, 5-22-04, A14)

Friday, May 21, 2004

Post Continues to Imply that Israeli Forces
Deliberately Fired at Gaza Protesters

The initial media reports of the deaths of the Gaza protesters on Wednesday claimed 25-30 or more deaths, mostly of children, with morgues overflowing. Israel, despite its denial, was reported to have deliberately opened fire on the protesters. These news reports relied upon Palestinian exaggerations reminiscent of Jenin, and a media all too willing to accept these exaggerations and join in another feeding frenzy, with Israel as its main course. One would think the media would have learned a lesson from the Palestinian fraud at Jenin. Yesterday Glenn Frankel at The Post lowered his report to 10 deaths, while Israel continued to maintain it was only 8. Frankel's report yesterday accused Israel of firing "rockets and artillery shells at Palestinian protesters," while Israel continued to maintain that the protestors were not deliberately fired upon. Today Frankel lowered his report to 8 deaths. One would think that as the number of deaths declined until it was consistent with Israel's reports from the start, Frankel might have gotten a clue that perhaps Palestinian reports could not be trusted. But Frankel continued today, in a lengthy report about the funerals of the victims, to accuse Israel of deliberately targeting the demonstrators. Frankel states: "Battered metal doors of shops throughout the city were bolted shut to protest the incident and honor the dead, who were cut down when an Israeli helicopter gunship and tank fired on demonstrators seeking to enter a neighborhood that has been sealed off by troops since Monday." (Dead Buried in Gaza As Killings Continue, 5-21-04, A15)

Mr. Frankel, it is not fair or consistent with journalistic ethics for you to continue to report as fact that Israel fired on these demonstrators, when Israel denies having done so.


Thursday, May 20, 2004

Post Rejects Israel's Contention that Killings of Gaza Protesters Was Accident, But Accepts US Denial that it Accidentally Misidentified and Bombed a Wedding Party

The opening sentence of the front page, above-the-fold Post report on the deaths of the Gaza protestors clearly shows that Post reporters and editors were trying to inflame their readership into believing that the warning shot by an Israeli tank that went awry and killed 8 Gazan protestors was, contrary to Israel's denials, deliberately fired at the crowd. The opening sentence of the article reads: "An Israeli helicopter gunship and a tank fired rockets and artillery shells at Palestinian protesters Wednesday as they marched toward a heavily populated neighborhood in the southern Gaza Strip." This is not the description of what Israel contends was an accident caused by an errant warning shot that was intended to disperse an angry mob. While the article eventually (after descriptions of the victims, screaming, blood and mayhem) goes on to provide the Israeli explanation, headlines and lead statements in an article are often the only thing scanned by some readers and are most important.

The Post's placement of this article on the front page, above the fold, with a photo of an injured and bloody Palestinian child being carried by an adult, as well as the lead sentence implying a deliberate attack on innocent civilians, are in stark contrast to the Post's below-the-fold, comparatively mild coverage of the US attack on what was alleged to have been an Iraqi wedding party. There were forty victims of the US incident, mostly women and children, but the headline of this article reads: "Dozens Killed in U.S. Attack Near Syria; Target Disputed." In contrast to the article on the Israeli mishap, the lead sentence of this article contains the US denial: "U.S. ground forces and aircraft attacked a village in Iraq's western desert before dawn Wednesday, striking what Iraqi witnesses said was a wedding celebration but U.S. officials called a way station for foreign infiltrators."

The coverage of the US incident, with equal placement and emphasis being given to the US contention, was entirely appropriate. On the other hand, the Post's downplaying and, by implication, rejection of Israel's contention that the Gaza incident was an accident, demonstrates the Post's anti-Israel slant.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Post Editorial "Wrong Way in Gaza"
Exemplifies Wrong Way in Journalism

The Post's editorial, "Wrong Way in Gaza" (May 18, 2004) once again gives us a window into the animus The Post's leadership feels toward Israel ... animus that blatantly infects the attitudes of The Post's editors and reporters from the top to the bottom of the organization. The editorial pays only lip service to the legitimacy of Israel's motives for the current military action in seeking to destroy weapons smuggling tunnels and in creating a larger security buffer for its troops against Palestinian sniper fire from nearby buildings. However, with a sweepingly broad brush, the editorial then casts aside Israel's motives, asserting that the demolitions are being done without regard for the welfare or possessions of what The Post describes as "desperately poor" Palestinian residents. Never mind the lives of Israeli citizens who won't die from weapons that won't be smuggled to terrorists as a result of the current military action. Never mind the pregnant mothers (and their little girls) who won't be shot in the belly at point blank range by terrorists in possession of weapons smuggled through the tunnels. And quite apart from close range terrorist attacks, the editorial fails to note the recent significant increase in long range attacks on Israelis using more sophisticated weaponry being smuggled through these tunnels. None of this matters to The Post.

The editorial lays all of the blame at the hands of Prime Minister Sharon, labeling the current military action as "yet another of the unpleasant surprises he has delivered to the administration as it struggles with a major crisis in Iraq." So, in the Post's eyes, Israel bears some responsibility for events as they now unfold in Iraq. The careful reader should see in this the groundwork for a nascent effort by The Post to lay the blame at the feet of Israel for whatever negative outcomes the US may yet face in Iraq. 

But this is not the extent of The Post's vilification of Ariel Sharon and Israel itself ...We say Israel itself, because of the widespread support the Prime Minister has among the Israeli public for the policies that draw the attacks of The Post. According to The Post "Mr. Sharon has further inflamed Arab opinion by assassinating the two top leaders of the Hamas movement...." Post editors thinly disguise their animosity toward Israel itself by pretending their scorn is directed at Prime Minister Sharon. They carefully avoid noting that the Israeli public stands strongly behind Ariel Sharon's policy of targeting the terrorist leadership. The Israeli public does not believe, as The Post apparently does, that Israel, in defending itself against terrorists, should be overly concerned with "further inflam[ing] Arab opinion."

The editorial goes on to not only deny Mr. Sharon credit in the first instance for his plan to withdraw from Gaza, but to blame him for "allowing his withdrawal plan to be halted by hard-liners in his Likud Party." The article then concludes that "part of the United States' own standing in the Middle East, and Iraq" now hangs on whether Mr. Sharon takes action to revive his withdrawal plan.

The bias of The Post's editors is apparent. This editorial never once mentions Yasser Arafat, never once mentions Palestinian responsibility for putting a halt to terrorism, never once mentions the terrible toll terrorism has taken on the Israeli populace and never once makes even a feeble effort at portraying events in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza with even a semblance of balance. We see in this editorial the anti-Israel attitude that produces such irresponsibly slanted journalism by The Post when reporting on events in Israel. We say to The Post... "This is the wrong way in journalism."


Monday, May 17, 2004

Post Ignores Powell's Rebuke of Yasser Arafat for Frustrating Peace Process and Exaggerates Powell's Disapproval of Destruction
of Homes Harboring Palestinian Weapons Smuggling Tunnels

To the Editor:
 
The Post did Secretary of State Colin Powell a gross disservice with its glaringly one-sided account of his Mideast trip.  In focusing almost entirely on his criticism of Israel's destruction of Palestinian buildings in Gaza, it omitted his harsher castigation of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for blocking efforts to revive the peace process ("Powell Denounce Israel's Destruction Of Palestinian Homes" May 17, page A15).
 
Conspicuously missing was Powell's comment that Arafat, by his actions and statements, made it "exceptionally difficult" to end the violence and work toward a two-state solution.  The secretary singled out a speech by Arafat a day earlier in which the Palestinian leader urged his people to "terrorize your enemy and the enemy of God," praised "warriors of jihad," declared the return of millions of refugees to Israel a "sacred" Palestinian right, and rejected Israel's legitimacy.
 
If Powell instead had blasted Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for making it "exceptionally difficult" to end the conflict, is there any doubt that the Post not only would have reported it, but given it banner treatment?  But downplaying or overlooking Arafat's nefarious role has become a regular feature of the Post's one-sided, Israel-bashing coverage.  If such glaring omissions were ordered by the government, editors would rightly scream "Censorship!" and invoke the people's "right to know."  But what about readers' "right to know" when the Post imposes its own blackout on Arafat's terror-driven campaign to eliminate Israel?
 
Leo Rennert


Sunday, May 16, 2004

The Post Fails to Report News of Yasser Arafat's
Speech Urging Continuation of Terror as a Means
to Taking Over all of Israel

To the Editor:
 
How could Sunday's (May 16) Post devote three extensive stories to the Mideast conflict -- a Tel Aviv demonstration for a pullout from Gaza, Secretary of State Colin Powell's efforts to revive the peace process, and the plight of refugees in Gaza caught in the cross-fire -- without any mention of an incendiary speech on the same day by Yasser Arafat who called for more terror and "jihad" against Israel?
 
To mark the 56th anniversary of Israel's founding, Arafat laid out on Palestinian TV an agenda for a single Palestinian nation within pre-1948 borders.  He called on his people to "terrorize your enemy and the enemy of God," rejected Israel's legitimacy, praised "warriors of jihad" as the Palestinians' best hope and termed the return of refugees to Israel a "sacred" right. For good measure, he threw in a peace offer, but the speech made it clear that Arafat's "peace" can be achieved only by Israel's extinction.
 
As long as Arafat holds supreme power over Palestinians, peace protests in Israel, diplomatic efforts to bring the two sides together and the plight of refugees will continue to take a backseat to his terror-driven campaign to eliminate the Jewish state.
 
Leo Rennert


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The Washington Post Downplays Palestinian Terrorist Savagery
While at the Same Time Giving Front Page Coverage to Terrorist Savagery in Iraq

The most shocking and newsworthy aspect of the attack upon and killing of six IDF soldiers in Gaza on Tuesday, May 11 was in the aftermath ... the savagery of Palestinian terrorists in parading the Israeli victims' body parts, including one soldier's head, in front of television and still cameras and in then declaring they would hold the body parts hostage for the release of live Palestinian terrorists in Israeli custody. The Israeli army, in response, announced it was launching a search in Gaza to recover the remains of its soldiers, and the Israeli government indicated it would not negotiate to recover the remains. Headlines or coverage in the lead paragraphs took place in articles by the Associated Press, New York Times, The Guardian (UK), LA Times, International Herald Tribune, and many other news outlets, including broadcast media, but not in The Washington Post. These despicable acts by Hamas in the aftermath of the killings warranted either headline or lead paragraph coverage, because the violent confrontation itself was not particularly unusual in Gaza, and it is important for informed readers to be able to make their own judgments about groups engaging in behavior that fell that far outside the bounds of civilized conduct. However, The Washington Post sought to downplay the savagery of the terrorists by treating their conduct as an aside, not mentioning the parading of the body parts or the effort to hold the remains hostage until the sixth and seventh paragraphs and then moving quickly on. (Six Israeli Soldiers Killed By Bomb in Gaza Strip, 7 Palestinians Killed, 120 Injured in Battles, 5-12-04  p.A15)

By way of comparison, however, the same day terrorist beheading in Iraq of Nicholas Berg, an American businessman, was, quite appropriately, given front page headline coverage by The Post. (American Beheaded on Web Video, Militants Say Killing Was Revenge for U.S. Abuses at Iraqi Prison , 5-12-04, p. A1) The Post thereby displays a discriminating taste in its terrorists.... or perhaps in its victims ... once again revealing an unusual and shameful solicitousness of Palestinian terrorists by its unwillingness to give prominence in its reporting to the most dastardly of their acts.


Sunday, April 25, 2004

The Post's Defense of Terrorists Continues

The Washington Post is relentless in its defense of terrorists. On Sunday, April 25, 2004, front page, above the fold, the headline of a Molly Moore piece asserted, absurdly, that the targeted killings of terrorist leaders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi over the last month may make Hamas more dangerous to Israel ... as if that was actually possible. (Killings May Make Hamas More Formidable, Group's Military Wing Is Seen in Ascendancy, 4-25-04, P. A01)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A39999-2004Apr24.html

Not surprisingly, apart from citing a Palestinian psychiatrist's opinion and the vague opinions of a few unnamed sources, the body of the article doesn't support the thesis at all, and, in fact, is strongly persuasive that Israel's targeting of the terrorist leadership has done substantial damage to the terrorist infrastructure. The position of Israel's military spokespeople to the effect that the Hamas infrastructure has been seriously damaged was placed at the end of the article, and the article concludes by quoting a Palestinian editor who frequently speaks for Hamas as agreeing that the loss of its leaders has been damaging. The article itself contains  no new news, and The Post, by positioning this article on the front page, above the fold, with a headline critical of Israel, is able to continue its relentless campaign attacking Israel for defending itself against terrorism. The failure of the body of the article to support the headline reveals that the true purpose of The Post was to place the misleading and critical headline in front of its readers.

To the Editor:
 
Molly Moore's thesis that the killings of Hamas leaders are apt to make the group more radical and dangerous should be taken with a grain of skepticism ("Killings May Make Hamas More Formidable" front page Apr. 25).  Three years of suicide bombings by Hamas killers make it rather doubtful that Hamas until now had some "moderate" leaders.  I'm reminded of then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger's comment during the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages fiasco that the only "moderates" with power in Iran were buried six feet under.
 
Hamas actually has become less effective and less dangerous since Israel stepped up its counter-terrorism efforts. The rate of successful Hamas attacks has dropped significantly over the last year.  Israel now manages to foil up to 90 percent of attempted suicide bombings, compared with about 50 percent at the start of the intifada.  While Hamas blusters about increasing the bloodshed, there was only one suicide bombing in the five weeks after the killing of its leader, Sheik Yassin.  Hamas remains an undeniable threat, but empirical evidence belies the Post's alarmist forecast that it's about to become even "more formidable."

Leo Rennert

All contents Copyright ©2002 EyeOnThePost.org and EyeOnThePost, Inc.
The Washington Post is a trademark of The Washington Post Company.
EyeOnThePost.Org is not affiliated with The Washington Post Company.
Please see our Disclaimer.