Both Reuters and AP omit Israel from world terror victim lists

November 11, 2003

Both the two biggest news agencies in the world, Reuters and AP, omit Israel from world terror victim lists.

[Note by Tom Gross]


As a follow-up to yesterday's dispatch on the BBC, the Daily Telegraph of London today reported that the BBC has appointed a "senior editorial advisor" "to oversee BBC coverage of the Mideast," due to ongoing criticism of the "BBC's anti-Israeli bias."

(The article, titled "BBC appoints man to monitor 'pro-Arab bias'," By Tom Leonard, Media Editor, Daily Telegraph, Nov 11, 2003, is attached below.)



Both the two biggest news agencies in the world, Reuters and AP, continue to ignore terror against Israel. (Almost every major news outlet in the world relies on one or both of these agencies for its core foreign news leads.)

I attach below, "Reuters chronology - Worst guerrilla attacks since September 11" (November 9, 2003, Reuters), that accompanied its reports of Saturday's suicide bombing in Saudi Arabia..

Pakistan, Tunisia, Yemen, Bali, Kenya, Chechen attacks in Moscow, attacks against Indians in Bombay. These are all included, but none of the terrorist attacks in Israel, many of which resulted in more death and injury than those cited by Reuters.

Furthermore, the Associated Press, in its bulletin "Recent Terror Attacks Around the World" (November 8, 2003) also omits reference to Israel, while including attacks in the Philippines, Kenya, Yemen and elsewhere. (Associated Press bulletin attached below).

Honest Reporting, the media watchdog organization that today also draws attention to the AP bulletin (though not to the Reuters one), points out that the New York Times Online also devotes a special section to world terror that leaves out attacks in Israel.

-- Tom Gross




BBC appoints man to monitor 'pro-Arab bias'
By Tom Leonard, Media Editor
Daily Telegraph
November 11, 2003

The BBC has appointed a "Middle East policeman" to oversee its coverage of the region amid mounting allegations of anti-Israeli bias.

Malcolm Balen, a former editor of the Nine O'Clock News, has been recruited in an attempt to improve the corporation's reporting of the Middle East and its relationship with the main political players.

Mr Balen, who left the BBC three years ago, will work full-time with the official title of "senior editorial adviser".

It is the first time the corporation has made such an appointment. Insiders say it is a signal that senior executives feel that the Middle East is an area over which the BBC needs to take particular care.

Relations between the corporation and the Israeli government hit a low point this summer when the latter "withdrew co-operation" in protest at a BBC documentary about the country's weapons of mass destruction.

Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, later barred the BBC from his meeting with the British press during a visit to London.

The BBC has also been the target of Downing Street accusations that it toed a pro-Baghdad line over the Iraq war and that it influenced the Today programme's handling of the dossier story that is the subject of the Hutton Inquiry.

A BBC spokesman said: "Malcolm is a hugely experienced senior programme editor whose appointment will help us on our relations with all parties in the region."

The decision to appoint Mr Balen was taken jointly by Richard Sambrook, the director of BBC News, and Mark Byford, the head of the World Service. The latter's Arabic Service has been singled out by some critics as the most anti-Israeli source of the corporation's Middle East output.

The BBC denied that the appointment amounted to an admission that it had "got its coverage wrong" but conceded the corporation was sensitive to criticism. He said it was "no longer the case" that the Israelis were refusing to co-operate with BBC journalists.

An accusation frequently levelled against the corporation is that it reports the Arab-Israeli conflict too much from a Palestinian point of view.

Its reluctance to describe suicide bombers as "terrorists" has proved particularly controversial, recently prompting the Simon Wiesenthal Centre to pull out of a BBC series about Nazi genocide.

The corporation faces increasing scrutiny of all areas of its activities during the run-up to the renewal of its royal charter in 2006.



Reuters CHRONOLOGY - Worst guerrilla attacks since September 11
November 9, 2003

Suspected al Qaeda suicide bombers devastated a Riyadh residential compound of foreigners mostly from Arab states on Sunday, killing between 20 and 30 people and injuring up to 100, diplomats said.

Here is a short chronology of some of the worst attacks around the world since the assault on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, which was blamed on al-Qaeda.


Sept 11 - Three hijacked planes flown into major U.S. landmarks, destroying New York's World Trade Center towers and ploughing into the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked plane crashes in rural Pennsylvania. 2,976 people are killed.


Apr 11 - Truck explodes near El Ghriba synagogue on Tunisian island of Djerba. Kills 20, including 14 Germans.

May 8 - Suspected suicide bomber in a car kills 11 French navy experts and three Pakistanis outside Sheraton hotel in southern Pakistani city of Karachi.

June 14 - Carbomb outside U.S. consulate in Karachi kills at least 11, injures 45.

Oct 6 - Explosion rips through French supertanker Limburg, off Yemen. One crew member killed. Yemen suspects remote control device was used to ram an explosives-laden boat into the tanker.

Oct 12 - Bombs explode in Kuta Beach nightclub strip on Bali, Indonesia, killing 202 people and injuring hundreds. A third bomb explodes near the U.S. consulate near Kuta, no one is hurt.

Nov 28 - At least 15 killed in carbomb attack on hotel frequented by Israeli tourists in Kenyan port of Mombasa as two missiles miss Israeli airliner taking off from the city.


May 12 - Suicide bombers in vehicles shoot their way into housing compounds for expatriates in Saudi capital of Riyadh as residents sleep. Death toll 35, including nine Americans.

May 12 - Two suicide bombers drive a truck full of explosives into a government complex in northern Chechnya, in Znamenskoye. At least 60 killed and 100 wounded.

May 16 - Suicide bombers using cars or explosive belts set off at least five blasts in Casablanca, Morocco, killing 45 people including 12 bombers. About 60 others wounded.

July 5 - Two Chechen women suicide bombers kill 15 others at a rock festival at Moscow's Tushino airfield. 60 are injured.

Aug 1 - Truck bomb explodes at a Russian military hospital in North Ossetia near Chechnya, killing at least 50.

Aug 5 - Huge bomb kills 10, wounds 150 at Marriott Hotel in Indonesian capital Jakarta.

Aug 19 - Truck bomb devastates U.N.'s Baghdad HQ, killing 22 people including top U.N. envoy to Iraq.

Aug 25 - Twin carbombs in India's financial capital Bombay kill 52, injure at least 150.

Aug 29 - Carbomb kills at least 83 Iraqis, including top Shi'ite Muslim leader Ayatollah Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim, in an apparent assassination at the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf.

Oct 27 - Bombers strike four times in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killing 35 people and wounding 230 in attacks aimed at Red Cross offices and three police stations.

Nov 9 - Up to 30 people are killed when suspected al Qaeda suicide bombers devastate the guarded 200-villa Muhaya complex in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh.



Recent Terror Attacks Around the World
The Associated Press
November 8 2003

Aug. 5, 2003. A suicide bombers kills 12 people and injures 150 at the J.W. Marriott in Jakarta, Indonesia. Authorities blame Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian group linked to al-Qaida.

May 16, 2003: Bomb attacks in Morocco kill at least 28 people and injure more than 100. The government blames "international terrorism," and local militant groups linked to al-Qaida.

May 12, 2003: Four explosions rock Riyadh, the Saudi capital, in an attack on compounds housing Americans, other Westerners and Saudis. Eight Americans are among those killed. In all, the attack kills 35 people, including nine attackers.

May 11, 2003: A bomb explodes at a crowded market in a southern Philippine city, killing at least nine people and wounding 41. The military blames the Muslim separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Dec. 30, 2002: A gunman kills three American missionaries at a Southern Baptist hospital in Yemen. Yemeni officials say the gunman, sentenced to death in May, belonged to an al-Qaida cell.

Nov. 28, 2002: Suicide bombers kill 12 people at an Israeli-owned beach hotel in Kenya and two missiles narrowly miss an airliner carrying Israelis.

Oct. 12, 2002: Nearly 200 people, including seven Americans, are killed in bombings in a nightclub district of the Indonesian island of Bali. Authorities blame Jemaah Islamiyah.

Oct. 6, 2002: A small boat crashes into a French oil tanker off the coast of Yemen and explodes, killing one crewman.

Oct. 2, 2002: Suspected Abu Sayyaf guerrillas detonate a nail-laden bomb in a market in Zamboanga, Philippines, killing four people, including an American Green Beret. Four more bomb attacks in October blamed on Abu Sayyaf, a group linked to al-Qaida, kill 16 people.

June 14, 2002: A suicide bomber blows up a truck at the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 14 Pakistanis. Authorities say it is the work of Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen, linked to al-Qaida.

April 11, 2002: A suicide bombing with a gas truck at a historic Tunisian synagogue on the resort island of Djerba kills 21 people, mostly German tourists.

Sept. 11, 2001: Hijackers slam jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (news - web sites) and a fourth hijacked jet crashes in a Pennsylvania field, killing nearly 3,000 people.

Dec. 30, 2000: Explosions in Manila strike a train, a bus, the airport, a park near the U.S. Embassy and a gas station, killing 22 people. Philippine and U.S. investigators link the attack to Jemaah Islamiyah.

Oct. 12, 2000: Suicide attackers on an explosives-laden boat ram the destroyer USS Cole (news - web sites) off Yemen, killing 17 American sailors.

Aug. 7, 1998: Nearly simultaneous car bombings hit the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, killing 231 people, including 12 Americans.

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.