“A family in mourning” (The BBC means the bomber’s)

February 28, 2005


1. The BBC: "A family in mourning"
2. Victims of a murder
3. Ynet: Celebrations in Gaza and the West Bank
4. Former deputy IDF chief blames Sharon for the attack
5. Reuters' extraordinary twisting of the English language
6. AP: "Palestinian officials had information on bomber, but failed to act"
7. "Abbas Rejects Use of Force to Disarm Palestinian Groups" (Arab News, Feb. 20, 2005)

[Note by Tom Gross]


BBC1 TV news yesterday carried a clip, "A family in mourning." One might have imagined it would concern the family of one of the five victims of Friday's suicide attack in Tel Aviv, perhaps Yael Orbach, for example, who was due to be married in three weeks time.

But, true to form, the BBC's used its enormous public funds and host of reporters, to instead show the mourning of the family of the suicide bomber.

The BBC appears to think it is more appropriate to sympathetically show the perpetrator rather than the victims who were targeted for death merely for being Israeli Jews.

[Thank you to the half dozen subscribers of this email list who wrote to me about this.]

For more on the BBC's record of reporting on Israel, see "Living in a Bubble: The BBC’s very own Mideast foreign policy" www.nationalreview.com/comment/gross200406181018.asp]



I attach details of those killed in Friday's suicide attack, followed by some other information relating to that bombing.

ODELIA HOBERA, 26, from Jerusalem, died this morning in a Tel Aviv hospital as a result of horrific injuries sustained in Friday's attack. "We worked round the clock to keep her alive, but in the end we couldn't save her," a doctor at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital said earlier today.

ARYEH NAGAR, 36, grew up in a religious family in Kfar Saba. His last name Nagar, meaning carpenter, was also his profession: He made furniture. He leaves five siblings.

ITZIK BUZAGLO, 40, from the Galilee moshav of Mishmar Hayarden, and his wife Linda had come to the "Stage" nightclub on the Tel Aviv promenade to a surprise birthday party of a friend. Itzik died in the blast at the entrance to the club, while his wife Linda was critically wounded and taken to Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv, where she is still receiving treatment. The couple has two children: a 9-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter.

YAEL ORBACH, 28, from Rehovot, was set to marry her boyfriend of four years, Ofir Gonen, in three weeks, She was killed in the suicide attack, while Gonen was moderately wounded and is currently hospitalized at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer. "My daughter was killed by base murderers at the prime of her life," Orbach's mother, Helen Solomon-Ziebinsky, said in a statement released to the press. "She was about to marry her beloved boyfriend. She was full of life, a good soul, always ready to help." Orbach had studied acting, and was working at a Tel Aviv law firm. She was buried yesterday in Kfar Saba.

RONEN RUBENOV, 28, of Tel Aviv, had come to the Stage club for a surprise party for a friend. Born in Tel Aviv, Rubenov lived on Kibbutz Tse'elim and worked on the kibbutz's dairy farm for three years. "Ronen was everything for us, he supported the entire family," his sister Orly said. "I am a single mother, and he was a father to my two children." Rubenov was buried yesterday in Holon.



Tom Gross writes:

49 people were injured in Friday's attack. As on Monday afternoon, 22 remain hospitalized, some with severe wounds and at least one in critical condition.

The Damascus-based leadership of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Saturday claimed responsibility for the attack. "The calm period with the [Palestinian] Authority was an agreement for a month and that has ended," Abu Tareq, a member of Islamic Jihad's Damascus-based political bureau, told the Associated Press.

In a videotape made prior to the attack, bomber Abdullah Badran declared that the attack was intended to do harm to the Palestinian Authority, which he said served the interests of the United States.

A local leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Tulkarm, one of the terror organizations within Fatah, told Palestinian Authority leaders that senior Hezbollah operative, Kais Obeid, recruited the suicide bomber. Hezbollah, which is funded by Iran, has hundreds of West Bank gunmen from various Palestinian groups on its payroll.


Although some international media have made it as if Friday's attack was a "one-off" since Mahmoud Abbas (more widely known in the Middle East by his nom de guerre, Abu Mazen) was elected Palestinian president, in fact Israel has continued to prevent terror attacks on a daily basis. Last Monday, for example, Israeli security forces captured a terrorist en route to carry out an attack in Jerusalem.


Yedioth Ahronot's webiste reports that Fatah and Islamic Jihad members fired shots in the air in celebration following the attack.


So far Israel's response to Friday's attack has been muted. But Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim said yesterday that in the absence of strong PA action, Israel might resume its policy of targeted killings of commanders and operatives of the terrorist organizations.

PA Chairman Abbas has yet to take any action against Islamic Jihad or other terror organizations.

The bombing just came five days after Israel freed 500 Palestinian prisoners in a further good-will gesture


Former deputy IDF chief Uzi Dayan said today that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is to blame for Friday's suicide attack in Tel Aviv because he has caved into American and international pressure and failed to ensure that the West Bank separation fence had been completed.

Dayan, who heads a public pressure group advocating the construction of the fence, told a meeting of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that, had the fence been completed, the terrorist who carried out Friday's attack would not have been able to reach Tel Aviv.

-- Tom Gross



In its report on Friday night/Saturday morning, Reuters uses the word terror, but contrary to all norms of journalism, singles out the word in both its headline and text, placing it in quotes to imply that it does not regard Friday's act of terror as an act of terror.

[For more on this topic, see "The Case of Reuters: A news agency that will not call a terrorist a terrorist." www.nationalreview.com/issue/gross200407120846.asp]

Israel says Palestinians have failed to end "terror"
February 26, 2005

Israel said on Friday that the Palestinians had failed to prevent "terror," after a deadly suicide bombing in Tel Aviv occurred amid attempts by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to secure a truce from militants.

"The Palestinian Authority's attempt to reach arrangements for the prevention of terror have failed, just as Israel said they would. Israel has always maintained that is impossible to maintain a dialogue with (militants)," Israeli government spokesman David Baker told Reuters.

He did not comment on whether a ceasefire declared by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Abbas was still in effect.



The Associated Press reports:

Israeli military officials said Sunday they received information a month ago that the cell behind Friday’s bombing was planning an attack and passed it along to Palestinian officials, who did nothing.



Abbas Rejects Use of Force to Disarm Palestinian Groups
By Hisham Abu Taha
Arab News
February 20, 2005

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he opposes any use of force to disarm Palestinian groups.

"We don't want conflict with the armed organizations, but agreement," he said in an interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel to appear in tomorrow’s edition. The president said fighters from Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad must be integrated into the Palestinian security forces.

"After that, there will be no illegal arms, because the fighters must first hand them over," he told Der Spiegel.

Abbas also pledged that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza would be free of violence. "People will throw flowers at the Israelis, and not stones," he said. Hamas and Islamic Jihad agreed on Feb. 12 to maintain an informal truce following talks with Abbas.

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