As Israelis have their throats slit, can anyone explain this BBC headline?

March 14, 2011

* I am certainly no fan of the settlements, but this kind of de-humanization of settlers – they are after all human beings – is highly dangerous. One can only imagine the outcry if the BBC employed the same tone about the Arab minority in Israel.

* What the BBC and CNN don’t tell you: Just two months ago, PA President Mahmoud Abbas sent a clear message of support for terror when he awarded $2000 to the family of a terrorist who attacked Israelis. Last week, the PA’s official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida announced a football tournament named after Wafa Idris, the first female Palestinian suicide bomber, and three weeks ago PA TV, which is under the direct control of Abbas’s office, broadcast videos glorifying the terrorist Habash Hanani, who in May 2002 entered Itamar and murdered three Israeli students. Twice the PA named summer camps after the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who in 1978 led the most deadly attack in Israel’s history in which 37 civilians were killed in a bus hijacking, both in 2008 and again this past summer.

***

I have limited time this week, so this dispatch is shorter than usual. It concerns the brutal terror attack this weekend that has shocked Israelis across the political spectrum.

The three children had their throats slit on Friday night

***

Please also see the previous dispatch: Departing NPR Exec laments “Jewish control of newspapers” (& Vogue out of fashion)

 

CONTENTS

1. Gaza celebrates as Israeli children have throats slit
2. Israel demands an apology from CNN over attack coverage
3. The BBC isn’t sure if the Israelis are dead
4. Can anyone explain the BBC’s use of quotation marks in this headline?
5. “Let’s stop pretending’ (By Itamar Marcus, Jerusalem Post, March 14, 2011)


[I sent this first article to some people yesterday.]

GAZA CELEBRATES AS ISRAELI CHILDREN HAVE THROATS SLIT

By Tom Gross
March 13, 2011

Hamas handed out candy last night as residents took to the streets of the southern Gazan city of Rafah to celebrate the brutal terror attack in Itamar, where five members of a single Israeli family were murdered in their home, including three children, one of whom was three years old, and another, a baby girl, was just three months old. An 11-year old boy was killed as he lay reading in bed. The children and baby had their throats slit.

There are photos here. (These are sent with the permission of the grandparents who want people to see what was done to their family. They have given permission to news media to use these.)

Be warned, they are graphic:

https://picasaweb.google.com/picsyesha/Itamar

Three other children who survived are now orphaned.

PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER ADMITS ITS TERRORISM, BBC DOESN’T

Even though many Western media failed to report the attack at all, and those that did (such as the BBC) refused to use the word “terror”, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said he “clearly and firmly denounces this terror attack.”

Hamas Spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri, welcomed the attack. Fatah’s military wing – the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – claimed responsibility for the attack.

“ABBAS ENCOURAGES ATTACKS OF THIS KIND”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed anger that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah (the benefactor of endless goodwill and billions of dollars from the US, European and other governments) refused to properly and swiftly condemn the terror attack. Netanyahu called upon Abbas to curb the dehumanization of Jews in the Palestinian media and schoolbooks “once and for all”.

The Palestinian Authority continues to lionize Palestinian suicide bombers in its media and at schools, and name public squares after them, and Israel argues that this only serves to encourage attacks like the one perpetrated in Itamar.

THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND THE MURDER OF BABIES

Netanyahu also had harsh words for the international community: “A few of the countries that rushed to condemn Israel at the Security Council for building a home in some area are now prevaricating in issuing a harsh condemnation of the murder of babies,” the Israeli prime minister said.

Some Israeli politicians said Israel should introduce the death penalty and apply it to the perpetrators if caught and convicted. “Otherwise European Union politicians will just pressure the Israeli government to release them from prison as part of ‘the peace process’,” said one.

 

Tom Gross continues:

ISRAEL DEMANDS AN APOLOGY FROM CNN OVER ATTACK COVERAGE

Israel is demanding an apology from CNN over its coverage of Friday night’s terrorist attack in Itamar claiming it was “tendentious and deceptive.” The director of the Israeli Government Press Office, Oren Helman, today sent a letter to CNN’s Bureau Chief Kevin Flower saying he was “astonished at the network’s coverage of the ruthless attack”. (Both Oren Helman and Kevin Flower are subscribers to this email list.)

Helman was angered that CNN’s website refused to acknowledge that this was a real terror attack. “You decided to use the term terrorist attack in quotation marks, as if this were not necessarily the case,” Helman wrote. “There is a limit to the extent of objectivity regarding such a horrific deed.”

CNN headlined its report: “Family members killed in what military calls ‘terror attack’.”

In its report CNN referred to the terrorist or terrorists as “an intruder” and neglected to mention the ages of the three children.”

 

THE BBC ISN’T SURE IF THE ISRAELIS ARE DEAD

Interestingly (and surely there’s no collaboration here), the BBC website also referred to the terrorist as an “intruder” in its report. BBC online said: “The family – including three children – were stabbed to death by an intruder who broke into their home”.

The BBC – which likes to pretend that the Palestinian national movement rarely does anything wrong (only Israelis do wrong) – may be trying to suggest to its audience that the victims died in some kind of failed burglary attempt.

 

CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN THE BBC’S USE OF QUOTATION MARKS IN THIS HEADLINE?

Even more extraordinarily, for the first 24 hours after the attack, the BBC piece was headlined:

Palestinian ‘kills five Israelis’.

Can anyone explain the BBC’s use of quotation marks in this headline? Are they disputing the fact that five Israelis were murdered?

After all, the BBC’s own article started: “A Palestinian has killed five Israelis in an attack on a settlement in the West Bank, the Israeli military says.”

(Update – the BBC has now changed this headline after complaints.)

The BBC went on to give a lengthy explanation of just how wrong it is for Jews to live in Judea, as if these kids “had it coming”.

I am certainly no fan of the settlements, but this kind of de-humanization of settlers – they are after all human beings – is highly dangerous. One can only imagine the outcry if the BBC employed the same tone about the Arab minority in Israel.

The BBC isn’t interested, of course, either in explaining the Palestinian Authority’s culture of anti-Semitic incitement which leads to such murders, or of Palestinians celebrating the murders afterwards. Other news agencies did report on it. For example, here is a picture from Getty images, or here from The Australian.

***

Fatah proudly claimed responsibility for the attack, a piece of news widely reported in media throughout the Arab world, but not, it seems, of interest to BBC or CNN journalists.

It is thought that as many as a dozen people were involved in planning the attack. It took sophisticated planning to bypass Itamar’s advanced electronic protection, security system and wire fence.

***

I attach one article below from today’s Jerusalem Post. The author is a subscriber to this list.

[All notes above by Tom Gross]

 

“THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY AND ITS LEADERS SHARE THE BLAME FOR THE MURDERS”

Let’s stop pretending
By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
The Jerusalem Post
March 14, 2011

The Palestinian Authority and its leaders share the blame for the murders of the five Israelis from Itamar on Friday - including two children and an infant - along with the terrorists who committed them. It is the PA and its leaders who have prepared the ground for these murders with the incessant incitement to hatred and the glorification of violence and terror.

In spite of its conciliatory statements in English, the PA continues to use all the structures it controls to demonize Israelis and to promote violence. Terrorists are presented as heroes and role models for Palestinians, teaching that killing Israelis is a way to earn eternal fame.

Just two months ago, PA President Mahmoud Abbas sent a clear message of support for terror when he awarded $2000 to the family of a terrorist who attacked IDF soldiers. Last week, the PA’s official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida announced a football tournament named after Wafa Idris, the first female Palestinian suicide bomber, and three weeks ago PA TV, which is under the direct control of Abbas’s office, broadcast videos glorifying the terrorist Habash Hanani, who in May 2002 entered Itamar and murdered three Israeli students. Twice the PA named summer camps after the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who in 1978 led the most deadly attack in Israel’s history in which 37 civilians were killed in a bus hijacking, both in 2008 and again this past summer.

But the long arm of the PA’s promotion of violence and terror goes even farther, penetrating the realm of culture and music, which has been used so often in recent years in other places in the world to promote peace and tolerance. Last year, PA TV broadcast a number of performances of a band called Alashekeen, including a song anticipating the conquering of Israel through holy war. The song presents all of Israel as “Palestine,” mentioning the Carmel region near Haifa, and the cities of Lod, Ramle, and Jerusalem as regions to be liberated: “In Ramle we are grenades... the Palestinian revolution awaits [them]... We replaced bracelets with weapons. We attacked the despicable [Zionists]. This invading enemy is on the battlefield. This is the day of consolation of jihad. Pull the trigger. We shall redeem Jerusalem, Nablus and the country.”

More significant than the repeated exposure on PA TV and at cultural events was the fact that Abbas chose to honor the musical group. He issued a presidential decree turning it into an official Palestinian national band.

Compounding the PA’s nationalistic hate promotion are its Islamic-based messages. The PA seems to have adopted what was once thought to be only Hamas ideology, that the conflict with Israel is a Ribat - a religious war for Allah to defend Islamic land in which conflict with Israel is uncompromising. Abbas’s appointed minister of religion, Mahmoud Habbash, has taught repeatedly that the conflict with Israel is not territorial but is in accordance with Islamic law: “Allah has preordained for us the Ribat on this blessed land. We are committed to it by Allah’s command. Let no one be mistaken or under the illusion that Ribat is a choice and nothing more. It is a commandment.”

He has also preached that the conflict against Israel - over all of Israel - is cited in the Koran: “The catastrophe, in truth, did not begin in 1948, but began perhaps in 1917 with the cursed [Balfour] Declaration, which gave a promise to those who did not deserve it... Since that date, resolute people, fighters and Ribat fighters have not ceased upon our blessed land... This conflict is explicit in the Koran and our obligation with regard to it is clarified by the Koran.”

In short, the PA, like the Hamas, is telling its people that Islam does not allow for reconciliation with Israel.

With continuous messages like this coming from the so-called moderate leadership of the PA, is it any wonder that people can go on terror rampages like the one in Itamar this weekend? Palestinians may assume that their leaders and society will honor them if they murder Israelis, that their families will receive payment if they are killed, and that their religion encourages Israel’s disappearance.

Was the terrorist who committed those brutal killings dreaming about a future Palestinian summer camp in his name? Was he imagining Allah granting him everlasting rewards in paradise for fulfilling his command? Did he feel that he was fulfilling his national duty and would receive a financial reward?

And what about the international community which has accepted and naively believed PA leaders’ assurances that incitement had stopped? It was the international community, represented by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which stipulated preconditions for the PA to enter into a renewed peace process: “We will only work with a Palestinian Authority government that unambiguously and explicitly accepts the Quartet’s principles: A commitment to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Road Map” (House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, April 23, 2009). The Road Map states that “all official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.”

The international community has completely failed because it never followed up to see if these preconditions had actually been met, but gladly satisfied itself with Abbas’s promises, and continues to fund the PA.

Everyone involved in the peace process is making a tragic mistake by assuming the incitement is just another issue that has to be dealt with, like the issues of water, borders, and refugees. All of those are issues that must be negotiated as part of a peace process. But as long as the Palestinian Authority continues to teach these messages, clearly there is no peace process.

It is incumbent on the international community to inform the Palestinian Authority that a condition for “working” with it, as Clinton stated, is that it erases the messages of hate and replaces them with peace promotion.

And until that time the international community must ostracize and isolate the Palestinian Authority, just as they do Hamas, and stop pretending there is a peace process.


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