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Media Backspin
« October 2005 | Main | December 2005 »

Wednesday, November 30 2005

Noise over the sound barrier

SoundbarrierFrontPageNews columnist Phyllis Chesler challenges Psychologists for Social Responsibility, an organization claiming that Israeli sonic booms over Gaza cause trauma to Palestinians. Chesler's refutation quotes HonestReporting and Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.


Tuesday, November 29 2005

“Culture” Mag Questions Israel’s Right to Exist

The latest HonestReporting communique has just been published: “Culture” Mag Questions Israel’s Right to Exist.

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Bullets and ballots

In the Montreal Gazette, Gil Troy makes a strong argument for why it’s in the world’s interest to not extend legitimacy to Hamas and Hezbollah just because they’re now active players in Palestinian and Lebanese elections.

Democracy requires more than periodic elections. During the bad old days of communism, in Saddam Hussein's late unlamented regime, the world saw how strongmen could strong-arm voters into voting for them. But questions of the legitimacy of the electoral process among the Lebanese and the Palestinians aside, democracy demands the rule of law, respect for others, basic rights for all. An organization that commits mass-murder with no compunction cannot wipe out its crimes by winning some votes.

And, as we have certainly seen in the street killings within Palestinian cities and in the periodic Beirut bombings, a political culture that celebrates and consecrates mass murder becomes addicted to violence as a way of life internally and externally.


Monday, November 28 2005

Why not issue a denial?

The Jerusalem Post reports that Palestinian gunmen ransacked the offices of an independent Gaza newspaper, Donia al-Watan, that has reported extensively on corruption and chaos.

Sources in the newspaper said the attackers were members of one of the Palestinian factions, but refused to elaborate. According to the sources, the gunmen were sent by the secretary-general of the faction to attack the offices and threaten the editor-in-chief following a critical report about him that appeared in the newspaper recently.
'They practice double standards'

SubwayIn the New Statesman, Ziauddin Sardar speaks out against suicide bombings, going on to note that approval of attacks against Israelis only lends legitimacy to those who attack Western targets.

Continue reading "'They practice double standards'"


Sunday, November 27 2005

Leaked document blasts Israel

The Guardian, The Independent and the NY Times were all recipients of a leaked EU draft document blasting Israeli policy in and around eastern Jerusalem. Was the anonymous source trying to discredit the document, or simply grabbing an opportunity to smear Israel? Compare the three reports and share your comments below.

AP on Barghouti's big day

Barghouti_2When Marwan Barghouti (pictured) was the top vote-getter in Fatah primaries, AP's ambiguous coverage left us scratching our heads:

Barghouti supports peace negotiations with Israel and before the outbreak of fighting in 2000 had close ties to Israeli leaders. However, he also advocates the use of force, including shooting attacks on Israeli settlers and soldiers, to try to drive Israel out of the West Bank.

At least AFP was unmistakable:

Barghuti's wife Fadwa said the primary results were an endorsement of the armed uprising.

In 2002, a civilian court convicted Barghouti for his involvement in several terror attacks, sentencing him to five consecutive life terms.

Tears for ears

Plett_1The BBC Board of Governors upheld a complaint against Barbara Plett (pictured) for coverage of Yasser Arafat leaving Ramallah. On October 30, 2004, Plett told listeners of "From Our Own Correspondent":

“Yet when the helicopter carrying the frail old man rose from his ruined compound, I started to cry ... without warning.”

The Board of Governors ruled that Plett’s description of her own tears “did breach the requirements of due impartiality as the complainant had suggested," overruling a previous BBC ruling on the complaint.

Interestingly, Chairman of the Governor’s Programme Complaints Committee Richard Tait noted in a cover letter that the majority of overall complaints dealt with Mideast coverage, reminding readers that the governors established a special inquiry to investigate this very area of reporting.


Thursday, November 24 2005

Today's bungled headline

How did CNN editors let this headline get by?

Bullets fly over hang glider incursion: Israeli troops cover man's dash back across Palestinian border

You have to read the article to find out that an Israeli civilian on a hang glider was blown over the Lebanese border by strong winds.

Key submissions deadline nears

BbcThe deadline for submissions to the Independent Panel examining BBC TV, radio and web coverage of the Mideast conflict is Friday, November 25 at 5:00 p.m. The panel, led by Sir Quentin Thomas will review submissions and call witnesses (including BBC staff). See here for more info about the panel.

The stakes are certainly high. BBC News Online is one of the 25 most visited web sites in the world. BBC Worldwide can be picked up throughout the world on shortwave radio. And for television, BBC News produces almost 160 hours of news output every hour. Millions of people around the world get info about Israel and the Mideast conflict from the BBC in one form or another.

The panel’s report -- to be released in the spring -- could have a big impact on BBC News. The BBC is funded by a TV license fee, and it’s royal charter expires at the end of 2006, so the Board of Governors may hold it’s news service to unprecedented accountability.

Email the panel at

Or send submissions to

Israeli-Palestinian Impartiality Review
BBC Governance Unit
Room 211, 35 Marylebone High Street
London, W1U 4AA

Under the media radar

With all attention given to the upheaval of Israeli politics, two striking developments from the PA have apparently slipped under the media radar. The first deals with the Palestinian security services, the second deals with the disposition of land from evacuated Gaza settlements. Success in both these spheres is supposed to win the confidence of Israel and world donors.

According to the Middle East NewsLine, the PA can’t account for one-quarter of its security personnel:

But legislators said that neither the PA Interior Ministry nor the Finance Ministry could confirm the identities of those on the payroll. They said up to 25 percent of the 60,000 officers were either fictitious or no longer worked for the security forces. PLC Economic Committee chairman Azmi Shueibi said $350 million has been channeled every month to pay the salaries of a reported 60,000 PA security personnel.

And the Jerusalem Post reports that the chairman of the PA Lands Authority, Frieh Abu Medin, admitted that the PA has failed to secure evacuated Gaza land. Investors and donors will surely be wary:

Abu Medin, a former minister of justice in the PA, pointed out that the PA security forces had failed to protect the infrastructure of the settlements, including electricity and water, which were destroyed by tens of thousands of Palestinians who went on the rampage in these areas shortly after the Israeli pullout.

Many Palestinians have complained over the past few weeks that armed gangs and large clans had fenced off several plots of land belonging to the former settlements. They said some of the intruders belonged to various branches of the PA security forces.

What’s the likelihood that any Western news services will follow up on the revelations?


Wednesday, November 23 2005

Border Clash or Unprovoked Assault

The latest HonestReporting communique has just been published: Border Clash or Unprovoked Assault.

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Road map revisionism

IndependentThe Independent worries that Ariel Sharon’s strategy with the Palestinians appears to be based on “security for independence” instead of “land for peace.” Reporter Donald Macintyre misunderstood and/or overreacted to comments by Sharon advisor Eyal Arad:

The startling assertion that Mr Sharon repudiates not only the Oslo accords but the concept of "land for peace" that underpinned them will fuel Palestinian fears that he is seeking to redraw the internationally agreed road map to peace, to which Mr Sharon insists he is committed.

Memo to Macintyre: Security for independence isn’t just Sharon’s formula. It’s the road map’s formula too. Phase one requires the PA to dismantle the Palestinian terror infrastructure. Even The Guardian acknowledged this, quoting Arad:

"The road map replaced the falsehood of [territories for peace] with a much more realistic formula - security for independence. The road map postulates ... total dismantling of all terrorist apparatus in the Palestinian territories by the Palestinians ... What the prime minister says and what the road map says is that before full compliance nothing will happen."

Tuesday, November 22 2005

CBC's "Checkpoint": A Barrier to Understanding

The latest HonestReporting communique has just been published: CBC's "Checkpoint": A Barrier to Understanding.

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Guiding the perplexed

Readers trying to make sense of the vagaries of Israel’s churning political situation should see the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz “Guides for the Perplexed.”


Monday, November 21 2005

Dragging Israel into public discourse

Bob Ellis doesn’t want anyone to read his commentary in Australia’s Byron Shire Echo, lest you think he’s encouraging terrorism by criticizing Australian anti-terror laws (and Israel) as well.

Iran, an unruly state, is wrong to seek nuclear weapons and Israel, an unruly state, is right to have hoarded them unlawfully and secretly for thirty years; discuss. Syria is wrong to assassinate a former Prime Minister of Lebanon and Israel right to assassinate, each month, such Arab leaders it chooses to target including, by poison, Yasr Arafat, a Nobel Peace Prize winner; discuss….

Or rather don’t discuss – lest you go to gaol for ‘encouraging terrorism’ under our new laws.

Ellis is entitled to his opinions, but free speech comes with a responsibility to be accurate. Ellis’ unproven claims about Israeli nukes and Arafat’s death have nothing to do with a legitimate debate on anti-terror legislation Down Under. Dragging Israel into a domestic debate only suggests that he’s playing to a certain type of audience. So what contribution to the public discourse is he making?


Sunday, November 20 2005

History's first draft

SmithsonianMedia accuracy isn’t only important for the here and now. As history’s “first draft,” errors in coverage can take on a life of their own many years later. A case in point is Smithsonian Magazine, now celebrating its 35th anniversary. A list of 1970 events, quotations and factoids from includes the following:

"Every Jew wishing to be reunited with his family and people in Israel should have the right to leave Russia." —Israeli Premier Golda Meir, on the alleged suppression of Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union to Israel, in the November 17 New York Times

An HonestReporting reader who contacted Smithsonian editors to let them know that the Soviets indeed suppressed Jewish emigration was told that the magazine simply lifted the quote from a 1970 edition of the NY Times, which also used the word “alleged.”


Saturday, November 19 2005

Who killed this teen?


The Associated Press, under the headline "Palestinian Teen Killed in Gun Battle" has a new article on the death of a Palestinian teenager. The boy was caught in a firefight between two Palestinian gangs and the Palestinian police. No Israelis were anywhere near the scene.

The picture, which runs with the caption "Israeli army soldiers watch Palestinian suspects during a routine military operation searching for militants north... " is old file footage.

Strange that they would select such a picture to accompanying an article about an event in which no Israelis were involved.

What do you think?


Thursday, November 17 2005

New site fights bias

GrossWe’ve cited the work of reporter Tom Gross (pictured) countless times, so we’re pleased to see he’s launched his own web site.

Florida media unspun

FlagStaff editorials in two Florida papers praised Condi Rice for using her influence to help broker an agreement opening up the Gaza borders, but in the process, manage to spin the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the root cause of world-wide terror.

The Orlando Sentinel writes:

The U.S. interest in peace between Israelis and Palestinians goes beyond alleviating years of suffering on both sides. The conflict fans the flames of terrorism worldwide, and it undercuts the U.S. goal of promoting democracy throughout the Middle East.

The St. Petersburg Times makes a similar assertion:

By putting the power of her office on the line, Condoleezza Rice helped keep the frustration with the pace toward Palestinian statehood from feeding support for Arab extremists.

By proffering the delusion that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the world’s be-all, end-all conflict, the Sentinel and Times unwittingly create a two-fold danger. First, and most obviously, this belief opens the door to somehow blame Israel for so many of the world’s problems. But even worse, it muddles global efforts to identify and fight terror. These points are further elaborated on by HonestReporting’s award-winning video, Obsession.

Write Right

The latest HonestReporting communique has just been published: Write Right.

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Wednesday, November 16 2005

WashPost invents a dual track

CondiriceThroughout the weeks Israelis and Palestinians negotiated over Gaza borders, we wondered how the media might spin a breakthrough in talks. Now that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has brokered a deal, the Washington Post weighs in—inaccurately:

Needed months ago, the accord was stalled by eruptions of violence, domestic political complications on both sides, and the mutual distrust of Israeli and Palestinian leaders: Each side suspects that the other is not willing or able to follow President Bush's "road map" for a negotiated two-state settlement. By clinching the deal, Ms. Rice preserved the possibility that Mr. Bush's plan could still go forward.

The disengagement was actually a unilateral act outside the auspices of the road map because then PA chairman Yasser Arafat had made himself an obstacle to peace. Leaving Gaza and opening the borders doesn't absolve the Palestinian Authority of closing down the terror organizations. In fact, phase one of the road map specifically calls on the PA to fight terror first. Yet the Post says that fighting terror and scaling back West Bank settlements are simultaneous:

To her credit, Ms. Rice doggedly pressed Mr. Abbas to take a firmer stance against militants and Mr. Sharon to stop expanding Israel's West Bank settlements. Those are supposed to be among the first steps in the road map; making them happen would take a good deal more of the midnight oil that the secretary of state burned this week.

As long as the PA fails to clamp down on terror, the road map itself remains stuck. The Post's invention of a dual track opens the door to blame Israel for the road map’s lack of progress.


Tuesday, November 15 2005

Odious ode

Arafat_2On the anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death, leave it to The Guardian to publish a paean by a former PLO representative now working in the UK academia:

What of the alternative myth of Arafat - the one that will eventually triumph in the history books? The one that will include just a fraction of the epic stories about him that most Palestinians grew up with? Arafat, for all his flaws and mistakes, stood for a just peace, based on a historic compromise. He believed in international law, in a two-state solution based on implementing UN resolution 242, and for a just settlement for refugees, the main victims of this conflict. His legitimacy came from more than the fact that he was democratically elected: he performed a historic purpose in the life of Palestinians, a purpose as yet unfulfilled. By representing his people's general will and collective spirit, he symbolised the absent state's sovereign institutions.

Oh really?

Dubious Dublin debate degenerates

In the Boston Herald, Clifford May describes his participation in a debate hosted by the Trinity College of Dublin’s Philosophical Society. Though the topic of debate was the Bush presidency, the discussion degenerated into a bash-Israel affair. May went on to call participant Tim Llewellyn, who once worked for the BBC, an anti-Semite.

Continue reading "Dubious Dublin debate degenerates"

The Independent dignifies arch-terrorist

HusinThe death of Indonesia’s master terrorist, Azhari Bin Husin (pictured) was certainly newsworthy. Bin Husin -- involved in bombings in Bali, Jakarta’s Marriott Hotel, the Australian embassy in Indonesia, and a second Bali attack just last month -- was killed during a police raid on his hideout. So we have to wonder about the wisdom of The Independent, which reported his death in the paper’s more dignified obituary section alongside a historian, an editor, a poet, a ballet dancer, an opera director and a sci-fi writer:

One of Azahari's former students, Lum Chih Feng, recalled his teacher's enthusiasm for English Premier League football.

(Hat tip: YNet)


Monday, November 14 2005

Remembering Arafat

The latest HonestReporting communique has just been published: Remembering Arafat.

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Brainwashing and BBC complicity

In the middle of a BBC photo essay about the making of Paradise Now is a photo of a child at a Palestinian rally. The BBC's caption refers to suicide bombers as "martyrs," with the only question being whether or not they are heroes. Given the "struggle for freedom," it's not hard to see which way the BBC's views lie. Does this caption make the BBC complicit in the Palestinian culture of death?


Palestinian children learn at a young age about the struggle for freedom. To some, the Palestinian martyrs are heroes. Here a child poses for a photograph at a rally organised by militants.

(Hat tip: LGF)

UPDATE: The BBC changed the caption.


Sunday, November 13 2005

AP's ironic image

Among the casualties of last week's suicide bombings in Amman were a number of Palestinians attending a wedding. While we regret the loss of life and suffering of the families in the terror attacks, we were also struck by the terrible irony of this Associated Press photo. On closer look, the pictures on the wall behind the mourners appear to be a different category of “martyrs" -- three of who clearly hold rifles.


Palestinian friends and relatives of members of the Akhras clan that were killed in a bombing in Jordan, gather in a mourning room in the northern West Bank village of Silet-Al-Thaher, near Jenin, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2005. Family members mourned the deaths of seventeen relatives killed in a suicide bombong at a hotel in Amman, Jordan late Wednesday. The bombings at three hotels in Amman on Wednesday night killed at least 56 people, including 26 Palestinians with roots in the West Bank. Among the victims were members of the Akhras clan who were attending a family wedding, the West Bank's intelligence chief, a diplomat and a prominent banker. It was the largest single number of Palestinians ever killed in such attacks.(AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

Soapbox for Israel bashing?

NY Times correspondent Michael Slackman talks to Arabs who blame Israel for the Amman bombing and other misfortunes. Is this an example of good journalism exposing Arab small-mindedness, or a free soapbox for Israel bashing? Share your comments.


Thursday, November 10 2005

Booms Over Gaza

The latest HonestReporting communique has just been published: Booms Over Gaza.

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Must-see French TV

The Wall St. Journal reports that the French media is censoring it’s coverage of the riots to “avoid inciting further violence.”

The state-owned television channels, France 2 and France 3, have stopped reporting on the number of cars torched by rioting young immigrants every night. "Do we have to exercise self-censorship, to exercise censorship? Must we show everything, explain everything? Those are the [questions] that we've faced" throughout the rioting, said Paul Nahon, the deputy director general for news at France 3….

Explaining their restraint, TV execs say that they want to avoid inciting further violence.

Ed Lasky responds that French TV wasn’t so restrained in the way it handled it's Mohammad Dura footage.

The French media released a story of doubtful validity and honesty which served as the ignition for various homicide bombs with scant regard for the consequences. Now, in the face of nationwide protests in France itself, they choose to exercise discretion (i.e., censorship) by refusing to broadcasts reports of the worst excesses during the riots because they are concerned it might inflame people.

In a nutshell, here's what French TV doesn't want viewers to see:


And here's what they want viewers to see:


Blame Israel for Amman attacks

AmmanHere’s great fodder for anyone wanting to start a conspiracy rumor implicating Israel in the suicide bombings that rocked Amman hotels last night. The LA Times picked up on a Haaretz report that Israelis staying at the Radisson were evacuated by Jordanian security services, “apparently due to a specific security alert.” The Times writes:

Amos N. Guiora, a former senior Israeli counter-terrorism official, said in a phone interview with The Times that sources in Israel had also told him about the pre-attack evacuations.

"It means there was excellent intelligence that this thing was going to happen," said Guiora, a former leader of the Israel Defense Forces who now heads the Institute for Global Security Law and Policy at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. "The question that needs to be answered is why weren't the Jordanians working at the hotel similarly removed?"

Despite the fact that Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for last night's terror, can rumors of sinister Israeli connections be long in coming?

UPDATE: Haaretz has corrected it's coverage to say that the Israelis were escorted home after the hotel bombings.

UPDATE: Michel Chossudovsky has the Mossad connections all figured out.


Wednesday, November 9 2005

Mideast peace formula applies to France

Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily wonders if there’s a double standard between the way the world treats the French and Israeli responses to Islamic violence:

France and other countries, including the United States, have demanded that Israel meet those attacks with land concessions to the rioters and suicide bombers. That is the only viable, long-term solution, they say.

They claim this violence will never cease until those oppressed by Israel are granted an independent, autonomous state of their own. Why should the solution be any different in France?

The global jihad has come home to Paris. Let's see if French officials impose upon their own population the same solution they demand upon the population of the Jewish state. After all, isn't the key to addressing the concerns of the jihadists to appease them?

(Hat tip: IRIS Blog)


Tuesday, November 8 2005

Deadly Toys

The latest HonestReporting communique has just been published: 'Deadly Toys'

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French Jews targeted next?

RiotsWith two synagogues already damaged during 12 days of Muslim riots, French Jews fear they’ll be specifically targeted with further, more intense hostility over the coming days. Samy Ghozlan explained why to the European Jewish Press:

“Now that the media decided to reduce coverage of the riots, the thugs may intensify the violence against the Jews, to regain media attention," he added.
Imitation: flattery's highest form

FenceThe Jerusalem Post reports that Russian security experts want to build a security fence along the Chechen border and met with Israeli officials to learn more:

The talks, Israeli officials said, focused primarily on the construction of a security fence. Kozak told the participants he would bring the issue up back in Russia and recommend it as a viable means to fight terror. Just last month, a small army of Chechen fighters launched a massive attack on police and army in the town of Nalchik in Russia's turbulent Caucasus. Dozens were killed in the attack.

Monday, November 7 2005

Struggling for media supremacy

OtherwarA TownHall review gave a thumbs up to Stephanie Gutmann’s book, “The Other War: Israelis, Palestinians and the Struggle for Media Supremacy:

“The Other War” isn’t a sterile, number crunching analysis of news headlines and journalists’ political predilections. Instead, it has the refreshing feel of a documentary….

Ms. Gutmann lays the blame where it mostly belongs: on moral relativist, reflexively anti-Israel journalists. Sometimes, though, the biased coverage isn’t entirely their fault. Palestinians with guns, Ms. Gutmann writes, don’t allow themselves to be photographed if they can help it. (Imagine the response if Israel adopted that policy). And often, the Palestinians won’t haul out the guns until nighttime. During the day, when the cameras are clicking, it’s all sticks and stones.


Sunday, November 6 2005

Media monitor moving on

AssersonTrevor Asserson (pictured), best known for fighting the BBC, is making aliyah. The London Jewish Chronicle profiled the lawyer, whose systematic, well-documented BBC critiques can be seen here, here, and here. Even though he's moving, Asserson plans to continue fighting media bias against Israel from his new home.

Continue reading "Media monitor moving on"

Today's recommended reading

* When Stephanie Gutman, author of “The Other War: Israelis, Palestinians and the Struggle for Media Supremacy,” spoke to San Francisco-area Israel activists, the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California covered her talk, nicely summing up many issues of media bias we’ve addressed over the years.

* The Observer reviewed “Massaker,” a new film about the Sabra/Shatilla massacres, featuring interviews with Christian Phalangists with blood on their hands.

The directors say that they deliberately made a 'politically incorrect' choice in portraying the massacre from the perspective of the perpetrators. The characters are unpalatable and the directors hope not only to confront their audiences about the violence generally, but to tackle the Lebanese head-on about their past deeds.

* Hamas and Syria are feeling Western pressure as the Palestinian terror group requested to move it's headquarters from Damascus to either Egypt or Jordan. Haaretz reports that both Egypt and Jordan refused. Syria has insisted that the Palestinian terror organizations located there only maintain "information offices."

Hudna hijinx

Following the lead of AP and Reuters, media misconceptions about Israeli involvement in an internal Palestinian cease-fire continue. This time, the mistake comes from Steve Erlanger of the NY Times, who wrote:

The Israeli actions have strained the stated commitment of Hamas to observe a cease-fire with Israel. Hamas candidates are running in Palestinian legislative elections, scheduled for Jan. 25, and the group has vowed to keep the cease-fire through then. But it has also said that it retains the right to respond to Israeli violations of the cease-fire.

The Times has since corrected the mistake, but other papers that reprinted Erlanger’s coverage, such as the San Francisco Chronicle, haven’t.

Media remembers Rabin

RabinWhoops, on the 10th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, the NY Times says the late prime minister was shot by a settler. Last time we looked, Yigal Amir’s hometown of Herzliya was still well within Israel’s pre-1967 borders. Meanwhile, correspondent James Reynolds of the the BBC made a shrill comparison between Rabin and Ariel Sharon:

Rabin gave up land by negotiating with the Palestinians. Sharon has done it by ignoring them.

Reynolds’ report doesn’t acknowledge the Palestinian intifada, which Sharon’s policies were responding to.

UPDATE: The Times issued a correction.


Thursday, November 3 2005

'Calm' before the storm

Hamas wants to spin the truce as reciprocal and Reuters took the bait with nary a challenging question.

"It remains a one-sided calm, and it was supposed to be reciprocal. As a result, no one should dream another calm is coming," said Masri, whose group seeks Israel's destruction.

As we noted earlier this year, the cease-fire is an internal Palestinian arrangement. But Reuters’ apparent acceptance of Israeli reciprocity allows Hamas and the PA to duck a more significant issue. As long as the Palestinian Authority fails to clamp down on terror, the road map itself remains stuck because dismantling the terror infrastructure is the first phase. Inventing reciprocity opens the door to blame Israel for the road map’s lack of progress.

Unfortunately, the problem isn’t limited to Reuters. The Associated Press also believes Israel is a party to the truce.

Iranian invective continues

Iranian TV recently broadcast a children’s cartoon glorifying a young suicide bomber who kills Israelis. View the cartoon at MEMRI. This follows recent comments by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said should be “wiped off the map.” Cartoonist Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette captured the feelings of outrage towards Iran's invective.



Wednesday, November 2 2005

AFP's rat race

AfpAfter the IDF set up a hotline for Palestinians to warn Israel of Qassam rocket launches, an Israeli hacked the system after discovering a security breach that could’ve allowed others to listen in on calls. So when AFP picked up on this development, how did they describe the Palestinians who want to thwart the terrorists?

A concerned Israeli has thwarted the army's latest anti-militant initiative by hacking its 'rocket hotline' set up so that Palestinians in Gaza can rat on those firing projectiles at Israel, the Yediot Aharonot daily reported.

Following a week of multiple Israeli air strikes targeting rocket-firing militants in northern Gaza, the air force tried a new tactic: dropping leaflets encouraging locals to anonymously snitch on any rocket-toting militants.

As the IRIS Blog notes tongue in cheek, the PA has agreed in every signed document to stop terrorists themselves.

The media battle

ZawahiriAl-Qaida understands that their fight against the West is taking place on a media level. The Daily Telegraph describes part of an intercepted message from Al-Qaida "spokesman" Ayman al-Zawahiri (pictured) to terror leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi:

"Despite all of this, I say to you: we are in a battle, and more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media."

Zawahiri’s statement underscores the media’s impact and the need for accurate, honest reporting. It also brings to mind a comment made by PLO advisor Diane Buttu to the Christian Science Monitor, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "a battle over language sometimes more than over anything else."


Tuesday, November 1 2005

Questions from the wreckage

WreckageIn Gaza, two terrorist commanders, one from Hamas, the other from the Al-Aqsa Brigade, were killed in a Israeli rocket attack on their car today. Reuters notes some info that raises a lot of questions:

The two men were traveling in a car with a red Palestinian Authority security license plate, the witnesses said.

So far, we haven't seen any other news service pick up on this.


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