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Thursday, August 14, 2003

SICK: Suicide attacks "jolt hopes" and "may hurt Palestinian effort" -- no mention of the murdered

Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,

On Tuesday, Palestinian suicide bombers in Ariel and Rosh HaAyin murdered two Israelis ― 18-year old Erez Hershkovitz and 43-year old Yechezkel Yekutiel ― and wounded more than ten. Hamas perpetrated the Ariel attack, and Fatah's Al-Aksa Brigades carried out the Rosh HaAyin killing.

The most egregiously biased report on Tuesday's terror attacks came from the Christian Science Monitor, whose homepage headline read: "Suicide attacks jolt Mideast peace hopes; Bombings may hurt Palestinian effort to stop Israel's barrier."

The text of the article first indicates that the bombings "threaten to undermine the Palestinian Authority's campaign to stop Israel's barrier," and only afterward notes that the terror attack "left two Israelis dead and 11 wounded." The bulk of the article then continues to address not the bloody terror attack itself, but the damage it caused to the Palestinian anti-fence campaign.

Apparently, the warped moral compass of CSM determined that the most serious injury the twin suicide bombings inflicted was not to actual human victims, but to the "hurt" Palestinian political goals.

Beyond this grave insensitivity, CSM twists this story 180 degrees: The attacks illustrate the clear need for the security fence ¯ whose very purpose is to prevent suicide bombings. Instead, CSM tries to use the attacks to arouse sympathy for those opposed to the fence.

How ironic that CSM prides itself on following the mandate: "To injure no man, but to bless all mankind...to reach many homes with healing, purifying thought."

We doubt the families of Erez Hershkovitz and Yechezkel Yekutiel are gaining much "healing" or "purifying thought" from CSM's insensitivity toward their victimhood. Comments to: CSM's feedback page


In covering Tuesday's attacks, many news reports promoted two falsities:

1) that the twin attacks were an abrupt break from a Palestinian cease-fire; and
2) that Hamas' bomb was a "revenge attack" for an IDF anti-terror raid four days earlier.

1) What "Cease-fire"?

Fiction: USA Today stated, "Two Palestinian suicide bombers broke militant groups' 6-week-old cease-fire Tuesday."

Fact: Since the beginning of the hudna on June 28, 35 Israelis have been killed or wounded in 180 attacks by Palestinian terrorists. An additional four Israelis have been victims of suspected Palestinian kidnappings. In addition, Israeli security services have foiled 36 planned "major attacks" since June 28.

Palestinian attacks since the "cease-fire" include:

- an Israeli woman killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber at Moshav Kfar Ya'vetz (July 7)
- an Israeli man stabbed to death by a Palestinian on Tel Aviv's beachfront promenade (July 15)
- an Israeli man stabbed in Jerusalem's Yemin Moshe neighborhood (July 20)
- an Israeli man stabbed while riding his bicycle in Jerusalem by four Arab assailants (July 23)
- an 11-year-old girl wounded by Palestinian gunfire (July 28)
- four Israelis wounded in an ambush shooting near Jerusalem (August 3)
- six Israelis injured by a rocket attack, fired from a Gaza area under PA control (August 9)
[For more details, go to the homepage of IsraelInsider ― look for the section called "Specials," and the link to "Security Incidents Map and Timeline"]
Clearly, Tuesday's twin suicide bombings did not "break" any cease-fire. The only unusual aspect of these attacks is that they were more dramatic than the stabbings and kidnappings that characterized the past six weeks.

Comments to USA Today: editor@usatoday.com

2) Palestinian "retaliation"?

Fiction: Associated Press described Tuesday's suicide bombing as a "revenge attack" for an IDF anti-terror raid four days earlier against Hamas.

Fact: Last week, the Israeli Shin Bet security service announced they were following twelve active warnings of planned attacks, including five warnings of suicide bombings originating from the West Bank. The IDF anti-terror raid on Askar -- the pretext for Hamas' "retaliation" -- took place on Friday. Tuesday's attacks, therefore, had almost certainly been in the works long before the Askar events.

The media have continually rationalized Palestinian terror attacks as retaliation for IDF actions. For example, the June 11 bus bombing in Jerusalem that killed 17 Israelis was spun by most media outlets as retaliation for the IDF attempt on Hamas leader Rantisi's life, one day earlier. However, a Hamas accomplice to the bombing has now confirmed to Israeli police that the Jerusalem attack was planned by Hamas an entire month beforehand.

Comments to Associated Press: feedback@ap.org

HonestReporting encourages subscribers to monitor their local media for false claims of "calm" during the Palestinian "cease-fire," and for ongoing rationalizations of Palestinian terror that blame Israeli victims for the bloodshed they suffer.

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.