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Letter from  Israel
A weekly (or daily as  the case maybe)   Letter from Israel
(If you would like your comment to go in here please send  an e-mail )
mailto: halkin@sympatico.

Reuters'  Skewed  Deportations
Sometimes an article is so packed  with bias that it needs no  critique, the article speaks for itself!

Below we reprint a Reuters report on the deportation of two Palestinians
to the Gaza Strip, after being accused of helping their brother Ali Ajouri
plan a suicide bombing that killed five people in Tel Aviv in July.

The bias of Reuters' reporter Nidal al-Mughrabi is blatant:

1) Reuters gives heavy ink to the Palestinian position, quoting Yasser
Arafat's description of the deportation as a "crime against humanity," and
another PA official who called it "war crimes." In the 16-paragraph
article, Reuters musters a mere half-paragraph explaining the Israeli

2) Reuters says the two Palestinians were "uprooted" in "fear,"
"threatened" and "dumped... to fend for themselves" -- but makes no
mention of the fact that Israel arranged a family reunion prior to the
deportation, and gave them food and bottled water, plus 1000 shekels each
for relocation assistance.

3) Reuters makes no mention of the great pains the Israeli High Court took
to ensure that the deportations were in line with democratic principles.
(Contrast this with the hundreds of no-trial executions carried out by the
PA and associated groups.) Reuters also fails to mention the High Court's
reasoning that the West Bank and Gaza are considered part of the same

4) Reuters paints the deportees as oppressed folk heroes, invoking terms
like  "honorable," "defied," and "plight." However, Reuters makes no
mention of the fact that the two were direct accomplices to mass murder,
with evidence that Ajouri's 26-year-old sister, Intizar, sewed suicide
bombers' explosive belts, and his brother, Kifah, hid Ajouri from Israeli
authorities and served as a lookout while Ajouri moved explosives.

Further, Reuters makes no mention of the case of Abed Assida, who the
court ruled could not be deported because there was insufficient evidence
linking him directly to the terrorist shooting carried out by his brother.

If you feel the Reuters article is biased, write to:

HonestReporting encourages members to monitor your local media to see how
they reported this issue.

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


"Two West Bank Deportees in Limbo in Gaza Strip"

by Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA, Sept 5 - Palestinians Intisar and Kifah Ajouri, deported by Israeli
forces to the Gaza Strip on charges they helped their brother plan a
suicide bombing, defied the move on Thursday in the only way they could.

"We are staying on land belonging to an international party to declare our
rejection of the unfair order to deport us from our city," said Intisar,
who took up shelter with her brother in the International Committee of the
Red Cross (ICRC) compound.

"We will stay here until they find a solution for our case and we return
to Nablus," the 34-year-old assistant pharmacist said in a tent in Gaza,
where they received well-wishers.

The Israeli army dumped the Ajouris in a Gaza Strip vineyard on Wednesday
to fend for themselves after deporting them from their West Bank homes.

Israel uprooted the two under a policy it said would deter suicide bombers
in a Palestinian uprising, but denounced as a "crime against humanity" by
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.

Both deny accusations they helped their brother Ali plan a double suicide
bombing that killed five people in Tel Aviv in July. They were expelled
after losing an Israeli court appeal.

ICRC spokeswoman Jessica Barry said they could not host the Ajouris for
long and it was the Palestinian Authority's responsibility to look after

But Intisar and Kifah, 38, said they did not want permanent housing to
demonstrate their rejection of the expulsion order.

Palestinian Authority (PA) officials say that in line with their wishes,
the PA will not facilitate their settlement in the Gaza Strip in order to
highlight their plight.

"Your position was an honourable one and it should remain so in order to
block the door for further war crimes by Israel," PA official Hisham
Abdel-Razek told them.


The expulsions, Israel's first use of the internationally condemned tactic
during the two-year-old Palestinian uprising, were denounced by
Palestinian and human rights organisations.

The two were driven blindfold to Gaza in an Israeli tank.

"It was our first time in Gaza and the first thing we saw was a tank and
the first feeling was fear," Intisar said.

Raji al-Surani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, said:
"We believe that dozens if not hundreds of Palestinians, relatives of
martyrs, are now threatened to be next in line for deportation."

"And the worst thing is that there is no way to stop it. Israel can bring
them in a ship and land them on the Gaza beach or drop them from a

A banner which was hung up over the brother and sister read: "Today
Intisar and Kifah and who is next?"

(From: David Schulman )

Aug. 28, 2002 Jerusalem Post
EDITORIAL: "Resign, Rabbi Sacks."

As chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British
Commonwealth, Dr. Jonathan Sacks holds one of the more prominent, and
highly visible, rabbinical positions in the Western world.

Since assuming his post in 1991, he has become a regular on British
radio and television, presenting the people of Queen Elizabeth's realm
both Jew and non-Jew with an image of Judaism that has been both erudite
and appealing. Rabbi Sacks has authored more than a dozen books,
lectured at universities such as Oxford, and even received an honorary
doctorate from the archbishop of Canterbury.

Yet, it is precisely because of both his reputation and standing that
his recent remarks on Israel in a newspaper interview can only be
described as morally inexplicable and astonishingly naive.

Speaking with The Guardian long one of Israel's harshest critics he said
that Israel's response to the Palestinian issue is "incompatible"with
the ideals of Judaism and is "corrupting"Israeli culture. "I regard the
current situation as nothing less than tragic," he said. "It is forcing
Israel into postures that are incompatible in the long run with our
deepest ideals."

Going one step further, Sacks spoke of "things that happen on a daily
basis which make me feel very uncomfortable as a Jew."In particular, he
noted, he was "profoundly shocked"by reports of smiling Israeli soldiers
posing for a photograph with the corpse of a slain Palestinian. He also
asserted that in 1967 he was "convinced that Israel had to give back all
the land for the sake of peace"and added that he does not renounce that
view now.

Sacks's views, it will be said, are similar to a fair number of Israelis
and their political representatives. But therein lies the rub. Sacks is
not an Israeli and he is not here with us fighting this war.

Diaspora Jewish leaders are not required or expected to blindly support
the Jewish state, or even to refrain from criticizing Israel. But they
are required not to endorse the gross double standards and false
morality applied by Israel's most bitter opponents.

For Sacks to lecture us about "our deepest ideals"is worse than
insulting. It implies that we are not as appalled by exceptional looting
and gruesome grandstanding as much as he is. It pretends that we want
peace less than he does. And it deprecates the fundamental value that we
are fighting for our freedom and our very lives.

Sacks has apparently forgotten that the State of Israel is at war, with
the Palestinian terror campaign about to enter its third straight year.
This is a war that Israel neither sought nor initiated, but one that was
foisted upon it by an obstinate foe bent on its destruction. In such a
situation, morality demands that the Jewish people defend themselves,
and that is precisely what the people of Israel have been doing.

Indeed, rather than "corrupting"us, this war of self-defense has brought
out some of our finer qualities, such as patriotism, national pride, and
a willingness to make personal sacrifices on behalf of the common good.
Further, Israelis have sacrificed their own lives to save Palestinian
lives, by fighting terrorism in a way that no other democracy has or
would. Where was Sacks's eloquent voice when 23 soldiers died fighting
from house to booby-trapped house in Jenin, when every other would
country would have simply bombed the trapped terrorists and their
civilian hostages from the air?

When young Israelis faithfully answer the call of reserve duty, they are
embodying the highest of Jewish values and standards, for they are
leaving aside the safety and security of their homes, donning uniforms,
and going out to defend their families and their nation from attack.

As Rabbi Sholom Gold of Jerusalem told the BBC yesterday, "The only
moral response that is compatible with Jewish belief is to stand up and
fight and defend yourself. And every act of that sort is not immoral; on
the contrary, it is the height of morality."What Sacks fails to grasp is
that the "tragedy"of the current situation lies not in the fact that
Israel has chosen to defend itself, but that the Palestinians chose the
path of violence, in the process sending the entire region into a morass
of hatred and bloodshed.

By assailing Israel, he has done his fellow Jews a grave disservice,
sowing defeatism rather than deliverance. There is a fine line between
constructive criticism delivered in a conscientious manner and
ill-conceived censure whose main effect is to cheer our enemies and
those of the Jewish people everywhere. Wherever one might reasonably
draw that line, Sacks has crossed it by a wide margin. If Sacks is so
embarrassed by the spectacle of Jews defending themselves as best and as
morally as they know how that he cannot contain himself, that is his
right, but he cannot at the same time hold office as leader of an
important Diaspora Jewish community.


(Submitted by "Honest Reporting ")

This week, Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed to a security
arrangement calling for Israeli troop pullbacks in Gaza and Bethlehem, in
exchange for a crackdown by Palestinian security services to prevent
attacks on Israeli civilians.

Many Palestinian groups -- including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Yasser
Arafat's Fatah faction -- all issued statements rejecting the deal, while
vowing to continue their campaign of terror. Palestinian groups once again
prove that when presented with the option of regaining land, they choose
instead the path of violence and terror.

However, HonestReporting's survey reveals that most major media mentioned
ONLY Hamas and Islamic Jihad as rejecting the truce -- while inexplicably
failing to mention the third rejectionist party, Arafat's Fatah.

The media has a sordid history of protecting Arafat and covering up his
terror activities. This case is a blatant omission of fact.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Fatah's military wing, the Aksa Martyrs'
Brigades, vowed that "the jihad will continue" and that Fatah-Aksa will
carry out "massive attacks" against Israeli soldiers and civilians -- "and
if there is a necessity in the next phase, there are no borders for the


THE NEW YORK TIMES: Serge Schmemann completely omits mention of any
Palestinian opposition to the deal -- though he details right-wing Israeli

THE INDEPENDENT: Phil Reeves writes a classic case of moral equivalence:
"The agreement's chances of success were already being undermined by
strong opposition from extremists on both sides."

The "Israeli extremists" Reeves refers to is one Israeli party threatening
to leave the government coalition. The Palestinian extremists Reeves
refers to are all the major Palestinian militias rejecting the agreement

BOSTON GLOBE: "Several Palestinian factions, including a militia linked to
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah group, yesterday declared that
they were against the initiative."

(submitted by  Honest Reporting)

After UN Middle East envoy Terje Roed-Larsen announced in April that
Israel's search for terrorists in Jenin was "horrifying beyond belief" and
"morally repugnant," this week the United Nations issued its long-awaited
follow-up report. The 42-page document has established that there was no
massacre, and puts the Palestinian death toll at 52, more than half of
them armed combatants. See the UN report at:

* The UK Guardian (April 17): Israel's actions in Jenin were "every bit as
repellent" as Osama Bin Laden's attack on New York on September 11.

* London's Evening Standard (April 15): "We are talking here of massacre, and a cover-up, of genocide."

* Janine di Giovanni of the London Times (April 16): "Rarely in more than a decade of war reporting from Bosnia, Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, have I seen such deliberate destruction, such disrespect for human life."

* Phil Reeves of the London Independent (April 16): "A monstrous war crime that Israel has tried to cover up for a fortnight has finally been
exposed... The sweet and ghastly reek of rotting human bodies is
everywhere, evidence that it is a human tomb. The people say there are
hundreds of corpses, entombed beneath the dust."

===== THIS WEEK =====

Here's how the media dealt with the UN report this week:

* The Independent's Justin Huggler still wants to believe that there was a
massacre, under the headline: "UN Issues 'Seriously Flawed' Report on
Jenin Killings." Huggler clings to old illusions: "An investigation by The
Independent inside Jenin shortly after the fighting unearthed numerous
corroborating accounts of atrocities... The UN report is carefully worded
not to give offence to Israel or its allies."

* To his credit, Phil Reeves of The Independent comes clean in a report
entitled: "Even journalists have to admit they're wrong sometimes." Reeves admits that his report "was highly personalized" and writes: "It was clear that the debate over the awful events in Jenin four months ago is still dominated by whether there was a massacre, even though it has long been obvious that one did not occur."

* The ever-defiant Guardian wrote an editorial refusing to concede its
mistake: "As we said last April, the destruction wrought in Jenin looked
and smelled like a crime. On the basis of the UN's findings, it still

* The Guardian's Brian Whitaker trumpets the headline: "UN report details West Bank wreckage -- Banned by Israel, Kofi Annan's fact-finders were left with only second-hand accounts of the spring invasion." Whitaker focuses on the idea that "Israel objected to members of the fact-finding team and then imposed a series of conditions which led the
secretary-general, Kofi Annan, to call off the mission.",4273,4474155,00.html

* The London Times bit the bullet and wrote: "A United Nations report
broke new ground yesterday by accusing Palestinian militants of violatinginternational law when they fought attacking Israeli troops in the Jenin refugee camp.",,1-3-372107,00.html

===== BEYOND THE UK =====

* A Human Rights Watch press release calls the U.N. report "seriously

* Peter Cave of Australia's ABC still insists there was a massacre in
Jenin. Here are snippets from the transcript:

"I personally saw 30 Palestinian corpses at the hospital on April the
20th, and with dozens of other foreign reporters, watched them being
buried at a mass grave just up the road from the hospital... Just as in
Tiananmen Square, the power of the gun and the tank ensured there was no proper body count or accounting. Just as happened in Tiananmen Square, the uninformed and those with their own agenda, are now claiming there was no massacre. There was a massacre, a considerable number of human beings were indiscriminately and unnecessarily slaughtered..."

* Mitch Potter writes in the Toronto Star under the headline, "Jenin
'ground zero' still site of spin battles." The allusion to "Ground Zero"
of Sept. 11 terrorist attack is irresponsible, given the obvious
differences -- 3,000 deaths versus 52, and the fact that the majority of
Jenin deaths were combatants. Potter then specifically notes that Jenin is "eerily reminiscent of the wreckage of New York's World Trade Center after Sept. 11."

(For its part, NBC's Jim Maceda files a report this week entitled "Gaza's
own ground zero."

===== ON THE PLUS SIDE =====

* Another Canadian paper, the National Post, wrote an editorial ("Burying the 'massacre'" which bemoans the lack of responsibility from so many journalists and NGOs. The Post writes:

"As the UN report demonstrates, it was all a horrible fairy tale. The
facts are as follows: At great risk to its own soldiers, Israel attacked a
hive of terrorists instead of bombing the city from the air... Fewer
innocent civilians were killed in Jenin than in the March 27 Passover
suicide bombing that instigated Israel's West Bank invasion. Odd, isn't
it, that there was no enthusiasm in the United Nations for an
investigation of that incident?"

* We give the final word to Richard Cohen, who opines with "Truth
Massacred" (Washington Post, August 6):

"A heartbreaking tragedy is being played out in the Middle East. Two
peoples, convinced of the righteousness of their cause, are struggling for the same piece of land. But one engages in the inhumane murder of
civilians while the other strives, sometimes vainly, to retain its
humanity. This, too, is a fact -- one that often gets obscured by the din
of propaganda. Jenin is an example of that. What got massacred there was not Palestinians but truth itself."



Mona Baker, the British academician who sparked an international scandal by dismissing two Israeli professors for the sole reason that they are
Israeli, wrote the following in response to HonestReporting member Todd

> From: Mona Baker <>

"No one was sacked, because no one was employed. These are honorary
positions... The two Israeli academics in question have been personal
friends for many years (and I am most definitely not anti-semitic,
anti-Jewish or even anti-Israeli as such)... I am not sure that the
distinction between 'individual' and 'state' is possible any longer in
this case."

Comments to:

Submitted by Anne Maurer

 (Steven Plaut)
 Peace at Last.  Peace at Last.

    It was in the year 2006.   The Israelis at last gave up their attempts
 to resist the pressures of the world.   They elected a new government
 headed by Prime Minister Yossi Beilin, the original promoter of the Oslo
 Peace Process, in coalition with the Jewish and Arab parties of the Left.
 They announced that Israel was willing to accept the unanimous proposal
 for peace supported by every single country in the world, and would return
 to its pre-1967 borders, remove all Jewish settlements from the
 territories of the new state of Palestine, recognize Palestine, and grant
 Palestine all of East Jerusalem, that is, all of the city located east of
 a line running north-south through Zion Square, renamed Jihad Square.

     The world had not seen celebration like it since the fall of the
 Berlin Wall or the transferal of power in South Africa to the black
 majority.   All-night celebrations were held in every city on the planet,
 but none so enthusiastic as the party held in Tel Aviv in Rabin Square.
 Speaker after speaker appeared under a banner "Liberation at Last", and
 praised the decision to agree to the terms of the accord as the ultimate
 completion of the work and dreams of Yitzhak Rabin.

     The settlers were marched out of the lands of Palestine at bayonet
 point, with crowds of jeering Israeli leftists pelting them with garbage
 as they moved into their temporary transit camps inside Green Line Israel.
 Liberal Jews in the United States organized a million man march in
 Washington together with Arabs and the Nation of Islam to celebrate the
 breaking out of peace and final settlement of the conflict.  Peace at Last
 was the number one pop single.  The State Department sent out a message
 urging Israel and Palestine to conduct good-faith negotiations and
 round-the-clock talks on all outstanding issues of disagreement still
 separating the two sovereign states.   At long last, there were two states
 for two peoples.  Land had been exchanged for peace. Peace had at long
 last broken out in the world's most troubled region.

       The morning after the Palestine Independence Celebrations, the
 message arrived in the Israeli parliament, brought in by special
 messenger. The newly formed government of Palestine had only a small
 number of issues it would like to discuss with Israel.   It proposed that
 peaceful relations be officially consummated as soon as Israel turned over
 to Palestine the Galilee and the Negev.

      Israeli cabinet ministers were nonplussed.  We thought we had settled
 all outstanding territorial issues by giving the Palestinians everything,
 they protested.    The spokesman for the Palestine War Ministry explained.
 The Galilee was obviously part of the Arab homeland.  It was filled with
 many Arabs, and in many areas had an Arab population majority.   Israel
 was holding 100% of the Galilee territory, and Palestine none at all, and
 surely that was unfair.  As for the Negev, it too has large areas with
 Arab majorities, but is in fact needed so that Palestine can settle the
 many Palestinian refugees from around the world in lands and new homes.

     Israel's government preferred not to give offense and sour the new
 relations, and so offered to take the proposal under consideration.
 Within weeks, endorsements of the Palestinian proposal were coming from a
 variety of sources.   The Arab League endorsed it.    The EU approved a
 French proposal that the Galilee and Negev be transferred to Palestine in
 stages over 3 years.

      Within Israel, many voices were heard in favor of the proposal.
 Large rallies were held on the universities.   The Israeli press endorsed
 the idea almost in full unison, with only some regional weeklies from the
 north and south dissenting.   Israeli film producers began turning out
 documentaries on the sufferings of Galilee and Negev Arabs under Israeli
 rule.  Sociologists from around the world produced studies showing that
 these Arabs were victims of horrible discrimination and that Israel is
 characterized by institutional racism.  Israeli poets and novelists wrote
 passionate appeals for support of the Galilee and Negev Others.

    When Israel's cabinet rejected the proposal, the pressures mounted.   A
 Galilee and Negev Liberation Organization was founded and immediately
 granted recognition by the UN General Assembly.  It established consulate
 facilities in 143 countries.

      Weeks later the infiltrations began.    Squads of terrorists
 infiltrated the borders between Palestine and Israel, and suicide bombers
 produced a carnage of 75 murdered Jews a day.   The border fences were
 reinforced, but to no avail. The US State Department proposed that Israel
 defuse the situation by considering compromise on   the matters of the
 Galilee and Negev.

    Six months later, the Galilee and Negev victims of Jewish
 discrimination decided to escalate their protests.  Gangs of Arabs lynched
 Jews throughout the disputed territories.  Roadblocks were set up, and
 entire families of Jews were dragged from their cars by the activists and
 beaten to death or doused with flames.   The EU sent in observers, but
 warned Israel that there is no military solution to the problems of
 terrorism and violence.  When Israel arrested gang leaders from the riots,
 the General Assembly denounced Israeli state terrorism against Galilee and
 Negev Arabs.   French universities gave the pogrom leaders, Ahmed Tibi and
 Azmi Bashara, honorary doctorates.

     Meanwhile, boycotts of Israel arose throughout Europe.  Professors at
 the US Ivy League colleges demanded a total embargo and divestment from
 ties with Israel until it ended its racist apartheid regime. The leaders
 of the Reform synagogue movement supported the State Department and
 demanded that Israel end its obstinacy.

    Israel's own leftists launched a Movement against Apartheid, and the
 foreign press reported that 400,000 protested attended a rally by the
 Movement in Rabin Square.  Cars around Israel had bumper stickers that
 read "My Son Will Not Die for Nazareth", and "Peace Now".   The Israeli
 Labor Party proposed erecting a series of separating barriers throughout
 the Galilee under the slogan "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors".

     But Palestine could not sit idly by.  Barrages of rockets and mortars
 drenched Israeli cities. The death toll rose to 7000 Israelis per month.
 The White House and State Department threatened to cut off all supplies
 from Israel if it dared to launch reprisal raids against independent
 Palestine.   Large cargo ships from Egypt laden with advanced arms entered
 the port of Gaza.   Thousands of volunteers streamed into Palestine to
 assist in the campaign to rescue the Galilee and Negev Arabs from Israeli

      On the afternoon of Yom Kippur, tank columns cut Israel in two just
 north of Tul Karem.   Palestine offered to withdraw in exchange for
 transferring the Negev and Galilee to its control.   An Israeli newspaper
 and the Israeli Peace Movement proposed transferring the disputed areas to
 EU control until things could be settled.

    Synagogues in Belgium and France were torched.   Teach-ins for
 Palestine were held on US campuses.   A new conference was called in
 Durban to denounce Israeli apartheid. The White House insisted that Israel
 not expel the invading Palestine troops who had divided the country, for
 it was a matter for negotiations and dialogue. The President invited both
 sides to Camp David, with observers from the Negev and Galilee militias

     Increasing numbers of Israeli politicians urged that Israel respond to
 the situation by granting limited autonomy to the Negev and the Galilee.
 The Americans offered to send in ground troops to protect the remaining
 Israeli territories if Israel decided to accept the proposal to give up
 the Negev and Galilee.   Let's at long last have peace in the hills that
 Jesus roamed, suggested the President.

       Jews living in the Galilee and Negev were under siege everywhere,
 and the roads were unsafe.   The road through the Negev to Eilat was cut
 by militia gangs in four places.   Leftist Israeli professors officially
 joined the Arab militias fighting for liberation.   Two of them blew
 themselves up on a Jewish school bus to show their solidarity with the
 oppressed Arabs.   Ahmed Tibi, head of the largest militia, insisted he
 was doing everything possible to stop the suicide attacks on Tel Aviv and
 Haifa from the Galilee, but the Americans demanded that he do more. The UK
 demanded   100% effort to stop the violence. The PLO proposed as a
 compromise that instead of being annexed by Palestine, the Negev and
 Galilee be allowed to form a separate state.   The Arab League endorsed
 the idea.

      CNN broadcast a series of specials on the plight of the Negev and
 Galilee Arabs, and the BBC started referring to Tel Aviv as illegally
 occupied Arab Jaffa.  Netanya and Beer Sheba were described by them as
 illegal colonial settlements.   When the carnage exceeded 10,000 a month,
 the New York Times for the first time expressed regret in having promoted
 the peace process and ran as its lead headline "Oops".   The Washington
 Post however urged more Israeli flexibility and concessions.  The
 publishers of Tikkun Magazine and the Reconstructionist movement announced
 they would be merging with the American Buddhist Society.

    The Negev and Galilee Liberation organizations raised their flags over
 their towns and proposed that the Jews living in their territories be
 resettled elsewhere.   The Palestine War Ministry was shipping them guns
 and explosives.   The first word came of a detention camp north of
 Nazareth in which Jews expelled from their Galilee homes were being
 concentrated, with a second camp opened in the Negev near Rahat.
     Strange black smoke rose from the chimneys.

This week, Israel struck a major blow in the war against terror with the killing of Salah Shehadeh in Gaza, operative head of the U.S.-certified terrorist group, Hamas. (See Shehadeh's terror-resume at, and an interview with him at:

As Palestinian civilians were killed and wounded, newspapers like the
Hartford Courant ( and the San Jose
Mercury News
outrageously likened the Israeli action to the same type of "terrorism"
that Hamas uses.

While the loss of innocent life is always regrettable, it is important for
the media to give the full context of Israel's actions.

* * *

(1) Shehadeh operated from a heavily populated neighborhood, precisely
because he knew the civilians would serve as a human shield against any
Israeli attempt to assassinate him.
Writing in the NY Post ("Hamas Kills Its Own" - July 24 -, John
Podhoretz declares that responsibility for the civilian casualties lies
with the dead terrorist himself. Podhoretz explains:

"The Fourth Geneva Convention goes into great and elaborate detail about
how to assign fault when military activities take place in civilian
areas... Hamas is at war with Israel. But instead of separating themselves
from the general population in military camps and wearing uniforms, as
required by international law, Hamas members and other Palestinian
terrorists try to use civilians -- the "protected persons" mentioned in
[The Fourth Geneva Convention] 3:1:28 -- as living camouflage. To prevent
such a thing from happening, international law explicitly gives Israel the
right to conduct military operations against military targets under these

* * *

(2) Israel proved in Jenin that whenever possible, it will go to great
lengths to minimize civilians casualties -- even at the expense of it's
own soldiers. In Gaza, such a house-to-house operation was not possible,
and would have likely resulted in a far greater number of casualties on
both sides. (The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel naively writes that Shehadeh
could have been arrested like Barghouti and put on trial -

The Chicago Sun Times ("Hamas to blame for civilian deaths - July 24)

"Israel says it had scheduled the attack on Hamas terror mastermind Salah
Shehadeh three times before Tuesday but postponed it because of fears of
civilian casualties. When the bombing was carried out, said Defense
Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, 'the information we had was that there were
no civilians near him." Israel's enemies and those who always think the
worst about the Jewish state reject these claims out of hand. But given
Israel's record of trying to avoid civilian casualties, such as the
decision not to use air strikes in the assault on the terrorist cesspool
in Jenin -- and remember all the Palestinian claims of a Jenin massacre
that turned out to be totally bogus? -- we think there's good reason to
believe the Israelis."

Another defense of the Israeli action comes from the St. Louis

"The Israeli attack on Shehadeh was more justified than the American
attack. The Israeli operation was careful enough to actually kill the
enemy who was the target. By contrast, the United States still doesn't
have a coherent story about why it dropped a bomb on the wedding party. A
New York Times report this week suggests that the United States has killed
hundreds of innocent civilians on a number of occasions because of
unreliable information about potential targets."

Military operations are always designed to minimize one's own casualties.
In the Gulf War against Iraq in 1990, the American military claimed that
nearly 100,000 Iraqis died, compared to American losses of approximately
225. In the American war against Al Queda, thousands of the enemy have
died along with an estimated 700 civilians -- compared to American combat
losses of less than 50 (80 percent of which are from accidents or
"friendly" fire).

As U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said: "This is a war that has
been forced upon us by terrorists... We are making great efforts not to
hurt civilians, but if civilians are hurt, the entire responsibility for
such is upon the terrorists who use them as cover..."

* * *

(3) The media quotes Palestinian sources that the killing of Shehadeh
spoiled an agreement that had nearly been reached to stop Palestinian
attacks against Israeli civilians. Yet in an interview with CNN's Jim
Clancy, Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erakat said he had no information
about who was involved in these negotiations.

Meanwhile, a senior Israeli source told Maariv that, "The Tanzim were not
preparing any cease-fire, and the Hamas were not involved in any such
contacts. These claims are fabrications and part of Palestinian
psychological warfare." And just two days before Shehadeh's killing,
Maariv published a call by Arafat's Fatah movement to continue the
attacks: "We call on all increase their armed activities
against targets of the military occupation."

Putting these rumors into perspective, The Times of London wrote: "The
proposal floated would not have ended attacks on Israeli soldiers, did not
bear the signatures of any Palestinian leaders and comes after all too
many protestations of peace more honoured in the breach than the
observance. Above all, the ceasefire offer did not have the backing of
Hamas, the organisation led by the intended target of Monday night's
attack, Salah Shehade. Given his record, and that of his organisation, the
likelihood of any cessation of hostilities from Hamas seems wildly

* * *

(4) The media claims that Israel's action will provoke additional acts of
revenge by Hamas. Is this any different from these groups' position before
the Shehada killing? Hamas has been operating for months at a high
frequency of attacks -- including the Tel Aviv disco, the Sbarro pizzeria,
the Moment cafe, the Passover seder
(,2933,58486,00.html) -- and is constantly
boasting of "thousands ready for martyrdom." If anything, the killing of
Shehadeh places a major obstacle to Hamas' terror operations.

In a breech of journalistic ethics, BBC's James Reynolds seems to be
encouraging Hamas retaliation, as he describes less the Palestinian mood
and more of his own personal thoughts: "There is a feeling that
Palestinian militant groups need to do something to avenge the deaths of
those killed in this latest Israeli strike."

* * *

(5) While the media presents Shehadeh's wife as an innocent victim, a
photo of Shehadeh and his wife in Time Magazine shows her in full military
gear, holding an assault rifle. After seeing this image, it is difficult
to categorize his wife's death as regrettable collateral damage.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ralph Peters ("Civilian Casualties: No
Apology Needed" - July 25) declares:

"This is not about diplomatic table manners. It is a fight to exterminate
human monsters... Terrorists and their supporters must learn that they
will be allowed no hiding places. Not in their homes, not in churches or
mosques, and not in foreign countries to which they might flee. This is a
war that must be fought without compromise..."

* * *

(6) International hypocrisy is running high. The same cacophony of voices
that denounced the (non)-"massacre" in Jenin, is jumping to criticize
Israel again. But why are Palestinian terrorists allowed to target
civilians without exciting an international outcry, while every accidental
civilian death inflicted by Israel is a crime against humanity?

The Times of London puts the battle against Hamas into perspective:

"Hamas is a fundamentalist Islamic group which has never recognised
Israel's right to exist. It has prosecuted its war without any moral
restraint. Its terrorists have not been merely careless but have
deliberately targeted civilians, exploding bombs in circumstances designed
to maximise the number of innocent men, women and children killed... Hamas
is not interested in negotiation or accommodation with the Jewish state,
simply its extermination.",,542-364789,00.html

HonestReporting urges you to monitor your local media and use the points
above as a basis for letters to the editor.

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

(Submitted by Joel Schuster)

A letter from Amit Keinan:


On May 27th, 2002 a suicide bomber from Yasser Arafat's organization
blew himself up near my 14 months old niece's cart, murdering the little
baby  SINAI KEINAN and her grandmother RUTHI PELED. My brother and sister in law LIOR and CHEN KEINAN were injured.

As you will shortly see, the CNN perfected its ability to report only one
side of the story (the EVIL side), thereby supporting only that side's

Last Friday (May 31st), the mourning parents made an indescribable
effort to come and give two separate interviews:

The first, a live interview for CNN USA (Friday, 4 PM Israel time) - in
which they expressed their pain and anguish, thanked the American people
for their support and pleaded with the viewers to continue and support
Israel in its fight against terror.

The second, a taped interview for CNN International (that unlike CNN USA can be viewed in Europe and Israel through cable) - in which the mourning
parents expressed a small part of their strong feelings about Europe's
unbelievable continuous support and "understanding" of the Palestinian's
cause and the brutal, immoral and murderous ways they use to achieve them

We were told the interview was to be aired that day 6PM Israel time.
That Friday, 8 PM Israel time, CNN INTERNATIONAL FINALLY
APPROACHED THE ISSUE BY SHOWING A LONG INTERVIEW WITH THE SUICIDE BOMBER'S MOTHER WHO "EXPLAINED" WHY HE DID WHAT HE DID (the family's boutique was damaged and a relative was killed in battle(!!!)) !!! WITHOUT AIRING OR EVEN MENTIONING THE INTERVIEW WITH THE YOUNG COUPLE. The same repeated itself numerous times that evening and the day after.

Only the day after, after editing the American connotation of the live
interview to the USA (which of course had an effect on the young couple's
choice of words) CNN International cynically aired some short unrelated
parts of that interview including the mentioned plea for continuing the
support, plus a few seconds of the taped interview (out of a 20 minute

All in all, CNN allocated no less then 16.20 minutes to the murderer's
family as opposed to 5.35 minutes to the Keinan/Israeli side. The interview
with the murderer's mother was aired 5 times (mostly during prime time)
as opposed to the US interview with the young couple which was aired twice (non prime time).

After being approached by a few government offices, the CNN now bothered to acknowledge "a mistake" and air some additional parts of the interviews, which of course now brings us nowhere.

Putting aside all PR issues, one can only begin to imagine what all this
did to the mourning families.

I believe knowing the above will suffice in helping the reader do like I did

For that cause, I ask you to forward the above story to as many people
as you can.

Thank you,

Amit Keinan

From: Honest Reporting <>
To: Torah in the 21st Century <>
Subject: NBC's Collection of Mistakes
Date: Friday, June 07, 2002 7:11 AM

Our petition calling on the media to label Palestinian suicide bombers as
“terrorists” has taken off and received over 30,000 sign-ups in the first
week alone. You can help by sending an email referral to your friends at:


HonestReporting Communique
07 June 2002


*     *     *
Dear HonestReporting Member,

This week marks the 35th anniversary of the 1967 war, and various
publications took note of the date. posted a lengthy article on
Palestinian refugees by Nikole Killion, an international senior assignment
editor and field producer for NBC News. The article is replete with errors
and distortions.

Killian introduces Jordanian Queen Rania as one of the 2 million
Palestinians who "relocated to Jordan after the wars of 1948 and 1967."

Yet NBC's portrayal runs contrary to the queen’s biography: "Rania Yasin
was born on August 31, 1970, in Kuwait to Palestinian parents. A doctor's
daughter, she grew up in a comfortable home on the West Bank alongside her
two siblings. She received a thoroughly Western education, first at the
New English School in Kuwait City and then at the American University in
Cairo, where she graduated with a business degree. In 1991 she moved to
Amman, where her parents had settled after fleeing Kuwait along with
hundreds of thousands of other Palestinians following the 1991 Gulf War."

Like hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Jordan, Rania's family was
driven out of... Kuwait.

The NBC editor's mistakes and distortions only get worse. Killion writes:
"While Jordan has resisted some of the more radical Palestinian groups,
such as the notorious expulsion of resistance fighters during Black
September in 1970, arms smuggling into the West Bank continues to be a
difficult issue."

The 1970 fighting Killian refers to was a bloody civil war during which
Arafat's PLO openly challenged the rule of King Hussein. The Jordanian
army smashed the PLO and Palestinians camps in Jordan, killing thousands.

According to Killion, as a result of Israel's victory in 1967, an
"estimated 250,000 [Palestinians] were forced to flee into Jordan and
other Arab nations." Killion freely intersperses tales of refugees from
1948 and those from 1967. "Despite the existence of a U.N. resolution that
allows (sic) refugees the right to return to their homes, it has become
nearly impossible for most Palestinians. Restrictive checkpoints, curfews
and security raids have become a way of life in the West Bank and Gaza."

What do checkpoints have to do with Palestinians who want to return to
West Bank towns such as Jenin or Tulkarem, or claim to have come from
Netanya, Jaffa or Haifa?

In fact, tens of thousands of Palestinians have already been permitted to
return to the West Bank over the last 30 years as part of Israel's "family
reunification" program. Moreover, had Yasser Arafat accepted the Barak
peace proposals at Camp David in July 2000, hundreds of thousands of
Palestinians would have been able to settle in the Palestinian areas of
the West Bank. It needs mentioning also that Palestinian refugee camps --
such as the infamous camp in Jenin -- are still maintained in areas
controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

Read Killian's article online at:

If you would like to see these mistakes corrected, write to:
NBC News, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

Or email:

Or respond on line, using the correspondence box:

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

(Submitted by Roy Alkin)
Prof. Stephen Berger Tel Aviv Medical Center 6 Weitzman Street Tel Aviv 64239
Mea culpa
Following the latest atrocity in Jerusalem, the Secretary Powell pleaded with the Palestinians to issue some form of denunciation. Arafat complained that only the Palestinian side is ever required to denounce terror. Predictably, the Palestinian denunciation later mumbles that they, "deplore the murder of civilians on both sides." Perhaps the Palestinians have a point, and so to set the record straight, I do hereby denounce the following in the name of the Jewish People:
1. All Jewish suicide bombers who have ever acted against Arabs. 2. All Arab buses blown up by Jews. 3. All Arab pizza parlors, malls, discotheques and restaurants destroyed by Jewish terrorists. 4. All airplanes hijacked by Jews since 1903. 5. All Ramadan feasts targeted by Jewish bombs. 6. All Arabs lynched in Israeli cities; all Arab Olympic athletes murdered by Jews; all Arab embassies bombed by Jews. 7. All mosques, cemeteries and religious schools fire bombed or desecrated by Jews in North Africa, France, Belgium, Germany, England or any other country. 8. The destruction of American military, governmental and civilian institutions in Kenya, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen - along with the murder of U.S. Marines and diplomatic personnel. 9. All Jewish school books which claim that Arabs poison wells, use Christian blood to bake pita, control world finance, and murdered Jesus; or that Arab elders meet secretly to plot a world takeover. 10. And I am particularly ashamed at the way my fellow Jews attacked the World Trade Center, Pentagon and civilian aircraft on September 11, and danced in the streets to celebrate the act.

(Submitted by Marion Hirschman)
Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2002 1:23 PM

Subject: Fw: this cries out for attention by all of! This is
very interesting...and given the fact that Andrea Koppel is the granddaughter
of Holocaust survivors, it is even more disturbing to me.  I'm not sure that
it is for any of us to take action against CNN for one correspondent's
personal belief, but it is a statement of how the world view of Israel has
changed during this conflict.----- Original Message ----- Feel free to forward this
to others. David J. Blumberg   

I am attending the Israel Venture Association annual conference and was
introduced to Andrea Koppel from CNN as we were waiting for Prime
Minister Sharon and Secretary of State Powell to finish their discussion
Sunday evening at our hotel. While we were chatting, an  American-born
Israeli joined us to tell  Andrea about his perception of media distortion in that the press that  stresses moral equivalence between Israeli civilian deaths caused by
Palestinian terror and Palestinian civilian deaths caused by Israeli
military actions.   He argued that Israel has tried to engage in a peace
process since Camp David and has been double crossed over and over by
the Palestinian Authority.   Further, he argued the deaths caused by
Palestinians are  intentional, whereas the deaths caused by Israel are
mostly the tragic, unintentional results caused by Israel trying to
defend itself. Andrea replied, "So when Israeli soldiers slaughter civilians
in Jenin, that is not equivalent?"
Israeli, "What are your sources, were you in Jenin, how do you know
there was a slaughter?"
Andrea, "I just spoke with my colleagues who were there and they told me
of the slaughter."
Israeli, "Did they see the shooting, the bodies?"
Andrea, "Palestinians told us about the slaughter."
Israeli, "And you believe them without evidence; they lie and distort
Andrea, "Oh, so they are all just lying?"
Israeli became  emotional in describing that his children are afraid, his friends have been murdered, and if this goes on, "We could lose our lives or we could
lose our country."
Andrea, "Yes, you will lose your country." At this point,
I interrupted the two of them and asked, "Did I hear you
correctly that you believe the current crisis will lead to the
destruction of the State of Israel?"
Andrea, "Yes I believe we are now seeing the beginning of the end of
Needless to say, I was stunned to hear a senior CNN correspondent
express this extreme "worldview".   It was very disturbing for obvious
reasons, and I was particularly upset by her extraordinary geo-political
conclusion that the State of Israel is bound for destruction.   I asked
her how she came this conclusion - what was her background scholarship
in Middle East history or military geo-strategy? Andrea, "Well you know, I
took a course on the Middle East when I was at
Middlebury College and our professor assigned us 5 books on the history
of the conflict.  So I first read a book written by an Israeli and I
thought all the land belongs to the Israelis.  Then I read another book
by a Palestinian and thought all the land belongs to the Palestinians.
There are many points of view, and it is so complex." Her background
scholarship and intellectual depth on the subject duly
noted, I turned to consider what to do next. 1) Complain to CNN management?
2) Expose this to other press (say Fox or 60 Minutes, letters to the
3) Try to educate her towards a more realistic understanding of Israel's
geo-political position?
4) Tell the Israeli Foreign Ministry and let them deal with it?
5) Do nothing? (I hope not) I don't know what do to about this, but I thought
you may have the right suggestion.  

Feel free to forward this to others. David J. Blumberg   

Subject: So, we captured a ship!!!
(Read this it will do your heart good!)
(Submitted by Marion Hirschman)

On Monday night,December 31,the parties had begun for our friends who
were making a Leil Sylvester for the New Year in Haifa. I had just gone to
sleep at 1 AM when my phone rang. There was a callup of the Shayetet 13
unit within the Israeli Navy. We were told to report to our base in Haifa
at 10AM on January 1 and not disclose to our parents that we were going
to be away for a few days.

At 10AM on Tuesday,January 1,our special unit of frogmen,divers, and
submarine crews assembled for instructions. It was quite unusual for
the 'Admiral' or head of the Israeli Navy of the IDF to talk to us.
Admiral Yaari explained that we were about to be on a special mission where we would be a few hundred miles away from Israel at sea. Yosef, my commanding officer, stood off to the side with the other officers going over
maps and dispatching orders to various units. The submarine took off from
Haifa along with a ship full of military weaponry. At about 1 PM,we were
all divided into separate groups for the differing assignments. Yosef
called the mission "Teivat Noach" or Noah's Ark. I thought that we were
going to do some reconnaisance work near Eilat.

At nightfall on Jan. 1,everyone was dispatched to their location on
the sea and at various bases from Haifa to Eilat. My cellphone rang and it
was Eema wondering where I had disappeared. I explained that I could not talk  and would speak to her in a few days. We pushed out from our base in
Eilat towards the oceans. On Wednesday morning,January 2,we were already  out in the ocean in international waters of the Red Sea. Here I was,a frogman in the special Shayetet 13 unit of IDF,in the Red Sea,just a few weeks before we would read in the Torah about the splitting of the Red Sea over the Egyptians as my ancestors left Egypt!

As nightfall arrived on Wednesday,we heard that submarine crew was
nearby our location. Our commanders were in coded phone contact with an
aircraft. The other members of my special unit had heard that a high ranking IDF
general was in some plane above us over the ocean. We only realized
later that General Mofaz, our Chief of Staff,was in a command plane
overseeing this operation. We knew that he was supposed to have been in
Washington,D.C., but on Wednesday afternoon had unexpectedly
cancelled his trip. At about 2 AM on Jan. 3,we were told to dive overboard and surround a ship nearby.

The other special forces of the IDF began to appear in the IAF helicopters
that flew near us. Those paratroopers were being lowered on ladders
to get close to the ship. We climbed onto the ship at at the same time, the
helicopters lowered their troops. There were 40 of us on the ship's
deck when we rushed the cabin without resistance and surprised the captain  and his crew. I had seen this go down in a few Hollywood movies,but did  not expect in my navy training that I would participate in this capture  of a ship.

Four more helicopters appeared with their lights beaming down on us
and our captives. The aircraft above with General Mofaz was pretty low in
the sky. The ship's personnel surrendered and the other Navy crew members from  the submarine boarded this ship. We went down to the storage and lower  deck and lo and behold saw crate after crate of ammunition. The katyushas,the  anti tank missiles, and the heavy arms were spread out everywhere. Our Navy personnel took over the helm of the ship as Yosef's group which included me began to photograph and organize the entire arms depot on board.

My commanding officer spoke Arabic to the captain whom he had
recognized from Gaza City port. This was definitely PLO country as the personnelbegan to 'sing' and talk about who registered the boat, who paid for the arms and what port in Iran the ship had left. We found all types of paperwork and Yassir's signatures and approvals stamps were everywhere.

We were instructed to bring in the ship to Eilat port. The ship's PLO
personnel were airlifted in our helicopters for some questions to be
answered on Thursday night. We would land this ship of 50 tons of
ammunition which would have been used against us in Israel by about
8PM on Friday night in Eilat. We brought the ship in to Eilat's port a few
hours after Shabbat had begun. If anyone wanted to know what pikuach nefesh docheh shabbat was all about allowing desecration of Shabbat to save lives,this boat was a great explanation for the world Jewry.

We were able to get some rest and other IDF navy personnel in Eilat
continued the unloading of arms from this PLO ship throughout Shabbat.
Tomorrow on Sunday, the world media will get to tour this boat and
photograph the hundreds of missiles, katyushas, and rockets that we
now own as a gift of the Iranians and the PLO.

I just got home and explained to my Eema and Abba that I was doing
some 'training exercise' for a few days and my Abba winked at
me, knowingly, what I was up to over the last 72hours. I watched tonight's news and  heard that Yassir denied any knowledge on this ship. Wait till the media meets  a few of Yassir's employees caught on board to disclose the truth about this ship.

I am sure that we saved some lives,thousands of Jewish lives,from this
ship's capture. Layla Tov,

Yechezkel M.
IDF Navy =Shayetet 13 Unit

Peter Halmagyi
Home: 818-906-7321
Cell: 818-625-4040