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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On "Jewish terror" and the lazy, sloppy MSM

From Harriet Sherwood in The Guardian on August 19:

Violence by Jewish settlers has been cited for the first time in a US state department list of "terrorist incidents", as Israeli political leaders condemned a string of recent attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Where did she get this from? Why, not from her own research - but from Barak Ravid in Ha'aretz on August 18:
For the first time, the U.S. State Department has cited violence by settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank under the heading "terrorist incidents" in its annual Country Report on Terrorism.

And how do I know that Sherwood simply copied Ravid's reporting?

Because it is wrong!

As the Mostly Kosher blog reports:


Under listing of terrorist attacks:
  • On October 4, arson was committed by Israeli citizens against a mosque southwest of Bethlehem in the village of Beit Fajjar, which is under Israeli security control. In addition to fire damage, the mosque was vandalized with Hebrew-language graffiti "revenge" and "price tag."
  • On October 20, arson was committed against a Palestinian girls' school building south of Nablus in the village of As Sawiya, which is under Israeli security control. The damaged building also had Hebrew-language graffiti: "regards from the hilltops," suggesting the attack was conducted by Israeli settlers.

A high-profile case raised awareness regarding settler violence and acts of terrorism. On October 7, Israeli security services arrested American-born settler Yaacov “Jack” Teitel in connection with a number of crimes and terrorist attacks over the past 12 years. Teitel was arrested for posting anti-homosexual flyers, and later confessed to a number of crimes, including the murder of two Palestinians in 1997. He also claimed responsibility for several attempted bombings, including sending a parcel bomb to a Messianic Jewish family in Ariel in which a 15-year old Israeli-American boy was injured, and placing a pipe-bomb that injured Israel Prize laureate and peace activist Professor Zeev Sternhell in September 2008.

Under listing of terror attacks:
On June 1 and 20, Israeli settlers fired three rockets toward the Palestinian town of Burin. In late July, settlers threw a Molotov cocktail into a home in Burin as well. No injuries were reported from either attack. On September 25, a prominent Hebrew University professor and critic of Jewish settlements in the West Bank was wounded when a pipe bomb, allegedly planted by radical members of the settlement movement, exploded as he opened the door of his home in West Jerusalem. After the attack, police found flyers near the academic’s home calling for the establishment of a new state in the West Bank based on Jewish religious law. The flyers, signed by a Jewish extremist group called the Army of the State Liberators, also offered USD 314,000 to anyone who killed a member of the non-governmental organization, Peace Now. Israeli Security Services continued to investigate the attack. 

2004 - The very first US State Department report.

In December, Israel convicted and sentenced an Israeli man for membership in the "New Jewish Underground," a terrorist organization that aimed to carry out attacks on Arab civilians. On September 29, a group of five Israeli settlers attacked and seriously wounded two US citizens, members of an NGO, who were escorting Palestinian children to school near Hebron. As of the end of 2004, the Israeli police had not arrested those responsible.
 The post concludes:
Those reading Barak Ravid's article get a false impression that until 2011 there have been different standards applied to Israeli and Palestinian actions. However, the truth is that the US State Department has been naming terror - Jewish or otherwise - on an equal basis since 2004.
As the events of this past week show, there has always been a tiny percentage of Jews who have terrorized Arabs. Of course, those with an agenda want to show that these reprehensible acts have been increasing, so we will see false articles like this one in Ha'aretz - slavishly copied by The Guardian - designed not to reflect the truth but to embarrass the right wing and implicate them in these attacks.

In the 1980s there were actually murders of Arabs by Jewish terrorists, as well as other very serious attacks. To give the impression that somehow Jewish violence today is an epidemic is simply a lie. By any yardstick, it is very small - and it is minuscule compared to the attacks that Arabs carry out on Jews, today. Ha'aretz, like most centrist and left-wing Israeli media, completely ignores the daily Molotov cocktail attacks by Arabs against Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. And, of course, so does The Guardian and many other media who in turn copy their reports without checking the facts for themselves.

The media, dedicated more to themes than to facts, eagerly pushes any shred of evidence that things are worse today than they were in years past.

Even when they have to make that evidence up.