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Letter To The Washington Post
Leo Rennert brings an important semantic issue to the attention of the Washington Post:
Dear Mr. Brauchli:
Discerning Washington Post readers may be taken aback by a semantic double-standard that glares at them in the "news" section of the paper's Nov. 30 edition.
There on page A2 is an article about whether potential jurors in New York can render a fair verdict in the upcoming 9/11 trial. Reporter Karl Vick reports preparations for trying those accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, "terrorist attacks." He also delves into the history of previous "terrorist trials." And he carefully adds up the 2,976 people who lost their lives on 9/11 in New York, at the Pentagon, and in the crash of United 93 in Pennsylvania.
Quite a contrast, however, when a reader turns to page A10 to find an article by correspondent Howard Schneider about a potential swap of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for a kidnapped Israeli soldier. Here, Schneider tells Post readers that Gilad Shalit has been held "by militants" in the Gaza Strip for more than three years. Scheider then goes on to report that Israeli victims of "violence" by Palestinian "militant" groups have gone to court to demand that the government shed more light on the pending deal. Schneider also reports that negotiations between Israel and "the militant Hsmas group" are nearing a conclusion.
One one page, the Post clearly identifies the perpetrators of 9/11 as responsible for "terrorist" attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives. But eight pages later in the same edition, the Post refers to the second Palestinian intifada as simply a case of "violence," perpetrated by "militant groups," without telling readers that some 1,000 Israelis lost their lives as a result of attacks on Israeli civilian targets by the "militant group Hamas" and other such Palestinian organizations.
Yet, what's the difference? Why was there terrorism in New York, but not in Jerusalem where children were blown up in school buses and pizza parlors? Or in Sderot when thousands of rockets rained down on neighborhoods during virtually all of this decade?
In both cases, terrorist groups deliberately targeted and killed civilians in pursuit of their jihadist agenda. If anything, the terror war against Israel, when viewed on a per-capita basis, spilled proportionately far more blood throughout the Jewish state than 9/11 did in the United States. When one takes into account that U.S. population is 40 times larger than Israel's, the latter's losses were greater by a factor of more than 10.
Still, the Post persists in reporting "terrorist" attacks in the United States, Britain, Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Indonesia, the Philippines and other part of the globe. But when such attacks occur in Israel, the paper goes out of its way to camouflage Palestinian "terrorism" with Orwellian euphemisms like "militant attacks" or just plain, ordinary "violence."
To borrow from Shakespeare, didn't Israelis killed or injured in suicide bombings and rocket attacks bleed just much as terrorist victims in New York and elsewhere?