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Sunday, 27 December 2009
Leo Rennert: To the Editors of the New York Times
Journalist Leo Rennert writes to the Times:

Two terrorist attacks occured over the Christmas holiday, but strangely only one was reported by the New York Times as a "terrorist" incident.  The other was described in much softer, euphemistic terms.
So my question is:  Why?
Why does the Times in its main front-page headline in the Dec. 27 edition report "Suspect in Terror Attempt Claims Ties to Al Qaeda" but on page 8 informs readers that "Israeli Army Kills Suspects in Jewish Settler's Death"?
The front-page use of the "T" word is perfectly justified.  Here was an attempt by a thoroughly radicalized Muslim to blow up an airliners with 289 people aboard.  But when three Palestinian terrorists ambush and kill an Israeli rabbi, a father of seven, on the West Bank, neither the headline nor the story by Jerusalem correspondent Ethan Bronner sees fit to describe this event as a terrorist attack -- an attack that, unlike the failed attempt to blow up an airliner, actually resulted in a civilian fatality.
In Bronner's piece, the 3 Palestinian terrorists who murdered the rabbi are identified in the lead merely as "Palestinians."  Farther down in the article, readers are told that "they had been involved in anti-Israel violence in the past" as members of Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, "a militia associated with the Fatah movement led by Mahmoud Abbas."  Nowhere does Bronner implicate them in terrorism.
As far as Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is concerned, it's not just a "militia" but a certified terrorist organization, which still boasts of having beaten Hamas to the punch during the second intifada by initiating a protracted terror war against Israeli civilians and killing at least as many as Hamas did.  "Militia" doesn't begin to convey the true character of  Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
While carefully avoiding the "T" word so as not to link Palestinians with real, bona fide acts of terror, Bronner also is more interested in pressing Israel to justify why it failed to coordinate with Palestinian security in tracking down the killers than to inquire of PA officials why they didn't do the job themselves
Bronner, in his article, makes no bones about the fact that he demanded some answers from Israel, but is curiously uninterested in finding out why Abbas's police, trained by the U.S., failed over a period of two days to find the culprits in their own bailiwick.  After all, the killers of the rabbi were found in Nablus, in the heart of PA territory.  Why wouldn't a curious reporter ask Abbas's police how come Israel apparently had better intelligence in the heart of the West Bank in a major Palestinian city than Palestian security forces.  Is it really plausible that none of Abbas's cops was tipped off by friends or neighbors on the whereabouts of the terrorist killers.  And what of the 150 arrests made by PA security after the murder of the rabbi, followed quickly by release of all these 150 Palestinians.  Was this just for show?
An objective, professional reporter, I would think, would demonstrate as much inquisitiveness about the PA's role -- or lack thereof -- in this affair as about Israel's actions.
Why demand that Israel justify what it did, without demanding why the PA couldn't have acted earlier and more successfully?
Posted on 12/27/2009 4:26 PM by Rebecca Bynum
28 Dec 2009

Re. the book dealing with the terror raids (ghazwa) from Gaza in the 1950s...the person to review that book would have been ex-Muslim Nonie Darwish.

For *she was there*; she spent her early years in Gaza, exposed to the full blast of thoroughly Islamic antisemitic (and anti-infidel, generally) propaganda both in the mosque and outside it (to which she has borne witness); her own father took part in those terror raids into Israel and was, eventually, killed in the course of one such raid, by the Israelis.  She holds, today, no grudge against Israel; indeed today, as an ex-Muslim, an apostate, a Christian, she is a staunch *friend* of Israel.  

Well before her apostasy fully took hold, she had little glimmerings of doubt...and one of those glimmerings flickered into life during her childhood when, while her father was still alive and waging jihad, Israeli operatives raided the family home in search of him. Nonie's mum and Nonie and the rest of the family were at home; but Nonie's dad was not.  Nonie had been told all sorts of mad Muslim horror stories about the demonic Joooz.  But to her astonishment, once the terrifying surprise visitors had satisfied themselves that Mr Darwish, jihad gang boss, was currently Not At Home, they...left, without touching a hair on the heads of his wife or his children.

Yes, I think Nonie Darwish would be just the right person to review - or, perhaps, I should say, dissect - Sacco's book; she would be in an excellent position to tell us just how many lies the author is peddling.

A final thought: anyone reading this, who has not yet read Martha Gellhorn's classic article, "The Arabs of Palestine", which first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1961, should hasten to do so.  It is available in its entirety online - just google (and once you find it, read, copy and keep).  

Gellhorn has quite a lot to say about what Muslim-dominated Arab Gaza was like, Gaza under the thumb of thoroughly-Muslim Egypt, Gaza which she describes as a cross between a prison (since Egypt did not let Gazan Arabs out of Gaza to do anything much *except* carry out jihad raids into Israel) and...a lunatic asylum (this because of the 'madhattery' [her inimitable coinage] of the Arab Islamic hate propaganda with which Egypt saturated the populace day and night...a populace who hardly needed to be thus propagandised, for they were full of nonsense and lies already). 

27 Dec 2009
Hugh Fitzgerald

And readers of the Times Sunday Book Review were treated to a sympathetic review of a pro-"Palestinian" work of sheer propaganda, one that backdates the "Palestinians" to the mid-1950s, accepts the Arab Muslim narrative of the incidents in question (attacks by Israeli forces in Gaza), and claims that these attacks -- attempts really to halt the thousands of fedayeen attacks on Israeli civilians sponsored by Nasser -- "explain" Arab, or rather, "Palestinian" attitudes. The book could have been written by the propaganda office of the World Islamic Congress or, for that matter, the Arab League. But it was chosen by the Times Book Review as a  book worthy of review (only a handful are chosen every week) and what's more, treated most sympathetically. 

Of course, there is no mention of what Islam inculcates in the book by Sacco, or in the review, just as the New York Times has managed, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, to avoid telling its readers a thing about the contents of the Qur'an, the Hadith, the Sira. Quite an achievement.

The New York Times outdoes itself.