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Truth versus Terror

Truth versus Terror

With suicide attacks plaguing Israel, it is more important than ever that the media get its facts straight.


It has been a horrible week in Israel.

- Sunday, Dec. 2 -- a Palestinian suicide bomber exploded on a bus in Haifa, killing 16 Israelis and wounding 40.

- Saturday, Dec. 1 -- two Palestinian suicide bombers exploded on Jerusalem's Ben Yehudah Mall, killing 10 Israelis and wounding 180.

- Thursday, Nov. 29 -- a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus near Hadera, killing three Israelis and wounding 40.

- Tuesday, Nov. 27 -- two Palestinian gunmen went on a suicidal rampage in Afula, killing three Israelis and wounding 50.

- Monday, Nov. 26 -- a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up near the boundary between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

We and the civilized world are in shock at this gross inhumanity, and we extend heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed and wounded.

At this crucial time, there are many important issues to be communicated in the media. We encourage all supporters of Israel to contact their local newspapers and TV stations to ensure that the following points be represented in upcoming reports.


A peace agreement is not just a piece of paper signed by two individuals. It is a contract between two nations, pledging to live in mutual acceptance.

The fact is that the Palestinian people, through official Palestinian Authority channels, have been indoctrinated against accepting the existence of Israel. This atmosphere of incitement and hate foments young men to become suicide bombers, and when such tragedies happen, responsibility lies with the Palestinian Authority.

For example:

TEXTBOOKS: In the 58 textbooks currently used in the Palestinian Authority school system, there is no mention of Israel's right to exist, nor any mention of the peace process. None of the maps in these textbooks contain reference to the State of Israel or its cities.

As stated succinctly in the encyclopedia, "Our Country Palestine" (page 13): "There is no alternative to destroying Israel."

The PA school system is financed through grants from the European Union and other Western countries. For more details on textbook atrocities, see the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace at:

MEDIA: Palestinian TV, radio and newspapers have fueled intense hatred for Israel and promoted violent jihad. Jews are regularly called "the sons of pigs and monkeys" in Palestinian newspapers (Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah), Palestinian TV and radio broadcasts, hate-filled sermons from mosques, and children's programming that glorifies and encourages martyrdom. All of these media outlets are sponsored and controlled by Arafat's Palestinian Authority.

Encourage journalists to regularly check reports from Memri, which provides accurate translations of Arabic media ( Also see a summary of incitement at

======= ARAFAT'S COMPLICITY =======

A primary commitment made by Arafat in the Oslo Accords was to clamp down on terrorists operating from his territory. Instead, Islamic terror groups train and operate in full view of the Palestinian Authority, and in fact Arafat's own security forces (e.g. Fatah and Tanzim) have ongoing partnerships with Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

As Ariel Sharon said in addressing the Israeli nation on Monday: "It is impossible for the terrorists to do what they do without receiving shelter and aid from Arafat. They are allowed headquarters and training camps next to Arafat's headquarters. He has done nothing to deter them."

In the past, Arafat may have thought this arrangement served his purpose by stirring up violence against Israelis, but it has now backfired and Arafat bears the responsibility.

Beyond this, members of Arafat's own security forces have participated directly in suicide attacks. Mohammed Halbiyeh, one of the Ben Yehudah suicide bombers, resigned as an officer in the Palestinian intelligence service just two days before the bombings. And as reported by Associated Press, one of the two Afula gunmen was a member of the Palestinian Authority police force.

Furthermore, Arafat continues to pay lip-service to the demand that he arrest Islamic terrorists operating in PA zones. In the past week, he made a number of arrests, but these were largely low-level activists, almost none who appear on Israel's list of most-wanted terrorists.

In addition, Arafat continues his revolving-door policy of releasing terrorists from jail after a few days.

========= ARAFAT'S DUPLICITY =========

Arafat continues to make security declarations that he fails to enforce. After the recent suicide attacks, Arafat declared a state of emergency in all PA-controlled territories, making it illegal to voice public support of attacks against Israel.

But as reported by MSNBC, 1,000 Hamas militants marched on Sunday in Gaza City, threatening more attacks on Israel. Gunmen fired in the air as others kneeled, praying in gratitude for the attacks. "Resistance and holy war will not stop," they chanted.

Palestinian police did not intervene to stop the rally, media reports said.

Furthermore, while various "condemnations" of the suicide attacks were issued in Arafat’s name (none by Arafat himself), a perusal of official PA websites shows no such record of condemnations being issued.


Palestinian public acclaim for suicide bombers goes against the basic laws of human decency. In Palestinian society, suicide bombers are accorded rock star status, with streets named after them and billboards proclaiming larger-than-life photos of these suicide "martyrs."

This week, the Associated Press reports that following the bus bombing in Haifa, hundreds of Palestinians filled the suicide bomber’s home in Nablus and spilled out into the street, most coming to offer congratulations to the family. AP also reports that Palestinians throughout Lebanon celebrated in the streets, firing rifles in the air to celebrate the suicide attacks.

By contrast, when five Palestinian boys were accidentally killed playing with an Israeli bomb last week, Israeli government and IDF officials expressed sincere regrets and condolences, accompanied by wide-scale calls for an inquiry.

======= JUSTIFYING TERROR ========

Any sane individual knows that there is no excuse for terror, no possible justification for blowing up innocent civilians. Yet in wake of the recent suicide attacks, Palestinian representative to the United States, Hassan Abdel Rahman, sought to justify the carnage:

"We have also got to condemn the conditions that lead people to desperation. What are those conditions? It is Israel’s occupation that has lasted for 35 years. That leads people to do despicable and desperate actions sometimes," he said.

The bottom line? Whether Arafat is unwilling or unable to control the terror is almost immaterial. The point is that in not doing so, Israel is left with no choice but to do the job itself.

At this crucial time, we encourage all supporters of Israel to contact their local media to ensure that these points are communicated in upcoming news reports.

December 3, 2001

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 10

(10) Ray Saperstein, December 12, 2001 12:00 AM

Don't count on the non-Jewish world for justice

While I agree that it would be nice if the EU and journalists worldwide would report "fairly" about Israel, we cannot ever count on that happening. All the fair reporting in the world, which would be nice, will not bring us justice. Israel will rise or fall because of decisions made by Hashem. When Ariel Sharon goes on Israeli TV and calls for a period of national prayer after a terrorist attack, as President Bush did after 9/11, then we will be on the right track. Throughout Jewish history, counting on justice from the non-Jewish world has simply not been productive.

(9) Joyce Thatcher, December 11, 2001 12:00 AM

media biais in reporting number killed

Why do the report of number of people killed just list 700+ Palestinians and 150+ Isralies? Why can't it be broken down into how many Palestinians killed themselves trying to blow up others, build bombs, or putting their own children in the line of fire. It should read "Palestinians killed by Palestinians - # etc. It would be more accurate that insinuating that the Isralies have "killed" the 700+. Does someone have the actual figures?

(8) allan weinstein, December 7, 2001 12:00 AM

statehood plus east jeruselum ,plus a berlin type wall

the palastinians should have a state,also east jerusalem,then a berlin type wall,let them go it alone in the same way the jews did over 50 years ago. let them stand on there own with the so called brothers, the arab states

(7) , December 6, 2001 12:00 AM

Let them have it

I'm not Jewish, I'm a Christian,and I am a strong advocate of a Israel. For years I have watched Israel undergo attack after attack and provide measured military responses. Maybe it has got to the point where we need to wall off the Arabs and build a shield against them. As for Arafat, if he is truly responsible for harboring terrorists, he should be sent to his maker.

(6) Eliyahu Goldberg, December 6, 2001 12:00 AM

Don't talk about it - DO SOMETHING!

Words will not save lives nor bring back the dead. The ONLY peace Israel (and the Palestinians!) has ever had was right after Israel successfully defended itself in the 6 day war in 1967. Unfortunately that peace was short lived. Israel must act decisively now - not talk about it or have endless debates in the Israeli Parliament.

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