Palestinian Official: “If We Had a Nuke, We’d Have Used it on Israel”

(CAMERA) On April 30th, a senior Palestinian Authority official, Jibril Rajoub, deputy secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and chairman of the PA Olympic Committee said in regards to Israel, “We as yet don’t have a nuke, but I swear that if we had a nuke, we’d have used it this very morning.” Most of the popular press has not covered this threat.

Maybe, you’re thinking, they haven’t reported this shocking statement because they don’t know about it. Maybe he said it in a closed room or maybe to himself. Well, no. Rajoub made this declaration on Lebanese television and the video has been posted, translated and transcribed by Palestinian Media Watch.

More after the jump.
The Israeli and Jewish press found out about it and reported on it, as did The Washington Times, and just as this post was writen, The Wall Street Journal too. In FrontPage Mag, Daniel Greenfield notes:

CBS News describes him in its bio as “Rajoub, a moderate, was a longtime player in peace talks and truce negotiations with Israel.”

The New York Times wrote of him as, “the West Bank security chief, who is known as one of the more moderate and pragmatic Palestinian officials.”

Perhaps these same news outlets don’t want to cover this threat to nuke Israel because it would give lie to their portrayal of Rajoub as a moderate. But what’s the excuse of The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, ABC News, NBC News, National Public Radio, PBS, etc.?

Secretary of State John Kerry is returning to the region to try to restart peace talks between Israel, and the Palestinian Authority and one of the PA leaders threatens to nuke Israel. This doesn’t strike anyone as newsworthy? Where’s the coverage?

Israel 10 Years Ago: Imagine a Boston Bombing Every Week

(CAMERA) In a piece in The American Thinker, novelist Noah Beck writes sympathetically about the tragic Boston Marathon bombing, calling victims “the epitome of innocent.” He continues:

But imagine if this happened again next week, at a pizzeria, killing 15 diners. And again, a week later, on a bus, killing 19 passengers. Then at a discotheque, killing 21 teens. Then at a church, killing 11 worshipers. And so on, with a new bombing terrorizing us almost every week.

Israelis don’t have to imagine; they just have to remember. Between 1995 and 2005, each year saw an average of 14 suicide bombings, murdering 66 victims. Two thousand two was the worst year, with 47 bombings that slaughtered 238 people. That’s almost one Boston bombing every week. Adjusted for population differences, Israel’s victims in 2002 amounted to the equivalent of three 9/11s in one year. And these bombing statistics don’t include all of the shootings, stabbings, and other violent attacks by Palestinian extremists during those years.

Unfortunately, as Beck notes, “the incidents usually received only scant and perfunctory media coverage, if they were mentioned at all.”

Special Coverage: A Palestinian Died (Okay, and 6,000 Syrians Too)

(CAMERA) An Associated Press report published on April 1 noted that at least 6000 Syrians were reported killed in the civil conflict in March, the highest single month toll yet. During this same period, the main news item of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the death of a single Palestinian hunger striker, a convicted terrorist, in an Israeli prison.

According to a tally from a Lexis-Nexis media search, the New York Times published a total of 39 articles (news articles, editorials, and on its blog) in March that were mainly focused on Israel and the Palestinian conflict, plus an additional 24 on U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel. The Nexis search turned up 59 pieces — a substantial proportion were brief blog items — focused on the conflict in Syria.

More after the jump.
While acknowledging that The Times is not ignoring the Syrian conflict, considering the disproportionate toll in the two conflicts, 6,000 to 1, it is striking that the number of articles is of a similar magnitude. However, even more significant than the number of articles is the disparity in the depth of coverage. Here The Times continues to provide much greater amplification of the Palestinians plight in comparison to that of the Syrians.

In a month marked by accelerating slaughter in Syria, The Times chose to publish an 8,000-word cover story for its Sunday magazine (“Is This Where The Third Intifada Will Start?“), by Ben Ehrenreich, who has called for an end to the Jewish state and waxes poetically about the Palestinian “resisters” from a West Bank town engaged in sometimes violent protests. That story followed another extreme anti-Israel piece, a March 9 column by Joseph Levine arguing that “one really ought to question Israel’s right to exist.”

The Times might have noted — but of course, did not — that the tally of fatalities in the past month alone in Syria exceeds the total number of Israeli and Palestinian lives lost during the four most active years of the second Intifada (September 2000-September 2004).  

No Mention in US Media for Discrimination Against Israeli Athletes

CAMERA has reported The New York Times‘ penchant for covering racism in soccer, especially where Israelis are concerned. In a Jan. 31, 2013 article about protests by Beitar soccer fans against the recruitment of Muslim players, bearing the headline “Some Fear a Soccer Team’s Racist Fans Hold a Mirror Up to Israel,” the “newspaper of record” used the event as an opening to indict all of Israeli society as racist.

In fact, The Times printed a second article in the span of ten days with the same false narrative — that because there are some intolerant Israelis, there is “a broad phenomenon of racism in all of Israeli society.”

Of course, this is an example of how Israel is held to a separate and unequal standard because, as CAMERA noted:
[Read more…]

Ben Dror Yemini Points out Anti-Israel Bias in Textbook Study

(CAMERA) Ben Dror Yemini delves into the controversial study of Israeli and Palestinian textbooks, and makes some interesting points:

Let’s leave aside the professor’s political opinions for the moment and examine the research itself. I obtained memos written by two members of the study’s Scientific Advisory Panel, Professors Amnon Groiss and Elihu Richter. While the research was still ongoing, these two scholars highlighted substantial methodological flaws and the “omission of more than forty significant texts” that appear in Palestinian school books. To be clear, the omitted texts are precisely those that contain the highest degrees of incitement (“invading snakes”; “the enemies that split open women’s bellies” etc. etc.) The demand that these texts be included was turned down with the excuse that it was not clear that the words referred to Israelis or Jews.

More after the jump.

And it only gets worse. When discussing negative portrayals of the “Other,” the study includes the mere mention in Israeli textbooks of the Farhud — the 1941 pogrom against Iraqi Jews — and the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics as examples of negative portrayals of the Arab side. What exactly are the study’s authors trying to say? That it is forbidden to mention these events? Or perhaps the books should be rewritten to state that “Muslim freedom fighters succeeded in striking Jewish criminals in Baghdad and Munich”? According to this logic, perhaps it should be forbidden to learn about the Nazis, since this creates a negative image of the Germans.

The Israeli textbooks, as the study notes, do mention the 1948 massacre by the Irgun militia at the Arab village of Deir Yassin (but not the majority of the pogroms that were carried out against Jews in Arab lands). In contrast, there is not a single instance of self-criticism on the Palestinian side. Not even of the Mufti Amin al-Husseini’s support for the Nazis. There is also no mention of the fact that when the Palestinian texts refer to bringing an end to the occupation, they mean, almost without exception, the occupation of ‘Greater Palestine’ from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Or to put it even more clearly: bringing an end to the State of Israel.

In the Israeli texts one finds humanizing descriptions of Islam and of Muslims, and a yearning for peace. The Palestinian texts are free of any such sentiments. Yet the report covers up and glosses over the complete contrast between the two educational systems.

Yemini also quotes the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education at Hebrew University explaining that they have “serious questions about the Council’s report methodological choices and about some of the texts and quotes omitted from its analysis. Likewise, we find it difficult to reconcile the wide gap observed between the quotes mentioned in the report and the conclusions derived from them.”

Be sure to read the rest of the illuminating piece at Times of Israel here.

Yahoo Runs Deceiving Photo with Reuters Article


(CAMERA) A Reuters article was posted yesterday on yahoo.com,with the headline”Israel Hits Target in Syria Border Area: Sources” under which was posted a large photo of children carrying a dead body. The Israeli strike was on a Syrian convoy transferring weapons to the Hezbollah terrorist group in Lebanon. And the photo, in fact, had no connection whatsoever to the article about the Israeli strike.

We traced the origin of the photo. It was taken by a Reuters stringer on Jan. 25, 2012 and it showed children carrying the body of a friend that was killed by shelling during heavy fighting between the Free Syrian Army and the forces of Syrian President Bashar al Assad in Jobar district of Damascus. Here is the screen capture of the article, as it appeared around noon, Jan. 30, 2013 on Yahoo’s news site.

The question is who at YAHOO made the decision to run an old photo falsely insinuating that Israelis were responsible for the death of a child? It represents journalistic bias at its worst.  

New York Times and Ha’aretz Get An F In E-1 Geography

With Israel’s announcement that it plans to proceed with construction in Area E-1, east of Jerusalem, earlier falsehoods about that land reemerge. Thus, Ha’aretz reports that construction in E-1

would effectively bisect the West Bank and sever the physical link between the Palestinian territories and Jerusalem.

Similarly, the New York Times reports:

Construction in E1, in West Bank territory that Israel captured in the 1967 war, would connect the large Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim to Jerusalem, dividing the West Bank in two. The Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem would be cut off from the capital, making the contiguous Palestinian state endorsed by the United Nations last week virtually impossible.

So is it true that construction in E-1 would bisect the West Bank, and severing Palestinian contiguity, and cutting off Palestinian areas from Jerusalem? The answer is no. As CAMERA pointed out in 2005 (The Contiguity Double Standard):

Palestinian contiguity in the West Bank would be no more cut off with the so-called E-1 corridor than would Israeli contiguity if Israel were to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders, even with slight modifications.

Here’s why. First, take a look at this map of the region.

More after the jump.
As CAMERA earlier explained:

The black X marks the approximate location of the new neighborhood near Ma’aleh Adumim. To the west of the X is Jerusalem. The red line surrounding the X is the planned route of the security barrier, which will encircle Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.

Those who charge that Israeli building in Ma’aleh Adumim severs north-south contiguity disregard the fact that Palestinian-controlled areas would be connected by land east of Ma’aleh Adumim (marked on the map) that is at its narrowest point ~15 km wide.

Moreover, Israel proposes to build tunnels or overpasses to obviate the need for Palestinians to detour to the east through the corridor.

Ironically, many of those who argue for greater contiguity between Palestinian areas, at the same time promote Israeli withdrawal to its pre-1967 boundaries, which (even with minor modifications) would confine Israel to a far less contiguous territory than that of the West Bank. As shown on the map above, there is a roughly 15 km wide strip of land separating the Green Line (and the Security Fence) from the Mediterranean Sea (near Herzliya). Also shown is the circuitous route necessary to travel via this corridor between northern and southern Israel. (e.g. from Arad to Beit Shean.)

Nor is it true that the construction would cut off Palestinian areas from Jerusalem. Access to Jerusalem through Abu Dis, Eizariya, Hizma and Anata is not prevented by the proposed neighborhood, nor would it be precluded by a string of neighborhoods connecting Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem.

Correction of Correction Still Incorrect: If I Forget Thee Jerusalem

In April, we published an article by CAMERA about a correction The Guardian, a British national daily newspaper based in London, issued for a photo caption appearing on April 20 which inadvertently revealed that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel.

On April 23, The Guardian issued this correction:

The caption on a photograph featuring passengers on a tram in Jerusalem observing a two-minute silence for Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance for the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust, wrongly referred to the city as the Israeli capital. The Guardian style guide states: “Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel; Tel Aviv is”.

Pressure continues to mount against the Guardian,

The watchdog group HonestReporting filed a complaint with the UK Press Complaints Commission, which ruled that the newspaper could refer to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital and was not in breach of accuracy clauses.

HonestReporting then launched legal proceedings against the commission.

Under pressure from the commission, The Guardian issued a correction and changed its style guide. The correction does, however, assert that Israel’s designation of Jerusalem as its capital is not recognized by the international community.

The correction issued Wednesday by The Guardian reads:

A correction to a picture caption said we should not have described Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. It went on to relay the advice in our style guide that the capital was Tel Aviv. In 1980 the Israeli Knesset enacted a law designating the city of Jerusalem, including East Jerusalem, as the country’s capital. In response, the UN Security Council issued resolution 478, censuring the ‘change in character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem’ and calling on all member states with diplomatic missions in the city to withdraw. The UN has reaffirmed this position on several occasions, and almost every country now has its embassy in Tel Aviv. While it was therefore right to issue a correction to make clear Israel’s designation of Jerusalem as its capital is not recognized by the international community, we accept that it is wrong to state that Tel Aviv — the country’s financial and diplomatic centre — is the capital. The style guide has been amended accordingly.

This “correction” actually creates more confusion than it clears up. The 1980 Jerusalem Law does extend the border of Jerusalem to include East Jerusalem. However, the law does not make Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

It was already the capital of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Ben Gurion declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel on January 4, 1950.

Jerusalem is not only the capital city of Israel and of world Jewry, it should also become, according to the word of the prophets, the spiritual capital of the entire world.

Shortly thereafter on January 23, 1950, the Knesset confirmed this choice.

If other countries object to Israel having annexed East Jerusalem in 1980, this should not have any impact on whether or not Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Except for a brief period in 1949, the Knesset has always convened in West Jerusalem. Claiming that Jerusalem is not the seat of Israel’s government is simply being blind to reality.

Furthermore, even if one is somehow grant that Israel has no right to choose its own capital. What gives The Guardian the right to choose Israel’s capital in its place? Tel Aviv is no more the capital of Israel than is Haifa or Eilat or London for that matter.

“Correction”: The first paragraph of this article wrongly referred to London as the place of publication of The Guardian. The “Philadelphia Jewish Voice style guide” states: “London is not the headquarters of The Guardian; Tel Aviv is”.

AFP, When the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty?

While some are raising concerns about the future of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty now that the Muslim Brotherhood candidate has won Egypt’s presidential race, AFP has a different issue with the historic bilateral agreement. Today AFP refers to “1980, the year after Cairo signed its peace agreement with Tel Aviv.” (Emphasis added.)

AFP would hardly be the first to relocate Israel’s capital from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, but the misinformation is all the more jarring in light of then-President Anwar Sadat’s unprecedented trip to Jerusalem in 1978, paving the way to the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement.

Perhaps AFP would do well to review its own archives from that time, including this AFP photograph of Sadat addressing the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in the capital city, Jerusalem:

AFP’s own caption reads:

Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat (L) addresses the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem 20 November 1977 during his historic visit to Israel, as Israeli Premier Yitzhak Begin (C) listens to him. Thirty years ago, the Egyptian leader became the first Arab leader to visit the Jewish state. AFP PHOTO/FILES

Anwar Sadat’s obituary in the New York Times states:

Eleven days before Mr. Sadat made his trip to Jerusalem, he said in Cairo that he was willing to go to ”the ends of the earth,” and even to the Israeli Parliament, in the cause of peace. The Israeli Government made known that he was welcome in Jerusalem, and after complex negotiations he flew there, although a state of war still existed between the two nations.

His eyes were moist and his lips taut with suppressed emotion as he arrived, but his Arabic was firm and resonant when, hours later, he told the hushed Israeli Parliament, ”If you want to live with us in this part of the world, in sincerity I tell you that we welcome you among us with all security and safety.

In 1978, the leader of the Egyptian nation, which at the time was in a state of war with Israel, could bring himself to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but in 2012, AFP cannot?

Reprinted from CAMERA